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inflexible, she only thought of keeping me with her as long as she could, while my little equipage was preparing. The faithful Brinon, who was to attend me as valet-de-chambre, was likewise to discharge the office of governor and equerry, being, perhaps, the only Gascon who was ever possessed of so much gravity and ill-temper. He passed his word for my good behaviour and morality, and promised my mother that he would give a good account of my person in the dangers of the war; but I hope he will keep his word better as to this last article, than he has done to the former.
“My equipage was sent away a week before me. This was so much time gained by my mother to give me a good advice. At length, after having solemnly enjoined me to have the fear of God before my eyes, and to love my neighbour as myself, she suffered me to depart, under the protection of the Lord and the sage Brinon. At the second stage we quarrelled. He had received four hundred louis d'ors for the expenses of the campaign : I wished to have the keeping of them myself, which he strenuously opposed. “Thou old scoundrel,' said I, “is the money thine, or was it given thee for me? You suppose I must have a treasurer, and receive no money without his order. I know not whether it was from a presentiment of what afterwards happened, that he grew melancholy; however, it was with the greatest reluctance, and the most poignant anguish, that he found himself obliged to yield. One would have thought that I had wrested his very soul from him. I found myself more light and merry after I had eased him of his trust; he, on the contrary, appeared so overwhelmed with grief, that it seemed as if I had laid four hundred pounds of lead upon his back, instead of taking away these four hundred louis. He went on so heavily, that I was forced to whip his horse myself, and turning to me, now and then, 'Ah! Sir,' said he, 'my lady
did not think it would be so.' His reflections and sorrows were renewed at every stage ; for, instead of giving a shilling to the post-boy, I gave him half-a-crown..
“Having, at last, reached Lyons, two soldiers stopped us at the gate of the city, to carry us before the governor. I took one of them to conduct me to the best inn, and delivered Brinon into the hands of the other, to acquaint the commandant with the particulars of my journey, and my future intentions.
“There are as good taverns at Lyons as at Paris ; but my soldier, according to custom, carried me to a friend of his own, whose house he extolled, as having the best accommodations, and the greatest resort of good company in the whole town. The master of this hotel was as big as a hogshead, his name Cerise ; a Swiss by birth, a poisoner by profession, and a thief by custom. He shewed me into a tolerably neat room, and desired to know, whether I pleased to sup by myself or at the ordinary. I chose the latter, on account of the beaumonde which the soldier had boasted of.
“Brinon, who was quite out of temper at the many questions which the governor had asked him, returned more surly than an old ape ; and seeing that I was dressing my hair, in order to go down stairs : “What are you about now, Sir ?' said he ; are you going to tramp about the town? No, no: have we not had tramping enough ever since the morning ? Eat a bit of supper, and go to bed betimes, that you may get on horseback by daybreak. “Mr. Comptroller,' said I, “I shall neither tramp about the town, nor eat alone, nor go to bed early. I intend to sup with the company below. “At the ordinary !' cried he, I beseech you, Sir, do not think of it! Devil take me, if there be not a dozen brawling fellows playing at cards and dice, who make noise enough to drown the loudest thunder !'
" I was grown insolent since I had seized the money ; and being desirous to shake off the yoke of a governor, Do you know, Mr. Brinon,' said I, that I don't like a blockhead to set up for a reasoner ? do you go to supper, if you please, but take care that I have post-horses ready before daybreak.' The moment he mentioned cards and dice, I felt the money burn in my pocket. I was somewhat surprised, however, to find the room where the ordinary was served filled with oddlooking creatures. My host, after presenting me to the company, assured me, that there were but eighteen or twenty of those gentlemen who would have the honour to sup with me. I approached one of the tables where they were playing, and thought I should have died with laughing: I expected to have seen good company and deep play; but I only met with two Germans playing at backgammon. Never did two country loobies play like them ; but their figures beggared all description. The fellow near whom I stood was short, thick, and fat, and as round as a ball, with a ruff, and a prodigious high-crowned hat. Any one, at a moderate distance, would have taken him for the dome of a church, with the steeple on the top of it. I inquired of the host, who he was. 'A merchant from Basle,' said he, who comes hither to sell horses; but from the method he pursues, I think he will not dispose of many; for he does nothing but play.'
