Salubrities Abroad

Salubrities Abroad was a regular feature in Punch. Although not normally what I’d consider a short story, this one has that sort of character.

Still at Royat. Hotel Continental. — A propos of Puller “airing his French” Miss Louisa Metterbrun said something delightful to him the other day at dinner. Puller had been instructing us all in some French idioms until Madame Metterbrun set him right in his pronunciation. He owned that he had made a slip. “But,” says he, wagging his head and pulling up his wristbands with the air of a man thoroughly well satisfied with himself generally, “but I think you’ll allow that I can speak French better than most Englishmen, eh?”

Madame Metterbrun doesn’t exactly know what to say, but Miss Louisa comes to the rescue. “O Mr. Puller” — he is frequently at their house in London, and they know him intimately — “I always say to Mamma, when we’re abroad, that I do like to hear you talk French” — Puller smirks and thinks to himself that this is a girl of sense and rare appreciation — “because,” she goes on quietly, and all at table are listening, “because your speaking French reminds me so of home.” Her home is London. I think Puller won’t ask Miss Louisa for an opinion on his French accent again in a hurry.