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the cook or steward is not ready to serve any

On the day the ship sails there is often so
much confusion, and the cook is frequently so
drunk, that there are no meals to be had: it
is therefore well to provide a sort of pic-nic
provision in a basket for the first day's dinner
and supper.

With these precautions, good-temper, good-
nature, and a quiet tongue, the voyage to
Australia may be made pleasantly and


I TRUST the benevolent reader never heard
of the Sieur Lonvay De Lasaussaye. To
biographical dictionaries of all times and
nations he is utterly unknown. I have no
knowledge of him whatever. He may have
been short or tall, dark or fair; and yet he
was a man who made some noise, I should
think, in his day. In his own opinion, I
happen to know, he was one of the cleverest
fellows in France. A dramatic poet he must
have been, of the most astonishing
perseverance; a prose writer, of considerable force
and neatness; amiable, if fortune had been a
little more propitious; but almost insane in
his wrath at neglected merit, and his contempt
for the theatrical profession. When a man is
insanely angry, and has the power of
expressing his anger, he is certain to be
entertaining; the insanity evaporates tinder the
cold treatment of types and ink, and only the
anger remains. All the people he speaks of
have long been deadactors and actresses,
kings and gentlemen of the chamberand
Lonvay De Lasaussaye himself. Of him he
speaks most and bestand of his play: his
one play, that was to have made him
immortal and rich: it made him poor, I am
afraid, and certainly did nothing for his fame.
No man knoweth his sepulchre. All that has
come down of him is an account of a lawsuit
in which he was engaged, of which we know
neither the beginning nor the end, but in
which we learn the struggles, fears, hopes,
vanities, and disappointments, that must have
made him old before his time, and probably
rendered the greater part of his life unhappy.
So, Lonvay De Lasaussaye assumes a human
appearance, and becomes known to us as the
author of an unsuccessful drama. The records
of the law have more startling incidents, and
more deeply involved plots, than the lawsuit
of our playwriting friend; but none that let
us so entirely into the inner life of a theatre,
and the relations existing between actor and
author, as the "Memoire à, consulter" of the
injured Lonvay, "contre la Troupe des
Comédiens Français ordinaires du Roi."

Their offence had, indeed, been great. With
a tremendous exertion of wit and learning,
the plaintiff had written a play, in three acts,
and in prose, called "Alcidonis; or, a Day at
Lacedæmon." Correct and classical, as fitted
the work of a gentleman and scholar, it was
sent to the theatre for perusal; but either its
Spartan simplicity did not please the
performers, or the author was not polite enough
to the favourite actress, or the manuscript
was difficult to read, or the fates in some
other way were hostile to his hopes, and for
several years it lay neglected in the prompter's
drawer. The rules of the Comédie Française
required a new piece to be recommended by
some one actor before it could be submitted
to the general company. In obedience to this
rule he furnished himself with a patron
whose patronage, however, seems not to have
been of the most active kindand for four
years left no art untried to have his work
brought on the stage. "The patience and
politeness," he says, "which are natural to
me, were exhausted by this long delay.
Disgusted at last with the obstacles, the put-offs,
the lying excuses, with which I was encountered,
I gave up all chance of a representation,
and determined to appeal to the public
against the partialities and injustice of the
Theatre. The play was written in 1761; it
was sent to the actors in 1764; I printed it
in 1768."

He seems to have "shamed the rogues " by
this bold proceeding. "The journals," he
says, "were favourable, and the interest of the
actors, less blind than their taste, made some
of them think that "Alcidonis," after all,
might not be unworthy of the Théâtre Français.
But from one misfortune I fell into another.
Actors, of all men, have the greatest amount
of vanity, whether because they are foolish
enough to confound themselves with the great
personages they represent, or because the
perpetual praise they meet with ends by
intoxicating them. This I sadly experienced
in my attempt to conciliate their good humour,
for the sake of my play. In order to justify
their former disapproval, they recommended
the most absurd alterations, and told me that
if these were done, "Alcidonis" should
certainly be played. By a ridiculous exchange
of places between actor and author, the most
wretched stick considers himself qualified to
give his advice on the composition of a drama,
as if a few hours' strutting on the stage
entitled an ignoramusand the general run
of players have no education at allto look
down on the greatest efforts of the human
mind; and actresses are, if possible, worse.
The embarrassment of my situation may
easily be guessed. I had only to choose
between the most ludicrous suggestions and
the rejection of my play. I know not if my
docility should be held up as an example for
writers for the stage. If they have not the
courage to sacrifice themselves as I did, they
will not be accepted; if they do, they will be
disfigured. For me, I was satisfied, like some
heroic soldier, to take the town I besieged,
though with the loss of an arm or a leg."

At this point of the narrative we feel a

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