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the height of impertinence, the little comedy of
Cartouche is printed. I bought it, together
with the sentence of the criminals to be broken
alive, in order to serve as testimonies of the
foolish things that are done in this country.
The public were so impatient to see this piece
the first day of its performance, that the actors
could not finish the first scene of Esop at Court,
which ought to have been played first. The
management was obliged to stop it, and yield to
the tumultuous cries of the pit, who called for
Cartouche. How will posterity judge of the
taste of our epoch, if it learns that we preferred
the piece of Cartouche to the comedy of Esop
at Court? It must be allowed, however, that
the Sieur Legrand, comedian to the king, the
author of this little piece, has turned his subject,
low of itself and somewhat repulsive, to the
best advantage it was possible for him to do.
He has contrived to enliven it by pleasantries
or adventures which he imagined himself, or
which he copied from real events in Cartouche's
life, whom he went to see in prison, and with
whom he had long 'conversations, in order to
become better acquainted with the circumstances
respecting his career, and to be able to paint his
character after nature. This comedy was
composed before Cartouche's capture, under the
title of The Thieves; or, the Untakable Man.
The comedians did not receive permission to
play it, because it seemed an attack on the
multitude of persons who were ordered to take
Cartouche, and could not. We will not enter into this
subject, for the reasons we have already stated."
Of the whole piece he only gives the
couplets which were sung at the end, apparently
because they have nothing whatever to do with
Cartouche and his adventures. M. Maurice,
however, having disinterred this literary curiosity,
reprints it entire and textually, and recommends
it for revival to the managers of the second-rate
Parisian theatres, as an excellent and promising
speculation. In case of its being reproduced
thereperhaps even without that eventuality
we have a chance of seeing it on this side of the
water. If somebody must be robbed for
dramatic purposes, the robbers may as well plunder
a dead and gone playwright as pervert and
distort half-finished continuous tales by their
helpless contemporaries. Legraud's performance is
extremely comic, a good acting piece, and still
better to read in the chimney-corner. Legrand
himself, like Moliere, was both an author and an
actor, and was born in Paris on the very day of
the decease of his illustrious predecessor, namely,
the seventeenth of February, sixteen hundred
and seventy-three. He has scarcely written
any but occasional pieces; if you once admit
this style of writing to take literary rank, the
comedy of Cartouche is entitled to all praise,
though it does seem strange that its Concluding
divertissement, comprising the musicians, the
dancers, and the guests at the wedding, should
have been submitted to the approval of an
unhappy wretch who was only a few short days
from the rack and the wheel.

It was in the night between Monday and Tuesday
that Cartouche took it into his head to go
and see himself figuring by deputy upon the
boards. He was confined in a dungeon with
another man who, by chance, was a mason, and
who was not bound. They made a hole into a
sewerage tube, and dropped down into it without
any inconvenience, because the water of the
river passed through it and carried off everything.
They removed a very large hewn stone
and entered the cellar of a fruiterer, whose shop
opened under the arcade. The mason had
obtained possession of an iron bar in the course of
his demolition of the sewer. From the cellar
they mounted to the fruiterer's shop, which was
only fastened with a small bolt inside; but it
was too dark for them to see that. Unluckily
for them there was a dog in the shop, who barked
as dogs ought to bark at the sight of house-
breakers. The servant-girl got up when she
heard the noise, and shouted " Thieves!" out of
the window with all her might and main. The
master fruiterer came down with a light, and
would have allowed his visitors to walk off
quietly; but, again unluckily, four archers of
the watch, who were leaving their beat, entered
the shop to drink a glass of brandy. They
recognised Cartouche, who had chains on his hands
and feet, and they took him back to prison by
the front gates. The gaolers were in a terrible
fright when they saw him. The philanthropic
fruiterer made a mint of money by showing the
hole in the cellar to the gossips of Paris.

At the end of the present month will be published,
price 5s. 6d., bound in cloth,
THE FIRST VOLUME,
Containing from Nos. 1 to 26, both inclusive, of
ALL THE YEAR ROUND.
London: Published at the Office of ALL THE YEAR
ROUND, 11, Wellington-street North, W. C.; and by
CHAPMAN and HALL, 193, Piccadilly, W.

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