Does he play deep?' said I. “Not now,' said he ; they are only playing for their reckoning, while supper is getting ready ; but he has no objection to play as deep as any one.'
Has he money ?' said I. "As for that,' replied the treacherous Cerise, 'would to God you had won a thousand pistoles of him, and I went your halves; we should not be long without our money. I wanted no farther encouragement to meditate the ruin of the high-crowned hat. I went nearer him, in order to take a closer survey; never was such a bungler, he made blots upon blots; God knows, I began to feel some remorse at winning of such an ignoramus, who knew so little of the game. He lost his reckoning ; supper was served up; and I desired him to sit next me. It was a long table, and there were at least five-and-twenty in company, notwithstanding the landlord's promise. The most execrable repast that ever was begun being finished, all the crowd insensibly dispersed, except the little Swiss, who still kept near me, and the landlord, who placed himself on the other side of me. They both smoked like dragons; and the Swiss was continually saying in bad French, I ask your pardon, Sir, for my great freedom ;' at the same time blowing such whiffs of tobacco in my face as almost suffocated me. Mr. Cerise, on the other hand, desired he might take the liberty of asking me, whether I had ever been in his country; and seemed surprised I had so genteel an air, without having travelled in Switzerland.
“The little chub I had to encounter was full as inquisitive as the other. He desired to know whether I came from the army in Piedmont; and having told him I was going thither, he asked me, whether I had a mind to buy any horses ? that he had about two hundred to dispose of, and that he would sell them cheap. I began to be smoked like a gammon of bacon; and being quite wearied out, both with their tobacco and their questions, I asked my companion, if he would play for a single pistole at backgammon, while our men were supping; it was not without great ceremony that he consented, at the same time asking my pardon for his great freedom.
“I won the game; I gave him his revenge, and won again. We then played double or quit; I won that too, and all in the twinkling of an eye; for he grew vexed, and suffered himself to be taken in, so that I began to bless my stars for my good fortune. Brinon came in about the end of the
third game, to put me to bed. He made a great sign of the cross, but paid no attention to the signs I made him to retire. I was forced to rise to give him that order in private. He began to reprimand me for disgracing myself by keeping company with such a low-bred wretch. It was in vain that I told him, he was a great merchant, that he had a great deal of money, and that he played like a child. “He a merchant!' cried Brinon. Do not believe that, Sir. May the devil take me, if he is not some conjurer.' ‘Hold your tongue, old fool,' said I; “he is no more a conjurer than you are, and that is decisive; and, to prove it to you, I am resolved to win four or five hundred pistoles of him before I go to bed.' With these words I turned him out, strictly enjoining him not to return, or in any manner to disturb us.
“ The game being done, the little Swiss unbuttoned his pockets, to pull out a new four-pistole piece, and presenting it to me, he asked my pardon for his great freedom, and seemed as if he wished to retire. This was not what I wanted. I told him we only played for amusement ; that I had no design upon his money; and that, if he pleased, I would play him a single game for his four pistoles. He raised some objections; but consented at last, and won back his money. I was piqued at it. I played another game; fortune changed sides; the dice ran for him, he made no more blots. I lost the game ; another game, and double or quit; we doubled the stake, and played double or quit again. —I was vexed; he, like a true gamester, took every bet I offered, and won all before him, without my getting more than six points in eight or ten games. I asked him to play a single game for one hundred pistoles ; but as he saw I did not stake, he told me it was late ; that he must go and look after bis horses; and went away, still asking my pardon for his great freedom. The cool manner of his refusal, and the