Page:Idalia, by 'Ouida'.djvu/61

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HAVING BROKEN HIS BREAD.


arch stands without girders. 'Panem et Circenses’ will always be the first article of good guvernments; when the people are in good humour they never seethe into maleontents."

"Then I suppose you would hold that cheap provisions and low taxes would make as hear no more of this present cry of 'nationalities?'" His companion was piquant in his discourse and polished in Ids style, but he did not particularly admire him; and when he did not admire people, he had a way of holding them at arm's length.

"’Nationalities?' Ridiculous prejudices! Myths that would die to-morrow, only ministers like to keep a handy reason on the shelf to make a raid on their neighbour, or steal an inch or two of frontier when the spirit moves them," laughed the other, and his laugh was a soft silvery chime, very pleasant to the ear. "Pooh! a man's nationalities are where he gets the best wage and the cheapest meat, Specially in these prosaic profoundly practical times, when there is no chivalry, no dash, no colour; when the common-place thrives; when we turn Egyptian mummies into railway fuel, and find Pharaoh's dust make a roaring fire ; when we change crocuses into veratrin for our sore-throats, violets into sweet-meats for our eating! A detestable age, truly.