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The most mathematical of clerks never thinks of it as real, after returning through the straits that lead into decent streets, where there are passengers, shops, and taverns. Modern administration, or modern policy, more scornful or more shamefaced than the queens and kings of past ages, no longer dare look boldly in the face of this plague of our capitals.

Venice gives place to the assembly rooms of Mrs. Cornely and the fast taverns of the London of 1760; we pass from Versailles to the Winter Palace of St. Petersburg in the days of Catherine, from the policy of the Great Frederick to the lewd mirth of strolling-players, and the presence-chamber of the Vatican is succeeded by an intrigue in a garret.

Still the evil of drunkenness went on increasing under the license system, until in 1692, we find in a preamble to certain more stringent laws for the regulation of the traffic, this sad confession: "And forasmuch as the ancient, true and principal use of inns, taverns, ale-houses, victualing-houses and other houses for common entertainment is for receipt, relief and lodging of travelers and strangers, and the refreshment of persons on lawful business. * And not for entertainment and harboring of lewd or idle people to spend or consume their time or money there; therefore, to prevent the mischief and great disorders happening daily by abuse of such houses, It is further enacted," etc. not prohibition of the sale; but further restrictions and penalties.

These young men also seem to have been noisy, turbulent, and dissipated for the most part, "filling the streets with their brawls and the taverns with the fumes of liquor. There was no such thing as discipline among them. They yelled and shouted and brandished daggers, fought the townspeople, and were free with their knocks and blows."

We now approached one of the humbler taverns of the place, where it was necessary for those of our apparent pretensions to seek lodgings, and the discourse was dropped. It was several weeks too early in the season for the Springs to be frequented, and we found only a few of those in the place who drank the waters because they really required them.

I sent another a short time ago from Three Taverns. Cicero halts at Appii Forum and at once despatches a short note, probably by some one he finds there going to Rome, to announce a change of plan. He had meant to get back to Antium on 6th May, because Tullia wanted to see the games. I tell you what it is: I feel myself a downright exile since arriving at Formiæ.

The new stage-coaches were now in their turn deserted, and the proprietors pondered for a week trying to invent some way to still further cut down the entirely vanished rates. They at last placarded the taverns with announcements that they would not only carry their patrons free of expense, but would give each traveller on their coaches a good dinner at the end of his journey.

He would only take to his work when he could no longer do otherwise; then he would hurriedly plait a dozen baskets and go and sell them in the market. As long as the money lasted he lounged about, visiting all the taverns and digesting his drink in the sunshine. Then, when he had fasted a whole day, he would once more take up his osier with a low growl and revile the wealthy who lived in idleness.

The woods were all aflame with color, with wine and amber and gold, and the hills wore the misty mantle of shadowy blue so dear to my youthful memory. As I left the rude taverns of a morning and jogged along the heights, I watched the vapors rise and troll away from the valleys far beneath, and saw great flocks of ducks and swans and cackling geese darkening the air in their southward flight.

A considerable fall of prices ensued, and it is still a disputed question whether the return to a single standard was entirely beneficial. But for what is called the public, the readers of newspapers and the frequenters of clubs or taverns, the rivalry of party leaders or the incidents of court life excite a much keener interest than painful efforts for the good of the humbler classes.

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