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other place where shirt sleeves and "Plug" are looked upon with less objection.

"Wallack's" Theatre was built by the late James Wallack, an Englishman, and the famous Don Cæsar de Bazan, who established himself in America some years ago, passing from actor to manager in New York, where he died in 1864. Lester Wallack, the present proprietor, succeeded his father both as an actor and a manager, and in the latter capacity has established a reputation for his theatre which has placed it at the head of all similar establishments in America. His house is the prettiest in New York, his company is generally considered to be the best, no pains are ever spared, neither is expense calculated in the production of the pieces brought out at this theatre; and an Englishman sees, with some slight feelings of wounded pride, that dramas, comedies, and burlesques, English in their birth and origin, treating of English homes and scenes, are more carefully mounted and more perfectly put upon the stage in a New York theatre than in those houses where they were originally produced. These causes have had the effect of making Wallack's Theatre the fashionable house, though the habitués in no way neglect other places that may have attractions to offer. As a rule, the fact of a new artist being engaged, or a new piece being produced at this theatre, is tantamount to a public acknowledgment of merit, and although " Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit," and the audience occasionally decline to endorse the managerial opinion, yet such instances are rare: for the public, trusting the judgment of “Wallack's” management, usually acknowledge and support the selections made by their friend and impresario. This feeling has its drawbacks as well as its advantages, and compels the manager to weigh carefully the merits of any new artist or piece that he may propose to bring out. A striking example of this occurred a few months since, when Mr. Wallack, returning from London, brought with him the two pieces which together had been the great success of the year, and which had been running for many months to crowded houses in one of the Metropolitan theatres. The fashion of New York decided that there was no merit in either of the works, and declared that one of them, a burlesque, was unworthy of Wallack's Theatre. They had no doubt it was funny and clever, and in its proper place might be attractive, but they wonld none of it, so after a run of three weeks the bill was changed.

Burlesques are not so often played at the New York theatres as in London; and the American public do not care for them at all in the same degree as do their cousins of England. There is but one house

devoted to burlesque throughout New York, and this only a converted hall a pretty little theatre, but, nevertheless, having the air of a hall hanging over it still. Here (the Fifth Avenue Theatre) burlesques form the evening's amusement, oftentimes two being played successively-a mismanagement of effect, strange, and difficult to comprehend; but though two or three of the company are talented and clever, the tout ensemble lacks that completeness and pull-all-together spirit which makes the performance of a good burlesque so attractive in London. As yet, too, there are but few burlesques, comparatively speaking, that have been written for this side, and it requires little explanation to understand that puns, jokes, and allusions, that are immensely funny in one country, may be tame and insipid when repeated in another, three thousand miles away. This law of comic literature necessitates alterations and substitutions which, as they depend on the literary ability of the actor who makes them, do not always surpass the original either in elegance of diction, refinement of ideas, or depth of humour; in other words, the fun of the play is obliged to be supplemented by impromptu gagging, a liberty that can be entrusted to very few actors without a certainty of spoiling the performance and the tempers of all those engaged in it. At the "Olympic," on the Broadway, burlesque finds a home when Mrs. John Wood is in America, but as that lady has been for some time in England, the theatre, for the nonce, has been given over to the drama and Mr. Jefferson, of whom mention will be made in another part.

One of the largest theatres in New York, and certainly one of the most admirably arranged, is that known by the name of "Niblo's Garden," a title which, to English ears, is suggestive of a second-rate theatre, used as an additional attraction to the garden in which it is placed. Such an idea, however, in this case would be utterly erroneous, as Niblo's Garden is built within the walls of the Metropolitan Hotel, and owes its existence solely to its dramatic capabilities, and nothing to its garden, which is merely a small and insignificant adjunct to the theatre. Part and parcel of the "Metropolitan," it has, from either side of its large and handsome entrance, a side-way into the hotel, which serves as a convenience and attraction to the number of visitors living round and over the theatre, and also helps to brighten the entrance and make it more attractive to passers-by. The chief peculiarity in the construction of this theatre is the arrangement or position of the lowercircle, which the visitor reaches immediately on emerging from the outer hall, and which gives the theatre an appearance more foreign to

