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Imate a great actress.

T is hardly possible to over-esti

She is usually handsome, has fine eyes, and knows how to use them; a good presence, and a sweet natural voice, over which she has perfect control. Her voice and features act in concert, like a combined attack of artillery and infantry; and she has a strong will,' that strange concentration of temper, faith, energy, and perseverance that forms the motive power of genius and of talent. Lastly-and this, perhaps, is the chief source of her charm-she is a a woman!

The triumphs of a queen of society and of a queen of comedy are strangely like, and strangely unlike. The one is born great, the other achieves greatness; or, as is sometimes the case, has greatness thrust upon her. The grande dame receives the homage of the world with a gracious consciousness of her sovereignty; the queen of comedy

bends to the thronged audience
with the same stately courtesy.
'The countess is charming to-night,'
remark the men in the room. The
Siddons is in splendid force this
evening,' say the habitués of the
stalls. The newspapers inform us
that the Marchioness Blank-blank
entertained distinguished and fash-
ionable company on such or such
an evening, and that Miss Star-star
is about to appear in a new cha-
racter, translated expressly for her
from the French by that eminent
English dramatist, Mr. Lifter.
Young men with a talent for ad-
miring their friends speak boast-
fully of a man they know who dines
at Lady Blank-blank's, as they do
of one who is on speaking terms
with Miss Star-star. Young Alder-
shott, when he is very young looks
up to Lady Blank-blank as to a
moon that it is useless crying for.
Miss Star-star, by dint of study,
passing examinations, a foreign war,

hard fighting, glory and distinction might be attained. Her hand is the bâton de maréchal he most covets. When Lady Blank-blank descends the stairs to her carriage, servants look down their eyes, and stand up against the wall, motionless as gorgeous beetles in a naturalist's collection. When Miss Star-star alights from her brougham and glides upon the stage, carpenters touch their paper caps, and even gasmen are stricken with awe. When Lady Blank-blank is only a princess of society, and the Earl of Blank-blank carries her away, many gallant bachelor noblemen and gentlemen, who have retired from

the army, re-enter it, or seek diplomatic distinction in remote parts of India. When Miss Star-star is led to the hymeneal altar, several inconsolables find a temporary balm for their disappointment in BadenBaden and brandy and Seltzerwater. When the princess of society and the queen of comedy are both married, who shall say which of their adorers they really loved? who shall say that they did not cherish a passion for one-or two -who looked on them indifferently? who shall say-indeed, considering the vastness, variety, and complication of the subject-who shall say anything at all?

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When the sceptre falls; when fashion changes; when raven hair is as nothing, and golden locks are considered sunlight; when a newer and younger queen pushes the old queen from the throne,-what then? It is left to royalty in retreat to lament the vulgarity and degradation of the present taste, &c., &c. It is something to have been a queen; but it is terrible to be displacedto be pointed out by parvenus as old-fashioned. Then consolation must be drawn from memory. The time was-Autres temps, autres


mœurs,' and mirrors are not so truthful as they used to be.

The queens of comedy here treated of are not of the past. They are reigning monarchesses-if there be such a word, and if not, it is now presented to the English language, which has adopted worse-they can be seen in that pleasantest of the capitals of Europe-Paris.

Our first engraving is of Mademoiselle Madeline Brohan, who holds a high reputation for talent and for beauty. Of her beauty our readers may judge. They should be


