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any of them. As far as acting is concerned, with the exception of light comedy, -we do not like their actors so well as ours. Their tragedians are pitiful, excepting of course Rachel; and their low comedians want the broad humour of ours. In fact, we doubt whether the French have any humour in them at all; some of them may be witty, but decidedly none of them have the slightest conception of what fun is. But, as the majority of their pieces are light farces and one-act comedies, they do not show their deficiencies, for none can play such pieces with such easy polished lightness as the French. The people do not dress well to go to the theatres, and we have been astonished to see gentlemen in cut-away coats, and without gloves, in the best seats at the opera and the principal theatres.
At the Theatre du Palais Royal we saw an extravaganza entitled "La Queue de la Poele," or "The Handle of the Frying-pan." The hero when a baby had been taken prisoner by some inhuman robbers, who absolutely fried him in a frying-pan; he was, however, rescued before dangerously burnt, and resolved to keep the frying-pan as a memento of his having been literally " done brown" when a child. He did so, until the king and suite, being lost in a wood, took refuge in their hut; and here, when making an omelet for his majesty, he paid more attention to the beautiful princess; consequently the omelet was upset by accident over the king's toes. The king swore, and threatened him with all manner of punishments; so after his majesty had made his exit in wrath, he smashed the frying-pan, as the cause of his misery, when, lo and behold! a fairy appeared, who for some unaccountable reason had been shut up somewhere until this identical frying-pan should be broken; therefore, in gratitude for liberating her, she made him a present of the handle of the frying-pan, as a talisman, by means of which he could have all his wishes gratified. The princess is taken prisoner by robbers. He, after going through many adventures, releases, and eventually marries her, turning out to be a prince in reality himself, to make all things square. The piece was tolerably placed on the stage, but the mise en scene was not to be compared to the way in which we mount our extravaganzas. The acting was good, but the writing of the piece was vile; there was not a point, pun, or witticism from the beginning to the end, although it was having a lengthened run, the success depending on the action of the piece—for it was very well put together—and the extravagant way in which tho characters were dressed.
One evening we witnessed the performance of a long tragedy, called "Marie Stuart in Scotland," but we were "sold" in doing so. It was to take place at a theatre called the Cirque Napoleon, so we went there expecting to witness an equestrian spectacle, but we were never more deceived, for it turned out to be a seven-act tragedy. Here we had the pleasure of seeing David Rizzio murdered, Darnley blown into a thousand pieces, and Bothwell shot by a soldier, besides numerous outsiders who came to most untimely ends, whilst a "real" ship on the stage went through most extraordinary evolutions during a storm, in opposition to another vessel at Theatre de la Porte St. Martin, in a play called " Le Fils de la Nuit." But the greatest amusement we had at a Paris theatre was at the Theatre des Funambules. Here tho prices varied from about twenty centimes (less than twopence) to a franc and a half. For this sum two vaudevilles, two pantomimes, and an extravaganza were to be seen. It commenced at six o'clock, and ended about one in the morning.
Here of course there was a great falling off in all things; the actors had coarse voices, bad figures, wanted teeth, or possessed some other defect that prevented their rising in the profession. The women were elderly and not pretty, unless in the case of some young debutante not yet sufficiently fledged to be trusted with a speaking part. They were all badly dressed; the walking gentleman wearing a shooting-coat ornamented with grease, a shirt unknown to the bhnchisseuse for at least the three previous days, a hat which would have looked more respectable if six months younger and better brushed, and no gloves. Of course every man on that night played man parts, and a second class gaoler in one piece played first tragedian in the next.
But the audience was the spectacle most worth seeing. From the lowness of the prices they were necessarily all workpeople, and wore blouses; whilst the women were the lowest class of grisettes, and wore ugly white caps; for in France none of the women of the lower orders are without them, unless they ape gentility, when the rest turn up their noses at them for presuming to do so. Although amongst such a mass of poor there was much hilarity, never did it become in the slightest manner obtrusive; and when we called to mind the fights, noise, and dram-drinking in the galleries of our best theatres, we were obliged to own that in this particular we were ages behind our Gallic allies. The onus of this we throw principally upon our Irish friends; our reasons are many, but we have no time for enumerating them.
