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something so irresistibly droll in Paulin's manner of uttering these words, that I could not repress a hearty fit of laughter. Next moment we cordially embraced each other. Our conciliatress seemed quite at a loss to comprehend this extraordinary scene.

We were about to explain it, when some one came to tell her that the postchaise was waiting, and all was in readiness for her departure. She smiled, curtsied, and bade us adieu. A thought, a presentiment, suddenly occurred to my mind

•Can it be,' I exclaimed, · Mademoiselle Clermonde ?' • The same,' she replied. And while she waved to us a most gracious salute, her glove dropped from her hand. I darted forward and picked it up.

• Take it, take it, my lad,' said Paulin. • If the lady's eyes speak truth, the challange was not thrown to me."

" I will bring it to you, madame, exclaimed I." Whether or not she heard me, I cannot say. In another moment she was seated in her post-chaise, and a few minutes more, out of sight.”

This is very nearly as absurd a scene as can be found in the pages of Sterne. This Malle. Clermonde afterwards brought Fleury into another scrape, which resulted in a duel with one of her admirers, the Comte de la ToucheTreville; and, finally, she abandoned the poor actor for another rival, Desforges. This occurred in consequence of her jealousy of wdlle. Montansier, a lady of forty years of age, the female manager of the theatre at Versailles, attached to the court of Louis XV., then near the end of his luxurious reign, and under the influence of the famous Dubarry.

The first acquaintance which Fleury got of the principal actors of French comedy of the day, was at a dinner given to celebrate the birth-day of Malle. Dangueville, a celebrated actress, then about sixty years of age.

Here he met St. Foix, Dorat, Malle. Drouin, Malle. La Mothe, Lekain, and Preville, all famous names on the French stage. These friends enabled him to go to the Theatre Francais to improve himself in acting, and to make himself fit to enter as à sociétaire in that distinguished company.

Malle. Dumesnil and Malle. Clairon were, at this time, as always, rival actresses in the great roles of Racine's tragedies. The former had been supported at court by Madame Dubarry, and the latter by Madame de Villeroi, who obtained for her protegée the part of Athalie, at the court fêtes. MarieAntoinette, the young Dauphiness, appeared at the fêtes of Versailles, and produced a marked impression on all beholders, by her beauty, exceeding youthi, dignified manner

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and amiability. Malle. Dumesnil at one time threw so much fiery energy into her acting of Cleopatra, that the front rank of the pit drew back, and an empty space was left between the spectators and the orchestra. In the fifth act of that play, she delivered several dreadful imprecations which so roused an old soldier, stationed at the side-scene, that he gave her a blow in the back, crying out at the saine time, “Vas-t'en, chienne, vas-t-en à tous les diables." Being principally a tragic actress, any furthur inention of her would be out of our subject. She died at Boulogne in 1803, having nearly completed her 90th year.

Malle. Clairon, her rival, was born at Condé, in Flanders, the native country of Mulle. Dumesnil, and having acted for several years in the provinces and at the Opera Comique, obtained at length the privilege of double to Malle. Dangueville, in the parts of servant maids and such like characters. It was, and still is, customary at the Theatre Francais that each first-rate actor or actress should have a pensonnaire, who could play his or her part in the absence of the principal player, and was thence called the double. The play-bills were made out only with the names of the characters, and not of the performers, at this period, 80 that it was impossible on any particular night to discover who were the actors. Malle. Clairon afterwards insisted on taking up several of the parts played by Mulle. Dumesnil, and although she never attained the same eminence Fet she obtained great celebrity. She was once put in the prison of Fort l'Eveque, for refusing to act along with Dubois, retired immediately after from the theatre, went to live at the court of Margrave of Anspach, and published memoirs, in which she attacked Mdlle. Dumesnil, who answered her. They both died in the same year.

Malle. Dangueville, of whom we have spoken above, was celebrated for her acting of petits róles, soubrettes, and Euch like characters. Her manner has been very well described by Dorat in the following lines :

“ Il me semble la voir, l'æil brillant de gáité,
Parler, agir, marcher avec légèreté;
Piquante sans apprêt, et vive sans grimace,
A chaque mouvement decouvrir une grace,
Sourir, s'exprimer, se taire avec esprit,
Joindre le jeu muet à l'éclair du debit,

Nuancer tous ses tons, varier sa figure,

Rendre l'art naturel, et parer la nature." Molé pronounced her eulogium at the Lycée des Arts in 1794, and her bust was crowned in the October following:

Fleury hoped, in the year 1771, under the auspices of Lekain, to become a member of the Comèdie Francaise, but Bellecourt, Molé, and Monvel, the three reigning artistes of the day, opposed it, and he was obliged to go to Lyons, to take up an engagement there, at the theatre of which Madame Lobreau was manager. This lady had been deprived of her situation by means of an intrigue got up by some of her enemies with an under-secretary of the famous Turgot. A douceur of 8000 livres per annum was promised to the understrapper to complete the job; but Louis XVI., to whom the queen represented the matter, dismissed his minister, and reinstated the lady-manager. The celebrated Malesherbes resigned at the same time, on account of the dismissal of his friend,

