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accost her humble sister with singular grace
and kindness, and suffer herself to be
addressed on the same easy terms. Further, if
the poor supernuméraire has met with some
grievous accident, or has fallen sick and is
thus hindered from supporting her large
family, mademoiselle has been often known
to take up the case with a sort of furore,
going round among her brother and sister
artistes, gathering moneys for the distressed.
A  dash of piety, too, occasionally seasons the
light manners of the Coulisses, most of the
young ladies attending mass regularly every
Sunday, and being otherwise devout. They
may be found burning their votive candles
before Our Lady's altar, in the hope of
deliverance from some little trouble. They are
given to little pilgrimages to holy places,
and pray earnestly, poor souls! too often, it
is to be feared, that some erratic lover may
be given back to them.

Returning again to this day rehearsal,
which may be likened to a sort of bivouac,
the contemplative stranger will find many
more subjects for his recreation. Looking
round him, he will discover some seated in
remote corners, deep in Sue or Paul de Kock,
thus diligently improving their spare minutes;
some others are keeping close to maternal
shelter; while many more are reposing their
weary limbs on sofas.

Discipline is very strictly enforced in all
stage business. During répétition a certain
amount of toleration is extended to mirth
and high spirits; but, once the lamps are
lighted and the audience gathered in front,
any inattention or levity is visited with
severe penalties in the shape of heavy fines.
Mademoiselle is often disagreeably surprised,
when betaking herself to the treasurer's
office, at finding the week's salary
sadly reduced by these. Oftentimes a
note arrives from a lady, stating that she is
stricken with sudden indisposition, and is
consequently obliged to forego the pleasure
of assisting at the evening's performance.
This ought to be enough for the direction,
who should have sympathy for the fair
sufferer; but the direction has little faith,
being a dull sort of body much given to
doubting, and so sends off suspiciously to
know if mademoiselle be really at home and
confined to her room. For the poor
convalescent has been known to muster strength
sufficient for a little dinner at the Frères
Provinçaux or Maison Doré, and have
occasionally been seen, when actually thought to
be in extremis, sitting in a stall at the Français,
arrayed in toilette most éblouissante.
But, though unreasonably sceptical at times,
the direction has still bowels for its flock of
bonâ fide sick and wounded. Fractures and
sprains attendant on miscalculated pirouettes,
accidents from falling scenery, with other
mishaps, are sure to make up a full morning's
list of casualties. Medical officers, therefore,
attached to the establishment, receive their
list every morning, and set forth upon their
rounds, visiting impartially the highest
mansarde and stately premier. A wise and
humane dispensation this, and, in the end,
profitable to the direction.

The popular refection behind the scenes is
the simple, old-established drink known as
eau sucrée, or else a little Madeira wine and
water, or, for those who have demi voltes
and such trying exercise before them, some
very strong cold soup, held to be the best
restorative of all. The danseuse usually has
her maid, her sister, or mother, waiting at
the side-scene, and holding for her a
handkerchief and cloak, wilh a cup of the
cold soup elixir. The tried campaigner of
the ball season also knows the efficacy of
this strengthening extract. Often does
some figurante, after lavishing her set round
of smiles upon parterre and stalls, fall
trembling into her mother's arms at the
wing with a deep cry of pain. "O, mother!
how I suffer!" Then, after a little of the
panacea and a few moments' rest, she goes
forth again full of nods and becks and
wreathed smiles, and all the world theatrical
holds unanimously that never was mademoiselle
in more bewitching or in better verve than
to-night. A common ill to which the danseuse
is subject, is a sort of chronic inflammation of
the nostrils, which obliges the mouth to be
kept open for the sake of taking breath, and
is found very distressing. This is the bête
noir of the ballet, for which, as yet, there
has been no cure discovered beyond time and

We have taken but a glimpse at the
Coulisses: hardly sufficient perhaps for those
who, being men of Bohemia, wish to go deep
into the subject. For such readers, have been
lately written certain voluminous chronicles,
records of managerial life and troubles, with
which the Parisian market has been
inundated, and which set forth minutely, many
curious details.

    Nearly ready, price Five Shillings and Sixpence, neatly
bound in cloth,
                   THE FIFTEENTH VOLUME
                     HOUSEHOLD WORDS,
Containing the Numbers issued between the Third of
January and the Twenty-seventh of June of the present

Just published, in Two Volumes, post 8vo, price One
                      THE DEAD SECRET.
                      BY WILKIE COLLINS.
              Bradbury and Evans, Whitefriars.