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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


all a delusion which 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 al? 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



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;
The danco ye led me, now let others dance.

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.


I no

ARRIVED in safety at Pennaflor, and halting at the gate of an inn that made a tolerable

appearance, 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, who (though she was a little swarthy) knew very well how to turn the penny. He said a thousand other things, which I could have dispensed with the hearing of; but after having made me his confidant, he thought he had a right to exact the same condescension of me, and accordingly asked whence I came, whither I was going, and what I was. I was obliged to answer article by article ; for he accompanied every question by a profound bow, and begged me to excuse his curiosity with such a respectful air, that I could not refuse to satisfy him in every particular. This engaged me in a long conversation with him, and gave me occasion to mention my design, and the reason I had for disposing of my mule, that I might take the opportunity of a carrier. He approved of my intention, though not in a very succinct manner; for he represented all the troublesome accidents that might befall me on the road; he recounted many dismal stories of travellers; and I began to be afraid he would never have done. He concluded at length however with telling me, that if I had a mind to sell my mule, he was acquainted with a very honest jockey who would buy her. I assured him he would oblige me in sending for him; upon which he went in quest of him immediately with great eagerness. It was not long before he returned with his man, whom he introduced to me as a person of exceeding honesty, and we went into the yard all together, where my mule was produced, and passed and repassed before the jockey, who examined her from head to foot, and did not fail to speak very disadvantageously of her. I own there was not much to be said in her praise; but, however, had it been the pope's mule, he would have found some defects in her. He assured me, that she had all the defects a mule could have; and to convince me of his veracity, appealed to the landlord, who, doubtless, had

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