(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Familiar chats with the queens of the stage. By Alan Dale"

m'0mm 



>-^.J:'E^ j. 




m^^^ 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 20D7 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/faniiliarchatswitOOcoheuoft 



^i'4< M ( 



FAMILIAR CHATS 



W I 111 1 HK 



QUEENS OF THE STAGE. 



BY 



ALAN DALE, 



AUTHOR OF 

A Marriage below Zero," "Ax Eerie He axd She," Etc., Etc. 



When in the chronicle of wasted time. 

I see descriptions of the fairest wights. 
And beauty making beautiful old rime. 

In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights. 
Then in the blazon of sweet beauty's hest. 

Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow, 
I see their antique pen would have expressed 

Even such a beauty as you master now." 

Shakespeare, 



^ 



NEW YORK: 
Copt RIGHT. 1890. bt 



G. IV. DiUingham, Pnbiishef, 

Successor to G. \V. Carleton & Co. 

• i MDCCCXC. 
All Rights Reserved. 







Co 



Bak K-i.'iNw IDDIE 
PRL-^TING AND IJOOK- BINDING Co., 

Jersey City, N. J. 



TO 



LEANDER RICHARDSON, 

UNDER WHOSE GUIDING AND STOUTLY FEATHERED WING I 

FIRST SAW THE LAND THAT MOST OF THE STAGE 

QUEENS, HERE DISCUSSED, CLAIM AS 

THEIR OWN, 

I DEDICATE THIS VOLUME IN ALL GRATITUDE. 

Alan Dale. 



CONTENTS. 



Introduction 






I'liKo 

• 9 


Lillian Russell 


, 


. 


• 43 


Mrs. James Brown-Potter 




■ 57 


Rose Coghlan . . 




. 


. 69 


Fanny Davenport 






• «3 


LOTTA . 






• 93 


Helena Modjeska 






105 


ISABELLE UrQUHART 






117 


Sadie Martinot 






129 


Georgia Cay van 






•39 


Mrs. Langtry . 






153 


Mary Anderson 




4- •. • 


■^3 


Agnes Booth 






nz 


Minnie Palmer . 






>85 



Ivl 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



Emma Jucii 
Marie Jansen . 
Marie Wainwright . 
Louise Beaudet. 
Pauline Hall . 
Marion Manola 
Effie Ellsler . 
Mrs. D. p. Bowers . 
Ada Rehax 
Georgie Drew Barrymore 
Little Gertie Homan 
Lilly Post 
Ellen Terry 
Clara Morris . 
Rosina Vokes . 
Nellie McHenry 



Pa^e 

205 
223 

247 
259 

287 
301 

311 

321 

345 

0/5 

385 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Lillian Russell 






. / 


\onti 


J'HKe 

spiece 


Mrs. James Brown-Potter 


. 


• 57 


Rose Coghlan . 








. 70 


Fanny Davenport 










. <S4 


LOTTA . 










• 93 


Helena Modjeska 










. 106 


ISABELLE UrQUHART 


. 








118 


Sadie Martinot 










130 


Georgia Cay van 










140 


Mrs. Langtry . 










153 


Mary Anderson 










164 


Agnes Booth 










174 


Minnie Palmer . 










186 


Emma J ugh 








' 


196 



iLLi >ikAi U):>b. 



Makie Jansex . 
Marie Wainwrigiit 
Louise Beaudkt. 
Pauline Ham . 
Marion Manola 
Effie Ellsler . 
Mrs. D. p. Howers 
\ Rehan 
Georgie Drew Bakrvmork 
Li'm.E Gertie Homax 

Ellen Terry 
Rosina Yokes 
Nellie McHexrv 



Page 
. 205 

. 224 

• 234 
. 247 
. 260 

• 274 
. 288 

. 322 

• 334 

• 345 

• o/^ 

. .^.86 



Introduction, 




ET nobody who takes up this 
book for perusal, imagine that 
I am about to assume the role 
of a biographer, or that I have 
the very smallest ambition in 
that direction. I am afraid 
that I could never be a Bos- 
well to anybody's Johnson, for the simple rea- 
son that I was born without the bump of vener- 
ation. Pity me, kind readers, all of whom, I 
sincerely trust, are possessed of every beautiful 
phrenological attribute known to Dr. Gall. The 
ability to venerate is a delightful gift ; the ina- 
bility a veritable disaster, bringing forth enemies 
by the score. I always envy the man who can 



lO INTRODUCTION. 

find a hero or a heroine without any difficulty. 
He is a brother of the hicky individual who 
accepts exquisite intentions for indifferent deeds. 
These people are of distinct value to the com- 
munity. They are some of the wheels that help 
to move society. Everybody likes them. You 
have heard of the lady who pathetically and 
melodiously remarked, "Oh, would I w^ere a 
bird !" Well, I have always felt inclined to 
adapt this to myself, and to exclaim " Oh, would 
I were a wheel !" 

What a flamboyantly felicitous individual he 
must be who can see Edwin Booth as Hamlet 
one night, and James Owen O'Connor in the 
same role the next night, and yet find kind words 
to say of either ! Picture to yourself the para- 
disaical life of him who can gush ecstatically over 
Mme. Sarah Bernhardt in *' La Tosca," and still 
find that his adjectival eloquence has not been 
exhausted when he witnesses the performance of 
Miss Fanny Davenport in the same play. There 



INTRODUCTION. j i 

are many such. I have met them, and they 
have been more wonderful to me than any dime 
museum freaks. I have broken the tenth com- 
mandment time after time. Whenever I have 
come in contact with any of these bits of human 
sunshine I have coveted their priceless posses- 
sion — the bump of veneration. I have yearned 
for it. I have tried to cultivate it, but have 
come to the conclusion that I might as well 
attempt to grow an apple tree in a bag of saw- 
dust. 

Now a man who tries to deal biographically 
with a score of actresses ought to be a person 
literally saturated with the milk of human kind- 
ness, otherwise he will be absolutely unable to 
keep comparisons and opinions from his work. 
If the same person write the lives of Ada Rehan 
and Estelle Clayton, with anything more than 
the dates of the production of the various plays 
in which they have appeared, he will, unless he 
be one of the rose-tinted creatures to whom I 



12 INTRODUCTION. 

have referred, surely give offence to one of the 
ladies. Miss Rehan may sue him for libelous 
ridicule ; Miss Clayton may ask her manager to 
interview him with a club for derogatory state- 
ments. I do not mean to say that the discreet 
individual is not to be found who could evasively 
satisfy both ladies, and still avoid being rose- 
tinted. But I do dare to assert that such 
biographies will be singularly uninteresting to 
the non-theatrical public. 

When my publisher, Mr. Dillingham, asked 
me for sketches of a number of actresses whom 
he named, I trembled in my shoes. I thought 
he meant biographies, and the horror of becom- 
ing a theatrical biographer almost overwhelmed 
me. Then came the joyous information that 
biographies were not necessary. All that was 
wanted was a series of gossipy sketches, or inter- 
views, or notes, to which Mr. Dillingham would 
supply some charming pictures. His task, I 
realized, was an easier one than mine. He crot 



INTRODUCTION. 1 3 

the lovely faces — I, the careers they have helped 
to make. Not a soul can object to his beautiful 
and costly photogravures, while I may be clubbed 
out of existence and twenty irate ladies may 
dance a can-can on my grave. But I do not 
repine. I frankly admit that there is more of 
Dillingham than of Dale in this book, and that 
his work is better in every respect than mine. 

For some years I have had a great deal to do 
with actors and actresses, in the shape of inter- 
viewing, criticising, paragraphing. They have 
been happy years for me. I have met some of 
the most entertaining people in the world, some 
of the queerest, some of the most ridiculous, 
some of the most amusing. 

At the risk of being considered egotistical, I 
must say that I think my experience with the 
ladies and eentlemen of the stao^e has been as 
acute as that of anybody I know. While most 
of the metropolitan critics sit at their desks all 
day, and see the people they criticise at night 



14 INTRODUCTION. 

only, it has been my lot to meet actors and 
actresses in the day-time and criticise them at 
night. Even my enemies will admit that my 
criticisms have been as frank and out-spoken as 
any in New York. Picture the condition of the 
man who condemns an actor in vigorous terms in 
a criticism, and meets him with a smiling face 
the next day, expecting to be well received. 

I assure you, my readers, that there have been 
days when I dreaded to present myself on 
Broadway ; when visions of outraged actors and 
avenging pistols have forced themselves upon 
me. But I have never absented myself, and I 
still live to tell the tale. I have discovered that 
nearly every actor and actress writhes in agony 
at the very suggestion of condemnation ; an insin- 
uation is sufficient to throw them into ecstasies 
of indignation. On the other hand, they receive 
praise ungraciously and disappointingly, as 
though it were their due. Nobody despises the 
universal gusher more thoroughly than the actor, 



INTRODUCTION. 15 

yet nobody is more furious if he change his pMc 
That sounds paradoxical, does it not? li is a 
fact, however. 

Once upon a time, I had a great admirer in a 
young actor, who never let an opportunity of 
showering upon me fulsome compliments escape 
him. I had never seen him act. 

*' Alan," he said to me one day, ** do you know 
I couldn't get on if I were not able to read your 
criticisms. I have them forwarded to me when- • 
ever I leave town." 

Of course I was profoundly touched by this 
example of unbounded appreciation. Every man 
likes to hear pleasant things said of himself — 
even if he isn't an actor. A few months later 
this amiable youth was cast for a part in a 
metropolitan production. It was my duty to 
criticise the production. I did so. My appre- 
ciative friend was simply atrocious. If he had 
been my brother I should have hated his per- 
formance just the same. I came out next day 



1 6 INTRODUCTION. 

with my. honest views, and then forgot all about 
the matter. A couple of weeks after this I met 
the young actor and shook hands with him. He 
was so cold that he chilled me to the very 
marrow. 

*• I am awfully sorry," he said, **that you have 
stopped writing criticisms." 

I looked at him in amazement. "You are 
mistaken." I remarked ; "I am still at my old 
post." 

*• Well," he declared, '' I repeat that you have 
stopped writing criticisms. You don't criticise 
any more. That stuff you indulge in is simply a 
cruel attempt to undermine the careers of those 
before the public." 

Ye gods ! The charge almost took away 
my breath. I felt that it was my duty to be 
indignant, but I couldn't fulfil my duty. The 
ridiculous side of the situation struck me so 
forcibly that I roared with laughter. When I 
had composed myself I found that I was alone. 



INTRODUCTION. 1 7 

My indignant friend was striding down the a/e- 
nue, freighted with his wrath. 

On one occasion an actor informed me that 
he had a little play that was to be produced at 
a city theatre. If it proved to be a success, he 
intended sending it out for a tour of the country ; 
if it were not a success — well, there would be 
nothing lost. 

" Now, my dear fellow," he said, *' I particu- 
larly want you to come and see it. If you like 
it, say so ; if you don't like it, please don't hesi- 
tate to express your opinion for the sake of any 
kindly feelings you may have towards myself." 

That was a very neat way of putting it, was 
it not ? The privilege of saying that I didn't like 
the play in case it proved objectionable, was 
surely a delicate piece of consideration. The 
performance took place in due course. How 
sincerely I hoped that it might prove worthy. 
The first act was so prodigiously awful that 
everybody in the theatre appeared to be laugh- 



l8 INTRODUCTION. 

ing. The play was a tragedy. I tried to believe 
that it was a farce, and to like it as such. 
Impossible ! As a tragedy the play was bewil- 
dering ; as a farce, it was a piece of prosy stupid- 
ity. I went home and said exactly what I 
thought about it. All the other papers roasted 
it, but the actor seemed to single me out for his 
particular ire. He did not visit me, thank good- 
ness ! but he vilified me to all my friends. I 
was incapable of criticism ; I was corrupt ; I was 
an absurdity, and so forth and so on. Yet I had 
merely done what he asked me to do. I had 
said I didn't like the play because I didn't. 

Not unfrequently actors and actresses use 
diplomatic methods to express their disapproval 
of your criticisms. They write anonymous letters 
or pen effusions signed, " An admirer of Mr. So- 
and-So," "A friend of justice,'' or (when they 
want to be particularly insinuating), " One of 
your most appreciative readers." 

In a play I went to see not very long ago, a 



INTRODUCTION. I9 

very good-looking English actor appeared. 
His dramatic value was of less consequence 
than his good looks. His Adonisian qualities 
were invariably emphasized. I said something 
to that effect. Two days later I received a 
letter signed *' An English Girl." 

*' After reading your article," wrote my corres- 
pondent, ''I went to see the play. You are 
always bright and witty, but are you not a little 
hard on Mr. Blank, and isn't it rather shabby 
of you to take him so continually for your vic- 
tim ? Surely there are other English actors here 
whom you can pick to pieces equally as much 
as Mr. Blank — for instance, Wilson Barrett, 
Terriss, the beautiful (?) Conway, and lots of 
others equally faulty. I was surprised to see 
Mr. Blank act so well. I don't think you should 
blame him for being good-looking, but attribute 
that to America for producing such ugly men. 
Isn't it only natural that American girls, seeing 
only plain men, should set up Mr. Blank for an 



20 INTRODUCTION. 

Adonis? You may walk the avenue and find 
hundreds of pretty girls, but they can't find ten 
good-looking men unless among the actors, and 
then they are English. Your articles, Mr. Alan 
Dale, are always well written and amusing, and 
we look forward to them ; but take my advice 
and 'let up' on Mr. Blank for a bit. Pick some 
one else to pieces and then when you go back 
to him (as I see he is your stand-by), your 
articles will be read with more interest, for then 
they won't be so stale, or (pardon me) ' chest- 
nutty. 

Now, I feel perfectly sure that the writer of 
this entertaining letter Avas none other than Mr, 
Blank himself, or one of his most acute friend^ 
who had taken up the pen at his instigation. 
Had I written six volumes of warmest praise, I 
should never have heard from him. He would 
have accepted it as his due without a murmur. 

One night I went to see a new play at a 
down-town theatre. The piece did not possess 



% INTRODUCTION. 2 1 

much dramatic value, but some of the "special- 
ties " introduced were excellent. The dancing 
of one young man was so clever and unusual, 
that it impressed me greatly. I praised him 
rather enthusiastically next day. He was an 
oasis of entertainment in a desert of rubbish. 
Two or three days later I was introduced to 
him. 

** I have been wanting to meet you," he said 
fervently, "to thank you for the kindest words 
that have ever been applied to a performance of 
mine. I shall be grateful to you for life." 

I assured him that there was no reason for 
this luminous gratitude. I had merely done my 
duty. I had expressed my sincere opinion, a 
task which I was paid to perform. He shook 
my hand, and almost wept on my bosom. I ear- 
nestly wished I had been worthy of his enthusi- 
asm, and began to realize that there must be a 
great deal of sweetness in doing a genuinely 



2 2 INTRODUCTION. 

benevolent act. I knew, however, that there 
was no benevolence in this. 

The following Christmas-day I was dum- 
founded to receive a box containing a Christmas 
card and a beautiful pair of white satin braces. 
There was not a word in the parcel explanatory 
of its source. I tortured mv brains to discover 
the donor, but without any success. I took the 
braces home, and showed them to my wife. 
She was fearfully indignant. 

'• So those horrible actresses have been sending 
you braces — braces, of all things in the world," 
she remarked, furiously. '* Oh ! of course you 
are pleased. I might have expected that. I 
wonder what you'll get next. Braces ! A more 
suggestive and brazen present I couldn't imag- 
ine. Who sent them ?" 

I answered feebly that I had no idea on that 
subject. That made her still more irate. 

*' No idea?" she sneered. "Well, I have. 
Put them on at once. Pray, don't mind me." 



INTRODUCTION. 23 

I gave the braces away next clay. I found a 
friend who wanted a pair, and who had never 
dreamed of anything so lovely as white satin. 
A few days later I received a letter from Chi- 
cago. 

''I am a trifle disappointed," it ran, "at no 
acknowledgment of my letter, or the box I sent. 
I know it didn't amount to much, but I wanted 
you to know that I appreciated your kindness." 

I had received no previous letter. I looked at 
the signature of this one. It came from the 
enthusiastic young actor whose dancing I had 
praised. I almost foamed at the mouth. It 
was so annoying to receive a present from a 
comparative stranger, and under such ridiculous 
circumstances ! 

The next time I saw him was in a comic 
opera that proved to be a terrible fiasco. He 
did as well as he could with a bad part. I said 
this and nothing more. I met him next day and 
there were '' braces " in his eyes. 



24 INTRODUCTION. 

" That was very unkind," he said. '' I think 
you m/^/i^ have said something nice about me." 
He looked as though he meant to add "under 
the bracing circumstances of the case." 

Some time aofo I received a letter from an 
actor whom I had met, enclosing me tickets for 
a performance which he was most anxious to 
have criticised. " I hope that my performance," 
he said, "may please you. I think you will find 
that all actors admire your criticisms, even 
though you bring them up with a round turn, 
for they believe what you say is what you think, 
and respect you, as a man, for your honesty. 
I believe that the critic, who, without prejudice, 
shows you your bad faults," (bad faults is excel- 
lent) " is the best friend a man can have who 
wishes to become an artist. I will close by say- 
ing that I hope at some future time to have the 
pleasure of taking you by the hand." 

Well, I went to see this amiable youth, and I 
admired his performance immensely. It was 



INTRODUCTION. 25 

really an excellent piece of work. But he was 
playing a part that had been created by an actor 
of reputation, and he imitated this actor in an 
amazingly servile manner, even indulging in the 
peculiar mispronunciation of certain words that 
his predecessor had favored. I praised the young 
man very warmly, but I spoke of the servile 
imitation, and deplored it. It was totally 
unnecessary. A few days later I received a 
letter from my unseen friend. The good things 
I had said of him were comparatively unnoticed. 
The imitation business had- evidently wounded 
his sweet, sensitive nature. I am convinced 
that, at this moment, he is not nearly so anxious 
to take me by the hand. 

I used to find great difficulty in answering 
that much vexed problem : Would you sooner 
look a greater fool than you are, or be one ? I 
can answer it now. I would sooner be a greater 
fool than I am, for experience has taught me 
that it would be impossible for me to look a 



26 INTRODUCTION. 

greater fool than I look. A nice, meek, gentle- 
manly young idiot, is what many theatrical peo- 
ple take me to be. I have seen this again and 
again. As I am perfectly convinced that I am 
not an idiot I am forced to believe that I 
must look like one, and the reason is this : I 
listen to what every man or woman has to say, 
and maintain a resolute silence. If I am 
obliged to speak I generally acquiesce. If an 
actor tells me that he is the greatest artist on 
earth, I let him think that I have accepted his 
statement. If an actress deluge me with elo- 
quence on the subject of her remarkable imper- 
sonation, I smile happily and seem to agree with 
her. If, later on, I see this actor and actress on 
the stage, and dislike their performance, I say 
so. That surprises them. They had come to 
believe that I had no opinions of my own, and 
that they had carefully impregnated me with 
their own views. When next I meet them, they 
are very cold, and very amazed. This has hap- 



INTRODUCTION. 27 

pened a hundred times within the last five years. 
It is only by adverse criticism that the eccentrici- 
ties of dramatic people come to the surface. 

Some year's ago, I was living in a little 
French boarding-house in West Twelfth street. 
It wasn't at all swell, and it was for that 
reason that I selected it. My purse lacked 
embonpoint. This boarding-house suited its 
emaciated state very nicely. In this place I met 
the little lady who was once queen of the comic 
opera stage in America. She is dead now. I 
suppose I may as well give her name. It was 
Marie Aimee. She stayed at the West Twelfth 
street house when in the city. She lived there 
expensively, and everybody adored her. I have 
never since met so charming a little woman. 
Aimee had a heart as large as her reputation. 
She was, moreover, an artist to the finger tips. 
She has had many imitators, but they have 
fallen far short of the original. 

One day I thought that I would write a short 



28 INTRODUCTION. 

artFcle on Aimee in this boarding-house. I did 
so. I pictured her daintily smoking the after- 
dinner cigarette, surrounded by the admiring 
folks of the establishment, who were all fighting 
for a place in her good graces. The article was 
published. The next day, when I presented 
myself at table, there was dead silence. I was 
absolutely ignored. I spoke of the weather, 
but my remarks were unheeded. I passed the 
pickles, but they were declined without thanks. 
I soon became distinctly uncomfortable. Next 
day I was approached by Mme. Hortense, the 
landlady. 

" Sir," she said, " you have tried deliberately 
to harm me, and I shall never forgive you. You 
have written an article that makes Us all ridicu- 
lous, and if you can find it convenient to look for 
other quarters, I shall esteem it a favor." 

There was only one word to express my sen- 
sations. It is not pretty, but I shall use it. I 



INTRODUCTION. 29 

was flabbergasted. For some minutes I could 
not speak. 

