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In thinking over the inadequacy of all human
institutions, I have often been struck by the
fact that while the law gives the weak man a
certain measure of protection against the superior
physical strength of the powerful ruffian in
the street, it affords none against the assaults of
the intellectual bully at a dinner party, He
may maltreat you at his pleasure, batter you
with his arguments, kick you with inferences,
and knock you down with conclusions, and no
help for it all!

"Ah, here comes François with the note. "I
wrote one line in pencil for answer: "l am
sensibly touched by your consideration, and will
pass to-morrow here." I signed this with a
P., which might mean Prince, Potts, or Pottinger.
My reply despatched, I began to think
how I could improve the opportunity. "I will
bring her to book," thought I; "I will have an
explanation." I always loved that sort of thing
there is an almost certainty of emotion; now
emotion begets tears; tears, tenderness; tenderness,
consolation; and when you reach consolation,
you are, so to say, a tenant in possession;
your title may be disputable, your lease
invalid, still you are there, on the property, and
it will take time at least to turn you out.
"After all," thought I, "that rude German has
but troubled the water for a moment, the pure
well of her affections will by this time have
regained its calm still surface, and I shall see
my image there as before."

My meditations were interrupted, perhaps
not unpleasantly. It was the waiter with my
dinner. I am not unsocialI am eminently
the reverseI may say, like most men who feel
themselves conversationally gifted, I like company,
I see that my gifts have in such gatherings
their natural ascendancyand yet, with
all this, I have always felt that to dine splendidly,
all alone, was a very grand thing. Mind, I
don't say it is pleasant, or jolly, or social; but
simply that it is grand to see all that table
equipage of crystal and silver spread out for
you alone; to know that the business of that
gorgeous candelabrum is to light you; that the
two decorous men in blackarchdeacons they
might be, from the quiet dignity of their manners
are there to wait upon you; that the
whole sacrifice, from the caviare to the cheese,
was a hecatomb to your greatness. I repeat,
these are all grand and imposing considerations,
and there have been times when I have enjoyed
these Lucullus cum Lucullo festivals more than
convivial assemblages. This day was one of
these: I lingered over my dinner in delightful
dalliance. I partook of nearly every dish, but,
with a supreme refinement, ate little of any, as
though to imply, "I am accustomed to a very
different cuisine from this; it is not thus that I
fare habitually." And yet I was blandly forgiving,
accepting even such humble efforts to
please as it they had been successes. The
Cliquot was good, and I drank no other wine,
though various flasks with tempting titles stood
around me.

Dinner over and coffee served, I asked the
waiter what resources the place possessed in the
way of amusement. He looked blank and even
distressed at my question: he had all his life
imagined that the Fulls sufficed for everything;
he had seen the tide of travel halt there to view
them for years. Since he was a boy, he had
never ceased to witness the yearly recurring
round of tourists who came to see, and sketch,
and scribble about them, and so he faintly muttered
out a remonstrance,

"Monsieur has not yet visited the Falls."

"The Falls! why I see them from this, and if
I open the window I am stunned with their

I was really sorry at the pain my hasty speech
gave him, for he looked suddenly faint and ill,
and after a moment gasped out,

"But monsieur is surely not going away
without a visit to the cataract? the guide-
books give two hours as the very shortest time
to see it effectually."

"I only gave ten minutes to Niagara, my
good friend," said I, "and would not have spared
even that, but that I wanted to hold a sprained
ankle under the fall."

He staggered, and had to hold a chair to support

"There is, besides, the Laufeu Schloss——"

"As to castles," broke I in," I have no need
to leave my own to see all that mediæval architecture
can boast. No, no," sighed I out, "if
I am to have new sensations, they must come
through some other channel than sight. Have
you no theatre?"

"No, sir. None."

"No concert-rooms, no music garden?"

"None, sir."

"Not even a circus?" said I, peevishly.

"There was, sir, but it was not attended.
The strangers all come to see the Falls."

"Confound the Falls! And what became of
the circus?"

"Well, they made a bad business of it; got
into debt on all sides, for oil, and forage, and
printing placards, and so on, and then they beat
a sudden retreat one night, and slipped off, all
but two, and indeed they were about the best of
the company; but somehow they lost their way
in the forest, and instead of coming up with
their companions, found themselves at daybreak
at the outside of the town."

"And these two unlucky ones, what were

"One was the chief clown, sir, a German, and
the other was a little girl, a Moor they called her;
but the cleverest creature to ride or throw somersaults
through hoops of the whole of them."

"And how do they live now?"

"Very hardly, I believe, sir; and but for Tintefleck
that's what they call herthey might
starve; but she goes about with her guitar
through the cafés of an evening, and as she has
a sweet voice, she picks up a few batzen. But
the maire, I hear, won't permit this any longer,
and says that as they have no passport or
papers of any kind, they must be sent over the
frontier as vagabonds."