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for me the very object which my own
ingenuity had proved unequal to compass.

While I was "setting" my palette, my sitter
amused himself by turning over some
portfolios. He happened to select one for special
notice, which contained several sketches that
I had made in the streets of Paris. He
turned over the first five views rapidly
enough; but when he came to the sixth, I
saw his face flush directly; and observed that
he took the drawing out of the portfolio,
carried it to the window, and remained
silently absorbed in the contemplation of it
for full five minutes. After that, he turned
round to me; and asked very anxiously, if I
had any objection to part with that sketch.

It was the least interesting drawing of the
seriesmerely a view in one of the streets
running by the backs of the houses in the
Palais Royal. Some four or five of these
houses were comprised in the view, which
was of no particular use to me in any way;
and which was too valueless, as a work of
Art, for me to think of selling it to my kind
patron. I begged his acceptance of it, at
once. He thanked me quite warmly; and
then, seeing that I looked a little surprised
at the odd selection he had made from my
sketches, laughingly asked me if I could guess
why he had been so anxious to become
possessed of the view which I had given him?

"Probably"—I answered—" there is some
remarkable historical association connected
with that street at the back of the Palais
Royal, of which I am ignorant."

"No"—said Mr. Faulkner—" at least, none
that I know of. The only association
connected with the place in my mind, is a purely
personal association. Look at this house in
your drawingthe house with the water-
pipe running down it from top to bottom.
I once passed a night therea night I shall
never forget to the day of my death. I have
had some awkward travelling adventures in
my time; but that adventure——! Well, well!
suppose we begin the sitting. I make but a
bad return for your kindness in giving me
the sketch, by thus wasting your time in mere

He had not long occupied the sitter's chair
(looking pale and thoughtful), when he
returnedinvoluntarily, as it seemedto the
subject of the house in the back street.
Without, I hope, showing any undue curiosity,
I contrived to let him see that I felt a deep
interest in everything he now said. After
two or three preliminary hesitations, he at
last, to my great joy, fairly started on the
narrative of his adventure. In the interest of his
subject he soon completely forgot that he was
sitting for his portraitthe very expression
that I wanted, came over his facemy picture
proceeded towards completion, in the right
direction, and to the best purpose. At every
fresh touch, I felt more and more certain that
I was now getting the better of my grand
difficulty; and I enjoyed the additional
gratification of having my work lightened by the
recital of a true story, which possessed, in my
estimation, all the excitement of the most
exciting romance.

This, as nearly as I can recollect, is, word
for word, how Mr. Faulkner told me the

Shortly before the period when gambling-
houses were suppressed by the French Government,
I happened to be staying at Paris with
an English friend. We were both young men
then, and lived, I am afraid, a very dissipated
life, in the very dissipated city of our sojourn.
One night, we were idling about the
neighbourhood of the Palais Royal, doubtful to
what amusement we should next betake
ourselves. My friend proposed a visit to
Frascati's; but his suggestion was not to my
taste. I knew Frascati's, as the French
saying is, by heart; had lost and won plenty
of five-franc pieces there, " merely for the
fun of the thing," until it was " fun" no
longer; and was thoroughly tired, in fact, of
all the ghastly respectabilities of such a social
anomaly as a respectable gambling-house.
"For Heaven's sake"—said I to my friend
"let us go somewhere where we can see a
little genuine, blackguard, poverty-stricken
gaming, with no false gingerbread glitter
thrown over it at all. Let us get away from
fashionable Frascati's, to a house where they
don't mind letting in a man with a ragged
coat, or a man with no coat, ragged, or otherwise."
—"Very well," said my friend, "we
needn't go out of the Palais Royal to find the
sort of company you want. Here's the place,
just before us; as blackguard a place, by all
report, as you could possibly wish to see."
In another minute we arrived at the door,
and entered the house, the back of which you
have drawn in your sketch.

When we got up-stairs, and had left our
hats and sticks with the doorkeeper, we were
admitted into the chief gambling-room. We
did not find many people assembled there.
But, few as the men were who looked up at
us on our entrance, they were all types
miserable typesof their respective classes.
We had come to see blackguards; but these
men were something worse. There is a
comic side, more or less appreciable, in all
blackguardismhere, there was nothing but
tragedy; mute, weird tragedy. The quiet
in the room was horrible. The thin,
haggard, long-haired young man, whose sunken
eyes fiercely watched the turning up of the
cards, never spoke; the flabby, fat-faced,
pimply player, who pricked his piece of
paste-board perseveringly, to register how
often black won, and how often rednever
spoke; the dirty, wrinkled old man, with the
vulture eyes, and the darned great coat, who
had lost his last sous, and still looked on
desperately, after he could play no longer
never spoke. Even the voice of the croupier
sounded as if it were strangely dulled and

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