A party of firemen, about eight in number, having on brass helmets, march with shouldered carbines to each theatre prior to its opening; these are followed by a number of gendarmes, who are reinforced by a small body of infantry, who take up their quarters in the neighbourhood of the entrance-hall. The French people are rigorously "kept under;" at every paltry place of meeting or dancing gendarmes are to be seen in the middle of the room, and probably at the entrance-door a bureau de police stares you in the face. We have a slight objection to going into a concert-room when the first thing that meets your eyes in the passage is police-office painted in large letters. All this is, however, perfectly necessary in Paris at the present time; and in fact, if you are intimate with a Frenchman he will tell you it is the most appropriate system of government for the French people. They would all like a republican revolution to-morrow, but know of no means of obtaining it, nor have they any men to whom they would like to give the reins of office. With the exception of political liberty, which is as dead as if it were buried in Notre Dame cathedral, they are otherwise as free as the birds of the air; but it is a dreadful thing to be deprived of liberty in any way. We have a great hatred of gendarmes, although we admire their uniform; but when we think of their numbers, and the thousands of secret police in plain clothes, we pity the French.
(To be continued.)
NAVAL AND MILITARY REGISTER.
The Indian Mail.—The anxiously-expected Mail has arrived at the moment of our going to press; and we have only time to remark that the worst fears of those acquainted with India have been realized. The movement is proved to be a national one, by the complicity of the ex-King of Oude and his Minister, both of whom, however, are in the hands of the authorities. Worse than all, the revolted army still holds Delhi. General Barnard has made no attempt to carry it by assault; and the mutineers evince their strength, and, at the same time, display their military knowledge, by repeated sorties, which, though not serviceable to a besieged force under ordinary circumstances, are, in this case, the best tactics that could be pursued, as the great point for the rebel commander is to make an impression on the besiegers before they are reinforced, when the whole of India would be shaken. The Ministerial journals are endeavouring to make light of the situation. Surely it is not the intention of Lord Palmekston, in this deplorable state of affairs, to become the champion of Lord Daluousie.
From China the news is not very encouraging, and we have to lament the loss of the gallant Major Kearnet, whose talents and practical knowledge of his profession we lately had occasion to mention, when recommending him for that employment in which he has too soon gloriously fallen.
Napier And Dalhousie.—The bubble of Lord Dalhousie's fame has at length burst, and we could hardly have expected that such a small matter would have made so great a report. Things have come to such a pass—the blunders of the late Indian administration are now so patent—that the ex-Governor-General has not a voice raised in his favour, and even the Times hastens to decry him. Et tu, 0 Brute! Of all theincapables we have ever sent to India, from Vansittart to Canning, Lord Dalhousie may indeed be pronounced the most egregious; and the whole together have not brought upon us half the ruin which his misrule has fabricated. Yet, to do him justice, he was not singular in his views; and his shallow policy was backed by all the authority of the Directors, all the strength of the Government, all the logic of the leading journal of Europe. Continual mistakes, failures at every point, in the Punjaub, in
U. S. Mao., No. 345, Aug., 1857. 2 a
Scinde, in Burmah, made no impression on this sturdy phalanx; and, in their eyes, Dalhousie remained immaculate, combining Wellesley, Moira,clive, and Hastings, or elegant extracts from each, in one rigorous whole. The Directors trusted him, the Government believed in him, the Times swore by him. Such extraordinary fanaticism would have been the less amazing if the Indian satrap had originated a single measure worthy of a ruler or a statesman; but, far from this, it would be impossible to name an administration more barren of triumphs. Listless in peace, unfortunate in war, inert in his domestic policy, the Whig magnate seems to have been struck down by the languor of the climate, and we are now to experience the effects of his prostration and imbecility.
