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the continuous strophes of Pop goes the
Weasel, which the brass band drones forth;
though I am somewhat diverted by the
touching resignation with which the flageolet
allows the trombone to wipe the mouthpiece
of his instrument on his sleeve, and also by
a survey of the coat and hat of the trombone
himself. That musician is one diamond of
grease, and his clothes form perfect facets of
oleaginous matter. Young Harry,
however, does not find the time hang heavily.
He hands the foaming can about
at least its substitute, a broken mughe
converses familiarly with the ladies of the
company who sit familiarly on the front
benches till it be their turn to ascend the
stage, and he holds earnest parley with some
members of the upper gallery who are
beguiling the time by pelting us with nut-shells
and broken pipes. Two or three " hallos!"
and "now thens!" accompanied by a strong
recommendation to " cheese it " (i. e., act of
cessation), cause these trifling annoyances to
cease. Meanwhile, the theatre is getting
fuller. I need not say that the free-list is
entirely suspendedno! not entirely: there
is one exceptionthe policeman is admitted
free. He surveys the assemblage municipally,
the proscenium critically, the corps dramatique
favourably. The performances have not long
commenced before I observe him applauding
the Emperor of Russia enthusiastically.

With that potentate, who is sitting majestic
in his boots immediately before me, and
condescendingly partaking of beer with the
young Squire, I enter into brief conference.
I am somewhat disappointed to find that he
is merely a Russian field-marshal after all,
but I still revere his boots. He tells me that
I was right in my surmise respecting Hayes
and Walton. They are the parties, he says,
and very nice parties they are. He apologises
for the thinness of the company, saying that
it is not yet complete, but that it was very
strong at Stepney Fair, where they were
doing twenty houses a day. The lady
in white is Mrs. Hayes. He thinks
Dumbledowndeary a poor place. He
anticipates but mediocre business, as the
thing isn't known yet, and they hav'nt as
much as sent a drum about. Do I think that
the tradesmen would give a bespeak? If so,
they would have some bills printed, and

Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle! A bell, which has
been ringing about once in every half minute as
a species of sop to the public impatience, now
rings to some purpose, and the curtain rises.

The Russian War! The Tartar Bride!
Death and the Danube! The Gallant Turk!
Yes; let me see. Azarack (this Turk) is in
love with Selima, pronounced Syllabub (lady
in white), daughter to Chum-Chum, a Tartar
peasant (the old man, and discovered to be a
rank Irishman), but is coveted by a Russian
Field Marshal (Boots). There is an underplot,
treating of the loves of Hilda Chum-
Chum's second daughter (Convex) and Wingo,
a Wallachian peasant (played by a personage
in a costume novel to me, but, if I mistake
not, Mr. Merriman in buff boots). The drama
is in three acts, averaging twelve minutes
each. The scene varies between a woodman's
hut, a modern drawing-room, and a dungeon,
supposed to be the palace or castle of Field-
Marshal Boots. I think I cannot better sum
up the plot than by stating that in act the
first there is one murder, two fights, Wingo
up the chimney (which catches fire), one
imprisonment of Chum-Chum, and three
appeals (on her knees) by Selima to Boots,
beginning with " 'Ear me." Act the second:
three fights, two abductions of Selima, one
elopement by Hilda, a torture undergone by
Chum-Chum, a comic song by Wingo, and
innumerable soliloquies by Boots. Act the
third: three fights (one fatal), one ghost, one
general reconciliation, and a dance by the
characters, ending with the Triumph of the
Turks, and Ruin of the Russians. I need not
say that Boots is at last totally discomfited
and brought to signal shame, and is dragged
off, dead, by the toes of those very jack boots
he has done so much, by his ruffianly conduct,
to disgrace. I may add that all these events
appear to take place in that part of Turkey
which borders on Tartary, close to the
Danube, where it falls into the Baltic Sea;
that the dialogue is all carried on in the
purest vernacular, including such words as
"old Bloke," " blow me," " pickles," " go to
Bermondsey," and the like; that it is elevated
however by sundry scraps from Othello,
Manfred, Venice Preserved, and Richard the
Third, sprinkled hither and thither like plums
in a pudding, and spouted by Boots; and,
to wind up, that there is not one single H
in a right place among the whole company.

I must confess that, in my vagabond way,
I find it all very pleasant notwithstanding;
and that I am charmed with the audience, so
charmed with the play, acted out upon the
fresh green turf. So I sit through the laughable
drama of A Day Well Spent (not to
speak of a variety of intermediate singing
and dancing) with great content, and, at
parting, promise the ex-Emperor (in private
life at once a humble and familiar man) that
I will interest myself with the tradesmen
for a bespeak next Monday.

publishing Weekly in HOUSEHOLD WORDS.

On the Tenth of June will be published, in Household
Words, the ELEVENTH PORTION of a New Work of
Fiction called
                               HARD TIMES
                      BY CHARLES DICKENS.

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