I am glad of it, said I, settling the account with myself, as I walk’d into Lyons⁠⸺⁠my chaise being all laid higgledy-piggledy with my baggage in a cart, which was moving slowly before me⁠⸺⁠I am heartily glad, said I, that ’tis all broke to pieces; for now I can go directly by water to Avignon, which will carry me on a hundred and twenty miles of my journey, and not cost me seven livres⁠⸺⁠and from thence, continued I, bringing forwards the account, I can hire a couple of mules⁠—or asses, if I like (for nobody knows me) and cross the plains of Languedoc for almost nothing⁠⸺⁠I shall gain four hundred livres by the misfortune clear into my purse: and pleasure! worth⁠—worth double the money by it. With what velocity, continued I, clapping my two hands together, shall I fly down the rapid Rhone, with the Vivares on my right hand, and Dauphiny on my left, scarce seeing the ancient cities of Vienne, Valence, and Vivieres. What a flame will it rekindle in the lamp, to snatch a blushing grape from the Hermitage and Côte roti, as I shoot by the foot of them! and what a fresh spring in the blood! to behold upon the banks advancing and retiring, the castles of romance, whence courteous knights have whilome rescued the distress’d⁠⸺⁠and see vertiginous, the rocks, the mountains, the cataracts, and all the hurry which Nature is in with all her great works about her.

As I went on thus, methought my chaise, the wreck of which look’d stately enough at the first, insensibly grew less and less in its size; the freshness of the painting was no more⁠—the gilding lost its lustre⁠—and the whole affair appeared so poor in my eyes⁠—so sorry!⁠—so contemptible! and, in a word, so much worse than the abbess of Andoüillets’ itself⁠—that I was just opening my mouth to give it to the devil⁠—when a pert vamping chaise-undertaker, stepping nimbly across the street, demanded if Monsieur would have his chaise refitted⁠⸺⁠No, no, said I, shaking my head sideways⁠—Would Monsieur choose to sell it? rejoined the undertaker.⁠—With all my soul, said I⁠—the iron work is worth forty livres⁠—and the glasses worth forty more⁠—and the leather you may take to live on.

What a mine of wealth, quoth I, as he counted me the money, has this post-chaise brought me in? And this is my usual method of bookkeeping, at least with the disasters of life⁠—making a penny of every one of ’em as they happen to me⁠⸺⁠

⸺⁠Do, my dear Jenny, tell the world for me, how I behaved under one, the most oppressive of its kind, which could befall me as a man, proud as he ought to be of his manhood⁠⸺⁠

’Tis enough, saidst thou, coming close up to me, as I stood with my garters in my hand, reflecting upon what had not pass’d⁠⸺’Tis enough, Tristram, and I am satisfied, saidst thou, whispering these words in my ear, **** ** **** *** ******;⁠—**** ** **⁠⸺⁠any other man would have sunk down to the center⁠⸺⁠

⸺⁠Everything is good for something, quoth I.

⸺⁠I’ll go into Wales for six weeks, and drink goat’s whey⁠—and I’ll gain seven years longer life for the accident. For which reason I think myself inexcusable, for blaming fortune so often as I have done, for pelting me all my life long, like an ungracious duchess, as I call’d her, with so many small evils: surely, if I have any cause to be angry with her, ’tis that she has not sent me great ones⁠—a score of good cursed, bouncing losses, would have been as good as a pension to me.

⸺⁠One of a hundred a year, or so, is all I wish⁠—I would not be at the plague of paying land-tax for a larger.