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tempts so frequently made to increase the interest and spoken to by the frequenters of these seats. of the work performed by introducing realistic or This munificent patron of operatic art—and of absolutely real accessories. The original stage operatic artists--paid, in any case, a sum of Pegasus may perhaps have learned to deport twelve thousand livres, by way of compensation, himself in a becoming manner; and it has been for the loss sustained by the theatre in consentseen that precautions were taken toward that end. ing to the abolition of the banquettes. But the live goat in “ Dinorah " always misbe- At our English theatres the spectators who haved himself until, ultimately, at the Royal were allowed to take seats on the stage did not, Italian Opera, Madame Adelina Patti found her- as in France, place themselves prominently beself obliged to discard her unruly pet, and to sing fore the public. The practice, however, of adDinorah's charming cradle-song either to a pure- mitting so many visitors behind the scenes, and ly imaginary animal or to a stuffed figure. of allowing them to remain on the stage while
At a Paris theatre an attempt was once made the performance was actually going on, could not to give reality to a pastoral scene by bringing on but be attended with many inconveniences, one to the stage a flock of live sheep, which, however, of which is mentioned by Mrs. Bellamy in a wellfrightened by the lights and by the clamor of the au- known passage of her memoirs. A Mr. St. dience, lost no time in going astray, so that at the Leger, as Mrs. Bellamy passed before him on the second representation it was found necessary to stage at Dublin, kissed her on the neck, and rereplace the live sheep hy pasteboard imitations. ceived a box on the ears in return. Lord Ches
The insufficiency of the stage-arrangements terfield rose in his box and applauded. His exat the Paris Opera, when Rousseau was expatiat- ample was followed by the whole house; and, at ing on the artistic poverty of that establishment, the end of the act, Major Macartney, deputed by may be explained in some measure not only by the Viceroy, waited on Mr. St. Leger, and rethe smallness of the stage, but by the manner in quested him to make a public apology. This inwhich it was blocked up on both sides by the cident had an important effect in bringing about aristocratic section of the audience, who sat in a reform which had long been advocated. rows on both sides of the singers, while the baser Many reforms or innovations, supposed to be portion of the public stood in the pit, which, un- of the present day, are but returns to ancient til a comparatively late period, was unprovided practices. There is much in Herr Wagner's with seats. Often the occupants of the benches musical system—including the use of horses on on the stage took quite a different view of the the stage-which is not by any means so new as representation to that formed by the upstanding is generally supposed. There was novelty at one spectators in the parterre; and ideas were some- time in bringing the orchestra before the public, times exchanged between the two great divisions instead of keeping it out of sight, as was done in of the public with an irritating effect, and with the early days of the drama, and quite lately at results which sometimes took the form of open the Wagner festival of Baireuth. The custom, violence. The actor or singer, under this absurd too, adopted at Baireuth, of proclaiming the aparrangement, stood in the midst of his audience; proaching representation by sound of trumpet, and when, as sometimes happened, the remarks though apparently new in the present day, is not made by those on the stage induced him to turn so new as the system of distributing programmes, round, he was accused of showing disrespect to which dates only from the time of Dryden. In the public in front of the orchestra. At times, France the custom of naming the artists in the under this arrangement, a piece was hissed by bills of the performance is still more modern, beone division, applauded by the other; it was not ing not quite a hundred years old. On the 9th of always the aristocratic section which allowed it- September, 1779, the actors of Paris held a meetself in the right. “ Le Grondeur," by Brueys and ing, at which they adopted a petition, begging Palaparet, was received with hisses from the the Mayor of Paris not to force them to print stage, with applause from the pit. Molière's their names on the programmes. It was held “Ecole des Femmes," which delighted the pit, by the profession to be for the advantage of found no favor in the eyes of the too fastidious, theatres generally that singers and actors should but not sufficiently intelligent, patrons of the remain anonymous; for if, in an important part, seats on the stage, one of whom, at each fresh a favorite artist was to be replaced on a given burst of laughter, is said to have exclaimed, with evening by an artist of no great popularity, the a shrug of the shoulders : “ Laugh away ! laugh public, it was argued, would not be prevented by away! you fools in the pit !"
