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The room was beautifully decorated. First
and foremost there was that cornice of
human faces gazing down from the lofty
gallery; secondly, a raised platform for the
Court, all carpetted and decorated with
green-house plants, with a fountain playing
before the seat intended for the Queen, the
water for which said fountain, I understood,
was being constantly pumped up by an
unlucky man beneath the ball-room floor. This
idea made the fountain, to me, rather a fatigue
than a refreshment. Upon the platform,
which was guarded by green stone lions, and
behind rows of crimson velvet and gilt chairs
arranged for the Court, rose a tent of crimson
and gold, beneath which were displayed a
number of warlike trophies, flags, cannon,
arms of all kinds, in picturesque array; above
them, glowed in fire, a gigantic M, the initial
letter of the King's name. Armour, helmets,
and breast-plates of various ages, and guns,
swords, and pistols, arranged in groups, and
forming columns, and stars, and wheels,
as we see them in the Armoury at the
Tower, flanked the tent, on either hand;
tall fir-trees shadowing them, palms and
tender flowersPeace and Love, as it were
drooping over, and twining about these
implements of torture and horror, in strange
contrast. Quick, keen tongues of flame leapt
up, ever and anon, from brazen lamps, like
types of destroying fire, as the weapons were
of bloodshed. But both fire and sword
produced a wild and poetical impression,
thus used in ball-room decoration.

Thirdly, the two long sides of the room
were rendered gay and attractive by green
bowers, regular arbours of fir-tree boughs,
intertwined with wreaths of artificial flowers,
beneath which were throned, in each, an
elegant lady and gentleman, disposing of
shares in the lottery; whilst at the end of
the room the prizes were displayed upon
long stalls, bearing a strong resemblance to a
scene in our Oxford Street Pantheon. There
were numbers of capital things to be won;
besides work-tables and easy-chairs, and
dressing-cases, and thousands of elegant and
inelegant knick-knacks which one would be
thankful not to win; there was, at least if
report was to be believed, a statuette, in
marble, of the "Bavaria," by Schwanthaler
himself, and sent by Queen Theresa. That
would have been a prize! I dare say,
however, if it was there, that, by some singular
freak of Fortune, it would find its way back
again to Court. Such things will happen!
I saw lots of capital things carried up the
steps of the royal platformgay parasols and
lace handkerchiefs. As for us!—poor wretched
mortals, we got nothing out of numberless
chancesnot one of us. But a young officer
who joined our party, and who, I dare say,
never swallowed half-a-dozen cups of tea in
his life, won a tea-caddy! He did not seem,
at all, to know what it was. I know Fortune
meant that caddy for meit is a pity she is
so blind! A tea-caddy is one of my idols; I
would have one made of gold if I could! I
deserved to have had that tea-caddy!—that
young fellow ought to have had a beer-
tankard, or a tobacco pouch! Well, Fortune
certainly had her eyes bandaged on that
occasion.

The drawing of prizes continued all evening,
even during the dancing. But no dancing, of
course, commenced until the Court arrived.

All at once we saw some half-dozen little
men in blue uniforms, with white ribbons in
their button-holes, rushing through the crowd,
which parted before them, like the Red Sea
before the children of Israel, and on came the
courtly train, two by two, a brilliant
procession of uniforms, and satins, and brocades,
and diamonds. Poor King Max was ill with
influenza, which is attacking everybody here,
and therefore was not present. But the
young Queen was there, attended, if I mistake
not, by King Otho; but, as he wore his
uniform, instead of his handsome Albanian dress,
I did not immediately recognise him. The
human wall, on either side, bowed,
enthusiastically, as their Royalties and their Serene
Highnesses passed on, the Queen, especially,
acknowledging their loyalty by her most
gracious smiles. She wore a brilliant tiara
of diamonds, and a rich pink satin dress, and
had chains of diamonds round her neck, and
her arms were loaded with bracelets. She
looked rather different to my simple, peasant-
like ideal; but her face was lovely and kind,
and in that expression of kindness lay an
infinite charm. What a study of faces was
here! I read in many of them strange
histories of court life and intrigue; but with
that we have, now, nothing to do.

There were numbers of court ladies, young
and old, all very grand, and princes and
dukes in abundance; they all proceeded to
the platform, and took their seats, chatting
among themselves, and seeming very merry.
Soon they again descended, to walk the stately
Polonnaise round the ball-room; the grand
ladies returning, however, to their crimson
chairs of state, whilst many of the gentlemen
might be seen moving amongst the crowd.
And soon, when a waltz began, behold Prince
Adelbert dancing with a citizen's daughter,
and various other of the grandees dancing
away with equally plebeian partners. That
was all very rightwas it not? If they were
the guests of the citizens, as on this occasion
they were, it was right to associate with
citizens. I saw the King of Greece talking to
all sorts of people as merrily as could be.
There was, however, very little space for
dancingjust a circle for the waltzers, and
that was all.

We ourselves were neither aristocratic
enough, nor yet plebeian enough, to dance at
all; therefore, we stood in a good place and
looked on, and a most amusing scene we
beheld.

At the first glance, from the uniforms being

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