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IN OUR OWN TIMES

BY THE AUTHOR OF

“ LA CAVA; OR, RECOLLECTIONS OF THE NEAPOLITANS ”

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To My dear Mother

COURT LIFE AT NAPLES.

CHAPTER I.

It was the night of the annual Christmas ball, in the good old city of E- Anno Domini 1849. Carriages rattled through the High Street, and people were to be seen hurrying towards the Assembly Rooms, where a crowd had early gathered round the entrance, to see the

gay arrivals.

Portly tradesmen were there, with wife and daughter clinging to each arm. Smart little housemaids, with fly-away caps, snatched momentary glimpses at the gorgeous dresses; while “Master and Missus” were enjoying their supper, and fondly imagined that Jane

- that paragon of attendants was tidying up the kitchen for the night!

Noisy representatives of the “Great Unwashed elbowed their way to the front, cracking vile jokes, and venting anathemas against the patient, though resolute, policemen who strove to maintain order, and restrain the multitude from invading the awning and strip of red carpet prepared for dainty feet and satin shoes. Imps of mischief, brimful of “slang," — wherein they even

VOL. I.

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