such a substitution from attending. It was not The benches on the stage of the Paris Opera until 1791 that the Paris Opera adopted the cuswere abolished, at the instance of the Count de tom of announcing the performers' names. HowLauraguais, who, it has been surmised, may have ever the general interests of the stage may have felt annoyed at Sophie Arnould's being stared at, been affected, it can scarcely be said that artists,
as individuals, suffered from this change; for un- not but have known this practice to be absurd, der the old system they were frequently hissed, and in an artistic point of view most injurious. not by reason of their own incapacity alone, but It may be doubted, indeed, whether the French because the public was disappointed at finding would for so many centuries have respected the them "cast" for parts in which it had expected least respectable of the three unities, that of place, to meet actors of greater popularity.
had they not been absolutely forced to do so by On one occasion, an irritated amateur rushed the conditions under which their actors perfrom the Paris Opera-House, and began to beat formed, and by the absolute impossibility with a an unfortunate ticket-seller from whom he had narrow and crowded stage of changing the scene. purchased his place. The cause of the gentle- Although the honor of reforming stage cosman's anger was at once understood.
tume—to the extent at least of doing away with “Est-ce que je savais qu'on lâcherait le flagrant anachronisms in dress—is claimed for Poutheien ?” cried the ticket-seller; for it was Lekain, it was not to a great tragedian, but to a the singing of Poutheien which had excited the very distinguished ballet-dancer that this reform opera-goer's wrath.
was really due. In the early part of the eighTalking of hisses, I may here mention that an teenth century, Roman, Greek, and Assyrian waractress of ability in her time, Mrs. Farrel, after riors appeared on the French stage in a convenbeing hissed in the part of Zaira, the heroine of tional military costume, which seemed to be con"The Mourning Bride," especially in the dying sidered suitable to warriors of all nations and of scene, rose from the stage, and, advancing to- all ages. The dress consisted of a belaced and ward the footlights, expressed her regret at not beribboned tunic, surmounted by a cuirass, and having merited the applause of the audience, and of a powdered wig, with tails a yard long, over explained that, having accepted the part only to which was worn a plumed helmet. oblige a friend, she hoped she would be excused Mademoiselle Sallé, the ballerina, who first for not playing it better. After this little speech, undertook the herculean task of rendering stage she assumed once more a recumbent position, and costume reasonable and natural, proposed, in dewas covered by the attendants with a black veil. fiance of the prevailing custom, to give to each
Such incidents as the one narrated by Mrs. person in a ballet, or other dramatic work, the Bellamy were doubtless of frequent occurrence dress of the country and period to which the subat the French theatres. Not that they always ject belonged. Mademoiselle Sallé was a friend took so serious a turn. On one occasion a dancer of Voltaire, who celebrated her in an appropriate was listening to the protestations of an elderly verse; and she carried with her, in 1734, when lover, who was on the point even of kissing her she visited London, a letter of introduction from hand, when as he stooped down his wig caught Fontenelle to Montesquieu. Appearing at Covent in the spangles of her dress. At that moment Garden Theatre, in a ballet of her own composishe had to appear on the stage, and did so amid tion, on the subject of “Pygmalion and Galatea," general laughter and applause; for she carried Mademoiselle Sallé dressed the part of Galatea with her the old beau's wig, or scalp, as if by not in the Louis Quinze style, nor in a Polish cosway of trophy. The applause was renewed when tume, such as was afterward adopted for this a bald head was seen projecting from the wing character at the Paris Opera-House, but in drapery in search of its artificial covering. Stories, too, imitated as closely as possible from the statues are told of imprudent admirers, who, after excit- of antiquity. It was announced on the occasion ing the jealousy of a machinist or "carpenter," of mademoiselle's benefit at Covent Garden that did not take the precaution to avoid traps, and, "servants would be permitted to keep places on as a natural consequence, found themselves, at he stage." This, however, was an exceptional the first opportunity, shot up to the ceiling, or arrangement. Endeavors were already being sunk to the lowest depths beneath the stage. made in England to confine theatre-goers to
The abolition of the banquettes at the Paris their proper places in the front of the house ; Opera-House, though due in one sense to the and on many of the play-bills of this period the Count de Lauraguais, as already mentioned, may following notification appears: “It is desired be attributed also to the representations made that no person will take it ill their not being on the subject by the actor Lekain, who played, admitted behind the scenes, it being impossible moreover, an important part in connection with to perform the entertainment unless these pasthe reform of scenery, of costume, and of stage sages are kept clear." accessories generally.
