Laurence Sterne,-A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy





IT was Sunday; and when La
Fleur came in, in the morning,
with my coffee and roll and butter,
he had got himself so gallantly array'd,
I scarce knew him.

   I had covenanted at Montreal to
give him a new hat with a silver but-
ton and loop and four Louis d'ors
pour s'adoniser,
when we got to Paris ; and the poor fellow, to do him justice,
had done wonders with it.



  He had bought a bright, clean,
good scarlet coat, and a pair of
breeches of the same—They were not
a crown worse, he said, for the wear-
ing—I wish'd him hang'd for telling
me—They look'd so fresh, that tho'
I knew the thing could not be done,
yet I would rather have imposed upon
my fancy with thinking I had
bought them new for the fellow,
than that they had come out of the
Rue de Friperie.

   This is a nicety which makes not
the heart sore at Paris.

   He had purchased moreover a handsome blue satin waistcoat, fancifully enough embroidered—this



was indeed something the worse for
the service it had done, but 'twas
clean scour'd—the gold had been
touch'd up, and upon the whole was
rather showy than otherwise—and as
the blue was not violent, it suited
with the coat and breeches very well :
he had squeez'd out of the money,
moreover, a new bag and a solitaire ;
and had insisted with the fripier,
upon a gold pair of garters to his
breeches knees—He had purchased
muslin ruffles, bien brodées, with four
livres of his own money— and a pair
of white silk stockings for five more
— and, to top all, nature had given
him a handsome figure, without
costing him a sous.



   He entered the room thus set off,
with his hair drest in the first style,
and with a handsome bouquet in his
breast— in a word, there was that
look of festivity in every thing about
him, which at once put me in mind
it was Sunday— and by com-
bining both together, it instantly
struck me, that the favour he wish'd
to ask of me the night before, was
to spend the day as every body in
Paris spent it besides. I had scarce
made the conjecture, when La Fleur,
with infinite humility, but with a
look of trust, as if I should not re-
fuse him, begg'd I would grant him
the day, pour faire le galant vis à vis
de sa maitresse



   Now it was the very thing I in-
tended to do myself vis à vis Madame
de R****—I had retain'd the re-
on purpose for it, and it would
not have mortified my vanity to
have a servant so well dress'd as La Fleur was, to have got up behind it: I never could have worse spared him.

   But we must feel, not argue in
these embarrassments— the sons and
daughters of service part with li-
berty, but not with Nature, in their
contracts ; they are flesh and blood,
and have their little vanities and wishes in the midst of the house of bondage, as well as their task-masters



—no doubt they have set their self-
denials at a price—and their expec-
tations are so unreasonable, that I
would often disappoint them, but
that their condition puts it so much in my power to do it.

   Behold! — Behold, I am thy ser-
— disarms me at once of the
powers of a master—

   —Thou shalt go, La Fleur !
said I.

    —And what mistress, La Fleur, said
I, canst thou have pick'd up in so little
time at Paris ? La Fleur laid his
hand upon his breast, and said 'twas

                a petite


a petite demoiselle, at Monsieur Le
Compte de B****'s—La Fleur
had a heart made for society ; and, to
speak the truth of him, let as few oc-
casions slip him as his master—so
that somehow or other ; but how—
h Heaven knows—he had connected
himself with the demoiselle upon the landing of the stair-case, during the
time I was taken up with my Pass-
port ; and as there was time enough
for me to win the Count to my inte-
terest, La Fleur had contrived to
make it do to win the maid to his
—the family, it seems, was to be at
Paris that day, and he had made a
party with her, and two or three
more of the Count's household, upon
the boulevards.



Happy people! that once a week at least
are sure to lay down all your cares together,
and dance and sing, and sport away the
weights of grievance, which bow down the
spirit of other nations of the earth.


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