Laurence Sterne,-A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

 
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[12]

THE PASSPORT.

PARIS.

WHEN I got home to my
hotel, La Fleur told me I
had been enquired after by the Lieu-
tenant de Police—The duce take it!
said I—I know the reason. It is
time the reader should know it, for
in the order of things in which it
happened, it was omitted; not that
it was out of my head; but that had
I told it then, it might have been
forgot now—and now is the time I want it.

     I had left London with so much
precipitation, that it never enter'd my

                      mind

 

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mind that we were at war with France;
and had reached Dover, and look'd
through my glass at the hills beyond
Boulogne, before the idea presented
it self; and with this in its train, that
there was no getting there without a
passport. Go but to the end of a
street, I have a mortal aversion for
returning back no wiser than I sat
out; and as this was one of the great-
est efforts I had ever made for know-
ledge, I could less bear the thoughts
of it; so hearing the Count de ****
had hired the packet, I begg'd he
would take me in his suite. The
Count had some little knowledge of
me, so made little or no difficulty—
only said, his inclination to serve me
could reach no farther than Calais;

       3               as

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as he was to return by way of Brussels
to Paris; however, when I had once
pass'd there, I might get to Paris
without interruption; but that in
Paris I must make friends and shift
for myself—Let me get to Paris, Monsieur le Count, said I—and I
shall do very well. So I embark'd,
and never thought more of the
matter.

     When La Fleur told me the Lieu-
tenant de Police had been enquiring
after me—the thing instantly recurred
—and by the time La Fleur had well
told me, the master of the hotel
came into my room to tell me the same thing, with this addition to it,
that my passport had been particu-

       5               larly

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larly ask'd after: the master of the
hotel concluded with saying, He
hoped I had one—Not I, faith!
said I.

     The master of the hotel retired
three steps from me, as from an in-
fected person, as I declared this—and
poor La Fleur advanced three steps
towards me, and with that sort of
movement which a good soul makes
to succour a distress'd one—the fellow
won my heart by it ; and from that
single trait, I knew his character as
perfectly, and could rely upon it as
firmly, as if he had served me with
fidelity for seven years.

                      Mon

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    Mon seignior! cried the master of
the hotel—but recollecting himself
as he made the exclamation, he in-
stantly changed the tone of it—If
Monsieur, said he, has not a passport
(apparament) in all likelihood he has
friends in Paris who can procure him
one—Not that I know of, quoth I, with an air of indifference.—Then,
certes, replied he, you'll be sent to the
Bastile or the Châtelet, au moins. Poo!
said I, the king of France is a good na-
tured soul— he'll hurt nobody.
Cela
n'empêche pas
,
said he— you will cer-
tainly be sent to the Bastile to-morrow
morning.—But I've taken your lod-
gings for a month, answer'd I, and I'll
not quit them a day before the time
for all the kings of France in the

                                     world .

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world. La Fleur whisper'd in my
ear, That nobody could oppose the
king of France.

    Pardi! said my host, ces Messieurs
Anglois sont des gens tres extraordi-
naires
—and having both said and
sworn it—he went out.

 VOL. II.     C     THE

                   



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