Strange mistakes sometimes arose from the Molière, in the opening scene of "Les Fâ- author's name not being announced. At the first cheux,” and Voltaire, in several of his works, performance of the tragedy of “Statira," Pradon, ridiculed the custom of allowing spectators to the writer of that work, took his place among take their places on the stage. The actors can the audience to judge freely of its effect. The
first act was a good deal hissed, and Pradon was A much more modern story of the confusion about to protest, when a friend whispered to him of facts with appearances is told, and with truth, not to make himself known, but in order to con- of a distinguished military amateur, who had unceal his identity to hiss like the others. Pradon dertaken, for one occasion only, to play the part hissed, when a mousquetaire at his side asked of “Don Giovanni.” In the scene in which the him why he hissed a piece that was excellent, profligate hero is seized and carried down to the and the work of a man who held a distinguished infernal regions, the principal character could position at court. Pradon, annoyed at his neigh- neither persuade nor compel the demons, who bor's interference, replied that he should hiss if were represented by private soldiers, to lay hands he thought fit. The mousquetaire knocked his on one whom, whatever part he might temporarihat off. Pradon struck the mousquetaire, and re- ly assume, they knew well to be a colonel in the ceiving a severe beating in return, left the theatre, army. The demons kept at a respectful distance, insulted and injured, but not mortally hurt. and, when ordered in a loud whisper to lay hands
A tragedy, in six acts, by M. de Beausobre, on their dramatic victim, contented themselves called “Les Arsacides,” had been formally ac- with falling into an attitude of attention. cepted at the Comédie Française by some mis- Jules Janin, in the collection of his feuilletons take. A large sum of money was offered to the published under the title of “ Histoire de la Littéauthor on condition of his withdrawing the work; rature Dramatique," tells how in the ultra-tragic but it had taken him thirty years to write the tragedy of “Tragadalbas," an actor, in the midst piece; he was now sixty years of age, and he of a solemn tirade, let a set of false teeth fall was resolved to see it played. The tragedy was from his mouth. This was nothing more or less hissed from beginning to end. The actors wished than an accident which might happen to any one. to finish the performance at the end of the second Lord Brougham is said to have suffered the same act; but the public were so amused that they in- misfortune while speaking in the House of Lords. sisted on hearing the whole. The next day the But the great tragedian showed great presence author went to the theatre, and assured the ac- of mind, and also a certain indifference to the tors that if they would give him one more re- serious nature of the work in which he was enhearsal, and, above all, would allow him to add gaged, when he coolly stooped down, picked up a seventh act, the work would have a glorious the teeth, replaced them between his jaws, and success. They prevailed upon him to accept an continued his speech. indemnity, and the piece was not played again. At some French provincial theatre, where a
The story is perhaps sufficiently well known piece was being played in which the principal of the celebrated English actor, Powell, who character was that of a blind man, the actor to sought in vain one night for a supernumerary whom this part had been assigned was unwell, named Warren, who dressed him, but who on and it seemed necessary to call upon another this occasion had undertaken to play the part of member of the company to read the part. Thus Lothario's corpse in “The Fair Penitent.” Powell, the strange spectacle was witnessed of a man who took the principal character, called out in an supposed to be totally blind, who read every word angry tone for Warren, who could not help rais- he uttered from a paper he carried in his hand. ing his head from out of the coffin, and replying, At an English performance of William Tell," “Here, sir.” “Come, then,” continued Powell, the traditional arrow, instead of going straight not knowing where the voice came from, “or I'll from Tell's bow to the heart-perforated beforebreak every bone in your body!” Warren, be- hand-of the apple placed on the head of Tell's lieving his master to be quite capable of carrying son, stopped half way on the wire along which out his threat, sprang in his fright out of the cof- it should have traveled to its destination. fin, and ran in his winding-sheet across the stage. Everything, however, succeeded in Rossini's
Our dying heroes and heroines in the present “William Tell,” except the apple incident, as day wait to regain animation until the curtain has everything failed in Dennis's “ Appius," except fallen. Unless, however, they are supposed to that thunder which Dennis recognized and claimed be dead, they reappear in their own private char- as his own when he heard it a few nights afteracter at the end of each dramatic scene which ward in “Macbeth." Yet it has never been very happens to have procured for them marked ap- difficult to represent thunder on the stage. One probation. A distinguished tenor, the late Signor of the oldest theatrical anecdotes is that of the Giuglini, being much applauded one night for his actor, who, playing the part of a bear, hears a singing in the Miserere scene of “Il Trovatore," clap of stage-thunder, and mistaking it for the quitted the dungeon in which Manrico is supposed real thing, makes the sign of the cross. to be confined, came forward to the public, bowed, and then, not to cheat the executioner, went calm- H. SUTHERLAND EDWARDS (Macmillan's ly back to prison.
