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352               The Great Revolution in Pitcairn
The families of the maids of honor soon began to rebel, because there was nobody at home to keep house. The twelve snubbed women refused to enter the im­perial kitchen as servants ; so the empress had to require the Countess of Jericho and other great court dames to fetch water, sweep the palace, and perform other menial and equally distasteful services. This made bad blood in that department.
Everybody fell to complaining that the taxes levied for the support of the army, the navy, and the rest of the imperial establishment were intolerably burdensome, and were reducing the nation to beggary. The em­peror's reply—V Look at Germany; look at Italy. Are you better than they? and haven't you unification?"— did not satisfy them. They said, " People can't eat unification, and we are starving. Agriculture has ceased. Everybody is in the army, everybody is in the navy, everybody is in the public service, standing around in a uniform, with nothing whatever to do, nothing to eat, and nobody to till the fields—"
" Look at Germany; look at Italy. It is the same there. Such is unification, and there's no other way to get it— no other way to keep it after you've got it," said the poor emperor always.
But the grumblers only replied, " We can't stand the taxes — we can't stand them.''
Now right on top of this the cabinet reported a national debt amounting to upwards of forty-five dol­lars— half a dollar to every individual in the nation. And they proposed to fund something. They had heard that this was always done in such emergencies. They proposed duties on exports; also on imports. And they wanted to issue bonds; also paper money, redeemable in yams and cabbages in fifty years. They said the pay of the army and of the navy and of the whole governmental machine was far in arrears, and