of his body and limbs—and for the tone—the first sound which comes from his lips will give it you; and from all these together you ’ll compound an address at once upon the spot, which cannot disgust the Duke—the ingredients are his own, and most likely to go down.

Well! said I, I wish it well over—Coward again! as if man to man was not equal throughout the whole surface of the globe: and if in the field—why not face to face in the cabinet too? And trust me, Yorick, whenever it is not so, man is false to himself, and betrays his own succours ten times where nature does it once. Go to the Duc de C***** with the Bastile in they looks—my life for it, thou wilt be sent to Paris in about half an hour, with an escort.

I believe so, said I—Then I’ll go to the Duke, by heaven! with all the gaiety and debonairness in the world—

—And there you are wrong again, replied I—A heart at ease, Yorick, flies into no extremes—’tis ever on its center—Well! well! cried I, as the coachman turn’d in at the gates, I find I shall do very well: and by the time he had wheel’d round the court and brought me up to the door, I found myself so much the better for my own lecture, that I neither ascended the steps like a victim to justice, who was to part with life upon the topmost—nor did I mount them with a skip and a couple of strides, as I do when I fly up, Eliza! to thee, to meet it.

As I enter’d the door of the saloon, I was met by a person who possibly might be the maitre d’hôtel, but had more the air of one of the under secretaries, who told me the Duc de C***** was busy.—I am utterly ignorant, said I, of the forms of obtaining an audience, being an absolute stranger, and what is worse in the present conjuncture of affairs, being an Englishman too—He replied, that did not increase the difficulty—I made him a slight bow, and told him, I had something of importance to say to Monsieur Le Duc. The secretary look’d towards the stairs, as if he was about to leave me to carry up this account to some one—But I must not mislead you, said I—for what I have to say is of no manner of importance to Monsieur Le Duc de C*****—but of great importance to myself—C’est une autre affaire, replied he—Not at all, said I, to a man of gallantry—But pray, good sir, continued I, when can a stranger hope to have accesse?—In not less than two hours, said he, looking at his watch. The number of equipages in the courtyard seem’d to justify the calculation, that I could have no nearer a prospect—and as walking backwards and forwards in the saloon without a soul to commune with, was for the time as bad as being in the Bastile itself, I instantly went back to my remise, and bid the coachman drive me to the Cordon Bleu, which was the nearest hôtel.

I think there is a fatality in it—I seldom go to the place I set out for.

Le Patisser


Before I had got half way down the street, I changed my mind: as I am at Versailles, thought I, I might as well take a view of the town; so I pull’d the cord, and ordered the coachman to drive round some of the principal streets—I suppose the town is not very large, said I—The coachman begg’d pardon for setting me right, and told me it was very superb, and that numbers of the first dukes and marquises and counts had hôtels—The Count de B****, of whom the bookseller at the Quai de Conti had spoke so handsomely the night before, came instantly into my mind—And why should I not go, thought I, to the Count de B****, who has so high an idea of English books, and English men—and tell him my story? so I changed my mind a second time—In truth it was the third; for I had intended that day for Madame de R**** in the Rue St. Pierre, and had devoutly sent her word by her fille de chambre that I would assuredly wait upon her—but I am govern’d by circumstances—I cannot govern them: so seeing a man standing with a basket on the other side of the street, as if he had something to sell, I bid La Fleur go up to him and inquire for the Count’s hôtel.

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