*' Madame," I said, when I had partly 
recovered, '' I assure you I said nothing in my 
article to which anybody could reasonably take 
offence. Please tell me wherein I have sinned ?" 

She cast upon me a look of withering scorn. 
"It is easily told," she remarked. " I will say 
nothing of the anger of my two Belgian boarders, 
who of course recognize themselves in tiie cari- 
cature you have made of ' two bald-headed 
dudes.' They can fight their own battles. You 
have, however, insulted Mme. Aimee. You 
alluded to her as smoking cigarettes. She is 
furious, and so am I. Do you imagine that I 
would permit any woman to smoke cigarettes in 
my house ?" 

I hesitated for a moment. The cigarettes /md 
been smoked, and I did not see why I should 
allow myself to be brow-beaten without any 
defence. 



30 INTRODUCTION. 

"Surely I saw Mme. Aimee smoking" — I 
began meekly. 

The meekness was all on my side. 

•' Supposing you did ?" declared my landlady, 
with strenorth enouorh for us both. '* It was not 
necessary to say so. I do not court newspaper 
notqriety, and I will not have it." 

I packed up my goods and chattels next day 
and departed. I did not discuss the subject 
with Aimee at the time, but I subsequently heard 
that she did not mind the cigarette affair in the 
least. Her sole objection to the article was 
that I had mentioned the fact that she lived in a 
boarding-house. She did not want this known, 
as she imagined that people would think she 
hadn't money enough to go to a hotel. I 
may add (as every story ought to end happily) 
that I met Aimee afterwards, and that there was 
no boarding-house cloud between us. 

A theatrical writer offends a great deal more 
frequently, unconsciously than consciously. I 



INTRODUCTION. 31 

once knew a very clever old actress. She is 
alive now. She was old, and rather feeble, an 
entertaining and thoroughly amiable woman. 
One day, thinking that I could serve my news- 
paper and help her at the same time, I wrote a 
short article about her. I began it with ** Old 
Mrs. Blank," for the simple reason that she was 
nearer seventy than sixty. She met a friend of 
mine afterwards aad sent me a message. 

** Tell him," she said, ''never to mention my 
name again ; he called me 'old.' I should like 
to let him know that there are many older peo- 
ple on the stage. The idea of such a thing ! I 
never want any more newspaper notices. Old, 
indeed !" 

I have since discovered that the older an 
actress becomes, the more intense is her desire 
to appear in soubrette and ingeritce roles. Mrs. 
Langtry touched upon this idea, when, in her 
confession, written for the London ErUy she 
answered the question " How would you like to 



32 . INTRODUCTION. 

spend your old age ?" with the words, '' Playing 
ingenues'' 

But the height of theatrical absurdity is 
reached when actors and actresses want to see 
proof sheets of the article you are writing about 
them. Not long ago I wrote to an actress 
noted for her good looks rather than for any 
dramatic ability, asking her for a few '' points " 
concerning her stage life. In reply I received 
this : 

" I am not disposed to be hypercritical, or 
over exacting, but so many things have been pub- 
lished about me which were certainly false and 
without foundation, in fact things having a direct 
tendency to injure me before the public, to 
whom I look for support, that some time ago I 
placed my affairs in the hands of able counsel. 
I am especially cautioned not to give my con- 
sent to the publication of any article that I do 
not approve. On reflection you will see how a 
faithful observance of said caution will protect 



INTRODUCTION. 33 

me In the future against the appearance of any 
article whose tendency is injurious, and against 
which I have a color of procedure." 

Then she went on tq ask for proofs. As I 
was not writing an advertisement for her special 
benefit, but was trying to interest the public, to 
whom I also look for support, I could not see 
the whereforeness of her request, though she 
had, of course, a perfect right to deny me any 
information she did not care to give. 

An actress sent me a note a couple of years 
ago, asking to see me concerning an article I 
had written about her. As it was full of well- 
deserved praise, I accepted the invitation with all 
due buoyancy. She was, however, cold and 
indiornant. 

** Do you think," she asked, "that it is quite 
the correct thing to allude to me as a woman ? 
Does it not occur to you that the word * lady ' 
would be preferable ?" 

This time I indulged in a little indignation on 



34 INTRODUCTION. 

my own account. When I had entered her 
room my attention had been particularly attract- 
ed by a large family Bible that lay on one of the 
lower shelves of a book-case. Quick as a flash I 
took possession of it. It was an inspiration. I 
opened it at the Book of Genesis. In Chapter 
III., I found the following verse, which I read to 
her : 

'* And when the woman saw that the tree was 
good for food, and that it was pleasant to the 
eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, 
she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and 
gave also unto her husband with her, and he did 
eat." 

Then I closed the book. '* The woman men- 
tioned," I said, " was Eve, the mother of the 
human race. Would you sooner allude to her 
as the first lady and to Adam as the first gentle- 
man ?" 

She laughed heartily, though at first I think 
she was inclined to be angry. She has never 



INTRODUCTION. 35 

objected to any word or phrase of mine since 
that day. She often alludes to this little inci- 
dent, and enjoys talking about it to her friends. 

I have related these few anecdotes in order to 
show my readers that the life of the theatrical 
writer who is determined invariably to tell the 
truth and shame the devil, is not always a bewil- 
dering joy ; also, that it is much easier and fre- 
quently more felicitously resultful to gush indis- 
criminately over the sweet creatures of the 
stage. I have heard many men say, *' I would 
sooner that those people were my friends than 
my enemies." Precisely. That is my case, but 
I don't want friends under false pretences. My 
books, *' A Marriage below Zero," and ''An 
Eerie He and She," were ruthlessly slaughtered 
by most of the literary critics. Naturally I 
would sooner know the men who said kind- 
things than those who portrayed me as the vil- 
lain of the aoe. But the evil criticisms rolled 
pleasantly away from me, just as water is said to 



36 INTRODUCTION. 

slide from the back of a duck. The very worst 
that was said didn't cause me five minutes 
anguish. I weighed every criticism for what it 
was worth, and any points that were obviously 
just, I resolved to profit by in the future. Hon- 
est criticism is a boon. It is necessary for the 
novelist, the playwright and the actor. Injus- 
tice can always be detected. But there is far 
more justice than injustice in the dogmatic and 
literary criticisms of to-day. 

Many folks wonder at the prominence given 
to actors and actresses. They speak sneeringly 
of the public interest in Miss So-and-S6's private 
house, and Mr. This-or-That's bachelor apart- 
ments. 

Say they, '' Actors and actresses should be left 
severely to themselves when in private life. We 
are concerned with their dramatic work, and that 
is all." 

I deny this entirely. Actors and actresses 
are a most fascinating class. By their efforts 



INTRODUCTION. 37 

we are drawn from ourselves into a vivid world 
of fiction in which we live for the time being 
realistically. Play-going is licensed selfforget- 
ness — about the only means we have of finding 
that delight. No novelist, no painter, no poet 
can lead towards self-oblivion with any large 
degree of success. The theatre is the safety 
valve of the community. What this city would 
be without its play-houses, it is very difficult to 
imagine. 

Is it at all wonderful that we want to know all 
that we can of the men and women whose lives 
are devoted to our amusement, with whom we 
laugh, with whom we weep, who can call forth 
our noblest natures, and hold our sincerest sym- 
pathies ? I think not. 

The newspapers feel the daily pulse of the 
people. They hold it throbbing in their col- 
umns. They minister to its requirements, and 
they minister carefully and judiciously in spite of 
all that is said. And the newspapers have long 



38 INTRODUCTION. 

recognized the Importance of the dramatic 
world. There is a great deal of trash written 
on the subject of sensational journalism. Sup- 
pose the American is so built that sensational- 
ism is absolutely necessary to his welfare ? I 
have often thought that this is the case. If the 
newspapers positively decline to be sensational, 
he will seek his food elsewhere, and very often 
to his detriment. A newspaper is surely justi- 
fied in providing the food that is in demand. If 
its effect be harmful, as is the case with some 
news, there is the editorial as an antidote. If a 
people crave fascinating anecdote, and neatly 
told stories, you can't make them accept dry 
statistics and verbatim reports of the doings of 
Congress. Nor do I see any necessity for try- 
ing to do so. The newspaper is the mirror of 
the community. It reflects its good, it reflects 
its evil. If there be more of the evil than of the 
good, that is the fault of the community. The 
regret of the evil, the knowledge that it exists 



INTRODUCTION 39 

will tend more towards the remedy of the dis- 
ease, than its propagation. 

The desire of the public for all the dramatic 
news it is possible to get, is, to my mind, a sign 
of the healthy condition of that public. Other 
people may think differently. A newspaper that 
rigorously excludes from its columns all dram- 
atic gossip will find its circulation in a very 
feeble condition. Actors and actresses are the 
children of the public, nourished at the breast of 
the public, clothed at its expense. We love to 
investigate them thoroughly, and we have a 
right to do so. Then the theatrical industry is 
very vast. According to the World almanac, 
there are some three thousand theatres in the 
United States; some five thousand actors and 
actresses actively employed. Hundreds of 
thousands of dollars are invested annually in 
this great plan of entertainment, this delightful 
education. Putting the matter practically, 
Americans are certainly not the people to spend 



40 II^TRODUCTION. 

their hundreds ana thousands of dollars upon 
those with whom they are virtually unac- 
quainted. They like their money's worth, and 
so do we all. 

Are you not quite as interested In knowing 
that Henry Irving has a comfortable house In St. 
John's Wood, as in being informed that Queen 
Victoria has left London for Balmoral ? Don't 
you think that the fact of Mme. Sarah Bern- 
hardt's sleeping in a coffin Is quite as thrilling 
and as useful as the intelligence that the Prince 
of Wales was seen walking in Pall Mall wearing 
a pair of tan kid gloves? Isn't a dinner given 
to Mr. Toole, or Mr. Wilson Barrett worth as 
much mention as the banquets presided over by 
many of the brainless '' society " folks ? I rather 
think so. 

But I am getting philosophical and prosy, and 
without any reason. This book really didn't 
need a preface. Its contents deal with subjects 



INTRODUCTION. 



4' 



popular, and deservedly popular with the public, 
and so, my kind friends, I will leave these sub- 
jects for your consideration. 

Alan Dale. 






Lillian Russell. 

IMAGINE Lillian Russell, **airy, 
fairy, Lillian," as she is fondly called, 
being the daughter of the formidable 
Cynthia Leonard, who ran for the 
mayoralty of New York! Picture 
; the velvety, cooing Lillian having for 
' mother an advocate of woman's 
rights ! It does seem rather incongru- 
ous, doesn't it? It is a fact all the 

same. 

43 



44 LILLIAN RUSSELL. 

I don't believe that Miss Russell has the 
faintest sympathy with mamma, whose motto is 
rather a desperate sort of an affair for a queen of 
comic-opera to be expected to tolerate. But no 
difficulties have ever been known to exist 
between Miss Russell and her family, and it is 
said on very good authority, that the singer is a 
financial prop upon which many of her relatives 
lean rather heavily. 

We are so accustomed to hear of Miss 
Lillian's whimsicalities and frivolities that few 
people know anything at all about the better 
side of her nature. She is one of the most 
kindly and most generous women in the theatri- 
cal profession. I can't help relating a couple of 
incidents which will substantiate what I say. 
These instances came under my personal atten- 
tion. 

While Miss Russell was at the Broadway 
Theatre singing in " The Queen's Mate," one of 
the stage hands appeared one night in a brand- 



LILLIAN RUSSELL. 45 

new, serviceable overcoat. He hung it on a peg, 
and went about his usual work. Later on, it was 
necessary that he go out to make a purchase. 
When he came to the peg upon which he had 
hung his overcoat, he found that the garment 
was missing. He searched for it everywhere, but 
in vain. At last, in despair, the poor fellow was 
forced to leave without it. Miss Russell heard 
the story, and her heart was touched. She sent 
for one of the men who had seen the coat, and 
instructed him to go at once to a large clothier's 
shop, close at hand, and buy a counterpart. 
This was done. Miss Russell hung the coat 
upon the peg which had held the other. When 
the stage hand returned he was overwhelmed 
with joy to see his overcoat staring him in the 
face. 

On another occasion one of the carpenters 
missed a sum of mioney from his purse. He had 
placed it there for the purpose of making a pay- 
ment which was due. The loss was to him a 



46 LILLIAN RUSSELL. 

very serious affair. It came to Miss Russell's 
ears during the evening. She sent for the man. 

" How much have you lost?" she asked. 

" Seventeen dollars," he said, the tears in his 
eyes. Without another word, Miss Russell 
drew her purse from her pocket, and handed the 
deliofhted man the sum. 

Miss Russell was very indignant the other 
day because a few years were tacked on to her 
age. As a matter of fact she is under thirty, 
though her stage career, which began virtually 
at Tony Pastor's, has been so checkered, and she 
has been so conspicuously and continually before 
the public that people are inclined to make her 
out older than she is. This is always the way. 
I heard somebody say the other day, perfectly 
seriously, " Maggie Mitchell must be eighty, if 
a day." Now the fact is that she is under fifty- 
nine, but she came before the public at an early 
age, and has remained before it ever since. 



LILLIAN RUSSELL. 47 

Hence the many mistakes that are made on the 
subject of her age. 

Miss Russell was married when very young to 
a man named Braham. She was afterwards 
wedded when less youthful to the ubiquitous 
Mr. Edward Solomon, with whom she went 
abroad, and encountered disasters that would 
frighten any prima donna. The marriage was 
not a very happy one. 

" I had to be satisfied with one dress and a 
cheap bonnet," declared Miss Russell when talk- 
ing on the subject, *• while he had no less than 
sixteen suits of clothes in his wardrobe." 

No wonder, under such circumstances, that 
there was war in the camp. Miss Lillian might 
have condoned infidelity, have forgiven cruelty, 
have forgotten deceptions, but tolerate this 
excess of clothes — never ! 

Miss Russell has a slight souvenir of " Teddy " 
in the shape of a charming little daughter, of 
whom she is alarmingly fond. Her treatment of 



48 LILLIAN RUSSELL. 

the child is peculiar. One moment she is over- 
whelming it with endearments and doing her 
utmost to spoil the baby ; at another time she is 
the personification of maternal dignity, correct- 
ing the youngster with the methods of an accom- 
plished disciplinarian. Miss Lillian and her 
child, when in New York, live in an exquisitely 
furnished apartment. She has a skilled cook, a 
nurse, maid, and other myrmidons. Her rooms 
are luxurious, and well worth seeing. Miss Rus- 
sell, herself, pays very little attention to dress, 
but she is one of the few women who can look 
bewilderingly beautiful even in a calico wrapper. 
The little child has the most astonishinof ear 
for music. She was able to sing from beginning 
to end the florid bolero, which was the feature 
of her mother's vocal efforts in *' the Queen s 
Mate " at the Broadway Theatre. This was of 
course a great delight to Miss Russell, who 
fondly believes she has the only living example 
of a feminine little Lord Fauntleroy. She has 



LILLIAN RUSSELL. ^g 

recently been photographed with her Httle girl, 
and the picture is very charming. Still, it is not 
a good thing to circulate among the dudes and 
young bloods whose feeble intelligence could 
never imagine their lovely Lillian portrayed in 
what they consider the milk-and-water beauty of 
maternity. 

Not so very long ago Miss Russell was sued 
by a rebellious dressmaker, and the trial was 
perhaps the funniest of the many funny trials I 
have attended. To have heard the fair Lillian's 
testimony, one would have imagined her the 
veriest pauper. She had no diamonds, no jew- 
elry ; her living expenses were really ridicu- 
lously small ; her flat was the very least expen- 
sive abode she could select ; her debts were very 
many ; in reality she did not receive all her sal- 
ary, her manager deducting a certain sum each 
week with which to efface a loan he had made 
her — and so on. I don't fancy that Miss Lil- 
lian's pleas of poverty impressed very many peo- 



50 LILLIAN RUSSELL. 

pie, and I have since heard that the suit was 
compromised. 

Of late Miss Russell seems to have settled 
down to business. She has now been singing at 
the Casino an unusually long time — for her. It 
must be nearly a year since she has broken a 
contract. She is in admirable voice, and comic 
ooera lovers realize the fact that she is the best 
sinofer of her kind that New York has. Miss 
Lillian no longer appeals to dudes and young 
bloods. Her really excellent voice pleases the 
music-loving community. If only her erratic 
moods leave her unmolested, she still has a 
promising future. 

Miss Russell has one great admirer of whom 
New Yorkers know very little. I refer to her 
father, Charles Leonard, the junior member of 
the firm of Knight and Leonard, printers, of 
Chicago. Mr. Leonard is a popular man, and is 
known around Chicago by his appreciative 
friends, as " Charlie." 



LILLIAN RUSSELL. 5 I 

He is extravagantly fond of his ** airy, fairy" 
daughter, and has been known to jump on a 
train and travel a thousand miles, just to hear 
her sing. On these occasions, he always returns 
to Chicago immediately after the performance. 

Miss Russell is invariably in a state of anxiety 
about her voice, and always imagining that she 
is losing it. She is irritable and cross when she 
has the slightest cold, and I am afraid that the 
golden dudes, who hang, in saccharine suspen- 
sion, upon that lovely smile of hers, would not 
care to interview their goddess when she is 
affected by what is prosaically known as a cold. 
Lillian pays as much attention to her voice as 
does Patti, although I have never heard that she 
sleeps with a handkerchief around her neck, as 
Signor Nicolini's wife is reported to do. She 
has faith in cold water, as a remedy for any 
vocal ailment. She does not believe, like Herr 
Wachtel, that a glass of sweet oil is any use, 
neither does she credit the statement made by 



52 LILLIAN RUSSELL. 

many of the Teutonic interpreters of Richard 
Wagner's " Goetterdaemmerung," that a few sips 
of beer are beneficial. She has heard of all sorts 
of remedies for vocal troubles, but does not 
attach any importance whatsoever to them. She 
says, however, that it is only by the most extra- 
ordinary care of the body that the beauties of 
the voice can be retained. 

If Miss Russell feels that her vocal cords are 
in the least affected, she declines to sing. Think 
of this, ye unbelieving ones, who imagine that 
the life of a comic opera manager is one of per- 
petual joy, moving along on beautifully lubri- 
cated rollers. Picture the man who is at the 
mercy of a woman with troublesome vocal cords ! 
Then, if you are ever disappointed by the non- 
appearance of your favorite prima-donna, blame 
her — not him. 

Long journeys affect Lillian's voice. On 
occasions when she has to move from city to city 
she takes a night off, for the move, and rests 



LILLIAN RUSSELL. 



53 



most charmingly. Then, when she appears .n 
the new town, she is as fresh and vocally deli^dn- 
ful as ever. 

There is probably no singer on the stage who 
cares so little for criticisms, good or bad, as does 
Miss Russell. They are positively without 
effect upon her. An adverse criticism of her 
voice, if well written, will make her feel that she 
ought to do better, and she will try to do better. 
But the flimsy and would-be funny paragraphs 
that are often hurled at her, rather maliciously, 
cause her amusement. She knows her own 
worth. Will you kindly point out to me a suc- 
cessful comic opera singer who doesn't? She 
would be a curiosity, indeed. 

Miss Russell owes a great deal to her husband, 
"Teddy " Solomon — he of the sixteen suits. He 
did more for her voice than anybody she has met 
before or since. He saw in it a quality that 
with care and some little education might be 
made most valuable. When she went abroad 



54 LILLIAN RUSSELL. 

with him, although they were in horrible straits, 
and encountered alarming misfortunes, he would 
never permit her to sing anywhere but in places 
where her vocal reputation could be enhanced. 
He assiduously cultivated her voice ; he 
labored with it artistically. Much of its present 
delicacy and — to use the language of the Wag- 
nerian maniacs — tone color, is due to little Mr. 
" Teddy's " valiant efforts. Lillian knows this. 
In time it will doubtless cause her to forget the 
horrible tragedy of the sixteen suits. She will 
never lose her voice if attention to its every 
caprice is of any avail. The most appetizing 
wine, the most fascinating dish will not tempt 
her, if she think that the indulgence will inter- 
fere with her music. 

I have already spoken of Miss Russell's unos- 
tentatious charity. I must here say that she is a 
stern woman of business, able to drive a bargain 
better than ten husbands. She is thoroughly 
alive to her own interests, and she is quite cap- 
able of looking after herself. 



LILLIAN RUSSELL. 



55 



I heard one of her devoted slaves, in an amor- 
ous ecstasy, remark : *' Think of that brave little 
woman fighting her v^^ay through the world alone, 
unaided, forlorn." 

It was too funny. I was obliged to laugh. 

Miss Russell could probably retire at the pres- 
ent time, but she has not the least intention of 
so doing. She was penniless, comparatively 
speaking, when she returned from abroad. 
Since that time, the money has been flowing into 
her coffers in a lively stream. 