FRA G M E N T S.
When they are highly developed you can deal SOME FORGOTTEN ASPECTS OF THE with them as individual entities whose power of
resistance is destroyed when you have cut off or
overcome the head. In low organizations, on the IT T may be pleaded, and generally is pleaded, other hand, to divide is simply to multiply the
on behalf of the British Parliament, that it centers of life and of resistance. Ireland was has gradually undone the wrongs of centuries, politically in this undeveloped condition at the and has at last placed the people of Ireland on a time of Strongbow's invasion. No victory, howfooting of perfect equality with the people of ever decisive on the spot, sufficed to crush the England. But the mere undoing of a wrong resistance of the population at large, because does not always place the injured person on an the population at large acknowledged no single equality with those who have not been wronged. head. Dispersed at one place, they suddenly atThe sovereign's “pardon” does not necessarily tacked at another. Harassed and exasperated place the innocent convict where he was before. by this style of warfare, the English seem to His health may have been ruined meanwhile, or have conceived the idea of exterminating the his business, or both. In equity, therefore, if not large majority of the native population. The in strict law, he has exceptional claims on the atrocious laws decreed against them hardly adconsideration and sympathy of the Government mit of any other interpretation. The Irish were, which did him wrong. ... The conduct of Eng- simply as Irish, placed outside the protection of land in the past goes far to explain the present the law, and were treated as vermin. Submiscondition of Ireland. If that conduct has been sion to English rule did not bring with it the exceptional in the highest degree, the Irish may correlative privileges of an English subject. To be less unreasonable than is generally supposed kill an Irishman was no murder. “To break a in demanding some exceptional remedies. contract with him was no wrong. He could not
It is popularly supposed that the special ill- sue in the English courts. The slaughter of the treatment of Ireland by England began at the Irish and the seizure of their property were acts time of the Reformation. Undoubtedly the Ref- rewarded by the Government.” There was no ormation introduced a new element of discord restraint on the greed and cruelty of the oppresby adding to the antipathy of race the more po- sor, except the fear of retaliation. “ A common tent and more bitter antipathy of religion—the defense in charges of murder was that the murreligion of a handful of English officials in Dub- dered man was of the mere Irish.'” To eslin imposed upon the Irish nation by the Mussul- cape from this cruel bondage the Irish repeatedman argument of the sword. Before the Reforma- ly petitioned for admission to the benefits of Engtion the Irish nation was outlawed for the crime of lish law, and were always refused. Such was the being Irish. At the Reformation it was outlawed condition of the Irish beyond the Pale. Nor was anew for the additional crime of being “Papist.” the lot even of those who lived within it an envi
But to say that the Irish were outlawed by able one. The degree of protection which subEngland may appear to some an exaggerated mission to English rule afforded them may be statement. It is, however, the literal fact. The tested by a statute of 1465, which decreed that truth is, that England found the conquest of Ire- "any person going to rob or steal, having no land a much more difficult matter than it had faithful man of good name or fame in his combargained for. If the Irish had been united po- pany in English apparel,” might be killed by the litically under one hand, one of two results must first man who met him. This placed the life of have followed-either the English invaders would every Irish man and Irish woman within the Pale have been driven out of the country, or the Irish at the disposal of any Englishman who might would have submitted after a few decisive de- feel tempted to indulge his passions. feats. But the ancient Irish were broken up into But it is right to record even small mercies, a number of separate tribes, owing collectively and therefore I hasten to add that the brutality no allegiance to any one single chief. This made of this law was somewhat mitigated by a subseit impossible, without a military occupation of quent statute which directed the Irish within the the whole country, to subdue and rule them in Pale to wear English apparel. the mass ; and a military occupation of the whole Such, however, was the fascination of the country was impossible. Political organizations Irish character, stimulated here and there, perare in this respect like animal organizations. haps, by sympathy with undeserved wrongs or
by love of adventure and a wild life, that Eng- ger would be a better, because a speedier, weapon lishmen were allured across the Pale in consider- to employ against them than the sword.” This able numbers. These became proverbially“ more barbarous policy succeeded too well. Pestilence Irish than the Irish.” They learned the lan- and famine committed frightful havoc among guage, adopted the costume, imbibed the man- those who had escaped the sword and fire. ners, and got infected with the wit of the subject Starving children were to be seen feeding in the
