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instance, the young princess dipped her fingers into the perfume, and passed them over the breast and shoulders of the Resident; the queen's uncles, who were among the company, anointed all the other Europeans; afterwards, trays containing limes, almonds, and spices were presented to each of us, garlands of jasmine were then thrown round our necks, and we rose to make our salaam to her majesty, who dismissed us very graciously. We next proceeded to the residence of the Begum's mother-a very common-looking and plainly-dressed old woman who received us with great respect. We also paid our devoirs to her two sons, who resided in another part of the city. We were invited by all these good people to entertainments at their respective houses ; the invitations were accepted as a matter of course. Upon the appointed days we left our camp at sunset to go to the dwellings of our hospitable friends, where we were received with great honour, and entertained by native music and “Nautch” (dancing-girls) until dinner was announced, when our hosts withdrew, and we were conducted to another apartment, where the repast was served in the European style, with the addition of some of the best native dishes, such as wet and dry curries, pilaos, kabobs, and sweetmeats covered with rice, coloured blue, green, and yellow ; everything most excellently cooked. We were attended by our own servants, and were quite as much at home as when we dined in camp. After the meal, our hosts rejoined us, chatted away, and listened to the music of Sir R. H—'s band, which always accompanied us. We generally returned to camp about ten o'clock. All these feasts were exactly alike, the one being but a repetition of the other.

Before our departure from Bhopal, the Resident inspected the fort and arsenal, and reviewed all the troops in the Begum's pay-an affair which came off with tolerable éclat, although some of the blunders of the soldiers caused us great amusement. We rode about the city and its environs, and visited the cactus-girt mausoleums of the deceased kings and warriors in the gardens or orchards to which I have previously alluded. One view from the Indore road is strikingly picturesque: it is the lake, about two miles from the city, that magnificent mirror of water, with its beautifully wooded banks and its little fishing.craft.

Our camp was constantly frequented by "puhlwans" (athletes), jugglers, snake-charmers, and rope-dancers. Some of the performances upon the tight-rope were really very wonderful; amongst others, I witnessed that of a wizened old man, who, having fastened a pair of slippery cow's horns to his feet, somewhat after the manner of skates, danced upon the rope with the greatest facility : a feat which certainly surpassed any I had ever seen in England or on the Continent. The Hindoos are remarkable for the suppleness of their joints; they turn summersets, and twist their bodies into every imaginable form. They are reckoned the most swift-footed race in Asia, but are not equal in speed to an Englishman, whose long stride and powerful muscular action would soon carry him ahead of his light-bodied competitor in a trial of one or two hundred yards.

The week I spent at Bhopal was one of the happiest I ever spent in India, and I shall long remember with pleasure the noble hospitality and the kind and affable manners of the Resident at Indore.

481

OUR COUNTRY QUARTERS.

BY ONIDA.

I REMEMBER well the day that we (that is, the 110th Lancers) were ordered down to Layton Rise. Savage enough we all were to quit Pfor that detestable country place. Many and miserable were the tales we raked up of the ennui we had experienced at other provincial quarters; sadly we dressed for Lady Dashwood's ball, the last soirée before our departure. And then the bills and the billets-doux that rained down upon our devoted heads !

However, by some miracle we escaped them all; and on a bright April morning, 184—, we were en route for this Layton Rise, this terra incognita, as grumpy and as seedy as ever any poor demons were. But there was no help for it; so leaving, we flattered ourselves, a great many hearts the heavier for this order from the Horse Guards, we, as I said, set out for Layton Rise.

The only bit of good news that provoking morning had brought was that my particular chum, Drummond Fane, a captain of ours, who had been cutting about on leave from Constantinople to Kamschatka for the last six months, would join us at Layton. Fane was really a good fellow, a perfect gentleman (ça va sans dire, as he was one of ours), intensely plucky, knew, I believe, every language under the sun, and, as he had been tumbling about in the world ever since he went to Eton at eight years old, had done everything, seen everything, and could talk on every possible subject. He was a great favourite with ladies : I always wonder they did not quite spoil him. I have seen a young lady actually neglect a most eligible heir to a dukedom, that her mamma had been at great pains to procure for her, if this “ fascinating younger son” were by. For Fane was the younger son of the Earl of Avanley, and would, of course, every one said, one day retrieve his fortunes by marriage with some heiress in want of rank.

He has been my great friend ever since I, a small youth, spoilt by having come into my property while in the nursery, became his fag at Eton : and when I bought my commission in the 110th, of which he was a captain, our intimacy increased.