I saw her the other day at the benefit given to 
Harry Sanderson, the manager of Tony Pastors 
Theatre. She came in a carriage and sat through 
the performance. It was a graceful thing to do, 
because, as before hinted, it was Tony Pastor 
who brought her out. Before she came to New 
York, she sang in the chorus of Alice Oates' 
company, and of Rice's ''Evangeline." Tony 
Pastor heard her sing, and put her on his pro- 
gramme — at the end of it, mind you — as an " ele- 



56 LILLIAN RUSSELL. 

gant vocalist," and a '' fascinating songstress." 
She sang ballads, and on the " list " with her was 
Ella Wesner, and other people of the variety 
stage. 

That was in 1880. Tony Pastor it was who 
christened her Lillian Russell. His present 
manager, Harry Sanderson, was there at the 
christening. On February 7, 1881, Miss Russell 
sang at Tony Pastor's, the role of Mabel in *' The 
Pirates of Penzance," or as it was called " The 
Pie Rats of Penn Yan." In the cast with her 
were May and Flora Irwin, William Lester, 
Florence Merton, John Morris and Frank 
Girard. Then she appeared in '' Olivette," or 
" Oily Vet," as Tony called it. George Olmi, 
Dan Collyer, and May Irwin were in the cast. 

It was Tony Pastor who " lent " Lillian Rus- 
sell to Col. John A. McCaull, because that 
manager wanted her to sing in " The Snake 
Charmer." Mr. Pastor is very proud of Miss 
Russell. He feels that he had something to do 
with her success. I think he had. Don't you ? 




Photo by FALK. 



ffll^S. (3AMES Br^OWN BOIPJIIBI^. 



Mrs. James Brown-Potter. 




VERY diminutive edition of 
Mrs. Langtry is Mrs. James 
Brown-Potter, with none 
of that lady's shrewdness, 
none of her wonderful 
business capacities, and 
but a slight flavor of her 
dramatic worth. While the Langtry bursting 
upon a long-suffering public with little to recom- 
mend her but the pleasant notoriety conferred 
by the fact that she was reported to have 
slipped a lump of ice down the back of the 
Prince of Wales, bowed her head in meek humili- 
ation to the unflattering truths of criticisms, 
learning the lessons that were honestly taught 
her with her own inimitable grace, Mrs. James 

57 



58 . MRS. JAMES BROWN-POTTER. 

Brown -Potter emerged from the lovely insip- 
idity of society in the full belief that she was to 
be a Charlotte Cushman or a Sarah Bernhardt, 
with drawing-room amendments. 

Her career began interestingly. Nothing that 
will ever be written upon the manners and cus- 
toms of the nineteenth century will more aptly 
describe their condition than the story of Mrs. 
Potter's appearance upon the dramatic stage. 
She was something of a pet in society, and 
clever enough, while extracting from it all the 
nutriment that it offered, to see its hollowness. 
Cora Urquhart Potter butterflied around, but she 
remembered each flower that supplied her with 
sweetness, she knew the exact measure of that 
sweetness. If her cleverness had been less super- 
ficial, she would not be at this time of writing 
wending her way to the far-off Australia, bent on 
conquering new fields, w^hile those of her native 
land are still unvanquished as far as she is con- 
cerned. 



MRS. JAMES BROWN-POTTER. 59 

Mrs. Potter, who is the wife of a Wall street 
man, of whom I have never heard a word spoken 
but in praise and admiration, was for some time 
before her appearance on the stage an amateur 
actress of some merit. Amateurs are as a rule so 
distinctly bad ; their work is such a parody 
upon true dramatic efforts, that I am quite sure I 
shall be paying Mrs. Potter no supreme compli- 
ment if I declare that she was a good amateur 
actress. She played for charities. You know 
how fond society people are of ''charity." If a 
dear young, ruby-lipped dSbutante (I use the 
approved word) feels that she would like her 
friends to see how charmingly she can enact a 
certain role, she always has an excuse in charity. 
Charity, in the world of society, is a delightful 
scapegoat for much that would otherwise be 
intolerable. 

Mrs. Potter met with success as an amateur in 
'* The Romance of a Poor Young Man." " The 
Old Love and the New," "Cape Mail," "A 



6o MRS. JAMES BROWN-POTTER. 

Russian Honeymoon " and " A Moonlight Mar- 
riage." She herself boasted, not so very long 
ago, of the money that had been realized by the 
charities for which she had appeared. It was by 
them, however, that Mrs. Potter was able to 
realize her ambition. The debt is liquidated, if 
it ever existed. 

Then came the grand coup-cT dtat in '' Os'ler 
Joe," which so shocked sweet ingenuous Wash- 
ington society. It brought Mrs. Potter more 
prominently before the public than anything she 
had previously done. It was Bismarckian. It 
was consummate. A cleverer stroke could never 
have been made. Nobody but a keen student 
of American foibles could have done as much. 

But watch the progress of events. Mrs. Pot- 
ter did not immediately announce her intention 
of going upon the stage. Oh no ! Soon after 
the " Os'ler Joe " episode, discreet rumors were 
circulated to the effect that she probably would 
appear upon the boards. Her friends were mys- 



MRS. JAMES BROWN-POTTER. 6 1 

terious ; her enemies profitably venomous. Her 
next step was to endorse a face cream, in con- 
junction with Patti, Langtry and other well- 
known people. This was also clever. Why on 
earth should any woman consent to mother a 
printed testimonial, if she had no use for seeing 
her name, as it must inevitably appear ? Finally, 
when the ground had been really most felici- 
tously prepared, this clever, but short-sighted, 
lady went to Europe. 

The Prince of Wales lives in Europe. If he 
one day abandoned his princedom in disgust, I 
should attribute his action to weariness of the 
people who live in order to advertise themselves 
through his medium. Kindly, unsuspecting 
prince ! You have been of some use to human- 
ity ! You have lent the assistance of your name, 
ungrudgingly, to many an eager woman. You 
have never been tempted to deny the silly-profit- 
able stories in circulation. 

Mrs. Potter, of course, met the prince, and he 



62 MRS. JAMES BROWN-POTTER. 

was — equally, of course — charming. Fearfully 
interested in her, don't you know, and all that 
kind of thing. Mrs. Paran Stevens, of great 
society pretensions, was in London, very fond 
of "dear Cora" and anxious to help her. 
Mrs. Stevens is fifty times cleverer than Mrs. 
Potter. With such an ally, " dear Cora " swam 
smoothly along the London stream. No, it was 
not a case of drifting. She swam. Every 
stroke told. 

Then came her opening at the Haymarket 
Theatre. She herself says that she first ap- 
peared in London to gain experience. To that 
staternent I must reply forcibly and inelegantly 
(please excuse me) by the simple word "bosh." 
Mrs. Potter knew that Anglomania raged in her 
own country. Her appearance at the Haymar- 
ket Theatre was calculated to give additional 
prestige to her New York debut. 

I was present when that interesting event 
occurred at the Fifth Avenue Theatre. An 



MRS. JAMES BROWN-POTTER, 63 

audience of more striking brilliancy I have 
rarely seen ; a performance of more deadly dull- 
ness I have certainly never sat through. Since 
that day Mrs. Potter has been a soured woman. 

" I never read criticisms," has been her un- 
varying remark when her attention was called to 
the newspapers. Mrs. Potter bitterly resented 
every piece of advice. She had her own ideas, 
and used them, with a rather disastrous result. 
Her vaulting ambition oerleaped itself. She 
was not satisfied to plod steadily towards the 
goal of dramatic merit. The curiosity excited 
by her appearance died rapidly. A fatal cold- 
ness set in. Then she made another effort and 
appeared in *' Antony and Cleopatra," which 
attracted attention. What she would have done 
next, had she remained in America, it would be 
futile to try to imagine. Her American career 
seems to have come to an end, and she has noth- 
ing to blame but her own impulsive folly. 

What a lesson the career of Mrs. Potter 



64 MRS. JAMES BROWN-POTTER. 

teaches. What a keen satire upon society, upon 
the stage, and upon other equally misjudged 
institutions is this Potter history. If I were a 
cynic, I could dip my pen into gall in no better 
cause. But I am no cynic, my enemies notwith- 
standing. Mrs. Potter's intense conceit has 
been her bitterest foe. 

On one occasion, after a '' charity " performance, 
a friend remarked to her : " If you were to go 
upon the stage you would create as great a sen- 
sation as did Mrs. Langtry." 

'' Do you really think," asked Mrs. Potter, her 
eyes aglow with the fever of ambition, " that I 
could ever attract the attention that Mrs. Lang- 
try has attracted ?" 

She excited quite as much curiosity as did 
Mrs. Langtry. But as I said before, she had 
none of the braininess of that now excellent 
actress. She was not bright enough to see that 
the curiosity she aroused was curiosity and noth- 
ing more; that with no more subtle foundation 



MRS. JAMES BROWN-POTTER. 65 

the dramatic fabric must eventually collapse in 
contact with criticism, as surely as does a sand 
castle subjected to the action of the sea. Lang- 
try quickly fortified herself by deference to the 
opinions of authorities. Potter spurned them as 
outrageously superfluous. 

Mrs. Potter never liked newspaper men, 
though she received them, and was always 
affable. She smiled at the influence of the 
press — too myopic to understand the mightiest 
mundane voice. She is superficial. Talk with 
her for twenty minutes and you will discover that 
fact, if you are an observer, though she will 
charm you by her bright talk and delightful 
manners. 

Mrs. Potter is lovely. There is no denying 
that fact. No prettier woman could have sought 
the stage. But personal loveliness is not every- 
thing, though to be sure it goes a great way. It 
is the beautiful woman, who is frequently able to 
accomplish what the most daring man could 



66 MRS. JAMES BROWN-POTTER. 

never hope to succeed with. History is full of 
examples in substantiation of this assertion. 
But to her beauty must be added a mentality of 
no mean value. 

Here is a little story concerning Mrs. Potter. 
Her P^randmother had an unsettled claim of 
$40,000 against the Government for property 
destroyed during the war. Her mother, Mrs. 
Urquhart, had never been able to obtain the 
slightest satisfaction. Mrs. Potter decided to 
see what she could do. She went personally to 
Senator Hiscock and laid before him the merits 
of the case. Hiscock shortly afterwards made 
a speech in its favor. Friends in the Senate 
got the claim passed. Then Mrs. Potter called 
upon President Grover Cleveland and his sig- 
nature was soon obtained. It was not long after 
this that Mrs. Potter was able to present the 
$40,000 to her mother. 

Do you imagine that you or I, if we had 
devoted ten years of our lives to the endeavor, 



MRS. JAMES BROWN-POTTER. 



67 



could have achieved this result ? You smile at 
the mere idea of it. So do I. Lovely woman, 
my friends, is a great power, and when that 
lovely woman has a correspondingly beautiful 
intellect, the world is hers, if she wants it. 




Rose Coghlan. 

LEASE excuse my attire. 
I have only just got 
up, and as It is Sun- 
day, I thought that I 
would just indulge in 
a little breakfast, en 
negligL'' 

I wish you could have seen the attire that 
Miss Coghlan asked me to excuse. I had to 
bite my lip to restrain a desire to laugh. She 
was clad in one of the most luxurious peigjioi7^s 
I have ever seen. It was of white and crushed 
strawberry (I hope I am correct) and it looked 
as thouorh it miofht have come from Paris. Ex- 

cuse her attire ! I sincerely trust that she 

69 




70 



ROSE COGHLAN. 



excused mine, which didn't look as though It 
might have come from Paris. The lovely Rose 
was stopping at the Hotel Marlborough, and was 
playing an engagement at the Fourteenth Street 

Theatre. She was at 
breakfast, and appear- 
ed to be enjoying her- 
self, for Miss Coghlan 
makes no pretense 
of living upon rose- 
leaves and dew-drops, 
as do many actresses 
whom I have had the 
honor of meetinor. 
•^*v '' There Is an English 

book," said Miss Rose, 
delicately dissecting an atom of — shall I tell 
what? Well, yes — bacon, "that gives a short 
account of my career — a very, very short 
account, because I didn't supply any data. 
However, I have really done a great deal of 




ROSE COG H LAN. J\ 

work in England, before I came to this country, 
that has never been chronicled. If 1 were to 
tell you everything, it would fill a volume, and 
you wouldn't be at all grateful." 

She spoke the truth, but she wouldn't have 
liked me if I had assented, so I muttered one of 
those little " Ohs " that mean really nothing, and 
fidgeted in my chair to put her at her ease. 

** My family wasn't at all dramatic," began 
Miss Rose, ''until my brother Charles went 
upon the stage. He had been destined for a 
lawyer, but, in some way or other, he fell in with 
stage associates, and joined them. He was 
quite a lad when he made his first appearance. 
When my father died, I knew that I must do 
something, so my thoughts fled to Charles and 
the stage. He had married an actress, so he 
was quite theatrical." 

Miss Coghlan laughed. The bacon was 
growing beautifully less, so there was an induce- 
ment to devote herself to her narrative. 



72 ROSE COGHLAN. 

" I appeared at Greenock, in England, when I 
was fourteen years old. No, sir, I will not tell 
you the date, and help you to add up my age. 
I was fourteen at the time — no matter what the 
time was. I played all kinds of small parts, and 
played them fairly well. When I was sixteen, I 
joined Mr. Rousby. I looked a great deal older 
than I was. Think of my agony when Rousby 
wanted me to appear as Lady Macbeth. Lady 
Macbeth at sixteen ! ' How old do you imagine 
I am !' I asked, indignantly. ' Twenty-four,' 
was the answer. Well, they insisted upon my 
attempting the role, and I was so frightened that 
I ran away. I knew I couldn't play the part, 
and then I had no costumes." 

Miss Rose couldn't help smiling at her youth- 
ful modesty. 

*' I went right up to town, which means Lon- 
don," she resumed, " and soon secured a position. 
You see, I had already gained a great deal of 
experience, as I had played all kinds of parts, 



ROSE COGHLAN. ^^ 

from a singing witch in ' Macbeth,' to heavy 
leads. I had eve') appeared in the pantomimes. 
No, that isn't at all dreadful. In those days, a 
manager, when he put on a pantomime, utilized 
the services of each member of his company. 
In London, I appeared with Toole at the Gaiety 
Theatre. He used to play a ' first-piece ' and a 
burlesque. Oh ! I assure you that my English 
experience was very varied. I was liked in 
London, but did not make any particular hit at 
that time. In 1872, I first came to America. I 
w^as still in my teens." 

I couldn't refrain from just a little mental 
calculation. The year 1872 was eighteen sum- 
mers ago. Supposing that Rose were then in 
the last of her teens — nineteen — she would then 
be— 

*' I came to America," quickly resumed Miss 
Rose, •* with Mr. Henderson. He was to have 
produced * The Woman in White,' in this coun- 
try, but for some reason or other, the scheme fell 



74 1<0SE COGHLAN. 

through, as theatrical schemes will do, occasion- 
ally. I was in America, so Mr. Henderson 
suggested that I join Lydia Thompson's com- 
pany. I really made my debut in this country 
with that organization in * A Happy Pair,' after 
playing Jupiter in ' Ixion' at Wallack's Theatre." 

The idea of Miss Coghlan as Jupiter, '' the 
most powerful of all the gods of the ancients," 
was rather funny. 

" Why did I first come to America ?" she went 
on, repeating a question of. mine, " Oh, because 
the offer I had was a good one. I was getting 
£^ in England. I was offered ;^i5 to go to 
America. Mr. Lester Wallack saw me the first 
night I appeared, and at once engaged me for 
his regular season. I played in the meantime 
with Sothern, and then went back to England to 
spend my vacation, intending to return to Amer- 
ica to Lester Wallack, who had offered me $ioo 
per week. That happened seventeen years 
ago." 



ROSE COGHLAN. 75 

"Eighteen years," I suggested. 

'•This is 1890 — " in a startled tone. "Yes, 
eighteen years ago. Isn't that a fearful thing ? 
Well, as I said, I went back to England, and at 
once got an engagement with Charles Mathews. 
I appeared with him as Miss Grantham in ' The 
Liar.' That was my first real comedy part. I 
remembered that I was shortly to return to 
America to Wallack. Then came an offer to 
play Viola in a big production of 'Twelfth 
Night,' in Manchester. I was offered ;^2o per 
week — what I was to get at Wallack's — so I 
promptly broke my little contract with the 
American manager." 

Miss Coghlan said that, as though it were a 
matter of course that she should disregard a 
contract that had no longer any charms for her. 
And it is a matter of course with many actresses, 
to whom a contract means little more than the 
paper upon which it is written. 

"'Twelfth Night' was a great success," she 



76 ROSE COGHLAN. 

said. ''It ran for three months. Then 1 went 
back to London, and opened in * East Lynne,' 
at the St. James'. You see my career in Eng- 
land, before coming here, was, as I told you, very 
varied. My appearance in ' East Lynne ' was 
really my first London opportunity for good 
work. It brought me under the notice of the 
English critics. Oxenford and the others were 
all very kind to me. Barry Sullivan saw, and 
engaged me. The following season I traveled 
with him all over England, playing in all the big 
cities. It was while with him that I had offers 
to return to London. I accepted one and 
opened at the Mirror Theatre, Holborn, in a 
play called ' Self,' that was a dead failure. It 
was a lovely company, however. The people in 
it were charming. They next produced ' All for 
Her,' which ran for a year and a half." 

Miss Coghlan remembered all these details. 
Not a note did she consult. In fact she was sit- 
tine at the breakfast table, from which the bacon 
had vanished. 



ROSE COG H LAN. ']'] 

" I told you I broke my contract with Wal- 
lack," she went on. " Well, in spite of that, he 
sent for me to play leading roles. I thought 
that by this time my experience was large 
enough to justify my acceptance of the position. 
I came to America for the second time in 1877, 
and have never acted out of the country since 
that year. I won't go all through my American 
experiences, for they have been published. Yes, 
I have made America my home. My mother is 
here, my brother is here, I have had a sister 
here, and I have a little daughter — an adopted 
daughter." 

Miss Coghlan married a few years ago Mr. 
Clinton Edgerly, a good-looking young lawyer. 
She surprised everybody, of course, but that 
never does any harm in the theatrical business. 
Miss Coghlan has no children of her own. 

''I took my little girl," she said, " when she 
was six weeks old, and I have kept her ever 
since. She is a great comfort to me. She is at 



y^ ROSE COGHLAN. 

present with my mother, who lives on the West- 
ern Boulevard — her grandmother, as the child 
says. She is a sweet little thing, and very, very 
bright. I also have my sister's child at the 
present time staying with my mother." 

" Of course, your little girl will appear upon 
the stage ?" 

" If I cannot make a fortune large enough, she 
might do so. But the stage is not the life I 
should select for a girl. This perpetual travel- 
ing about is dreadful. It is a very hard life, and 
the temptations " (Miss Rose sank her voice) 
'* are very great. A girl has no resources when 
she adopts the stage. In other days, when there 
were stock companies, and you could go to your 
theatre in August, remain there all the winter, 
make a home of your own, and surroundings of 
your own, stage life was another thing alto- 
gether. But living in railway trains, and that 
awful * one night stand ' system, make life some- 
thing of a strain. If there were anything else 



ROSE COGHLAN. 79 

that a girl could do, I would advise her to do it. 
The greatest blow to art and to the future of 
the stage, was the abolishment of stock compa- 
nies." 

Miss Coghlan spoke very emphatically. 
There is no detail connected with stage work 
that she cannot discuss, and discuss interest- 
ingly, too. 

'* How do you study your roles ?" I asked. 

" I go over the lines in bed," said Miss Cogh- 
lan with a smile. (I didn't blush. I thought at 
the time that perhaps I had better do so, but I 
reconsidered the matter, and came to the con- 
clusion that there was nothing for the most 
prudish being to redden at.) '' I repeat them 
over and over aofain. But before I touch the 
lines, I have made myself thoroughly conversant 
with their meaning, and the meaning of the play. 
I identify myself with the character, and I try to 
act it as it should reasonably be acted. Of 
course, every actress has, or ought to have, a 



8o ROSE COGHLAN. 

personality which is better adapted to some parts 
than it is to others, physically and otherwise. I 
think some of my greatest successes have been in 
such plays as ' Diplomacy,' VA Scrap of Paper,' 
* Forget-me-not,' ' Masks and Faces,' * School for 
Scandal,' * London Assurance,' ' She Stoops to 
Conquer,' and * Impulse.' If I had my choice, 
however, I would play Shakespearian comedies, 
and nothing else. I adore them. But it is im- 
possible to produce them with any success nowa- 
days. They require a very fine company, and a 
magnificent production. You can't cast a 
Shakespearian comedy at the present time. The 
salary list, if you wanted a good actor for every 
part (and to present Shakespeare properly this 
ought to be the case) would be simply enormous. 
Then actors and actresses don't like playing sub- 
ordinate parts even for big salaries. They w^ant 
the centre of the stage. Oh ! I am very fond of 
Shakespearian comedy. There is some satisfac- 
tion in it. You can learn something from it. 



