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The problem solved itself as he came “I dare say there's room for two,” said to the next seat, where a man was lying at Frank, “ if we economize legs.” full length. He suddenly rolled round, and The stranger gravely took his place, and came with a heavy thud on the gravel. Pick- they divided the space so as to admit of four ing himself up, he staggered to where Frank legs, all rather longer than the average. was standing
“Do you a-often-use this place?" in"I shay, old f'l'r—don't take that place, quired the stranger. be-be-cause it's going round.”
"No," said Frank, with a laugh, half in Then he disappeared.
bitterness. “This is the first time that I have Frank sat down, and, stretching his legs tried the hotel. Perhaps it will not be the on the wood, pulled his hat over his eyes, last. I find it draughty-exposed, perhaps, and tried to go to sleep.
in situation. No doubt, extremely healthy." It was no use. Just as he was dropping "Ah!” said the other, with a ready symoff a cab would come by. People talked as pathy. “You have, however, the very best they walked past. A breath of the night seat, for a warm night, in the whole park. air touched his cheek, and reminded him Are you sleepy, sir ?” that he was not in bed. Besides, the bench “Not very. Who the devil can sleep was as hard as a third-class railway carriage. here?” Even to an old campaigner, wood makes a “When you are used to it, it is really not poor substitute for a spring mattress. bad for two or three months in the year. If
“Hang these knots," said Frank, as the I only had some tobacco, I should be quite clock struck one. “I had no idea that comfortable." knots were so much harder than common “ Take a cigar. I've got a few left.” wood.”
He pulled out his case, and handed it to He shifted his position, and tried to per- his newly made acquaintance. suade himself that he was getting sleepy.
“A thousand thanks. When I was in "Adversity," he murmured, makes one the 4th Buffs--you've heard of that regiacquainted with strange beds. The advan- ment?-I used to buy my cigars at Hudtage of the situation is, that one is not afraid son's. I've got to smoke shag now, and of fieas.”
can't always get that. A capital cigar. I'm A caterpillar fell upon his nose.
very much obliged to you, sir-very-much He sat up in disgust.
-obliged—indeed. A very good cigar. If “Alternative. We may have caterpillars you were to keep them for a year in tea, you if we lie under a tree, or we may be watered would find them ripen better, perhaps. But by the fresh dew from Heaven if we take a a very good cigar. I suppose you are bench outside a tree. Which shall we do? hard up?" Let us consider."
“ Yes. Most of the visitors at this caraHe lay back, and fell asleep.
vanserai are, I presume."
Ι Five minutes after he lost consciousness,
“ In the service ?" he was awakened by something touching his “No." feet. He started up from a dream of soft
“Ah! Excuse my impertinence. Well, couches.
I had my fling, and here I am. What does “I beg a thousand pardons," said a soft it matter to a philosopher?” voice. “I thought there was room for two." A slouching figure came by, apparently
The speaker, as the half light of a summer clad in the cast-off rags of some field scarenight, not to speak of the gas, showed him, crow. He stopped before Frank's new was a tall and rather handsome man of friend. thirty or so, dressed in a frock coat. Frank "Night, Major." noticed at once that the heels of his boots, “Good night to you, Jacob,” said the as the lamp shone on them, were worn to other, with a patronizing air. “Things been the stumps. Further investigation showed going pretty well to-day?" that there were no signs of collar or shirt, “No, - bad. Here's your sixpence, and that his hat, as he took it off with a Major.” polite wave, was limp at the brim. By He handed over the amount in coppers, daylight, what appeared now as glossiness lay down on the gravel, with his head on would have shown as grease; but this it was his arm, and in a moment was sound asleep, impossible to tell.
and snoring heavily.
"A humble retainer of mine," said the garrison. This naturally led to certain sucMajor. “Poor, as you see, but faithful. He cesses which it would be sham modesty, does odd jobs for me, and I keep him going. at this lapse of time, to ignore. Do not you Not a gentleman, you observe."
think so?" Frank laughed silently.
“Humph-gr-umph," was Frank's re"It's a glorious thing, a good fling," said ply. the Major. “Though it's ten years since I He was sound asleep, and the rest of had mine, and it only lasted two years, I re- the Major's revelations were consequently member every day of it. You remember not wanted. From the thrilling interest of Kitty Nelaton, of the Adelphi?"
the commencement, it may be conjectured “No. Never had the pleasure of her ac- that no greater misfortune could happen to quaintance.”
the British public than Frank's collapse. “A splendid woman. That, of course, But he was a very unlucky man at this juncwas allowed. I took her, sir, from the Duke ture of his fortunes. of Brentwood. His Grace nearly went mad He slept two or three hours.
