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say, from the north, is a perfect bit eyes watching her progress. But, most of Dresden or Sevres — piquante, trying ordeal of all, when at the cenpetite, mignonne-a fairy, a cloud of tre, and making profoundest and most floating muslin : so that in this green- gracefulobeisance (rehearsed, say, genhouse, every human horticulturist can tle Magnolia, how many times in the suit his taste admirably. Here is the drawing-room at home, mamma playEblana Belle, en titre—here is her ing vice-king for the nonce, and the rival. Uniforms, too. There is a camp junior branches of the family supportwithin an hour's drive—there are bar- ing the parts of members of the court), racks in a dozen quarters of the city, out steps the Vice-King, and exacts so we can be glutted with every va- that sort of feudal tribute, which is of riety of shape and colour, cavalry, the royal prerogative. Enviable profoot, and military train, and what consul – blissful prerogative - sweet must surely be the uniform of that ex- monopoly! Mark how the rights and ceptional corps, the chevaux marins ; privileges of the famous office have for there are mysterious garments, been gradually cut down-imperceptt00, not known to Planche or even ibly dwindling—but to this sacred Nathan-uniforms of a local pattern right have all vice-monarchs clung des-officers associated with the adminis- perately, come weal, come woe; nay, tration of counties, who are splendid might it not be reasonably suspected as French senators. These entities that the seduction of this labial impost gorgeous in green and gold, and gene- might have such charms as actually ral braiding, far more sumptuous than to avert the doom of utter abolition, riflemen-are police. We have our which at times has menaced the vicehousehold uniform, Windsorial in a regal throne. Only conceive it! Take degree, and the flashing aides-de-camp it in a rough way, at from six to eight resplendent in bullion. As an altera- hundred- a procession of lips, through tive, there is a gush of the element the whole night, and all for one Being, clergymanical, whose bands and black who is not a Heathen God, but a gowns have a rather mortuary and simple mortal. A sort of practical quieting effect. Also the high judicial judgment of Paris, going on for hours, functionaries in decent black velvet, only with more satisfactory means of and the bishops in the incomprehen- testing comparative merit than was sible apron. All this while the com- allowed to the Homeric gentleman. pany has been slowly filtering through. And consider--consider yet more There is a polite" pen” at the end of emphatically — the wretched minor the room, over which gigantic sen actors in the piece, who must stand tries keep guard, and admit a few at by and look on patiently, and suffer a time. There is a fierce competition all the raging torments of Tantalus. to reach this sacred enclosure, and Wonderful that, towards the end of some of our flowers get sadly frayed the ceremony, these unhappy men, and tossed, losing a few of their pe- goaded to fury, do not abandon all tals in the process. But once in the sense of restraint, and rush in for secure enclosure, refitting and arrange- their share of the universal osculation. ment takes place. For already, though Poor, famished souls ! they would not the door be forced, is heard the offi- be so accountable after als ! cial chanting the monotone of Still, by the happy law of nature, names sung from afar. Now, the there is compensation in all things; moment; and blooming Miss Magno- and if there is unrestricted right of lia sees through the door the long, salutation over these blooming pasglittering line, with its conspicuous tures, so are there over stony and arid centre figure, along which she must patches, which must be accepted on pass. Menials specially deputed to fike conditions.
With twenty per that object, take from her trembling cent of the six or eight hundred, it arm the rustling train, and spread it resolves itself into a question which out with suitable effect. Before her nothing but a stern sense of duty can eyes is a flood of light, and a terrible carry him through. And yet it may open space, across which she must be considered an agreeable alterative travel, alone and unsupported, run -olives before the strawberries. The ning the polite gauntlet as it were osculatory bill, is, as it were, disof that glittering line, with a hundred counted after the fashion of ordinary
usurious dealings---one third, old wine; ing, purchased, however, by wholesale one third in paintings; and one third compression. Most notable of all, the in bright, brilliant gold and silver. ball on the night of the Patron Saint
Here are long rooms with pictures, of the kingdom, where all the comand pillars, and tapestry, and much pany-say sixteen hundred strong, as gilding; all with a flavour of state. And before--arrive in court dresses, feahere is the grand hall state ball-room, thers, trains, and the rest of that gear. with galleries at each end, into which Where, at ten o'clock punctually, acthe presented crowd gushes furiously. cording to immemorial usage, a monThere is something of the Grand ster country-dance is formed, and Monarque air about the look of the Vice-King leads off down the fatiguwhole--the plumes and feathers, the ing ranks of innumerable couples, to trains, the jewels, the uniforms and the famous tune of Giga,” consecolours of the gentlemen of a remote crated to, and called by the name of, period, all crowded together in the the patron saint just mentioned. A hall. By-and-by the musicians in the curious spectacle, with something of gallery strike up God Save the the Louis Quatorze flavour, to see Queen,” and an avenue opens down gentlemen of the Johnsonian era, and the centre, through which Vice-King, in the habiliments of that great lexifollowed by a gorgeous train of house- cographer, flying round in the measure hold lords, ladies, and gentlemen, ad- of a nineteenth century valse, and pervances splendidly. Professional cynic- fectly reckless of the incongruity. ism may talk of its Court Calendars, When there is universal courtesying, and "sham Court Calendars, but at a particular crisis of the measure when we take up our journal next known as “The Lancers," as by stamorning, and spread the news upon tute in that case made and provided, our palates, as we would butter our and corresponding graceful bowing on toast, we read what a throng of earls, the part of innumerable Doctor Johncountesses, barons, lords, lordlings, sons--the whole effect is something bishops, judges, and untitled talent of in the nature of a dream of the Grand all degrees, has been circulating about Court, with a soupçon of the minuet.