ROSE COGHLAN. 8 1 

But it is impossible, for the reason I have 
stated." 

By this time, I thought I had stayed quite 
long enough. Miss Coghlan had a cold, and I 
felt that she ought to save up her voice for the 
theatre, instead of lavishing it so nobly upon me. 
So I said farewell, and left. As I went down- 
stairs, I heard the waiter approach to remove the 
breakfast things. 

"I'm not ready yet " — came from Miss 
Coghlan. At any rate, I reflected, I hadn't 
impaired her appetite. Could there still be more 
bacon ? Oh, healthy Rose. 




Fanny Davenport. 




F you called at any of the thea- 
tres where Miss Fanny Dav- 
enport has played, and inter- 
viewed the stage-hands on 
the subject of this popular 
actress, the eulogies with 
which you would be over- 
whelmed would be sufficiently voluminous to 
fill a good-sized book. Miss Davenport, by 
many little delicate acts of kindness and wo- 
manly consideration, has contrived to win the 
affection of all those theatrical people of whom 
the public see so little personally, but whose 
admiration is of very valuable assistance to an 
actor or actress. 

Miss Davenport never leaves a theatre at 

which she has played an engagement, without 

83 



84 FANNY DAVENPORT. 

depositing a cosy little sum of money for the 
scene-shifters, stage carpenters and other myr- 
midons of the theatrical manager. She has 

always a bright, en- 
couraging word for 
everybody ; she nev- 
er displays any of 
the well-known petu- 
lance of the success- 
ful star ; in a word 
she treats these hard- 
j working subordinates 
as her friends, and 
the result is that 
they adore her, and 
would give her hours of their leisure time if she 
needed it. 

" Now, boys," I heard her. say on one occasion, 
'* let me see if you can't set that scene a little 
differently. I think it would be better arranged 
so. Don't you ?" 




FANNY DAVKNPORT. 85 

She appealed to them, as though she were 
thirsting for their opinion on the subject. The 
men had already labored diligently at that par- 
ticular scene. A command from her would of 
course have been obeyed, but the work would 
have been done in a half-hearted way, and prob- 
ably in a slipshod manner, too. But Miss Dav- 
enport won their hearts by this consultation. 
The result was that the scene was set exactly as 
she desired it, and each one of those men 
thought he was doing her a personal favor. 

Miss Davenport was certainly born for the 
stage, if that be possible. She is the daughter 
of the late Edward Loomis Davenport, an actor 
well known to our fathers and mothers. Fanny 
Lily Gipsy Davenport is her name in full, 
though she has graciously consigned the Lily 
Gipsy to oblivion. She was born forty years 
ago in London, just opposite the British Mu- 
seum, and was educated in the public schools of 
Boston. She is one of the few women who, sue- 



86 FANNY DAVENPORT. 

cessful as a child actress, has increased her pop- 
ularity in womanhood. 

Miss Davenport first appeared upon the stage 
at the Howard Athenaeum in Boston, playing a 
child's part in "Metamora." In 1862 she was 
first seen in the metropolis at Niblo's Garden, 
the play being " Faint Heart Never Won Fair 
Lady." But her success begins from the time 
when she attracted the attention of Augustin 
Daly, while playing at the Arch Street Theatre 
in Philadelphia. The far-seeing Augustin was 
at once struck with Miss Davenport's possibili- 
ties, and he engaged her services. In 1869, she 
appeared at the Fifth Avenue Theatre under 
his management, and then began a long series of 
triumphs. 

The roles in which she won fame were Lady 
Gay Spanker in " London Assurance," Dion 
Boucicault's still famous play, Nancy Sykes, in a 
dramatization of Charles Dickens' " Oliver 
Twist;" Lady Teazle, in ** School for Scandal;" 



FANNY DAVENPORT. 87 

Lu and Fanny Ten Eyck, in " Divorce ;" Leah, 
in the play of that name ; and Mabel Renfrew, in 
" Pique." 

Miss Davenport discarded Augustin Daly as 
though he were the proverbial old glove. By 
him she had mounted the ladder to success. 
His ladder she felt she could afford to kick 
away. She kicked it away with considerable 
vigor. 

She went to London and produced a play by 
Miss Anna Dickinson, entitled *' An American 
Girl." She was not a great success in the Eng- 
lish metropolis. She had become — to put it 
nicely — more than delicately plump ; in fact too 
plump to play any of the parts for which she 
felt she was fitted. 

Miss Davenport began to "bant," and so 
severe was the ordeal through which she volun- 
tarily passed, that she to some extent regained 
her lissomeness, and is to-day of admirable pro- 
portions. Miss Davenport starved herself, and 



SS FANNY DAVENPORT. 

submitted to the most horrible i^egime. Only 
a woman of an iron will could have suffered as 
she suffered. It is a well-known fact that people 
with a tendency of embonpoint are very fond of 
the good things of this world. Miss Daven- 
port was no exception to the rule. But she 
positively declined to gratify herself. She took 
amazingly long walks, and lived a life of torture. 

She told a friend not long ago that she had 
ruined her health. '' I never know a single 
moment," she said, *' absolutely free from pain. 
I suffer all the time. ' I have certainly won 
that for which I strove, but the game was not 
worth the candle." 

Whenever Miss Davenport hears of a young 
woman who is trying to reduce her " fleshiness," 
she sends for her, and advises her in the most 
emphatic terms to desist. She graphically details 
her own experiences, with the resqlt that the 
avoirdupois-fatigued damsel comes to the conclu- 
sion that there are worse things in the world than 
plumpness. 



FANNY DAVENPORT. 89 

Miss Davenport is at present. Mrs. Melbourne 
D. McDowell. A few months ago she was 
quietly married to her leading man, though all 
her friends scouted the idea of her marriage, and 
Miss Davenport herself was understood to have 
indignantly denied the possibility of such an 
event. Just before marrying McDowell, Miss 
Davenport secured a divorce from Edwin H. 
Price, a former leading man, whom she married 
in 1879. H^ ^^^ ^^^ husband for ten years, and 
that isn't so bad for a prominent actress, is it ? 

The divorce case was tried with the utmost 
secrecy. Reporters scoured the city for details ; 
every effort was made to discover the testimony. 
But Mr. and Mrs. Price were legally separated 
in the most tranquil manner. Those who say 
that Price interposed any objections to the 
divorce have no grounds upon which to base the 
assertion. He seems to take it in the most 
cheerful manner. Price is a genial, good-tem- 
pered fellow. He, this season (1890), man- 



90 FANNY DAVENPORT. 

aged a company playing " The Bells of Hasle* 
mere," but with small success. Miss Davenport 
is one of the best paying *' stars " in the country. 
Her first success after she left Daly was made 
with Sardou's ** Fedora." This she played for 
several seasons, and the financial results were 
very gratifying to her. Next came " La Tosca," 
from which I was told on very good authority, 
that last season she cleared $90,000. 

Mrs. McDowell is a rich woman. She is kind- 
hearted and charitable. She adopted two chil- 
dren that were left orphaned by her sister Lilly. 
This lady came to America in 1854 and married 
Mr. Thorn. She was drowned on the yacht 
belonging to Mr. Garner of the New York 
Yacht Club. Miss Davenport cared for the two 
children for a long time, and finally adopted 
them. 

But in spite of her financial prosperity, Miss 
Davenport is thrifty. Her company is by no 
means an expensive one. A short time ago, she 



FANNY DAVENPORT. 



91 



took a day or two *' off," and I understand 
deducted the salaries that those days would have 
called for, from the members of her company. 
There was some revolt, and one young man, at 
least, was dismissed. He is at present suing the 
fair Mrs. McDowell. He told me the other day 
that when he demanded his salary rather peremp- 
torily, she posted up a notice in the green-room 
declaring that he had been guilty of *' ungentle- 
manly conduct." 

Actors, however, are very difficult people to 
manage. They are self-opiniated, stubborn and 
unruly, as a general rule. I cannot imagine that 
Mrs. McDowell would be very hard to please. 

She dislikes notoriety, strange to say. Just 
before she produced " La Tosca," and at a time 
when the theatrical profession was prophesying 
her divorce from Mr. Price, I had occasion to 
write a short article on some of the difficulties of 
Americanizing ** La Tosca." For instance, there 
was one scene, when she kills Scar/f/a, and then 



92 FANNY DAVENPORT. 

takes up a crucifix and places it at his feet, that 
it was thought would be indignantly received by 
an American audience. Miss Davenport was 
anxious that the scene should be given just as it 
was presented in France. Mr. Price wanted it 
omitted. It was understood that there was 
some little heated argument upon the subject at 
rehearsal. I chronicled this in due course, as a 
piece of "green-room gossip." 

The next day Miss Davenport sent for me, 
and I quaked in my shoes. She assured me that 
the point had not been discussed ; that the 
rehearsals had been extremely pleasant. 

'' You were wrong to state that Mr. Price and 
I had differed," she said at last. " We are in 
perfect accord on the question of * La Tosca ;' 
I should like that understood." 

I comprehended. Miss Davenport was so 
afraid that the meaning of my article might be 
construed into a breach between herself and her 
husband, that she had been angry at it. As, 



FANNY DAVENPORT. 



93 



however, the interest of the article concerned 
the play *' La Tosca," and had been inspired by 
no idea of ruptured domesticity, I was hardly 
able to appreciate Miss Davenport's agony. 

At this writing, she is living very placidly in 
a handsomely furnished flat, and taking life 
easily. 





liOTTA. 



LOTTA, 




RABTREE is not at all 
pretty as a surname, is it ? 
Even for you or me who are 
not continually flaunting our 
names on bill-posters circu- 
lated through the highways 
and by-ways of the city, 
Crabtree would have but scant charm. There- 
fore, I say, it is hardly to be wondered at 
that such a dainty little lady as Miss Lotta 
should scornfully decline to recognize the title. 
There was no need to change it. Miss Lotta 
simply declined the assistance of any surname at 
all. Lotta she has always been, and Lotta she 

will remain to the end of her interesting chapter. 

95 



96 LOTTA. 

Only her enemies call her Lotta Crabtree. It 
sounds horrid, doesn't it ? 

Now, I didn't intend to say a word about the 
year when Lotta was born. Natal events are 
sometimes best forgotten, but as Mr. Augustin 
Daly upon the programmes of his last Shakes- 
pearian production " As You Like It," has set 
forth in cold type this cruel announcement, — 
well, I suppose I might as well face it. 

Yes, the piquant little lady, who pouts and 
pirouettes like a veritable enfa7it terrible before 
the public, will, in this year of our Lord 1890, 
celebrate her forty-third birthday. I saw her 
only the other day sitting perched up childishly 
at the Harlem Opera House, and I wondered 
why it Is that time frequently deals so kindly 
with the children of the stage, while he furrows 
and wrinkles us up, and plays the very deuce 
with our personal appearances. Yet they say 
that paint and powder are ruinous to the com- 
plexion. I am not at all sure of that. The old 



LOTTA. 



97 



women of the stage are Infinitely less time-worn 
than their sisters In other walks of life. Look 
at old Mrs. Gilbert, at Mrs. Yeamans. at Mme. 
Ponlsl. They are far less wrinkled than women 
of their age who have never been behind the 
footlights. 

But to go back to Lotta. The little lady was 
born In Grand street, New York, on the seventh 
day of November, 1847. When she was about 
seven years old she went to California, and at 
eight years of age, although such precocities as 
the recent little Lord Fauntleroys were unwotted 
of In those days, she made her first appearance 
In public. I believe It was as a vocalist. In 
1858, she appeared as Gertrude In *'The Loan of 
a Lover," in a Callfornlan town rejoicing in the 
simple name of Petaluma. Lotta was first seen 
in New York In 1864, when she played at Nib- 
lo's saloon, making a rather unfavorable impres- 
sion. Then she travelled through the west, 
accompanied by mamma and papa Crabtree. 



98 T.OTTA. 

It was not until 1868, after her engagement at 
Wallack's Theatre, that she became the celebrity 
she has since remained. 

Everybody knows that Lotta is one of the 
richest women on the stage, but everybody 
doesn't know that she owes her cosy financial 
condition to the shrewd management of old Mrs. 
Crabtree. Mrs. Crabtree is a financier to the 
backbone. She has oruarded Lotta's earnino^s 
with the energy of the dragon of whom we have 
heard in connection with St. George. The little 
lady has never been permitted any extravagance. 
In the height of her affluence, her companies 
have been organized with as much care and 
financial precision as though Miss Lotta were 
about to risk a barnstorming tour. 

They tell me that Miss Lotta has a mortgage 
of $280,000 on a well-known hat factory in New 
York. At any rate she owns the Park Theatre 
in Boston, free from all encumbrances, and 



LOTTA. 



99 



brother Jack manages it for her — nominahy, at 
any rate. 

Mrs. Crabtree is a terror to the actors and 
actresses In her daughter's company. Said a 
lady to me the other day : " Lotta is a dear little 
soul. I can get on with her admirably. But the 
mamma! Oh, dear me, I cannot endure her!" 

Lotta is completely under mamma's control. 
If she were a child in the nursery she could not 
be more utterly mothered. In fact, it is almost 
absurd to see the two together, and recollect 
that Miss Lotta is old enough to have adult 
children of her own. 

I called upon the little actress one day just 
after her return from England. She was stop- 
ping in Twenty-third street near Ninth avenue. 
She was attired in the most juvenile manner, in 
a white muslin dress, with a broad blue sash tied 
with infantine grace In a big bow at the back. 
I wanted to " Interview " Miss Lotta about her 
season In England. But if you imagine that 



IpO LOTTA. 

poor little Lotta was allowed to say very much, 
you know nothing whatever about dear old 
Mamma Crabtree. Towards the close of the 
interview, Lotta contrived to utter a few words. 
Indeed, Mrs. Crabtree, I rather imagine, began 
to think it best that she should do so. Lotta 
told me a stereotyped story about her big suc- 
cess, though the cable reports had related stories 
diametrically different. 

But there has never been but one Lotta. 
This little lady has founded a school. Her 
imitators are to be counted by the thousands, 
and on the principle that imitation can never 
equal the original, Lotta still has no rival. She 
has encountered strong opposition from Miss 
Minnie Palmer, but, as an artist. Miss Palmer 
can no more be compared to Mrs. Crabtree's 
daughter than chalk can to cheese, or brass to 
gold. Lotta is a jealous little lady, too. Like 
most stars, she wants to monopolize the honors 
of the performance ia which she appears. Her 



LOTTA. 10 1 

leading man must never sing too well, or act too 
convincingly ; her leading lady must never be 
guilty of a personal comeliness that is too much 
in evidence. This is a trait that Lotta shares 
with nearly every star on the stage. I should 
astonish you were I to tell you all I know of the 
petty jealousies that mar the characters of those 
who seem to us, when on the stage, to embody 
all the charms that flesh is heir to. 

But in private life Lotta is delightful, or as 
delightful as Mrs. Crabtree will permit her to be. 
The mamma is the daughter's shadow, ever 
present, ever assertive. Lotta dotes on her 
brother Jack, who is known as a rather wild 
young man, with a very good heart. 
N She is superstitious, like most members of the 
theatrical profession. I verily believe that even 
if danger were ahead she would stop to pick up 
a horse-shoe she happened to see in the street. 
Lotta never permits one of these symbols of 
luck to remain unmolested. She captures and 
gleefully keeps the bit of iron. 



] 02 LOTTA. 

Lotta is credited with a belief in spiritualism, 
though I don't know that religion comes under 
my province. Some time ago a number of 
actresses wrote upon the subject to a New York 
newspaper, and their statements were really 
pathetically amusing. Mrs. Langtry declared 
that she never played a new part without falling 
upon her knees and offering up a prayer. Miss 
Fanny Davenport asserted that she invariably 
tried to follow the life of Christ, which led the 
witty Truth to remark: "Miss Davenport has 
kindly told us what she thinks of God, but no 
amount of journalistic enterprize can Inform us 
what God thinks of Miss Davenport." 

Miss Lotta has been '* resting" during the 
present season, but she has not retired, as many 
people profess to have thought. Retire, with 
Mamma Crabtree in the field ? Never ! 

Lotta's not to reason why, 
Lotta's but to act or die. 



LOTTA. 



TO3 



And so we may 'expect to see the little lady 
before us until she is as old as Miss Maggie 
Mitchell, which will give us exactly fifteen more 
years in which to enjoy her performances. 




Helena Modjeska. 




H, there is no use mention- 
ing the subject of age. 
Suffice it to say, that my 
wife belongs to the gener- 
ation that brought forth 
Adelina Patti, Sarah Bern- 
hardt and Christine Nils- 
son. 
I was enjoying a little chat with the Count 
Bozenta, husband of Mme. Modjeska, in their 
handsome suite of rooms, No. i8 West Thirty- 
first street. The accomplished countess was out, 
indulging in the feminine luxury of shopping. 
Her liege lord was up to his ears in ink, floun- 
dering in some '' recollections " dictated by his 



io6 



HELENA MODJESKA. 



wife. In fact, he was a beautiful picture of a 
marital amanuensis. 

Be quite sure that I was not guilty of indeli- 
cately asking Mme. Modjeska's age. No, my 
friends, experience has taught me that such 

questions are as un- 
w^ise as they are 
unavailing. Every 
actress is induced to 
deal with the sub- 
ject of years as did 
the adventuress in 
the comedy. This 
lady remarked pla- 
cidly, '' Let me see ; 
I have a son twenty-eight years of age. I must, 
therefore, be at least twenty-nine." The Count 
Bozenta merely mistook my inquiries anent his 
wife's earlier years for a desire to learn the year 
of her birth. 

Count Bozenta, by-the-bye, is an excellent 




Hl.l.h.NA MoDJK.nKA. 107 

fellow. The husbands of actresses are always 
looked upon with suspicion, simply because they 
are the husbands of actresses. Many of them, 
I admit, are useless idiots. Count Bozenta is 
distinctly an exception. He is a man of culture 
and intelligence. He dotes on his Helena, and 
is, I am told, inclined to be jealous upon the 
least provocation, which is another point that is, 
in my opinion, in his favor. 

Modjeska, at the present time, is engaged in 
preparing a number of magazine articles and 
autobiographical sketches. It is the Count who 
writes them, Modjeska supplying him with the 
notes. And he enjoys it, the good fellow. It 
gives him an opportunity to be useful, as Nature 
has denied him the privilege of being ornamen- 
tal. He has a keen eye for business. I could 
not help laughing at his anguish when I 
informed him that I wanted to write just a few 
lines about his wife, for this book. 

" Ah, my good sir !" he exclaimed, the moisture 



I08 HELENA MODJESKA. 

of desperation making Its appearance upon his 
brow, " if you make a sketch of my wife, of 
what use will it be that she writes auto- 
biographies and articles ? They will be of no 
value. I speak as a man of business." 

I assured his agitated countship that I had no 
intention of cutting him out, and as for conflicting 
with the literary effusions of his better half, 
why, I might be a villain, but to such a depth 
of iniquity I was not prepared to sink without a 
struggle. 

Mme. Modjeska herself is a delightful woman 
to meet. An atmosphere of refinement seems to 
halo her. She is daintily interesting upon any 
subject she chooses to discuss. The coarsenesses 
and trivialities of every-day life seem to be less 
conspicuous in her presence. She is the sort of 
woman you occasionally meet in novels, but less 
rarely in real life. 

She Is a consummate woman of the world ; as 
good an actress off as on the stage. But her 



HELENA MODJESKA. 1 09 

artificiality is not in evidence. It is to be merely 
suspected. I must say I like artificial people a 
great deal better than those brusque, good- 
natured creatures, who mean so fearfully well, 
but who ofYend your sense of refinement. 

If you drop in to see Modjeska, and ask her 
for her views on the drama, she will roll you 
off a dear little essay on Shakespeare, whom, of 
course, she adores. She will tell you how it was 
always her ambition to interpret this great 
English master, and how there are no stage 
creations that can hold a candle to such 
beauteous heroines as Juliet, Desdemona, 
Imogen, Isabella, Beatrice, Portia, Ophelia and 
Lady Macbeth. 

If, on the other hand, you are more earthly, 
and are desirous of hearing Modjeska propound 
her ideas — well, let us say on the subject of cor- 
sets, she will be quite ready to meet you. She 
will declare that she never wears such abomina- 
tions, and that the lissomeness of her figure is 



no HELENA MODJESKA. 

undoubtedly due to that fact. She will show 
you (if you are a woman) some chamois leather 
substitute in which she envelops her form, and 
will descant on its advantages just as though 
she owned the patent and were trying to *'push " 
the article. 

Should you wish to pen a little article on the 
American girl, Modjeska will be on hand. She 
knows all about the American o-Irl, and, of 
course, thinks her charming. (She is playing in 
the American girl's country, you must remember, 
and pocketing the dollars earned by the Ameri- 
can girl's papa.) She will compare her with the 
European damsel, and make such neat little 
points that you will be utterly charmed, and 
wonder why this joy has never come to you 
before. 

