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small regard of truth. This is a propensity that grows up with them, inculcated by one generation on the succeeding. You remember probably, in Villette, how the school-girls used to confess, as a perfect matter of course and a venial peccadillo, J'ai menti plusieurs fois. There is no woman who, at any period of her life, has had experience of a French school, either as pupil or teacher, but can testify to the truth of this picture. There is no man with similar experience but can endorse the statement as equally applicable to the other sex; and this, too, is a “slave's vice.' Observe two men in blouses quarrelling. Count how many times they give each other the lie. Two Englishmen or Americans of the corresponding class would have pitched into each other before they had exchanged the epithet three times; but the Frenchman does not feel the insult in the same degree. Look at their ideal heroes. In this very last piece of young Dumas, Le Demi-Monde that all Paris goes to see, and all the critics are in ecstasies over the principal characters is held up as a striking example of an homme d'honneur always talking and bragging about it too; how does he show his honour at the conclusion? By telling an immense lie, and acting it out to the smallest details, his justification being, that he thereby takes in another liar - diamond cut diamond

there's a hero for you! Some people will tell you that this little failing is a necessary adjunct of French politeness, which is to be accepted as the set-off to it. Miserable error! True politeness may often require a man to hold his tongue it never requires him to utter a falsehood!

'Bless me, Manhattan, what a Diogenes in patent leathers you are becoming ! It's as good as a sermon to hear you, and very consolatory - especially after reading Barnum's Autobiography, and a few numbers of The Sever and The Jacobin.'

"An unfortunate and puzzling parenthesis that of yours! But I fancy we can give them a few such points and beat them yet; and it does me good to let off steam thus once in a while, if it be only to make a profession of faith, and to show that, though we may have dallied for a time in the enchanted cave, we have not eaten so much of the lotus but that we can arise when the need

comes, and shake off the dust of our feet against this paradise of vanities, and go forth out of it into a world of earnest and serious men.'

Ainid a great confusion of metaphor and illustration. After that we must go and dine at the Cufé Voisin.'



“Spirit of the Times”, July 1856.

WE like contrast. It is the main principle and theory of our contributions to the “Spirit.” In accordance with this principle we sit down on the fourth of July to give whomever it may concern the butt end of our mind touching M. Leon Beauvallet and his book. The greatest of days, and the meanest of men. There is a good contrast to begin with.

Our country has been blessed?with a great variety of travellers and tourists, of all sorts and nations, and difference of fitness for their self-imposed task of deciding and discussing our manners and institutions. Beauvallet in one or two points was qualified for the task beyond all bis predecessors.

In the first place, he understood just one word, and no more, of our language. This gives peculiar value to his explanations, as, for instance, when he informs his countrymen that cammillia is the English for camelia.

Secondly, he had made up his mind, before coming to America, that everything in it must be perfectly detestable.

But if so, naturally exclaims the reader, why did he come here at all? Ah, why indeed? Quis erpedivit psittaco suum chaire? quoth Persius (we give timely warning that, having been bitten by Jules Janin, we intend in this article to discharge a vast superfluity of quotation upon society.) The one word of English which Beauvallet understood was dollar. America to him, like England to Dr. Wagner, was "only to be valued for her money." Probably he was not the only one in the Felix

company (they turned out anything but a happy family in the end) who entertained the same opinion.

But Beauvallet had other qualifications. America must present to any Frenchman, seeing it for the first time, a strange contrast to his customary associations. The best educated Parisian, the most worldly-wise gentleman of the Faubourg St. Germain, must find many things to surprise, mystify, and annoy him. A country which you enter without passports, and inhabit without fogs; men who assemble in huge crowds daily, and keep order without the presence of soldiers, and almost without the presence of policemen; politicians who can support the government without being paid for it, and abuse it without being imprisoned or exiled; editors who publish without caution-money or censors; a whole society which, being perfectly free to spend its Sunday as it chooses, goes to church, instead of to a theatre or to a horserace; a population which finds baths a necessity, and an opera a superfluity; bad coffee and good cigars; spirited borses driven without half a yard of curb-bit, and gentlemen who drive them without a rear guard of two flunkies, married women who love their husbands, and who do not love indecent conversation; young girls who are not shut up in convents, but allowed to go about freely in good society - just as if every man in good society was not an unprincipled and dangerous character where women are concerned; all these things, and a thousand more, so shock his old ideas that he

may doned for feeling uncomfortable.

