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A HANDFUL OF FOREIGN MONEY.

"WHAT have you had, M's'r?" "Demi tasse,
p'tit verre, flûte." "Six et trois, douze, dix-
neuf."  The civil garçon (who has a chin-
tuft a guardsman might envy, and a white
neckcloth more like that of a Cabinet Minister
than the flaccid unwholesome wisp of limp
calico that our English waiters twist round
their throats,) goes through a rapid act of
calculation of the extent of my consommation
at the café; where I have read seventeen
newspapers, and have imbibed two little cups
of coffee (with a suspicion of cognac in the
last); where I have been served off marble,
silver, and porcelain, and have enjoyed,
besides, the supplementary privilege of sitting,
for as long a period as I liked, in a noble
saloon adorned with a sea of mirrors, whose
decorations à la Renaissance remind the
spectator, not unpleasantly, of the Salon d'Apollon
at the Louvre,—all for the consideration of
ninepence-halfpenny sterling.  Quite enough,
too, you will say; remembering the three-
halfpenny cup of coffee, the penny "slice", and
chicory-stamped periodicals of the London
café; but I must inform you likewise that
I have had the gratification of contemplating
a shining mahogany counter, with
a gorgeous service of plate thereon, and
an equally gorgeous "dame de comptoir"
behind it (the noblest study of mankind, begging
the poet's pardon, iswoman), and that I
might have played half-a-dozen games at
dominoes, and have popped what remained
of my saucer full of lump-sugar into my
pocket, had I felt so disposed.  But, enough:
I will take a walk in the Elysian fields.  I
give the garçon a ten-franc piece, and he
returns me a handful of change.  He is
thankful for the odd halfpenny of which I
beg his acceptance, not however pocketing it
but dropping it into a species of electoral urn
common to his brother waiters, and which is
the repository, I opine, of their honoraria,
though whether the proceeds are devoted to
the rehabilitation of their white neckcloths
the purchase of ball tickets for the Salle
Valentino, or the support of a widow and
orphan's fund, I am unable to say.  Then the
garçon gives me my hat, and, executing
mesmeric passes with his napkin, bows me
out like a lord.  Truly, civility costs but little,
but it will purchase a good many things in
this world.

I cross the Place de la Concorde, always in
my eyes a chef d'œuvre of architectural
magnificence, but in which, each time I visit Paris,
I still find workmen employed, making it
more magnificent still.  The Grand Avenue
the Champs Elysées is crowded with
fashionable equipages, checquered here and
here by omnibuses, waggons, and washer-
womens' carts. Fleet Street commingles here
with Rotten Row.  I sit down on one of the
Benches (not on one of the chairs, in good
sooth, for harpies hover there about them,
fierce and implacable in their demands for
retributory sous), and eye the aristocratic
turn-outs complacently.  There are some
anomalous vehicles certainly, some queer
liveries, and a few samples of harness,
heraldry, and horses that would not pass
muster in Long Acre; but on the whole I am
pleased.  Next to the pleasure of having a
carriage and horses of your own comes that
of admiring and criticising those of your
neighbours.  Provided always that you have
dined, and have an unimpaired digestion.

I am a little late, though, for this amusement.
Towards seven o'clock the grand
carriages bear their occupants home, or to
ministerial banquets.  The chief of the State
drives by in a pony phaeton, handling
the ribbons himself prettily, and takes the
road into the Faubourg St. Honoré, where
his palace is.  A long string of carriages and
prancing cavaliers, sitting their horses more
or less abominably to English eyes, follow
him; and the carts and waggons bound
towards Neuilly or Boulogne begin to be in
the majority.  Meanwhile, I have been jingling
my handful of change in my dexter palm;
glancing at the smirking little soldiers in red
trousers, and at the bonnes and little children
in go-carts and leading strings; listening
lazily to the tattoo of the drums and the fan-
fare of the trumpets calling home the warriors
of France to their barracks; luxuriously
inhaling the calm summer evening air, and
wondering where the smoke can be; in short,
abandoning myself to the delights of doing
nothing with that intensity which only those
who are compelled to work hard at intervals
can appreciate.

Man being a thinking animalat least he

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