No ill without a counterbalancing advantage - An industry peculiar to Italy - Italian honesty - Buffalo Bill at Naples - The Prince and the straw-coloured gloves - The Riviera - A tapestry - Nice - Its flowers - Notre Dame - The chateau - My gardener - A pension of ugly women - Horses and their hats - Antibes - Meeting of Honore IV. and Napoleon - The Grimaldis - Lerins, an Isle of Saints - A family jar - Healed.

That was not all. The dawdling of the tailor not only made me lose the mid-day train, but delayed my arrival in Nice for twenty-four hours. I took the night train to Pisa, where I purposed catching the express from Rome. But the express came slouching along in a hands-in-the-pocket sort of way, and was over half-an-hour late, and would not bestir itself to pick up the misspent, lost moments between Pisa and Genoa, the consequence of which was that the train for Nice had gone on without waiting, and accordingly those who desired to prosecute their journey in that direction were obliged to loiter about in the small hours of the morning between a restaurant, half asleep, and a waiting-room where the electric light had gone out, till the hour of seven.

Before leaving Italy, I may mention an industry which I found cultivated there, original, and I believe unique. When I procured postage stamps at the post-offices, I was surprised, if I took them home with me, to find that their adhesive power had failed. I also received indignant letters from correspondents in England remonstrating with me for posting my communications to them unstamped. This surprised me, and at Rome, where I had been accustomed to purchase franco-bolli at the head office, I took them home and regummed them. But the remarkable phenomenon was, that such stamps as were purchased at tobacconists' shops had gum on them - only those acquired at the post-offices were without. I learned that the same peculiarity existed at Florence, and indeed elsewhere in Italy, and finally the explanation was vouchsafed to me. The functionary at the post-office passes a wet sponge over the back of the sheets of franco-bolli supplied to him, thus removing the adhesive matter. When he sells stamps at the window, he hopes that those who purchase will proceed at once to apply them to their letters, without perceiving their deficiencies. As soon as the stamp becomes dry it falls off, and quite a collection of stamps of sundry values can thus be gathered at every clearing of the box, and the postal clerk reaps thence a daily harvest that goes a long way towards the eking out the small pittance paid him by Government. It is interesting to see the directions taken by human enterprise.

Whilst I was in Rome, Buffalo Bill was in Naples exhibiting his troupe of horses and gang of Indians. The Italian papers informed the public of a remarkable exploit achieved by the Neapolitans. They had done Buffalo Bill out of two thousand francs. It had been effected in this wise. His reserved seats were charged five francs. Four hundred forged five-franc notes were passed at the door of his show by well-dressed Neapolitans, indeed, the elite of Neapolitan society; and the trick played on him was not discovered till too late. Now consider what this implies. It implies that some hundreds of the best people, princes, counts, marquesses at Naples lent themselves to see Buffalo Bill's exhibition by a fraud. They wanted to see and be seen there, but not to pay five francs for a seat. There must have been combination, and that among the members of the aristocracy of Naples. The Italian papers did not mention this in a tone of disgust, but rather in one of surprise that Italians should have been able to overreach a Yankee. But I do not believe such a fraud would have been perpetrated at Rome, Florence, or Milan. It was considered quite in its place at Naples.

A lady of my acquaintance was staying in a pension at Naples. There resided at the time, in the same pension, a prince - Neapolitan, be it understood. One day, just before she left, she brought in a packet of kid gloves she had purchased, among them one pair, straw-coloured. She laid them on the table, went out for two minutes, leaving the prince in the room with the gloves. On her return, the prince and the straw-coloured gloves were gone. She made inquiries of the landlady, who, when told that the prince had been in the room, laughed and said: "But of course he has them. You should never leave anything in the room unguarded where there is a prince." Two days after the departure of this lady, the straw-coloured gloves were produced by his highness and presented by him to a young lady whom he admired, then in the same pension.

No evil comes without a counterbalancing good. The day I was detained in Florence by that tailor, and the loss of the night train at Genoa were not immense evils. A furious gale broke over the coast, and when at seven in the morning we steamed out of Genoa, the Mediterranean was sullen, the rain poured down, and the mountains were enveloped in vapour. But as we proceeded along the coast the weather improved, and before long every cloud was gone, the sky became blue as a gentian, and the oranges flamed in the sunshine as we swept between the orchards. Had I gone by the noon train from Florence I should have travelled this road by night, had I caught the 3.27 A.M. train I should have seen nothing for storm and cloud. And - what a glorious, what an unrivalled road that is! It was like passing through a gallery hung with Renaissance tapestry, all in freshness of colour. The sea deep blue and green like a peacock's neck, the mountains pale yellow, as shown in tapestry, with blue shadows; the silvery-grey olives, the glossy orange trees with their fruit - exactly as in tapestry. Surely the old weavers of those wondrous webs studied this coast and copied it in their looms.