But revenons à nos moutons. On the road we naturally talked of Layton, wondering if there was any one fit to visit, anybody that gave good dinners, if there was a pack of hounds, a billiard-room, or any pretty girls. Suddenly the Honourable Ennuyé l'Estrange threw a little light on the matter, by recollecting, “now he thought of it, he believed that was where an uncle of his lived ; his name was Aspi-Aspinall--no! Aspeden."

“ Had he any cousins ?" was the inquiry. He "y'ally could not remember!" So we were left to conjure up imaginary Miss Aspedens, more handsome than their honourable cousin, who might relieve for us the monotony of country quarters. The sun was very bright as we entered Layton Rise; the clattering and clashing that we made soon brought out the inhabitants, and, lying in the light of a spring day, it did not seem such a very miserable little town after all. “Our mess

“ Well,

was established at the one good inn of the one good street of the place, and I and two other young subs fixed our residence at a grocer's, where a card of “Lodgings to let furnished” was embordered in vineleaves and roses.

As I was leaning out of the window smoking my last cigar before mess, with Sydney and Mounteagle stretched in equally elegant attitudes on equally hard sofas, I heard our grocer, a sleek little Methodist, addressing some party in the street with—“ I fear me I have done evil in admitting these young servants of Satan into mine habitation!” Nathan,” replied a Quaker, " thou didst it for the best, and verily these officers seem quiet and gentlemanly youths.” “Gentlemanlike,” I should say we were, rather—but “quiet!”-how we shouted over the innocent “ Friend's” mistake. Here the voices again resumed : “Doubtless, when the Aspedens return, there will be dances and devices of the Evil One, and Quelps will make a good time of it; however, the custom of ungodly men I would not take were it offered !” So these Aspedens were outconfound it! But the clock struck six ; so, flinging the remains of my cigar on the Quaker's broad-brimmed hat, adorned with which ornament he walked unconsciously away, we strolled down to the mess-room.

A few hours later some of them met in my room, and having sent out for some cards, which the grocer kindly wrapped in a tract against gambling, we had just sat down to loo, when the door was thrown open, and Captain Fane announced. A welcome addition !

Fane, by all that's glorious!”—“ Well, young one, how are you?” were the only salutations that passed between two men who were as true friends as any in England. Fane was soon seated among us, and telling us many a joke and tale. And so,” said he, “ we're sent down to ruralise? (Mounteagle, you are loo’d.')

loo'd.') Any one you know here?"

“Not a creature! I am awfully afraid we shall all be found dead of ennui one fine morning. I'll thank you for a little more punch, Fitzspur," said Sydney. “I suppose, as usual, Fane,” he continued, " you left at the very least twelve dozen German princesses, Italian marchesas, and French countesses dying for you?”

“My dear fellow,” replied Fane, "you are considerably under the mark (I'll take 'miss,' Paget !); but really, if women will fall in love with you, how can you help it? And if you will firt with them, how can they help it?"

“I see, Fane, your heart is as strong as ever," I added, laughing:

"Of course," answered the gallant captain ; " disinterested love is reserved for men who are too rich or too poor to mind its attendant evils. (The first, I must say, very rarely profit by the privilege!) No! I steel myself against all bright eyes and dancing curls not backed by a good dowry. Heiresses, though, somehow, are always plain ; I never could do my duty and propose to one, though, of course, whenever I do surrender my liberty, which I have not the smallest intention of at present, it will be to somebody with at least fifty thousand a year. Hearts trumps, Mount?”

Yes—hurrah! Paget's loo'd at last.-Here, my dear, let us have lots more punch !" said Mounteagle, addressing the female domestic, who was standing open-mouthed at the glittering pool of half-sovereigns.

I will spare the gentle reader—if I may flatter myself that I entertain a few such—a recital of the conversation which followed, and which was kept up until the very, very “small hours ;” also I will leave it to her imagination to picture how we spent the next few days, how we found out a few families worth visiting, how we inspired the Layton youths with a vehement passion for smoking, billiards, and the cavalry branch of the service, and how we and our gay uniforms and our prancing horses were the admiration of all the young damsels in the place.

One morning after parade, Fane and I, having nothing better to do, lighted our cigars and strolled down one of those shady lanes which almost reconcile one to the country-out of the London season. Seeing the gate of a park standing invitingly open, we walked in and threw ourselves down under the trees. “ Now we are in for it,” said Fane, “ if we are trespassing, and any adventurous-minded gamekeeper appears. Whose park is this?"

“ Mr. Aspeden's, Ennuyé told me. It's rather a nice place," I replied.

“ And that castle, of which mine eyes behold the turrets afar off?” he asked.

“ Lord Linton's, I believe ; the father of Jack Vernon, of the Rifles, you know," I answered.

