Calais 2

I Perceived that something darken’d the passage more than myself, as I stepp’d along it to my room; it was effectually Mons. Dessein, the master of the hôtel who had just return’d from vespers, and, with his hat under his arm, was most complaisantly following me, to put me in mind of my wants. I had wrote myself pretty well out of conceit with the Desobligeant; and Mons. Dessein speaking of it, with a shrug, as if it would no way suit me, it immediately struck my fancy that it belong’d to some innocent Traveller, who, on his return home, had left it to Mons. Dessein’s honour to make the most of. Four months had elapsed since it had finish’d its career of Europe in the corner of Mons. Dessein’s coach yard; and having sallied out from thence but a vamptup business at the first, though it had been twice taken to pieces on Mount Sennis, it had not profited much by its adventures—but by none so little as the standing so many months unpitied in the corner of Mons. Dessein’s coach yard. Much indeed was not to be said for it—but something might—and when a few words will rescue misery out of her distress, I hate the man who can be a churl of them.

—Now was I the master of this hôtel, said I, laying the point of my forefinger on Mons. Dessein’s breast, I would inevitably make a point of getting rid of this unfortunate Desobligeant—it stands swinging reproaches at you every time you pass by it—

Mon dieu! said Mons. Dessein—I have no interest—Except the interest, said I, which men of a certain turn of mind take, Mons. Dessein, in their own sensations—I’m persuaded, to a man who feels for others as well as for himself, every rainy night, disguise it as you will, must cast a damp upon your spirits—You suffer, Mons. Dessein, as much as the Machine—

I have always observed when there is as much sour as sweet in a compliment, that an Englishman is eternally at a loss within himself, whether to take it, or let it alone: a French man never is; Mons. Dessein made me a bow.

C’est bien vrai, said he—But in this case I should only exchange one disquietude for another, and with loss: figure to yourself, my dear Sir, that in giving you a chaise which would fall to pieces before you had got half way to Paris—figure to yourself how much I should suffer, in giving an ill impression of myself to a man of honour, and lying at the mercy, as I must do, d’un homme d’esprit.

The dose was made up exactly after my own prescription; so I could not help taking it—and returning Mons. Dessein his bow, without more casuistry we walked together towards his remise, to take a view of his magazine of chaises.

In The Street


It must needs be a hostile kind of a world, when the buyer (if it be but of a sorry post-chaise) cannot go forth with the seller thereof into the street to terminate the difference betwixt them, but he instantly falls into the same frame of mind, and views his Conventionist with the same sort of eye, as if he was going along with him to Hyde-park corner to fight a duel. For my own part, being but a poor sword’s man, and no way a match for Monsieur Dessein, I felt the rotation of all the movements within me, to which the situation is incident—I look’d at Monsieur Dessein thro’ and thro’—ey’d him as he walked along in profile—then, en face—thought he look’d like a Jew—then a Turk—disliked his wig—cursed him by my gods—wished him at the devil—

—And is all this to be lighted up in the heart for a beggarly account of three or four Louis-d’ors, which is the most I can be over-reached in?—Base passion! said I, turning myself about, as a man naturally does upon a sudden reverse of sentiment—base, ungentle passion! thy hand is against every man, and every man’s hand against thee—Heaven forbid! said she, raising her hand up to her forehead, for I had turned full in front upon the lady whom I had seen in conference with the monk—she had followed us unperceived—Heaven forbid indeed! said I, offering her my own—she had a black pair of silk gloves

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