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HOTEL nuisance, Mr. Albert Smith calls it,
discoursing of English hostelries. But I say,
Question, thinking the point moot.

There are not many men so thoroughly
well qualified and entitled as Mr. Albert
Smith is to advance an opinion (and in
a cathedral manner, too) upon the three
subjects obviously evolved from the Great
Hotel Question; namely,—travelling,
comfort, and cheapness. As a traveller, Mr.
Smith must be intimately acquainted with
every considerable hotel in Europe; from
Misséris, at Constantinople, to the Hôtel de
Londres, at Chamounix, which last appertains
to him of course in fee, and of right as
an appanage to his kingdom of Mont Blanc.
It is barely possible that one or two queens'
messengers, a few commercial travellers, and
an occasional sketching correspondent of the
Illustrated London News may have surpassed
the gentleman arrayed in the robe of ice, and
crowned, long ago, with the diadem of snow, in
the way of mere mileage ; but it would be difficult
to find any rolling stone that has gathered
so much instructive and amusing moss as Mr.
Albert Smith. His polyglot vocabulary of
hotel signs must be of a nature to drive
a countess's courier to despair ; and his
passport must be viséd and réviséd, till not a
square inch of the original blank paper

Of the second subjecttravellingI would
conceive him to be as excellent a judge as
Mr. Clark, in his watchbox is, of the
performances of the long-legged " cracks " at
Newmarket, if we may take as evidence the
Albertian conversion of the Mont Blanc
room, at the Egyptian Hall (that former
unsightly home for living skeletons,
Hottentot Venuses, and Tom Thumb dwarfs)
into the snuggest and most elegant apartment,
replete with appliances for seeing, hearing,
and enjoying a pleasant and rational
entertainment. As for cheapness, who does
not recollect Mr. Albert Smith's lively
Reminiscences of a Cheap Tour ? I forget how
much he went to Milan and back for ; but
the sum total was something astounding in
the annals of fiscal moderation. I remember,
however, one passage, in which tact and
generalship were admirably displayed.
Journeying through Switzerlandunless I am
mistakena halt took place, and the
majority of the travellers adjourned to dine
at the table-d'hôte. Now, this Mr. Albert
Smith knew or surmised to be indifferent
in quality, and extravagant in price.  What
did he do ? Why, instead of dining at the
hotel, he went out and bought a pie and a
bottle of wine ; and, while his companions
were disbursing their five or six francs for
a bad and dear dinner, he was enjoying his
simple but succulent repast in view of the
most delightful scenery in Europe. There is a
profundity of viatorial experience and
knowledge of the world in this performance that
calls to my remembrance the act of another
sage ; who, eschewing the expensive bill of
fare of some mediæval banquet, retired into
a corner, —likewise with a pie,— and being
rewarded for his abstinence and savoir-
vivre, with the discovery of a rich and rare
plum in the pasty's doughy depths, could not
refrain from an expression of self-gratulation.
Need I mention the lamented name of
Horner ?

But one cannot always dine on a meat-pie,
especially in London streets, nor sleep on an
iceberg: we must have hotels, hotel dinners
and beds; and, seriously, this paper owes its
composition to the perusal of a very succinct
and sensible pamphlet on " English Hotels,
and their Abuses" by the kindly and keenly
observant writer to whom I have just made

What is an hotel? I don't mean in the
Dictionary sense of the word: Ignoramus
can tell me that without book (what a
magnificent Dictionary all that Ignoramus
knows, and all that he doesn't know, would
make!) but what is an hotel in this year
of grace, civilisation and perfection? What
is it likethis mansion of mine, where I (and
Mr. Albert Smith) expect to take mine ease,
without having my pocket picked;—the place
where, the poet tells us, the traveller often
finds his warmest welcome; where I have to
sleep, and eat, and drink, and pay, and be
received by landlords, and "yes-sired " by waiters
till the railway of life issues no more time-bills
and the terminus is gained ? To what degree
of perfection have weceaselessly rushing
about the world, ceaselessly writing letters to
the Times, ceaselessly adopting new systems,