XX

Now I hate to hear a person, especially if he be a traveller, complain that we do not get on so fast in France as we do in England; whereas we get on much faster, consideratis considerandis; thereby always meaning, that if you weigh their vehicles with the mountains of baggage which you lay both before and behind upon them⁠—and then consider their puny horses, with the very little they give them⁠—’tis a wonder they get on at all: their suffering is most unchristian, and ’tis evident thereupon to me, that a French post-horse would not know what in the world to do, was it not for the two words ****** and ****** in which there is as much sustenance, as if you gave him a peck of corn: now as these words cost nothing, I long from my soul to tell the reader what they are; but here is the question⁠—they must be told him plainly, and with the most distinct articulation, or it will answer no end⁠—and yet to do it in that plain way⁠—though their reverences may laugh at it in the bedchamber⁠—fell well I wot, they will abuse it in the parlour: for which cause, I have been volving and revolving in my fancy some time, but to no purpose, by what clean device or facette contrivance I might so modulate them, that whilst I satisfy that ear which the reader chooses to lend me⁠—I might not dissatisfy the other which he keeps to himself.

⸺⁠My ink burns my finger to try⁠⸺⁠and when I have⁠⸺’twill have a worse consequence⁠⸺⁠it will burn (I fear) my paper.

⸺⁠No;⁠⸺⁠I dare not⁠⸺⁠

But if you wish to know how the abbess of Andoüillets and a novice of her convent got over the difficulty (only first wishing myself all imaginable success)⁠—I’ll tell you without the least scruple.