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mistaken in some such way, and more than
once it has occurred to people to make, on
their own account, a certain blunder, which
Goldsmith has immortalised. This blunder,
I, when I ought to have known better, was
incautious enough one day to commit.

In the year one thousand eight hundred and
forty-eight, I was engaged in a tour through
the bye-ways of Germany, on horseback.
During this tour I found myself, one summer
morning, drawing near to the small town of
Maikommen, in the Palatinate. Though the
dawn had been cloudless, the noon threatened
a storm, and already the big drops struck on
the ground. Respect for my baggage, which
consisted of two shirts, three books, and a
pair of stockings, made me look for shelter.

The heavy drops fell faster as I cantered on
at a brisk pace, and just at the entrance of
the little town rode through a pair of broad
gates into what I took for the inn-yard.
Having stabled my horse in a remarkably
clean stall, I ran into the house, and got under
cover, just as the first peal of thunder rattled
among the distant hills, and the rain had
begun plashing down in earnest. A pretty
child sucked its thumbs in the passage.
"Quick, little puss," said I, shaking the
raindrops from my hat, " tell somebody to come
to me!" " Mamma," the child cried, running
in, " here is a strange gentleman."

A pleasant-looking woman, witli a homely
German face, came out of an adjoining room
with the child clinging to her dress, and
asked me what I wanted?

"Some dinner," I answered, " and a bottle
of your best wine."

"Go and tell father to come," said the
woman, looking at me curiously. A tall,
good-humoured man of about fifty made his
appearance, and I repeated my desire in a
tone somewhat more authoritative. He
laughed, and the wife laughed, and the child
shrieked with laughter. But I had met with
many curiosities among the German
Innkeepers in remote country places, and, being
willing to let these people see that, though an
Englishman, I was also good-humoured, I
joined their laugh, and then asked, with a
grave face, when the table-d'hôte would be
served?

"We keep no table d'hôte,'' replied the
husband.

"Well," I said, " but notwithstanding, you
will let me have some dinner, I suppose? I
have come a long way, and it is far to the
next town. Besides, it rains!"

"Certainly, it rains! " replied the man, with
a phlegmatic look over the puddles in the
court-yard.

At this moment a clattering of plates, a
steam of soup, and a sweet odour of fresh
cucumber, attracted my attention. I said
immediately that I was quite willing to dine
at their table. By this time the child had
got over its fear, and was at play with my
riding-whip ; a few caressing words of mine
towards the little one, had reassured its
mother. She spoke for a moment in patois
with her husband ; aud then bade the servant
lay another knife and fork.

I rather liked my landlord's eccentricity;
so, tapping him upon the shoulder in a friendly
way, I desired that he would let me have a
bottle of his very best wine; and by way of
propitiating him still more, I feigned to have
heard a good deal of his cellar, and requested
to see it.

"O, very well," he said; " follow me, if you
please."

He took me down into a cellar capitally
stocked, and there we tasted a good many
wines. My landlord seemed to be in the
best temper.

"And what," I asked, " is the price of that
white wine in the thin long-necked bottles?"

I despair of getting its colossal name down
upon paper, or I would try it; he gave it
a great many syllables, and said it was the
choicest and most expensive wine he had.

"Then," said I, "that is what we will
drink to-day. I will take a bottle to myself,
and you another; you shall drink it with
me."

"You are very kind," he said; " but let me
recommend some other bin; this wine you
will find isis very heady."

I thought that, like a thrifty host, he had
some qualm about my means of paying for it;
so I seized, manfully, a bottle in each hand,
and crying, " Come along! " accompanied the
host into the dining-room.

The wine deserved its praise; opening our
hearts, it soon made us famous friends. I
had been pleased with the scenery about this
quiet nook, and, being master of my time, and
very comfortable, I made up my mind and said,

"I tell you what, my friend. I shall send
for my things from Heidelberg, and stay here
for a week or two."

The laughter again pealed out; but my
host, who probably had seen quite enough of
a guest who insisted upon drinking his best
wine, put on a grave face. It looked like an
innkeeper's face, when he is buckling himself
up to strike a bargain. To save him trouble,
I at once said that I would pay three florins
a day for myself, and one, for the accommodation
of my horse.

"He thinks we keep an inn! " the little
child screamed through her laughter. I
instantly collapsed.

Now Ready, Price 3s. in cloth, the
VOLUME FOR 1851 OF
THE HOUSEHOLD NARRATIVE
OF CURRENT EVENTS;
Which being declared by the judgment of the Court of
Exchequer, a legal publication not coming within the
provisions of the Stamp Act, will be regularly continued and
much improved.
A Number is published at the end of each Month.

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