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time the ass had fought him as much as he had fought the ass, and that neither had scarce eat or drank till they met.

Thou hast one comfort, friend, said I, at least, in the loss of thy poor beast; I am sure thou haft been a merciful master to him-Alas! said the mourner, I thought so, when alivebut

now he is dead I think otherwise I fear the weight of myself and my afflictions together have been too much for him—they have shortened the poor creature's days, and I fear I have them to answer for.-Shame on the world! said I to myself—Did we love each other, as this poor foul but lov'd his ass-'twould be fomething.

STERNE,

he was

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W

HEN states and empires have their periods of de

clension, and feel in their turns what distress and poverty is—I stop not to tell the causes which gradually brought the house d’E**** in Britany into decay, The Marquis d'E**** had fought up against his condition with great firmnefs; wishing to preserve and ftill fhew to the world some little fragments of what his ancestors had been their indiscretion had

put
it out of his power.

Tliere was enough left for the little exigencies of obscurity— But he had two boys who looked up to him for light-he thought they deserved it. He had tried his sword it could not open the way—the mounting was too expensive and simple economy was not a match for it--there was no resource but

commerce.

In any other province in France, fave Britany, this was

smiting

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{miting the root for ever of the little tree his pride and affection wished to see re-bloffom-But in Britany, there being a provision for this, he availed himself of it; and taking an occasion when the states were assembled at Rennes, the Marquis, attended with his two sons, entered the court; and having pleaded the right of an ancient law of the duchy, which, though seldom claimed, he said, was no less in force; he took his sword from his fide. Here-faid he -take it ; and be trusty guardians of it, till better times. put me in condition to reclaim it.

The president accepted the Marquis's fword-he staid a few minutes to see it deposited in the archives of luis house -and departed.

The Marquis and his whole family embarked the next day for Martinico, and in about nineteen or twenty years of successful application to business, with some un-looked-for bequests from diftant branches of his house returned home to reclaim his nobility and to support it.

It was an incident of good fortune which will never happen to any traveller, but a sentimental one, that I should be at Rennes at the very time of this folemn requisition: I call it folemnit was fo to me.

The Marquis entered the court with his whole family ; he supported his lady—his eldest fon supported his sister, and his youngest was at the other extreme of the line next his mother-he

put

his handkerchief to his face twice THERE was

a dead filence. When the Marquis had approached within fix paces of the tribunal, he gave the Marchioness to his youngest son, and advancing three steps before his family be reclaimed his sword.His sword was given him, and the moment he got it into his hand he drew it almost out of the scabbard it was the shining face of a C6

friend

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friend he had once given up. He looked attentively a long time at it, beginning at the hilt, as if to fee whether it was the fame--when observing a little ruft which it had contracted near the point, he brought it near his eye, and bending his head down over it I think I saw a tear fall upon the place: I could not be deceived by what followed,

I SHALL find, said he, fome other way to get it off.”

When the Marquis had said this, he returned his sword into its scabbard, made a bow to the guardian of it-and, with his wife and daughter and his two sons following him, walked ont. How I envied him his feelings!

STERNE

c H A P, XI,

Μ Α R Ι Α.

FIRST PART.

-THE

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'HEY were the sweetest notes I ever heard; and I

instantly let down the fore glass to hear them more distinctly—'Tis Maria; faid the poftillion, obferving I was listening-Poor Maria, continued he, (leaning his body on one side to let me see her, for he was in a line between us) is fitting upon a bank playing her vespers upon her pipe, with her little goat beside her. THE young

fellow uttered this with an accent and a look fo perfectly in tune to a feeling heart, that I instantly made a vow, I would give him a four and twenty fous piece, when I got to Moulines

-AND who is poor Maria ? said I. The love and pity of all the villages around us; said the poftillion-wit is but three years ago, that the sun did not

shine

upon so fair, so quick-witted, and amiable a maid; and better fate did Maria deserve, than to have her banns forbid, by the intrigues of the curate of the parilh who published them

He was going on, when Maria, who had made a short pause, put the pipe to her mouth and began the air again they were the fame notes;--yet were ten times sweeter : It is the evening service to the Virgin, said the young man but who has taught her to play it or how she came by her pipe,' no one knows; we think that Heaven has affifted her in both; for ever fince she has been unsettled in her mind, it seems her only confolation-she has never once had the pipe out of her hand, but plays that service upon it almost night and day.

The poftillion delivered this with fo much discretion and natural eloquence, that I could not help decyphering fomething in his face above his condition, and should have fifted out his hiftory, had not poor Maria taken fuch full possession

of me.

We had got up by this time almost to the bank where Maria was sitting : she was in a thin white jacket, with her hair, all but two tresses, drawn up in a filk net, with a few olive leaves twisted a little fantastically on one side--she was beautiful; and if ever I felt the full force of an honest heartach, it was the moment I faw heren

God help her ! poor damsel! above a hundred masses, said the poftillion, have been said in the several parish churches . and convents around for her, but without effect; we have still hopes, as she is sensible for short intervals, that the Virgin at last will restore her to herself; but her parents, who know her beft, are hopeless upon that score, and think her senses, are lost for ever.

As

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As the poftillion spoke this, Maria made a cadence fo melancholy, so tender and querulous, that I sprung out of the chaise to help her, and found myself fitting betwixt her and her goat before I relapsed from my enthusiasm.

MARIA looked wiftfully for some time at me, and then at her goat--and then at me-and then at her goat again, and so on alternately

Well, MARIA, faid I foftly - What resemblance do you find ?

I do entreat the candid reader to believe me, that it was from the humbleft conviction of what a beast man is that I asked the question; and that I would not have let fallen an unseasonable pleasantry in the venerable presence of Misery, to be entitled to all the wit that ever Rabelais scattered.

ADIEU, Maria!-adieu, poor hapless damsel! - some time, but not now,

I

may hear thy sorrows from thy own lips -but I was deceived; for that moment she took her pipe, and told me fuch a tale of woe with it, that I rose up, and with broken and irregular steps walked foftly to my chaise.

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SECOND PART.

W

HEN we had got within half a league of Moulines,

at a little opening in the road leading to a thicket, I discovered poor Maria sitting under a poplar-she was fitting with her elbow in her lap, and her head leaning on one side within her hand-a small brook run at the foot of the tree.

I BADE the poftillion go on with the chaise to Moulines --and La Fleur to bespeak my fupper-and that I would walk after him.

SHE

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