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can afford to ignore the sneer at the "apostles of cheapness" which comes so readily to the aid of those who believe in the beneficent properties of restriction, but whose belief in sacrifices for the sake of establishing monopolies invariably assumes the form of sacrificing others. The farmers of Victoria are not singular in being sacrificed to the greed of manufacturing monopolists, but they present the unique spectacle of a whole population of presumably sensible men kissing the hand that robs them because the owner of the hand promises to rob somebody else as well. In America, as already mentioned, the farmers are awakening to the fact that they are being robbed of millions of dollars by protection; and in France, M. Jules Clavé, in the February number of the Revue des Deux Mondes, towards the conclusion of an elaborate article on "La Situation Agricole de la France," says:—

"We cannot repeat too frequently that the agriculturists have the right to demand that they should not be sacrified to the manufacturing interests (aux industriels), and as they cannot obtain equality in protection, they must insist upon equality in free-trade (dans la liberté) in order that they may not play the rôle of dupes. Agriculture, above all, constitutes the riches of France; and its power springs from its country population; hy, then, is agriculture always made a secondary consideration, and its misfortunes uncared for? Agriculturists must, at length, grasp the situation; and they must understand their interests in order to defend them. They must understand that if the manufacturers obtain for their products a protective duty of 10 per cent. the agricultural population, suffer to the extent of over 100 millions (francs) in losing a portion of their foreign market (débouchés exterieurs), and thus being compelled to sell their own produce at a low price, while they are forced to give a higher price for manufactured articles."

M. Jules Clavé has put the thing in a nutshell from the point of view of the French farmer; and it is applicable, with much greater force, to the Victorian wheat-grower, who must depend more and more upon a foreign market.

That the Victorian farmers are gradually beginning to see that their false friends of the press and platform have misled them is clear from the changed tone which pervades their meetings. The protected daughters of the horse-leech still cry "give, give;" but the farmer does not respond quite so readily to the invitation as of yore. At the meeting of the Farmers' Unions, protection is recognised (by all the most intelligent of the farmers, at least) as a delusion; and the shilling per cental on wheat, which is not imported, is so manifest a snare that even the man who follows the plough, and who "knows nothing of finance," is not deceived by it. The only thing that Liberal politicians now require to make this a "paradise" for the farmer (every one, of course, recognises that they have already made it a paradise for the working man) is the

" plebiscite." With this instrument of despotism, the voice of the farmer, already too feeble to get rid of an impost upon bags, will not be heard at all. His time is so much taken up in subduing the wilderness, in order that the protected industries may enjoy the sweets of monopoly, that he cannot afford time to leave the familiar plough to plunge into a plebiscite upon unfamiliar financial problems. Finance, as understood by Liberal politicians, is the art of taking; as reduced to the capacity of farmers who are ignorant of much which tailors and shoemakers understand by a kind of God-given intuition, it simply means a process (rather monotonous, perhaps) of "shelling out." The farmer, sooner or later, must have free-trade; the sooner he gets it the better.

STUART REID.

BOUFFÉ.

ACTORS are, as a general rule, a long-lived race. This is owing, in all probability, to the fact that the profession they pursue involves that combination of mental with bodily activity, which the personal experience of a good many of us has proved to be one of the essential conditions of health and happiness. Charles Macklin, of whose Shylock, Pope said that it was "the Jew whom Shakespeare drew," lived to be 107, and he appeared upon the stage after he was 90. It is true that, by this time, he had lost most of his physical energy, but tradition reports that when he was about to rush upon the scene, prior to his vehement colloquy with Tubal, he used to call out to the prompter, "Kick my shins, kick my shins!" and that the real pain which this occasioned him, inspired him with the necessary passion. Thomas Gray, the clown par excellence of the days of Queen Anne, died at the age of 100. The charming Mrs. Bracegirdle, whose intelligence was equal to her beauty, and whose goodness exceeded both, spent 27 years upon the boards, and died at 85. David Garrick's wife, who turned the heads of all the young fellows about town by her fascinating dancing in her young days, and who lived to witness the performances of Edmund Kean, reached the age of 97. Dowton, of whom I once heard Buckstone say that "he had a five-act comedy in each eye," retained his frolic spirit until he was 88. Fanny Abington, whom Reynolds painted as the Comic Muse, maintained a high position on the stage for 43 years, and lived to be 83. Betterton died at 75, Roger Kemble at 81, Kitty Clive at 74, Mrs. Harlowe at 87, Jack Johnstone at 78, Colley Cibber at 87, Paul Bedford at 78, John Harley at 72, Robert Keeley and William Farren at 75, Liston at 70, Jack Bannister at 77, Miss Foote, James Quin, James Hackett, John Collins, Samuel Phelps, and Mrs. Glover at 70, the two Placides at 73, Charles Kemble at 79, Charles Matthews at 74, Buckstone at 78, Thomas King, the original Sir Peter Teazle, at 74, Bartley, the finest Falstaff I ever saw, at 74, William Betts at 82, William Cullenford at 77, and T. P. Cooke at 78. Chippendale and Benjamin Webster are both over

80, and James R. Anderson, Mrs. Sterling, William Creswick and Barry Sullivan must be close approaching three-score and ten. Vestris, the famous ballet-dancer, lived to be 83, and Garvel, after 50 years of service in the same capacity at the Opera House in Paris, died at 82. Taglioni is still alive, a charming old lady of 71, and retains the bright expression of countenance and elegance of movement, which made her the idol of the upper ten thousand in every capital in Europe half a century ago.

