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young Mr. Gossett, of Wood-street, E.C., or cough when the programme was once who has been dining at his club, the entered upon, we will take advantage of Junior Patagonian, and faultlessly attired, the few moments left us to look around. lavender gloved and flower button-holed, The hall seems full in every part. In the is waiting to escort the ladies up the stairs. stalls the people are rustling and nodding, Room now if you please for little Lady and getting rid of any superfluous exciteQuibbs, pleasantest, brightest, kindliest of ment before settling down into that severe


you know anything of the decorum which classical music always demusical world, and are anything like a mands; in the galleries, where morning decent age, you will recollect Lady Quibbs dress is for the most part the rule, they when she was Miss Lavrock, long before are taking off coats and cloaks, and seeing she married Sir Parker Quibbs, K.C.B., how the music-books with which many of when she and her sister used to sing at the occupants are provided can be wielded public dinners and the nobility's concerts, with the smallest amount of inconvenience, when they gave lessons in Bulstrode-street, while from immediately behind the grand Manchester-square, when Mrs. Von Bomm piano on the platform to the boundary used regularly to lend them her big draw. wall, the orchestra is black with human ing-rooms in Harley-street for their annual beings ranged in semicircles above each concert, and when they were worked hard other, tier after tier. and struggled bravely, and out of their Any of one's acquaintances in the stalls ? little savings had always a guinea to spare Several of course. The small wiry gentleman for any miserable member of “the pro- with the thin beardless cheeks, the bright fession.” Lucy Lavrock is dead now, and sunken eye, the close-cropped hair, is Mr.JusMartha is Lady Quibbs, rich and happy, tice Judex, now the dignified and impartial though childless; she now works as hard judge, erst the bold and brilliant advocate, at doing good as she used to do in teaching the lucid reasoner, the silver-tongued orator, singing, is the most modest, unassuming, the wary tactician in debate. Throughout dearest little Lady Bountiful that ever his life he has been foremost in everything; lived, and is still so devoted to music that in the hunting-field and the boudoir he you may be sure of finding her wherever has been as much at home as on the bench; anything good is to be heard. Let us but music is the one passion of his life to mingle with the crowd which, steadily in which he has been most constant. During creasing in bulk, has been ever passing the whole of the day just past he has been onwards while we have been waiting here, listening to interminable arguments, wearyand which is composed of ladies and gen- ing in themselves, yet requiring the keenest tlemen, most of whom are in evening dress; attention, the most evenly-balanced intelwith them

up the stairs and take lect; now, two minutes after the first notes our chance of the amusement in store for of the opening quintet strike upon ear, us. It may be that we shall see those sable you will see him leaning back in his chair, minstrels, whose curiously and constantly his chin resting on his hand, his whole repeated boast it is that they have never soul rapt, enchanted, beatified. What to played out of London. We may have the him are sittings in banco and rules nisi ? luck to behold Mr. Farquhar Flote's What to him Themis in comparison with London Life, in which that distinguished Euterpe ? What to him the double-handed entertainer dives under the table every five sword of justice in comparison with the minutes, and swims to the surface again in horsehair bow with which M. Piatti is exqnite a different character; or to hear Mr. tracting such ravishing sounds? Through Stentor read a selection from the Ballads the mind of that man, softened and atuned of British Bagmen. No, a different fate is by Mozart's wondrous melodies, what reours; when we arrive at the top of the miniscences may float! Thoughts of the staircase we follow on into the great hall, times ere he made his first coup, when he and, from a programme which is placed in was young and briefless, and sat in his our hands, we learn that one of the series shabby chambers awaiting the attorneys of instrumental and vocal performances, who would not come; perhaps even at known as the Monday Popular Concerts, days earlier than that of the cathedral is about to commence.

city on the bright and shining river where As, from the determined aspect of the his boyhood was passed, and where he people in the immediate neighbourhood of would sit much as he sits now, fascinated our stalls, we should probably be instantly and entranced by the playing of the orput to death if we ventured to move, speak, I ganist or singing of the anthem.

