open only at the thumb and two fore-fingers, so accepted it without reserve—and I led her up to the door of the remise.

Monsieur Dessein had diabled the key above fifty times before he found out he had come with a wrong one in his hand: we were as impatient as himself to have it open’d; and so attentive to the obstacle, that I continued holding her hand almost without knowing it; so that Monsieur Dessein left us together with her hand in mine, and with our faces turned towards the door of the remise, and said he would be back in five minutes.

Now a colloquy of five minutes, in such a situation, is worth one of as many ages, with your faces turned towards the street; in the latter case, ’tis drawn from the objects and occurrences without—when your eyes are fixed upon a dead Blank—you draw purely from yourselves. A silence of a single moment upon Monsieur Dessein’s leaving us, had been fatal to the situation—she had infallibly turn’d about—so I begun the conversation instantly—

—But what were the temptations, (as I write not to apologize for the weaknesses of my heart in this tour—but to give an account of them)—shall be described with the same simplicity, with which I felt them.

The Remise Door


When I told the reader that I did not care to get out of the Desobligeant, because I saw the monk in close conference with a lady just arrived at the inn—I told him the truth; but I did not tell him the whole truth; for I was full as much restrained by the appearance and figure of the lady he was talking to. Suspicion crossed my brain, and said, he was telling her what had passed: something jarr’d upon it within me—I wished him at his convent.

When the heart flies out before the understanding, it saves the judgment a world of pains—I was certain she was of a better order of beings—however, I thought no more of her, but went on and wrote my preface.

The impression return’d, upon my encounter with her in the street; a guarded frankness with which she gave me her hand, shewed, I thought, her good education and her good sense; and as I led her on, I felt a pleasurable ductility about her, which spread a calmness over all my spirits—

—Good God! how a man might lead such a creature as this round the world with him!

I had not yet seen her face—’twas not material; for the drawing was instantly set about, and long before we had got to the door of the remise, Fancy had finish’d the whole head, and pleased herself as much with its fitting her goddess, as if she had dived into the Tiber for it—but thou art a seduced, and a seducing slut; and albeit thou cheatest us seven times a day with thy pictures and images, yet with so many charms do’st thou do it, and thou deckest out thy pictures in the shapes of so many angels of light, ’tis a shame to break with thee.

When we had got to the door of the remise, she withdrew her hand from across her forehead, and let me see the original—it was a face of about six and twenty—of a clear transparent brown simply set off without rouge or powder—it was not critically handsome, but there was that in it, which in the frame of mind I was in, attach’d me much more to it—it was interesting; I fancied it wore the characters of a widow’d look, and in that state of its declension, which had passed the two first paroxysms of sorrow, and was quietly beginning to reconcile itself to its loss—but a thousand other distresses might have traced the same lines; I wish’d to know what they had been—and was ready to enquire, (had the same bon ton of conversation permitted, as in the days of Esdras)—“What aileth thee? and why art thou disquieted? and why is thy understanding troubled?”—In a word, I felt benevolence for her; and resolved some way or other to throw in my mite of courtesy—if not of service.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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