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from the gallery edge to his proper place on
the bench; and, placing his chin in the spot
which was just before dangerously occupied
as a seat, remained in an attitude of such
profound attention, that not a single note
of a somewhat heavy opera could escape his
ear. The proverbial gaiety of the French
character coexists with the most solemn
veneration for art. In politics they may indeed
evince levity, but there is no levity in a
theatre while the performance is going on.
The theatre is not with them, as with the
English, a place to fool away an hour or so,
which might as well have been devoted to all
fours or bagatelle—(for by selecting the
Boulevard du Temple we are placing class
against class), but a spot dedicated to one of
the most earnest affairs of human life. The
solemn attention of the audience within is
the key to the decorous behaviour of the
audience without. A mere idle " row " in a
theatre at Paris, would be as shocking as a
"row " in a cathedral in England.

Is it not strange that this excessive
veneration for art on the part of the French public
is totally unaccompanied by affection for the
artist? The singer or actress in the hey-day
of her vigour earns hurricanes of applause,
and the men in blouses, appreciating every
passage or speech, shout as though, like so many
preux chevaliers, they would die for her merit
sake. But, let the autumn of life set in, let the
artist's voice lose its freshness, and her face its
piquant expression, the terrible word "passée"
is at once pronounced, and the object of
yesterday's idolatry is condemned to the tomb
of to-day's neglect. This or that particular
player has " strutted and fretted his hour
upon the stage; " the hour has past, now let
another fret in his place; and he is indeed
"seen no more," or, if seen, is hardly

The English public has not nearly so fine
an appreciation of dramatic art as the French.
The English public of the lower order will
talk through an overture, which a man in
a blouse will learnedly accompany with his
hand after the time, conductor-fashion, but the
English public has a notion that the artists,
who have amused it for a long series of years,
have a right to some sort of affectionate
consideration. This truth of the heart is, to quote
William Cowper:—

"A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew,"

and the ruffian, who flung a funeral wreath to
Madlle. Mars as a signal that the proper time
for retirement had come, was, we fear, but the
type of a general feeling. In London, a man
who should assail a popular favourite, merely
because his talents were on the decline, would
be a subject of general execration, while it is
notorious that several of our leading artists
have owed their power of attraction to a
reminiscence only; and thus enjoy a
popularity which is purely traditional.

We may formalize these facts into an
aphorism by saying, that the French have
a higher feeling for art, and the English for


DOLLS are trifles. True; but are they
such trifles as to be quite unworthy the
notice of all except miniature-women of doll-
loving juvenility? There are the aesthetics of
doll-making, and there is the mechanical
skill to which taste gives rise; and there are
national and individual idiosyncracies which
they serve to bring into play; and there are
curious branches of commerce to which this
doll-nursing tendency directly contributes.
Mr. M'Culloch, speaking of dolls and other
children's toys, says, " How frivolous soever
these articles may appear in the estimation
of superficial observers, their manufacture
employs hundreds of hands, and gives bread
to many families. The greatness of the
demand for them may be inferred from the
circumstance that a manufacturer of glass
beads and articles of that description has
received a single order for five hundred
pounds' worth of doll's-eyes! " It has been
since stated that the amount was not so large
as the sum here named, but the proposition
generally is indisputable, and we must be
cautious how we treat trifles too triflingly.

Aristocracy and democracy find their way
into the doll world. There are dolls for the
little lady, and dolls for the little peasant
the former made of some material requiring
taste and tact in its production, the latter
made of unmistakeable wood. The makers of
delicate dolls are a different set of persons
from those to whom wooden dolls owe their
career in the world. Alas for the anatomy of
the wooden doll! Her body has very little
symmetry, and her legs and arms are little
better than bits of lath. The maker (generally
a poor fellow who can hardly keep life and
soul together by his exertions for his feminine
friends) will show you piles of bodies, arms,
and legs, all cut out by himself or the
members of his family. Competition has
affected dolls as it has affected things of more
moment. Once upon a time wooden dolls
had noses which, if neither strictly Grecian
nor Roman, were at any rate passable noses,
apparently fitted for all the purposes to which
a well-behaved doll's nose might be supposed
to be destined; but now the maker has not
time to produce a good nose: he cannot
afford it; he gives it very little more
projection from the face than a baby's nose
which is well known to be not only as broad
as it is long, but generally broader.
Unmindful of the graces of the female form, the
maker scruples not to turn the body of his
doll in a lathe, thus confounding all distinction
of front and back, right and left. For
the lower-priced dolls there is only a sort of
joint by which the legs can be attached to
the trunklegs which are innocent of calves,

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