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quite unintentional. "You see, MacMahon
can't be found. He is in retreatcoming
to Paris. No doubt afraid to meet the
Crown Prince." "Eh? Comment?" "I say,
no doubt afraid to meet the Crown Prince.
Bazaine of course can't budge for his life,"
&c. The bewildered look of the Frenchman
at these blunt truths, and the complacency
of the Scot, believing he was acquitting
himself handsomely, would have been comic, if
the one had not saddened me, and if the
other had not filled me with shame.

We stand, sometimes, at three o'clock at
the Corps Législatif, to see the deputies go
in. A great crowd gathers, precisely as at
Westminster Hall, and stands in two lines.
The deputies always arrive in a fine theatrical
way, and, I suspect, enjoy the staring
immensely, not gliding in, after the retiring,
unassuming way our legislators affect. They
are mostly of two types; one the rugged
bearded man, tall and fierce-eyed, the other
the smooth, portly being, well shaven,
suggesting the well-fed manufacturer. For
the gallery every one stands in queue. And
the price of a ticketwell earned, too, for
the seller has stood patiently for three or
four hours under the sunis fifteen francs.

Of a night when a significant piece of
news has come in, the enormous stretch
and windings of the Boulevards become
peopled with a really alarming crowd,
surging and swaying all down among the
trees, kiosks, and cafés. The effect of
these gatherings of dark figures, seen far
as the eye can reach, is not a little
ominous, and gives one a faint idea of what
a revolution would be in such a place. On
the flaring back ground of blazing cafés and
illuminated kiosks and lanterns the huge
masses surge and sway, and actually
darken the whole prospect by interrupting
the light. The centres are the stalls,
where the struggle for newspapers with no
news is always going on, and where the
second struggle for hearing that news read
aloud by good-natured folk next succeeds,
and gathers fresh groups. At such a
moment, a word, a cry would be like a match,
and the word "Prussien!" set the whole
ablaze. Any rather stiff stranger, who has
a wooden build, and whose face is fair and a
little greasy, is sure to be looked after
suspiciously as he goes by; and some bloused
workman will mutter and curse, if he do
not proceed to more decided measures.

But on the whole the impression left
after this bird's-eye view was, that the stuff
for defence, for real desperate defence, was
wanting. It seemed like the feeling which
some criminals have that they are not to
suffer, which they hold to the last moment
in spite of all assurances. But looking
beyond this time of trial, it is likely that
there will be some great and good results,
possibly a thorough awakening, a radical
change of thought and habit; a casting of
that somewhat theatrical skin, and that
inflation of language and sentiment, which
is unfitted for the time and age.

And again it is to be remembered that
when these sketches of the outer surface of
Parisian life were taken in August last,
the great blow had not yet fallen. The
Parisians may be excused for only half
expecting the worst, for looking to junctions
of Bazaine and MacMahon, and to
consequent whirlwinds of French victory,
recalling the days of Brunswick and of
Dumouriez. It is not for us, with full
knowledge of all the events of the war,
and with full liberty to discuss them, to
blame this people for not comprehending
the full gravity of the situation. Cruelly
hoodwinked, shamefully kept in the dark
not only by those in authority, but even by
their own press, an eager, impulsive people,
still flushed with the past glories of France,
has, not without reason, hoped too much,
and too long. Before these lines are in the
hands of the readers of this journal, the
settlement of a grim account between the
French people and those who have allowed
them to rush blindfold into the toils will,
it may be assumed, have begun. Of a
surety the account will be settled to the
uttermost farthing.

Meanwhile, hoping for better days,
England deplores the sad plight of a faithful
ally: grieves for the agony of a great and
generous people: and meets with the usual
reward of a candid friendsuspicion,
dislike, and calumny.

             MR. DICKENS'S NEW WORK.
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