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were not made to flourish in this cor- holds the band of some Prussian rerupt atmosphere. Still there is a giment, fifty or sixty strong: Most homage due to the society we are exquisite military music do they diswilling to accept, whatever be its qua- course-so full, so rich, so tuneful, so lity; and we should be glad to see soft, so loud, and with that grand, our countrywomen sustain the cha- substantial crash, when the whole racter of such taste as there is among strength comes in, which we may des
Less excusable is the Briton pro- pair of ever hearing among our Engper- square, burly, jocund, loud of lish soldiery. They are now playing speech, and arrayed in a clumsy the famous duet from the
Huguewhite hat, washed in many a shower, nots”-singing rather-with the right and the serviceable lounging coat, in passion and expression. There is which he has ranged many a moun- good reason for this selection, for there tain. He has even a complacent is now among the crowd, trudging it pride in his rags, as they may by a rather than walking, a little, quaint certain comparison be styled, and well-saved, smooth-cheeked, angular stupidly does not see what an affront old man, who carries his head back he is offering, both to good manners on his shoulders, and keeps his hands and to the fastidious society in joined behind him like Napoleon. which he is moving. Nor has he He wears a high-collared, old-fashionskill or tact enough to translate the ed dress coat, and in the daytime strange ironical glances with which rides a donkey, and carries a shabby he is measured, or the pleasant mots, old green umbrella. Yet this irregusparkling and' frothing like cham- larity of uniform is only the more pagne bubbles, as he passes by. fondly tolerated and encouraged, for
But at night, when the grand eventof the little old man is Meyerbeer-well the day is over-when Baden hasdined known here--better known at Spaand the clatter and fluster of general and upon whose grave the immortable d'hôte has past by-we go telles are now quite fresh. forth again, always in that one direc- There is nothing of the vulgar Vauxtion, and make for the promenade hall association or idea of the ten
thousand additional lamps. The From the great hotels streams lamps, indeed, are few, but the whole forth the living contingent, now fed has a sort of genuine fairyland look, and “restored. It has grown dark, with a tint of Bendermere and the and up and down through the fairy Feast of Roses. The great café, diBaden palaces are twinkling lights and rected by an artist of tremendous lanterns. All through the pastoral al- reputation from Paris, has its hunlées verts are sprinkled lamps. Lamps dred guests within and withoutshine out in the windows of the Ita- within, in those glittering halls into lian Opera side-scenes, and dots and which we can peep; without, at those flashes of light dance upon the rip- hundred little marble tables which pling waters that flow between the are almost mixed up with those who little ivy-clad quays. And far up at walk. Every one who sits and sips, the Place we see the bower opening, does so tranquilly, and with the reas it were, and the long perspective pose of a sultan. We
are, indeed, all of the house of gaming, its yellow sultans and Moslems, for no one gets columns lit by a long line of lights; angry or excited, or rages, but dreams and here is the company gathered to- life away. And there are chairs gether again, and the music playing everywhere, and a crowd of chairs, as melodiously, and the café in brisk it were reserved seats, under M. Bework; and the waiters performing nazet's gaming portico (which joins their own special ballet; and the the gaming café), and mammas and cigars all alight; and the universal papas, and the little children in white, miscellany whole world, “ half sit there quite happily, and enjoy the world,” fruit damaged and sound, scene and listen to the music. Every "peaches at three sous," Britons, one is in spirits, and, walking up and French, Spanish, Italian, German— down, chatters and gesticulates to his all yeasting and fermenting in one neighbour. And here is the noble noisy, chattering mass.
Prussian band striking in Wagner's The green and gold kiosk, all Tannhäuser, and large parties, mainly ablaze with many muffed chandeliers, German, I suspect, gather round
III. THE PLAYERS.
the illuminated kiosk, and applaud playing heavily. The Banker's heirheartily.
apparent from Frankfort, a heavy, hulking, pink-cheeked, overgrown gamin, who has been fluttering
round this terrible candle for two THERE is a steady stream up the days, losing a thousand francs now steps of M. Benazet's gaming portico, and again-a kind of teasing, fretful, into M. Benazet's gaming tabernacle. phlebotomizing, which, collectively, All the windows of M. Benazet’s he finds to be getting serious—is detabernacle are flung wide open (they termined to go seriously to work of are almost level with the ground), this night. There is also the pale, and we can see into the Pompadour dried, diplomatist English milord, drawing-rooms, and discern the dark slightly jaundiced, tall, slight, and figures stooping over towards the a little bent; he, too, is busy. And shaded lamps, and can hear the mu- there is the general “ruck," as it were sical click of the galloping roulette -the "gallery," as the Croupiers ball. Hot draughts are borne out to call them—who stand round and us. Bowing reverentially, we go in dabble in a little silver and a little with the stream.