It is as genuine a Court Calen But if there be a specialité on which dar, and Royal Red Book, as could Eblana prides itself, it is on its flood well be published. For a “sham," jf of amateur music. This is irrepressham it be, it has a wonderful vitality. sible, and breaks out in a thousand
But this ceremonial is but the her- shapes. Tenors, usually scarce and ald to other joys. The capital is full. precious as black swans, are here in a The rustic nobility--constitutional welcome profusion. The spectacle of supporters of the existing ministry- a human being standing up before a are now in town, sojourning at the mixed company to distend the human decent, dear, and lingy hostelries, uvula, in a rude and uncultivated state, which are favoured with their patron- is common enough everywhere-all age. These does viceregal Majesty mortals, with the most humble gift of delight to honour. And so, after a vociferation, thinking they have “ day's interval, cards flutter forth for call,” to disturb their fellow creatures
A BANQUET!" A banquet, strictly in a drawing-room. But here is a speaking ; and known by that de- host of fine voices, and abundance of nomination—legitimately entitled to cultivation ; and the result is an althat splendid title. The great hall is most business-like organization which again laid out, and a hundred and confounds strangers, and is very diftwenty guests sit down--the ele- ferent from the feeble and disjointed ments of selection, rank, and beauty. efforts of the common run of amateurs. And this, besides, no vile, civic feast, Eblana has its own Royal Academy or splendid scramble for victuals, but of Music, which dates back to nearly a calm dinner party. There are things a century and a half ago ; and this tosee and remember; and a succession institution serves, happily, as a sort of these enliven the festivities of Eb- of neutral ground for getting together lana Castle during the season.
all amateur elements. And every year Balls, too! Yes, where the lieges a kind of festival concert takes place, assemble thirteen hundred strong. in aid of its funds, on the night of These, too, are festivals worth see which is presented a spectacle, per
haps unique in these kingdoms. An zation, taking the rasping fences of opera is chosen to be recited-Verdi, demi-semi-quavers smoothly, and Rossini, or Bellini's—and there is nó keeping their seats easily, like their difficulty in finding suitable perfor- sisters in the open field. Here are mers for the leading parts. But the barytones, very precious,” as Mr. orchestra is worth coming many miles Ruskin would phrase it ; and, as of to see. For there is seen, clustered course, a satiety of those cheaper together, rising in circular row above organs—the rude, disorderly basses. row, a cloud of the freshest and most Over all is that smoothness which captivating belles that Eblana can familiarity with Italian music and boast, mostly from the very first rank, Italian singers is sure to give. and who, by some mysterious law,
Balls ! Èblana is insane upon balls seem to have the gift of good voices, and dinner parties. The roysterer in addition to their other charms. All coming home late at night, and wanare in white; all have wreaths of the dering through Irish Belgravia, sees same pattern ; all have bouquets ; files of carriages drawn up, waiting and all have a sort of narrow tricolor patiently until four and five in the ribbon crossing their shoulder to the morning. From the surrounding darkwaist. And the effect, heightened by ness that festive mansion stands out, brilliant lights, and the shape of the with its windows all ablaze. From orchestra, is that of a charming bou- within wind forth the cheerful horn, quet. “Ernani,” “La Sonnambula,” and encouraging viol; while on the
I Puritani,” and many more have blinds are projected fitful shadowsbeen “recited” in this attractive fa- for the “Galop des Démons” is now shion ; but it is to be suspected the raging, and Eblana's sons and daughaudience are more busy with each ters are crushing round like possessed item of the chorus than with the mu- dancing dervishes. sic of Verdi or Bellini. The same These festivals are pleasant things spectacle may be seen in Rome the to see ; for they do not crowd their Eternal, and other Italian cities, only company in a sort of fashionable Calscarcely on so large a scale. Some- cutta Black Hole, as in great Babylon. times this charitable assistance was A stream of fresh faces, and fresh taken in the shape of an opera acted, dresses, and of brisk, vigorous dancers with suitable dresses and decorations; the whole copiously seasoned with and only a