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hundreds of admiring French circles. And
then the lookers-on try to perform the mystic
mazes with their own proper legs, and hum
the tunes, and take lessons of masters who are
more or less strong in terpsichorean ability;
till the Lancers' melodies have pervaded the
air of France, whistled by workmen, carolled
by sempstresses and ironing-girls, and brayed
forth by the breath of barrel-organs innumerable.
But very cheap literature has not
only song-books, it also possesses a series of
pianoforte music; and, as a matter of course,
La Musique des Families (a number every
Saturday for only ten francs a year) has given
the Lancers in one of its numbers, with an
explanation of the figures, as a " Noveau Quadrille,
arrangé pour le piano," as on a par with
romances, melodies, symphonies, and marches,
by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Hummel,
and other great masters.

A dramatic people must have printed
dramas to read, as well as acted dramas
to see; dramas to study and criticise and
dissect, as well as dramas to applaud or
to hiss. The Théâtre Contemporain Illustré,
now approaching its four hundredth number,
gives, at twopence the number, the pieces
which have been stamped by the approbation
of Parisian audiences. From the theatre to
the criminal court is not a long step, as far
as interest and excitement are concerned;
and, accordingly, not very dissimilar
illustrated numbers, called Drames Judiciaires,
record the tragic histories of Madame
Laffarge's unfortunate husband, and of the
insulter of the De Jeufosse family. All these
are sold in cheap windowless bookshops, open
to the street; in wooden sentry-boxes,
tenanted by women, and planted at some
well-frequented corner; and also, on the
Boulevards, in various and sundry of those
ingenious contrivances called luminous
kiosques, which are the means employed by
an advertisement company, to give night and
day publicity to what would be bills if stuck
on a wall. One of the best things the
kiosque company has done is the production
of a very clear, sensible, and brief
Stranger's Guide to Paris, as a vehicle to
which advertisements may be affixed. Who
are the chance purchasers of the five and
ten centimes journals in the streets of Paris,
I cannot say; but I suspect them to be
Departementals rather than Parisians,—
which greatly extends the future horizon of
the prospects of this latest phase of printed
paper.

In one point the five and ten centimes
periodicals differ from ours; they have no
Notices to Correspondents, to the great relief
of their editors. There are no young ladies
seeking instruction whether their sweethearts'
attentions imply serious business, or
merely barren flirtation; no litigants cheat
ing their lawyer of his fee by asking gratuitous
advice at the offiee; no entreaties to
have a plan of life chalked out. which shall
be sure to lead to fortune and fame, without
the aspirant's taking the slightest trouble;
no hankering after cosmetics, and the removal
of freckles, combined with the desire to have
character and future fate determined by the
sight of handwriting. The French are too
sensible of ridicule, if not of shame, to commit
themselves by such exposures as those.
In the cheap, and in dearer, French periodicals
the place occupied by our Notices to
Correspondents is often filled by that doleful
and desperate affair, the hieroglyph, or rebus,
the solution to be given in the forthcoming
number. Now, there are those who dare to
criticise chess as a barren waste of intellectual
power, on the ground that the same
exertion of thought which enables a couple
of players, like those now at work at the
Cafe de la Regence, to bring a difficult and
complicated game to a close without the aid
of a chess-board, would suffice to produce
some useful result which should be of service
to themselves or others. Still, though no
relaxation or recreation which might be of
service to the health, a chess-match is a
manifestation of mental energy worthy of imitation
by employing it on better things. But a
rebuswhat good ever came of a rebus?
An enigma may be poetry; a charade, a
drama; a conundrum may be a pointed
witticism. A rebus is a collection of scratches
and scrawls, so stupid that their very
explanation has to be explained. One before me
runs, or rather halts, as follows: "La (the
musical note) sous France, under France
D (the letter) goute, is eating luncheon
deux lavis, two washingse (the little
letter) fait des I, is scrawling I'sré (the
musical note in the gamut)—la mort, death."
The English words describe the hieroglyphs.
of the rebus. The French into which they
may be translated is the jargon which is the
key to the very philosophical remark that,
"La souffrance dégoûte de la vie et fait
désirer la mort. (Suffering disgusts a man
with life, and makes him desire death.)" Of
the two modes of folly, it may be doubted
which is the more insanethe inquiries of
English correspondents, or the rebuses of the
French.

MR. CHARLES DICKENS'S
READINGS.
MR. CHARLES DICKENS will read at GLASGOW on the
6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th of October; at BRADFORD on the
14th; at LIVERPOOL on the 15th; at MANCHESTER on the
I6th; at BIRMINGHAM on the 18th, 19th, and 20th; at
NOTTINGHAM on the 21st; at DERBY on the 22nd; at
MANCHESTER on the 23rd; at YORK, on the 25th; at HULL
on the 20th and 27th; at LEEDS on the 28th; and at
SHEFFIELD on the 29th of October.

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