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and thirsty, with his "missus '' in the gallery.
Now then, " Music ! " " Play up ! " " Order,
order ! " and " Throw him over ! " "George
Barnwell," or "Jane Shore," inaudible of
course, and then " Harlequin Fee-fo-fum, or
the Enchanted Fairy of the Island of Abraca-
dabra." Fun, frolic, and gaiety ; splendour,
beauty, and blue-fire ; hey for fun ! " How
are you to-morrow ? " and I hope success and
crowded houses till the middle of February,
both for the sake of the author, the management,
and the Theatre Royal, Hatton Garden,

The ants behind the baize have worked
well, but they have their reward in the
" glorious success " of the pantomime they
have laboured so hard at. They may wash
their faces, and have their boots cleaned now ;
and who shall say that they do not deserve
their beer to-night, and their poor salaries next
Saturday ?

Dear readers, as Christmas time comes on,
pause a little ere you utterly condemn these
poor play-acting people as utter profligates,
as irreclaimable rogues and vagabonds.
Consider how hard they work, how precarious is
their employment, how honestly they endeavour
to earn their living, and to do their
duty in their state of life. Admit that there
is some skill, some industry, some perseverance,
in all this, not misdirected if promoting
harmless fancy and innocent mirth.


A STRANGE story was once told me by a
Levantine lady of my acquaintance, which I
shall endeavour to relateas far as I am able
with the necessary abridgmentsin her own
words. The circumstances under which she
told it were peculiar. The family had just
been disturbed by the visit of a ghosta real
ghost, visible, if not palpable. She was not
what may be called superstitious; and though
following with more or less assiduity the
practices of her religion, was afflicted now and
then with a fit of perfect materialism. I was
surprised, therefore, to hear her relate, with
every appearance of profound faith, the following

There is an old house in Beyrout, which, for
many successive years, was inhabited by a
Christian family. It is of great extent, and
was of yore fitted for the dwelling of a prince.
The family had, indeed, in early times been
very rich; and almost fabulous accounts are
current of the wealth of its founder, Fadlallah
Dahân. He was a merchant; the owner of
ships, the fitter-out of caravans. The regions
of the East and of the West had been visited
by him; and, after undergoing as many
dangers and adventures as Sinbad, he had
returned to spend the latter days of his life in
his native city. He built, accordingly, a
magnificent dwelling, the courts of which he
adorned with marble fountains, and the
chambers with silk divans ; and he was envied
on account of his prosperity.

But, in the restlessness of his early years
he had omitted to marry, and now found
himself near the close of his career without
an heir to inherit his wealth and to
perpetuate his name. This reflection often
disturbed him; yet he was unwilling to take
a wife because he was old. Every now
and then, it is true, he saw men older than he,
with fewer teeth and whiter beards, taking to
their bosoms maidens that bloomed like peaches
just beginning to ripen against a wall; and
his friends, who knew he would give a
magnificent marriage-feast, urged him to do
likewise. Once he looked with pleasure on a
young person of not too tender years, whose
parents purposely presented her to him; but
having asked her in a whisper whether she
would like to marry a withered old gentleman
like himself, she frankly confessed a
preference for his handsome young clerk, Harma,
who earned a hundred piastres a month.
Fadlallah laughed philosophically, and took
care that the young couple should be married
under happy auspices.

One day he was proceeding along the street
gravely and slowlysurrounded by a number
of merchants proud to walk by his side, and
followed by two or three young men, who
pressed near in order to be thought of the
company, and thus establish their credit
when an old woman espying him, began to
cry out, " Yeh! yeh! this is the man who
has no wife and no childthis is the man
who is going to die and leave his fortune to
be robbed by his servants, or confiscated by
the governor! And yet, he has a sagacious
nose — (the Orientals have observed that there
is wisdom in a nose)—" and a beard as long
as my back! Yeh! yeh! what a wonderful
sight to see!"

Fadlallah Dahân stopped, and retorted,
smiling: " Yeh! yeh! this is the woman that
blames an old man for not marrying a young
wife. Yeh! yeh! what a wonderful sight
to see!"

Then the woman replied, " O my lord, every
pig's tail curls not in the same direction, nor
does every maiden admire the passing quality
of youth. If thou wilt, I will bestow on thee
a wife, who will love thee as thou lovest
thyself, and serve thee as the angels serve Allah.
She is more beautiful than any of the
daughters of Beyrout, and her name is Selima,
a name of good augury."

The friends of Fadlallah laughed, as did the
young men who followed in their wake, and
urged him to go and see this peerless beauty,
if it were only for a joke. Accordingly, he
told the woman to lead the way. But she
said he must mount his mule, for they had
to go some distance into the country. He
mounted and, with a single servant, went
forth from the gatesthe woman preceding
and rode until he reached a village in
the mountains. Here, in a poor little

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