few years back, the the fighting, scarlet element, who, in “ Maritana” of Mr. Wallace was ex- many respects, are indeed the salt of cellently given, with this accomplished a ball-for such is Eblana, the happy band of sirens for chorus. These re- hunting ground--that city, being a finements lift us out of the dead level huge garrison. And yet this heaven of dull insensibility ; and the more has its drawbacks. As there are fagwe can draw near to the happy models gots and faggots, according to the found in foreign cities, the more French maxim, so are there fighting wholesome the influence. In Eblana men and fighting men. Recent courtthe Dagon of business does not de- martials have let us into the secret, vour his children,
of what low, degraded elements have In most private houses music is latterly stolen into the ranks of the supreme; but there are special man British army; and this is traceable in sions where she is at home. That is the mob of soldiers which inundates a thing as of course—a necessary of our Eblana ball-rooms. Scrape a life-and the onus lies upon those Russian,” said Napoleon, "and you who are inharmonious.
will find a Tartar underneath.
And They labour under disability. It is a so, in certain instances, if you scrape round of musical parties, and of morn- away the scarlet plating, patches of ing matinées ; which latter, at certain the cad” break out-manners that seasons, come so thick, that for many are positively ungentlemanly; deportafternoons, successively, an eagerdilet- ment that is familiar, and conversatante may wander from house to tion tainted with low slang. house, and see his friends, and be en Dinners, too! We abound in bantertained by most marvellous music. quets, and feast each other all the There he will hear rich, deep contral- year round. There is a succession of toes, florid sopranoes, hurrying over what is known, in the waiting intethe grand hunting country of vocali- rest, as “State Dinners.”--twenty
four, and twenty-six, the golden num- birds, of superbly-bound books, of bers. The baked meats are choice, wreaths, in fact of anything that can and do not by any means so coldly by human ingenuity be let down, furnish forth the table.” The “ser- which results sometimes in “La vice” is admirable, and the vintages Picciola,” which is the pet diminutive unsurpassed. There are sherries and name of the Squalacci, coming to the Madeiras, and clarets slumbering in footlights, and making a pretty little certain “caves” of Eblana, that would speech of grateful sympathy, but immake a connoisseur's heart glad. perfect English, to this effect, “ I loaf
Clubs ! Eblana abounds in clubs. you all ver moche," a declaration as Beginning with the great Conserva- may be well imagined, received with tive House of Call, which has on its screams of delight. Sometimes, too, books every substantial name of rank, this gentle response has taken the of consideration, in the country, sprin- shape of a cantata, entitled, say, kled all through, copiously, with “The Praise of Gain," the words by English peers and statesmen--for the grateful Chestini, the music by Eblana is indeed a sort of Hotel de Bâtonini, the accomplished chef d'orl'Europe for the British islands. chestre, who is strangely popular (for Everyone has passed through and no apparent reason beyond kid gloves, staid a night in his life ; has been waving his implement of office gracequartered there; has been drawn over fully), and has his own little ovation on some pretext or excuse; has friends as he enters the orchestra. Once or relations who are, or have been indeed the charming little Squalacci there. The "wild Irishmen” are per- wrote us (that is pit, gallery, and petually bringing down hordes of the boxes), a letter from Spezia, or some perfidious Saxons. As in the little such place, which is here reprowatering-places abroad, so is there duced " textuellement"-here a daily list published of arrivals
“19 October, 1859. and departures, and we may see how
“MESSIEURS,-I have been fathe Marquis of Steyne, Lord Bare- voured with a handsome and elegant acres, Viscount Cinqbars, Captain de Boots, and other familiar names, whom heaven accord me the power to revisit
copy of the Don Giovanni. Should we have met at the booths of Vanity the city of my sympathy, that dear Fair, have just come over. Now
Eblana, I hope to be able to express arrive the select cohort of cricketers, in words, better than in these hasty known as The Gipsies, who put up at lines, my lively sense of gratitude. I the Viceroyal hostelry, and are enter- could, my dear Eblanesi, knew that I tained sumptuously. Eblana has its opera season;.
