Laurence Sterne,-A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy





C'EST bien comique, 'tis very
droll, said the lady smiling, from
the reflection that this was the se-
cond time we had been left to-
gether by a parcel of nonsensical
contingencies---c'est bien comique, said

---There wants nothing, said I, to
make it so, but the comick use
which the gallantry of a French-
man would put it to---to make love
the first moment, and an offer of his
person the second.



'Tis their fort: replied the lady.

It is supposed so at least---and how
it has come to pass, continued I, I
know not: but they have certainly
got the credit of understanding more
of love, and making it better than
any other nation upon earth; but for
my own part, I think them errant
bunglers, and in truth the worst set
of marksmen that ever tried Cupid's

---To think of making love by

I should as soon think of making
a genteel suit of cloaths out of rem-
nants:---and to do it---pop--- at first
sight by declaration---is submitting



the offer and themselves with it, to
be sifted with all their pours and
contres, by an unheated mind.

The lady attended as if she ex-
pected I should go on.

Consider then, madam, continued
I, laying my hand upon hers---

That grave people hate Love for
the name's sake---

That selfish people hate it for their

Hypocrites for heaven's---

And that all of us, both old
and young, being ten times worse

3                frighten'd


frighten'd than hurt by the very
report---What a want of knowledge
in this branch of commerce a man
betrays, who ever lets the word
come out of his lips, till an hour or
two at least after the time, that his
silence upon it becomes tormenting.
A course of small, quiet attentions,
not so pointed as to alarm---nor so
vague as to be misunderstood--- with
now and then a look of kindness,
and little or nothing said upon it---
leaves Nature for your mistress, and
she fashions it to her mind---

Then I solemnly declare, said the
lady, blushing---you have been mak-
ing love to me all this while.


next section