let us go


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The tall man sitting next to him is Mr. morning and tramp about from house to Frank Farrance, of the Home Office, who house, bearing neglect, insolence, contumely has been dining with Mr. Justice Judex, -the

rage of spoiled children, the insults and who, while liking good dinners, and of vulgar parents, the contempt of pamproud to be taken notice of by his com- pered servants—who hammer away from panion, does not care much for music, and hour to hour at the rudiments of French occupies himself in making eyes at the and English, who strike the scarcely regoverness in Mr. Hoddinott's family, who sponsive notes of the dull piano with are seated close by. Great patrons of listless finger, and who, from year's end to music are the Hoddinotts : the eldest year's end, are running up and down the daughter, Jemima, having, under the scales, practising the eternal Czerny's expseudonym of Aimée, composed several ercises, and the immortal “A vous dirai-je." ballads, and the youngest son, with the In this series of concerts, and one or two long hair and spectacles, being shrewdly others equally good and equally cheap, lies suspected of being the Wolfgang, who the sole recreation in which these good withers the musical world in the columns people indulge. There they come, arriving of the Highbury Warder. And the He- at the same time, sitting, as I am told, nearly braic element is omnipresent; the De always in the same places, following note Lypeys, of Tavistock-square, and the Van by note all that is played or sung in the Sheens, of Woburn-place, fill up an entire music-books which they have brought with row, and sit, the males some curly and them; enrapt during the performance, ensome bald, the females some flat-banded, thusiastic at its close. The male denizens some frizzed, some ringleted, but all bland, of the orchestra are, for the most part, of shiny, and oleaginous, beating time and the same rank in life: small clerks and grunting deeply. Little Mr. Moss, the shopmen, who, with other tastes, would be lawyer from Thavies Inn, is there too, and found in the music-hall or in the billiard. with him Mr. Moysey, the diamond mer- saloon, but who, curiously enough, seem chant from Amsterdam. As a rule, the to prefer the dreamy Glück to the Jolly female denizens of the stalls are not pretty, Bash, the sonata in A major to the spot the male occupants of the fauteuils are stroke. Here and there are traces of 2 not young-but all are intensely interested foreign element among them, but the in what is going on, and join together in majority are poor, simple, hard-working silencing any one who may dare to speak English people. The remainder of the with a deep and prolonged hish-h-h. The audience in the orchestra is recruited from same preoccupation and interest are notice- the ranks of the enthusiasts. Real“ fanaable in the galleries, where the people are tici per la musica” they would rather pay much of the ordinary stamp of theatrical stall price for a seat in the orchestra, than audiences, many of those amongst them a shilling for the best stall in the hall

. who are supposed to be in evening dress They can hear, it is true, in the body of wearing the skimpy little red opera-cloaks the hall. But in the orchestra they can and the feeble artificial flower so much in also see. They can watch Herr Joachim's vogue with the frequenters of the dress- nimble bow, they can greedily survey the circle when the pieces played are not at- fingering of Madame Arabella Goddard, tractive, but it is in the audience seated in and of Mr. Charles Hallé, and if any

of the orchestra that the spectator will find these incomparable artists were to trip or his chief cause for speculation and won stumble (though, to be sure, the iden is derment.

preposterous) the orchestra enthusiasts There is no attempt at evening dress here; would be the first to note and to shudder the muddy boots of most of the men, the at the awful fact. draggled dresses of many of the women, show that they have walked hither in their As you enter, either from Piccadilly or work-a-day clothes, probably straight from Regent-street (for our Hall has two aptheir labours, to this their greatest recrea- proaches, though the first - named can tion. A shilling is the sum which each has scarcely be looked upon as worthy of it),

. paid for admission, and the most casual ob- you will have noticed among the mural servation would show that in many cases it advertisements a certain number of print was certainly as much as could be afforded. portraits of gentlemen attired in fanltless Here are pale, worn-looking women, gover- evening costume, with great development nesses by the day, the half-day, the hour, of shirt-cuff and watch-chain. who leave their mean lodgings in the early gentlemen, who are also remarkable for



