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flags, and with emblems set in thousands of gas jets. The orchestra, consisting of thirty-six musicians, was stationed on a pavilion built out from the house in front of the Rue Tilsit. A dozen footmen, in liveries of crimson and gold, lined the entrance and stairway:
The carriages occupied the causeway in front. The vestibule, staircase and passage-ways were profusely decorated with flags and beautiful flowers. The rooms were magnificent. Everything that money could supply and elegant taste select was there to add to the beauty and impressiveness of the scene.
There were covers for twenty-four, and the guests were General Grant and family, and the members of the American Legation and Consulate and their families. There were no unofficial Americans present at the dinner. The menu was inscribed on small silver tablettes, as in the case of the famous dinner to Senator Sharon at San Francisco.
After the dinner a grand reception and ball took place, at which three hundred guests were present. Among the guests were the Marquis de Lafayette, MM. de Rochambeau and de Bois-Thierry, the Duc de Rivoli, the Duc and Duchesse de Bojano, the Duc and Mlle. Ribon de Trohen, Comtes de Beon, Serrurrier, de Montferraut, de Divonns and Excelmans, the Baronne Delort de Gleon, Barons Houbeyran and de Reinach, and Vicomtes de Villestrux and Marchand, the Duc Decazes, Senator Laboulaye, MM. Henri Martin and Leon Say, Mme. Guizot, Mr. and Mrs. Seligman and M. Cernuschi.
The American colony was largely represented, and the number of beautiful women was very remarkable. The ladies' costumes displayed extraordinary taste, elegance and richness. The dancing commenced early and continued till four o'clock in the morning.
During the latter part of November General Grant was feted and dined by Mrs. General Sickles, at her residence in the Rue Presbourg, which was a brilliant affair ; by the Marquis de Talleyrand-Perigord; by the Comte de Paris; Emile Girardin, editor of La France ; M. Gambetta ; Mr. Healy, the American artist; M. Laugel, a prominent Orleanist; and at the house of Mr. Harjes, the banker, was toasted for the last time in Paris. The gentlemen in the party were all Americans, and the affair was one of the most elegant which has taken place in Paris this season.
As a guest of many distinguished persons in the gay capital, and a man honored in all cities, he had enjoyed an uncommonly brilliant round of festivities, and had been the subject of wide and various criticism, and had stood the fire of festivities and criticism alike with that imperturbable tranquillity which is an inseparable element of his identity.
General Grant and party reached Lyons on the 2d of December, and were received by the Prefect, the President of the Municipal Council, American residents and several of the leading silk merchants of Lyons. After a tour of inspection of the quays and places of interest, he left for Marseilles on the 3d, where he was received with great enthusiasm. On the 15th we find him at Genoa, he having previously visited Villa Franca and Leghorn. After visiting the town of Genoa, the General gave a reception to the authorities on board the United States steamer Vandalia, Commander Robeson.
Reaching Naples, early on the evening of the 17th, on the following day, in company with Mrs. Grant and son, he made the ascent of Mount Vesuvius, but, the day being cold, the party did not reach the crater. Luncheon was served at the “House of Refuge," near the Observatory, and a pleasant hour spent in enjoying the remarkable view of Capri and Ischia. The plain is studded with twenty villages and lined with snow clad hills, and the snow looked beautifully clear and white in the gorgeous sunlight of an Italian sky. They returned in the evening to the Vandalia, after having spent a delightfully pleasant day.
On Wednesday the General and family, accompanied by Consul Duncan, Commander Robeson, Lieutenants Strong, Rush and Miller, and Engineer Baird, visited the ruins of Pompeii. The government had made arrangements for a special excavation in honor of General Grant, so that he might see how the work was done, and see some of the curiosities recovered just as they were placed when the city was suddenly destroyed. The day was a little cold, but clear, and in every way favorable for the work. The director of the excavations received General Grant and party, and conducted them to the principal points of interest. Two hours were spent wandering among the ruins of this ancient and memorable city, and at every step something of interest was seen. The workingmen then proceeded to dig out the chamber of a buried house, and discovered some fragments of a table made of wood and bronze. The workmanship was very curious and elaborate, and was examined with great interest by the wkole party. The next object of interest discovered was a loaf of bread, wrapped neatly in cloth and perfectly distinguishable. Many other curious and interesting articles were found and inspected by the party of visitors, and all expressed themselves as highly gratified with their visit to the ruins of the ancient city. They returned in the evening.
On Thursday ex-President Grant returned the official visits of the civil and military authorities of the city. As he left the Vandalia the yards were manned and a salute fired, the salute being returned by the Italian Admiral. General Grant then landed, and was met by the General commanding the district, who had a regiment of Bersaglieri drawn up in front of the Royal Palace, and reviewed by General Grant. Accompanied by the Italian officials, he then visited the naval and military schools and the palace, after which he attended a reception at the house of Consul Duncan..
During these visits General Grant was accompanied by his son, Commander Robeson, Lieutenants Rush and Miller, and a splendid retinue of Italian officials. The whole tone of the reception accorded him was cordial and stately. The General expressed himself with the greatest admiration of the Italian troops.
Christmas we find General Grant and party on board the Vandalia, at Palermo. The General remained on board until noon to receive the visit of the Prefect, who came in state, and was honored with a salute of fifteen guns. His Honor remained only a few minutes, during which he tendered the General all the hospitalities and courtesies of the town, but General Grant declined them, with thanks.
After the departure of the city authorities the General and Captain Robeson went on shore, and sauntered about for two or three hours looking on the holiday groups, who made the day a merry one in their Sicilian fashion. A Christmas dinner was furnished from the ship's larder. The hosts were Chief Engineer J. Trilley, Surgeon George Cooke, Lieutenant-Commander A. G. Caldwell, Lieutenant E. T. Strong, Past-Assistant Engineers G. W. Baird and D. M. Fulmer, Lieutenant Jacob W. Miller, Paymaster J. P. Loomis, Lieutenant Richard Rush, Captain L. E. Fagan, commanding the marinės, Lieutenant H. O. Handy, Lieutenant W. A. Hadden and Master J. W. Daunehower. These comprised the names of the ward-room officers of the Vandalia--a gallant, manly, chivalrous company they were. The guests of the evening were General Grant and wife, Commander H. B. Robeson and Jesse R. Grant. This was the company. The menu will give an idea of what a ship's kitchen can do for a Christmas dinner: '
Puree de pommes.