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At six o'clock, as on other days, * This is Christmas Day,' I said. Paris turns out to dinner, and al- 'Yes,' replied the doctor. though this leaving home to dine at And we both looked at each other. a restaurant may seem to be a The fact was, that both the doctor strangely undomestic proceeding, it and I wanted to dine à la Française, should not be forgotten that families but we were much too English, dine together. Monsieur Dupont having only known each other nine does not visit the restaurateurs years, to mention that fact without alone. He takes with him Madame Dupont, and his children, Monsieur "Ah! I said, 'you see-on ChristAuguste, Octave, Maximilien Du- mas Daypont; and Mademoiselle Victorine, "One likes to have a Christmas Amélie, Therese Dupont. The dinner.' grandfather or grandmother of the

• Just so.

When

one is in children is often of the party, and Paris --' it is very charming to watch the One must do as London doesattention of the married Duponts to just so.' their elderly relative, their devotion There is no lack of English hotels to their offspring, and the admirable in Paris; indeed, since the Anglobehaviour of these last-mentioned mania, now prevalent in that big little individuals, their quietude of bonbonnière of a city, many resmanner, and habitual deference to taurants, French as the time of papa and maman. The whole affair 'Malbrook,' have broken out with is, in feeling and spirit, as healthily • British Tavern,' in large gold domestic as the excursion of a me- capitals; and, notwithstanding railchanic—when the husband carries ways, exhibitions, and the entente the baby proper, the wife the baby cordiale produced by the Crimean before the last, and the eldest boy wars, there still exists a strange the basin tied in a handkerchief that misapprehension as to the appetites contains the cold meat, and bread of the brave eccentric English. and cheese. It is a great error to Foremost among these superstitions suppose that Frenchmen are more is the notion, that to a man we regardless of home ties than men of doat on mock-turtle soup. Numeother nations-an error which their rous are the placards which inform own novelists and romancers have the travelling Briton that · Mockdone their utmost to create and to turtle' is always ready. Offer your foster. The prevailing notion of English mock-turtle and you secure the relations of husband and wife in him, think the traiteurs. It is the France is of a couple totally indif- only soup produced by his brave but ferent to each other, to say nothing benighted chief of the kitchen! worse - living entirely apart, and Shaw and I dined and drank when meeting in society, treating after the manner of our forefathers, each other with an odd sort of chill- and I trust the indigestion and ing ceremonious politeness. No- headache which we suffered next thing can be further from the fact. day were convincing proofs of our The littérateurs of France have patriotism. found it convenient to represent the After dinner, as we sat puffing manners of only one section of our cigars at the open window that society in Paris, and it is to a great looked on to the brilliant street, ho extent to terrible De Balzac, cockney

said to mePaul, and others, that France owes * You know that English family the evil opinion held on this side of that came to our hotel last week?' the water, of the habits and morals Yes.' of their compatriots.

• Their servant girl is laid up in On re-entering my hotel, I found my bed with rheumatism, ha! ha! friend Doctor Shaw waiting for me. Not being a medical man, I don't

• Here you are,' said he. “Where exactly see the joke,' I said. shall we dine?'

Not one of them speaks a word Now this was a question easy to of French,' continued Shaw. answer on ordinary occasions.

I know.'

"And they've had a French doctor While the popularity of pantoto the girl;' and Shaw laughed mimes with us would seem to inagain.

crease every year, the taste for Well.'

revues has so much declined that * The French doctor can't speak few theatres now attempt them. a word of English, and so physician At the Palais Royal, “Les Perand patient confer in signs. He ruques' was so heartily disapproved doesn't understand the girl's symp- of that in a few nights it was withtoms, and he is bungling the case drawn. The doctor and I went to completely

see it, and certainly such a farrago * I really am at a loss to' of unamusing absurdity was never

· Wait a bit. You know Thoma- witnessed. The only revue which sine, the landlord's daughter, who stood its ground, with the exception says she can speak English, and of one played at a theatre we did can't. Well, she interprets for not visit, was ' Eh! Allez donc Turthem. She only knows one phrase, lurette !' at the Variétés, and after which she told me she learnt in the first act that was very poor. London, when she was there for the The Prologue or Introduction took Exhibition; it is a question which sne place at the house of a literary asks the patient every time she goes lionne, where a number of guests into the room. Can you guess what are invited to hear the lionne herself it is?

read her own tragedy. The veteran 'No.'