Ah, I think I see myself now, awakened by a pressure at the chest. tooling the loveliest pair of grays down to He started up, and just had time to grip Richmond, I suppose, that ever were seen. the wrist of the respectable Mr. Jacob as But she was so devilish expensive. And I that worthy was abstracting his watch and had a good year, too: got on the right thing chain. Frank was strong as well as young. for the Derby, landed at Ascot and Good Jacob was neither young nor strong. Conwood, and didn't do badly at Newmarket. sequently, in less time than it takes to write Shall I tell you the story of my misfor this line, the watch and chain were back in tunes?"
their owner's pocket, and the luckless Jacob “Do,” said Frank-"if it will not bore was despatched with many kicks and a little
strong language. “Not at all. It's a pleasure to talk to a The Major was gone. gentleman; and besides, this is a capital Frank rubbed his eyes, and sat down cigar. It's ten years ago. Some of the other again. It was past four, broad daylight, and men have gone under, too; so that I'm not the sun had risen, as the gilded clock-tower without companions. We meet sometimes, plainly showed. and have a talk over old times. Odd thing “Where's the Major?” thought Frank. life is. If I could put all my experiences in "Did I dream? Was there a Major, or was a book, sir, by gad you'd be astonished. it a nightmare? He began to tell me a story The revelations I could make about paper, about somebody-Kitty something. I wonfor instance; the little transactions in horse- der if the six shillings are safe. Yes—here flesh-eh? and other kinds of_"
they are. What the deuce am I to do now?" “I beg your pardon,” said Frank, who had A lovely morning: a sweet, delicious air. dropped off to sleep, and was awakened by London fresh and bright, as if night had his head nearly nodding him off the bench. cleaned it and swept it. “You were saying-—"
He got up, refreshed by his light sleep, “Let me begin at the beginning," said the and strolled down the silent avenue. On Major, sucking his cigar, and beginning his his right lay the sleepers upon the benches: story with the relish that “unfortunate” men poor bundles of rags, mostly; here and there, always manifest in relating their' misadven- a woman with a baby; sometimes a girl, tures. “I was the second son of a Norfolk pale-faced and emaciated-perhaps a poor baronet. Of course, as the second son, I shirtmaker, starving in spite of virtue, behad not much to look for from the family cause virtue, though it brings its own reestate. However, I entered the army, and ward, does not always suffer that reward to at once became-I may say, deservedly– take the form of a negotiable currency; somethe most popular man in the regiment. times a poor creature with cheeks that had This was owing partly, perhaps, to my per- once been fair, and had lately been painted sonal good looks, partly to a certain su- -because vice, though it sometimes brings periority of breeding which my family was sacks full of money with it, has a trick of ever remarkable for. Then, I was the best running away with all of it in a surprising and actor, the best billiard player, the best unexpected way. cricketer, the smartest officer in the whole Frank stopped, and looked at one of them.
She half opened her eyes. He listened. She by. Don't say there's no difference between murmured, “I sha'n't move on," and then good and bad. Don't, for God's sake, went to sleep again. A few poor remains Kitty!" of finery were on her; a few tags of ribbon;
The tears stood in his eyes. a displaced chignon; a bonnet that had once “I told you so," said the other woman, in been flaunting; little brodequins that had a dull, apathetic way. “I always told you once been neat and pretty; a silk dress that so." had once not been discoloured, and bespat- The enthusiasm of virtue had long since tered with street mud. Frank was touched been crushed out of her by dire penury; but with pity. He stooped over her, and spoke now that nothing else was possible, the habit to her. She awoke, started up, and smiled- of preaching virtue remained; and, like many a horrid, ghastly smile, the memory of which preachers who have small faith or none in haunted him afterwards.
their own creeds, she went on in the same “Why do you sleep here?” he asked—a old strain, repeating dead words to lifeless foolish question, because there could be only ears.
But they took the money, and went away. “ Because I've got no money."
Frank noticed how they crawled like a pair “What do you do in the day?"
of old women. But the elder to appear“I hide. I come out at night, like the ance, the younger in reality by five or six bats.” She laughed discordantly. “Give years, was the poor worn-out shirtmaker. me something, if you have anything.
“Let me get out of this place," said “I've got six shillings. There are two for Frank. "I shall go mad if I come here you.”
another night.” “You're a good sort.'
It was in the time when the Embankment She pulled herself together, and got off was building, but not quite finished. Frank the seat, yawning.
went down to the grand old river, which was “You had better finish your sleep." at high tide, and saw-in the clear, bright
“I have finished. I'm too hungry to sleep air of early dawn, when the black pall of any longer.