There was one man who foretold the event—one man who, prescient of the future while he watched and controlled the present, dared to utter the truth, under the very shadow of the Indian throne. Napier penetrated the shallowness of Dalhousie, and presumed to give him good counsel, pointing out the dangers before him and the rocks on which he was drifting. But we know how perilous it is to tell bitter truths to an Oriental despot. In olden times the bamboo, the bowstring, impalement, and flaying alive, not to mention the Chinese invention of sawing asunder, were the mild penalties of such temerity. Tyrants—except at Naples—do not venture on such lengths in these latter days, but, in effect, they are no less vengeful, and a man is stretched on the rack of a "ribald press," slandered, libelled, derided, and belied, borne down by a weight of misrepresentation, denied his just rights, and crushed by the intrigues and influence of authority. Charles Napier was a victim of this infamous system. But he fell like a hero—like a prophet, leaving his cause to the judgment of history. His fair fame, won on so many glorious fields, by so many exploits, and so many sacrifices, is now completely vindicated. All that he foretold has come to pass, and we have the deep mortification of discovering that the measures he recommended and earnestly desired to carry out would have rendered impossible the present catastrophe. But who could believe in a seer who would not prophesy smooth things? Napier, indeed, gave the warning; but only time and actual experience could bring conviction.
The great flaw in our Indian system is the canonization of caste. This, above everything else, lies at the bottom of the present mutinous movement, and is the cause of our weakness and confusion. It is the clog, the plague, the curse of India, as it has been for thousands of years. So rooted is it in the soil and the government, so much is it a part and quality of the service, that Englishmen themselves are infected by it; and some of our old Indian officers rival the Brahmins in devotion to Menu. Nothing could be more distasteful or more odious to Napier, who hated the very name of caste, and recognized no credentials but merit. "The Indian system," he exclaimed, "seems to be the crushing of the native plebeian, and supporting the aristocrat, who reason and facts tell us is as our deadly enemy." He was no less disgusted at the whole interminable routine of the official departments, which deals out reams of twaddle on the merest trifle, and never comes to the point. He exposed the impracticability and unwieldiness of the Indian civil service, and the impolicy of detaching regimental officers on civil duty, leaving their corps to the command of cadets, who have even to learn their drill from the Soubadars. All this, and much more, tended, as every day proved, to corrupt and disorganize the army, to shake the attachment of the Sepoy in his European officers, to weaken the influence of the English name, and to loosen the foundations of our power in India. Sir Charles affirmed that the fatal effect of such misgovernment would speedily make itself apparent in a great military insurrection. "I shall be dead before what I foresee will take place, But It Will Take Place." Too soon the prophecy has been fulfilled, and it will be well if it be not too late. Whatever the character of the intelligence of the next mail—whether the mutiny be already suppressed, or the revolted troops still in possession of Delhi, the entire Indian administration, military and civil, must undergo a thorough reconstruction. Mr. Disraeli has done good service to the country in bringing the subject before Parliament. We no longer live in days of senatorial greatness, when a Bubxe, a Fox, and a Sheridan can be found, with one voice, to accuse a guilty Governor-General; nor have we any idea that there is a member with the courage, let alone the eloquence, of those memorable triumvirs, so that whatever negligence, whatever culpability, might attach to Lord Dalhousie, and be fully brought home to him, he will be in no danger of impeachment. Besides, our system in the present day, when a great man is in the case, is to let bygones be bygones, and give the delinquent a better post on the first opportunity. But, at all events, the late debate has brought the question substantially before the country. The evils which Napier discovered, and which he laid bare, will now be widely known, and at the same time the remedies he proposed will receive proper consideration. The most important of these, in our opinion, refer to the augmentation of the number of European officers, the termination of the supremacy of the Sepoy, and the enrolment of the Goorkas; but it will be a misfortune for England if, in the time of reorganization, any one of his practical suggestions is allowed to fall to the ground.
Colonel Lindsay And The Old Lieutenant-Colonels.—The unfortunate mistake of the Conservative leaders on the China question, which led to the dissolution of Parliament, lost the country many valuable representatives, and, among them, few more useful than Colonel Lindsay. The gallant officer was a watchful friend of the army, neglecting no occasion of advocating its interests. Though now excluded from the Legislature, he shows the same zeal to improve, elevate, and benefit his profession; and, in a pamphlet just published, he has brought under public attention the provisions of the Eoyal Warrant of October 1854, in reference to their bearing on lieutenant-colonels who obtained that rank prior to the previous June. In point of fact, he had actually a notice of motion on this subject before the House, when came the deluge. The Warrant of 1854 has altogether given great dissatisfaction. In the particular case alluded to, however, its action has been extremely unjust, rigorous, and cruel; and it is difficult to conceive how such a regulation could ever have been framed. Its retrospective application bears with great hardship on a large number of lieutenant-colonels, who still hold that rank; while the old system, which was thought