informed that Mademoiselle Madeline Brohan is tall and stately, with the air and manner usually associated with Lady Macbeth, tempered by the coquetry of a court shepherdess. She is an accepted artiste of the first class. She has made her proofs, and conquered the fastidious Frenchmen who rule dramatic art in Paris, in the plays of Racine, Corneille, and Molière. Her school of acting is the grand high school, that never descends to trick or palpable art. She has the power-so rare upon the English stage of looking love out of her eyes, while she is speaking on an indifferent subject; and this without looking too much love. Her love is the passion of a real living woman, that thinks the man she chooses handsome, tall, clever, and courageous. She is not one of those petites maitresses who amuse themselves with an affection, and minauder through the semblance of a passion. She can coquette; but she feels that she is only coquetting, and does not attempt mock-passion or morbid sentimental self-deception. This peculiar quality in her art is remarkably exemplified in her performance in Dumas's 'Verre d'Eau,' and in Alfred de Musset's 'Caprice.' Her latest triumph is in the Marquise,' in Monsieur Ponsard's play of 'Le Lion Amoureux.' The marquise is of the very bluest blood of France. She is a widowher husband perished by the guillotine during the Terror. Her father, an avowed and fearless enemy of the Republic, is in exile. She waits upon Humbert-the Citizen Humbert-the General Humbert - the patriot Humbert-the leading member of the Committee of National Safety-to ask permission for her father to return to Paris. Her toilette is plain and simple, for she fears lest she should excite the prejudices of the stern republican by any sign of sumptuary distinction. Humbert looks at the lovely patricienne. Her hands are white, and show no marks of labour-disgusting! Her complexion, fair and well preserved by the arts of the toilette, is untanned by the sun and unseamed by the rugged lines of labour

offensive! Her eyes are dark and lustrous; the patriot receives a glance from them. Will the citoyenne be seated? The citoyenne is pleading for a father, and is a woman of the world. The patriot will not grant her prayer. The presence of patricians is dangerous to the State. 'But,' murmurs the citoyenne-marquise, 'surely I should not be called a patrician; I have been a servant in a public-house.' A servant!' repeats the patriot, interested at once. 'Yes,' replies the petitioner; when the Revolution broke out we fled to Germany. I was alone and without means. I took service in a small auberge.' The patriot is more interested than ever. A marquise could not care about her father; those sort of people never do; it is not in their nature: but a servantgirl at a pothouse, accustomed to the drawing of beer, washing of dishes, and rinsing of pots, is a superior person-indeed, quite a human being: and then, such eyes to examine quart mugs, and such hands to dust down tables, and such a presence to answer the beck and call of drunken boors, such a liquid treble to cry Coming, sir!' The member of the Committee of National Safety will think of the petition of the marchion-of the ex-waitress. The lady perceives her advantage: the waitress has served her turn; the marchioness too may help her. She informs the stern patriot that he was born on her father's estate; and that they were friends when they were children. They played together on the borders of the forest near the château. 'Great Powers!' thinks the patriot, and is this the lovely child who was my boyish idol? and have those dear white hands washed glasses?' The prayer of the citoyenne is granted; and the patriot has fallen head over ears in love with a ci-devant. Nor is the ci-devant unconscious of the rugged virtues of the citizen-general; of the deep, passionate, unselfish nature hidden beneath the rough crust of sans culottism. If not killed, she is winged; if not hit mortally, she is stricken. She offers General Humbert an invita

tion to a réunion at Madame Tallien's that evening-the ex-marchioness has invited; the general is about to refuse-when he catches a glint from the eyes of the exwaitress, and accepts. They salute, and the citizen conducts the citoyenne to the door.

This scene Mademoiselle Madeline Brohan acts to the life, and without exaggeration or apparent effort. It is in the artiste's manipulation of the delicate shades-the nuances of emotion, character, and manner that she is so admirable. At one moment she is a lady, conscious of the advantage of her birth; the next, she is conscious that she is of a proscribed race. She evokes recollections of the past-of her services at the auberge, of her childhood, of her widowhood, of her former state, her present defencelessness and all this is not acted, not spoken of, but inferred by manner, by inflection of voice, and expression of face; and through all, a dawning love of the man she is addressing is felt and understood, though not expressed. This is one of the peculiar qualities of the dramatic art in which the French

excel us. We English are such downright truth-tellers, that we require the characters on our stage to make a plain statement of their feelings. Even Iago tells us what a villain he is in his soliloquies. If a young lady has to avow a reciprocity of feeling, she does it with an almost brutal candour, something after this fashion

'Yes, Edward! I love you-I adore you! and never shall this heart be another's!'

