There is not a town in all France, which, in my opinion, looks better in the map, than Montreuil;⁠⸺⁠I own, it does not look so well in the book of post-roads; but when you come to see it⁠—to be sure it looks most pitifully.

There is one thing, however, in it at present very handsome; and that is, the innkeeper’s daughter: She has been eighteen months at Amiens, and six at Paris, in going through her classes; so knits, and sews, and dances, and does the little coquetries very well.⁠⸺⁠

—A slut! in running them over within these five minutes that I have stood looking at her, she has let fall at least a dozen loops in a white thread stocking⁠⸺⁠yes, yes⁠—I see, you cunning gipsy!⁠—’tis long and taper⁠—you need not pin it to your knee⁠—and that ’tis your own⁠—and fits you exactly.⁠⸺⁠

⸺⁠That Nature should have told this creature a word about a statue’s thumb!

—But as this sample is worth all their thumbs⁠⸺⁠besides, I have her thumbs and fingers in at the bargain, if they can be any guide to me,⁠—and as Janatone withal (for that is her name) stands so well for a drawing⁠⸺⁠may I never draw more, or rather may I draw like a draught-horse, by main strength all the days of my life,⁠—if I do not draw her in all her proportions, and with as determined a pencil, as if I had her in the wettest drapery.⁠⸺⁠

—But your worships choose rather that I give you the length, breadth, and perpendicular height of the great parish-church, or drawing of the façade of the abbey of Saint Austerberte which has been transported from Artois hither⁠—everything is just I suppose as the masons and carpenters left them,⁠—and if the belief in Christ continues so long, will be so these fifty years to come⁠—so your worships and reverences may all measure them at your leisures⁠⸺⁠but he who measures thee, Janatone, must do it now⁠—thou carriest the principles of change within thy frame; and considering the chances of a transitory life, I would not answer for thee a moment; ere twice twelve months are passed and gone, thou mayest grow out like a pumpkin, and lose thy shapes⁠⸺⁠or thou mayest go off like a flower, and lose thy beauty⁠—nay, thou mayest go off like a hussy⁠—and lose thyself.⁠—I would not answer for my aunt Dinah, was she alive⁠⸺’faith, scarce for her picture⁠⸺⁠were it but painted by Reynolds⁠—

But if I go on with my drawing, after naming that son of Apollo, I’ll be shot⁠⸺⁠

So you must e’en be content with the original; which, if the evening is fine in passing thro’ Montreuil, you will see at your chaise-door, as you change horses: but unless you have as bad a reason for haste as I have⁠—you had better stop:⁠⸺⁠She has a little of the devote: but that, sir, is a terce to a nine in your favour⁠⸻

—L⁠—help me! I could not count a single point: so had been piqued and repiqued, and capotted to the devil.