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full of importance, and enforced the regulations in an uncompromising manner, though for this they perhaps ought not to have been blamed.
A peculiar case of this kind was that of a stationmaster on the Great Western Railway who, descrying a gentleman smoking on the platform, told him that it was forbidden. The gentleman, however, continued to smoke, upon which the stationmaster repeated his behests more peremptorily than before; but still the owner of the Havana maintained a provoking disregard. A third time the order was repeated, accompanied with the threat that if the obstinate sinner did not obey he would be handed over to the tender mercies of the porters. The stranger took no more heed than before; and so at last the stationmaster pulled the cigar out of the smoker's mouth and flung it away. produced no more effect than commands and threats, and the peripatetic philosopher continued his walk quite serenely. Presently a carriage and four drove up an equipage well known to the stationmaster as that of the Duke of Beaufort. To his inconceivable horror the refractory smoker entered the said chariot and drove off to Badminton, nor was he at all relieved when he was told that the stranger was Lord Palmerston. Fearful of the consequences, the poor man at once ordered a chaise and pair and drove off to Badminton. Arrived there, he sent in his card, and urgently requested a private interview with Lord Palmerston. His lordship soon appeared, when the
This violent act
stationmaster began a most abject apology for having "so grossly insulted his lordship; had he known who his lordship was, he would not have so treated his lordship for the world." The Premier heard the stationmaster out; then looking down upon him sternly, and with his hands in his pockets, said: “Sir, I respected you because I thought you were doing your duty like a Briton, but now I see you are nothing but a snob."
Railways, motor-cars, the electric telegraph and telephone, and the like are now familiar to all the inhabitants of the British Isles, but half a century ago there existed individuals who had scarcely heard of any of them.
William Miller, indeed, a somewhat eccentric individual who protested against being released when the debtors were cleared out of the Queen's Bench Prison in 1862, had never seen a steamship or a railway, a street gas-lamp or even an omnibus.
At the demolition of this old prison quite a number of prisoners sternly refused to be made bankrupts, though, by giving their consent, they could have immediately obtained their release. The most curious case of all was, undoubtedly, that of this man Miller, who had been in prison since July 1814-forty-eight years! He had lost all desire to go out, and would sign nothing which would have the effect of making him a free man. When at length he was absolutely forced to acquiescence, he begged to be allowed to remain in the prison a few days longer; and when
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME 45
his time was up he still lingered fondly within the gates to bid the officials farewell, and to shake hands over and over again, until he passed the outer gates of the old prison which had for so many years been his home.
The changing East-A strange bequest-Lord Palmerston's forecast -Sir Robert Morier-Recollections-Travellers' tales-Tiresome officials-A strange refuge-Il Conte Hulme-Discomforts of oldfashioned hotels-Vicenza-A real romance-The Palazzo PaciocchiKing Bomba and his cook Beppo-Going to Rome in 1845-A faithless postmaster-Pio Nono and his joke concerning Fanny Elsler-The late Mr. Watts
MONGST modern developments nothing, I
think, is more remarkable than the way in which, owing chiefly to the progress achieved by science, distance has been annihilated and countries about which formerly little was known have been brought as it were to our very doors.
Daily events in Pekin, Tokio, and other cities not so very long ago enveloped in a glamour of mystery, are chronicled in our daily papers much as are happenings in Paris or Berlin,-the East of to-day apparently is not that of the past.
One realizes this reading of the boy-scouts of Siam.
Truly, times have changed since, as an apology for delay in receiving the British Consul, the Monarch of that far-off kingdom wrote him in pencil: "Mr. Consul-I am very much sorry to keep you in waiting; but my royal body is visited by superhuman agency, with a fit of stomach-ache, and so I request that you
WEST AND EAST
will delay until that it is ameliorated. P.P.M. Mongkut, Rex, M.S."
The whole body of reliable human history seems to prove that the stream of civilization has been flowing westward ever since man acquired the ability to take note of time, but at present we are confronted with the apparent contradiction of the East being invaded from the West-the awakening of China is an extraordinary result.
Sixty years ago, and less, no one would have believed that a Chinese Republic would ever be proclaimed.
I remember the excitement caused by our differences with China, and how amusing was the way in which the Chinese Government of the Sixties
explained away its very unsuccessful war with England and France.
In the Imperial Almanac for 1861 it was gravely stated that the foreign ambassadors, being accompanied by a numerous guard of honour, misunderstandings had arisen between the soldiers of that escort and those of the Chinese army, but that all difficulties had been arranged by the self-devotion of the chiefs of the Government.
Few people, unless at the call of duty or business, then visited Pekin, but one Englishman who went there was so pleased that he left the Chinese Emperor a somewhat extraordinary bequest.
This was Mr. George Wilson, of Carstairs Lodge, near Wigton, who in his will, proved at Carlisle, put: