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Laurence Sterne. (1713–1768). A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.
The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction. 1917.

Nampont. The Postilion

THE CONCERN which the poor fellow’s 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.    1
  I called to him as loud as I could, for heaven’s sake to go slower—and the louder I called, the more unmercifully he galloped.—The deuce take him and his galloping too—said I—he’ll go on tearing my nerves to pieces till he has worked me into a foolish passion, and then he’ll go slow, that I may enjoy the sweets of it.    2
  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 him—and then with myself, for being so.    3
  My case then required a different treatment; and a good rattling gallop would have been of real service to me.—    4
  —Then, prithee, get on—get on, my good lad, said I.    5
  The postilion pointed to the hill—I then tried to return back to the story of the poor German and his ass—but I had broke the clue—and could no more get into it again, than the postilion could into a trot.—    6
  —The deuce go, said I, with it all! Here am I sitting as candidly disposed to make the best of the worst, as ever wight was, and all runs counter.    7
  There is one sweet lenitive at least for evils, which Nature holds out to us: so I took it kindly at her hands, and fell asleep; and the first word which roused me was Amiens.    8
  —Bless me! said I, rubbing my eyes—this is the very town where my poor lady is to come.    9