The advisability of the smoking woman, the 
pros and cons of early marriage, the public 
school system of education — Modjeska is thor- 
oughly au courant with the intricacies of these 



HELENA MODJESKA. I 1 I 

subjects. She will unfold her views with such 
delicious volubility that even the Count will 
look at her in astonishment. I am quite con- 
vinced that Bozenta himself has not fully gauged 
the extent of his charming wife's knowledge. 

Modjeska is thoroughly Americanized. She 
still has " estates " in Poland, but her ranch in 
California is more to her taste. She was born in 
Cracow, and was the daughter of a music-teacher 
named Opido. She had brothers and sisters 
enough to satisfy any man or woman, and she 
was the youngest of the bunch. There was a 
Simon and a Felix and a Joseph. Mr. Opido 
named his youngest daughter Helena on account 
of her Grecian head, which I think it was 
extremely kind of Mr. Opido to do. How many 
Greek heads come into the world, and, unappre- 
ciated by their parents, become known as Mary 
Anne, and Susan Jane. If all parents had a 
due respect for the prospective feelings of their 
offspring, there would be no more Bridgets and 



112 HELENA MODJESKA. 

Delias, and Jameses and Johnnies and William- 
ses. The world would be peopled by Helenas 
and Paulines, and Valentines and Stephanies 
and Maro[uerites. 

Modjeska worked very hard as a young girl. 
She helped her mother to keep house. She 
polished the furniture, and cooked the food, and 
labored in the kitchen, and made herself gener- 
ally useful. I wish I could add that she milked 
the cows. But I can't. History does not tell 
us whether Mr. Opido kept such articles of lux- 
ury. I may, however, say this : If there were 
any cows, Modjeska milked them. 

She saw her first theatrical tragedy when quite 
a child, and of course was immediately impressed. 
But she did not make an appearance upon the 
stage until several years later. She gave her 
hand and heart at an early age to a young Pole 
named Modrzejewskl. How he pronounced his 
name — if he ever dared to do so — I should be 
ashamed to try and guess. 



HELENA MODJESKA. II3 

Modjeska played for several years in her 
native country; then, in 1876, having married 
Bozenta, she visited America, going to California 
with the laudable intention of founding there a 
Polish community. This sounds very nice in 
theory, but I am afraid that the Polish commu- 
nity was not an astonishing success. At any 
rate, the thoughts of Modjeska tended stagewards 
once more, and as the Countess Bozenta, she at 
once appealed to a certain Mr. Harry Sargent. 
I have always thought that Mr. Sargent, in the 
wilds of California, was more dazzled by the fact 
that Modjeska was a real, live countess, than by 
any dramatic possibilities. I have omitted to 
say that before Mr. Sargent began to manage 
Mme. Modjeska she had already appeared with 
John McCullough. 

Sargent advertised her as " Helena Modjeska, 
Countess Bozenta," and from that day to this, 
fortune has smiled upon her. Modjeska is an 
artist, and artists very rarely, pass through the 



114 HELENA MODJESKA. 

world unrecognized. I shall always believe, 
however, that it was the little magical word 
*' countess" that first attracted Mr. Sargent to 
Mme. Modjeska, and thus hastened a reputation 
that must, however, have come sooner or later. 

Modjeska was a great success in London, 
where she first appeared in '' Odette." Upon 
her return to this country she was more popular 
than ever. She secured Mr. Daniel Frohman, 
and was by Mr. Frohman's clever methods 
'* boomed " up to the skies. Mme. Modjeska 
has enjoyed the inestimable privilege of seeing 
managers fight for her. Only last year, Messrs. 
Nixon and Zimmerman, of Philadelphia, with 
Mr. Lawrence Barrett, were contending for her 
possession. Barrett won her, and this year she 
has been *' starring " with Edwin Booth in " the 
Booth-Modjeska combination," as it was known. 

Modjeska has one child, whose father was the 
gentleman with the unpronounceable name. 
Shall you look upon me as brutal if I mention 



HELENA MODJESKA. I T 5 

that she is a grandmother ? I hope not, for I 
feel It is my duty to announce to you that fact. 
Some (gw years ago her son was quietly 
wedded in this city at the little Polish church in 
Stanton street. Modjeska was there, and the 
details of the ceremony were given in the daily 
newspapers. 

In my opinion, the sons and daughters of 
actresses ought never to be so unkind as to 
make their mothers grandmothers. A grand- 
mother is a delightful institution, but managers, 
as a rule, don't like any but their own. Still, 
this relation has not affected Modjeska in the 
least. To be sure, she seems to have dropped 
Juliet from her repertoire, lately. But her other 
roles are played as charmingly and artistically as 
ever. 

The stage cannot afford to lose Modjeska. 
Indeed, I hope she will be with us even when 
she is a great-grandmother. Art cannot age, 
and Modjeska is art's child. 




ISABELLE URQUHART. 

MOST fascinating visit was 
that I paid to Miss Isabelle 
Urquhart, of the Casino, the 
other day. If I were an im- 
pressionable youth, I should 
immediately wring from the 
dictionary of my mind all the 
gushful adjectives it contains, and lavish them 
unhesitatingly upon that afternoon. But I am 
not impressionable, and I am not a youth, and 
so am not tempted to '* do this thing." 

Miss Urquhart, at the present time, occupies a 
demure looking little flat overlooking the stately 
Metropolitan Opera House. Mamma lives with 
her ; so does aunt, and the charming air of 

domesticity was enhanced by a prevailing aroma 

117 



ii8 



ISABELLE URQUHART. 



of Stew on the particular afternoon of which I 
speak. I Hke a stew-y odor. There is some- 
thing homelike about it. When your nostrils 

are preparing for a vigo- 
rous attack, headed by 
patchouli and musk, stew 
is distinctly refreshing. 
-^ Miss Urquharts flat is 
beautifully furnished. 

Arm-chairs of various 
degrees of comfort, tempt- 
ing sofas, pictures, bam- 
boo portieres and all the 
rest of it. But I no- 
ticed on the window-sill 
other indications of desires as domestic as the 
odor of stew. I saw a pocket-book that looked 
as though it had just been shopping, and told 
me that the Urquhart's soul did not rise above 
the bargain counter. I caught a glimpse of dis- 
carded gloves that had probably just been 




ISABELLE URQUHART. 1 19 

removed from Miss Isabelle's tapering fingers. 
These little features put me at my ease, for I am 
bashful and retiring. I kept saying to myself, 
'* Stew, pocket-book, gloves ; gloves, pocket-book, 
stew — well, she can't be very formidable." 

There was the sound of an opening door 
behind me, and a moment later a black-clad fig- 
ure stood before me. 

It was the lovely Isabelle herself, swathed in a 
dark, diaphanous gown, freighted with scintillant 
beads. Miss Urquhart's face was devoid of 
'* make-up ; " her hair was decidedly en negligd, 
and — good gracious ! how delighted I was to 
recognize the fact — she had been eating that 
fragrant stew. She was smacking her lips, if I 
may use such a vulgar expression. And, after 
all, I reflected, why not ? Casino beauties must 
smack their lips occasionally just like other 
people. 

''Yes, I am very domesticated." said th^ 
Urquhart, making herself at home, and inviting 



I20 ISABELLE URQUHART. 

me to do likewise. " We enjoy ourselves in 
this little flat, I assure you. But I don't like it. 
I pine for a house. I yearn for stairs. I mope 
for want of exercise. As there is an elevator 
here, of course I always take it. But I really 
must have stairs, soon. I can't do without 
them.'^ 

The picture of the stately, Juno-esque Urqu- 
hart frantically running up and down-stairs was 
an extremely edifying one to me. I couldn't 
help smiling. She saw this, and sympathetically 
assisted me by smiling also. Then, if there had 
been any ice at all between us, it was instantly 
broken, and Miss Isabelle chatted in a sort of 
Tennysonian brook-like way about herself and 
her career. 

" I have not been before the public so very 
long," she said, as if apologetically, " for before 
1 88 1, I had never been upon the stage. I had 
sung in choirs in the convent where I was edu- 
cated." 



ISABELLE URQUHART. 121 

Urquhart in a convent ! I felt inclined to 
say, '' Prince ! This is too much !" but I bit 
my lips and looked as meek and stupidly unin- 
teresting as usual. 

" In 1 88 1," she went on, " I sang at the Stand- 
ard Theatre in ' Billee Taylor.' The house was 
then under the management of the late William 
Henderson. I had not a very large voice, and I 
have not improved in that direction I am quite 
sure " (very modestly) *' but I think I did the 
best I could with the scanty material at my dis- 
posal. Then I was seen for three consecutive 
evenings in an opera called ' Elfins and Mer- 
maids.' Ha ! Ha ! It makes me laugh when I 
remember that production. It was called ' a 
serio-comic opera in two acts by Charles Brown.' 
I was getting twelve dollars per week, but I was 
happy, until I heard that the manager had run 
off with the money, after he had given three per- 
formances. Then I felt just a trifle less elated, 
as you may imagine. After ' Elfins and Mer- 



122 ISABELLE URQUHART. 

maids ' I sang a very small part in a comic opera 
called ' Claude Duval,' in which D'Oyly Carte 
was interested, and then, for the time being, my 
connection with comic opera came to an end." 

Miss Urquhart puzzled charmingly for a few 
minutes. Then she resumed : '* Next I went to 
Daly's Theatre, and appeared in the legitimate. 
That Is where I ought to be this minute, if, 
indeed, I ought to be anywhere on the stage." 

I interrupted, as I was bound to do, and mur- 
mured : " Indeed you ought !" When I come to 
think of it, my words were somewhat vague in 
their meaning. But Miss Urquhart evidently 
understood my good intentions, for she went on : 

'* I played in * The Passing Regiment,' 
' Odette,' ' Needles and Pins,' and an old woman 
of ninety-seven in 'The Squire.' I was seventeen 
at the time, so I am not quite sure that I relished 
appearing as a nonogenarian. I played the 
role, however. Why did I leave the comic-opera 
stage ? Because, my dear sir, I wanted to act. 



ISABELLE URQUHART. 123 

I was always possessed with the idea of being a 
Lady Macbeth, I thought a position at Daly's 
would be a splendid thing for me, so I jumped at 
his offer. If I had stayed there, I should have 
amounted to more than I do now." 

She paused and I said something pretty and 
consoling. I love the task of comforting people. 

'* I went back to the comic opera stage for 
mercenary motives. You are better paid there. 
In the legitimate you have to work for years for 
a reputation. A man named Harry Pitt told me 
that Daly would never do anything for me, and, 
unfortunately for me, I believed all he said. 
Before returning to the comic opera stage I went 
with this Mr. Pitt's comedy company, and played 
in ' Forgiven ' and * The Two Roses.' The 
enterprize was not at all successful. Upon my 
return to the Standard Theatre I sang in * The 
Merry Duchess ' with dear Selina Delaro. After 
that, I made a debut in burlesque in * Orpheus 
and Eurydice,' and later, succeeded Pauline Hall 



124 ISABELLE URQUHART. 

in the role of Mars in * Ixion.' Am I wearying 
you ? 

Wearying me? Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! As though I 
could be wearied by this silver chatter, studded 
occasionally with jewels of wit. I said all this, 
in less stilted language. 

*' I first went to the Casino when Lillian Rus- 
sell returned from Europe. I sang with her in 
' Polly ;' after that I returned to my beloved 
'legitimate,' and appeared with Lawrence Barrett 
in Shakespearian plays. I was Portia m 'Julius 
Caesar ;' Gertrude in 'Hamlet' and Hero in ' Much 
Ado about Nothing.' But all the time I was with 
Barrett, I was studying singing. I had come to 
the conclusion that opera was my forte. I got a 
night off, and appeared at a concert with my pro- 
fessor's pupils. I suppose it was because the 
pupils were all so bad that I appeared to advan- 
tage. At any rate I made a hit, sang subse- 
quently at a number of benefits, then joined the 
Casino company, with which I have remained 
ever since." 



ISABELLE URQUHART. 1 25 

Miss Urquhart had certainly given me an 
imposing array of facts. Her own little reflec- 
tions came afterwards. 

" I prefer legitimate drama to comic opera," 
she said. *' I would give anything in the world 
if I could be successful with it, and never, never 
appear in a comic opera again." 

Oh ! cruel Urquhart ! Oh ! pitiful *' dudes !" 
Oh ! forlorn, wretched baldheads ! 

*• Comic opera is so very unsatisfactory, " she 
said. '' People go to comic opera simply to see 
pretty, bright young women." 

''Well?" I dared to interrupt, trying to make 
eyes. 

'' Oh, I am bright enough, and all that," she 
said, '' but how long will it last, and what is to 
become of me when it is over ? Pretty girls are 
always springing up, and crowding out those 
who have been for any length of time before the 
public. If you outstay your time, people say, 
* Why, I remember her twenty years ago ; she 



126 ISABELLE URQUHART. 

must be ninety !' It Is really sad. I am so 
much In love with the stage, that I don't want 
my career to come to an end just as soon as any 
good looks I may possess happen to leave me. 
I am passionately fond of the stage. I like it 
better to-day than I did when I first tried It. 
Don't Imagine that I am finding fault with the 
Casino. I am charmingly treated there. I am 
merely dissatisfied because I can't help picturing 
a time when I shall have out-lived my comic 
opera usefulness, and be unable to do anything 
else. Even If I were very, very rich — which I 
am not — I would still act. If I go to the 
theatre and see a good play, I can't enjoy it, 
because I always say to myself, ' Well, why am 
I not in It ?' An awful condition of things, Is it 
not ?" 

Miss Urquhart showed me albums filled with 
photographs of herself, in all costumes. She 
possesses a picture of herself in that very slight 
attire which, a few months ago, caused so 



ISABELLE URQUHART. I 27 

many unflattering remarks to appear in the 
newspapers. 

** I was miserable," said Miss Urquhart, "and 
my appearance in that awful dress was not 
through my own fault, either. When I saw it, 
I went to the stage manager, and begged him 
not to let me wear it. I knew it would create an 
uproar. I was beside myself with anxiety. 
'Miss Urquhart,' said he, 'I am directing this 
production. You are under my direction. You 
must wear that dress.' So I wore it, and one 
wretch in a weekly paper declared that my — my 
— legs looked as if they would support anything 
from the Equitable building to the Brooklyn 
Bridge. And so they did. It was the effect of 
the top boots, w^hich consumed yards and yards 
of patent leather. It was a most trying expe- 
rience for me. Now, however, I design all my 
own clothes, and have them made. I get extra 
money for this, and it is far more agreeable for 
me. 



128 ISABELLE URQUHART. 

An awful idea that the fragrant stew I have 
before mentioned might by this time be cold, 
and that Miss Isabelle might need a little more 
before consigning it to the oblivion of the larder, 
caused me to seize my hat with sudden resolu- 
tion. Miss Urquhart said very many pleasant 
things, and I tried to say as many more. In fact 
we kept up this little game of complimentry bat- 
tledore and shuttlecock until I found myself 
locked in the elevator, en route for the street. 
Yes, that visit to Miss Isabelle Urquhart was 
certainly very fascinating. 




Sadie Martinot. 




EAR little, bubblesome Sadie ! 
I feel that I am not in 
the least disrespectful 
in thus alluding to 
Miss Martinot. I knew 
her before she was 
stately ; before she 
could address her French maid in irreproachable 
French ; before her pictures were in very great 
demand. Under the circumstances, nobody will 
deny me the right to exclaim, and even to re- 
peat : Dear little, bubblesome Sadie ! 

Miss Martinot is an excellent example of how 
a bright, pretty woman can push her way rapidly 
to the front in the theatrical profession. Miss 
Sadie is of lowly origin, though history is rather 

[1 291 



I30 



SADIE MARTINOT. 



dead upon the subject. I believe she was discov- 
ered in Boston by Fred Stinson, a young theatrical 
man. He was attracted by her charming face, 
dulcet voice and dainty manner. He married 

her. For some time 
Miss Sadie Martlnot 
was Mrs. Fred Stin- 
son. Now the Sadie 
could be a prima 
donna If her desires 
ran In that direction, 
while Stinson is peg- 
ging away at man- 
agement, his latest 
scheme In that direc- 
tion being aimed at 
Miss Mary Shaw. 
Miss Sadie Martlnot was originally — and I say 
it in no perverse mood, for to my mind, it is no 
grave fault — Sarah Martin. She became Martl- 
not when she went upon the stage. She is still 




SADIE MARTINOT. 131 

Martinot. Numbers of comely young women 
whom I could name, would not in the least mind 
being Martinot. The young woman was born 
in 1 86 1. She is so pretty that if I were to name 
1 87 1 as her natal year, you would feel no incli- 
nation at all to dispute my statement. But I 
am in love with the truth, and the truth it 
shall be. 

I first met Sadie in 1883 in London. She 
was then playing at the Comedy Theatre in Pan- 
ton street, in the opera of " Rip Van Winkle." 
Miss Martinot was the Katrina ; Miss Violet 
Cameron was singing the leading feminine role. 

Sadie was a very meek, unpretentious little 
lady in those days. She got ^20 a week and 
thought herself lucky. She was the protegee of 
Dion Boucicault, and that keen discoverer of 
talent saw the bright possibilities of the little 
Martinot girl. When she left the London fogs, 
for New York sunshine, — and she hated London 
with true American consistency — she appeared 



132 SADIE MARTINOT. 

in New York In a series of Dion Boucicault's 
plays, meeting with considerable success. Later, 
she was seen In " Confusion," at the Fifth 
Avenue Theatre. 

I saw Sadie some years after, and how time 
had changed her ! She had just returned from 
a home that she had furnished In Vienna. She 
had left the stage for some time, and had been 
living abroad. Her return to this country was 
made In order that she might assume the title 
role In " Nadjy," at the Casino, where she had 
made a great hit In " Nanon." 

Sadie was Inclined to put on what Is called 
"frills." She was stopping at the Vendome 
Hotel, and she received me In a magnificent 
suite of rooms. Her attire was regardless of 
expense. She was swathed In a white gauze 
peignoir, with furbelows up to her eyes. It was 
negligently open at the corsage, for Sadie has a 
neck and throat that half the society women In 
New York would give ten years of their lives to 



SADIE MARTINOT. I33 

possess. Mamma was there. Mamma is a very 
discreet individual, who wears black alpaca and 
talks in a neutral tone. 

'' I was quite a success, was I not, mamma T* 
asks Sadie. 

And mamma says, ** Yes, dear." 

" I had no intention of doing such and such a 
thing, had I, mamma ?" pouts Sadie. 

And mamma says, *' No, dear." 

This is merely to give you an idea of how use- 
ful a stage mamma is on certain occasions. Mrs. 
Martinot is generally in the vicinity of her 
pretty daughter, but sometimes she stays at 
home while Sadie goes abroad. 

Well, Miss Martinot never appeared in " Nad- 
jy." Miss Jansen filled her place. Though 
Sadie bought costumes and made all imaginable 
preparations, she declined to submit to the arbi- 
trary stage management at the Casino, and re- 
signed Her indignation when she told me of 
this was amusing enough to have brought smiles 



134 SADIE MARTINOT. 

to the face of the weeping philosopher, Herac- 
litus. 

'* The idea !" she exclaimed. " I am an artist, 
and do not care to be instructed in details. I 
went to great pains abroad to see how the part 
was to be played, and I could have made it ex- 
tremely interesting. But to have mere details 
insisted upon — well, I would not submit to it. 
So I resigned, and one of these days I hope to 
have another opportunity at the Casino. I am 
on the best of terms with Mr. Aronson, am I 
not, mamma ?" 

And mamma said, ''Yes, dear." 

Miss Martinot created a sensation when she 
appeared at Amberg's Theatre last season. For 
the plucky little lady had mastered the German 
language sufficiently to be able to sing the lead- 
ing role of Bettitia in ''The Mascot," with Mr. 
Amberg's German company. 

Oh ! wily Amberg ! How well he knew that 
the presence of the Martinot would fill his house 



SADIE MARTINOT. I 35 

with the dudes and the jeunesse doree of New 
York as it had never been filled before, and will, 
in all likelihood, never be filled again. Sadie 
made a delicious little Teuton. Her accent was 
simply enviably good, and though Sadie's chic is 
considerably greater than her voice, her effort 
was distinctly creditable. 

Miss Martinot is at great demand at benefits 
when pretty girls are required to sell bouquets 
and cajole good men into purchasing them. 
And nobody can do this better than Sadie. A 
well-known man about town went on one occa- 
sion to a certain theatre, where an important 
benefit performance was being given. Sadie was 
selling flowers in the lobby. She was bewilder- 
ingly beautiful and she knew it — petite coqtmie ! 

The gentleman looked at the buds and looked 
at Sadie. She was the fairest flower of the bou- 
quet. He picked up one of the blossoms, the 
intrinsic value of which was perhaps two cents. 
But he felt very magnanimous as he glanced at 
the comely seller. 