Now I shall go and buy some- smoke over London lifts and is driven away, thing to eat. I must wake up my sister only to come back again when men rise first, though."
from their beds—the towers and spires of She went and shook a figure in black stuff, the mighty city standing out against the blue without a chignon, who lay on the next sky of the morning. bench. A woman about thirty-pale, thin, He communed with himself. In that uncomely, long-suffering.
bright air, it was impossible to feel unhappy. “Yes,” said the first woman, “you see At the age of five and twenty, it is impossible us both. Tilly was the good one. I'm the not to see hope in everything. Besides,
, bad one. Good or bad, it makes no differ- there was literally nothing that he could reence. We've got to starve all the same.” proach himself with. His life had been
Frank shuddered. Is there nothing, then, blameless. If we are to go by sins, Frank in virtue ? Can nothing ward off the evils had none;—I speak as a layman. If we are of fate? Is there no power in self-denial, to go by aims and hopes, Frank’s were pure in bitter privation, to change remorseless and lofty ;-I speak as a layman. If to decircumstance, to stave off the miseries al sire only what is good and right be in itself lotted by ανάγκη ?
good and right, then was Frank, at this mo“Good or bad," she repeated, “it's all ment, one of the best of God's creatures. the same. Just as I told her ten years ago, Perhaps I speak as a fool, but indeed I when I was Kitty Nelaton, and she-" think he was. To few is it given to be
“Good heavens! Am I dreaming?" said so single-hearted and so pure. One sorrow Frank, putting his hand to his head. he had, and one hope. That his father's
“Yes, Kitty Nelaton, of the Adelphi; and name should be tarnished, was his sorrow. she was Tilly Jones, the shirtmaker. And To wipe out the stain, and at the same time here we are, you see. Come, Tilly, my to win his love, was his hope. dear."
But how? • Stop,” said Frank. “ I've got four shil- He thought of the man with the big head lings more. Take two of them. I've got who wanted to employ him. This was clearly a watch and chain that I shall pawn by and not the way to get large sums of money or a
great name. But yet—but yet. Two shil- and be made from my modern post of vanlings in money — now that Kitty and Tilly tage in the stalls. were provided with the means of getting The very mention of the word "stalls” comthrough the day-was all that he had in his pels me to make one preliminary observation; pocket. Besides this, a silver watch and a and it is not so much upon the drama as upon chain, which might together fetch five pounds the spectators. There exists a certain class at a pawnbroker's.
of persons whom we may fairly believe to be It struck six.
earth for the sole purpose of try“I'm hungry,” said Frank, “and I'm ing the tempers of their neighbours. At no dirty. Both are disagreeable things.” time and in no place is their peculiar vocation
He left the Embankment, went up into more discernible than when they make the the Strand, and had a cup of coffee and a stalls of a theatre their places for gossip, and piece of bread -- giving twopence to the when they persist in talking and laughing in waiter, like a good Samaritan. The waiter a manner that entirely prevents the audience had never had so much money presented in their vicinity from enjoying what is going to him, in the way of his calling, in all his on upon the stage. Members of the gilded life before. But instead of showing grati- youth of London - heroes of the toothpick tude, he ran away to an inner apartment, for school-would make the theatre their afterfear it might be a mistake.
dinner lounge, and appear to regard drama Then he went to the old Roman bath, or comedy merely as an inevitable prelude where he had a plunge in the coldest water to that which alone can stir their small souls in the world, south of the Arctic pole, and to enthusiasm-viz., the glittering burlesque. came out glowing and strong.
Of all the nuisances, the mar-pleasures of It was only half-past six, so he went back this world, the chattering dandy in the stalls to the Embankment, and smoked a cigar, is one of the most insufferable. He would thinking what he should do next.
not be tolerated for an instant by the plain “ Time goes very slowly for poor people," and practical people in the pit or gallery; he reflected. That, I suppose, is a com- and I think it is high time he should be pensation to them, because it flies so swiftly ejected—or, at all events, taught mannersfor the rich."
by the frequenters of the more aristocratic
seats. I mention this by way of parenthesis; THE DRAMA.—PART I.
for it is, after its kind, an obstacle to the value BY SIR CHARLES L. YOUNG.
of the theatre which ought to be swept away.
