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I HUMBLY desire, dear readers, to pot. You find the noise a little please you if I can, and therefore trying at first, don't you? The hasten to gratify an aspiration which crockery does seem to be possessed lurks in all novel-readers' hearts-- with devils, and every glass in the to "get into the thick of the busi- room must have St Vitus's dance. ness at once.” So come with me Every one seems to be impatient at and be summarily introduced to one first — hungry, angry, vociferous. or two principal personages of this What tempers these waiters must little drama. Let us take them have! Outside the window a stringunawares, let us surprise them while band is playing a selection from the they sit at meat,-eating, drinking, 'Barbiere. Could anything be more and (some of them, at least) making appropriate? “ Figaro quò, Figaro merry, on the margin of the Lake !shrieks the band. “ Kellner!" of Como, in one of the pleasantest Garçon!Cameriere!” “Waithotels in Europe, the “ Bellevue," er !shout the guests; and through at Cadenabbia. And do thou, all the crush and the bustle these old Time, turn back in thy flight admirable men glide about-here, a few short years, and suffer us to there, everywhere, breathless and enter the table-d'hôte room of the perspiring, but full of polyglot pohotel in question, on the bright liteness and attention. The only evening of an early summer day calm, still, cool-looking object in in 187

the room is that tremendous headThe banquet is spread. The waiter in the buff waistcoat, standing guests are assembled or assembling. near the door, in Jove-like serenity. They are of many nationalities, of The guests, as they enter, pause diverse ranks, of most ages ; each before him to ask where they may of the three sexes is represented, place themselves. In that august for more than one palpable curate presence they appear to peak and bows his meek head over the flesh- dwindle. He is too great to speak,



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