I have said that the sea was like a peacock's neck; but it had a brilliancy above even that. As I have mentioned tapestry I may say that it resembled a sort of tapestry that is very rare and costly, of which I have seen a sample in a private collection at Frankfort, and another in the Palazzo Bardini at Florence. It consists of the threads being drawn over plates of gold and silver. In the piece at Florence the effect of the sun shining through a tree is thus produced by gold leaf under the broidery of tree-leaves. Silver leaf is employed for water, with blue silk drawn in lines over it. So with the sea. There seemed to be silver burnished to its greatest polish below, over which the water was drawn as a blue lacquer.

And Nice. What shall I say of that bright and laughing city - with its shops of flowers, its avenues of trees through which run the streets, its gardens, its pines and cactus and aloe walks? Only one blemish can I pick out in Nice, and that is a hideous modern Gothic church, Notre Dame, filled with detestable garish glass, so utterly faulty in design, so full of blemish of every sort, that the best wish one could make for the good people of Nice is that the next earthquake that visits the Riviera may shake this wretched structure to pieces, so as to give them an opportunity of erecting another in its place which is not a monstrosity.

The Avenue de la Gare is planted with the eucalyptus, that has attained a considerable size. It is not a beautiful tree, its leaves are ever on the droop, as though the tree were unhealthy or unhappy, sulky at being transplanted to Europe, dissatisfied with the climate, displeased with the soil, discontented with its associates. It struck me as very much like a good number of excellent and very useful souls with whom I am acquainted, who never take a cheerful view of life, are always fault-finding, hole-picking, worry-discovering, eminently good in their place as febrifuges, but not calculated to brighten their neighbourhood.

What a delightful walk is that on the cliff of the chateau! The day I was at Nice was the 9th of April. The crags were rich with colour, the cytisus waving its golden hair, the pelargonium blazing scarlet, beds of white stock wafting fragrance, violets scrambling over every soft bank of deep earth exhaling fragrance; roses, not many in flower, but their young leaves in masses of claret-red; wherever a ledge allowed it, there pansies of velvety blue and black and brown had been planted. In a hot sun I climbed the chateau cliff to where the water, conveyed to the summit, dribbled and dropped, or squirted and splashed, nourishing countless fronds of fern and beds of moss, and many a bog plant. The cedars and umbrella pines in the spring sun exhaled their aromatic breath, and the flowering birch rained down its yellow dust over one from its swaying catkins.

I see I have spoken of the cytisus. I may be excused mentioning an anecdote that the sight of this plant provokes in my mind every spring. I had a gardener - a queer, cantankerous creature, who never saw a joke, even when he made one. "Please, sir," he said to me with a solemn face, "I've been rearing a lot o' young citizens for you."

"Have you?" said I, with a sigh. "I fancy I'm rearing a middling lot of them myself."

"Please, sir," said he to me on another occasion, "that there lumbago be terrible trying to know what to do with it."

"Oh!" said I with alacrity, "nothing equals hartshorn and oil applied to the small of the back with a flannel. You have a wife - "

"Yes, sir." He looked at me vacantly. "And yet, it's a beautiful thing."

"Well - yes, when it attacks one's deadly enemy."

"I've cut it down, and trimmed it out, and tied it up," said the gardener. He meant the Plumbago capense!

That man never would allow that he was beaten. My eldest boy one day held some pansies over the fumes of ammonia, turned them green, and showed them as a lusus naturae to the gardener. He smiled contemptuously. "Them's the colour of biled cabbage," said he; "I grew them verdigris green - beds of 'em, when I was with Squire Cross."

One day he said to me: "The nurserymen call them plants big onias just to sell them, I call them little onias; you shall just see them I grow, them be the true big onias, as large as the palm of your hand."

I tumbled, by hazard, at Nice into a pension, where I believe I saw at table d'hote a score of the ugliest women I have ever had the trial of sitting over against in my long career. I found out, in conversation with a porter at the station afterwards, that this pension was notorious for the ugly women who put up there, and it is a joke among the porters when they see one very ill-favoured arrive by the train, that she is going to be an inmate of the Hotel - - . The name I will not give, lest any of my fair readers, in that spirit of delightful perversity that characterises the sex, should go there and spoil the credit of the pension. I could not endure the table d'hote there for many days. An ugly woman is, or may be, restful for the eye when her face is in repose - not when she is chewing tough beef or munching an apple. Besides, Lent was passed.

When I was in Rome there appeared in a comic paper at the beginning of Lent the picture of a very stout lady, who thus addressed her spouse. "Hubby, dear! you haven't kissed me." "Can't, love," he replies, "fat is forbidden in Lent." Ugliness was uncongenial to me in radiantly beautiful Nice, and in sparkling Easter - so I packed my Gladstone bag and went further.

