Page:Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field.djvu/37

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MARK PHILOSOPHIZED ON WILLIE

Mark had attended a masked ball at the Berlin Palace and was asked what he thought of William Hohenzollern dressed up as Frederick the Great. "He reminded me of the little speech addressed by a Cossack Chief to Orloff, the lover of Catherine of Russia. Orloff visited the chief wearing a French court costume. The Cossack began to laugh.

"'What is there to laugh at?' demanded Orloff in a rage.

"'I laugh because you shaved your face to look young and put flour in your hair to look old—both things at the same time,' replied the Barbarian.

"As to William, he reminded me of still another thing; namely, the thigh-bone of a Saint I was introduced to in Italy and which, they said, belonged to a famous preacher of old. I turned the bone, which was encased in glass, gold and precious stones, over and over, yet could get no notion of the quality of its original owner's sermons."

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