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[105]

XXI. the toy of royalty.

Hawthorne frankly acknowledged that he was glad to have been in England before people had done playing with the toy of monarchy. There is something doubly amusing in seeing the efforts of American official personages to give proper reception to the type of royalty lately arrived from the Sandwich Islands-something which may almost be called the toy of a toy, bearing the same relation to the European plaything that is borne by the strange dolls of the Aleutian Islands to the elaborate French or German article. The dusky queen of a few Pacific islands, whose husband is the elected king of a decaying handful of converted savages-the whole population under their sway, native and foreign, being little more than fifty thousand-has been received as if she were the Queen of England and Empress of India. And why not? A toy is a toy, and to a child the mere size or costliness is of little importance. In monarchies the royal station tells, and whether it be an exiled Bourbon or a dethroned Bonaparte, it is much the same thing.

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