If this process of amalgamation had been silent streets on the corpses of their parents, allowed to go on unchecked, Ireland would prob- and even the graves were rifled to appease the ably have had a different history. But it was pangs of hunger. And these horrors went on, arrested inside the Pale by the Reformation; not during one or two years, but at intervals exoutside the Pale by the statutes of Kilkenny. tending over generations. According to Sir WilBy these statutes an impassable gulf was dug liam Petty's calculation, no fewer than five hunbetween the two races. To intermarry with the dred and four thousand of the native Irish perished, Irish, or indeed to form any sort of connection out of a total population of one million four hunwith them, was a capital crime. It was also made dred and sixty-six thousand, in the eleven years highly penal to present an Irishman to an ecclesi- of the war following the rebellion of the Irish in astical benefice, or to grant the rites of hospitality 1641–
-a rebellion of which Burke says, “ No histo an Irish bard or story-teller. Yet the result of tory that I have ever read furnishes an instance it all was that when Henry VIII. quarreled with of any that was so provoked.” “Figures, howthe Pope, and thus added the bitterness of relig- ever," says Mr. McLennan, in his most interesting ious persecution to the hatred already engendered and instructive“ Memoir of Thomas Drummond," by English tyranny, the area of English rule was “convey but a poor notion of the state to which contracted within a compass of twenty miles. the country was reduced. Famine, as at the end
Till then the extermination of the Irish, though of the Elizabethan wars, stepped in to complete aimed at in various acts, was never openly rec- the havoc of the sword. A plague followed. ommended by English officials. It was left to Suicide became epidemic, as the only escape from Protestant zeal to stain the English name with the intolerable evils of life. Cannibalism reapthis infamy. The poet Spenser calmly contem- peared. According to an eye-witness, whole plates the extermination of the Irish as the counties were cleared of their inhabitants. . . surest method of making an “ Hibernia Pacata.” When survivors were found, they were either old After describing in pathetic terms the desolation men and women, or children. • I have seen of Munster by the ruthless soldiers of Elizabeth, these miserable creatures,' says Colonel Laurence, he observes: “The end will (I assure me) be "plucking stinking carrion out of a ditch, black very short, and much sooner than it can be in and rotten, and been credibly informed that they so great a trouble, as it seemeth, hoped for; al- digged corpses out of the grave to eat.'" though there should be none of them fall by the sword nor be slain by the soldier, yet thus being
Did these dreadful sufferings soften toward kept from manurance and their cattle from run- the Irish the hearts of their English oppressors ? ning abroad, they would quickly consume them- On the contrary, says Sir William Petty, writing selves and devour one another."
in 1672, "some furious spirits have wished that This horrible anticipation was, in fact, liter- the Irish would rebel again, that they might be ally fulfilled, both in Elizabeth's reign and on put to the sword.” several subsequent occasions. In the reign of
Another era of persecution dates from WilJames I., for example, Sir Arthur Chichester re- liam of Orange, and it was not till the twentyported that he had found Ulster “abounding with seventh of the reign of George II. that the Penal houses, corn, cattle, and a people who had been Code reached what Mr. McLennan calls “the fullbred up in arms” and were highly prosperous. ness of its hideousness—the reproach of politiBut they were Roman Catholics, and must make cians, and disgrace of Protestants and Churchroom for Protestants. Accordingly, this militant men.” He gives such an admirably compressed propagandist left the country“ desolate and waste, summary of these abominable laws, that I think and the people upon it enjoying nothing but as the reader will excuse my quoting the passage fugitives, and what they obtained by stealth.” in extenso : But the sword and torch were too slow as instru
The Papist was withdrawn from the charge and ments of destruction, or perhaps too expensive. education of his family. He could educate his chilAt all events, Chichester agrees with Spenser in dren neither at home nor abroad. He could not be putting his trust mainly in famine. “I have often their guardian, nor the guardian of any other persaid and written, it is famine that must consume son's children. Popish schools were prohibited, and the Irish, as our swords and other endeavors work special disabilities attached to Papists bred abroad. not that speedy effect which is expected. Hun- A premium was set on the breach of filial duty and