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their heads of hair, and for their very the apartment for the spectators, while in thick moustaches, are the principals in the the centre of the room is a splendid bilband of nigger minstrels, which has been liard-table, on either side of which stand so long and so deservedly popular. There Crook and Dobbin, the antagonists, both is a stern, truculent, punch-your-head kind young men, remarkably well got up, in of expression in the portraits, which you evening dress, and with their coats off, can scarcely reconcile with the tender looking like two gentlemen in a club dresswarbling of “Dey've laid her 'neath de ing-room about to wash their hands pregooseberry-bush,” or the more pointed vious to dinner. The audience is an assatire of Wake up, ole Sal.” But it is, semblage of heterogeneous particles; men perhaps, the burnt cork which softens from the "Rag,” and other military clubs, and refines all. Anyhow, it is certain men who once belonged to the “ Rag, that these minstrels, who, clever singers but who have now faded away into prothough they be, would certainly not have vincial towns, where they loaf their lives proved attractive for so long had they away in the billiard-rooms attached to the preserved their natural appearance, have hotels, and try to add to their narrow inbeen stationary at our Hall for years, and comes by pool practice. Keen-eyed men seldom or never sing to any but a full these, watching every stroke with intense room. This is probably due to the fact interest, intent on “picking up wrinkles,” that they appeal to that large class of the and savagely objurgant against noise and public which, while musically uneducated, interruption of the play. Men about town, takes delight in soft and simple melodies; calm, cool, and insouciant, and lads from that the tenor voices are exceptionally the universities successfully copying their pure and sweet, and that the harmony of dress, and unsuccessfully aping their manthe chorus is excellent. It is to be re- ners; hunting-men from the shires, up in gretted that the words of the ballads are town on account of the frost, frequenters very much inferior to the music, and that of Tattersall's, and the usual selvage and the endeavour to give local colour destroys fringe of openly-professed discounters, and the sentiment which is evidently intended. attorneys lending money in secret, which For instance, when one hears a singer utter always attends the meetings of any porsomething like the following:

tion of the sporting world. Dotted here Dey've laid her 'neath de gooseberry-bush,

and there amidst this motley crew are one or By de ole plantation's side,

two characters who, if they were recognised,
De 'possum and de jackal sing

would be thought oddly out of place; an
A requiem o'er my bride;
De alligator swims around,

amateur artist of renown, a contributor of
De walrus is at play,

dreamy philosophical articles to a weighty
But my love will nebber more be found,
I've lost my charming May.

periodical, a hard-headed civil engineer, CHORUS—Lost ! lost? my May, my charming, charming who is so much in demand one would have May, &c.

thought every minute of his time had it is impossible to be much affected, how- been absorbed by his profession; there ever sympathetic may be, the voice and they are, apparently as intent upon the

As for the comic songs, they are game as the reporter of the Sporting about as ghastly as the usual run of such Press, who makes a memorandum of every ditties, but the conversations between Mr. telling stroke in his note-book. There is Bones and his chief are by no means un- plenty of drinking and smoking, but the amusing, more especially when they climax, game is carried on with perfect decorum, after an immense amount of yuck-yucking and almost in silence. Loud betting was and buffoonery, in the chief's suddenly at one time the practice, but it interfered dignified rebuke, Come, sir, no more of with the comfort of the players, and was this-Gentle Annie!”

put a stop to; now, occasionally, an enthuAlso in the winter, in our Hall, take siastic gentleman will intimate his desire place the great billiard-matches, at which to back his opinion by holding up his five both money and reputation are at stake, or ten fingers to a friend on the opposite and which are attended by all the principal side of the room, who responds with supporters of this now extraordinarily popu- promptitude, and the bet is booked. What lar

game. The matches are held sometimes newspaper reporters of a police case indiin the large hall, but when that is occupied, cate by“ sensation,” is expressed after a in a large square apartment situate in a re- failure which should have been a success mote corner of this apparently inexhaustible by a prolonged murmur of "a-a-ah," and a building of ours. Tiers of seats surround specially clever stroke is loudly applauded.