136 SADIE MARTIN.OT. 

** I'll get a smile from her at any rate," he 
mentally resolved. 

Fumbling in his pocket he drew forth a five- 
dollar bill, and put it down in front of the charm- 
ing Martinot. There was no smile upon her 
face. There was even a little expression of pique 
hovering around her red lips. 

*' Only five dollars !" she exclaimed with a sigh. 
"Why, that is the very smallest sum that has 
been offered this afternoon, and all the other 
girls have got better prices." 

It was a picturesque little bit of fiction, but it 
was wildly successful. The gentleman took from 
his pocket a bill. He looked at it. Then he 
frowned. It was worth $20. He had no change. 
Miss Sadie saw his perplexity, and in a moment 
one of the most luscious smiles that he had ever 
seen was all his. She even spoke to him, in rip- 
pling mirth. Of course he was only human, and 
he was instantly overcome. His bud had cost 
him $25. 



SADIE MARTJNOT. 



^Z7 



At the present time Miss Martinet is doing 
nothing, theatrically. That is her own fault. 
She is generally in demand. 





Georgia Cayvan. 

HAD never met Miss Georgia Cay- 
van until I called upon her 
in her dressing-room at the 
Lyceum Theatre the other 
day. But I had criticised her 
performances, and it occurred 
to me with horrible force, as I 
waited at the stage door to be admitted into her 
presence, that I had once called her ** precise and 
podgy." I became seriously frightened. Who 
could tell what she might not do to avenge her- 
self ? Suppose she locked the door of the dress- 
ing-room as soon as I entered, and stabbed me with 
a pair of scissors or a penknife. It would be an 
advertisement for her, but it might be a seri- 
ous inconvenience, or more, to me. 

139 



I thought 




140 GEORGIA CAY VAN. 

it all over. I felt that the jury would acquit 
Cayvan, and saw that she might even be 
''starred " on the strength of her exploit. 

*' Miss Cayvan will 
see you in five min- 
utes." 

I heard the voice 
at my elbow, and 
turning, saw a meek 
little woman with fair 
hair. She wore an 
apron, and looked 
" v-^lf S very subdued. In 

my anguish, I at 
once jumped to the conclusion that Georgia was 
utilizing the fivQ minutes in sharpening her 
penknife, or putting a keener point to her scis- 
sors. I felt that I was " in for it." I could now 
only await events. 

The five minutes passed all too quickly. At 
their expiration, the fair-haired girl in the apron 



GEORGIA CAYVAN. 141 

appeared again, and beckoning to me to follow 
her, led the way into the dressing-room of the 
talented Georgia. Miss Cay van was attired in 
the sumptuous ball dress worn in the second act 
of "The Charity Ball." She looked charming. 
Her bodice, cut low, showed a neck that was a 
revelation. How could I have called her "pod- 
gy ?" Her arms glistened in their rounded sleek- 
ness, while her large brown eyes seemed to look 
me through and through. She was so polite 
that all my fears vanished. There were no scis- 
sors in sight to disturb the equilibrium that I had 
nearly secured. 

" I am very glad indeed to see you," said Miss 
Cayvan (perhaps she hadn't read the " podgy " 
paragraph) "and I hope you will excuse the dis- 
order of this room." 

I glanced around the apartment. It was as 
pretty a little place as an actress could ask for. 
It was about the size of a band box; lighted by 
electricity, and draped everywhere with pale blue 



142 GEORGIA CAY VAN. 

cretonne. There were looking-glasses, a nice 
comfortable sofa, a wardrobe from which glimp- 
ses of silks and plushes could be obtained, and a 
dressing-table covered with the appliances of 
stage " make-up." 

I can't say that I felt at home. It would be 
absurd to pretend that I was completely at my 
ease in this dressing-room, with the gorgeous 
Cayvan eyeing me half suspiciously, and the fair- 
haired girl — who was none other than Miss Alice 
Cayvan, Georgia's sister — passing and repassing, 
in a fit oi tidiness. 

I asked Miss Cayvan to tell me all she could 
about herself, and sat down to listen to her. 

"You are Mr. Alan Dale?" she asked, half 
incredulously. 

" Surely." 

I was not surprised at Georgia's query. I 
was a little bit flattered — at my own expense. 
I saw that she found it difficult to believe that 
the stupid looking creature in the black overcoat 



GEORGIA CAY VAN. 143 

could have a single idea of his own. As I said 
before somewhere, I have come to the conclusion 
that I look a fool. Georgia's question was 
additional confirmation. 

** My family was not a bit dramatic," began 
Georgia, presently. " I believe that my eldest 
sister played twice in private theatricals, but if I 
have ever done anything for the theatre " (with 
cast down eyes) " it wasn't because I inherited 
any tendency in that direction. I was born in 
Maine, but we moved to Boston when I was a 
very little child. My mother says that when I 
was three years old, I held a candle at a church 
entertainment, wore a nice little white night- 
gown, and had to say 'good-night.' I made a 
great hit." 

Miss Cay van looked at Alice, as though 
expecting her to say something, but the sister 
was hard at work arranging Miss Georgia's cos- 
tumes. 

" Later," said Miss Cayvan, " we met with 



144 GEORGIA CAYVAN. 

reverses, and I felt that I had to do something to 
help my family. So I resolved to be a reader, 
and soon found that the occupation was enjoy- 
able and profitable. I supported myself entirely 
in this way, and even paid for my own schooling. 
It was very delightful. I met charming people, 
and made a good deal of money. Even now, I 
often come across men and women I knew in 
those days. I made some splendid friends. 
The associations of the life of a reader are excel- 
lent. I had told my mother, when I was five 
years old — so she says — that I meant to go upon 
the stage, but I forgot that until, at one of my 
readings, I met Steele Mackaye. He told me 
that if he ever had a theatre he would like to 
have me in it. Of course that put the idea into 
my head once more, but I did not appear until 
1880, when I made my debut at the Madison 
Square Theatre." 

^'In 1880?" 

** Certainly," laughed Miss Cayvan. " I seem 



GEORGIA CAY VAN. 1 45 

to have been millions of years before the public, 
don't I ? Now confess that you thought I first 
appeared in 1820, and that I am just reaching 
rny ninetieth year ? You won't confess ? Very 
well. I went upon the stage against the advice 
of everybody on earth. They all had something 
to say against it. I remember I promised I 
would buy my mother a pair of lovely horses, 
but I haven't done so yet." 

Miss Cay van sighed, but it was not a mourn- 
ful sigh. She wasn't foolish enough to pretend 
that she wasn't satisfied with herself. She has 
done great things. In ten years she has gained 
the position of leading lady in one of the best 
stock-companies in the American metropolis. 

" Since I have been on the staore," she said, 
" I have appeared in hardly any plays that have 
not had long runs. I don't like that at all. I 
find that long runs narrow one terribly. It has 
narrowed me. I used to think when I was read- 
insf that the stao^e would be delio^htful for the 



146 GEORGIA CAYVAN. 

simple reason that an actress had to appear In 
but one character each evening, while in reading 
she had to impersonate several. But now I see 
that I like plenty of variety, I don't get it. I 
appear in plays that run for two hundred nights. 
That is one of the penalties you must pay for a 
successful manager. A long run is a boon to 
him. He pockets his profits and has nothing to 
think about. We, poor things, have to go on 
stagnating. I would play anything for the sake 
of variety. I'd even be Topsy, for a change." 

My imagination could not stretch to the point 
of picturing the gorgeously attired woman 
before me, with a black face, exclaiming, " I 
'spect I growed," with the Topsy accent. 

" Of course, before I went upon the stage, I 
wanted to be tragic," she resumed, ** but I don't 
mind now what I play, though I feel I am very 
bad in comedy. I generally play emotional 
parts. I suppose you think I am very phleg- 
matic and placid ?" 



GEORGIA CAYVAN. I 47 

The horrible belief that she was going to say 
" podgy," when she began to utter the word 
" jolacid " struck me. I grew crimson in the face, 
and I am now firmly convinced that she knew 
the reason for this. I answered hesitatingly 
that I had been slightly inclined to the belief 
that she was phlegmatic and placid. 

*' That's what everybody thinks," she said, 
rather scornfully. " Well, I am not. I am fear- 
fully nervous, and am always under treatment 
for my nerves." 

I looked at the smooth white throat revealed 
by the low cut bodice ; I glanced at the plump 
arms, and the full face. No, Georgia hadn't 
converted me. 

" I suffer fearfully from stage fright," she con- 
tinued, "and am really pitifully shaky on a first- 
night. If you ever saw me at rehearsal, and 
were manager of the company, you would dis- 
charge me. I do the most awful things. I 
really behave more like a cow than anything 
else." 



148 GEORGIA CAY VAN. 

This was getting embarrassing. What could 
I say? 

'* Fortunately, Belasco, our stage manager, 
knows me. We had a dress-rehearsal of the 
' Charity Ball.' There was nobody In the house 
but. one or two of the Lyceum directors, whom I 
knew, but I was so frightened that I couldn't do 
anything. Do I feel the parts I play ? Oh, 
Alice, he asks me if I feel the parts I play." 

Miss Cayvan cast a look of withering con- 
tempt upon me, and turned to her sister. Miss 
Alice Cayvan was not a clever confederate. 
She didn't seem to know what to say. So she 
said nothing, and left Georgia to fight her own 
battles. 

•'Do I feel the parts I play?" repeated Miss 
Cayvan, in accents of sorrow. ** Do I feel the 
parts I play ? You may not like my acting, but 
surely — well, I will simply say that I have terri- 
ble weeping fits ; that for days and days I don't 
eat ; I don't sleep ; and I subsist entirely upon 
beef tea." 



GEORGIA CA^\ AN. 1 49 

Again I looked at the smooth white throat 
revealed by the low cut bodice ; I glanced at the 
plump arms, and the full face. No, Georgia 
hadn't converted me. 

" I never learn a line of a part until I thor- 
oughly know what it is all about," she said. " I 
never study a part until I have acquired every 
bit of the dramatic action. The lines come later 
on. I find that when I have completely mas- 
tered the meaning of a part, the lines are learned 
very easily. I know other people do differently, 
but I can't help thinking that my method is the 
best. I do all I can to improve myself, men- 
tally. An educated person can do much more 
upon the stage than an uneducated one. I 
always have a book with me on the cars, and I at- 
tend lectures — and so on. People laugh at Bos- 
ton girls, and call them bluestockings, but I assure 
you that a Boston training is a great thing — and 
a great help for the stage, too. I think that my 
reading experience assisted me a considerably." 



150 GEORGIA CAYVAN. 

Miss Cay van had very little to say on the 
associations of the stage. ** My experience has 
been an exceptional one," she remarked. ''You 
see I began at the Madison Square Theatre, and 
have been mostly in New York companies, which 
are like large families. Here, at the Lyceum 
Theatre, I feel as though I were at home. Of 
course, for sixteen weeks I ' barnstormed.' I then 
had an opportunity of seeing what the associa- 
tions of the stage might be. An actor's nature is 
peculiar. He is essentially different to other 
men. He is placed in queer surroundings, and, of 
course, he is affected by them. No matter how 
hard you try, you have the flavor of the stage 
hovering around you. I suppose I have some 
of it, myself." 

'' Have you reached your theatrical goal ?" I 
asked. 

*' I don't know," she said. '' I have not real- 
ized my dreams. There is a saying that if you 
are true to your dreams, they will be realized. I 



GEORGIA CAY VAN. 151 

suppose that I have not been true to mine. But 
of course my position is a very comfortable one," 
(briskly). " Here I am in an excellent company, 
passing myself off as leading lady " (laughing). " I 
suppose I couldn't be a star. Starring isn't dig- 
nified, anyway. A star requires great notoriety, 
great beauty," (with a glance at the mirror) "or 
some mental exaltation that leads her to believe 
she is greater than anybody else. Some people 
are fitted for stock companies and for nothing 
else. I believe that I am one of those people." 

At that moment Miss Cay van was called to the 
stage. " My order of dancing, please, Alice," she 
said as she picked up her train and made for the 
door. The little programme was handed to her 
by her sister, and with a bright smile she took 
her departure. Alice didn't look at all encour- 
aofinor, so I decided to follow suit. 

After all Georgia hadn't been so terrible. 




Copyright 1887, bv NAPOLEON SARONY. 



CQl^S. JJANGIPI^Y. 




Mrs. Langtry. 

NE day, about a week after 
the first arrival of Mrs. Lang- 
try in this country, two news- 
paper men met. One was 
mild and dapper ; the other 
was enthusiastic and seedy. 
It was this other who spoke 
first in a genial burst of confidence. 

" George," he said, ** you know I interviewed 
Mrs. Langtry the other night. I'm an old hand 
at that sort of thing, old fellow, as you are 
aware, but confound it, if I didn't succumb to 
her." And, sinking his voice to a whisper, " I 
think I must have made an impression, for she 
gave me this." 

153 



154 



MRS. LANGTRY. 



He held up a portrait of the beauteous Lang- 
try. On Its back was inscribed this legend: 
'*With sincere regards, from Lillie Langtry." 

The sallow face of the enthusiastic and seedy 
young man flushed with an elaborate joy. The 
mild and dapper youth was silent. Then he 
carefully drew from his pocket an envelope, 
opened it, and produced another portrait of Mrs. 
Langtry, exactly similar to the first, and bearing 
the same bland and interesting legend. 

*' She gave me this," he said. It was a sad 
blow to the seedy enthusiast. He began to real- 
ize that all that glittered was not necessarily 
gold, and without a word went his way. 

This little anecdote, which has the merit of 
truth, is illustrative of Mrs. Langtry s character. 
Of gentle birth, and accustomed to mix in most 
exclusive and ultra-cultivated circles, she brought 
to her theatrical surroundings all the delicacies 
of refinement. In reality the newspaper men she 
met were simply treated as a well-bred hostess 



MRS. LANGTRY. 1 55 

would treat guests. But so unusual was this 

* 
method to the frequently insulted interviewers, 

that each imagined himself to be an especial 

object of her favor. 

Mrs. Langtry won a great deal of her success 
in America by the newspapers. Like the Hon. 
Chauncey M. Depew, she made it a point to be 
particularly and effusively kind to the gentlemen 
of the press ; to answer all their questions and to 
receive them as friends. It is generally admitted, 
in Mr. Depew's case, that to this policy is 
largely due his almost universal popularity. And 
it has also been the case with Mrs. Langtry. It 
has been said that the most influential figure on 
a newspaper is the reporter. While I do not 
admit this very entirely, I assert that the state- 
ment contains many grains of truth. 

Let me give you an instance of Mrs. Langtry s 
delicacy. With half a dozen other newspaper 
men, I once called at her house in West Twenty- 
third street, after her arrival from England. 



156 MRS. LANGTRY. 

The house, which was the property of Mrs. Beach 
Grant, mother of Miss Adele Grant, had been 
taken, in its exquisitely furnished condition, by 
Mrs. Langtry. It stands back from the street 
and pedestrians still look at It, as they '* pass by." 

We were admitted by an admirable specimen 
of the English flunky, with a delightfully stolid 
look of know-nothing-ism written upon his 
features. He showed us into a reception-room 
that was simply a feast for the eye. Tapestry 
hung upon the walls, the portieres were of yellow 
silk, the carpets of the thickest velvet, and in all 
directions were quaint little tables loaded with 
daintiest brie- ^-brac, and "articles of virtue," as 
Mrs. Partington would say. 

Mrs. Langtry frou-froued into the room In a 
few moments, and before we were aware of it we 
were at home. A more charming hostess was 
surely never revealed. It is a melancholy fact 
that a number of misguided people suppose that 
the American newspaper-man is not completeb^ at 



MRS. LANGTRY. 1 57 

his ease until he is at the flowing bowl. A 
more gross calumny has never been imagined. 
Perhaps years ago, when the country was young, 
and any Tom, Dick, or Harry who could sign 
his name was permitted to write for the daily 
journals, this may have been the case. At the 
present time, the journalists of the metropolis are, 
for the most part, gentlemen by birth and educa- 
tion. 

Well, I suppose Mrs. Langtry had been told 
what she ought tp do under the circumstances — 
to offer wine. This lady, however — I use the 
term advisedly — did the thing in her own grace- 
ful manner. This is how she managed it. She 
rang the bell. James, the know-nothing-istic 
flunky appeared. 

'' I am dying with thirst," she said to him, 
**and after my journey, I niiist have a glass of 
champagne. Please bring me a bottle, James. 
Don't think this awful of me," she added, turning 
to us, '* but I am truly fatigued, and if you arq 



158 MRS. LANGTRY. 

charitable, and want to put me at my ease, you 
will join me." 

Could anything be more tactful or delicious ? 
I, who had registered a vow never to ** quaff" 
with actors or actresses was disarmed. So was 
everybody else. We had a most enjoyable visit, 
and, be quite sure that the Langtry had made no 
enemies. 

I have met Mrs. Langtry a score of times at 
her house and at the theatre. On every occasion 
I have found her the same. Of course she is a 
clever woman. She calculates upon the effect of 
everything she does, but in an artistically 
imperceptible manner. 

To her subordinates Mrs. Langtry is always the 
quintessence of politeness. That flunky of hers 
adores the ground she walks upon. Although 
she is now in England, and he is in the city in 
the service of her boon companion, Mrs. Baron 
Blanc, I am convinced that, at one word from 
Langtry, he would meet her, were it at the farthest 
end of the earth. 



MRS. LANGTRY. 1 59 

A friend of mine, a newspaper man, who had 
been asked to write up a series of articles upon 
Mrs. Langtry's menage, had occasion, of course, 
to visit her very often. One winter day he 
slipped upon the icy pavement, broke his leg, 
and was taken, helpless, to the hospital. Mrs. 
Langtry heard of this, and every day for the fol- 
lowing month her carriage was to be seen at the 
hospital. She visited the sick man, took him fruit 
and flowers, and did it all in such an irresistibly 
fascinating manner, that if to-day the object of 
these attentions were called upon to offer him- 
self up for her, I am quite sure that he would not 
hesitate. 

There was a funny side to this episode. The 
young man in question was engaged to be mar- 
ried to a pretty girl who lived exactly opposite 
Mrs. Langtry in Twenty-third street. She, of 
course, saw her fiance visiting the actress, and 
made things so " hot " for him that he finally 
discontinued these visits. 



l6o MRS. LANGTRY. 

Mrs. Langtry used to give artistic little dinners 
at her Twenty-third street house every Sunday 
night when she was in the city. Her mother, 
Mrs. Le Breton, and her little niece were gener- 
ally living with her. Her guests generally in- 
cluded Mrs. Baron Blanc, Mr. Frederick Geb- 
hardt and Mr. Porter Asche, not necessarily at 
the same time. 

Of Mrs. Langtry, as an artist, I shall say but 
little, for has not this been spoken of in the daily 
journals since her first appearance in 1883 ? She 
has vastly improved. Her Lady Ormond in *' A 
Wife's Peril " is a distinctly creditable piece of 
work, and the conscientious efforts of the keen- 
witted woman to rise above the mere level of a 
professional beauty have been extremely visible. 

It was a great blow to her when Mrs. Potter 
produced " Antony and Cleopatra." She had in- 
tended to do this herself. Still she was not com- 
pletely daunted. In her intense desire to win 
dramatic fame, she appeared at the Fifth Avenue 



MRS. LANGTRY. l6l 

Theatre last season as Lady Macbeth, Every- 
body accorded her performance the highest 
praise. She was a revelation. 

Poor Langtry ! The public declined to patron- 
ize her in this — for her — novel role. They 
wanted her Worth-arrayed, jewel-bedecked, a 
drawing-room doll. " Macbeth " was a financial 
failure, and Langtry went to Europe. At 
this writing she is " touring " the English 
provinces. She will undoubtedly return to this 
country, to which she owes her success. Mrs. 
Langtry is a rich woman. She owns a great 
deal of American real estate, and has a lawyer 
on this side of the' Atlantic who looks after her 
many interests. She, herself, is a consummate 
woman of business, and what she doesn't know 
about America and American modes of life — 
well, it is of no consequence to anybody. 



Mary Anderson. 

HE Our-Mary-ness of Miss 
Anderson is fast wearing 
away. It is being gradually 
replaced by a Their-Mary- 
ness that may enhance her 
value in the eyes of Anglo- 
maniacs, but which, to true 
Americans must be rather 
galling. To be sure, art is universal. Still, 
men and women like to remember that the artist 
is bound to them by that poetic tie of nation- 
ality, which no naturalization papers on earth 
can ever really sever. 

