Laurence Sterne,-A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

 
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[174]

THE GLOVES.

PARIS.

THE beautiful Grisset rose up
when I said this, and going
behind the counter, reach'd down a
parcel and untied it: I advanced to
the side over-against her: they were
all too large. The beautiful Grisset
measured them one by one across my
hand---It would not alter the dimen-
sions---She begg'd I would try a single
pair, which seemed to be the least---
She held it open---my hand slipp'd
into it at once---It will not do, said I,

      4            shaking

[175]

shaking my head a little---No, said
she, doing the same thing.

There are certain combined looks
of simple subtlety--- where whim, and
sense, and seriousness, and nonsense,
are so blended, that all the languages
of Babel set loose together could not
express them---they are communi-
cated and caught so instantaneously,
that you can scarce say which party
is the infecter. I leave it to your
men of words to swell pages about it
--- it is enough in the present to say
again, the gloves would not do; so
folding our hands within our arms,
we both loll'd upon the counter---it
was narrow, and there was just room
for the parcel to lay between us.

              The

[176]

The beautiful Grisset look'd some-
times at the gloves, then side-ways
to the window, then at the gloves---
and then at me. I was not disposed
to break silence---I follow'd her ex-
ample: so I looked at the gloves,
then to the window, then at the
gloves, and then at her---and so on
alternately.

I found I lost considerably in every
attack---she had a quick black eye,
and shot through two such long and
silken eye-lashes with such penetra-
tion, that she look'd into my very
heart and reins---It may seem strange,
but I could actually feel she did---

   2               ---It

[177]
                  

It is no matter, said I, taking
up a couple of the pairs next me,
and putting them into my pocket.

I was sensible the beautiful Grisset
had not ask'd above a single livre
above the price---I wish'd she had
ask'd a livre more, and was puzzling
my brains how to bring the matter
about--- Do you think, my dear Sir,
said she, mistaking my embarrass-
ment, that I could ask a sous too
much of a stranger--- and of a stranger
whose politeness more than his want
of gloves, has done me the honour
to lay himself at my mercy?---M'en
croyez capable?
---Faith, not I, said I;
and if you were, you are welcome---

VOL. I.              N               So

[178]

So counting the money into her hand,
and with a lower bow than one gene-
rally makes to a shopkeeper's wife, I
went out, and her lad with his parcel
followed me.

                 


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