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cigar, and reading my letters to pass the time.
I feel surprised.

Would I inform him of my intention in
visiting Germany? Am I engaged in the
charming pursuit of literature? No? Surely
that astonishes him; so many of my countrymen
make such fine incomes by letters. Might
he ask me if I have many friends in Germany;
if I intend staying long; and who is my
banker? In short there is no end to his
kind inquiries; and it is probably to satisfy
himself on these points that he has been
following me about in rain and fine weather
ever since my arrivalwhich I now remember
him to have done, on looking at him
more attentively.

And I go to the theatre, and see one
of those dear old German plays, all speculative
conversation; far, very far beyond any
possibility of comprehension by me or anybody
else. So I go to sleep. Yet it seems all very
lachrymose and spirit-stirring too, for I always
wake up when the orchestra begins. The
music is, of course, excellent. I am enabled to
see more white pocket-handkerchiefs and red
noses than I can count. The play, long as it
is, is over at half-past nine. If it were not
over at that time, the audience would decline
to wait for its conclusion: that being the
hour of supper. If ever this hour be the least
exceeded, a banging of box-doorssounding
like the irregular fire of a band of guerillasis
sure to be heard, and the house is cleared in no
time. I do not eat suppers, however; finding
that after a five or six o'clock dinner I have
no appetite left; and thus am obliged to take
an evening walk before I venture to call on
any of my acquaintance, as is the custom after
the theatre in Germany. At eleven o'clock,
however, I generally make my appearance
somewhere, and am very well received. Some
beautiful music, vocal and instrumental, or
some merry games, and perhaps a dance,
conclude the day; and I go home, ringing up the
porter of my palace, who claims three shillings
every month, or rather more than a penny a
day, for letting me in after ten o'clock at night.

In the morning again, I receive a printed
invitation to present myself at nine o'clock at the
Police office; and, although somewhat startled,
especially as I cannot help connecting it with
the visit of my friend the Baron on the previous
evening, I go punctually to the time, and find
that nobody can make out what I want, or
what to say to me, until I observe my friend
the Baron coming out of a room in the
establishment. He immediately approaches me
with a profusion of bows and compliments.
He has come, he says, for a passport. Will
I allow him to assist me in the object of
my visit? I bow somewhat stiffly to decline
the attention; but that nobleman, whose
courtesy will not receive any discouragement
from mere English coldness of manner, hastens
to conduct me into the room he has just
quitted. There I find a grave functionary,
with a most imposing uniform and fierce
moustaches; but a good-natured-looking fellow
for all that. I exhibit my printed invitation,
and he begins to question me. I am also cross-
examined in the most charming manner by
the Baron himself, who seems to have the
lively interest he takes in my proceedings, by
no means damped from my answers of last
night. I refer, however, to the British
Minister and to the first banker of the town,
as well as to several well-known persons,
and am requested very politely to present
myself again on the following morning at
the same hour. I cannot help noticing that
the good-humoured functionary casts no very
friendly look at my neighbour the Baron, and
seems to think him a good-for-nothing mischief-
maker; although he stands plainly in awe of
him. I do not go, however, on the following
morning, and am not summoned. When I
meet the good-natured functionary by accident
in the street he, too, stops to speak to me,
and seems to bear me no grudge for having
neglected to obey his commands. The Baron,
when I meet him at balls and parties, is quite
oppressive in civilities, although he does not
make me any more visits; and indeed the
curiosity of my host, which was at one time
troublesome, has, at this present writing,
subsided into such an awe-stricken respect that I
would rather not meet him; for he makes such
low bows, and gives me such high-sounding
titles, that I am ashamed of him. In short,
nobody worries me any longer, except the old
lady who brings me my coffee of a morning. She,
indeed, I have reason to suppose, is for ever
rummaging in my drawers when I am absent,
inasmuch as at least half my handkerchiefs
and gloves disappear, as if by magic; and I
am sure to hear the hurried and unequal
pattering of her feet scudding over the polished
floor, if I return unexpectedly. I hear, however,
that she is fond of dancing, and is
going to be married to her third husband;
so that I am not surprised at her anxiety
for her personal appearance; and, indeed,
she is so very much like certain lodging-
house people in England, that I have no
right to consider her confusion of ideas as to
what is hers and what is mine, at all peculiar
to her country.

This day is published, Price Threepence; Stamped Fourpence.
A ROUND OF STORIES
BY
THE CHRISTMAS FIRE.
BEING
The Extra Christmas Number of " Household Words,"
CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS.
And containing the amount of One regular Number and a Half.

The Poor Relation's Story.
The Grandfather's Story.
The Child's Story.
The Charwoman's Story
Somebody's Story.
The Deaf Playmate's Story
The Old Nurse's Story.
The Guest's Story
The Host's Story.
The Mother's Story

The CHRISTMAS NUMBERS OF HOUSHOLD
WORDS for 1850 and 1851, may still be had of all Book-
sellers, Price Twopence each.

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