The snow still lying on the crests of the Maritime Alps and the intermediate ranges broken into fantastic forms, the lovely range of red porphyry Esterel to the south, with the intensely blue sea drawing a thread of silver about its base, together made a picture of incomparable loveliness.

The sun was so hot that the horses had already assumed their summer hats. "A good man is merciful to his beast," and the good-hearted peasants of the Riviera and Provence, thinking that their horses must suffer from the burning heat of the sun, provide, them with straw hats, very much the same sort of hats as girls wear, adorned also with ribbons and rosettes, but to suit the peculiarity of formation of the horse's head, two holes are cut in the hat through which the ears are drawn. The effect is comical when you are being driven in a carriage with a pair of horses before you wearing straw hats, and their ears protruding, one on each side, like the horns in the helmets of mediaeval German knights. One lovely glimpse of the sea I got that I shall never forget. The blue sea was in the background gleaming; against it stood a belt of sombre cypresses; before the cypresses the silvery, smoke-grey tufts of olive, in a grove; and before the olive, in mid-distance, a field of roses in young claret-red foliage - a landscape of belts of colour right marvellous.

Then Antibes - a blue bay with castle on one horn, on the other the little town, its lighthouse, and a couple of bold towers.

It was at Cannes that Prince Honore IV. of Monaco encountered Napoleon in 1815, as he was returning from Paris in his carriage to take possession of his principality, that had been restored to him by the Treaty of Paris in 1814.

The Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard stopped his carriage, made the prince descend, and conducted him before a little man with clean-cut features, whom he at once knew as the Emperor - returned from Elba.

"Ou allez-vous, Monaco?" asked Napoleon bluntly.

"Sire," replied Honore IV., "je vais a la decouverte de mon royaume."

The Emperor smiled.

"Voila une singuliere rencontre, monsieur," said Napoleon. "Deux majestes sans place; mais ce n'est peut-etre pas la peine de vous deranger. Avant huit jours je serai a Paris, et je me verrai force de vous renverser du trone, mon cousin. Revenez plutot avec moi, je vous nommerai sous-prefet de Monaco, si vous y tenez beaucoup."

"Merci de vos bontes, sire," replied the prince in some confusion; "mais je tiendrais encore plus a faire une restauration, ne dut-elle durer que trois jours."

"Allons! faites la durer trois mois, mon cousin, je vous garderai votre place de chancellier, et vous viendriez me rejoindre aux Tuileries."

The two monarchs separated after having shaken hands amicably. The story would be spoiled by translation.

The Grimaldis anciently possessed much more extensive territories than at present. At Cagnes, near Vence, is their ancient chateau, now converted into a hospital and barrack, and they owned considerable property, manors and lordships near Cannes and Vence. We shall meet them again as Princes of Les Baux.

The present reigning family are not properly Grimaldis. The last representative was a daughter, married to the Count of Thorigny in 1715, who, on the extinction of the male line in 1731, assumed the name of Grimaldi, and succeeded to the principality.

Everywhere, for the mere delight of the eye, not from thought of any gain gotten out of it, is the Judas tree covered with pink flowers, standing among the cool grey olives. Here and there is a mulberry bursting into fresh, green, vivid leaf; in every garden the palms are rustling their leaves in the pleasant air, and are glistening in the sun. Out at sea lies the low, dull island of Lerins; but, though low and dull, full of interest, as taking the place to Provence occupied by Iona to Scotland and Lindisfarne to Northumberland, a cradle of Christianity, a cradle rocked by the waves. I cannot do better than quote Montalembert's words on this topic. "The sailor, the soldier, or the traveller who proceeds from the roadstead of Toulon to sail towards Italy and the East, passes among two or three islands, rocky and arid, surmounted here and there by a slender cluster of pines. He looks at them with indifference, and avoids them. However, one of these islands has been for the soul, for the mind, for the moral progress of humanity, a centre purer and more fertile than any famous isle of the Hellenic Archipelago. It is Lerins, formerly occupied by a city, which was already ruined in the time of Pliny, and where, at the commencement of the fifth century, nothing more was to be seen than a desert coast. In 410, a man landed and remained there; he was called Honoratus. Descended from a consular race, educated and eloquent, but devoted from his youth to great piety, he desired to be made a monk. His father charged his eldest brother, a gay and impetuous young man, to turn him from his purpose; but, on the contrary, it was he who won over his brother. Disciples gathered round them. The face of the isle was changed, the desert became a garden. Honoratus, whose fine face is described to us as radiant with a sweet and attractive majesty, opened here an asylum and a school for all such as loved Christ."

