CZAR. An illustration of the old proverb, "Uneasy lies the King when falls the Ace."
The following letter written by the Czar to Tolstoi probably illustrates better than any other document the pleasant and health-giving conditions under which the Czar lives and reigns:--
In The Cellar, To-day.
Dear Tolsey:--My hands tremble a little in the armor-plated gloves, so you must excuse bad spelling.
They have just handed me a small bunch of asbestos writing paper, and the fountain pen has been sterilized to remove the poison, so I will write you.
Great Scottovitch! you can never enjoy the feeling of anxiety which gallops over me when I wake in the morning and wonder will the hard-boiled eggs explode before I eat my breakfast.
At six o'clock this morning I was awakened by a scratching noise on the iron quilt which covers my repose. A cold perspiration broke out on my forehead. I buried my head in the hardwood pillows and waited the end. Just then M. Stepupski, the Minister of the Department of Bum Shells, walked in through the secret tunnel in the wall.
I threw the aluminum blanket off my face and cried: "What is it? What is it?"
"Pardonoviski, Your Majesty," said M. Stepupski, "it is the cat! Whether it is a trained cat carrying a deadly bombshell in the forward turret, I don't know, but we will investigationiski at once."
My minister coaxed the cat away and five minutes later a loud explosion confirmed M. Stepupski's theory that the cat's bosom contained something more than nine lives.
It also confirmed M. Stepupski, because he has been strangely absent ever since together with a stained-glass window and a lot of new furniture.
Take my advice, Tolstoi, and don't be a royalty.
I say this as one friend to another and not because I have to wear copper-fastened pajamas.
I don't mind the copper-fastened pajamas so much, but to wear asphalt neckties and barb-wire suspenders is something which aggravates the spirit.
At 8 A.M. this morning M. Cornmealski, the Minister of the Department of Armored Breakfasts, reported that he had discovered something suspicious in the dish of peeled prunes.
We examined the prunes carefully and found them stuffed with free tickets to ride on the Brooklyn Elevated Railroad. We burned the tickets hastily and saved our lives again.