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Turkish aristocracy in short) are endowed
with the same short-sighted cunning as
elsewhere. It is known well enough that they
thwart and harry the great soldier who is
fighting for their worthless existence with
that ungenerous enmity and ignorant
perseverance which is a part of their craftthe
inherent quality of their whole species. We
must not think that Britain is the only land
which has such precious work with little
great men. Huffi Pacha and Scruffi Effendi
are to the full as wicked and wrong-headed
as our own white-gloved cousinocracy. Omer
Pacha has found this out long ago, but he
seems to have got used to itas we shall
perhaps some dayand recognises it as one
of the immutable laws of human affairs.


DOCTOR DUBOIS had just finished a dinner
which, if not served up according to the
philosophical principles of Brillat-Savarin,
was at any rate both succulent and
substantial. He had turned his feet towards
the fireit was in the mouth of December
and was slowly cracking his nuts and
almonds, and occasionally moistening them
with a glass of genuine Beaune. Evidently
he considered that his day had been well
employed; and fervently hoped that the
goddess Hygeia would watch for that evening at
least over his numerous patients. A pair of
comfortable slipperspresented by a
nervous lady for his assiduous attendance upon
a scratch on the little finger of her left
handadorned his small fat feet. A black
velvet skullcap was pulled half over his
ears, and a brilliant morning gown fell in
graceful folds about his legs. Bobonne had
retired to prepare the customary coffee.
The evening paper had arrived. Fraught
with interesting, because as jet unknown
intelligence, it was waiting on the edge of
the table, to be opened. There might be
news of a new war or of an unexpected peace;
some miraculous rise or fall of the funds
might have taken place. The worthy doctor
had already thrice glanced at the damp
parallelogram of folded paper; but it was
his custom, to tantalise himself agreeably
before satisfying his curiosity. He dallied
with the little stone-coloured strips that held
the journal in a cross, and bore his name and
address, before he liberated it; and was
glancing at the first column when he was
startled by a melancholy shriek of wind that
came up the Rue de Sevres, mingled with the
crash of falling tiles and chimneypots, the
dashing of shutters, and the loud splashing of
the rain.

"Whew! peste!" ejaculated Doctor Dubois,
in a tone of pleasant wonder, "what a night!
How fortunate it is that I am not called out.
This weather will protect me. All my friends
are going on nicely, bless them! No one is
in danger of a crisis. Madame Favre has
promised to wait till to-morrow. Nothing
but a very desperate case could make peopte
disturb me at such a time. Decidedly, I shall
have one quiet evenhig this week."

The words were scarcely out of the doctor's
mouth when the bell of the apartment rang
violently. A physiognomist would have been
delighted with the sudden change from
complacent security to peevish despair that took
place on the doctor's countenance. He placed
both his hands firmly on his knees; and, turning
round towards the door, waited for the
announcement that was to chase him from his
comfortable fireside.

"My poor gentleman," said Bobonne,
bustling in with a platter, on which was the
expected coffee; "you must be off at once.
Here is a lad who will not believe that you
are out, although I told him you are from
home, twice. He says that his mother is

"Diable!" exclaimed Doctor Dubois, half
in compassion, half in anger. "Give me my
coffeetell him to come in. Where are my
boots? Indeed if she be dyingreally dying
I am scarcely wanted. A priest would
have been more suitable. However, duty,
duty, duty."

"We shall be eternally grateful," said a
young man, who, without waiting to be
summoned, had entered the room, but who had
only caught the last words. "When duty is
willingly performed, it is doubly worthy."

"Certainly, sir," replied the doctor,
questioning Bobonne with his eyebrows, to know
whether his previous grumbling could have
been overheard. "I shall be with you
directly. Warm yourself by the fire, my dear
young man, whilst I arm myself for combat."

The youthwho was tall and slight, not
more than eighteen years of agewalked
impatiently up and down the room, whilst Doctor
Dubois pulled on his boots, swallowed his
scalding coffee, wriggled into his great coat,
half strangled himself with his muffler, and
received his umbrella from the attentive

"I have a fiacre," said the youth.

"So much the better," quoth Doctor Dubois;
"but precautions never do any harm. Now l am
ready. You see a man may still be sprightly
at fifty. Go to bed, Bobonne; and take a
little tisanethat cough of yours must be
cared forhot, mind."

The buxom housekeeper followed her master
to the door; and no old bachelor who witnessed
the little attentions with which she persecuted
himbuttoning his coat tighter, pulling
his muffler higher over his chin, giving a tug
to the brim of his hat, and, most significant
of all, stopping him in the passage to turn up
his trousers nearly to his knees, lest they
might be spoiled by the mudno one of the
doctor's bachelor friends who witnessed all
this (and the occurrence was frequent) failed
to envy the doctor his excellent housekeeper.