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and bits of ribbon there in the hotel. You
are so irreverent as to forget the great men
altogether, and to be thinking about yonder
milkmaid tripping through the greenwood,
when a turn in the path casts you a complete
wreck on the reef of the provoking old Privy
Councillor from Berlin, with his two beautiful
daughters. You wanted to indulge a little
in the luxury of thought, and, wrapped in
yourself, to love and enjoy all things from
a little distance. But now you must shake
hands, and help the little ladies up the

No doubt they mince the Berlin accent very
prettily, and their papa mouths it with
peculiar magnificence; and you all laugh a
great deal, and are spasmodically merry.
The damsels have some flowers, which they
did not pick; they have just bought them
on the road, and they are pulling them to
pieces on the most approved principles of art.
I do not mean the lively art of wilfulness,
but the extremely dull art of Linnæan
classification ; they are finding out how many
monandrias, and polyandrias, with any-number-
of-gynias, their nosegays may contain.
This being settled, they proceed to enlighten
you upon the geological peculiarities of the
surrounding district. The two lecturers next
divide the world into four quarters, and
proceed to go through them seriatim.

At the risk of being thought rude, you
diplomatise against the old statesman and his
daughters, and effect an escape at last. You
plunge into the forest: there you lie down
under a majestic fir, and look up at the blue
sky through its leaves, and hear the rustling
of the wood, and watch the birds as they come
home from business, where they have been
intent on making satisfactory provision for
their families. Perhaps you feel, thus
pleasantly surrounded, that the moral world, or
the intellectual, is no more than this wood, a
place of sticks and rotten leaves. Especially
when you regard that moral and intellectual
world, as exemplified in your own bosom, you
feel that you have wasted much time that has
brought neither true profit nor enjoyment;
you feel capable of an immense number of
things, and you get up with a fresh heart
and walk stoutly on, determined to march
out of the wood, and give your energies fair
and full play, and show the world what you
can do.

Thus minded, you walk back to the hotel,
and are a little late for dinner. That provokes
you. You sit down at the table d'hôte, and the
immense man on your right hand you
conjecture by his build to be Bavarian. You
would like much to hear him speak, for
confirmation's sake. He helps himself twice from
every dish, and whenever he wipes his mouth,
a gentle murmur issues from it, but it is not
articulate. On your left hand is a wedded
pair from Modern Athens. Scots will restrain
their anger when I say that Munich claims
that title, ignorant that it belongs to Edinburgh.
You suppose this couple to belong to
the class of well-fleshed people, whose mission
in society is that which has been sometimes
ascribed to the spleen within our body, to
serve as a warm pad, or stuffing, for the filling
of gaps within the social circle. This man
and wife are travellers, you find, who have,
hitherto, eaten at every stage of their journey
delicious trout of the Alps, and are now
earnestly discussing how to shape their future
rambles, so as to find, if possible, still better

Opposite to you sits a student from Upper
Austria; he is making on foot the usual
summer ramble. He has a huge beer jug
before him, and his sighs deepen as the level
of the beer descends. What are his thoughts
behind that cloud of smoke ? Possibly pure
and beautiful, but your attention is directed
to the Prussian Privy Councillor, who is about
to pay his bill with Austrian bank notes. He
cannot be made to understand the value of
those filthy little twopenny and threepenny
notes, torn into halves and quarters, which
are offered to him as change out of a note for
five florins, about half a sovereign. He
demands silver of the astonished waiting-maid;
but it is many years since silver was much
current with her, and she looks her answer
at the Privy Councillor with an amusing

The Prussians are notable for prudence and
economy, and if you wonder at the statesman's
distress, buy two damp cigars of the
pedlar who is passing, and offer him a paper
florin; he will insist upon trusting your
honour rather than give change. Life is short,
and talk ought therefore never to be long.
I have imagined you doing exactly what I did
myself at Gastein. Having no appetite for
medicinal water, I did not patronise the baths.
ButLife is short, so let us cease from talking
about so insignificant a matter.


  THERE grew, within a favour'd vale,
  As old traditions tell the tale,
  A famous, flowering, Eastern thorn,
  Which blossom'd every Christmas morn.

  No lowly hearth, no lordly hall,
  New dress'd for the yearly festival,
  But gathered it, as the gift of May,
  To honour the auspicious day.

  And brightly 'mid the Christmas green
  It shines, in the fire-light's ruddy sheen,
  Mix'd with hard berries that gleam and glow
  From holly and from mistletoe.

  That tree is like the Tree of Life,
  Which buds when the season of joy is rife,
  And flowers when the bright dawn wakes above
  The day that Religion gave birth to Love.

* There is an old legend that Joseph of Arimathea came
to Glastonbury, and planted there a thorn, which grew and
flourished, and blossomed every Christmas-day.