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to his mortification, for he immediately signed
an order for his exile.

His spirits began then to revive, and his
flatterers, warming as they saw their success,
advanced numerous reasons for the failure
of this charming piece, the chief of which
was the conduct of the actors.

"Why, not only," they exclaimed, "did the
wretches not know their parts, but every one
of them was drunk!"

"You are rightI saw it but too clearly
all is explained! " cried the satisfied cardinal;
completely reassured, he assumed his
good humour and his vanity together, and
retained his two judicious friends to supper,
when he fought the battle over again, and
dismissed them, at length, no doubt convinced
of his merit as an author, and his misfortune
in being a martyr to the envy of the world.

The play was again represented; but this
time the two zealous friends so arranged
matters that not a single person was admitted as
spectator who was not primed for the part he
was to take in the expected applause. This
plan succeeded so well that the hall rang with
almost frantic approbation, which the
delighted author believed to be entirely genuine.

As for the unlucky abbé Boisrobert, in spite
of his talents of imitation, his hitherto successful
buffonery, and his apparently rustic wit,
which had long amused the cardinal, he
remained long in exile; but, his jokes were
much missed at court, and his return was
greatly desired: so much so that on the
occasion of Richelieu's illness, his physician
prescribed the return of Boisrobert as the
only means of curing his patient.

The cardinal agreed, and the worthy
abbé came back as court jester, thus
providing pastime such as suited the
time, and such as no doubt was much
more relished than the stupidity which was
expected to pass for wit. Whatever force is
put upon people's inclinations, those will
usually laugh who can laugh, and none can
be made to laugh where no fun is.


THERE is a little, out of the way, north country
inn; not only in the corner of a lane, but
of a parish; not only of a parish, but of a
county; not only of a county, but of England.
Sheltered by tall old trees that talk
soughfully among themselves, in the summer
breeze, of the days gone by, the Travis Arms
is not without resemblance to some gray
moss-clad old stone in a forest, that has been
a trysting place for couriers and a resting
place for weary woodcutters, for ages.
Gray is this old inn and with verdure clad.
The old oaks know it, and the old ravens; for
it has been contemporary with the hoariest
patriarchs among trees and birds. And yet
it has a greater claim to antiquity in the
fact, that it has been an inn and the Travis
Arms ever since the grand old family of
Travis (and Heaven, and Norroy king-at-
arms, only know how many years before the
flood the heirs of Travis were belted knights)
have held their own in Rocksavage Park,

The Travises are astonishingly old. Their
woods might be (they look so old) almost
primeval. Their ancient manor house is
crumbling to pieces. Their servants are
gray-beards. They are of the old fallen faith
(the Protestant peasantry round about call
them Papes), and bury their dead in an old
vault beneath the gray ruins of Saint Severin's
Abbey, within the demesne of Rocksavage
itself. The vault is so old, and ruinous, and
gray: so full of sculptured, crumbling,
venerable, noble age: that death loses half its
newness and noisomeness there, and the
pilgrim comes to look upon it less as a
grave, than as a musty, worm-eaten volume
of heraldry. Foul shame and sorest pity
would it be if the Travis Arms, and the
Travises of Rocksavage, were ever to be
removed from the place of their long abidement;
and goodness grant that there may be
no truth in the report that young Sir Bevois
Tracy, the present Lord of Rocksavage, is in
pecuniary difficulties, and is thinking of
selling his estates!

I have been riding from Dodderham town
to Rocksavage, ten miles, this golden afternoon.
Wishing to be merciful to my beast, I
deliver him at the door of the Travis Arms
unto an ancient ostler, who might from his
looks, have groomed Bucephalus. Wishing
to be consistent, and therefore merciful to
myself also, I enter the keeping room of the
inn, to bestow upon myself some victuals
and drink.

I find little in the keeping room, however,
save sand, silence, and some wonderful
oil-paintingsmaster and date unknown;
subjects doubtfulone representing a person
apparently following agricultural pursuits,
with a woman (probably his wife) on a
porter's-knot behind him, who is driving a
bargain (as it would seem) with a shiny
black man with horns, hoofs, and a tail, about
whose being the Evil one there can be no doubt
at all. The fiend holds out a long purse of
money and points exultingly to a neighbouring
mile-stone on which is inscribed " IX
miles to Garstaing," which puzzles me. So,
wishing for company, explanation, and most
of all refreshment, I move, carry unanimously,
and execute, an immediate adjournment
from the keeping-room to the kitchen
of the Travis Arms.

I am speedily made quite at home, and am
sitting in the chimney-corner of the inn, for,
although it is summer, and there is no fire, the
chimney is the only legitimate corner to sit
in in such an inn. I wish to be Mr. George
Cattermole, Mr. Louis Haghe, or some other
skilful delineator of old interiors; immediately,
though vainly, I strive to fix in my mind
the yawning old cavernous chimney, with its