Laurence Sterne. (1713–1768). A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.
The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction. 1917.
—No—said I—the Bourbon is by no means a cruel race: they may be misled like other people; but there is a mildness in their blood. As I acknowledged this, I felt a suffusion of a finer kind upon my cheek—more warm and friendly to man, than what Burgundy (at least of two livres a bottle, which was such as I had been drinking) could have produced.
—Just God! said I, kicking my portmanteau aside, what is there in this world’s goods which should sharpen our spirits, and make so many kind-hearted brethren of us fall out so cruelly as we do by the way?
When man is at peace with man, how much lighter than a feather is the heaviest of metals in his hands! he pulls out his purse, and holding it airily and uncompress’d, looks round him, as if he sought for an object to share it with.—In doing this, I felt every vessel in my frame dilate—the arteries beat all cheerily together, and every power which sustained life, performed it with so little friction, that ’t would have confounded the most physical précieuse in France: with all her materialism, she could scarce have called me a machine.—
I’m confident, said I to myself, I should have overset her creed.
The accession of that idea carried nature, at that time, as high as she could go—I was at peace with the world before, and this finish’d the treaty with myself.—
Now, was I a King of France, cried I—what a moment for an orphan to have begg’d father’s portmanteau of me!