Page:What will he do with it.djvu/182

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what are they come for? To beg? He can never have the boldness to exhibit an animal for sous,—impossible; no, no, let them slink back again and sell the cross." And the child whispers courage; bids him look again along the rows; those faces seem very kind. He again lifts his eyes, glances round, and with an extemporaneous tact that completed the illusion to which the audience were already gently lending themselves, made sundry complimentary comments on the different faces actually before him, selected most felicitously. The audience, taken by surprise, as some fair female, or kindly burgess, familiar to their associations, was thus pointed out to their applause, became heartily genial in their cheers and laughter. And the Comedian's face, unmoved by such demonstrations,—so shy and sad, insinuated its pathos underneath cheer and laugh. You now learned through the child that a dance, on which the company had been supposed to be gazing, was concluded, and that they would not be displeased by an interval of some other diversion. Now was the tune! The dog, as if to convey a sense of the prevalent ennui, yawned audibly, patted the child on the shoulder, and looked up in her face. "A game of dominos," whispered the little girl. The dog gleefully grinned assent. Timidly she stole forth the old dominos, and ranged them on the ground; on which she slipped from her chair, the dog slipped from his; they began to play. The experiment was launched; the soldier saw that the curiosity of the company was excited, that the show would commence, the sons follow; and as if he at least would not openly shame his service and his Emperor, he turned aside, slid his hand to his breast, tore away his cross, and hid it. Scarce a murmured word accompanied the action, the acting said all; and a noble thrill ran through the audience. Oh, sublime art of the mime!

The Mayor sat very near where the child and dog were at play. The Comedian had (as he before implied he would do) discreetly prepared that gentleman for direct and personal appeal. The little girl turned her blue eyes innocently towards Mr. Hartopp, and said, "The dog beats me, sir; will you try what you can do?"

A roar, and universal clapping of hands, amidst which the worthy magistrate stepped on the stage. At the command of its young mistress the dog made the magistrate a polite bow, and straight to the game went magistrate and dog. From that time the interest became, as it were, personal to all present. "Will you come, sir," said the child to a young gentleman, who was straining his neck to see how the dominos were played,