Laurence Sterne. (17131768). A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.
The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction. 1917.
27. Nampont. The Postilion
THE CONCERN which the poor fellows story threw me into required some attention: the postilion paid not the least to it, but set off upon the pavé in a full gallop. The thirstiest soul in the most sandy desert of Arabia could not have wished more for a cup of cold water, than mine did for grave and quiet movements; and I should have had an high opinion of the postilion, had he but stolen off with me in something like a pensive pace.On the contrary, as the mourner finished his lamentation, the fellow gave an unfeeling lash to each of his beasts, and set off clattering like a thousand devils.
I called to him as loud as I could, for heavens sake to go slowerand the louder I called, the more unmercifully he galloped.The deuce take him and his galloping toosaid Ihell go on tearing my nerves to pieces till he has worked me into a foolish passion, and then hell go slow, that I may enjoy the sweets of it.
The postilion managed the point to a miracle: by the time he had got to the foot of a steep hill about half a league from Nampont, he had put me out of temper with himand then with myself, for being so.
The postilion pointed to the hillI then tried to return back to the story of the poor German and his assbut I had broke the clueand could no more get into it again, than the postilion could into a trot.