Plain, straightforward, and candid-but too candid for nature. These avowals should be made by expression of feature, intonation, and those thousand graces that women, when they love, know how to exploit so well.

In conclusion, Mademoiselle Madeline Brohan is a great widow.' It will be remembered that in France marriages are made by parents, and that mutual inclination is no part of the bargain. It is the young widow, then, who feels, thinks, and acts for herself; who

has some knowledge of the world, who has travelled, who has observed, who possesses friends, tact, social consideration, and position; who is rich, and can afford the indulgence of her affections; who is not above treating the man she has selected as a good second, with some small tracasserie; and who, though she will not absolutely 'propose' herself, will force a proposal from a timid gentleman unaccustomed to the arts of matrimonial diplomacy.


Mademoiselle Madeline Brohan is the brilliant widow of comedy, Mademoiselle Victoria is the sentimental spinster, in maiden meditation, not fancy free.

A pupil of Madame Rose Cheri, who was the directress of the Gymnase, in the best days of the Gymnase, Mademoiselle Victoria, though less brilliant than her instructress, is more tender. The pensive, dreamy eyes convey the impression of an attachment unfortunately placed. Young ladies in France are not allowed the same unrestricted freedom as English girls. They would consider it an infraction of maidenly dignity to show the smallest sign of susceptibility or preference. They never tell their love, but concealment, like a worm i̇' the bud, &c., does its work. The peculiar genius of Mademoiselle Victoria will be best described by saying that she suffers uncomplainingly; and yet her whole audience are conscious of every pang she feels. In the part of a young lady, an orphan with small means, living in the house of a rich uncle, and devotedly attached to a beau cousin, who makes her the confidant of his love for another, she would be charming. She would advise her cousin how to win her rival's heart, and strive her utmost to promote the match, though all the time she knew that her cousin's marriage would be her death-warrant. She would make friends with the young lady, 'Edouard's future,' and help to dress her hair for conquest. She

would pet the bride, and put up with her ill-humours. She would love her suffering, and suffer for her love; and when Edouard-presuming that to be the name of the beau cousin-had made a wife of a pretty, brainless little milliner's lay-figure, she-Mademoiselle Victoria, or rather the part that she was playing-would die, and the curtain would fall upon the piece, and the entire audience would execrate the blindness of stupid Monsieur Edouard.

The character above mentioned is, as yet, unwritten; but one of Mademoiselle Victoria's triumphs of this particular sort was noticed

in these pages some three years ago. Marguerite was young, and loved a young gentleman, Marcel, by name; but Marcel took no notice of her; and Marguerite pined, and fell sick, and was in danger. Her friends, fearing for her life, told her that Marcel loved her, and had their consent to marry her. Marcel himself arrived most opportunely; and an interview ensued, in which Marcel discovered that he had, unknown to himself, loved Marguerite from the first moment that he had seen her. The patient rallies surprisingly, and the doctor is more convinced than ever that neither poppy nor mandragora, nor all the drowsy

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syrups of the East, nor any other drugs to be found in the pharmacopoeia, can medicine half so well to a young lady as the interchange of mutual vows, and the immediate prospect of a wreath of orange-blossoms. Unfortunately, the roughness of the course of true love is proverbial. She is told by a venomous old maiden aunt that her friends have only been deceiving her; that they have humoured her fancies in order to restore her to health, and that her lover himself is in the plot. The poison is swift. The fever returns; and with it a mental exaltation that invites death. She is at the window, watching the falling

of the snow. She has been told that, in her critical state, to take cold would be her death. Well, Marcel no longer loves her. She has been treated like a capricious child, life is not worth having; then welcome death! She deliberately tears off a portion of her outer-clothing, opens the window, steps into the balcony, and exposes her bare head and shoulders to the wintry storm.

As this picture may be too terrible for the excitable and sympathetic, it may be mentioned that Marcel passes by in a carriage; sees his beloved pelted by the pitiless snow; climbs the balcony, and restores Marguerite to vital heat and to her

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