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terrified to entertain them at such a time.
What was going on elsewhere in the house
was like some very horrible game at hide and
seek, with the addition that the person who
was to jump out upon the seekers (in the
very terrifying manner peculiar to that
game) would probably have a loaded pistol in
one hand and a loaded stick in the other. As
doors opened and shut the noise of the
search increased or diminished, but we could
almost always hear something of it in a
"There he is, Prince; give it him with the
poker," from Mr. Lionel, who enjoyed the hunt
amazingly; or in the more serious— "Come
out, you ruffian, or I'll shoot you like a
dog," from Sir Walter, when he imagined that
the object of his pursuit was harbouring in
this or that dark corner. Once we heard a
gun go off, and then a tremendous trampling
of feet, which made us all cling to one
another in terror; but the Count de
Milletonneres appeared immediately afterwards
to calm our fears by explaining that the
weapon had gone off by accident.

"We are now," he added "about to search
the cellars, ladies, and thenunless from an
overstrained philanthropy you are yourselves
concealing this gentlemanwe shall not
know where to look for him."

A little more opening and shutting of
doors, a few calls for candles, a smothered
voice or two from underneath the Hall itself,
and thensilence. We were now left entirely
unprotected, and out of the reach of masculine

"Gracious goodness! " cried Miss Emmeline,
"only think if the gentlemen should
have looked over him somewhere, and he
were to come out upon us now!"

This was precisely the idea which we were
each of us endeavouring to banish from our
minds, and which, expression having been
thus given to it, repossessed us with
redoubled strength. I do not suppose that
thirteen women ever passed such a quarter
of an hour in company before. There was
not a single word spoken by any of us till
the gentlemen re-appeared. The search was
then given up as utterly fruitless, and we
retired to our respective rooms just as it was
about getting daylight.

The worst part of this terrible story
remains behind. When the housemaids went
about their work the next morning, they
found in that bay window upon the stairs,
and within one of those curtains in front of
the flirting-place, the list-slippers which the
burglar had worn over his hob-nailed shoes;
the prints of which were visible under the
window he had escaped by.

The robber had been standingin blue
satinin the very centre of us during
all those weary hours. He had listened to our
conversation, and been the subject of itthe
receptacle of our fears and our re-assurances.
Nay, it is more than probable that we had
leant against him confidentially, under the
very false impression that he was only a
curtain-peg. Certainly no individual of his
position in the social scale was ever in the
intimate and domestic society of so many
ladies of fashion before. Miss Emmeline,
in particular, had made no stranger of him; but,
as I have observed, had even exhibited her
luxuriant tresses en papillote.

The Count de Milletonneres persists in
stating that we purposely concealed this
unhappy wretch from his pursuers.


ONLY a very few years ago, it was
estimated by competent authority that almanacks
were the only literary food of fifteen millions
of Frenchmen. The sole exception that can
be taken to the statement is, that the classes
who have hitherto devoured the almanacks
are equally delighted with the curious old
series of romances known as La Bibliothèque
Bleue; but as the almanacks are annuals,
or periodical literature, while the Bibliothèque
is a collection of standards receiving no
increase or alteration, the importance of the
almanacks remains uncontroverted. The
Blue Library is so named, because the books
composing it, although already antique when
the Edinburgh Review made its advent, are
also stitched in azure covers. To this series
of nursery tale-books owe their Valentine
and Orson, while Wieland and Weber have
borrowed from it the framework of their
epic and their opera respectively. Both
Oberons are modern versions of Huon of
Bordeaux. The History of the Four Sons
Aymon and Gallien Restored are still highly
popular amongst the French peasantry; but
the glories both of the Blue Library and of
the almanacks are waning fast before an
insidious, steady-progressing, fast-increasing
invader, who is all the more dangerous,
because he presents himself in such humble
guise as to excite contempt rather than

Of late, there have been several literary
revolutions in France in point of the form
and mode of issue of books, the substance of
the literature remaining the same. Each
change was a bidding for the favour of the
multitude. One remarkable innovation was,
that innumerable standard as well as modern
works, mostly, though not entirely, fictitious
narrative, were published in quarto, with
two columns of type on each page, and
liberally illustrated with wood engravings, often
good. They were cheap, and had an immense
run. For travelling purposes, for sticking
into your pocket rolled up into a wisp when
you had a chance of being waylaid by wet
weather in country quarters, they were
excellent, taken separately; collectively, they
were too limp and thin to stand upright
on a bookshelf, unless bound in volumes;
when they became unwieldy to handle and
perusefor the age of reading-desks has

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