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English name Tom Bob––the honest fellow
having been christened Tom, and born the
lawful son of Mr. and Mrs. Bob. In an Italian
adaptation of Dumas' preposterous play of
"KEAN," which we once saw at the great Theatre
of Genoa, the curtain rose upon that celebrated
Tragedian, drunk and fast asleep in a
chair, attired in a dark blouse fastened round
the waist with a broad belt and a most prodigious
buckle, and wearing a dark red hat of the
sugar-loaf shape, nearly three feet high. He
bore in his hand a champagne-bottle, with
the label RHUM, in large capital letters,
carefully turned towards the audience; and two
or three dozen of the same popular liquor
which we are nationally accustomed to drink
neat as imported by the half-gallon,
ornamented the floor of the apartment. Every
frequenter of the Coal Hole Tavern in the Strand,
on that occasion, wore a sword and a beard.

Every English lady presented on the stage
in Italy, wears a green veil; and almost every
such specimen of our fair countrywomen
carries a bright red reticule, made in the form
of a monstrous heart. We do not remember to
have ever seen an Englishman on the Italian
stage, or in the Italian Circus, without a
stomach like Daniel Lambert, an immense
shirt-frill, and a bunch of watch-seals, each
several times larger than his watch, though
the watch itself was an impossible engine.
And we have rarely beheld this mimic English-
man, without seeing present, then and there,
a score of real Englishmen, sufficiently
characteristic and unlike the rest of the audience,
to whom he bore no shadow of resemblance.

These edifying pictures of the English are
not complete without the finishing touches of
grotesque absurdity vouchsafed by the actors.
A few winters ago we were enticed into the
little theatre of Coblentz by the information
paraded in large placards on the doors that it
was " very well warmed;" that Auber's opera
of Fra Diavolo was to be played; and that
the part of Lord Allcash was to be personated
by a distinguished comic actor. Even while
we write, his lordship is before our mind's
eye, blazingly costumed in a green coat,
blue inexpressibles, top-boots, a brace of
yellow handkerchiefs sticking out of either
pocket, a couple of watches, and a hat with
a feather in it! Yet, if they do not know
something of the ordinary appearance of an
English traveller in Coblentz, where should
they? He must be at least as well known
there, as in Devonshire or the Isle of
Wight.

So, in Brussels, where the English almost
outnumber the native population, the audi-
ences relish a curious amount of ignorance
respecting England and the English; as
the dramatis personae of a piece exhibited
'Gently as last May at the Theatre St
Hubert, will show. It was called "La Lectrice,
ou une folie de jeune homme. Comedie Vaude-
ville en 2 actes, par M. Bazard." It must have
had a considerable run; for the play-bill
states that M. Ferville had created a great
sensation in the character of "Sir Cobridge,"
at Paris. We have some idea that "Sir
Cobridge" must be intended for the Sleeping
Partner in a Porter-Brewery, and that the
name is a dreamy reminiscence of the popular
individual Sir Co, made easy of remembrance
by sign-boards. But the first personage we have
occasion to mention is, "Sir Arthur" (jeune
oflficier), who has no other name, and who has
no occasion for one, everybody calling him
"my lord," according (as he observed) to the
usual form of address in England. Sir
Arthur considers it the first duty of a
British officer to insult a respectable blind old
gentleman––who is moreover his guest––
because the blind old gentleman ventures to
insinuate something against one of the
officers of Sir Arthur's regiment, through whom
he has suffered severely. This chivalrous
young nobleman, disdaining all inquiry into
the circumstances, at once constitutes
himself champion of every individual belonging
to the entire British army. The next personage
is a young gentleman possessing (as
he observed) a name extremely common in
Britain, to wit, "Clac-Own." The actor of
this part was fitted up with a wig of violently
red hair, like a carriage-rug, and was dressed
in a kind of fusion of an English jockey with
a French Field-Marshal. Expecting to
inherit the vast possession of his uncle, Sir
Cobridge, Clac-Own passed his time, according
to the custom of Anglican nephews in such
cases, in giving his uncle to understand how
extremely inconvenient he finds his society,
and in informing him that "Shak-es-pair"––
who, being Sir Cobridge's favourite author, is
naturally the avowed bugbear of Clac-Own,––
is an insufferable bore. This is going too far;
and the wealthy old gentleman (who has
quietly submitted to every other species of
personal insult from his intended heir,) is
so shocked by this contempt for "Shak-es-
pair," that he feels himself compelled to
sing a song; wherein he demonstrates, in
the most lucid tira-lal-a-la logic, that Clac-
Own is very decidedly in the wrong. The
scena concludes by Sir Cobridge ordering
Clac-Own off, in some very deep bass notes, to
"Le Lincoln!"––an idiomatic place of banishment,
that would appear to be very popular
among us, though whether it stands for
Coventry, Bath, Jericho, Halifax, or any other
such place, we are unable to report. Clac-
Own, Sir Arthur, and several others having
assembled at a later stage of the proceedings
to go out hunting, the Belgian public perceive
that our usual equipment for that sport is a
white tailed coat, light blue breeches, patent
leather hessian boots with brass spurs, a red
neckerchief––such as one may see whispering
to the gale in Field Lane or Wapping,––a
turned-down shirt-collar, a gun, a cutlas, and
an enormous game pouch. Thus arrayed and
mounted on the "chevaux fougueux" of our
island, we pursue and capture the crafty fox.

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