Laurence Sterne. (17131768). A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.
The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction. 1917.
17. The Remise. Calais
MONSIEUR Dessein came back to let us out of the chaise, and acquaint the lady, the Count de L, her brother, was just arrived at the hotel. Though I had infinite good will for the lady, I cannot say, that I rejoiced in my heart at the eventand could not help telling her sofor it is fatal to a proposal, Madam, said I, that I was going to make you.
You need not tell me what the proposal was, said she, laying her hand upon both mine, as she interrupted me.A man, my good Sir, has seldom an offer of kindness to make to a woman, but she has a presentiment of it some moments before.
Nature arms her with it, said I, for immediate preservation.But I think, said she, looking in my face, I had no evil to apprehendand to deal frankly with you, had determined to accept it.If I had(she stopped a moment)I believe your good will would have drawn a story from me, which would have made pity the only dangerous thing in the journey.