Essays Of Travel, By Robert Louis Stevenson


































































































 -   And of all the swearers that I ever
heard, commend me to an old lady in Gondet, a village of - Page 200
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And Of All The Swearers That I Ever Heard, Commend Me To An Old Lady In Gondet, A Village Of The Loire. I Was Making A Sketch, And Her Curse Was Not Yet Ended When I Had Finished It And Took My Departure.

It is true she had a right to be angry; for here was her son, a hulking fellow, visibly the worse for drink before the day was well begun.

But it was strange to hear her unwearying flow of oaths and obscenities, endless like a river, and now and then rising to a passionate shrillness, in the clear and silent air of the morning. In city slums, the thing might have passed unnoticed; but in a country valley, and from a plain and honest countrywoman, this beastliness of speech surprised the ear.

The Conductor, as he is called, of Roads and Bridges was my principal companion. He was generally intelligent, and could have spoken more or less falsetto on any of the trite topics; but it was his specially to have a generous taste in eating. This was what was most indigenous in the man; it was here he was an artist; and I found in his company what I had long suspected, that enthusiasm and special knowledge are the great social qualities, and what they are about, whether white sauce or Shakespeare's plays, an altogether secondary question.

I used to accompany the Conductor on his professional rounds, and grew to believe myself an expert in the business.

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