Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/12

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appreciation of scenery, and inveterate love of sketching, than they formally and most cordially invited me to complete le tour de la mission, and so fill fresh portfolios with reminders of the beautiful scenes which the vessel was about to visit.

Being duly imbued with a British conviction that such an invitation could not possibly be a bonâ fide one, I at first treated it merely as a polite form; but when it was again and again renewed, in such terms as to leave no possible doubt of its sincerity, and when, moreover, we learnt that the most comfortable cabin in the ship had actually been prepared for the invited guest, and that its owner was thoroughly in earnest in his share of the invitation, then indeed we agreed that the chance was too unique to be lost; and so it came to pass that on the 5th September 1877 I started on the cruise in a French man-of-war, which proved one of the most delightful episodes in many years of travel.