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oysters, and was with difficulty appeased at the
representation of his emissary that those piscine
delicacies would have lost somewhat of their
freshness in the journey from England.

It is necessary, for a moment, that the scene of
my story should be transferred to the cold and
foggy, but highly respectable, island I have just
named. About that time, in the Haymarket of
London, there was an Italian Opera House
called the King's Theatre. His Majesty King
George contributed a thousand guineas every
season in order to encourage his nobility
towards the patronage of that splendid but exotic
entertainment. During the winter season of
17—, the principal Italian singing woman at the
King's Theatre was the famous Lusinghiera.
Her real name was, I believe, Bobbo; but she
was justly entitled to her sobriquet of the
Lusinghiera, for none could flatter the great, or
twist them round her little finger, as she could.
I detest scandal, and it is therefore sufficient to
say that La Lusinghiera found favour in the
eyes of King George, who, if you remember, had
left his lawful wife in Hanover, and was not,
owing to that unfortunate Königsmark affair, on
the best of terms with her. Now, La
Lusinghiera was exceedingly fond of money, likewise
of monkeys, and of maccaroni; but for diamonds
she had a positive passion. I believe that, had
she tried her best, she would have flattered
King George out of the crown jewels, although,
constitutionally speaking, they were not his to
give away; but she chose to take into her
capricious head a violent longing for that part of the
Order of the Pig and Whistle which consisted of
the great Schweinsfleisch diamond. The king
often wore it in privatealthough the gross
Englanders laughed at itfor he loved every
thing that reminded him of Germania. The
Lusinghiera plainly told him that she would
give him no more partridges and cabbageof
which dish he was immoderately fondfor
supper, unless he made her a present of the much-
coveted decoration. He expostulated at first
on the score of the courtesy due to his cousin
of Schweinhundhausen; but La Lusinghiera
laughed at him, and at Ludwig Adolf and his
grand-duchy, and the end of it was that the
fatuous king satisfied her greed.

Partial as the Italian singing woman was to
diamonds for their natural beauty, she did not
also disdain them for their intrinsic value.
Her curiosity to know how much the great
Schweinsfleisch diamond was worth in hard cash
had speedily an opportunity of being gratified.
It chanced that she wanted some ready money
say a couple of thousand guineas. As King George
happened to be at Hampton Court, and she had
been tugging somewhat violently at the royal
purse-strings lately, La Lusinghiera
condescended to seek temporary assistance from a
financier who was always ready to grant it on the
slight condition of some tangible security, worth
at least three times the amount, being deposited
with him. In fine, she stepped into her chariot,
and was driven to Cranbourne-alley, to the shop
of Mr. Tribulation Triball, pawnbroker. There,
producing the Order of the Pig and Whistle from
its grand morocco case, whereon were emblazoned
the united arms of England and Schweinhundhausen
(" like the fellow's impudence," King George
had muttered, when he first opened his cousin's
gift), she dwelt on the beauty of the great
Schweinsfleisch diamond, and demanded the sum
of which she stood in need.

Mr. Tribulation Triball was a discreet man,
who asked very few questions in business. He
would have lent money on the great seal of
England, or on the Lord Mayor's mace, had
either of those valuables been brought to him by
ladies or gentlemen of his acquaintance. He
examined the decoration very carefully;
pronounced the setting to be very pretty; but,
with a low bow, regretted his inability to
advance more than fifty pounds on the entire

"Fifty pounds!" screamed the Lusinghiera in
a rage. " What do you mean, fellow?"

"I mean, honoured madam," replied the pawn-
broker, with another low bow, " that fifty pounds
is very nearly the actual value of the gold and
the small stones; and for fashion, as you are
well aware, we allow nothing."

"Al Diavolo, your fashion!" exclaimed La
Lusinghiera; " I have sacks full of gold brooches
and small stones at home. 'Tis on the pietra
grossa, the great diamond, that I want two
thousand guineas."

"Which sum I should be both proud and
happy to lend," observed the pawnbroker, " but
for the unfortunate circumstance that the great
centre stone happens to be not worth sixpence.
It is false, madamfalse as a Brummagem

"False!" yelled La Lusinghiera.

"False," repeated Mr. Triball. " A marvellous
good copy, I grant you, but it will not deceive
such an old hand as I am. It must be one of
the famous paste imitations of Father Schink.
However, your ladyship must not go away empty-
handed. Let us see whether we cannot arrange
a small loan on a note of hand."

I don't know what sum La Lusinghiera
managed to borrow from Mr. Tribulation Triball,
but it is certain that she did not leave the great
Schweinsfleisch diamond with him in pledge.
She went home in a rage, and as soon as his
Majesty came back from Hampton Court, she
had with him what is termed in modern parlance
an "explication." A terrible one it was. I
don't know which suffered mosthis Majesty's
feelings or his periwig. However, a reconciliation,
very costly to royalty, followed, and La
Lusinghiera gave back the worthless Order of
the Pig and Whistle.

Let us now return to Schweinhundhausen. It
was on the twenty-fourth of August, 17—,
precisely twelve months from the day when the
Introducer of Ambassadors Von Schaffundkalben
had started on his mission, that an English