The first part acted by Fleury on the boards of the Theatre Français was the character of Egysthe in “ Mérope.” He felt when he came on the stage perfectly confounded and bewildered, until Malle. Dumesnil, who played along with him, suggested the opening words of his part, when he went on smoothly. She afterwards gave him a bottle of bouillon de poulet, (chicken broth), mixed with some wine, (her usual beverage) to keep up his nerves and spirits. Bellecourt was, at this time, one of the leading comic actors. He had succeeded Grandval, and being patronised by M.de Richelieu, endeavoured to rival Lekain, but felt himself obliged to give up the trial. With a handsome person, he became a correct and pleasing, though never a brilliant,actor, and could dance a minuet in almost faultless style. He was old, and about to retire, and to him Fleury hoped to succeed. Molé proved a very difficult model to imitate; he had a hesitation in his speech, and an unpleasing delivery; yet he continued to be the idol of the public, and an especial favorite with the ladies,who flocked at one time to his house in such numbers, when he lay ill, that the street was crammed with emblazoned carriages. Louis XV. himself sent twice to enquire after his health, because M. Dubarry favored him. Monvel was diminutive without dignity, his voice harsh and very thin, yet he rose very nearly to the height of Lekain in tragedy. Preville was an universal actor;

. he had originally run away from his father's house, became an apprentice to a mason, afterwards a clerk to a notary, and finally, through admiration for the acting of Poisson, took to the stage, on which he shone for many years.

Lekain, a great friend to Fleury, is represented by Malle. Clairon, in her memoirs, to have been very plain in face and figure, vulgar in his manners in private, and somewhat ungainly; he was, however, the great tragic performer of the age. On the 3rd February,1778, he appeared at the Theatre Francais, in “Vendome," which character he

, perforined to perfection. At this time he lived with a very intimate friend, Madame Benôit. Another lady, with whom he formerly had hada liaison, was present in the theatre that evening, and thrown into raptures by the action of the player. Madame Benoit conceived some jealousy on account of this, and received the actor on his return with a storm of tears. The consequence was that he got a fit, which carried him off in a few hours, in his 49th year.

Voltaire came to Paris the very day on which Lekain was buried, after an absence of twenty-seven years, to see his own tragedy of - Irène" performed. The death of the principal supporter of it, in whom he relied, affected the Philosopher of Ferney so much, that he is said to have fainted. He was, however, consoled shortly after, at the fifth representation of the play, by his bust being produced on the stage and crowned by the actors, amid a burst of enthusiasm from the audience.

Molé had taken some unfortunate dislike to M. Fleury, and prevented for a long time his being admitted as a sociétaire of the Theatre Francais. At length this was arranged by Madame Campan, by introducing Fleury to Marie Antoinette, who commanded his reception. The first effect of this success was that he had a duel with Dugazon, each new actor being obliged to serve his noviciate in the sword exercise, before he was acknowledged to be worthy of the troupe. The two became at once great friends.

The green-room at the Theatre Francais became the resort of all the elite of men of letters of the day, among the rest Beaumarchais and Goldoni. Two actresses, Malle. Sainyal and Madame Vestris, were rivals, and divided completely adverse parties in the capital. The former had some intimacy with the Duke de Duras, who wrote her some letters privately, supporting her claims. She was injudicions enough to publish those ; the Duke de Duras became so indign:int at the disclosures that he used his intluence at court, and had the fair oflender sent into exile at Clermont in Beauvoisin, a species of punishment reserved for disgraCel ministers. She was degraded from her place as sociétaire and forbidden to act in the provinces. Her sister having been appointed to play in her stead, when she appeared in the piece of “Tancrède" the audience became so enthusiastic, that she was borne off the stage in a state of insensibility. The pit raised a shout for “ Les deux Sainval,” which the guards could not quell.

Marie Antoinette conceived the project of getting a wife for Fleury. She proposed Mulle. Racecourt, to whom the actor politely objected. This lady, when seventeen years of age, had been so aspersed in her character by a letter of Voltaire, that she fell into a life of great expense, and, getting into debt to the extent of 100,000 crowns, was obliged to tly into the Netherlavds. Subsequently the queen insisted on her being received again into the theatre, paid her debts, and wished her to marry Fleury ; she, however, relieved him, by running away with the Prince d'IIénin. At this time Bellecour died, and Fleury succeeded to his position in the company.

Private theatricals now became very much in fashion at the court, without the knowledge or approval of the king. The Comte de Provence, and the Comte d'Artois, afterwards Louis XVIII., and Charles X., used to perform at them, but privately, and behind a screen, so that if any person not initiated happened to come in, the scene was closed by a sliling panel, and the company began to play at battledoor and shuttlecock. Marie Antoinette at length obtained the consent of the king to these representations. He even attended the rehearsals, but objected to the kissing scenes, and coughed loudly to prevent any repetition of them. The queen's appearance is very well described as follows :

“ Her eyes, though not large, had a power of expression which rendered them a perfect index of her mind. Her skin was delicately fair, and the contour of her neck and shoulders exquisitely formed. Her mouth, though stamped with that peculiarity which has been

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