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106                        MEMOIES OF JOSEPH GEIMAI.DI.

"ISTot more so than usual, I think," said the Prince.

" Pardon me, your Highness, I think I'm right. Oh, dear me,
yes! it's decidedly a larger basket, a much larger basket,"
replied Sheridan. " Good God, she staggers under it! Ah! she
has recovered herself.—Poor girl, poor girl!"

The Prince had watched the girl very closely, but the symp-
toms of exhaustion which Sheridan had so feelingly deplored
•were nevertheless quite invisible to him.

"She will certainly fall," continued Sheridan, in a low
abstracted tone; "that girl will fall down before she reaches
this house."

"Pooh, pooh!" said the Prince. " She fall!—nonsense! she
is too well used to it."

" She will," said Sheridan.

"I'll bet you a cool hundred she does not," replied the

" Done!" cried Sheridan.

" Done!" repeated his Eoyal Highness.

The point of the story is, that the girl did fall down just
before she reached the club-Tiouse. It was very likely an acci-
dent, inasmuch as people seldom fall down on purpose, especially
when they carry crockery; but still there were not wanting some
malicious persons who pretended to trace the tumble to another
source. At all events, it was a curious coincidence, and a strong
proof of the accuracy of Sheridan's judgment in such matters,

The friend told this story while they were changing horses,
laughing very much when he had finished, as most people's
friends do: and, as if it had only whetted his appetite for fun,
at once looked out for another object on whom to exercise his
torn for practical joking. The chaise, after moving very slowly
for some yards, came to a dead stop behind some heavy waggons
which obstructed the road. This stoppage chanced to occur
directly opposite the principal inn, from one of the coffee-roomridan.