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by far the worstall in the usual intolerable

But, when I was clear of the Custom House
on the other side, and when I began to make the
dust fly on the thirsty French roads, and when the
twigsome trees by the wayside (which, I suppose,
never will grow leafy, for they never did)
guarded here and there a dusty soldier, or field
labourer, baking on a heap of broken stones,
sound asleep in a fiction of shade, I began to
recover my travelling spirits. Coming upon the
breaker of the broken stones, in a hard, hot,
shining hat, on which the sun played at a
distance as on a burning-glass, I felt that now,
indeed, I was in the dear old France of my
affections. I should have known it, without the
well-remembered bottle of rough ordinary wine,
the cold roast fowl, the loaf, and the pinch of
salt, on which I lunched with unspeakable
satisfaction, from one of the stuffed pockets of the

I must have fallen asleep after lunch, for
when a bright face looked in at the window, I
started, and said:

"Good God, Louis, I dreamed you were

My cheerful servant laughed, and answered:

"Me? Not at all, sir."

"How glad I am to wake! What are we
doing, Louis?"

"We go to take relay of horses. Will you
walk up the hill?"


Welcome the old French hill, with the old
French lunatic (not in the most distant
degree related to Sterne's Maria) living in a
thatched dog-kennel half way up, and flying out
with his crutch and his big head and extended
nightcap, to be beforehand with the old men
and women exhibiting crippled children, and
with the children exhibiting old men and
women, ugly and blind, who always seemed by
resurrectionary process to be recalled out of the
elements for the sudden peopling of the

"It is well," said I, scattering among them
what small coin I had; "here comes Louis, and
I am quite roused from my nap."

We journeyed on again, and I welcomed
every new assurance that France stood where I
had left it. There were the posting-houses,
with their archways, dirty stable-yards, and
clean post-masters' wives, bright women of
business, looking on at the putting-to of the
horses; there were the postilions counting
what money they got, into their hats, and never
making enough of it; there were the standard
population of grey horses of Flanders descent,
invariably biting one another when they got a
chance; there were the fleecy sheepskins,
looped on over their uniforms by the
postilions, like bibbed aprons, when it blew and
rained; there were their jack-boots, and their
cracking whips; there were the cathedrals that
I got out to see, as under some cruel bondage,
in no wise desiring to see them; there were
the little towns that appeared to have no reason
for being towns, since most of their houses
were to let and nobody could be induced to
look at them, except the people who couldn't
let them and had nothing else to do but look at
them all day. I lay a night upon the road and
enjoyed delectable cookery of potatoes, and some
other sensible things, adoption of which at home
would inevitably be shown to be fraught with
ruin, somehow or other, to that rickety national
blessing, the British farmer; and at last I was
rattled, like a single pill in a box, over leagues
of stones, untilmadly cracking, plunging, and
flourishing two grey tails aboutI made my
triumphal entry into Paris.

At Paris, I took an upper apartment for a few
days in one of the hotels of the Rue de Rivoli:
my front windows looking into the garden of
the Tuileries (where .the principal difference
between the nursemaids and the flowers seemed to
be that the former were locomotive, and the
latter not): my back windows looking at all
the other back windows in the hotel, and deep
down into a paved yard, where my German
chariot had retired under a tight-fitting archway,
to all appearance, for life, and where bells
rang all day without anybody's minding them
but certain chamberlains with feather brooms
and green baize caps, who here and there leaned
out of some high window placidly looking down,
and where neat waiters with trays on their left
shoulders passed and repassed from morning to

Whenever I am at Paris, I am dragged by
invisible force into the Morgue. I never
want to go there, but am always pulled there.
One Christmas Day, when I would rather have
been anywhere else, I was attracted in, to see an
old grey man lying all alone on his cold bed,
with a tap of water turned on over his grey
hair, and running drip, drip, drip, down his
wretched face until it got to the corner of his
mouth, where it took a turn and made him
look sly. One New Year's Morning (by the
same token, the sun was shining outside, and
there was a mountebank balancing a feather on
his nose, within a yard of the gate), I was
pulled in again, to look at a flaxen-haired boy of
eighteen with a heart hanging on his breast
—"from his mother," was engraven on itwho
had come into the net across the river, with a
bullet-wound in his fair forehead and his hands
cut with a knife, but whence or how was a blank
mystery. This time, I was forced into the same
dread place, to see a large dark man whose
disfigurement by water was in a frightful manner,
comic, and whose expression was that of a
prizefighter who had closed his eyelids under a heavy
blow, but was going immediately to open them,
shake his head, and "come up smiling." O
what this large dark man cost me in that bright

It was very hot weather, and he was none the
better for that, and I was much the worse.
Indeed, a very neat and pleasant little woman
with the key of her lodging on her forefinger,
who had been showing him to her little girl
while she and the child ate sweetmeats,