gold, who are thrown into despair by Were there some skilful habitué the loss of fifteen francs, and into at hand, one who has graduated in tumultuous joy by a gain of the same this Epicurean University, he could amount. The time is eleven, just analyze this curious miscellany into struck musically on a Louis-Quatorze all its separate elements. He could clock.tell us that the whole whipped cream M. le Duc has down a note on the of Paris society, artistic, literary, Bauk of France, for one thousand sporting, and that monde which is francs. His friends have each a called “ beau,” as well as that known masse, as it is called, of, say,
demi," had all flocked in this each twenty Napoleons. The Frankdirection for its villegiatura. Per- fort Banker has two “ billets” of a sons of the highest quality, and thousand francs each, and the yellow persons-it must be whispered ever Milord has “engagé” on the red a so lightly-of the vilest quality ; pleasant composite heap of a blue persons of degree and no degree; rouleau and some Napoleons. The barons of various empires, and a "gallery,” truly contemptible on whole order of the Hospitallers of such an occasion with its little gains the “Knighthood of Industry;" and losses, is feverishly casting down French financiers, affiliated to the Cre- or taking up its trumpery silver, to a dit Mobilier, and who, as a class, seem very small amount. Croupier A. is to answer to the Farmers-General of “making up” the table ; mark how the old monarchy; and above all a dextrously he keeps all distinct. M. whole Covent Garden market of le Duc, though his note for a thouflowers.
sand francs is down, stakes only half. Get near the table; and ifyou dowin, His friends allow only five each of you can only recover your stakes by their “masses” to be risked. The à fierce stretch or lunge. Privateer Frankfort Banker lets all go of his old ladies are doing a brisk business, amount, and the yellow Milord risks snapping up, at the proper moment, but ten Louis of his composite heap. the small winnings, say ten francs, Croupier keeps all distinct and clear, of the boyish Englishman who is touches each with the point of his little imperfect in his French, and whose rakes, calling out the amount risked protest is unavailing. It is getting of each—“moitié du billet,” for M. on to eleven, and there is but little le Duc; “Cinq Louis à la masse,” time left to win or lose. The room for his friends; Tout va” for the is hot, M. le Duc and his three friends, Frankfort Banker, now beginning to well dined-are standing on the breathe a little hard, and for Milord, outskirts. They had begun carelessly, “Le rouleau.”. Then for the gallery, and with ennui ; but having lost, who are tumbling down their fiorins, and won, are growing interested and and mean coins in a loose scattered laying down larger stakes. The two fashion ; vigilant Croupier, with a young Englishmen, merchants' sons, touch gets the stray coins together, have got seats at the table, and are divines the colour they were aimed
at, and arranges his board as prettily too close, the whole gets into a conas can be conceived. Everything is fused mass ; but two strokes of the ready; the green baize, richly covered, rake sets all clear. Then for the dotted over on the couleur,
," "a gold, waiting patiently en grand l'envers” on "rouge” and “noir" seigneur; the rake is thrust into this with gold, silver, and fluttering silver heap, separates neatly five pieces, paper billets. At the last moment and carries them away. With my M. le Comte, just dropped in, calls lord who has won, a lot of stray from the bottom of the table, “Dix pieces are thus carried off ; but in Louis à rouge," and Croupier A. their stead comes rolling back a blue good-naturedly lays down the sum rouleau. So with the billets de for him. Now, at last-"Messieurs banque. All is over and adjusted faites le jeu ; le jeu est fait,” and in a few seconds ; and now there is a with a moment of stillness, and melodious clatter of gold upon gold, every face, noble, simple, shorn, of silver upon silver, as Croupiers inunshaven, mean, and squalid, turns dustriously and with vigour gather toward the high priest-the fatal up and sort their spoil ; setting each cards begin to drop from his fingers with each according to its kind, back in two lines.
to back, in long rows, sinuous, like It is but a moment;—“Un!"chants gold and silver coiled snakes. ThereCroupier at the end of the first line the ground is cleared ; M. le Croupier of cards, and half the battle is is looking to the right and left again, fought; “ Trois,” at the end of the has moistened the tip of his finger, second; “Rouge gagne et la couleur!" and is about to deal. There are some Down sink hearts, up rises colour. broken spirits walking away gloomily, Heavy sighs of relief, and sparkling leaving the room ; but there are more eyes, universal rustle, joy, and per- struggling to the front, with many a haps some despair. First clatter Pardon, Monsieur.'
