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of returning, when, on rounding a sharp bend
in the tortuous channel, I perceived two
jackowinkis sitting on a branch about twenty
yards distant, as yet unaware of our vicinity,
and from their chattering and grimaces
seemingly engaged in some matrimonial squabble.
Anxious to obtain a specimen for stuffing, I
fired at one, which proved to be the male,
who dropped to the ground.

When he saw his brother fall, he seemed
instantly to understand that I was a murderer.
He took immediate revenge. He sprang to
my shoulder, tore a handful of hair from my
head, and swiftly clambered away among
the overhanging branches. When I recovered
from surprise at this unexpected attack,
he had paused in his flight; and, with his
face turned towards me, was grinning, showing
his sharp little teeth, and throwing down
glances of fierceness and hate. In another
instant he was pursuing the female, whose
plaintive twitterings were distinctly audible,
as she scampered away among the trees. In.
the course of time, he no doubt managed to
console the widow; and, free from all shackles
and restraints, is probably, at this moment,
quietly enjoying a married life in his native



IT is a bitterly cold night, and the snow
which has been for three days tumbling down
upon the roofs and pavements of Vienna,
tumbles down upon us still. The theatres,
which get through their performances by
half-past nine, are closed already; and there
is a lull now in the muffled streets. I mean
to go out as a muffled man, and use the ticket
I have bought for a Masked Ball at the
palace. The sale of tickets for such balls,
which take place now and then during the
winter, raises enormous sums, which are
applied to charitable purposes, so that the
luxury of the rich is made to minister, in this
case, also to the comfort of the poor.

Here I stand ankle-deep in snow, and look
up at the palace; all the windows on the first
story are being lighted up, and cold gentlemen
converging towards the door from all
parts, are the members of Strauss's band.
And now lights have begun to flash about
the streets, and masks are beginning to
arrive. Splendid carriages of the nobility;
and positively some of the Imperial family do
not disdain to be among the first arrivals!
The beau from the suburbs, in a light fiacre.
Actresses and officers in their broughams.
Sledges from the country, drawn by merry
little horses, frisking through the snow, and
jingling bells over their harness. A chaos of
lights, a coachman, and the long poles of
sedan chairs in the way of a chaos of legs,
hats, shoulders, coach-tops, and everything
else, powdered with snow that tumbles
silently and steadily upon the scene of riot.
A crush of revellers upon the staircase.
Half-past eleven; all the most important
people having now enteredexcept myself
it is quite time for me to follow to the ball-

A vast room. Think of the Great
Exhibition, if you want a notion of it; and take
off a discount for exaggeration. Walk to
the end of this room, and a door opens into
another ball-room, almost twice as large. In
each of these great halls, there are raised
orchestras, in which the bands are stationed;
and when one band ceases playing, another is
prepared immediately to begin. Galleries, to
which you ascend by flights of stairs at each
end, run round both the rooms; and into
these galleries open innumerable ice and
supper-rooms, passengers, and out-of-the-way
cells, wherein you may lose yourself, but not
your company. Masks are to be found sitting
in every corner; wherever a mask is, there
is mischief.

You see nothing vulgar, no rude costume, no
monstrous noses, no absurd pairs of spectacles,
or woolly wigs. You hear no boisterous shouts
of mirth; beautiful music reigns incessantly
supreme over all other sounds. Only the ladies
are disguised; their faces are hidden behind
elegant little black silk masks, and they vie
with each other in the costliness and beauty
of their costumes and dominoes. The men
are all in simple evening dress; they walk
about, defenceless game, and yield sport in
abundance to the dames and damsels. Most
of the ministers are heregrave, steady gentlemen,
with bald heads or gray hair. Each of
them is surrounded by a swarm of masks
princesses, perhapsmilliners, perhapsand
some of them are evidently making wry
mouths at what they are obliged to hear.
This is the time for home truths. The ladies
at a masked ball make good use of their
disguise, and scatter about their wholesome
mischief abundantly.

A vision in black and gold beckons to me.
I place myself at her disposal. "You are an
Englishman," the vision says; "I know you."
"How, madam?" "By your awkwardness."
"Are Britons awkward?" "Yes,
and wearisome. Go, you are not amusing.
Take care of your gloves; they are so large
that I fear they will fall off." The vision
laughs at me and vanishes. I have a secret
or two which I don't mean to print. I did
think that those mysteries were locked up in
my bosom. If you ever happen to be at
Vienna, with some secrets in your keeping,
and desire to know whether you hold them
safe, go to a Masked Ball. Mocking voices,
behind black silk masks, will very much
surprise you with some samples of the penetration
proper to a sex which seems, in Vienna, to
be made up of Blue Beard wives. Twenty
ladies honour me with minute details of the
contents of one apartment in my mind, which
I had considered quite a patent safe, with a