chapter  VIII
Pages 9

THE servants are busy, the mules are saddled, the tent is folded IIp, and everything indicates a grand movement alllong the occupants of the .AiJlba. Our German officials, clad ill aristocratic shamas, and mounted 011 beautiful mules, which gaily paw the grollnd as if conscious of bearing Imperial saddles and of going to an Imperial wedding, lead the well-regulated body of ShU1JlS and soldiers which constitutes the van, whilst we, borne along on stupid decrepit brutes, bring IIp the servants and porters, who form the rear. Printing and newspapers being still blessings reserved for Afric's future, our numerous retinue, to satisfy their eager curi-' osity, POllllce UpOll every wayfarer whom we ell... counter, and regularly cross-question him about the King, and the festal arrangements in honour of his auspicious nuptials. As we advanced, a party of strolling minstrels, which consisted of a cunning old scamp, a lad, and t\VO yOUllg women, on emerging out of a 1101low caught sight of us, and, notwithstanding our entreaties, they bawled and shrieked to the

accompaniment of an antique-shaped lyre, strapped round their leader's shrunken shoulders, in a chorus that certainly did credit to their lungs, though it inflicted a terrible penance on our ears. I would willingly have paid the contribution which these vagrants are licensed to levy on the traveller, had it only procured us immunity from their noise and company; but as I was told that it would be an unpardonable offence to silence those who sang the praises of the King, and the charms of his youthful spouse, we were, in deference to royalty, forced for more than an hour to submit our ears to a most agonizing torture.