More Immediate Needs I Took A Leg Of Cold Mutton, A Bottle Of Beaujolais,
An Empty Bottle To Carry Milk, An Egg-Beater, And A Considerable Quantity
Of Black Bread And White, Like Father Adam, For Myself And Donkey, Only
In My Scheme Of Things The Destinations Were Reversed.
Monastrians, of all shades of thought in politics, had agreed in
threatening me with many ludicrous misadventures, and with sudden death
in many surprising forms.
Cold, wolves, robbers, above all the nocturnal
practical joker, were daily and eloquently forced on my attention. Yet
in these vaticinations, the true, patent danger was left out. Like
Christian, it was from my pack I suffered by the way. Before telling my
own mishaps, let me in two words relate the lesson of my experience. If
the pack is well strapped at the ends, and hung at full length - not
doubled, for your life - across the pack-saddle, the traveller is safe.
The saddle will certainly not fit, such is the imperfection of our
transitory life; it will assuredly topple and tend to overset; but there
are stones on every roadside, and a man soon learns the art of correcting
any tendency to overbalance with a well-adjusted stone.
On the day of my departure I was up a little after five; by six, we began
to load the donkey; and ten minutes after, my hopes were in the dust. The
pad would not stay on Modestine's back for half a moment. I returned it
to its maker, with whom I had so contumelious a passage that the street
outside was crowded from wall to wall with gossips looking on and
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Words from 1590 to 1867