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This happened notably on the last occasion death. The newly-made officer promised of our visit, when Crook, getting the two to do his best; but the temptation of some balls into a corner immediately hovering good wine sent to his quarters that evening over the pocket, made eleven cannons in by the czar, “to moisten his commission,' the space of a minute, without pocketing proved too strong for him; and be partook one, being a portion of a break of one so freely as to become completely "screwed." a

" hundred and sixteen, played with the most While he was sleeping off his debauch, consummate tact and skill. Else, the game Peter stole softly into the room, and carried proceeds in silence, nothing being heard off his sword. Balakireff, missing it on but the monotonous cry of the marker awaking, and frightened out of his wits at noting its progress.

the probable consequences, could devise no In the summer, the classical concerts better remedy than to replace the weapon and the sable minstrels go on just the with his own professional sword of lath, same, supplemented by the fancy fairs, the the hilt and trappings of which were public meetings, the flower shows, and the exactly similar to those of the guardsmen. other exhibitions, so that our Hall is the Thus equipped, he appeared on parade the constant centre of attraction. So it ought next morning, confident in the assurance to be, for it was a costly experiment, costing of remaining undetected, if not forced to forty-three thousand pounds to build and draw his weapon. But Peter, who had furnish. Its architect was Mr. Owen doubtless foreseen this contingency, inJones, whose special powers of internal stantly began storming at one of the men decoration were never more effectively dis- for his untidy appearance, and at length played, and it was opened on March the faced round upon Balâkireff with the stern 25th, 1858, in the presence of the late order, “Captain Balâkireff, draw your

sword Prince Consort. Long may it prosper! and cut that sloven down!”

The poor jester, thus brought fairly to

bay, laid his hand on his hilt as if to obey, TWO RUSSIAN JESTERS. but at the same time exclaimed fervently,

“Merciful Heaven! let my sword be turned Jokes, like bills, require names to back into wood !" them; and it will be found that, in every And drawing the weapon, he exhibited nation, some one personage, real or mythi- in very deed a harmless lath. Even the cal, is selected as the lay-figure upon which presence of the emperor was powerless to all popular jests are by common consent check the roar of laughter which followed ; displayed. The English have their Joe and Balâkireff was allowed to escape. Miller, the Germans their Schiltbürger and The jester's ingenuity occasionally served their Tyll Eulenspiegel, the Americans him in extricating others from tronble as their Colonel Crockett, the Orientals their well as himself. A cousin of his, having Nasireddin el Khejah; and, in the same fallen under the displeasure of the czar, way, the chosen godfathers of Russian was about to be executed; and Balâkireff humour are Balâkireff, the jester, and presented himself at court to petition for a Marshal Suvôroff. The latter name has reprieve. Peter, seeing him enter, and at


, long since passed into history; but the once divining his errand, shouted to him, former requires some introduction to non- "It's no use your coming here; I swear Russian readers. Popular traditions unite that I will not grant what you are going in representing Balâkireff as the constant to ask !” attendant of Peter the Great, who figures Quick as thought, Balâkireff dropped largely in all the stories attached to the on his knees, and exclaimed, “ Peter Alex. name of his buffoon. Many of these stories eievitch, I beseech you put that scamp of are probably the fabrication of a later age; a cousin of mine to death !" Peter, thus but a fair proportion of them bear marks caught in his own tramp, had no choice of authenticity, and, as fair specimens of but to laugh, and send à pardon to the national humour, are worth quoting. offender.

