at last—she pull’d it out; it was of green taffeta, lined with a little bit of white quilted sattin, and just big enough to hold the crown—she put it into my hand—it was pretty; and I held it ten minutes with the back of my hand resting upon her lap—looking sometimes at the purse, sometimes on one side of it.

A stitch or two had broke out in the gathers of my stock—the fair fille de chambre, without saying a word, took out her little hussive, threaded a small needle, and sew’d it up—I foresaw it would hazard the glory of the day; and as she pass’d her hand in silence across and across my neck in the manœuvre, I felt the laurels shake which fancy had wreath’d about my head.

A strap had given way in her walk, and the buckle of her shoe was just falling off—See, said the fille de chambre, holding up her foot——I could not for my soul but fasten the buckle in return, and putting in the strap—and lifting up the other foot with it, when I had done, to see both were right—in doing it too suddenly—it unavoidably threw the fair fille de chambre off her center—and then——

The Conquest

Yes——and then——Ye whose clay-cold heads and lukewarm hearts can argue down or mask your passions, tell me, what trespass is it that man should have them? or how his spirit stands answerable to the Father of spirits but for his conduct under them?

If Nature has so wove her web of kindness, that some threads of love and desire are entangled with the piece—must the whole web be rent in drawing them out?——Whip me such stoics, great Governor of nature! said I to myself——Wherever thy providence shall place me for the trials of my virtue—whatever is my danger—whatever is my situation—let me feel the movements which rise out of it, and which belong to me as a man——and if I govern them as a good one, I will trust the issues to thy justice; for thou hast made us, and not we ourselves.

As I finish’d my address, I raised the fair fille de chambre up by the hand, and led her out of the room——she stood by me till I lock’d the door and put the key in my pocket—and then—the victory being quite decisive—and not till then, I press’d my lips to her cheek, and, taking her by the hand again, led her safe to the gate of the hôtel.

The Mystery


If a man knows the heart, he will know it was impossible to go back instantly to my chamber—it was touching a cold key with a flat third to it, upon the close of a piece of musick, which had call’d forth my affections—therefore, when I let go the hand of the fille de chambre, I remain’d at the gate of the hôtel for some time, looking at every one who pass’d by, and forming conjectures upon them, till my attention got fix’d upon a single object which confounded all kind of reasoning upon him.

It was a tall figure, of a philosophic, serious, adust look, which pass’d and repass’d sedately along the street, making a turn of about sixty paces on each side of the gate of the hôtel—the man was about fifty- two—had a small cane under his arm—was dress’d in a dark drabcolour’d coat, waistcoat and breeches, which seem’d to have seen some years service—they were still clean, and there was a little air of frugal propreté throughout him. By his pulling off his hat, and his attitude of accosting a good many in his way, I saw he was asking charity; so I got a sous or two out of my pocket ready to give him, as he took me in his turn—He pass’d by me without asking any thing—and yet did not go five steps further before he ask’d charity of a little woman——I was much more likely to have given of the two——He had scarce done with the woman, when he pull’d his hat off to another who was coming the same way——An ancient gentleman came slowly—and after him, a young smart one——He let them both pass, and ask’d nothing; I stood observing him half an hour, in which time he had made a dozen turns backwards and forwards, and found that he invariably pursued the same plan.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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