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Note to Lesson XXIII., page 204, and to Lesson XXXVI., Page 232.
The accompanying diagram explains the usual stage directions that are found in acting editions of plays and dialogues.
D. R. C.
D. L. C.
Side entrances. Right or Left, 1st, 2d, 3rd, and upper entrance. Doors at back.-Right centre, centre and left centre. Principal characters come to or near the centre, subordinate characters and principals also, when for the time they give place to others, belong "up stage."
The actor should stand so that his face is easily seen by the audience, unless there is an especial reason for turning his back upon them; for this reason, the foot nearest the person whom he is addressing on the stage should be the foot furthest “up stage,” and in pacing to and fro the last step at either side of the stage should always be upon this foot, so that the transition to the other direction can be made without turning the back on the audience. In grouping a number of characters on the stage the chief thing to be borne in mind is that everyone should be so placed that he can be easily seen from the front. The simplest form is the arc of a circle, but if the arc is broken into a number of little groups the effect is more artistic. Often the principals are grouped in the front with subordinates up the stage. One of the most difficult accomplishments of the actor is the exit or departure from the stage. It should always be made expressive in the highest degree. After an impassioned speech amateurs often walk tamely off with an air as if all were finished; on the contrary, the exit should emphasize the prevailing mood, whether of love, hate, joy or sorrow. Entrances, exits and all other changes of position should be accomplished gracefully, avoiding angularity.
LILIES OF QUEENS' GARDENS.
BY JOHN RUSKIN.
It is now long since the women of England arrogated, universally, a title which once belonged to nobility only, and insisted on the privilege of assuming the title of "lady," which properly corresponds only to the title of “lord.”
I do not blame them for this, but only for their narrow motive in this. I would have them desire and claim the title of “lady,” provided they claim, not merely the title but the office and duty signified by it. Lady means “bread-giver” or “loaf-giver,” and "lord” means “maintainer of laws," and both titles have reference, not to the law which is maintained in the house, not to the bread which is given to the household, but to law maintained for the multitude and to bread broken among the multitude. So that a lord has legal claim only to his title in so far as he is the maintainer of the justice of the Lord of Lords; and a lady has legal claim to her title, only so far as she communicates that help to the poor representatives of her Master.
And this beneficent and legal dominion, this power of the Dominus or House-Lord, and of the Domina, or House-Lady, is great and venerable, not in the number of those through whom it has lineally descended, but in the number of those whom it grasps within its sway; it is always regarded with reverent worship wherever its dynasty is founded on its duty, and its ambition corelative with its beneficence. Your fancy is pleased with the thought of being noble ladies, with a train of vassals? Be it so; you can not be too noble, and your train can not be too great; but see to it that your train is of vassals whom you serve and feed, not merely of slaves who serve and feed you; and that the multitude which obeys you is of those whom you have comforted, not oppressed,—whom you have redeemed, not led into captivity.
And this, which is true of the lower or household dominion, is equally true of the queenly dominion. That highest dignity is open to you if you will also accept that highest duty. Rex et regina-roi et reine-"right-doers”; they differ but from the lady and lord, in that their power is supreme over the mind as over the person, that they not only feed and clothe, but direct and teach. And whether consciously or not, you must be, in many a heart, enthroned. There is no putting by that crown; queens you must always be,-queens to your lovers; queens to your husbands and your sons; queens of higher mystery to the world beyond, which bows itself, and will for ever bow, before the myrtle crown, and the stainless sceptre, of womanhood. But, alas! you are too often idle and careless queens, grasping at majesty in the least things, while you abdicate it in the greatest, and, leaving misrule and violence to work their will among men, in defiance of the power which, holding straight in gift from the Prince of all Peace, the wicked among you betray, and the good forget.
“Prince of Peace!” Note that name. When kings rule in that name, and nobles, and the judges of the earth, they also, in their narrow place, and mortal measure, receive the power of it. There are no other rulers than they; other rule than theirs is but misrule; they who govern verily “Dei gratia” are all princes, yes, or princesses, of peace. There is not a war in the world, no, nor an injustice, but you women are answerable for it; not in that you have provoked, but in that you have not hindered. Men, by their nature, are prone to fight; they will fight for any cause or for
It is for you to choose their cause for them, and to forbid them when there is no cause. There is no suffering, no injustice, no misery in the earth, but the guilt of it lies with you. Men can bear the sight of it, but you should not be able to bear it. Men may tread it down without sympathy, in their own struggle; but men are feeble in sympathy and contracted in hope; it is you only who can feel the depths of pain, and conceive the way of its healing. stead of trying to do this, you turn away from it; you shut yourselves within your park walls and garden gates, and you are content to know that there is beyond them a whole world in wilderness,-a world of secrets which you dare not penetrate and of suffering which you dare not conceive.