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had it, I little thought of seeing this country; but I will make a faithful relation of all to you when we come home.” Indeed I began to wish heartily we were there, for it grew into the night; and having strolled so far without my gun, I was afraid of what I had before seen and heard, and binted our return; but I found my motion was disagreeable to her, and so I dropped it.
I now perceived, and wondered at it, that the later it grew, the more agreeable it seemed to her; and as I had now brought her into a good humour again by seeing and sailing in my boat, I was not willing to prevent its increase. I told her, if she pleased we would land, and when I had docked my boat, I would accompany her where and as long as she liked. As we talked and walked by the lake, she made a little run before me, and jumped into it. Perceiving this, I cried out; whereupon she merrily called on me to follow her. The light was then so dim as prevented my having more than a confused sight of her, when she jumped in; and looking earnestly after her, I could discern nothing more than a small boat on the water, which skimmed along at so great a rate that I almost lost sight of it presently; but running along the shore for fear of losing her, I met her gravely walking to meet me, and then had entirely lost sight of the boat on the lake. “ This," says she, accosting me with a smile, “ is my way of sailing, which I perceive by the fright you were in, you are altogether unacquainted with ; and as you tell me you came from so many thousand miles off, it is possible you may be made differently from me; but surely we are the part of the creation which has had most care bestowed upon it; and I suspect from all your discourse, to which I have been very attentive, it is possible you may no more be able to fly than to sail as I do." “No, charming creature," says I," that I cannot, I will assure
you." She then, stepping to the edge of the lake, for the advantage of a descent before her, sprang up into the air, and away she went, further than my eyes could follow her.
I was quite astonished. So, says I, then all is over, a delusion wbich I have so long been in, a mere phantom ! better had it been for me never to have seen her, than thus to lose her again. But what could I expect had she staid ? for it is plain she is no human composition. But, says I, she felt like flesh too, when I lifted her out at the door. I had but very little time for reflection ; for in about ten minutes after she had left me in this mixture of grief and amazement, she alighted just by me on her feet.
Her return, as she plainly saw, filled me with a transport not to be concealed, and which, as she afterwards told me, was very agreeable to her. Indeed, I was some moments in such an agitation of mind, from these unparalleled incidents, that I was like one thunderstruck; but coming presently to myself, and clasping her in my arms with as much love and passion as I was capable of expressing, "Are you returned again, kind angel," said I," to bless a wretch who can only be happy in adoring you? Can it be that you, who have so many advantages over me,
should quit all the pleasures that nature has formed you for, and all your
friends and relations, to take an asylum in my arms ? But I here make you a tender of all I am able to bestow-my love and constancy.” “Come, come," says she, • no more raptures. I find you are a worthier man than I thought I had reason to take you for; and I beg your pardon for my distrust, whilst I was ignorant of your perfections; but now I verily believe all you said is true; and I promise you, as you have seemed so much to delight in me, I will never quit you, till death or other as fatal accident shall part us.
But we will now, if you choose, go home; for
I know you have been some time uneasy in this gloom, though agreeable to me. For, giving my eyes the pleasure of looking eagerly on you, it conceals my blushes from your sight."
In this manner, exchanging mutual endearments and soft speeches, hand in hand, we arrived at the grotto.
Gil Blas and the Parasite.
FROM LE SAGE,
Gil Blas is a book which makes a great impression in youth with particular passages; becomes thoroughly appreciated only by the maturest knowledge; and remains one of the greatest of favourites with old people who are wise and good-natured. Every body knows the Robbers' Cave, the Beggar who asks alms with a loaded musket, the Archbishop who invited a candour which he could not bear, the dramatic surprise and exquisite lesson of the story transcribed into the present volume; and perhaps we all have a general, entertaining recollection of authors, and actresses, and great men, But the hundreds of delicate strokes at every turn, the quiet, arch reference (never failing) to the most hidden sources of action and nicest evidences of character, require an experienced taste and discernment to do them justice. When they obtain this, they complete the charm of the reader by flattering his understanding. The hero (strange critical term for individuals the most unheroical !) is justly popular with all the world, because he resembles them in their mixture of sense and nonsense, craft and credulity, selfishness and good qualities. We have a sneaking regard for him on our weak side; while we flatter ourselves we should surpass him on the strong. Then how pleasant the hypocrisy of the false hermit Lamela, reconciled to us by his animal spirits; how consolatory (if extension of evil can console) the bile and melancholy of the great minister, the Count-Duke, who always sees a spectre before him; and how charming, as completing the round of its universality, the alternations from town to country, from solitudes to courts, and the settlement of the once simple Gil Blas, now Signior de Santillane, in his comfortable farm at Lirias, over the door of which was to be written a farewell to vicissitude:
Inveni portum. Spes et Fortuna, valete.
Sat me lusisti: ludite nunc alios.
My port is found. Farewell, ye freaks of chance;
Le Sage is accused, like Moliere, of having stolen all his good things from Spain. Do not believe it. Rest assured, that whatever he stole he turned to the choicest account with his own genius; otherwise the Spaniards would have got the fame for his works, and not he. Nobody stole Cervantes. Le Sage was a good, quiet man, very deaf, who lived in a small house at Boulogne with a bit of trellised garden at the back, in which he used to walk up and down while he composed. He had a son, a celebrated actor, who came to live with him; and these two were as fast friends, as they were honest and pleasant men.
But if every body knows the adventure of Gil Blas with the Parasite, why, it may be asked, repeat it? For the reason given in the Preface,—because there are passages in books which readers love to see repeated, for the very sake of their intimacy with them. It is with fine passages in books as with songs. Some we like, because they are good and new; and some, because they are very good indeed, and old acquaintances. Besides, there are hundreds of readers who only just recollect them well enough to desire to know them better,
It is to be borne in mind, that our hero has just set out in life; and that this is his first journey since he left school at Oviedo.
ARRIVED in safety at Pennaflor, and halting at the
gate of an inn that made a tolerable appearance, I no sooner alighted, than the landlord came out, and received me with great civility; he untied my portmanteau with his own hands, and throwing it on his shoulder, conducted me into a room, while one of his servants led my mule into the stable. This innkeeper, the greatest talker of the Asturias, and as ready to relate his own affairs without being asked, as to pry into those of another, told me his name was Andrew Corcuelo ; that he had served many years in the king's army in quality of a serjeant; and had quitted the service fifteen months ago to marry a damsel of Castropol,