category:Leisure puzzle


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    百世国际It was the dead season of Paris, and everything had the air of suspended animation. The solitude of the Place Vendome was something oppressive; I felt, as I trod its lonely sidewalk, as if I were wandering through Tadmor in the Desert. We were indeed as remote, as unfriended,--I will not say as melancholy or as slow,--as Goldsmith by the side of the lazy Scheldt or the wandering Po. Not a soul did either of us know in that great city. Our most intimate relations were with the people of the hotel and with the drivers of the fiacres. These last were a singular looking race of beings. Many of them had a dull red complexion, almost brick color, which must have some general cause. I questioned whether the red wine could have something to do with it. They wore glazed hats, and drove shabby vehicles for the most part; their horses would not compare with those of the London hansom drivers, and they themselves were not generally inviting in aspect, though we met with no incivility from any of them. One, I remember, was very voluble, and over-explained everything, so that we became afraid to ask him a question. They were fellow-creatures with whom one did not naturally enter into active sympathy, and the principal point of interest about the fiacre and its arrangements was whether the horse was fondest of trotting or of walking. In one of our drives we made it a point to call upon our Minister, Mr. McLane, but he was out of town. We did not bring a single letter, but set off exactly as if we were on a picnic.


    On our way back from Stonehenge we stopped and took a cup of tea with a friend of our host, Mr. Nightingale. His house, a bachelor establishment, was very attractive to us by the beauty within and around it. His collection of "china," as Pope and old-fashioned people call all sorts of earthenware, excited the enthusiasm of our host, whose admiration of some rare pieces in the collection was so great that it would have run into envy in a less generous nature.


    3.After the race we had a luncheon served us, a comfortable and substantial one, which was very far from unwelcome. I did not go to the Derby to bet on the winner. But as I went in to luncheon, I passed a gentleman standing in custody of a plate half covered with sovereigns. He politely asked me if I would take a little paper from a heap there was lying by the plate, and add a sovereign to the collection already there. I did so, and, unfolding my paper, found it was a blank, and passed on. The pool, as I afterwards learned, fell to the lot of the Turkish Ambassador. I found it very windy and uncomfortable on the more exposed parts of the grand stand, and was glad that I had taken a shawl with me, in which I wrapped myself as if I had been on shipboard. This, I told my English friends, was the more civilized form of the Indian's blanket. My report of the weather does not say much for the English May, but it is generally agreed upon that this is a backward and unpleasant spring.
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