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horses are to be tried, a boaster unveiled, a
sorry cavalier to be discomfited, or amusing
nothings to be whispered gaily in the pauses
of the thundering German band in the shady

Yet a little later, and they will all come
curvetting homewardmay be, through one
of those grand solemn eastern moonlights.
So, slowly from balconies looking in upon
pleasant festivals, the sobered lamps flash
out. Hence, and thence, comes the sound of
a piano, the tinkling of a lute, or rich
trembling voices singing. And dainty dames
come out in bevies, like moving parterres of
living flowers, and pass the gay half hour
before dinner, seated at the portal, or
wandering in the gardens, after the fashion
of the East.

A capital unceremonious dinner is followed
by music and dancing, a ramble in the
garden, visiting, or cigars in the open air.
There is an extensive assortment of amusements
always on hand. Only take care you do not
meet any robbers, for now and then they
pay these wealthy villages a visit, and do
such things that the high road to Smyrna is
not safe at noondayfar less by night.

In no city of the East is there a more
motley assemblage of people than in Smyrna.
Porters are seen carrying live sheep on their
knots; Zeibecs strutting by in fanciful attire;
and men of other tribes whose costumes
have, perhaps, scarcely suffered alteration
since the time of Xerxes; there is the howling
Dervish, for whose cutting and slashing
practices Dr. Clarke considers him to be a
traditional descendant from the Priests of
Baal; there are Turkish ladies with black
masks, like the masks of harlequins;
Persians in pointed sheepskin-caps, for which see
Marbles of Persepolis; monks with their
shaven crowns, and Jews with kerchiefs about
their brows; there are Italians in every
variety of dangling head-gear, and, ugliest of
all, Englishmen in beaver hats. Then there
are also the cocked-hats of naval officers
contrasting with the squat cap of the Greek
priest and the sugar-loaf geulaff of the
Dervish. Policemen are sublime in turbans,
besides carrying the terror of six or seven
loaded pistols and a yataghan each in his
girdle. They are the crowning glory of the


OUR Shakespeare is a small club of gentlemen,
chiefly of the long robe, who meet upon
certain nights, for dramatic readings of Ben
Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Wycherly,
Congreve, and Farquhar. It was originally
founded, as its name implies, for the exposition
of the Bard of Avon; but we have of
late degenerated, and read that author only
too rarely. Plantagenet Smythe Vincent
has effected this, upon the plea that we have
already got through Shakespeare; and he
makes a rule, he says, never to read any
writer more than once, and very seldom that.

There were at first but two members, the
true founders of the society, who, like the
early Greek dramatists, were obliged to admit
a third party, because they quarrelled over
the disputed passages, and had no referee.
These three great ones are all dead, and many
generations after them have followed their
example; but their memory is held in
veneration by use to this day. Brown has the
reputation of having introduced coffee into
the club; Jonesthe Raleigh of his dayof
suggesting tobacco; and Robinson, of
concluding our feast of reason with supper. Our
great reformer is of course unknown, and
unacknowledged. We speak of him only as
the sublime someone, who caused a quart of
bitter beer to be placed at each man's right
hand, and drained in five legitimate acts.

On every Wednesday night, at seven
o'clock, our eight assemble, each with his
book under his arm, and his heart attuned to
any fate. He may be a beggar the next hour,
or a myrmidon, or the captain of the guard,
or the third messenger, or an emperor of the
Indies, or a fool, besides many things worse,
and hardly to be named; it all depends upon
the drawing of a slip of paper

                    The simplest accident on earth,
  And one may be High Priest to Mumbo Jumbo.

Our cast is carefully made, so as to keep
the characters as separately as possiblethat
a lady may not make love to herself, nor a
monarch insist upon his own decapitation;
but beyond that, fortune settles all. This
arrangement prevents ill feeling being
generated by any favouritism; and Lady Mortimer
assumes her somewhat condensed part as
good-naturedly as loquacious Falstaff his.
What changes can be effected voluntarily are
permitted, but they are not frequent. Our
excellent De Courcy insists upon his right to
play the jester, and even, perhaps, considers
it a character peculiarly his own; while our
pleasant, lively Pottle, sticks by his kingship
or archbishopric with all the pertinacity of
office. It is a grand thing, however, to hear
these two when they have drawn parts that
really suit them. The former, so calm, so
stately, so respectable, and speaking the royal
speeches so naturally, is called after the
famous regal actor, Blandissimus. Let but a
pin drop,—that is to say, cough, laugh, or flip
a pellet of paper across the tablewhile he is
rolling forth his magnificent periods, and he
will stop instantly, regard the offender with
an eye in which justice is not tempered with
mercy, and begin his address from the throne
again, from the very first tremendous line.
Pottle, on the contrary, is always looking out
for extraneous excitements; and when
anything in his part can be by any means applied
personally to a member of the club, it is not
lost for want of pointed delivery. "Light,
sir, light as a cork," says his majesty of the
jester, in confidence; and I think "solemn