It is for this reason, Monsieur le Count, continued I, that I have not seen the Palais royal—nor the Luxembourg—nor the Façade of the Louvre—nor have attempted to swell the catalogues we have of pictures, statues and churches—I conceive every fair being as a temple, and would rather enter in, and see the original drawings and loose sketches hung up in it, than the transfiguration of Raphael itself.

The thirst of this, continued I, as impatient as that which inflames the breast of the connoisseur, has led me from my own home into France—and from France will lead me through Italy—’tis a quiet journey of the heart in pursuit of Nature, and those affections which arise out of her, which make us love each other—and the world, better than we do.

The Count said a great many civil things to me upon the occasion; and added, very politely, how much he stood obliged to Shakespear for making me known to him—But, à-propos, said he—Shakespear is full of great things—he forgot a small punctilio of announcing your name—it puts you under a necessity of doing it yourself.

The Passport


There is not a more perplexing affair in life to me, than to set about telling any one who I am—for there is scarce any body I cannot give a better account of than of myself; and I have often wish’d I could do it in a single word—and have an end of it. It was the only time and occasion in my life I could accomplish this to any purpose—for Shakespear lying upon the table, and recollecting I was in his books, I took up Hamlet, and turning immediately to the grave-diggers scene in the fifth act, I laid my finger upon Yorick, and advancing the book to the Count, with my finger all the way over the name—Me voici! said I.

Now whether the idea of poor Yorick’s skull was put out of the Count’s mind by the reality of my own, or by what magic he could drop a period of seven or eight hundred years, makes nothing in this account—’tis certain the French conceive better than they combine—I wonder at nothing in this world, and the less at this; inasmuch as one of the first of our own church, for whose candour and paternal sentiments I have the highest veneration, fell into the same mistake in the very same case—“He could not bear, he said, to look into sermons wrote by the king of Denmark’s jester”—Good, my lord! said I; but there are two Yoricks. The Yorick your lordship thinks of has been dead and buried eight hundred years ago; he flourish’d in Horwendillus’s court—the other Yorick is myself, who have flourish’d, my lord, in no court—He shook his head—Good God! said I, you might as well confound Alexander the Great with Alexander the Coppersmith, my lord—’Twas all one, he replied—

—If Alexander king of Macedon could have translated your lordship, said I, I’m sure your lordship would not have said so.

The poor Count de B**** fell but into the same error

Et, Monsieur, est il Yorick? cried the Count—Je le suis, said I—Vous?—Moi—moi qui ai l’honneur de vous parler, Monsieur le Compte—Mon Dieu! said he, embracing me—Vous etes Yorick!

The Count instantly put the Shakespear into his pocket, and left me alone in his room.

The Passport


I could not conceive why the Count de B**** had gone so abruptly out of the room, any more than I could conceive why he had put the Shakespear into his pocket—Mysteries which must explain themselves are not worth the loss of time which a conjecture about them takes up: ’twas better to read Shakespear; so taking up “Much Ado about Nothing,” I transported myself instantly from the chair I sat in to Messina in

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