can never forget the proofs of kind runs, off and on, say for nearly two that neither time nor distance can
sympathy they have given me; and months in the year. A facetious
ever obliterate them from my recolpeer described Eblana as the “most
lection. cardrivingest city in the universe;"
“MARIA SQUALACCI.” but on this musical advent the ranks of the Mezzo Ceto become insane tem Maria is now married to an Italian porarily. I suppose the Royal Eblana Count, and living happily by an Opera House,* is about the prettiest Italian lake. edifice of its kind in the kingdom; These, with many more, are the and, when filled from floor to ceiling, delights of Eblana. One thing more has a specially brilliant aspect. But remains to be said, which is a pregon the last nights of the engagement nant text in itself. In these days of of the little piquante Squalacci, the what Mr. Carlyle calls“ general famous soprano, and of Chestini, the cotton confusion” and money worrobust tenor, and Growliani, the no- ship, there are to be seen in the open torious basso profundo, we havescenes streets of Eblana two statues to two of uproarious admiration, which con- poets--to Goldsmith and to Thomas found the wandering stranger. We Moore. have letting down of flags, of singing
* For a description of a night at this Lyrical Temple, see "Temple Bar," March : 1862.
YAXLEY AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD.
THE FATHER, THE CHILD, AND THE PUPIL.
It was one of those winter nights white, and lay in thin streaks on his common to our climate; the sky deep temples. The worn features of his blue ; myriads of stars twinkling face might have struck any observer down upon the hard earth; frost thick with a feeling of interest, if not of upon window-panes and white upon pain; the hands were thin, too, very roadside hedges; street puddles frozen thin and pale, and his clothes, as if -ice everywhere abroad. Many a they laboured under the same comtender garden plant was that night plaint as the wearer,were thin, threadmeekly receiving its death-stroke, bare, and faded. All was worn outwhile others more hardy drooped their mind, body, and apparel. Despair leaves under the crisp coating they has different depths of shade—all are had received; the snail and the worm dark, but some are blacker than had hidden themselves away deep in others. The shadow it was casting in the earth's bosom; vegetation was at that humble little room, with its a stand still ; servants were busy scanty furniture, its bare walls, its renewing great fires in comfortable lonely aspect, was gradually deepensitting-rooms ; elderly gentlemen ing from the dusk of twilight to the rubbed their hands together plea- thick gloom of night. The occupant santly, and said the cold was delight- of the room was not alone; two earfully bracing; boys thought they nesteyes watched his face with wonder would skate next day, if the frost and inquiry, a tiny hand was laid continued; the very aged, bed-ridden upon his knee, the little figure of a in rooms, whose heat was stifling to child stood beside him. their younger companions, felt the ice. “Papa. stealing to their heart's core, pressing No answer. heavily on their breath; young la “Papa, speak to me. dies drew near the fire, with their “What shall I say, missy ?” books or needlework; vagrants in the “I want to know something,” said streets muttered imprecations upon the child, heaving a sigh, and pausing the weather, and drew their scanty for a second or two. covering closer round them; appetites When shall we go home ?" were sharpened, luxury was enjoyed; “Home, my darling? Is not this starvation and want were engendering our home now?" despair ; children with merry, eyes “I think it is not. Home was not and rosy cheeks were laughing in the like this.” homes of the well-fed-children with “Then you would like to leave pinched features and pale faces were me, Lizette, and go back to your old crying in the garrets of the hungry. home ???
Upon that night the town of Yaxley “No, papa, not without you. We was very quiet, few people were going must both go together, and look for through its streets. No one liked being mamma.' out long, and any that were obliged Nay, my child, but I shall go toencounter the cold, hurried by, with first, and leave you here with good coats buttoned to the throat, and noses old Margaret. Will not that be a dyed to the deepest hue of purple. In better way? You will be satisfied to a little cottage of the suburbs of the let me go to your mother, and stay town a weary man sat in a barely- here, like a good child, behind, till furnished room, stirring the half- you are sent for." expiring fire-and as he looked into its The great dark eyes of the little embers, thinking of life's spark dying Lizette burned intensely-something out too. He was a small man, of of distrust appeared in their expresmeek aspect, not old in years—yet his sion. She did not reply. hair was thickly besprinkled with “Why do you not speak, missy ?"