ere we know something about the cost of things, we are continually conscious of the fallacy embodied in the statement that a sovereign is equal to twenty shillings. We know that in theory that is so; but we know also that it is so only as long as the sovereign remains unchanged. Change it and it is worth next to nothing--half a sovereign and a little loose silver. But in Holland the disparity is even more pathetic. To change a sovereign there strikes one as the most ridiculous business transaction of one's life.
Certain things in Holland are dear beyond all understanding. At The Hague, for example, we drank Eau d'Evian, a very popular bottled water for which in any French restaurant one expects to pay a few pence; and when the bill arrived this simple fluid cut such a dashing figure in it that at first I could not recognise it at all. When I put the matter to the landlord, he explained that the duty made it impossible for him to charge less than f. 1.50 (or half a crown) a bottle; but I am told that hi
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