Amal sang and acted with his usual * I can't help laughing; it is so charm; and Dupuis, one of the very applicable to a rheumatic case. best eccentric actors on the French Thomasine is always saying to her, stage, appeared as the meek, sub“How's your poor feet ?”.

dued husband of the brilliant blueWe sat and smoked and drank, stocking. The company is seated, and drank and smoked, till we got and the reading is begun: the husup the proper Christmas post- band's rapture is so great that he prandial feeling; and went home to expresses it in the same manner as the smiling concierge, as every man Mr. Pickwick his admiration at the should on Christmas night espe- leaders in the 'Eatanswill Gazette,' cially, at peace with ourselves and on the buff job of appointing a new with goodwill to all men.

keeper to the toll-gate-his eyes close

with intense appreciation, the guests CHRISTMAS AT THE THEATRES.

depart one by one; the unconscious English folk have their panto- authoress rolling forth her periods mimes, Parisians their revues. Of with such abstracted gusto that she late years this species of entertain- is unaware of the defection of her ment has languished. As has been audience. Arnal makes good his well pointed out in ‘Figaro,' the retreat by crying 'Charmant' as he revue is no longer a comic summary retires; and finally the lady is left of the events of the year; dramatic declaiming to one solitary auditorwriters are not permitted to make her unconscious husband. The curcapital of political events. It is no tain falls on her as she continues to longer possible to allude to a com- pour forth tragic verse; and the mercial panic by a dirge called 'La sleeping Dupuis is left close to the Norte de Commerce,' and a funeral footlights, from which he is soon procession of all the trades of Paris. hidden by a property cloud, which The revue is now simply and purely bears upon its anything but undutheatrical; and the various dramatic lating surface the words, ' C'est une events of the year are burlesqued, reve!' imitations of popular actors given, The first act reproduced a piece some well-arranged ballets danced, called “La Reine de Crinoline,' and pungent parodies sung; and nothing at the same time carried out the more. Widely different was it when lionne idea of feminine domination there was no dramatic censorship in and masculine submission. The the days of the famous La Propriété ladies are the ruling and moving c'est le Vol and La Foire aux Idées. powers in the state.

Ladies are lawyers, ladies are soldiers, sailors, possibly because it is new. L'an and drum-majors. A corps of awk- est mort. Vive l'an! ward female conscripts, are drilled This first day is essentially a day by a lady-serjeant, who gives an ad- of costume-% day for brilliant mirable imitation of the military bonnets, glossy hats, varnished brusqucrie of a vielle moustache. boots, perfume and cosmetique. The queen has left her court to Dressed, brushed, oiled, waxed, and fight her country's foes. The kinggloved, Monsieur first pays his personated by Dupuis, remaining service to the Emperor. The apbehind to weep and mourn her proach to the Tuileries is a great absence. Amid a grand flourish sight, and philosophical must be of drums and trumpets, the female that civilian who does not feel himwarriors return; and the king, who self utterly crushed and humiliated has reason to fear his dread queen by the neighbourhood of the gorand master's presence, is agitated geous uniforms around him. The and confused. Loveliest, you are white stone buildings of the Rue pale!' exclaims the anxious queen. de Rivoli form the background for a 'Tis—’tis nothing; a passing indis- military tailor's Paradise. And how position -- not more.'

Then con

happy are the militaires inside the temptuously remarks an old soldier, uniforms. How they feel that they full sixteen years of age, with saucy are the show, that the world is eyes and a brilliant complexion, looking at them, and that the occaLes hommes, ils sont toujours sion is their own. How complapàle!' and so the scene proceeds. cently they sport their medals, and The rest of the revue was purely what a quantity they carry of those theatrical --- the second act treat- certificates of valour. The corpuing of the removal of the theatres, lent old gentleman in a cocked hat, from the Boulevards to the Place now waddling across the road, du Châtelet; the spectres of suc- carries an enormous weight of metal. cessful melodramas holding a mid- First there is his gorget—that queer night meeting, and talking greater bit of brass that rem ds one of the rubbish than could be supposed to labels round the necks of bottles, be uttered by even melodramatic still found in some old country ghosts. In the third act the cha- houses, on which the word port or racters of the famous Rothomago sherry is engraved. Then there are found fishing on the river in is his sword, which is pendent from their dramatic costume, and when a wonderful complication of straps asked by their irate director the and buckles; and as for medals, reason of their conduct, they reply the man must have fought victhat it was his orders that they toriously in every battle since Pharshould all meet in costume sur la salia, Yet he is modest, though scène (sur la Seine)---as bad a pun, he wears large scarlet trousers, and perhaps, as was ever perpetrated. sucks a bad cigar with the bon-, The piece concluded with some homie of a bourgeois. imitations of the most popular A French soldier is happier in actors, Lafont, Lesueur, Landrol, scarlet trousers than in those of Dielingue, Brindeau, Bouffé, Chilly, any other colour. In black, blue, Arnal, Dupuis, and others; and the

green, or grey, he may exist; in curtain fell on a fairy scene with a scarlet he lives. fountain of real water; a number of More costumes tramp and glitter the corps de ballet, dressed as Pom- by; soldiers, soldiers and soldiers ; piers, supplying the fountain with

then, for variety, some officers of fire buckets. Sad silliness, sham the Marine; soldiers again. Rusfun, and make-believe wit, utterly sians, haughty, elegant, and furred ; unworthy of French writers and

magnificent Circassians, men whose French actors.

bearing indicates their habit of NEW YEAR'S DAY.

