FROM Galignanis Messenger we learn, that " His Excellency Lord Granville and Lady Granville gave a grand dinner on Friday, (Christmas-day) : Marshal Soult, M. Guizot, several of the diplo- matic corps, and other persons of distinction, were among the guests. In the evening, several amateurs performed, with much spirit, the English piece of The Wreck Ashore, to a numerous and distinguished audience."
Had we met with this paragraph in the columns of the Charivari, we should have known what to think : but Galignani is a grave matter-of-fact print. And yet it does look rather odd, in the pre- sent equivocal state of French and English relations, for the English Ambassador to be amusing the French Ministers, in their own capital, with the representation of The Wreck Ashore. How- ever, great allowance is to be made for the time of year at which the Romans celebrated their Saturnalia and our ancestors enjoyed their Lord of Misrule.
The taste for amateur dramatic performances has not been con- fined to Ambassadors. Persons in higher place have been trying to amuse crowned heads in the same way ; although, unaccountably, • even the Morning Post has omitted to record their revels. The continued indisposition of Lord NORMANDY has prevented any attempt at the regular drama : but tableaux vivants and a pan- tomime have been got up with great eclat. There was indeed this drawback upon the tableaux, that our Ministers do not groupe well, and were obliged to confine themselves to pictures of single figures. But upon the whole, they were well got up. Mr. MACAULAY'S Gratiano was rather clumsy : if his tongue had been let loose, no one could have doubted his power to "talk an infinite deal of nothing—more than any man in Venice " ; but he did not exactly look the gay wooer of Nerissa. Lord PALMERSTON, however, was an excellent Poins—the very model of a man who "wears his boot very smooth like unto the sign of the leg, and breeds no bate with telling of discreet stories." But the pantomime was beyond ex- ception.
We cannot afford time and room to follow all the happily-con- ceived tricks of this piece : one must serve as a specimen. Clown and Pantaloon, by their gestures, call a halt, and seem to indicate that Harlequin's bat gives him an unfair advantage over them. He nods back, that it is not so much the bat as the hand that wields - it that occasions his superiority. An " armed peace" is agreed to, for the purpose of bringing the question to the test of experi- ment. The discussion having occurred near a poulterer's shop, it is agreed that each shall in turn take the bat, and try to appro- priate by its aid a plump temptine.° turkey. Pantaloon (enacted by a French gentleman, not unlike M. Tames) hints, as plain as nodding, winking, and wriggling can do, that the best way of preserving amity among the trio, will be to give vent to their de- structive propensities in tearing up and sharing the turkey : but Harlequin and Clown peremptorily negative the proposal. Panta- loon, therefore, seizing the bat, makes stiff, awkward motions of preparation ; but is tripped up by his roguish associate the Clown ; Harlequin standing quietly by with his wonted shuddering laugh. A debate ensues; in coubequence of which, poor Pantaloon is obliged to acquiesce in the decision that he has had his trial and failed. Clown (Lord PALMERSTON) next seizes the bat. The turkey, tantalizingly, makes a slight motion in advance as he points to it, but immediately falls back. Clov,n beckons with- all kinds of seductive looks—" nods, winks, and wreathed smiles," such as Clowns give—but in vain. Harlequin, as soon as he can for laughing, hints that it is now his turn ; which causes Clown (the only one of the gang ever suffered to break the sacred law of silence) to relinquish the bat with an air, saying, "That is exactly what I wanted to do." Harlequin (performed by a Russian gentle- man) snatches the bat from him ; and the moment the magic wand is in the hands of its right owner, the trussed turkey flutters up and settles on its point. Harlequin dances off in triumph. Clown twists his mouth at the audience and, thrusting his hands into his unfathomable pockets, wheels ;bout and struts off on the other side, as if he would say, " Is that all ? " and Pantaloon, with his immoveable countenance, trots after him.
,Irwas observed during this scene, that the Queen of England was too busy talking with Prince ALBERT and Lord MELBOURNE, to notice what was going forward on the stage ; that the Emperor of Russia seemed highly amused; while the King of the French looked much like his great teacher, TALLEYRAND, of whom it used to be said, that a man behind him might be kicking his "seat of honour," while one in front should never suspect from his coun- tenance that any thing was occurring to give him either pain a, pleasure.