Laurence Sterne,-A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

 
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[152]

PARIS.

WHEN a man can contest the
point by din of equipage,
and carry all on floundering before
him with half a dozen lackies and a
couple of cooks---'tis very well in
such a place as Paris--- he may drive
in at which end of a street he will.

A poor prince who is weak in
cavalry, and whose whole infantry
does not exceed a single man, had
best quit the field; and signalize
himself in the cabinet, if he can get
up into it---I say up into it---for
there is no descending perpendicular
amongst 'em with a "Me voici!

              " mes

[153]

" mes enfans"--- here I am---whatever
many may think.

I own my first sensations, as soon
as I was left solitary and alone in my
own chamber in the hotel, were far
from being so flattering as I had pre-
figured them. I walked up gravely
to the window in my dusty black
coat, and looking through the glass
saw all the world in yellow, blue,
and green, running at the ring of
pleasure.---The old with broken
lances, and in helmets which had
lost their vizards---the young in ar-
mour bright which shone like gold,
beplumed with each gay feather of
the east--- all---all tilting at it like

             fascinated

[154]

fascinated knights in tournaments of
yore for fame and love---

Alas, poor Yorick! cried I, what
art thou doing here? On the very
first onset of all this glittering clatter,
thou art reduced to an atom---seek---
seek some winding alley, with a
tourniquet at the end of it, where
chariot never rolled or flambeau shot
its rays---there thou mayest solace thy
soul in converse sweet with some kind
grisset of a barber's wife, and get into
such coteries!---

---May I perish! if I do, said I,
pulling out a letter which I had to
present to Madame de R***.---I'll

             wait

[155]

wait upon this lady, the very first
thing I do. So I called La Fleur to
go seek me a barber directly---and
come back and brush my coat.

    


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