Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/293

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"Ville de Paris."

"French, I reckon. What kind of a passage did........ excuse me a minute, there's some Americans I haven't seen before."

And away he went. He went uninjured, too,—I had the murderous impulse to harpoon him in the back with my alpenstock, but as I raised the weapon the disposition left me; I found I hadn't the heart to kill him, he was such a joyous, innocent, good-natured numscull.

Half an hour later I was sitting on a bench inspecting, with strong interest, a noble monolith which we were skimming by,—a monolith not shaped by man, but by Nature's free great hand,—a massy pyramidal rock eighty feet high, devised by Nature ten million years ago against the day when a man worthy of it should need it for his monument. The time came at last, and now this grand remembrancer bears Schiller's name in huge letters upon its face. Curiously enough, this rock was not degraded or defiled in any way. It is said that two years ago a stranger let himself down from the top of it with ropes and pulleys, and painted all over it, in blue letters bigger than those in Schiller's name, these words:

"Try Sozodont;"
"Buy Sun Stove Polish;"
"Helmbold's Buchu;"
"Try Benzaline for the Blood."

He was captured, and it turned out that he was an American. Upon his trial the judge said to him,—

"You are from a land where any insolent that wants to, is privileged to profane and insult Nature, and through her, Nature's God, if by so doing he can put a sordid penny in his pocket. But here the case is different. Because you are a foreigner and ignorant, I will make your sentence light; if you were a native I would deal strenuously with you.—Hear and obey: You will immediately remove every trace of your offensive work from the Schiller monument; you