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have never seen a mountain which struck me
as more grand and solemn than Beuledi:
especially if seen as I saw it, while smoking a
cigar one evening in the pretty garden of Mrs.
Stewart's Inn at Ardnacrachan by moonlight.

There is another unspeakable charm in our
home scenery, and one which belongs to no
other. It is mixed up with the history and
the legends of our own land, and we can
listen by the fire, or, sitting on the stump of
some old traditional tree by moonlight, to
the dark superstition of the peasantry, and
thus learn to understand the hearts and feelings
of our own countrymena knowledge,
I should say, quite as useful to a public man
(and, thank Heaven, we are all public men in
England), as anything he may learn on the
Banks of the Rhine or the Danubebeautiful
as are the sweet dreams of the old German
bards, and the stirring songs and wild tales
of the Magyar and the Wallack. Besides,
there is another thing I have altogether
forgotten. We can understand the picturesque
language of our own peasantry, with a
thought in every phrase; but how many of
us can feel the true charm of a foreign patois,
or cares to puzzle himself with it when tired
at night?  In the one case, a talk with a
rural worthy is the most refreshing thing I
know of to a faded town mind.

It is a great nuisance to have to make a
bargain with your innkeeper immediately on
your arrival; and it is the last thing a smart
man will do, however slender his purse. He
is sure to get the worst room in the house by
it, and will sleep none the cheaper; besides
looking small, and being thought a quiz.
Indeed, I need not tell the observant
individual who has ever crossed the Channel that
of all travellers the variety L'Anglais Tourist
is looked upon as the finest game, and
immediately on his arrival the whole household
are agog to laugh at him. No matter, therefore,
how poor you are, take up your quarters
quietly in the rooms they give you, if you do
not want to be roasted for the amusement of
the waiter. As a means of checking extortion,
order up your bill every night. If you
then go into the landlord's private room, and
in the course of a quiet conversation with
him object to any item you consider too much,
you will find your expenses diminished in the
most polite way possible. If, on the other
hand, you prefer summoning the waiter by
half-a-dozen furious pulls at your bell; and,
after having thundered at him unintelligibly,
and to his great delight, for five minutes
proceed to vent your Britannic indignation
at roguery on mine host in person (if you
can find him), you are very likely all to get
red faces together, as the discussion waxes
warm, but your bill will remain undimiuished
to the end of time.

Another mistake economical people often
make, is, that of going to bad hotels. Englishmen
should always use the best, and, if
possible, that most frequented by their own
countrymen; for the proprietors of
out-of-the-way little taverns will be sure to have
heard such fabulous accounts of the depth of
our pockets, that the bills they make out are
surprising. I remember arriving in Rouen
late one night, and having missed the last
train to Paris, I turned into the first miserable
little inn I could find near the railroad,
to pass the few hours before the first train
started in the morning. I had supper and a
bed; such a bed!  If certain little animals in
it had only been unanimous, they might easily
have dislodged me; but, fortunately, they
were French fleas, and there was division in
their councils. They moved me, however, and
pretty briskly. I do not think I ever passed
such a lively night in my life; and in the cold,
grey, damp atmosphere of a Norman morning
in spring, I found myself shivering before my
hostess asking for my bill. My hair felt like
wire, and I am sure my face must have looked
like a badly cooked plum-pudding; it felt so
swelled and bumpy from the offensive operations
of the enemy on the previous night.
My bill, however, was thirty francs, or about
four times as much as I should have paid at
the first hotel in the town. But there was no
help for it, and in the course of a rather brisk
conversation in which I remonstrated, mine
hostess (as pretty a little specimen of a French
virago as you would wish to see) let out the
whole secret, by telling me frankly, " that she
had never before seen a pigeon of my species,
and she therefore determined to pluck me."
And she did.

As a rule it is a good plan never to
negociate with the waiter about an
overcharge or an inconvenience, but always with
the landlord in person, and, if possible, when
nobody else is present. Always pay up your
bill, too, some hours before you start, or you
will find half a score of complaints, perhaps,
to make, and nobody to hear them. Mine
host nearly always takes care to be out of the
way after sending in an extortionate bill to a
departing guest; and out of the way he will
remain, until you are safely off, and nobody
else can help you. Mine host is, indeed, as
full of tricks as a pantomimeespecially if an
Italian; so that it is better always to keep a
tight hand on him.

Just published, Price Threepence; Stamped Fourpence.
                    A ROUND OF STORIES
                    THE CHRISTMAS FIRE.
The Extra Christmas Number of "Household Words,"
And containing the amount of One regular Number and a Half,
                      The Poor Relation's Story.
                      The Child's Story.
                      Somebody's Story.
                      The Old Nurse's Story.
                      The Host's Story.
                      The Grandfather's Story.
                      The Charwoman's Story.
                      The Deaf Playmate's Story.
                      The Guest's Story.
                      The Mother's Story.
   WORDS for 1850 and 1851, may still be had of all
   Bookellers, Price Twopence each.

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