On one occasion Balâkireff begged per- During one of the czar's Livonian cammission of his imperial master to attach paigns, à thick fog greatly obstructed the himself to the guard stationed at the palace, movements of the army. At length a pale and Peter, for the sake of the joke, con- watery gleam began to show itself through sented-warning him at the same time the mist, and two of the Russian officers that

any officer of the guard who happened fell to disputing whether this were the sun to lose his sword, or to be absent from his or not. Balâkireff

, happening to pass by post when summoned, was punished with at that moment, they appealed to him to

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yours !

decide. “Is that light yonder the sun, The stories told of Marshal Suvôroff are brother?”

of a different order, and display, better “How should I know ?” answered the than whole pages of description, the wonjester; “ I've never been here before !" derful


in which he contrived to adapt At the end of the same campaign several himself to the rude spirits with whom he of the officers were relating their exploits, had to deal, without losing one jot of his when Balâkireff stepped in among them. authority. What Napoleon was to the “I've got a story to tell, too,” cried he, French army, Suvoroff was to that of boastfully; a better one than any of Russia; now jesting with a soldier, and

now rebuking a general; one day sharing “Let us hear it, then," answered the a ration of black bread beside å bivouac officers; and Balâkireff began.

fire, and the next speaking as an equal to "I never liked this way of fighting, princes and potentates. In fact, the two all in a crowd together, which they have great sponsors of Russian wit form a most now-a-days; it seems to me more manly picturesque contrast. Balâkireff has

very for each to stand by himself; and there much the character of a spaniel in a lion's fore I always went out alone. Now it cage-admiring, even, while mocking his chanced that one day, while reconnoitring formidable patron-behaving towards him close to the enemy's outposts, I suddenly with a half-waggish, half-affectionate fa

I espied a Swedish soldier lying on the miliarity-perpetually offending, and perground just in front of me! There was not petually forgiven. Suvoroff comes before a moment to lose; he might start up and give us as an uncrowned king, one whose authothe alarm. I drew my sword, rushed upon rity needed no outward symbol; an autohim, and at one blow cut off his right foot!” crat of Nature's making, full of a rough,

" You fool!” cried one of the listeners, hearty familiarity, that was in no danger "you should rather have cut off his head!” of breeding contempt, and surrounded by

“So I would,” answered Balâkireff, with men who enjoyed the bonhomie, while a grin, “but somebody else had done that they dreaded the displeasure of the little, already!”

pug-nosed, grimy man, who was in their At times Balâkireff pushed his waggeries eyes the incarnation of earthly power and too far, and gave serious offence to his grandeur. formidable patron. On one of these occa- It must be owned, however, that in his sions the enraged emperor summarily own peculiar vein of pleasantry, the old banished him from the court, bidding him marshal more than once met with his

never appear on Russian soil again.” The match. One of his favourite jokes was to jester disappeared accordingly; but a week confuse a man by asking him unexpectedly, had hardly elapsed when Peter, standing at "How many stars are there in the sky ?”

, his window, espied his disgraced favourite On one occasion he put this question to one coolly driving a cart past the very gates of of his sentries, on a bitter January night, the palace. Foreseeing some new jest, he such as only Russia can produce. The hastened down, and asked with pretended soldier, not a whit disturbed, answered roughness, “How dare you disobey me, coolly, “ Wait a little, and I'll tell you;' when I forbade you to show yourself on and he deliberately began to count, “ One, Russian ground?”

two, three,” &c. In this way he went “I havn't disobeyed you," answered gravely on to a hundred, at which point Balâkireff, coolly; "I'm not on Russian Suvôroff, who was already half frozen, ground now !”

thought it high time to ride off, not, how“Not on Russian ground ?”

ever, without inquiring the name of this “No; this cart-load of earth that I'm ready reckoner. The next day the latter sitting on is Swedish soil. I dug it up in found himself promoted, and tbe story Finland only the other day!”

(which Suvoroff told with great glee to his Peter, who had doubtless begun already staff) speedily made its way through the to regret the loss of his jester, laughed at whole army. the evasion, and restored him to favour. On another occasion one of his generals Some Russian writers embellished this story of division sent him a sergeant with de(a German version of which figures in the spatches, at the same time recommending adventures of Tyll Eulenspiegel) with the the bearer to Suvôroff's notice. The maraddition that Peter, on hearing the excuse, shal, as usual, proceeded to test him by a answered, “If Finland be Swedish soil series of whimsical questions; but the catenow, it shall be Russian before long”-a chumen was equal to the occasion. threat which he was not slow to fulfil. far is it to the moon ?” asked Suvôroff.

" How

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