But the interest of the day's proceedings for us is centred neither in the learned discourse of our friend Van Systens, however eloquent it might be, nor in the young dandies, resplendent in their Sunday clothes, and munching their heavy cakes; nor in the poor young peasants, gnawing smoked eels as if they were sticks of vanilla sweetmeat
; neither is our interest in the lovely Dutch girls, with red cheeks and ivory bosoms; nor in the fat, round mynheers, who had never left their homes before; nor in the sallow, thin travellers from Ceylon or Java; nor in the thirsty crowds, who quenched their thirst with pickled cucumbers; -- no, so far as we are concerned, the real interest of the situation, the fascinating, dramatic interest, is not to be found here.
But the sweetmeat
seller in the camp lent him a little tom-tom--a drum beaten with the flat of the hand--and he sat down, cross-legged, before Kala Nag as the stars began to come out, the tom-tom in his lap, and he thumped and he thumped and he thumped, and the more he thought of the great honor that had been done to him, the more he thumped, all alone among the elephant fodder.
It was a charming little woman to whom he said it--a sprightly little woman, dressed in perfect taste, who came out of a green velvet bower to attend upon him, from posting up some dainty little books of account which one could hardly suppose to be ruled for the entry of any articles more commercial than kisses, at a dainty little shining desk which looked in itself like a sweetmeat
'is the new helmet.' She turned the helmet the other side up, And--just picture it!--plop went a pear and sweetmeats
out of it, two pounds of sweetmeats
!...He'd been storing them up, the darling!"
Or else, they grasp at sweetmeats
, and mock at their childishness thereby: they cling to their straw of life, and mock at their still clinging to it.
They tried to argue it away by reminding conscience that they had purloined sweetmeats
and apples scores of times; but conscience was not to be appeased by such thin plausibilities; it seemed to them, in the end, that there was no getting around the stubborn fact that taking sweetmeats
was only "hooking," while taking bacon and hams and such valuables was plain simple stealing -- and there was a command against that in the Bible.
But in little domestic difficulties, where the penalty of consumption, or death, is out of the question, this theory of Configuration sometimes comes in awkwardly; and I must confess that occasionally when one of my own Hexagonal Grandsons pleads as an excuse for his disobedience that a sudden change of the temperature has been too much for his Perimeter, and that I ought to lay the blame not on him but on his Configuration, which can only be strengthened by abundance of the choicest sweetmeats
, I neither see my way logically to reject, nor practically to accept, his conclusions.
The will of Cardinal Mazarin was the text of the conversation at the second course and dessert; then Fouquet ordered bowls of sweetmeats
and fountains of liquors to be carried into the salon adjoining the gallery.
Their toilet finished, they descended; the carriage awaited them at the door, filled with sweetmeats
Miles, the master, affirmed that he would do very well if he had fewer cakes and sweetmeats
sent him from home; but the mother's heart turned from an opinion so harsh, and inclined rather to the more refined idea that John's sallowness was owing to over-application and, perhaps, to pining after home.
With a grace all her own, Cecilia dived under the bed, and produced a basket of jam tarts, a basket of fruit and sweetmeats
, a basket of sparkling lemonade, and a superb cake--all paid for by general subscriptions, and smuggled into the room by kind connivance of the servants.
All about, coming and going round the little flames, men cried for oil, or grain, or sweetmeats
, or tobacco, jostling one another while they waited their turn at the well; and under the men's voices you heard from halted, shuttered carts the high squeals and giggles of women whose faces should not be seen in public.