I do not think I can introduce the more [This article is abridged from a paper read before the Society serious consideration of the drama better for the Encouragement of Fino Arts, by Sir Charles L. Young, Bart., on Thursday, March 7th, 1872.]
than by referring you to the words of IT is impossible not to recognize the fact Schlegel, in answering the question, What is
that we live in an age of overwhelming Dramatic Art? He sayscriticism, and that some of us do not find "Action is the true enjoyment of life—nay, the science quite so gay as a late editor of life itself
. Mere passive enjoyments may ONCE A WEEK would have us believe it to lull us into a state of listless complacency; be.
but even then, if possessed of the least inLet me say then, at once, that I in no way ternal activity, we cannot avoid being soon pretend to come forward as a dramatic critic. wearied. The great bulk of mankind, merely I have no deep acquaintance with the great from their situation in life, or from their inwriters of English comedy. My study of capacity for extraordinary exertions, are conBen Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Van- fined within a narrow circle of insignificant brugh, Congreve, Otway, and other writers operations. Their days flow on in succeshas, I fear, been very superficial; and the sion, under the sleepy rule of custom; their histrionic giants of the stage flourished long life advances by an insensible progress; and before my time. I can only speak of the the bursting torrent of the first passions of drama from the point of view of a constant youth soon settles into a stagnant marsh. playgoer for the last ten or twelve years, who From the discontent which this occasions, knows but little of the arcana of the green they are compelled to have recourse to all room, and who has almost invariably paid sorts of diversions, which uniformly consist for his place. My remarks, then, must ne- in a species of occupation that may be recessarily be confined to the theatre as it is, nounced at pleasure; and though a struggle
with difficulties, yet with difficulties that are rations. And in order to impress his work easily surmounted. But of all diversions, more thoroughly upon the minds of his the theatre is undoubtedly the most enter- fellow-men, he throws his poem into the taining. Here we may see others act, even form of dialogue, which may be recited by when we cannot act to any great purpose living personages, who are clothed, as the ourselves. The highest object of human characters of the poem should be, according activity is man; and in the drama we see to period and place, who perform in mimic men measuring their powers with each other, show the action of the plot, and are suras intellectual and moral beings, either as rounded with suggestive scenery. All great friends or foes, influencing each other by poets have tried the dramatic form of poetry, their opinions, sentiments, and passions, seeming to regard that form as unquestionand decisively determining their reciprocal ably the most effective for portraying the relations and circumstances. The art of romance of life; though we are compelled to the poet accordingly consists in separating add that it is not invariably by their drafrom the fable whatever does not essentially matic productions that they have won their belong to it; whatever in the daily necessities fame. of real life, and the petty occupations to
The influences of religious feeling, too, which they give rise, interrupts the progress which in all ages of the world have been of of important actions; and concentrating such great importance, have been brought to within a narrow space a number of events bear upon the drama, and have been called in calculated to attract the minds of the hearers, to vilify or to exalt the stage. We all know and to fill them with attention and expecta- that many very excellent persons consider tion. In this manner, he gives us a reno- the theatre as a synonym for a place I will vated picture of life—a compendium of not name, and hold as an integral part of whatever is moving and progressive in their belief that an actor is necessarily a lost human existence.”
and abandoned creature; whilst, on the other Now, if we agree with Schlegel in thus hand, the vast majority of spectators who regarding the objects of the art of the dra- witnessed the most marvellous drama of hismatic poet, we must concede that the drama tory, as enacted at Ober-Ammergau, have affords something more than a mere passing confessed to the almost overpowering inamusement; for it presents an intellectual fluence of the theatrical representation of feast, providing healthy nourishment and the origin of Christianity. And the great gentle stimulants to the mind; and therefore rite and mystery of Catholic Christendom we hold that all thinking men ought to take was and is essentially histrionic, as emphatimore than a mere passing interest in the cally the representation, under symbolical dramatic literature of the day. And no forms, of the murder of the founder of the doubt they do; but, unfortunately, their in- Church. The Greeks and Romans used terest is generally found to shape itself either the theatre for the purpose of exhibiting the in a sneer at the stage altogether, or in a power of the poet in delineating the course wail over what they call its decadance, or a and effects of human passions, for satirizing complaint that it can never be amongst us the weaknesses and follies of mankind, and anything more than a mere commercial for exalting patriotism. The dramatic prinspeculation.
ciple permeates the written history of manNow, to sneer at the stage altogether is kind. simply a very narrow-minded way of regard- It is true that we have heard a great deal ing it; and it is a mark rather of supercilious about the decadence of the drama lately, and superficial observation than of recondite rather too much to be pleasant, perhaps, for reflection. The stage is at once the oldest the self-esteem of the existing dramatic auand youngest of traditions. A nation that thors. Every elderly individual who may could not enjoy some sort of drama would happen to remember John Kemble, and be a nation of Gradgrinds and M'Choakum- Mrs. Siddons, and Edmund Kean, is perchilds. So long as there is anything of a petually informing us that there are no actors poet upon earth, there must of necessity be nowadays, and that that does not much a drama. For the business of a poet is to matter, for there is nothing for them to act. reproduce, in refined language, and amid A certain school of critics love to remind us romantic scenes, the actions of man, and to of the wit and epigram of the older comediscover his character, his motives, his aspi- dies; and these are, indeed, occasionally re