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great pride in his boots, and especially in a
pair of rather elaborate English boot-trees I
had, which I found him often taking to pieces
and putting together for the amusement of a
numerous court) to grilling a chicken with
red peppers, or roasting an egg. At last,
however, he got drunkonce, twice, often
every dayand went a wooing in my clothes;
he even went to the extent of borrowing my
name and getting in debt for me, and at last
the evil day came, and I found him out. I
felt very much disposed to lecture and keep
him; but the thing was impossible. The
whole town, a little one, was in an uproar
about him, for he had actually appeared at a
public ball in my uniform, and danced with
one of the stiffest-backed old maids of the
place, who was half wild about it. Reluctantly,
therefore, I was obliged to bid him goodbye,
and in the course of doing so, being led into
some rather sharp remarks, he drew himself
up, answered grandly, said he was a noble,
and actually challenged me. Indeed, mortally
afraid of some ridiculous scene, I was glad
enough to get rid of him by changing my
tone, and at last he left me with the bow of a
prince, and a speech that nobody but an
Hungarianor an Irishmanwould have had
the consummate impudence to make.

A plague on that nobility: I had a French
valet, too, who said, and I believe with truth,
that he was the representative of one of the
most ancient families in France, and showed
me documents proving his descent from one
who had made a figure in the twelfth century.
Of course he robbed merobbed me in a
mean, dirty way, that might have done
disgrace even to a thimble-rig manand then
wrote me a letter, such a letter! all about his
nobility, and his sword, and his shield, and
his honour (!) with all the rest of it; but I
never heard of him afterwards.

Indeed, if there Is one thing more than
another that travelling will do for a thinking
man, it is the honest and hearty contempt
that it will instill into himinevitably, and
no matter with what ideas he startedfor
birth without worth. Heaven and Earth!
what is this nonsense to which we have been
so long bowing the knee? What, in the name
of common sense, can it matter to any human
being who were the ancestors of a dullard
or a rogue? What is there to be proud of,
in the thought that your great grandmother
was the mistress of a prince; or that the
founder of your family ravished wealth
from the helpless in an unjust war; or
received nobility from a King for betraying his
country?  And then would not reflection tell
the greatest goose that ever prided himself
upon his ancestry, that one need not go very
far back to find the whole of the inhabitants
of a country related to each other in degrees
of consanguinity more or less remote. Thus
far pride of birth may go, and no farther. A
man who comes of a wealthy house can give
in early life, at least, a sort of pledge to the
world that he does not go into society with
sinister intentions, and that is all; for we
have only to look at the sons of the best and
greatest men who ever lived, to see that no one
virtue or good quality, no graceno, not even
common sense and common honesty are
hereditary. Out upon such vulgar nonsense
as muddles the brains (if they have any) of
Tufts and Tufthunters, with the first Christian
Baron, with the bearer of the sounding
name of Montmorenci in the House of
Correction for a libel! To dignity and honour
which a man has fairly won in the strife of
the world all hail! They may be the just
reward of wisdom and integrityat all events,
they are the meed promised to it; but a fig
for a man whose only claims to respect are
the honours of his grandfather. Our
hereditary nobility is bad and nonsensical enough,
where there is usually only one of a stock;
but, abroad, they swarm over the lands like
flights of locusts, and are usually so base and
mean, so low, so utterly worthless as a class
(I am not of course speaking of individuals),
that no wonder, when writing of a roguish.
valet, I was reminded of them.


YACHTING is a pleasant mode of travelling
with a very pleasant party of people, all
intimate enough to pull well together, yet
not such old acquaintances as to have told
all their best stories to each other, and have
nothing left to say. I know few things that
require more care and management than the
selection of a good yachting party. A political
dinner given by a county magnate is nothing
to it, although that is an awkward thing
enough to manage well. One sulky or
disagreeable fellow will spoil all the pleasure of
the trip, for there is no getting rid of him,
and a six months' cruise with a bore is a
weary business. If a man who does not belong
to a yacht club, and has not a yacht of his
own, wishes to have a cruise, I recommend
him rather to hire than buy a vessel. A very
good one, manned and all, may be got for
a hundred pounds a month; and, supposing
your party to consist of six or eight, it is very
cheap travelling; and a loitering, lazy cruise
in the summer seas of the Mediterranean,
with good books and cheery people, is a thing
to remember with pleasure as long as you

One of the most important points in yachting
is to have a careful, experienced, and
thoroughly trustworthy captain. It may be all
very well to be your own captain now and
then, if you were once a midshipman, and are
fond of amateur navigating; but winds will
blow rough and keen, and nights will
sometimes be wet and cold, and gentlemen
will be sleepy, or the ladies in the cabin
will be more attractive society than the
compass and the helm, and it is pleasant
to know one can go to sleep if one likes, even
on a dark night with a dirty sky. A hundred

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