From this school went forth disciples, inspired with the spirit of Honoratus, to rule the churches of Arles, Avignon, Lyons, Vienne, Frejus, Valence, Nice, Metz, and many others. Honoratus himself, taken from his peaceful isle to be elevated to the metropolitan see of Arles, had for his successor, as Abbot of Lerins, and afterwards as Bishop of Arles, his pupil and kinsman S. Hilary, to whom we owe the admirable biography of his master. Hilary was celebrated for his graceful eloquence, his unwearied zeal, his tender sympathy with all forms of suffering, his ascendency over a crowd, and by the numerous conversions which he worked. But, indeed Lerins was a hive whence swarmed forth the teachers and apostles of Southern Gaul. Hence came the modest Vincent of Lerins, the first controversialist of his time, who at the head of his greatest work inscribed a touching testimony of his love for that poor little isle where he had spent so many years, and learned so much. Salvian, also, the "Master of Bishops," as he was called, though himself only a priest, was held to be the most eloquent man of his day, only second to S. Augustine. S. Eucherius of Lyons, S. Lupus of Troyes, who had married the sister of S. Hilary, were other prelates trained in this holy isle. When Troyes was threatened by Attila and his Huns, Lupus boldly went forth to meet him. "Who art thou?" asked the bishop. "I am Attila, the Scourge of God," was the reply. The intrepid gentleness of the bishop disarmed the ferocious invader. He left Troyes without injuring it, and drew back to the Rhine. And this isle through Lupus claims some regard from a native of Britain, for Lupus, trained in it, was chosen by the Council of Arles in 429 to combat the Pelagian heresy in Great Britain, along with S. Germanus of Auxerre.

Into the same carriage with me, at Nice, got a pair - a young couple; he, with an amiable but weak face; she heavy featured, her only charm her eyes. There had been a breeze between the pair, evidently, before they took their places, and she was sulky. He, poor fool, endeavoured by every means to allay her ruffled temper, always ineffectually. He pulled out his Guide Joannot, and endeavoured to interest her in the places we passed, their history, their antiquities; in vain, she sat scowling, with pursed lips. He called her attention to the red porphyry cliffs of Esterel with purple shadows in their hollows, to the blue bays opening between their red horns - all to no purpose, she would not look out at the window. He produced a box of jujubes, and offered her one between his thumb and forefinger. She refused it, but thrust her fingers into the box and extracted one for herself. Then she leaned back in the carriage, drew her hat over her face, and exposed to view only a chin and a mole under it, that moved up and down as she sucked her jujube.

Next, the feeble, amorous husband, endeavoured to get hold of her hand. She snatched it away vixenishly. Hectic spots formed on his cheeks, and perspiration stood in great drops on his brow. This was clearly the first ruffle he had experienced on the hymeneal sea. He got out of the carriage at Cannes, and hung about the buffet till the extreme moment, hoping to betray her into tokens of uneasiness lest he should miss the train. As it was, at the final moment he swung himself into another carriage. She thrust her hat a little on one side, protruded an eye to see what became of him, then covered it once more. He got in at the next station, breathless, in pretended agitation. He had nearly lost his place - he was all but left behind. Had he been so left, what would she have done? She vouchsafed no reply. Tired, however, of looking into the crown of her hat, she now removed it and placed it on her lap. The face was still sullen, with the jowl hanging down, the coarse lips set in defiance, and an ugly flicker in the eyes. Now the hectic-cheeked husband became boisterous in merry conversation with other travellers near him, but always with an eye reverting at periods to his wife, whose lips retained a contemptuous curl. Then he sulked in his turn, folded his arms, thrust forth his feet under the seat opposite, and looked gloomily into the space between them. Thereat she began to hum an air from "La Traviata," when suddenly the situation was altered. By some marvellous instinct she discovered that I had been observing the little play; the comedy a deux, and had made my comments thereon - not in her favour.

Instantly the expression of her countenance changed. She turned to her husband. "Gustave!" said she, "Je souffre," and she laid her head on his shoulder. A flash in his face, full of surprise sliding into ecstasy. He could not understand this sudden change in her disposition, and I am quite sure she never gave him the key.

I left the carriage at Frejus, and at parting caught her eye. She laughed, so did I. We understood each other. Now, as it happened, at Nice, when I was seeking a carriage, I entered one where were a lady and an elderly gentleman.

At the first glance I recognised a "Milord Anglais," the lady was his daughter. At the same moment that I said to myself, "This carriage will never do for me," the lady addressed me, "Monsieur! ce voitoore est reservee a noos doox."

If I had gone to Frejus with them, I should have missed that little episode of the young married couple and that would have grieved me, and the reconciliation would not have been brought about before Marseilles. Oh, how grateful I was to fate, that the lady had said, "Monsieur! ce voitoore est reservee a noos doox."