our accustomed notions than any other in New York, at the same time excelling them in convenience. Imagine the dress-circle of a theatre lowered bodily down from its height above, placed at the upper end of a slope which falls away to the orchestra, and divided by a number of passages running longitudinally through the circle, doors corresponding to these passages, with an antechamber running all round, having sofas placed at intervals against the walls, and some idea of the novelty referred to will thus be gained. The advantage derived, playgoers can measure for themselves by reflecting whether they prefer the pit-boxes at Covent Garden to others still higher; but the facility afforded for leaving and returning to one's seat by means of the dividing alleys and easy exit, would be thoroughly appreciated by everyone in England if managers would only be good enough to arrange their theatres on this plan. However late a visitor may arrive at this house, he can reach his seat with comparative ease, and avoidance of that torture which a man inflicts upon himself by squeezing past a long row of people, whose ill-concealed looks of annoyance he is obliged to meet with a painful smile of apology, knowing that he is regarded with feelings akin to those that would be entertained for a wet dog. Once scated in London, he is more or less fixed for the evening, and is compelled to occupy his time in the intervals between the acts by studying the heads of his neighbours and wondering whether there is anyone in the house whom he knows.

In a New York theatre there may be, and often is, a stampede for refreshments; couples run a few yards along the Broadway to the nearest restaurant, or into the refreshment saloon of the theatre, and allowing themselves half a minute to get from thence into their places, are comfortably seated when the curtain rises. Perhaps this difference in the construction of the theatres in the two countries may necessitate the number of private boxes in England, and account for their paucity in America, for with the exception of the French Theatre, the proscenium boxes are usually the only ones to be seen in New York. At Niblo's the other arrangements of the theatre are similar to those at Wallack's; and indeed at all the leading houses, the front half of the arca being devoted to "orchestra-chairs," the rearmost portion to the parquet. Down the centre of both runs a passage, like the old fop's alley of Her Majesty's Theatre, a convenience that was sacrificed to the desire of utilizing, in a pecuniary point of view, the space thus left open. Above the parquet-circle are placed the balcony and family-circle, differing more in name and position than in real comfort.

A Valentine.

WELL, Alice, where's your valentine ?

Come, show me, for of course you've had one. What! flowers; without a single line,

And roughly painted-what a bad one! Your swain, 'tis evident's in love,

Or something surely he'd have writtenSomething about a turtle-dove,

Or" to your eyebrow," or your mitten.

Here, Alice, take your missive back-
I dare say that it's very pretty;
But still it seems to me to lack

Both sense and humour-more's the pity!
A valentine, when rightly done,
Slight of sincerity should savour,

And mostly be composed in fun,
With just a sentimental flavour.

Pathos and bathos there should be-
A little rhyme with little reason;
But I must stop, for I can see

You think that I am talking treason!
Still I should fling that daub away—
What, crying, pet! as if I meant it;
Kiss me, dear cousin, don't say nay-
And did you guess 'twas I who sent it?

E. R.

Brakespeare;

OR,

THE FORTUNES OF A FREE LANCE.

BY THE AUTHOR OF GUY LIVINGSTONE," ETC., ETC.

CHAPTER XXIX.

ON FORAY.

In

THE country for leagues round Anse soon grew more impoverished and drained, till it could barely victual the powerful garrison lying there; so that the freebooters were forced to go farther afield, till often several days' march would separate them from the town. Brakespeare especially affected these distant expeditions; for, to the old restless impatience of inaction, was added dislike of present associations and circumstances. He always felt as if a weight were lifted from his lungs, when he was fairly out of sight of the banks of the Sâone. some respects Ralph was not more delicate of dealing than his fellows. No scruples withheld him from robbing with the strong hand whatsoever pleased him, or from enriching himself and his followers at the cost of those whom-despite the mock peace of Bretigni-he still chose to esteem enemies. But he would allow no needless violence, much less anything of brutal license; his followers soon got to know, that whilst on active service they must take their pleasure after his fashion, not their own; and sharp examples had taught them to beware of one who never spoke twice without striking, and striking to fell purpose. Nevertheless, Ralph kept his place in the favour, if not in the love, of his adherents; if they growled sometimes in their beards, they would allow none other to speak disparagingly of him in their hearing; and if they had no tales of debauch to tell on their return, none in the garrison had so much coin to spare for revel or ribaude, as those who rode under the two splintered lances, crossed, on a sable field.

On a certain morning, late in the autumn of 1361, Brakespeare crossed the Sâone into Burgundy, intending to visit a region into which neither he nor any of his comrades had yet penetrated—that stretching northwards from the Haute-Rhone towards the border of

VII.

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