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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent.(Volume4,chapter22)

2006-08-22 18:35

  Chapter 22

  No matter how, or in what mood—but I flew from the tomb of the lovers—or rather I did not fly from it—(for there was no such thing existing) and just got time enough to the boat to save my passage;—and ere I had sailed a hundred yards, the Rhone and the Saon met together, and carried me down merrily betwixt them.

  But I have described this voyage down the Rhone, before I made it—

  —So now I am at Avignon, and as there is nothing to see but the old house, in which the duke of Ormond resided, and nothing to stop me but a short remark upon the place, in three minutes you will see me crossing the bridge upon a mule, with Francois upon a horse with my portmanteau behind him, and the owner of both, striding the way before us, with a long gun upon his shoulder, and a sword under his arm, lest peradventure we should run away with his cattle. Had you seen my breeches in entering Avignon,—Though you‘d have seen them better, I think, as I mounted—you would not have thought the precaution amiss, or found in your heart to have taken it in dudgeon; for my own part, I took it most kindly; and determined to make him a present of them, when we got to the end of our journey, for the trouble they had put him to, of arming himself at all points against them.

  Before I go further, let me get rid of my remark upon Avignon, which is this: That I think it wrong, merely because a man‘s hat has been blown off his head by chance the first night he comes to Avignon,—that he should therefore say, ’Avignon is more subject to high winds than any town in all France:“ for which reason I laid no stress upon the accident till I had enquired of the master of the inn about it, who telling me seriously it was so—and hearing, moreover, the windiness of Avignon spoke of in the country about as a proverb—I set it down, merely to ask the learned what can be the cause—the consequence I saw—for they are all Dukes, Marquisses, and Counts, there—the duce a Baron, in all Avignon—so that there is scarce any talking to them on a windy day.

  Prithee, friend, said I, took hold of my mule for a moment—for I wanted to pull off one of my jack-boots, which hurt my heel—the man was standing quite idle at the door of the inn, and as I had taken it into my head, he was someway concerned about the house or stable, I put the bridle into his hand—so begun with the boot:—when I had finished the affair, I turned about to take the mule from the man, and thank him—

  —But Monsieur le Marquis had walked in—

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