A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy

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Author: Laurence Sterne

Calais.

I perceived that something darken’d the passage more than myself, as I stepp’d along it to my room; it was effectually Mons. Dessein, the master of the hotel, who had just returned from vespers, and with his hat under his arm, was most complaisantly following me, to put me in mind of my wants. I had wrote myself pretty well out of conceit with the desobligeant, and Mons. Dessein speaking of it, with a shrug, as if it would no way suit me, it immediately struck my fancy that it belong’d to some Innocent Traveller, who, on his return home, had left it to Mons. Dessein’s honour to make the most of. Four months had elapsed since it had finished its career of Europe in the corner of Mons. Dessein’s coach-yard; and having sallied out from thence but a vampt-up business at the first, though it had been twice taken to pieces on Mount Sennis, it had not profited much by its adventures, - but by none so little as the standing so many months unpitied in the corner of Mons. Dessein’s coach-yard. Much indeed was not to be said for it, - but something might; - and when a few words will rescue misery out of her distress, I hate the man who can be a churl of them.

- Now was I the master of this hotel, said I, laying the point of my fore-finger on Mons. Dessein’s breast, I would inevitably make a point of getting rid of this unfortunate desobligeant; - it stands swinging reproaches at you every time you pass by it.

MON DIEU! said Mons. Dessein, - I have no interest - Except the interest, said I, which men of a certain turn of mind take, Mons. Dessein, in their own sensations, - I’m persuaded, to a man who feels for others as well as for himself, every rainy night, disguise it as you will, must cast a damp upon your spirits: - You suffer, Mons. Dessein, as much as the machine -

I have always observed, when there is as much SOUR as SWEET in a compliment, that an Englishman is eternally at a loss within himself, whether to take it, or let it alone: a Frenchman never is: Mons. Dessein made me a bow.

C’est bien vrai, said he. - But in this case I should only exchange one disquietude for another, and with loss: figure to yourself, my dear Sir, that in giving you a chaise which would fall to pieces before you had got half-way to Paris, - figure to yourself how much I should suffer, in giving an ill impression of myself to a man of honour, and lying at the mercy, as I must do, d’un homme d’esprit.

The dose was made up exactly after my own prescription; so I could not help tasting it, - and, returning Mons. Dessein his bow, without more casuistry we walk’d together towards his Remise, to take a view of his magazine of chaises.

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Chicago: Laurence Sterne, "Calais.," A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, trans. Martin, Theodore in A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (London: Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1920), Original Sources, accessed August 9, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3UIBR5RKKX1IALM.

MLA: Sterne, Laurence. "Calais." A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, translted by Martin, Theodore, in A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, London, Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1920, Original Sources. 9 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3UIBR5RKKX1IALM.

Harvard: Sterne, L, 'Calais.' in A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, trans. . cited in 1920, A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, London. Original Sources, retrieved 9 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3UIBR5RKKX1IALM.