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for that offence. This to a Christian people,
and with the New Testament lying before
himas a sort of dummy, I suppose, to
swear witnesses on. Why does my so-easily-
frightened nationality not take offence at
such things? My hobby shies at shadows;
why does it amble so quietly past these
advertising-vans of Blockheads seeking notoriety ?
Why ? I might as well ask, Why I leave
off here, when I have a long perspective of
Why stretching out before me.



THE Yankees (by whom I mean the pure
New Englanders alone) are reckoned to be
the most inquisitive race of people upon
the face of the habitable globe. They kill
you with questions. All Europe has heard,
through the sapient and incomparable
Diedrich Knickerbocker, the Herodotus of
the Manhattoesof Anthony van Corlear
the trumpeter, who was questioned out of
his horse by a cunning man of Pyquag, and
sent back to New Amsterdam on a vile calico
mare. There is no escaping the interrogations
of a Yankee ; whether in railway-car, on
steamers' hurricane-deck, or in hotel parlour ;
and this the Honourable Amelia Murray
(may she never be kidnapped and sold down
South, there to experience the blessings of
slavery !) knows full well. There is but one
instance on record, I believe, of a Yankee
being worsted, in the query line of
conversation; and this was the questioning
Yankee who persisted in asking the dyspeptic
man with the wooden leg how he had lost his
missing leg, and after much pressing was told,
on a solemn promise that he would ask no
more questions, and under a penalty of dollars
uncountable, that it had been bit off; whereupon,
in an agony of uncertainty as to who
or what had bitten it off, and howwhether
it had fallen a victim to the jaws of deadly
alligator, or catawampous panther, or fiercely-
riled rattlesnake; and, fearing to break his
word, or lose his dollars, he was crestfallen
and confounded, and, ignominiously sloping,
was seen no more in that territory.

But I should like to know what interrogatorial
exigence could equal the pertinacity
with whichto the extent, even, of three
mortal chapters of letter-pressI have been
putting the Great Hotel Question, and, not
content with seeking information, have
volunteered replies myself ? Can anyone wish
to know anything more about hotels ? This
is not a blue-book; and yet I feel myself
already arrived at question number nine
thousand and four; and I have scarcely left
the Royal Hotel, Dan, and feel it a duty to
travel as far as the Grand Junction Hotel,
Beersheba, before I have finished asking

How about Italian hotels ? The discursive
mind at once travels to the Seven Taverns,
the hostelry at Brundusium, to which Horace
travelled ; and to that choice resort of the
Roman fancy in Pompeii, where Burbo was
licensed to sell neat Falernian ; where the
young patricians were drunk on the premises,
and where there was doubtless commodious
stabling for gilt-wheeled chariots, and the
wild-beast studs of sporting swells of the
equestrian family. But, putting a bar of
twenty centuries, what have I to say of the
Italian hotels of the present day ?

There is the great Caravanserai of
travelling milords : say in Rome, Milan, or
Florence, the Casa Borbonica. This was, in
old times, the palazzo of the princely
Cinquantapercento family : the last prince of
that illustrious housewhich has given cardinals
to the church, generals to the array,
gonfalonieri to the towns, and worthless drones to
the social hive for agesis now a snuffy old
reprobate, burrowing in a mean entresol in a
dark little street of a Parisian Boulevard,
He has sold all his Titians and Guidos to the
Jews. The brocanteurs have all his statuary
and carved furniture, down to the damascened
suit of armour in which his great-grandfather
went to the battle of Rustifustiacone, and
ran away in, and the inlaid dagger with
which his grandmamma slew the monsignore
who had written an epigram against her ;
but he has still his coat of arms, with its
seventy-five quarterings ; and in the picture-
gallery of his once palace, now the salle-à-
manger, there is yet the picture of his
ancestor Hercules, son of Latona, subduing the
Nemæan lion (Menditore, fecit). The Casa
Borbonica (the Comte de Chambord sent to
engage apartments there once, but didn't
come ; whence its legitimist name) has been
an hotel these thirty years. It has a fine
frontage to the river Piccolitto, and is big
enough for a barrack or a small-pox hospital,
Indeed, the somewhat dilapidated condition
of its exterior ornamentation suggests, in no
remote degree, the idea of its being pitted
with that latter ailment. It has acres, so to
speak, of vast, lofty rooms ; it has a grand
saloon, the ceiling painted in fresco with a copy
of Guido's Aurora ; it has a marble paved
vestibule, with a fountain in the middle ; it
has a grand staircase of scagliola, on whose
steps several members of the Cinquautapercento
family have been, in desirable old
romantic picturesque keepsake days, done to
death by the rapiers and partizans of their
friends and relatives ; the ground-floor gives
on to a terrace, and that again on to a garden
in the real Italian style : fountains, straight
clipped avenues, fillagree gates, casts from
the antique gods and goddesses, and sham
ruins ; there are vases full of flowers ; there
are Renaissance doors; there is the suite of
rooms in Malachite and gold; there is the suite
in blue-fluted satin (the Countess de
Demimondoff's rooms) ; and the suite in ivory and
black velvet; there are countless bedroomsfull