There is, too, of rakes, gathering in the harvest, that strange sound—elsewhere, indone with alacrity; gold, silver, and significant- the scraping of a chair the billets de banque foating on the pushed back; some one retiring, top like froth-all raked in. Frank- pushing their way out. Only the fort banker has lost, but beyond a business gamesters” sit; and that little, light spasm of his lips, takes it abrupt retreat means defeat for the calmly. M. le Duc has lost-Milord day, if not for the season. Up runs has won, whose dry yellow facelightens the servant of the place with a greasy as he whispers with satisfaction to a simper, carries off the defunct gameheavily moustached friend, that he ster's chair, and thus gives room for knew the red would come up. Some- more of the gallery to stand, and beway everyone knows that the red will sides when an habitué comes in, gives come up when it does come up. A an opportunity of officious politeness. shopkeeper, or so, from Strasburg, Sometimes a coin, gold or silver, has lost ten francs, and is over- drops under the table, and the little whelmed, and will go home peni- scene that takes place is highly comtently to his wife. Smaller fry of plimentary to the morals of the place. the gallery will be crushed to ; but Oily domestic hears the well-known as a rule the larger sufferers take their sound from afar, and comes running losses far more manfully. Now comes with a lighted taper at the end of a payment, silver first, gold after, stick. Meanwhile, the gaming lady notes last. Five-franc pieces seem or gentleman who has dropped the to spout, as it were, from Croupier's money, watches carefully everyone hands; where there are four Tying, near, and will not for the world hear where there are two, where there is of their stooping to look for it. Inone-no matter what the distance experienced persons do sometimes a heavy molten stream of silver bend down, but are at once politely comes spouting; four jangling down checked by another menial, coasting melodiously on top of the four, two about warily. Menial with the light on the two, one on the one-aim goes in on all fours, as it were into a most accurate ; sometimes one strag- cellar, and gropes.
Sometimes he gles away, but a neat touch with finds it, in which case he is rewarded the rake brings all together. Some- (but he must not go in too far out of times where various heaps have got sight.) Sometimes he does not find it,
in which case it is assumed that it the centre, on the square department has already been found, and is at that of the couleur. moment sticking to the sole of a Couleur gagne !" sings the CrouKnight of Industry, which has in- pier; and the hulking Banker draws geniously been made adhesive for the a sigh of relief; and the female evil purpose.
genius pats him on the shoulder, and Those menials, watchdogs,“ bul- says, “ Tiens, mon garçon ! c'est ça !” lies,” bruisers, what not—what a and shakes her head defiantly at the slimy, greasy, undertaker’s-man look friend. Presently Croupier draws all they have. Much preferable are the the notes towards him, counts them, gorgeous liveried creatures of Spa and puts them back, and laying a single Homburg-moustaches, white stock- new fluttering note upon the top of ings-Tartars plated over ! These his rake, places it down with a commen are in dingy black, and positively plimentary air upon its fellows. They have an air of gin. They are strong are gracious, and seem pleased at the and stout, and suited to the rough Banker's winning. Again friend inwork they may have to perform at terposes, but is repulsed goodany moment. Someways when a humouredly. Six thousand francs little dispute or noise sets in, you see are again staked on the couleur. these birds of prey clustering softly “ Ca va ! mon garçon !" says the together-hurrying in the direction - evil genius. “We shall have it all Jonathan Wilds and Blueskins in back !". People are now coming in decent black suits! They are each from other rooms, and drawing closer, furnished with the little red and black to see this high play. But the couleur marking cards, and those wonderful loses this time, and the fluttering heap corking pins. Only yesterday I dis- is swept in fiercely. Looks are turned covered that all the cigar allumettes of on the heavy Banker to see how he the chief tobacconists of the place are bears it. He is impatient, and has made of shreds of these gaming cards, fresh notes ready. Evil genius actupricked over with many pinholes. A ally laughs, as though it were a good not inappropriate destiny, finishing in joke. I hear sighs of commiseration what they began-wreaths of smoke. from female dosoms-Le pauvre gar
Young Frankfort Banker, by-and- çon! He stakes again-loses again ; by, I see has now increased his mises stakes again-loses? They seem to fall to six thousand francs (£240), the on him like crashing blows on a losing highest the table allows. I see the prize-fighter. He seems to strike out light, fluttering heap of notes, repos- wildly. Wins this time--will win the ing on each other. There is a sort of next time—when the clock_strikes, good genius with him--a friend who and it ends for that night. He is left is earnestly remonstrating-remon- shipwrecked.* strations accepted fiercely and testily, as is usual. On the other side a lady friend, lively, and noisy, plays the evil genius, encouraging the luckless THERE are a hundred little dramas banker on to his fate. I see him like this being played all day long. fingering his roll of notes wistfully, There is at least one such for every looking desperately at the table, and three minutes of the day. Not of the now back again at his notes. Friend flashy, effective pattern—the haggard interposes softly. Female friend gamester rushing from the room to be strikes in cheerfully: “Go forward, found in the wood weltering in his mon garçon.
