THE STEEL FLEA
vice, who did not like this inclination, and, being homesick for his own hearthstone, he constantly sought to lure the Emperor to his home.
So, as soon as Platoff perceived that the Emperor took a deep interest in any foreign thing and all his suite held their peace, he began to say immediately: "Thus and so, and we have the same thing of our own at home, not a whit worse,"—and then he would turn him aside in one way or another.
The English people were aware of this, and had prepared various cunning devices against the Emperor's arrival, to the end that they might captivate him with foreign things, and in many cases they attained their object, especially in the great assemblies where Platoff could not express himself perfectly in French; but he did not mind that over-much because he was a married man, and regarded all French con-
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