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of Europe have been the best dinner-givers: the
first place in that rank being occupied by Prince
Talleyrand, of whom Carême said when he died,
that he took with him to the grave the greatest
secret that ever man possessedthat of the
receipt for a "ragoût de truffes à la Périgord,"
a dish so magically compounded, that it made
even the dumb to speak. Dumb enough in
"the House," Lord Millstone's guests found
the use of their tongues at his table, but only
interjectionally until their appetites were sated,
for it is a rule with all great eaters not to talk
before they have had their fill. What they said
then, is not, however, worth recording, and I
merely mention this dinner because it was the
precursor of hundreds exactly like it. If dinner-
giving could prolong life, Lord Millstone might
have lived for ever; but as dinner-giving has
often an opposite tendency, it is not surprising
that the noble lord should one day have been
struck down by apoplexy.

It was not altogether the salmi de perdreaux,
or the pâté de foie gras, that was in fault,
though each of these dishes might have
contributed in its degree; the actual catastrophe
was caused by a paragraph in the government
organ, wherein the probability was hinted at of
a change in the ministerial policy on the subject
of the paper duties.

Lord Millstone, when he dined alone, always
sipped his port to the accompaniment of the
evening journal of his predilection, and was thus
engaged when his attention was caught by the
following lines: "A deputation, consisting of
the heads of some of the leading publishing
houses in London, Edinburgh, and elsewhere,
together with several eminent literary men, and
others interested in the repeal of the taxes on
knowledge, had an interview, this afternoon,
with the First Lord of the Treasury, at his
official residence in Downing-street. The views
of the deputation having been placed in a very
strong light by successive speakers, who dwelt
on the impolicy of seeking to derive a revenue
from taxing the efforts of the mind, and pointed
out the educational advantages which would
arise from the diffusion of cheap literature, the
minister replied,"—did Lord Millstone read the
words aright?—"The minister replied, that the
question of the repeal of the taxes on knowledge
was not to be debated on mere grounds of
finance." "Mere grounds of finance!"
exclaimed Lord Millstone, laying down the paper
with a trembling hand; "mere grounds! He
could not have said so! Mere! Why is not
taxation everything? How are we to conduct
the business of the state, to provide forfor
everybody, that is to say, for all of us, without
taxation? And what, I should like to know,
deserves to be taxed so heavily as a vile levelling
revolutionary press? Things are come to
a pretty pass when ministers adopt such a
jargon as 'taxes on knowledge!' What else
did he say, I wonder! Let us see!" Lord
Millstone took up the paper again, and read on.
"So far from this being the case, he (the First
Lord of the Treasury) thought that it was a
high moral and political question, and concurring
in most of the opinions expressed by the
deputation, he trusted that the day was not far
distant when an improved aspect of public
affairs might present itself sufficient to justify
a remission of the fiscal burdens which now
weighed so heavily upon though; being
convinced, as he firmly was, that a free and cheap
press lay at the root of all public and social
improvement." "A free and cheap press,"
reiterated Lord Millstone, gulping down a glass
of port wine and filling again. "Blasphemy
and sedition!" another glass emptied and
refilled; "everybody free to say what they like.
Hone! Cobbett! Tom Paine! God bless my
soul, the world's at an end!" A third glass;
but, before it was half way down, Lord
Millstone was down, and the world remained
unchanged. Half an hour afterwards, his
lordship's butler entered the room and found his
lordship under the table, not drunk, but dead!

When George the FourthLord Millstone's
kind and "gracious master"—died, his majesty's
white satin small-clothes lined with swansdown,
together with the rest of his personal effects,
were sold at public auction, as if with the
object of paying his debts. On the death of Lord
Millstone, who, thanks to his numerous
sinecures, had contrived to keep out of debt, his
valet came in for his wardrobe, and among his
lordship's changes of raiment I was considered
sufficiently well preserved to figure as Mr.
Tiptoe's principal dress-shirt. I deserved this
position, for it had been a leading feature of
Mr. Tiptoe's domestic policyas I believe it to
be of the domestic policy of valets in general
not to allow his late master to wear his best
clothes oftener than could be helped. The word
"reversion" is the pleasantest sounding word in
a valet's vocabulary, but of what value to the
successor is it, if that which reverts be nearly
in rags? A shirt, under such circumstances,
can neither be worn nor disposed ofnot
proudly worn, I mean, nor advantageously
disposed ofMr. Tiptoe having both these objects
in view. Mr. Tiptoe was equally fond of creating
a sensation by his personal appearance, and
of having money to spend. In appropriating
Lord Millstone's wardrobe, he made a
compromise between his love of finery and his desire
for cash. He kept me, consequently, for his
grand occasions, and for his menus plaisirs he
sold my companions. Unfortunately for those
who love pleasure, pocket-money, however carefully
expended, must one day be exhausted; and
Mr. Tiptoe having, in the course of service,
acquired many fashionable wants, found
himself at last with nothing in his pockets. It is
a common expressionsignificant of parting
with the last thing you haveto say, of a
generous man, that "he would give the very
shirt off his back;" but with persons who are
simply prodigal, the shirt is the first thing that
goes when money is to be raised. In the
absence of a shirt, a specious appearance may
be preserved by wearing a false collar and
buttoning the coat close up to the chin; Mr.