That's right. Don't gore, and such-like, which are the reheed him. Try the bold game. Cour- cognised situations for the traditional age! That's right-don't be afraid, stories-but little, quiet bits of demy poor child. There."
mestic life, very characteristic. A * Never mind,” says the friend, volume might be filled with slides," fiercely...“ By-and-by we shall have as it were, of this pattern—a hundred a dramatic scene.”
little histories told. Of the newly mar“Bah! mon abbé," says the female ried pair (the buff dressing-case cover friend, with a scoff; and down goes still bright and unsoiled) who stray in the fluttering heap of silver paper in fondly together, and drop a piece or
IV. THE PLAY,
* There is no over-colouring in this little scene.
It occurred exactly as described.
two the first day for the "fun of the from boisterous, exulting joy in the thing," who win, and who begin to novices, as from the calm, serene relish the horribly wicked place; who steadiness of the more experienced. come there regularly in the evening Defeat can be read there, too, as well after table d'hôte, and who still win in unconcealed despair or disgust, or (a little silver), and whoactually dream open impatience; but more particuof making all their bridal tour ex- larly in a restless turning away of the penses ; who begin to lose, not merely face from the table, which is the hathe few silver pieces gained, but some bitual shape of accepting a loss. Some of the funds actually destined for their merely elevate their eyes quietly, as bridal expenses; who grow testy and who should say “what a fatality.” snappish, coram publico, and tartly Some, the jeunesse dorée, notably tax each other with this or that un- take their heaviest loss with a boislucky bit of play, with “I told you terous good-humoured fit of laughter. there was no chance of the red, but for such we have someway more you would,” &c. Of the little, trim, sympathy than for dark despair and French milliner-looking woman, in scowling countenances. For losers the broad-leafed straw hat, who flut- utterly ruined there is no pity-mere ters and hovers anxiously about that contempt; and it is a painful tableau handsome boy-husband of hers, who when the deep player, stripped of is sitting with his head between his everything, hot, jaded, and hopeless, hand, and playing doggedly and de- pushes back his chair, and tries to get fiantly, and losing, as of course. I through the crowd; everyone is anxhear her wistful inquiries, and his ious to be rid of him, and resents his rough answer--for this play turns us inconvenience. He is known to be a all into rude bears ; who leaves the pauper, temporary or permanent. table hastily, goes over to her, seizes Half a dozen are greedy for his chair; a gold chain, and drags it from her and the Croupiers, who have his gold neck; hurries off with it, and returns before them, do not even look after with money.
Of a hundred such him. little parlour dramas, which become, Roulette, of this Sunday night, at as of course, a part of the daily eleven, seems like a riot. A mob surroutine. A Parliamentary return of rounds the table, struggling, fighting the agonies endured in those rooms to be allowed to drop down their would make a strange and fearful silver pieces on the table, which it is total. But the calm officials sit unlikely, even if they win, they will unmoved, and proceed with their ever recover. There
are pirates and work like machines.
sharks abroad of this night, with The eccentricities of players are curi- good places and skilful fingers. The ous. One comes rushing in, hot and fu- innocent protest; but in vain. There rious, casts down his gold, haphazard, is a scorbutic old lady, of the Barnaby anywhere, sees it swept away, and pattern, who makes this branch of rushes out as he came. Of a Sunday industry her specialité, and thrives on I have seen a quiet, trading-looking it, though sometimes the Croupiers, youth come, hesitate for half an hour, who know her and watch her, také hover round, in and out, like the old part against her; raw English youths simile of the moth, and then put down suffer much from her, and when his single note of one thousand francs. charged with (what we must call a Away it fluttered, as it were on wings. genteel theft) her acting of innocence He walked away slowly--I follow- falsely aspersed is admirable. There ing him with curiosity. I saw that is no redress. The table grows imhe went straight to the railway, patient at any rixe, and growls angrily whence he came, and took a third- at the disputants; they are hindering class ticket. No doubt he recollected the game. that Sunday for long after. Whose Everything to-night is express. So was that note ?
much money is out that I note the It is a strange study, too, to keep Croupiers rake in their gains with a the eyes off cards or Croupiers, and quick and fierce impetuosity, as though learn the result from the amphithea- they apprehended a rescue on its passtre of faces round. Never was there age. The clatter of rakes on fivesuch unconscious power of expression. franc pieces at such busy moments is Success can be read there, as well like large hailstones on a green-house.