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were admitted to the table at all; for of
old, according to the general custom in
the East, the lords of the creation used to
eat alone, whilst the women attended on
them with the servants. We were served at
table by Zigans dressed in sheepskin tunics
like all their fellows, and with loose Turkish
trousers. They were more numerous than
the guests, and seemed as handy and
dexterous as Parisian waiters.

Whilst we were enjoying our pipes, we saw
through the open window a number of
persons on horseback, accompanied by a great
waggon, drawn by six oxen. In it we could
discover a crowd of elegant bonnets of the
last Parisian fashion; and were told, on
inquiry, that a party collected at the residence
of another Boyard in the neighbourhood had
been invited over to spend the evening.
Shortly afterwards, indeed, we were
summoned from the table by the sound of a
waltz; and on returning to the saloon, were
ordered instantly to seek for partners. We
noticed that Yellow Pelisse got up rather
solemnly from his seat; but fell down upon
it again, overcome either by champagne or
jealousy; for he did not make his appearance
until an hour afterwards, when he whispered
confidentially to everybody that he had taken
four cups of black coffee.

With the exception of the odd effects
produced by the contrast of the Eastern
costumes of the men and the European dress of
the women, there was little to distinguish this
from an European soirée. The Boyard sat
like a pacha in the corner of his divan,
smoking a narghileh, and was now and then
joined by some of the dancers. From time
to time a slave brought round ices and sherbets.
There was a good deal of flirtation,
and the black eyes of Miss Amine Zlonasko
left a deep impression upon one of my
companions. Also, there was almost a quarrel
between Yellow Pelisse and a young Boyard
of the neighbourhood who was too particular
in his pretensions to Mademoiselle Lanszneck.
However, these are not characteristic traits.
It is more necessary, perhaps, to mention,
that about eleven o'clock most of the young
men gave up dancing on pretence of fatigue,
and disappeared into a side room; where, on
following them, we found that they were
playing at cards for pretty high stakes.
Gambling is one of the principal plagues of
all semi-civilised Eastern countries. It is a
lazy amusement and suits the temperament
of the people. Many Boyards in former
times have been known to gamble for their
serfs; and an instance is mentioned in which a
thousand Zigans changed masters by a single
turn of the cards. On the present occasion
matters did not go so far; but Yellow Pelisse, on
whom the black coffee had not produced its
proper effect, lost a horse, and the Boyard
himself was cleared of some hundred roubles.

Meanwhile, the ladies, deserted by their
partners, were singing or playing at pigeon
vole, the vicissitudes of which game produced
roars of laughter. My friend joined in, and
his presence of mind having been entirely
destroyed by the black eyes, was constantly
caught napping. One of his punishments
was characteristic. It was imposed by a
sprightly little widow; who ordered him to
go and risk five dollars in a bet for her profit
at the card table. He did so; and had the
satisfaction of handing her over sufficient, as
she said, to pay for a new bonnet.

The party broke up rather late, and we
were not sorry to be shown at length into a
nice little room, with a comfortable French
bedstead, upon which we threw ourselves
quite worn out by our long morning's ride,
and the excitement which had succeeded it.
My friend told me next morning that he had
dreamed of nothing but black eyeswe mean
those of Mademoiselle Amineand he was in
despair when we appeared at a late breakfast,
to hear that the young lady had fluttered
away on a visit to a distant villa.


IT must be owned, that real living flowers
are fragile beings. They have a butterfly
existence as well as a butterfly beauty, when
worn on the person or in the dress. On this
account the making of artificial flowers
becomes a really desirable and beautiful art, in
so far as the productions are correct imitations
of natural flowers. Approximations of
course they can only be; but in respect to
colour and form, these approximations are
now wonderfully close. We are not quite
certain whether attempts have yet been made
to give to each imitative flower the scent
which belongs to the real flower; but there
would seem to be no insuperable difficulties
in the matter, provided the taste of the
wearers tended in that direction.

If we cut open an artificial flower to see
how it is made, and how enabled to behave
itself beautifully, we shall see not a little to
excite our surprise and approval. Here, in
this group, every petal, every leaf, every stem,
every bud, every calyx, every stamen and
pistil, and stigma and anther, is imitated with
surprising closeness and success. And if we
examine further, we find how much tact is
displayed in selecting materials and
substances suitable for the imitative purposes.
The petals of flowers are imitated not only
by cambric, but by ribbon, feathers, silk-
worm cocoons, taffeta, velvet, and even thin
laminæ of stained whalebone. The stems,
made of wire, have an envelope of coloured
paper or silk, or some other substance varying
according to the texture of the real stem.
The leaves are mostly of cambric, but
sometimes of other woven material. Seeds and buds
and small fruit give rise to a busy search for
successful counterfeits among bits of glass
and bits of wax and other morsels. All this,
be it remembered, relates to the ordinary

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