Mary Anderson, the American girl, now 
resides in England. The land which gave her 
birth, the country in which she made her first 

163 




1 64 



MARY ANDERSON. 



success, Is hardly good enough for the dainty 
lady to live in. She makes periodical visits In 
the approved style, with an English company, 

and then goes back 
to London to spend 
there the good dol- 
lars she has earned. 
During her visit in 
1889, the Westerners 
attacked her rather 
savagely, and poor 
Mary, not under- 
standing that rabrd 
patriotism was un- 
consciously at the 
root of the attack, 
was very much hurt. In fact, many people 
consider that the severe and unjustifiable 
treatment she received in St. Louis was the 
cause of that " nervous prostration " that ren 
dered her unable to carry out her season's 




MARY ANDERSON. 1 65 

engagement. She went back to England to 
recuperate in its finer atmosphere. Inter- 
viewers on this side of the water were treated 
with rigid contempt. Miss Anderson declined 
to explain herself. But no sooner was she upon 
the shores of Albion than she indulged in the 
unbosoming process. It was the difference in 
the air, I suppose, that rendered this possible. 

I remember the occasion of Miss Anderson's 
return to this country, after her first success in 
London. The susceptible hearts of all New 
York's interviewers fluttered bewilderingly at 
the delightful prospect afforded them by an 
Anderson interview. The arrival of the steam- 
ship that brought her here was eagerly awaited. 
Columns of the most interesting gossip were 
confidently expected. 

The morning following her arrival, however, 
showed clearly the vanity of human wishes. 
Meek little paragraphs appeared in the morning 
papers announcing Mary's advent, and giving. 



1 66 MAR,Y ANDERSON. 

third-personly, the details of her plans. The 
only paper that published an interview, such as 
it was, was the Tribune ; such a wretched, 
rambling, disconnected affair, too ! And can 
you guess how it was obtained? Why, the 
interviewer managed to get on board the vessel 
at Quarantine, and listen to stray remarks that 
fell from Mary's lips as she conversed with a 
companion. Of these he attempted to make a 
" talk." Miss Anderson positively declined to 
be interviewed. It wasn't English. It wasn't 
dignified. If ever a disgusted set of men existed 
in New York, it was the set whose hopes had 
been dashed to the ground by the Anderson. 

Contrasted with this superlative exclusiveness 
is the story told me by a gentleman who lived in 
Louisville and knew Mary when she was a 
young girl. 

Said he, ''Why, I have seen her mount the 
wash-tubs and recite from * Romeo and Juliet ' 
with a wealth of gesticulation that was astonish- 



MARY ANDERSON. 1 67 

inor. Her audience was a colored washerwoman 
and cook. They were amazed at her perform- 
ance, and used to applaud it vigorously. Her 
arrival in the kitchen was a signal for the cessa- 
tion of all work. Juliet on the tubs was quite 
an institution." 

Mary Anderson is not a Louisville girl, as 
many people suppose. She was born in Sacra- 
mento, California, in 1859, but her parents 
moved to Kentucky when she was very young. 
She went to school in Louisville, but rebelled at 
the routine work of the institution. In fact, 
Mary's love for the stage really seems to have 
begun very young, and to have been sincere and 
worthy. She studied Shakespeare with earnest- 
ness, and was perpetually poring over the works 
of the great dramatist. 

J. M. Farren tells us that she paid a visit to 
Charlotte Cushman on one occasion. The old 
actress took Mary's hand, and patted her affec- 
tionately on the cheek. " You have three essen- 



I 68 MARY ANDERSON. 

tial qualifications for the stage," she is reported 
to have said, " voice, personality and gesture. 
With a year's longer study and some training, 
you may venture to make an appearance before 
the public." 

Mary first made this venture in Louisville, at 
Macauley's Theatre, in 1875, i" ^^^ character of 
Juliet, a role for which she is absolutely unfitted, 
which she has played many times since, and 
which she may continue to play for years to 
come, without even realizing Shakespeare's 
meaning. The idea of Mary Anderson playing 
Juliet has always seemed to me grotesque. 
Sarah Bernhardt in one of Charles H. Hoyt's 
farce-comedies would not be more misplaced. 

In 1877 she was first seen in New York, and 
since that day has always been able to '* draw " 
large audiences in this city. It is Miss Ander- 
son's beauty rather than her talent that first 
attracted attention. Her dramatic worth has 
always been questioned until she appeared in 



MARY ANDERSON. 1 69 

" A Winter's Tale ; " her beauty nobody has 
ever attempted to deny. 

I do not beheve that any woman has been 
photographed as persistently as has Miss Ander- 
son. Her pictures have literally adorned the 
city's highways and by-ways. And it has been 
the same in London. Her personal charms won 
instant recognition. 

Miss Anderson's work in '' A Winter's Tale," 
in 1889, was really the first dramatic effort she 
has made that met with general approval. As 
Hermione and Perdita, her dramatic force was 
absolutely convincing. The absence of any 
aggressively amorous episodes in these roles v/as 
the reason of her success. Miss Anderson fails 
utterly when she attempts to interpret any of 
the characteristics resulting from the dominion of 
sexuality. You feel that the failure is not due 
to lack of study, but merely to an inability to ex- 
press the more subtle shades. Her Rosalind is 
charming ; but it is not Shakespeare's Rosalind, 



170 MARY ANDERSON. 

It is a Rosalind who is by no means passionately 
in love with Orlando. 

Miss Anderson is always accompanied on her 
travels by her fond stepfather, Dr. Hamilton 
Griffin, a very amusing old gentleman with a 
colossal business eye. He has steered Miss 
Mary through many a critical shoal. He has 
been on hand when, alone, she might have foun- 
dered in the dramatic sea. He is very proud of 
his Mary, and is on more than mere friendly 
terms with himself. Before Miss Anderson 
went to England she used to spend a great deal 
of time in Long Branch, where she owned a 
charming cottage. But Long Branch has been 
forgotten. Nice has taken its place. Perhaps 
Dr. Griffin sighs for the old days. If he does, 
he bears his affliction very nicely. 

Miss Anderson is an indefatigable worker. 
She never considers herself and her own powers 
of endurance when she undertakes any enter- 
prize. She will attend rehearsals, when many a 



MARY ANDERSON. I 71 

** Star " would send a substitute in a stage mana- 
ger ; she will drill " supers," and arrange a stage 
as she thinks it should be arranged. 

Miss Anderson has very many admirable traits. 
Every man or woman who has played in her 
company has a good word to say for her. She 
treats her subordinates with charming consider- 
ation. She invites confidences, and herself 
remedies grievances. 

One young girl, a member of the company, 
went to Miss Anderson, on one occasion, and 
begged for her protection from certain slights 
to which she had been exposed. The girl was 
playing a very small part, and was unknown in 
the theatrical world. Miss Anderson instantly 
investigated the matter, set everything right, 
and entreated the girl to let her know if anything 
of a disagreeable nature should again occur. 

Miss Anderson has been married half-a-dozen 
times — by report. She is one of the women of 
whom the public is anxious to know more than 



172 MARY ANDERSON. 

there really is to know. Miss Anderson is not a 
bit sensational. She ought to be, but she isn't. 
Yet Dame Rumor is ever busy. Mary has 
snubbed the Prince of Wales ; she has made all 
arrangements to enter a convent ; she is particu- 
larly chummy with this big-wig and that big-wig ; 
she is going to be married to Lord Tomnoddy, 
or about to retire from the stage and live in 
seclusion. 

Perhaps if Miss Anderson's position were not 
financially what it is, she might find this craving 
on the part of the public extremely profitable. 
But Mary is rich, and if she wishes to retire 
from the stage she can do so comfortably. Still, 
she might gratify us occasionally, and give us 
just a triHe to talk about. Even her recent 
marriage with Antonio de Navarro, was con- 
ducted in a bewilderingly unsensational manner. 




Agnes Booth. 

AM a terrible disappointment to 
interviewers," said Mrs. Ag- 
nes Booth one day, as we 
sat chatting, in her delight- 
ful little flat in West Thirtieth 
street. ''In fact, I may say 
that I am a gigantic failure 
as far as the interviewing question is con- 
cerned." 

All of which was, of course, a mistake. Mrs. 
Booth is a failure at nothing. As an actress she 
has for years commanded the attention of the 
metropolis in both her emotional and her come- 
dy work. As a hostess she is the most charm- 
ing embodiment of tact and grace, putting her 

visitors at their ease in an incredibly short space 

173 



1/4 



AGNES BOOTH. 



of time, and showing an amount of conversational 
facility that is astonishing, even for an actress. 
Mrs. Booth is a thoroughly domesticated wo- 
man. Few people 
outside the theatrical 
profession know very 
much of her person- 
ally. It is their loss, 
I assure you. Her 
home is deliciously 
unostentatious ; her 
methods those of the 
sedate and accom- 
plished matron. Her 
husband, John Schoef- 
fel, the partner of Messrs. Abbey and Grau in 
some of their enterprises, is one of the few the- 
atrical husbands who cannot complain that stage 
work causes his wife to neglect the duties of the 
hearth. 

*' Few people know," said Mrs. Booth during 




AGNES BOOTH. I 75 

the course of our talk, " that in my native coun- 
try, Australia, I was a dancer. It is a fact. I 
worked fearfully hard at this vocation, practiced 
six or seven hours a day, and used to dance in 
Sydney, between the acts. I might have been 
dancing now," she added with a laugh, "if heart 
trouble had not rendered it imperative for me 
to abandon that life. I had heart trouble 
then, and I have had it ever since. I was pas- 
sionately fond of dancing. In fact, in Australia, 
I had not the faintest intention of acting. I had 
the thorough training of a ballet dancer, and was 
conversant with all the requirements of that call- 
ing. While I was quite young, I went to San 
Francisco, and danced in opera ballets. I ap- 
peared in * Un Ballo di Maschera " with Adelaide 
Phillips, I think it was. Yes, my career has been 
a very checkered one. I like to look back upon 
its phases." 

Mrs. Booth spoke as few actresses speak. She 
even remembered dates, and spoke unhesitatingly 



176 AGNES BOOTH. 

of the sixties. Now it has been my frequent 
experience that the women of the stage are 
either unable or unwilling to remember anything 
further back than ten years. In many cases five 
years is the extent to which they permit their 
memories to retrograde. 

** I have played nearly every part imaginable," 
she went on, smiling. " I have played old women 
when I was a very young one, and before I even 
played young women. I have almost played old 
men. My stage experience has been a beautiful 
mixture." 

Mrs. Booth laughed. She really enjoyed her 
own criticisms of herself. And she was not 
inclined to be at all flattering. In fact she 
embarrassed me at times, for I felt that I really 
ought to deny some of the statements she made 
about herself. 

"For six years I played in San Francisco," 
she said. " Then I came east and appeared 
with Mr. Forrest at Niblo's Garden. On the 



AGNES BOOTH. I 77 

off-nlghts I played in ' Arrah-na-Pogue.' Then 
I went to the Boston Theatre and played every- 
thing you can possibly think of, and supported 
nearly everybody you can mention, including 
Jefferson, Montgomery, and a German actor with 
an awfully unpronounceable name. I always 
remember that German gentleman. One night 
when we were playing, I got a very severe 
bruise in the face from his spurs. He had to 
fall on a sofa, and I had to go to him. He fell 
rather suddenly. His feet went up in the air, 
and I was hurt. He couldn't speak a word of 
English. I forgave him. It sounds funny now, 
but I failed to see the humor of the accident at 
the time. I came to New York — let me see, 
how inany years ago was it ?" 

Mrs. Booth covered her face with her hand 
and reflected. '' Sixteen years ago," she said, 
presently. '' I always reckon dates by the age of 
my son Sidney. He is the landmark for my 
memory. Yes, I came to New York sixteen 



178 AGNES BOOTH. 

years ago, and have remained here ever since, 
with the exception of three years when I starred. 
My husband, Mr. Junius Brutus Booth, had lost 
$100,000 with Booth's Theatre, and I felt that I 
must do something. It was not at all a pleasant 
experience. I had four little babies, and I wor- 
ried and grizzled and pined. I could not stand 
it any longer, and came home. Then I went to 
the Union Square Theatre, and appeared in 
'The Pink Dominoes,' and later in 'A Cele- 
brated Case' under Mr. A. M. Palmer's manage- 
ment. Then I was seen in ' Sardanapalus ' at 
Booth's Theatre, and in ' Old Love Letters,' 
' Champagne and Oysters,' ' Engaged,' and * Fair- 
fax,' at the Park. After that I went to Mr. 
Daniel Frohman at the Madison Square Theatre, 
and appeared there in ' Esmeralda,' also playing 
in 'Young Mrs. Winthrop.' I left him, and after 
a few more experiences, joined Mr. A. M. Palmer, 
opening in ' Sealed Instructions.' I have never 
left Mr. Palmer. I am with him still." 



AGNES BOOTH. I 79 

Mrs. Booth had certainly given a very concise 
account of herself. Her son Sidney came in at 
that moment and was affectionately greeted by 
his mother. He is a comely, frank-looking 
young man, with a very evident admiration for 
his accomplished parent. 

** People often ask me," said Mrs. Booth, 
" which I prefer playing — emotional or comedy 
roles. I tell you frankly that I have no prefer- 
ence in the matter at all. Of course sentiment 
wears a good deal more than comedy, and I 
really feel very deeply when I play such 
emotional parts as those I assumed in *Jim, the 
Penman,' and 'Captain Swift.' But I would just 
as soon play an emotional as a comedy part. It 
really doesn't matter in the least to me. I have 
been before the public so long that I have very 
little pride. Sometimes I think that I am pretty 
bad in both sentiment and comedy." 

This was no little bit of fishing for compli- 
ments. From most actresses that is exactlv 



l8o AGNES BOOTH. 

what it would have been. But Mrs. Booth was 
completely in earnest. All the glamor of the 
profession seems to have worn off for her. She 
is artistically matter-of-fact. 

" Although I have been before the public so 
long," she resumed, " I am the most fearfully 
nervous creature on a first night that you can 
picture. I am in perfect agony. I never see a 
soul on first nights except my fellow-actors and 
actresses. You find it difficult to believe that, 
don't you ? It is a positive fact, I assure you 
solemnly. A new play is to me a frightful ordeal. 
I try to reason with myself, but it is not the 
least use. The present play running at the 
Madison Square Theatre, caused me a good deal 
of anguish. I have to sing that song 'If you 
want to know the time, ask a p'liceman.' I have 
never sung a note in my life, and am lament- 
ably wanting in that direction. The song was a 
perfect bugbear to me. It haunted me night 
and day. I very nearly threw up the part on its 



AGNES BOOTH. l8l 

account. After one rehearsal I said to my hus- 
band, 'John, I think I shall give up my part in 
"Aunt Jack." That song will kill me!' He 
wouldn't hear of such a thing, so I determined to 
make the best of it. I shall never forget the 
first night of 'Aunt Jack.' It will be the same 
when we present the play in Boston. I shall 
not know whether I am standing on my head or 
my heels. Mr. Palmer often jokes me about this 
role in ' Aunt Jack,' and another role, that of Co^i- 
stance in Shakespeare's ' King John,' of which I 
was very proud. Constance is the best piece of 
acting I have ever done. It is so utterly opposed 
to ' Aunt Jack ' that to mention these two roles 
as being played by the same actress is really 
funny." 

Mrs. Booth is very much opposed to the long 
runs that now prevail at metropolitan theatres. 
She says that people get so fearfully tired of 
playing one part night after night for months. 
This complaint has been made by many people 



1 82 AGNES BOOTH. 

outside of the theatrical profession. But if a 
manager finds that he can make money with one 
play for six months, he is not going to the 
expense and trouble of risking a second. Long 
runs in a big city, which draw people from the 
outside as well as from the inside, are inevitable. 

I could have stayed and talked to Mrs. Booth 
for hours. Luckily for her, that was impossible. 
I am always very careful never to outstay my 
welcome anywhere, but I really felt a distinct 
regret at tearing myself away from this brilliant 
woman's home. I trampled upon my feelings, 
however, like a veritable martyr, and withdrew in 
time. 

Mrs. Booth is a great favorite with theatrical 
people. Do you know why ? Simply because 
she never seems to know that she is great. 
Theatrical people like that kind of a woman, 
because there are not many such to be found. 

I always remember the professional matinee 
given at the Star Theatre by Mme. Sarah Bern- 



AGNES BOOTH. 1 83 

hardt. All the actors and actresses In the 
metropolis were there. At the conclusion of the 
performance, a little group of theatrical women 
stood discussing it. Sarah Bernhardt was not at 
all kindly criticised. This fault and that fault 
were discovered in the methods of the tragedi- 
enne. There was a pretty general sort of a feel- 
ing that ''we could have done it as well." 

But Mrs. Booth was enthusiastic. '* I have 
never before seen anything like It," she said. 
"It shows me how little I know, and what a 
failure I am." 




Minnie Palmer. 

OME years ago I was for- 
tunate enough to attend 
a meeting held by those 
vivacious ladies who pre- 
tend that they want to 
vote, and who ask us to 
believe that they really 
think themselves to be 
the equals of men. I was particularly fasci- 
nated by the lady who presided, a comely, 
rosy-cheeked woman, who looked not a day 
over forty, and who was most artistically 
attired. Her presidency was most amusing. The 
poor little woman had heard of the Parliament- 
ary rules of debate, and imagined, I suppose, 
that she understood them. But her dismay. 




1 86 MINNIE PALMER. 

when half a dozen verbose women spoke at the 
same time, rose to points of order, objected, and 
indulged in other of the fascinating luxuries con- 
nected with debate, was intense. 
I felt sorry for her. She didn't 
look a bit strong-minded. In 
fact she appeared to be thor- 
oughly ill-at-ease. After I had 
talked to her for some time, I 
discovered that she was Mrs. 
Kate Palmer Stearns, the mo- 
ther of little Miss Minnie Pal- 
mer. Of course I imagined 
that the president of such a 
club must naturally despise such frivolities as 
" soubrettes." I hesitated before even mention- 
ing Miss Minnie. I need not have done so. I 
soon discovered that Mrs. Stearns was very fond 
of her daughter. It was *' dear Minnie " this, 
and "dear Minnie" that. She was so lonely 
when Minnie was away; so happy when she 




MINNIE PALMER. 1 87 

could welcome her home ; so eager to see her 
on the stage ; so dehghted to testify to her im- 
provement ; and so on. 

Mrs. Kate Palmer Stearns is quite as interest- 
ing as her daughter. I don't feel a bit guilty at 
having mentioned her here. 

Miss Minnie Palmer is a very winsome, ami- 
able little lady, unaffected, blithe and amusing. 
She has been before the public many years, and 
folks are inclined to think her older than she 
really is. Miss Palmer, however, is quite young. 
I positively decline to mention her age, for her 
mother's sake. If you had met Mrs. Stearns, 
you would appreciate my delicacy as it deserves 
to be appreciated. 

Miss Minnie has been more venturesome that 
other American actresses. She has played in 
nearly all the English speaking countries on the 
face of the globe. Her husband, Mr. John R. 
Rogers, had his own ideas as to the methods of 
"making" an actress. He set to work, and 



1 88 MINNIE PALMER. 

through his labor Miss Palmer has attained her 
present position. 

John R. Rogers is the most consummate 
"advertiser" it is possible to imagine. He has 
a deep and strong-rooted belief in the influence 
of the newspaper paragraph. He waylays jour- 
nalists and pours interesting stories into their 
willing ears ; he manufactures pleasant little 
" yarns ;" devises agreeably sensational schemes ; 
there is nothing that he will not do in order to 
be paragraphed. At one time he has a thrilling 
story of a detective who passes his life in jeal- 
ously guarding Miss Minnie's wonderful dia- 
monds ; then it is a rumor that Miss Palmer has 
been robbed by students at the theatre ; another 
time it is the pleasant intelligence that Miss 
Palmer is spending a month with Queen Victo- 
ria's cousin in London. 

It is safe to say that no actress w^as more 
indulgently treated by the newspapers than Mrs, 
John R. Rogers. But after a time, this kind of 



MINNIE PALMER. I 89 

thing became rather sickening. It was fatiguing 
— this constant Minnie Palmer-ism. Mr. Ro<i- 
ers' methods were soon known, and there was a 
reaction. The time came when dramatic editors 
were afraid to use Miss Palmer's name for fear 
they might be accused of unduly advertising 
her. 

I know of one editor who said to Mr. Rogers, 
** Johnny, if I heard that the theatre had burned 
down, with Minnie in it, I should hesitate before 
using the article, believing it to be one of your 
clever little advertisements." 

Mr. Rogers is personally a very good fellow. 
He is most devoted to his charming little wife. 
He is a man of business, against whose reputa- 
tion for integrity no single word has been 
spoken. He has made a great deal of money 
with Miss Palmer. When in the city, Mr. and 
Mrs. Rogers live in magnificent style. Their 
home, recently fitted up in the Westminister 
Hotel annex, is really a sumptuous place. 



igo 



MINNIE PALMER. 



