Laurence Sterne. (17131768). A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.
The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction. 1917.
53. The Conquest
YESand thenYe whose clay-cold heads and lukewarm hearts can argue down or mask your passionstell me, what trespass is it that man should have them? or how his spirit stands answerable to the Father of spirits but for his conduct under them.
If Nature has so wove her web of kindness that some threads of love and desire are entangled with the piecemust the whole web be rent in drawing them out?Whip me such stoics, great Governor of nature! said I to myself.Wherever thy providence shall place me for the trials of my virtuewhatever is my dangerwhatever is my situationlet me feel the movements which rise out of it, and which belong to me as a manand if I govern them as a good oneI will trust the issues to thy justice: for thou hast made usand not we ourselves.
As I finishd my address, I raised the fair fille de chambre up by the hand, and led her out of the roomshe stood by me till I lockd the door and put the key in my pocketand thenthe victory being quite decisiveand not till then, I pressd my lips to her cheek, and taking her by the hand again, led her safe to the gate of the hotel.