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A LIGHT COSTUME
The next day the Prince came to pay his usual visit, and said to his sister
"I have come according to my promise."
The Prince de Joinville, without answering, took from his pocket a very curious necklace, composed of a string of red beads, intermingled with bits of blue glass.
The Princess Clementine closely examined it, thought it a pretty bijou, despite its simplicity, then placed it on her dressing-case, and awaited the production of the other articles of the queen's wardrobe. But the prince was busy looking at a picture. "But, Joinville, what are you thinking about? " she asked.
Why this question, my sister?"
"Because you know very well that I am waiting." "And what, pray, are you waiting for?"
"The costume, of course."
"But have I not just given it to you ? "
"I solemnly assure you that it is the complete costume, and that the queen of whom I told you wore nothing else besides."
The Princess said nothing more.
It is not so very long ago since travellers who had
been to the East (where people now go as it were for a few days) were made lions of. Even having gone to America was at one time considered a considerable achievement, and on the strength of a visit to that country people posed as knowing all about the United States.
A story of the Duke of Clarence in the days before he became William IV well illustrates this. Showing a picture of Columbus to Mrs. Jordan, he said
"Here is the man who discovered America five hundred years ago." To which she replied, "Not quite so long as that." "Why, who told you so?" said the Duke; and the answer was, "I read it in Robertson's History of America.'" "Robertson!" responded the Duke, "what does he know about it? He never was there, but I was."
Even a voyage to Constantinople in former days was looked upon as something of an adventure indeed. People who went to the East generally took a regular arsenal with them.
"Being a man of peace," said one traveller, "I went but lightly armed. A heavy, double-barrelled English hunting-rifle, a double-barrelled shot-gun, both of which pieces were breech-loading (at that time a great novelty), three heavy revolvers, and one ordinary muzzle loading shot-gun throwing slugs, besides a few knives and sabres, formed a light and unpretentious equipment. Nothing was further from my thoughts than fighting."
A POPULAR POLISH
The man of peace in question fared better than another adventurous wanderer. A dandified young fellow, who aspired to be a great traveller, ani- ́ mated by an ardent desire to imitate Layard and write a book which should be famous, accordingly set out for a journey into Koordistan. Being, as he said, determined to "rough it," he merely took six or seven horses to carry necessaries, that is to say, a few little things he could absolutely not do without. Among them were the wooden frames for cleaning his boots and shoes, and a case of bottles of a peculiarly fine polish for his patent leathers. Before long he was attacked by the Arabs, who overhauled his kit. When they came to the bottles, they opened them, and the polish being made with spirit, and scented with all sorts of good things, it smelt so nice that the thieves thought it must be something to drink. In vain did he explain that it was paint for his boots. They were sure that it was too delicious for that; in order, however, to guard against poison, they requisitioned one of his own cut-class tumblers, and made him drink a glass of it.
There is no doubt but that during our old wars with the French it was considered good policy to indoctrinate the population with a thoroughpaced contempt for everything connected with the enemy across the Channel. This spirit of hostility endured long after all reason or necessity for it had passed away.
Skip the long words," said a patriotic tutor to his
pupils, "they're only the names of foreign countries, in which you will never want to be."
A certain bluff Yorkshire squire, having to go to France, on his arrival at Calais expressed himself surprised to hear the men speaking French, the women speaking French, and even the little children jabbering away in the same tongue. In the height of the perplexity which this occasioned he retired to his hotel, and was awakened in the morning by the cock crowing, whereupon he burst into a wild exclamation of astonishment and delight, and exclaimed, "Thank goodness, there's English at last!"
More amusing was the story of the English tourist who entered a restaurant, and by a few scraps of French was able to order dinner. He wanted some mushrooms, very delicious and large. Not knowing the name, he demanded a sheet of paper and pencil, and sketched one. The waiter understood him in a second, disappeared for ten minutes, and returned with a splendid umbrella!
The children of the wealthy, or at least the boys, were seldom taught to master a foreign language, and the majority possessed scarcely a rudimentary knowledge even of French, a state of affairs which sometimes produced comical results.
When Lord Royston married the daughter of the English Ambassador in Paris, a large party was invited to the ceremony, and the entertainments were kept up for some days. Two Englishmen, sojourning in a fashionable hotel in the Rue de Rivoli, had the
"FOU" AND "FEU"
honour of being invited to dine at the Embassy; and one having devoted a little too much time to his toilet, requested his friend to proceed, saying that he would follow. Upon leaving the hotel, the former, in very indifferent French, requested the porter, as he thought, to keep in his fire; but, having told him to "garder bein mon fou," instead of feu, the porter imagined that some maniac had been left behind, and at once proceeded to lock the door of the room of the supposed lunatic. In vain he rang, in vain he rapped at the door; the only answer he received was "Soyez tranquille, mon ami. J'ai reçu mes ordres." The dinner proceeded; an apology was made for the absent guest; when, upon the anxious friend returning to the hotel, great was his surprise to find his comrade in close confinement. Upon asking for an explanation, the porter quietly replied, "I've looked well after the madman; he had a crise terrible, but I told him to be quiet, and you will find him much calmer than when you left him."
To-day, travelling on the Continent is generally quite pleasant and easy, but in the days when there were very few railways the very opposite was the
There was great trouble in taking pets about in old days, owing to officials being very particular about details. There is a story of a gentleman travelling in Italy with his wife and a pet parrot. On coming to the frontier of the Roman States, an official demanded their passports, and after asking