Held firm in the grasp of this wizard of words, we smile whether we will or no. But could any one withhold laughing sympathy from him who sees in the mosquito the true Italian question? How very few of us as visitors have not felt that "to be a really good guest and at ease under alien roofs it is necessary, I suspect, to have no home ties of one's own; certainly to have no very tyrannical habits." We are just as irresistibly drawn toward a study of John Leech, Thackeray's school fellow. However varied the interests of Mr. Lucas, they become our own.
erintended all. They spared nothing for the comfort of the house. Foolish innkeepers no doubt existed who were cheese-parers, but not he. He knew that wherever else economy was wise, it was not in the dining-room. Were not the meals generous and diversified? Could I name a more abundant collazione at 4 lire or a better pranzo at 5? Or served with more despatch? Was not his wine sound and far from dear?
And yet, four years ago, and all inexplicably, the star had gone from his hotel. It was monstrous, an outrage. Four years ago--without warning and for no cause.
When he had looked at the new edition of Baedeker which a visitor had left about and saw it, he could not believe his eyes. He had called his wife--every one: they were also incredulous. It was like a thunderbolt, and earthquake. After all their hard work too, their desire to please, their regular customers, so contented, who came again and again. Was not that the test--that they came again and again? Obviously t
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