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

The Fragment and the Bouquet. Paris

WHEN La Fleur came up close to the table, and was made to comprehend what I wanted, he told me there were only two other sheets of it, which he had wrapt round the stalks of a bouquet to keep it together, which he had presented to the demoiselle upon the boulevards.—Then prithee, La Fleur, said I, step back to her to the Count de B——’s hotel, and see if you can get it—There is no doubt of it, said La Fleur—and away he flew.

In a very little time the poor fellow came back quite out of breath, with deeper marks of disappointment in his looks than could arise from the simple irreparability of the fragment.—Juste ciel! in less than two minutes that the poor fellow had taken his last tender farewell of her—his faithless mistress had given his gage d’amour to one of the Count’s footmen—the footman to a young sempstress—and the sempstress to a fiddler, with my fragment at the end of it.—Our misfortunes were involved together—I gave a sigh—and La Fleur echo’d it back again to my ear.

—How perfidious! cried La Fleur.—How unlucky! said I.—

—I should not have been mortified, Monsieur, quoth La Fleur, if she had lost it.—Nor I, La Fleur, said I, had I found it.

Whether I did or no will be seen hereafter.