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deification of wit and correctness, and the
death of poetryis admirably illustrated in
its dwellings. I confess to having a great
partiality for the houses of that time, and
for the time itself, notwithstanding their
many faults, on account of its tough honest
fight with rampant despotism. But, descend
a little later, and view the houses which they
built in the early times of George the Third,
and of which I take Harley Street, Cavendish
Square, to be the most perfect specimen
those hideous lines of blank mud walls
with holes in them, and of ghastly
mathematically-straight parapets, with no visible roofs
and you have arrived at the very acme of
ugliness and depressing monotony. There is
something almost pagan in this insolent
defiance of beauty; a spirit quite in keeping
with the most disgraceful age of English
historyan age which worshipped neither
courage, nor self-devotion, nor fancy, nor wit,
nor sensean age which denied and insulted
liberty both at home and in the colonieswhich,
on that point, was ignominiously defeated in
the latter, and far more shamefully triumphant
in the formeran age of meanness,
dishonesty, corruption, hypocrisy, sensuality,
and incompetence. If we are to return to
anything in the past, let it be to nothing of
that age.


FRENCH waiters may make less money
than English waiters make; may go out to
more fêtes; may display their graces more
frequently at balls; may be perhaps more
susceptible of the tender influences of
waitresses; but it is the indisputable fact,
that they contrive to save more capital in
one year than an English waiter puts away
in ten years. Every Paris visitor is familiar
with the men in black, whose clothes are
guarded by long snow-white aprons reaching
to their boots; who pass all their waking
moments outside the Boulevards cafés, with a
cloth under one arm, and a choppe, or a
demi-tasse, in the right hand. We all remember
their quiet, quick manners; their dexterity in
pouring the coffee over the cup into the
saucer; the air of reckless yet practised
extravagance with which the brandy is
dashed into the little goutte glass, nearly
filling the silver tray upon which it stands.

These Paris waiters are a peculiar race.
As they nearly all come from Alsace, so they
nearly all adopt the same manners. They
are all quick; can carry an infinite number
of coffee cups without dropping one; can
walk steadily, or run at a pet pedestrian's
pace with their load; can tell you the
last news about the war; they have a light,
sparkling answer for any lively question
you may address to them; they are familiar
without being rude; they receive your
contribution to the waiters' box placed upon
the counter of the café, without servility
but with politeness. They do not generally
linger about you as an English waiter does,
pretending to wipe the table, when the
fee has been forgotten in the settlement
of the account. On the contrary, the
fee appears to come upon them as an
unexpected pleasure; and is gracefully dropped
into the waiters' box, to be divided at the end
of the month. Take the waiter at the
Trois Frères, and contrast him with the
worthy fellow who supplies coffee to the
medical students at the Closerie des Lilacs,
and place between the two the official who
served you with punch à la Romaine at
Mabille, and you will see that they very
closely resemble one another. Perhaps the
apron of the specimen from the Frères
Provençaux is a little whiter, a little finer, than
that worn by the servant of the Closerie:
but speak to the three, call their capacities
as waiters into practice, and you shall
discover that the student's garçon is as graceful
and as well informed as the man who waits
upon the best. You will find all three in
excellent spirits always; working hard from
the dawn of day far into the night, without
repining; adding regularly some economies
to their savings; nay, the most fortunate
of them may be known to some of their
visitors as jobbers on the Bourse. They
all talk excitedly about the dignity of
man. They will reply firmly to any hasty
word addressed to them by a guest. Should
he insult them, they will place themselves
immediately on an equality with him, talk
to him loudly, and refuse to wait upon
him. This independence does not quite
please many of the foreign visitors; but it
pleases mefor I don't insult waiters.

One morning an hotel waiter told me,
his eyes flashing fire as he spoke, that
he had been insulted by a Swedish officer.
It appeared that this waiter had
been told to light the officer's fire every
morning. One morning he had lighted it,
but it had gone out before the Swede made
his appearance. "Whereupon, there came a
loud ring at the bell; the waiter
answered it. The Swede, in a terrible
passion, threatened chastisement.
"Whereupon," said the waiter, "I felt the blood
flowing very fast to my ears. And I said
to myself, 'Stop, stop, monsieur le capitaine.'
I folded my arms, and looking steadily at
him, said 'Strike!' He turned upon his
heel instead, and went direct to complain to
my master. I followed him, and complained
too. I suggested that he had better go to
another establishment, if he had yet to learn
that no men were slaves in France. My
master fell in with my suggestion, and
offered to make him out his bill on the
spot. But he preferred staying, and I let
him get his fire as he pleased from that
day. He thought, as I told him, that his
uniform dazzled me, but he was very much

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