" Indeed! I never saw the old gentleman, but I remember his daughter Beatrice-we had rather a desperate flirtation at Baden-Baden. She's a showy-looking girl," said the captain, stretching himself on the grass.

“Why did you not allow her the sublime felicity of becoming Lady Beatrice Fane?" I asked, laughing.

My dear fellow, she had not a sou! That old marquis is as poor as a church mouse. You forget that I am only a younger son, with not much besides my pay, and cannot afford to marry anywhere I like. I am not in your happy position, able to espouse any pretty face I may chance to take a fancy to. It would be utter madness in me.

Do you think I was made for a little house, one maid-servant, dinner at noon, and six small children? Very much obliged to you, but love in a cottage is not my style, Fred; besides, j'aime à vivre garçon !” added Fane.

“ Et moi aussi !" said I. Really the girls one meets seem all tarlatan and coquetry. I have never seen one worth committing matrimony for."

“ Hear him!” cried Fane. “ Here is the happy owner of Wilmot Park, at the advanced age of twenty, despairing of ever finding anything more worthy of his affection than his moustaches! Oh, what will the boys come to next? But, eureka! here comes a pretty girl if you

like. Who on earth is she ?” he exclaimed, raising his eye-glass to a party advancing up the avenue who really seemed worthy the attention.

Pulling at the bridle of a donkey, “what wouldn't go," with all her might, was indeed a pretty girl. Her hat had fallen off and showed a quantity of bright hair and a lovely face, with the largest and darkest of eyes, and a mouth now wreathing with smiles. Unconscious of our vicinity, on she came, laughing, and beseeching a little boy, seated on the aforesaid donkey, and thumping thereupon with a large stick, “not to be so cruel and hurt poor Dapple.” At this juncture the restive steed gave a vigorous stride, and toppling its rider on the grass, trotted off with å self-satisfied air ; but Fane, intending to make the rebellious charger a

means of introduction, caught his bridle and led him back to his discom. fited master. The young lady, who was endeavouring to pacify the child, looked prettier than ever as she smiled and thanked him. But the gallant captain was not going to let the matter drop here, so, turning to the youthful rider, he asked him to let him put him on the naughty donkey again." Master Tommy acquiesced, and, armed with his terrible stick, allowed himself to be mounted. Certainly Fane was a most unnecessary length of time settling that child, but then he was talking to the young lady, whom he begged to allow him to lead the donkey home. • Oh!

no, she was quite used to Dapple ; she could manage him very well

, and they were going further.”. So poor Fane had nothing for it but to raise his hat and gaze at her through his eye-glass until some trees hid her from sight.

“ 'Pon my word that's a pretty girl!” said he, at length. “I wonder who she can be! However, I shall soon find out. Have another weed, Fred ?”

There was to be a ball that night at the Assembly Rooms, which we were assured only the best families” would attend, for Layton was a very exclusive little town in its way. Some of us who were going were standing about the mess-room, recalling the many good balls and pretty girls of our late quarters, when Fane, who had declined to go, as he said he had a horror of “ bad dancing, bad perfumes, bad ventilation, and bad champagne, and really could not stand the concentration of all of them, which he foresaw that night,” to our surprise declared his intention of accompanying us.

“ I suppose, Fane, you hope to see your heroine of the donkey again ?” asked Sydney. “ Precisely," was Fane's reply; or

if not, to find out who she is. But here comes Ennuyé, got up no end to fascinate the belles of Layton !"

“ The Aspedens are home ; I saw 'em to-day,” were the words of the honourable cornet, as he lounged into the room. My uncle seems rather a brick, and hopes to make the acquaintance of all of you.

He will mess with us to-morrow.”

" Have you any belles cousines ?”—“ Are they going to-night ?" we inquired.

“Yaas, I saw one; she's rather pretty,” said L'Estrange.

“ Dark eyes — golden hair — about eighteen ?" demanded Fane, eagerly.

“ Not a bit of it,” replied the cornet, curling his moustache, and contemplating himself in the glass with very great satisfaction; “ hair's as dark as mine, and eyes--y'ally I forget. But, let's have loo or whist, or something; we need not go for ages!" So down we sat, and soon nothing was heard but “ Two by honours and the trick !” “ Game and game !" &c., until about twelve, when we rose and adjourned to the ball-room.

No sooner had we entered the room than Fane exclaimed, “ There's my houri, by all that's glorious ! and looking lovelier than ever. By Jove ! that girl's too good for a country ball-room !" And there, in truth, waltzing like a sylph, was, as Sydney called her, the “heroine of the donkey." The dance over, we saw her join a party at the top of the room, consisting of a handsome but passée woman, a lovely Hebe

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