looking down upon the world from

mountain tops; and more cocked Of all days in the year, Parisians hats, sworils, and scarlet trousers. think most of New Year's Day- Look on, Parisians, and admire, for your army deserves it at your eyes. artificial civilisation, but frogs are It is for this they stormed Alma, also shown loving, fighting, drinkfought Inkermann, flooded Sol- ing, dying, and the rest. ferino, and pocketed Pekin. Vive Human nature is mimicked everyla France! Vive le Tricolor, and where with a strangely weird and Vive la Gloire !

terrible fidelity. The dolls are On ordinary days only so many wonderful. Dolls dressed à la Pombeggars are allowed to solicit alms, padour, with blue satin hoods and and they hold a permission from spectacles, and an expression of the police. On New Year's Day face that says plainly, 'I am a dollthere is free trade in mendicancy, grandmother.' Dolls seated on and at every tenth step you hear a thrones, a ' gorgeous canopy' above beggar; but they are never obsti- their heads, and a mien of perfect nately importunate as English majesty upon their waxen brows. beggars are. Many of them bring Then there are dolls in uneasy cirout an old organ, that can sound cumstances-dolls that, to use the only six notes, and turn the handle term by which the French politely as they chant a dismal song, and imply poverty, are not happy.' the sight is touching to the stranger There is a brilliantly-complexioned -the resident, who knows that young fellow in a blouse-a he-doll these useful properties are safely of the people--asking a young wostored, to be brought out once a man of the people, in a head-dress year, is not moved by the sight. like an exaggerated extinguisher They are a singular race, the beg- or ornamented fool's-cap, to dance gars of Paris, and would make an with him. From the limpid look interesting study. One girl, of about of her eyes we know that she will twelve years of age, asked alms of answer Oui,' and smile and curtsy me in French, English, German, and graciously. Close by is a Breton Italian. I discovered that in the doll, a sturdy fellow, with a rough last three languages she could only outside but a warm heart within, ask alms, that she had a

his musette in his hand. The for a foreign face, and seldom beg- group was so perfect that I turned ged of her compatriots.

away, or I should have doubtless Among the huts that dot the heard the Breton strike up the Boulevards, there is the usual crowd zing-zing of the musette, and seen hustling each other with undisturb- the young couple foot it to the able good humour. There are toys music, as only French folks, into more than realize the maddest toxicated with sugared water and fancies of imaginative childhood. gooseberry syrup, can foot it. Cigarres à la musique, serpents à la How happy must these dolls make musique, and some wonderful little their fortunate possessors, and how figures, three inches high, that happy must be the little darling

dance themselves, if placed on a whose grandpapa, that worthy old piano, play the instrument, or thrum bourgeois, has just presented her upon a table; and they derive a mo- with a New-Year's gift! tive power from the mere vibration. The tastes of children are alike There is a toy in which the figures all over the world. Girls love are boxing, and the more you shake something to pet, love, and fondle, them the harder they box. There comb, wash, above all, dress, and are rabbits affected by every feeling crowning glory and power of motherand motion of which humanity is hood--put to bed. Boys prefer an capable. Rabbits making love, article with which they can do misrabbits jealous, rabbits billing and chief-a sword, a gun, or a cannon cooing in honeymoon bliss, rabbits —they like destruction - anything getting very tipsy, rabbits quarrel- that smokes or smells like gunling, rabbits fighting duels, and powder. As a young friend of rabbits borne away killed and mine observed upon a 5th of Novemwounded after a mortal encounter. ber, “If fireworks are so nice, what Not only are rabbits depicted suffer- must a battle be ?' ing all the inconveniences of an Le jour de l'an! Glorious sound

ick eye

to the million round-faced, black- the memory of the brilliant blush eyed little children of France. of their happy honeymoon; of those Glorious day when they receive a strongly-knit home ties flashed compliment from papa and mamma. from the eyes of loving, lovely chilBounteous day of distribution from dren, intoned in the sound of their Christmas trees; when there is affec- sweet voices, and mellowed in their tionate contention and loving strug- merry and innocent caresses. gles as to who shall first rush Bearded husband, strong-limbed and into the chamber of papa and determined; elegant wife, sprightly, mamma to greet them with the naïve, and charming; brown-faced first word, the first kiss, and the bonne from Alsace, with ruddy first embrace. Happy anniver- cheeks and comfortable cap, cheery sary for all, rich, poor, high and bonne, who carries the baby; little low, from the well-bred child, se- monsieur and smaller mademoiselle, cluded from the world in the Fau- leaping and frisking with delightbourg St. Germain, to the shoeless all are made happy as that central gamin who starts at the glimpse of sun of the domestic universe, mamà cocked-hat in the distance! Day ma, distributes to her darlings the when the domestic affections, dimmed gifts of the New Year. People of and blurred by constant contact France, warlike, volatile, and gifted, with a hard material world, are re- what haughty and supercilious kindled and reanimated by the stranger, basking in the sight of sight of joyous little faces that

your snug homes

on the first day of unite the expression of those whcm the year, could deny that you are inclination, fate, and faith, have an affectionate, domestic, and lomeunited irrevocably. Day that to loving people ? monsieur and madame brings back

T. W. R.

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