+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

of the Sultan of the Indies, all true
believers kiss the ground seven hundred and
seventy-seven times on hearing the magic
words, Debrett's Peeragewhy the talisman
of Office is always possessed in common by
the three great races of the Scarli Tapas, the
Yawyawahs, and the Jobbianaswhy the
public affairs, great and small, and all the
national enterprises both by land and sea are
conducted on a system which is the highest
peak of the mountain of justice, and which
always succeedswhy the people ot that
country are serenely satisfied with themselves
and things in general, are unquestionably
the envy of surrounding nations, and cannot
fail in the inevitable order of events to flourish
to the end of the worldwhy all these great
truths are incontrovertible, and why all who
dispute them receive the bastinado as atheists
and rebels.

Here, Hansardadade concluded the story of
the Forty Thieves, and said, If my Lord the
Sultan will deign to hear another narrative
from the lips of the lowest of his servants, I
have adventures yet more surprising than
these to relate: adventures that are worthy
to be written in letters of gold. By Allah!
exclaimed the Sultan, whose hand had been
upon his scimitar several times during the
previous recital, and whose eyes had menaced
Parmarstoon until the soul of that Vizier
had turned to water, what thou hast told but
now, deserves to be recorded in letters of

Hansardadade was proceeding, Sire, in the
great plain at the feet of the mountains of
Casgar, which is seven weeks' journey across
when Brothartoon interrupted her: Sister it
is nearly daybreak, and if you are not asleep
you ought to be. I pray you dear sister, tell
us at present no more of those stories that you
know so well, but hold your tongue and go
to bed. Hansardadade was silent, and the
Sultan arose in a very indifferent humour
and gloomily walked out in great doubt
whether he would let her live, on any
consideration, over another day.



ON a spring morning, in the year seventeen
hundred aud ninety-eight, the public
conveyance then running between Chalons-sur-Hame
and Paris set down one of its outside
passengers at the first post station beyond Meaux.
The traveller, an old man, after looking about
him hesitatingly for a moment or two, betook
himself to a little inn opposite the post-house
known by the sign of the Piebald Horse,and
kept by the Widow Duval,—a woman who
enjoyed and deserved the reputation of being
the fastest talker and the best maker of
gibelotte in the whole locality.

Although the traveller was carelessly
noticed by the village idlers, and received
without ceremony by the Widow Duval, he
was by no means so ordinary and uninteresting
a stranger as the rustics of the place were
pleased to consider him. The time had been
when this quiet, elderly, unobstrusive applicant
for refreshment at the Piebald Horse
was trusted with the darkest secrets of the
Reign of Terror, and was admitted at all
times and seasons to speak face to face with
Maximilien Robespierre himself. The Widow
Duval and the hangers-on in front of the
posthouse would have been all astonished indeed,
if any well-informed personage from the
metropolis had been present to tell them that
the modest old traveller, with the shabby
little carpet-bag, was an ex-chief agent of the
secret police of Paris!

Between three and four years had elapsed
since Lomaque had exercised, for the last
time, his official functions under the Reign of
Terror. His shoulders had contracted an
extra stoop, and his hair had all fallen off,
except at the sides and back of his head. In
some other respects, however, advancing age
seemed to have improved rather than
deteriorated him in personal appearance. His
complexion looked healthier, his expression
cheerfuller, his eyes brighter than they had
ever been of late years. He walked, too,
with a brisker step than the step of old times
in the police-office; and his dress, although
it certainly did not look like the costume of
a man in affluent circumstances, was cleaner
and far more neatly worn than ever it had
been in the past days of his political employment
at Paris.

He sat down alone in the inn parlour, and
occupied the time, while his hostess had gone
to fetch the half bottle of wine that he
ordered, in examining a dirty old card which
he extricated from a mass of papers in his
pocket-book, and which bore, written on it,
these lines:—"When the troubles are over,
do not forget those who remember you with,
eternal gratitude. Stop at the first post
station beyond Meaux, on the high road to
Paris, and ask at the inn for citizen Maurice,
whenever you wish to see us or to hear of us

"Pray," inquired Lomaque, putting the
card in his pocket when the Widow Duval
brought in the wine, " can you inform me
whether a person named Maurice lives
anywhere in this neighbourhood ?"

"Can I inform you?" repeated the voluble
widow. " Of course I can! Citizen Maurice,
and the citoyenne, his amiable sisterwho is
not to be passed over because you don't
mention her, my honest man!—live within ten
minutes' walk of my house. A charming,
cottage, in a charming situation, inhabited by
two charming people, so quiet,—so retiring,
such excellent pay. I supply them with
everything,—fowls, eggs, bread, butter,
vegetables (not that they eat much of anything),
wine (which they don't drink half enough of
to do them good); in short, I victual the dear
little hermitage, and love the two amiable