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INN KITCHEN. 309 group, bringing out many odd features in strong relief. Its yellow rays partially illumined the spacious kitchen, dying duskily away into remote corners; except where they settled in mellow radiance on the broad side of a flitch of bacon, or were reflected back from well-scoured utensils, that gleamed from the midst of obscurity. A strapping Flemish lass, with long golden pendants in her ears, and a necklace with a golden heart suspended to it, was the presiding priestess of the temple.
Many of the company were furnished with pipes, and most of them with some kind of evening potation. I found their mirth was occasioned by anecdotes, which a little swarthy Frenchman, with a dry weazen face and large whiskers, was giving of his love-adventures; at the end of each of which there was one of those bursts, of honest unceremonious laughter, in which a man indulges in that temple of true liberty, an inn.
As I had no better mode of getting through a tedious blustering evening, I took my seat near the stove, and listened to a variety of tra
vellers' tales, some very extravagant, and most very dull. All of them, however, have faded from my treacherous memory except one, which I will endeavour to relate. I fear, however, it derived its chief zest from the manner in which it was told, and the peculiar air and appearance of the narrator. He was a corpulent old Swiss, who had the look of a veteran traveller. He was dressed in a tarnished green travelling jacket, with a broad belt round his waist, and a pair of overalls, with buttons from the hips to the ankles. He was of a full rubicund countenance, with a double chin, aquiline nose, and a pleasant twinkling eye. His hair was light, and curled from under an old green velvet travelling-cap stuck on one side of his head. He was interrupted more than once by the arrival of guests, or the remarks of his auditors; and paused now and then to replenish his pipe; at which times he had generally a roguish leer, and a sly joke for the buxom kitchen maid.
I wish my reader could imagine the old fellow lolling in a huge arm-chair, one arm a. kimbo, the other holding a curiously twisted
KITCHEN. 31 tobacco pipe, formed of genuine écume de mer, decorated with silver chain and silken tassel -his head cocked on one side, and a whimsical cut of the eye occasionally, as he related the following story.
A TRAVELLER'S TALE. (a)
He that supper for is dight,
Sır EGER, SIR GRAHAME, AND SIR GRAY-STEEL..
On the summit of one of the heights of the Odenwald, a wild and romantic tract of Upper Germany, that lies not far from the confluence of the Main and the Rhine, there stood, many, many years since, the Castle of the Baron Von
(a) The erudite reader, well versed in good-for-nothing lore, will perceive that the above Tale must have been suggested to the old Swiss by a little French anecdote, of a circumstance said to have taken place at Paris. VOL. I.