When I alighted at the hôtel, the porter told me a young woman with a band-box had been that moment inquiring for meI do not know, said the porter, whether she is gone or no. I took the key of my chamber of him, and went up stairs; and when I had got within ten steps of the landing before my door, I met her coming easily down.
It was the fair fille de chambre I had walked along the Quai de Conti with: Madame de R**** had sent her upon some commissions to a merchande de modes within a step or two of the hôtel de Modene; and as I had faild in waiting upon her, had bid her enquire if I had left Paris; and if so, whether I had not left a letter addressd to her.
As the fair fille de chambre was so near my door, she returned back and went into the room with me for a moment or two whilst I wrote a card.
It was a fine still evening, in the latter end of the month of Maythe crimson window-curtains (which were of the same colour of those of the bed) were drawn closethe sun was setting, and reflected through them so warm a tint into the fair fille de chambres faceI thought she blushdthe idea of it made me blush myselfwe were quite alone; and that super-induced a second blush before the first could get off.
There is a sort of a pleasing half-guilty blush, where the blood is more in fault than the mantis sent impetuous from the heart, and virtue flies after itnot to call it back, but to make the sensation of it more delicious to the nervestis associated
But I ll not describe itI felt something at first within me which was not in strict unison with the lesson of virtue I had given her the night beforeI sought five minutes for a cardI knew I had not oneI took up a penI laid it down againmy hand trembledthe devil was in me.
I know as well as any one, he is an adversary, whom if we resist, he will fly from usbut I seldom resist him at all; from a terror, that though I may conquer, I may still get a hurt in the combatso I give up the triumph for security; and instead of thinking to make him fly, I generally fly myself.
The fair fille de chambre came close up to the bureau where I was looking for a cardtook up first the pen I cast down, then offered to hold me the ink; she offerd it so sweetly, I was going to accept itbut I durst notI have nothing, my dear, said I, to write uponWrite it, said she, simply, upon any thing
I was just going to cry out, Then I will write it, fair girl! upon thy lips
If I do, said I, I shall perishso I took her by the hand, and led her to the door, and beggd she would not forget the lesson I had given herShe said, indeed she would notand as she utterd it with some earnestness, she turnd about and gave me both her hands, closed together, into mineit was impossible not to compress them in that situationI wishd to let them go: and all the time I held them, I kept arguing within myself against itand still I held them onIn two minutes I found I had all the battle to fight over againand I felt my legs and every limb about me tremble at the idea.
The foot of the bed was within a yard and a half of the place where we were standingI had still hold of her handsand how it happened I can give no account, but I neither askd hernor drew hernor did I think of the bedbut so it did happen, we both sat down.
Ill just shew you, said the fair fille de chambre, the little purse I have been making to-day to hold your crown. So she put her hand into her right pocket, which was next me, and felt for it for some timethen into the leftShe had lost itI never bore expectation more quietlyit was in her right pocket
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