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STAGE COSTUMES                                117
known leading actors to be attacked by illness in badly ventilated rooms, or, worse, where the wind in winter blew through them like half a gale, and any uncomfortable box was good enough for the players.* There were warmth, comfort, air, and light for all at Booth's. Though the public gave up that fine Temple of Art so readily, every one who ever had the privilege of acting in it felt a pang when it was converted into a store. There was a hope and belief that the wealthy New York public would buy and restore to their greatest actor the theatre which he had ruined himself in building, and where he had given them productions such as, up to that time, they had never seen.
The dress for Galatea was a great difficulty. The conventional Greek costume, alter it as one would, bore little or no resefriblance to the beautiful tunicas and draperies of classic times. The abominable "key-pattern" was everywhere to be seen, and seemed always to say, "This may be a velvet gown; but look at me, I am Greek, and I can ' Greekify' even a mediaeval dress."
In those days stage costumes told one very little of the period they were meant to represent,
* It is said that Rachel caught the cold that ended in her death in the draughty dressing-room of a Philadelphia theatre.