Upon the French stage, actors and actresses are as long-lived as their English brothers and sisters. Mddle. Mars, Preville, and Molé died at 68, De Vigny and Mme. Belle Cour at 69, Brizard and Michelot at 70, Mdlle. Hus at 71, Fleury at 72, Caumont, Lafon, and Mdlle. Dupont at 73, De Grandval, Baptiste the elder, and Ioanny-who was 45 years upon the stage-at 74, Baptiste the younger and Firmin at 75, Mdlle. Faniez at 76, Mdlle. D'Oligny, Monvel, Lafont, and Lemaitre at 77, Granger, Armand, and Mdlles. Devienne and Dejazet at 73, Périer at 77, and Delarive at 80, Mdlle. Dangeville at 82, St. Val and Mdlles. Clairon, Luzy, and De St. Val at 83, Mdlle. De St. Val-the elder sister of the last-named lady-at 86, Mme. Talma at 89, Mdme. Thénard and Mdlle. Dumesnil at 92, and Mme. Saporiti at 101.

Three years ago, that is to say upon the 10th of January, 1878, a performance was organised at the theatre of the Opéra Comique, by Got and Delaunay, under the patronage of the Comédie Française, in which Mmes. Sarah Bernhardt, Favart, Croizette, Reichemberg, and half-a-dozen other distinguised actresses, together with MM. Salvini, Capoul, Got, Delaunay, the two Coquelins, Thiron, Febvre, and thirteen other histrionic celebrities took part. But the central figure on that occasion, and the object of public and professional homage and respect, was a diminutive old man, who only wanted two years of being eighty, and whose wonderful vivacity and verve were by no means extinguished, even at that advanced are. His was a name dear to two generations of Parisian playgoers. It was that of an actor who had seen Talma, St. Prix, Lafon, Duchesnois, Raucourt and Georges in tragedy, and Potier, the two Baptistes, Brunet, Michaut, Fleury, Mars and Michelot in comedy. He had seen Paris besieged by the Allied Powers, in 1814; and by the Germans, in 1870. He had played under Louis the Eighteenth, Charles the Tenth, and Louis Philippe, under the Republic of 1848, under the Second Empire, and under the Republic of to-day. As a character-actor, he had no superior, although Frederick Lemaitre

was his contemporary; and, for a period of half a century, the name of Bouffé was identified in the minds of all lovers of dramatic art both in France and in England, with the characters of Turlututu, the Gamin de Paris, Caleb Balderstone, the Père Grandet, Falstaff, Louis the Eleventh (in Louis Onze en goguettes), and no less than 170 other parts, each of which he created. Bouffé is still living, and the story of his life is worth recording, were it only for the sake of the profession which he adorned by his genius, and honoured by his personal character and conduct.

He was born in Paris, on the 4th of September, 1800. His father was only nineteen, and his mother no more than fifteen, when they married, and he, himself, was the eldest born of twentytwo children. Both parents were passionately fond of the theatre, and, before the boy was ten years old, he had witnessed the performance of some scores of comedies, tragedies, melodramas, vaudevilles and comic operas; and had felt the histrionic instinct stirring strongly within him. It is not too much to say, indeed, that the boy was a born actor; and, although he learned his father's trade—that of a carver and gilder—his heart was in the playhouse. His father's sister was wardrobe-woman at the Ambigu, and sometimes he could steal in behind the scenes, and watch the actors from the wings. One day, as the bright-eyed little fellow was absorbed in this delightful occupation, a leading member of the company tapped him on the head, and said, "Here is our little amateur again; and, if he does not one day become a comedian, it will be no fault of his." Years afterwards, they were comrades and close friends in the company at the Gymnase. When Paris was besieged in 1814, Bouffé père, who idolised Napoleon, enrolled himself ainong the defenders of the city, and was so crushed in spirit by the reverses of the Emperor, that he fell seriously ill, and was unable to attend to his business for three years; during which time, the future actor had to become the breadwinner of the household; a duty which he fulfilled with affectionate assiduity. When his father was restored to health, young Bouffé celebrated the happy event by erecting a small theatre in the workshop, and giving a performance, with the assistance of some young friends, and of his sister Josephine, who afterwards became celebrated as an actress, under the name of Madame Gauthier. Her engagement at the Ambigu brought him into closer contact with the profession; and, among those who excited his admiration most warmly, was an orphan, named Charlotte Seffert. She was only six years old, and

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