Beauvallet was not an educated Frenchman (every educated Frenchman, now-a-days, knows a little English

unless, indeed, he happen to be a literary man,) still less a French gentleman. He was a third or fourth-rate actor, who had never attained celebrity, or filled an important role on the boards of any Parisian theatre. He had hung on the skirts of people really great in his calling; he knew some low literary men, like Roger de Beavoir (a person chiefly notorious for his perpetual squabbles and lawsuits with his wife); he had frequented second-class restaurants such as Vachette's and Bonvalet's, places much patronised by rapins out on a holiday, and the inferior grade of Lorettes, and which he apostrophizes as a real epicure might Philippe's or the Voisin. In short,

well be par

he was a thorough specimen of a French Cockney and snob. He saw in the papers that “Rachel was going among the savages,” and took it all for granted before hand. His barbarian experiences begin as soon as he goes to sea.

“Eight bells” are to him the most idiotic of absurdities; the gong for dinner is absolute heathenism. The steamer pitches and rolls in the most absurd way, as if on purpose to disconcert the illustrious voyager. Still amid all his tribulations it is gratifying to find that his finer sentiments are unimpaired. We have a touching little illustration of this. The ship's calf dies, and is thrown overboard. Beauvallet bewails his untimely fate in accents of genuine sympathy.

"A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind." When the voyage was ended, B.'s troubles had only begun. By a striking manifestation of poetic justice, he who had come to bleed the Yankees falls at once into the clutches of a New York hackman, probably the most rapacious species of the genus extortioner on record, except all the inhabitants of Marseilles, and the ordinary Italian Custom House officer --- Douanierius Italicus, Domesticus, as Janin would say. He then goes to a French hotel, and by a natural sequence finds the American cooking very bad. As a general rule, everything American is bad, because it is different from Paris. One saving clause there is, though he will not allow even this to be such. He discovers hundreds of prostitutes. He must have felt as much at home as the Englishman who arrived in a foggy country.

The Rachel campaign is opened, and the audience buy books of the play with parallel translations. Here, of course, is an opportunity for enlarging on the ignorance of the Americans, who do not understand French sufficiently to follow a play without books.

Now to take a broad and serious view of this mighty subject, (though, to be sure, to talk of anything serious where Beauvallet is concerned is a joke in itself), the American audience did exactly what audiences of all countries do when they go do hear foreign players. The only marked exception is in the case of opera, and that simply because the stock pieces of any operatic establishment are not numerous, and are well known to the ordinary frequenters of it. When a new Italian opera

of any mark appears, be it in London or Paris, there is a very general purchasing of libretti with parallel translations. The Parisians did the very same thing, too, when Ristori appeared among them; parontes oidamen (as Janin would say again), we saw it with our own eyes. The fact is, that to follow a play on the stage requires not only a knowledge of, but a very familiar acquaintance with, the language in which it is written, as any one who remembers his first visit to a German or Italian theatre can bear us witness. In many instances it requires an acquaintance with a great deal more than the language with the habits and familiar sayings of the people. Thus no one could understand the joke in Dumas Jr.'s Demi Monde, about la tour prends garde unless he was well up in the French nursery songs.

The idea that no Americans understand French is about on a par with the almost equally prevalent one on our side that no Frenchmen understand English, while, in fact, it is very generally taught, at present, to the better classes in France. Take five young men of the Jockey Club, and it is safe betting that three of them speak tolerable English. The error on both sides has the same twofold origin; it is partly anachronism, supposing the state of things which existed two generations ago to be prolonged until the present time; and it partly arises from the unfortunate fact that a certain class of literary men in each country, who ought to be the best acquainted with each other's languages respectively, are about the worst acquainted with them of any tolerably decent classes in the two communities.

Returning to our traveller, we find him equally severe on us because Lecouvreur was spelt Lacouvreur in the play bills. Considering that the first newspapers in Paris, such as “La Presse,” can rarely set up one sentence in English without making more than one blunder in spelling it; that in the Emperor's works there occur orthographical errors in English names (as we can testify from our own observation); that another illustrious person, no less than Beauvallet himself, cannot write the name of an ordinary flower in English without two mistakes; in view of all this, he need not have been quite so hard on our printers. Some one has naively asked, Could not Beauvallet have corrected the proof himself?

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