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IN SIX VOLUMES ;
THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF TRISTRAM SHANDY, GENT...A
À LIFE OF THE AUTHOR,
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
Stebbins, Printer, Boston,
FRANCE AND ITALY.
They order, said I, this matter better in France.
-You have been in France ? said my gentleman, turning quick upon me, with the most civil triumph in the world: - Strange! quoth I, debating the matter with myself, that one-and-twenty miles sailing, for 'tis absolutely no further from Dover to Calais, should give a man these rights :-I'll look into them: so giving up the argument,-I went straight to my lodgings, put up half a dozen shirts and a black pair of silk breeches ;-" the coat " I have on,” said I, looking at the sleeve,“ will do," - took a place in the Dover stage ; and, the packet sailing at nine the next morning,-by three I had got sat down to my dinner upon a frickaseed chicken, so incontestibly in France, that, had I died that night of an indigestion, the whole world could not have suspended the effects of the * droits d'aubaine ;
* All the effects of strangers (Swiss and Scots excepted) dying in France are seized, by virtue of this law, though the heir be upon the spot ;--the profit of these contingencies being farmed, there is
-my shirts, and black pair of silk breeches,-portmanteau and all, must have gone to the king of France ;-even the little picture which I have so long worn, and so often have told thee, Eliza, I would carry with me into my grave, would have been torn from my neck !-Ungenerous ! to seize upon the wreck of an unwary passenger, whom your subjects had beckoned to their coast!-By heaven! sire, it is not well done; and much does it grieve me 'tis the monarch of a people so civilized and courteous, and so renowned for sentiment and fine feelings, that I have to reason with !
Rut I have scarce set a foot in your dominions
When I had finish'd my dinner, and drank the king of France's health, to satisfy my mind that I bore him no spleen, but, on the contrary, high honour for the humanity of his temperg~I rose up an inch taller for the accommodation.
-No, said I, the Bourbon is by no means a'cru. el race: they may be misled, like other people; but there is a mildness in their blood. As I acknowledged this, I felt a suffusion of a finer kind upon my cheek, more warm and friendly to man than what Burgundy (at least of two livres a bottle, which was such as I had been drinking) could have produced.
Just God! said I, kicking my portmanteau aside, what is there in this world's goods which should sharpen our spirits, and make so many kindhearted brethren of us fall out so cruelly as we do by the way?