It is filled with treasures collected from the 
principal cities of the world, and arranged with 
perfect taste. Miss Palmers music-room is 
a joy. Japanese portieres conceal it from the 
view of the chance visitor. The walls are hung 
with portraits of the best known composers ; the 
piano is a superb instrument ; dainty bric-a- 
brac, queer little tables, autograph portraits, and 
ornaments of all descriptions, are to be found 
everywhere. The carpets, of heaviest velvet, 
would make a clodhoppers footstep sound 
fairy-like ; tapestry hangings, and beautifully-tint- 
ed curtains rendered the apartment most artistic. 

The drawing-room is simply gorgeous. It 
is as full of art treasures as a room destined 
to be inhabited could be. Rugs, tapestries, 
lamps, cabinets, silver ornaments, knick-knacks 
in gold, porcelain, ivory, a Dresden china clock, 
a bronze statuette of Salome, easels, tables, 
vases, pictures, portraits of the Prince and Prin- 
cess of Wales, bisque figures, etchings — all are 



MINNIE PALMER. I91 

in this drawing-room. I must say it does credit 
to the good taste of Mr. and Mrs. Rogers. 
Many people with plenty of money are not 
artistic enough to know how to spend it. No- 
body can thus accuse either Miss Minnie Palmer 
or her husband. 

In the dressing-room is a cabinet which Mr. 
Rogers declares was made from wood cut from 
the ancestral park of Sir Henry A. Clavering. 
It is certainly a very handsome and unconven- 
tional looking piece of furniture. 

Mr. Rogers' writing-room is a lovely "den." 
I should like it for myself. In fact I may say I 
have been guilty of breaking the tenth command- 
ment and coveting my neighbor's wTiting-room. 
That desk ought to be able to inspire priceless 
thoughts, while the theatrical *' trophies " are 
interesting themes for any number of " special 
articles." Mr. Rogers has scores of books. 

The sleeping-room is as pretty as any other 
apartment in this charming home. It is fur- 



192 MINNIE PALMER. 

nished in the style favored by Marie Antoinette. 
Anybody who has visited Versailles will have 
seen the Marie Antoinette "souvenirs" there. 
Miss Palmer has copied them as closely as possi- 
ble. 

Miss Minnie reposes beneath blue silk bed 
coverings, which are adorned with filmy Valen- 
ciennes lace. The carpet is deep blue ; the hang- 
ings are of a corresponding hue. 

Mr. Rogers fitted up this home quite recently. 
He had been storing his treasures ; many of 
them had been for years in safety vaults. Mr. 
Rogers makes a capital host. He is always very 
proud of showing his friends through his home. 

As an actress, Miss Palmer has improved very 
much of late. When I first saw her, I wondered 
at her popularity. She was little more than a 
boisterous, self-conscious imitation of Miss 
Lotta. But Miss Palmer is more polished at the 



MINNIE PALMER. I 93 

present time. Her aims so far have not been of 
the most elevated order, but I fancy that she is 
not only capable but anxious to attempt better 
things than such medleys and concert hall enter- 
tainments as '' My Sweetheart," and '' My 
Brother's Sister." In fact, Miss Palmer has 
appeared in legitimate comedy. She made a 
great success in W. S. Gilbert's " Engaged," and 
has been seen in other plays. Mr. Rogers told 
me some time ago that Miss Minnie intended to 
produce little one-act plays of the style made 
popular by Miss Rosina Yokes. She will be 
admirably suited for this kind of work, and I 
prophesy success if she attempt it. I was very 
pleased with Miss Palmer in the little sketch 
entitled " The Ring and the Keeper." 



Emma Juch. 




HERE is a joyous star-span- 
gled-bannerism about Miss 
Emma Juch that is positively 
pleasant to contemplate. 
The days when the divine 
but dollaresque Patti can^ 
float over to American shores 
and demand fivQ thousand 
for a single warble, are surely passing away. 
American singers will soon be recognized all 
over the world, and even in their own country, I 
believe. The vocal superiority of the American 
is being rapidly recognized. And it is just such 
delightful young women as Miss Emma Juch 
who will win over the foreignly-disposed rrfinds 
of their own countrymen. 

195 



196 



EMMA JUCH. 



At the present time Miss Juch Is at the head 
of her own opera company, singing through the 
United States, and meeting with some success — 

more than might have 
been expected. I con- 
? fess that I had very little 
faith In the success of the 
organization, even -after 
I had heard It Interpret 
" MIgnon," and recog- 
nized the excellence of 
the Interpretation. Amer- 
icans like their sonor-birds 
from abroad, glittering with 
gems presented by Euro- 
pean potentates, veneered by the conserva- 
tories of London and Paris and Berlin and 
Vienna, and endorsed by the music-lovers of 
the old world. And so It Is that American girls 
with splendid vocal equipments cross the ocean 
and do Europe pretty thoroughly before they ven- 







EMMA JUCH. 197 

ture to set foot again on their native heath. 
Even then they have to contend with those who 
have had the advantages of foreign birth. 

Now Emma Juch did have that advantage. 
It was so slight, however, that even her most 
managerial manager would be unable to avail 
himself of It. She was born in Vienna while her 
parents, who were both citizens of the United 
States, were testifying in a law-suit in that city. 
Now, it is generally conceded, that though you 
may be born in a stable, there is no law of logic that 
will necessarily make you a horse. So Miss Juch, 
though her birthplace was Vienna, is an Ameri- 
can by reason of her American parents. If this 
is not absolutely clear, I withdraw from the con- 
test, rather than discuss it. An American paper 
said some time ago : '' America may forgive Miss 
Juch for coming into the world abroad, since she 
was sufficiently patriotic to be born on the Fourth 
of July." I hope America will forgive Miss Juch. 
and will permit her to take that place which 



198 EMMA JUCH. 

would have been hers even before this, had she 
been what is popularly known as "a foreign 
artist." 

She is an amiable, industrious young woman, 
and her American traits are at once discover- 
able in her independence and good-fellowship. 
Although traveling as an operatic star, she 
declines to patronize any of the ways of the 
prima donna. The other day when she was 
arriving in Washington, her managers sent a 
carriage to the station to meet her and convey 
her to her hotel. 

" I ride while the members of my company 
walk ?" she asked in surprise. " If the roads are 
good enough for them, they are good enough for 
me. 

And so the prima donna of the opera company 
took her way on foot with the most humble 
members of the organization. This is Ameri- 
canism of a very pronounced description ; so pro- 



EMMA JUCH. 199 

nounced indeed, that it isn't much practised 
among the stage people of America. 

Miss Juch knew that she had a "voice" at a 
very early age. Her father, Justin Juch, tried 
very diligently to nip this knowledge in the bud. 
He did not like the idea of his daughter becom- 
ing a singer, and declined to allow her to study 
with that end in view. Emma, however, worked 
quietly at her music, alone. She took lessons, 
and advanced so rapidly that she was soon asked 
to take part in a concert given by the pupils 
of the professor with whom she studied. She made 
great preparations for this most important event, 
and fondly imagined that her father knew noth- 
ing about them. Mr. Justin Juch was, however, 
lynx-eyed. He was one of the men in whose 
household there can be nothing surreptitious. 

When Miss Juch appeared at her first concert, 
she saw, much to her consternation, that her 
father was seated in the house. He occupied 
one of the most conspicuous seats, and was 



200 EMMA JUCH. 

orlarine. She resolved to win him, and set about 
the task with a great deal of determination. 
Papa Juch was very much affected. According 
to Miss Emma, he arose and left the hall. 
When his daughter returned home he wept, and 
kissed her, and declared that he had been very 
unjust, — and all that sort of thing. Henceforth 
Miss Juch was not unaided in her struggle for 
vocal fame. Her father devoted a great deal of 
his time and money to training her voice. He 
put her through a severe schooling, and the 
young girl profited greatly by his teachings. It 
was Mme. Murio-Celli, however, who trained 
Miss Juch for her operatic career. 

She made her debut as a grand opera singer 
in 1 88 1, as Filina in Ambrose Thomas' opera 
" Mignon," in London, under the management 
of Col. Mapleson, and during the season sang in 
"Rigoletto," ''The Magic Flute," ''Martha," 
"Faust," "The Huguenots," and "Robert le 
Diable.' She sang for three seasons under 



EMMA JUCH. 20 1 

Mapleson's management. Miss Juch's next en- 
gagement was a delightful one for her. She 
accepted an offer from Theodore Thomas' man- 
ager to share the duties imposed upon Mmes. 
Nilsson and Materna, in the tour of the Wagner 
artists, Materna, Winkelmann, and Scaria. Miss 
Juch and Mme. Nilsson sang the "role of Elsa in 
*' Lohengrin " on alternate nights. 

Miss Juch was the first artist engaged for the 
American Opera Company. She sang in this 
organization for three seasons, in ''The Magic 
Flute," "Lohengrin," '* The Flying Dutchman," 
/' Orpheus," '' Nero," and '' Faust." In " Lohen- 
grin," when that opera was sung in New York 
by the American Opera Company, Miss Juch 
very nearly lost her life by the falling of a heavy 
piece of iron. The opera had nearly come to atk 
end, and Miss Juch insisted upon finishing it, 
though she was hurt, and weak from the loss of 
blood. She remained at the theatre until the 
final curtain fell. 



202 EMMA JUCH. 

Miss Juch, during the years she has been 
before the public, has not been afflicted with too 
much unoccupied time. Besides appearing 
operatically, as I have mentioned, she has sung 
in musical festivals in New York, Boston, Phila- 
delphia, Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Louis and San 
Francisco, and in such organizations as the New 
York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the- 
Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Sym- 
phony, the Thomas popular concerts, the 
Gericke orchestral concerts, the New York 
Liederkranz, and the St. Louis Saengerfest. 

Miss Juch has a great future if she is not 
spoiled or wrongly managed. She is a wholesome, 
industrious young woman, but she is not a Patti. 
A great deal of twaddle has been written about 
Miss Juch. Here is a paragraph that strikes me 
as being particularly idiotic : " To friends, Miss 
Juch occasionally tells off charming psychological 
experiments showing the influence of music upon 
two pet dogs, Bruno and Dutchie. Possessed of 



EMMA JUCH. 203 

the highest artistic temperament, generous to 
a fault in giving to the unfortunate and poor, no 
young woman needing directions as to whither 
lie the portals of the temple of music, ever yet 
failed to receive from Emma Juch as much as 
was in her power to give. To her, beautiful 
flowers are a mild intoxicant. Hers is literally 
so Elysian a nature that dumb beasts and chil- 
dren follow with big-eyed faith, and are happiest 
when near her. But so are all who once have 
come within the spell of her wonderfully sym- 
pathetic voice." 

Gracious goodness ! and likewise goodness 
gracious ! Miss Juch is a nice, plump, good- 
looking girl. She needs food a great deal more 
nourishing than " beautiful flowers," and I am 
quite sure that she gets it, too. For the benefit 
of the orentleman who thouo^ht that to Emma 
Juch flowers were a mild intoxicant, I will quote 
her own words : 

" On returning to my hotel after a perform- 



204 EMMA JUCH. 

ance, I partake of a light supper, consisting of 
cold turkey or chicken, celery, bread, butter and 
apollinaris water." 

A singer who can sit down to cold turkey and 
celery at midnight, isn't going to be even mildly 
intoxicated by beautiful flowers. Miss Emma's 
friends can't succeed in making of her a hot- 
house plant. She is a comfortable, fragrant, 
every-day sort of a blossom, excellently trained. 





Copyright by B. J. FALK. 



fflAi^iE (Hansen. 




Marie Jansen. 



N G all the comic opera 
singers of to-day, I do not 
believe that there is one who 
has created more of a flutter 
than the bewitching, little, 
devilish Jansen, with her 
naughty, scintillant eyes, her 
bewildering, laughing dimples, and the poetically 
rounded limbs that we have all been permitted to 
discreetly admire. The Jansen is a lady who 
doesn't appeal to that mighty monster known as 
general susceptibility. She isn't pretty, she isn't 
saccharine, she isn't purring, and she isn't wonder- 
fully voiced. Miss Marie is chic, piquante, insin- 
uating. There is more of Paris than of New 
York about her. She is a delight to the educated 

idea; a suggestion and nothing more, to the gallery 

♦ 205- 



206 MARIE JANSEN. 

god. Marie Jansen, like caviare, is an acquired 
taste ; Lillian Russell, like candy, appeals to the 
palate of the world. If both these singers were 
transferred to France, Jansen would be the 
winner. It would be Marie who would arouse 
to enthusiasm \.h^ gommeux blasd \ Lillian would 
have to be satisfied with a less desirable constit- 
uency. 

Jansen is a sweet, lovable little woman, with 
sterling qualities ; an amusing, wholesome young 
girl, who can be very much in earnest, and who 
enjoys life thoroughly, in a perfectly legitimate 
and enviable manner. Of course, you all know 
her views on the subject of goodness. They 
were contained in that inimitable song in *' The 
Oolah." To see the demure, pouting Jan- 
sen standing before those admiring maidens, her 
eyes aglow with deviltry, and that quaint little />- 
ne-sais-quoi pucker at the corner of her mouth, 
indulging in musical advice, was a privilege that 
we enjoyed not very long ago. 



MARIE JANSEN. 207 

This is part of her moral : 

Since those days the boys have wooed me ; they 

have bothered and pursued me ; 
And I've always tried to do the best I could ; 
And how often, oh, how often, when I've seen their 

glances soften, 
I have whispered to them warningly, "be good !" 
When your lover urges, presses, tries to dally with 

your tresses. 
Vows he'd twine them round his heart-strings if he 

could. 
You will surely be astonished how he's silenced when 

admonished. 
By the whisper of those mystic words " be good !" 

Marie Jansen has not been before the pubHc 
very long. Nobody can yet say, " Oh, I remem- 
ber her years ago," as young men about town 
(bless their dear, fluttering, idiotic hearts !) are so 
fond of remarking about the divinities of the 
comic opera stage. 

She was born and educated in Boston, and is 
still very partial to the Hub of the Universe. 
" My father," she said on one occasion, " wanted 
me to be a regular Boston girl like other Boston 
girls, and then settle down and be a regular Bos- 



208 MARIE JANSEN. 

ton woman !" Think of a girl with Jansen's 
eyes and Jansen's disposition settling down into 
placid, monotonous Bostonianism ! She found 
that she was musical at a very early age, and her 
father gave her every opportunity to cultivate 
her talent. He sent her to the New England 
Conservatory of Music, where she studied long 
and diligently, finally appearing at concerts in 
the Hub's Music Hall. Jansen says that it was 
John Braham who first saw that she was fitted 
for the stage. She still feels very grateful to 
John, for it was he who gave her that advice by 
following which she has become famous. 

" He told me that I had a 'stage presence,' " 
said Jansen. " I didn't know exactly what that 
was, but I felt it was a nice thing to possess." 

Through his influence she was introduced to 
the manager of the Comley-Barton Opera Com- 
pany, where she obtained her first position. 
Her family were very angry at first, as families 
generally manage to be when circumstances 



MARIE JANSEN. 2O9 

which they have not expected or arranged for, 
arise. Jansen, however, was all determination. 
Just study her face a little, if you please, and 
you will not find this fact a very difficult one to 
realize. She now declares that she had a sort of 
a "weeping" for worlds to conquer, and thought 
that they could best be vanquished from behind 
the footlights. No regret at her choice has she 
ever felt. Jansen has conquered a great deal. 
I will not overwhelm her by declaring that she 
has nothing more to win. She has, and what- 
ever it be, she will win it. 

She first appeared in a musical comedy by 
Ben Woolf, which was a failure. It was called 
" Lawn Tennis." Jansen liked it. but the public 
didn't, which is not the only instance of disa- 
greement between artist and judges. The fail- 
ure of ** Lawn Tennis " however, had no very 
unfortunate results. The comic opera was with- 
drawn, and '' Olivette " was substituted. Jan- 
sen's luck came to her aid. The luck in this case 



2IO MARIE JANSEN. 

reminds me of the fable of the frog and the 
naughty boy who pelted it with stones. " What 
is fun to you," remarked the frog, " is death to 
me." Miss Catherine Lewis, who was singing 
the leading role in " Olivette," fell ill, and Marie 
Jansen took her place, making an immense suc- 
cess. 

Later she went with the McCaull Opera Com- 
pany, where she was very popular. 

" I have had the felicity of knowing a score of 
comic opera queens," said the former manager of 
that organization to me the other day. '' I have 
suffered, as perhaps few men have suffered, from 
their whims and caprices. But Jansen — dear 
little Jansen — she did not cause me a single 
pang. She never wanted the earth, and she 
realized that there were other people in the com- 
pany besides herself." 

No higher tribute than this could have been 
paid to Miss Jansen's nature. Perhaps you 
don't see the full force of the eulogy, my unso- 



MARIE JANSEN. 2 I I 

phisticated readers. If you do not, it is because 
you have never managed a comic opera com- 
pany. You can congratulate yourselves upon 
your lucky escape. 

Charles Wyndham, the English actor, saw 
Jansen when she was singing with the McCaull 
company. He was about to produce at his Crite- 
rion Theatre, London, a piece called " Feather- 
brain," an adaptation of '' Tete de Linotte." He 
remembered Jansen, and sent for her. 

'* I hesitated very long before I accepted the 
offer," said Marie. *' It was something entirely 
new to me. I asked the advice of everybody I 
knew. I was told to go to London. ' You 
won't have to act,' said one friend, * you have 
simply to be Marie Jansen, and that will be all 
the '' Featherbrain " necessary !' I am not sure 
that this was particularly flattering, but I went to 
London." 

Miss Jansen tells many interesting stories of 
her London experience. It was the most sue- 



212 MARIE JANSEN. 

cessful that she has yet had. Mr. A. H. Canby, 
the manager of Francis Wilson's opera com- 
pany, told me that Jansen might have made her 
London visit the event of her life. 

**The late John T. Raymond, who saw her in 
' Featherbrain,' " he said, '' told me that if she 
had taken his advice, and bought the rights to 
'Featherbrain' for America, she would have 
leaped into the eminence of a successful star on 
the strength of her artistic performance." 

Jansen says that when she reached London 
she begged Wyndham to announce her on the 
programmes as " the American actress." Wynd- 
ham laughingly advised her not to insist upon 
this. 

" Don't do it," he said. " If you prove to be 
worthy, people will ferret out all the information 
they want about you. If you fail to sign your- 
self ' cyclonically yours,' you'll be glad that you 
didn't get any sort of prelude." 

The patriotic Jansen soon grew homesick. 



MARIE JANSEN. 213 

When Mr. Wyndham put on '' The Candidate," 
and she found that there was no part in it for 
her, she refused the manager's tempting offer to 
remain, and returned to America, resuming 'her 
position with the McCaull opera company, and 
finally joining the Casino. 

Perhaps it was just as well that Miss Jansen 
did not buy the '* Featherbrain " rights. If she 
had done so, she would never have appeared in 
** Nadjy " at the Casino. 

Her appearance in '' Nadjy " was, like that 
early experience to which I have already alluded, 
the result of an accident. Sadie Martinot was 
to sing the part. She had been extensively 
advertised. She had taken a trip to Paris, and 
bpught magnificent costumes. But Sadie was 
too quick-tempered. She quarrelled with the 
stage manager. 

Jansen was just about to indulge in a nice, 
lazy holiday at her father's country house in 
Winthrop, when Rudolph Aronson, desperate at 



2 14 MARIE JANSEN. 

the Martinet complication, wrote and begged 
her to help him. Jansen described her per- 
plexity later to Mrs. Sallie Joy White of the 
Boston Herald : 

" I had seen neither the music nor the 
libretto," she said, ** and of course did not know 
anything about the dance, which was very diffi- 
cult, and was a special feature of the play. At 
first it did not seem as though I could do it ; it 
was a tremendous undertaking. But the man- 
agers were pledged, they had been to a great 
deal of expense, and the advertising was tre- 
mendous. So to help them out of a bad fix, 
I undertook the role. How I did work for the 
next four days ! Yes, and nights, too, for that 
matter, for I took literally hardly no sleep. I 
worked every minute. I managed the words 
and the music well enough, but the dancing ! 
• I practiced three or four hours at a time, and I 
gave every minute to it that I could. The exer- 
cise was so unusual that it seemed sometimes as 



MARIE JANSEN. 215 

though I should drop from sheer exhaustion. I 
was rubbed after the dancing lesson, to see if I 
could get a little of the weariness taken out of 
me, and had it not been for this treatment, I 
should have been unable to go through such a 
tremendous physical strain. Of course all my 
friends were as anxious and as interested as I 
was, and they all encouraged me with the kind- 
est words and prophecies. The Saturday before 
the play was to be brought out, I met a friend 
on the street, who asked me if I was going to be 
ready. I told him, 'yes.' 'And will the curtain 
go up sure, on Monday?' he asked, a little scep- 
tically, I thought. I assured him that it would 
go up at the usual hour, that ' Nadjy ' would be 
played, and that I would play it. * Plucky girl,' 
he said, 'we'll all be there to see you.' And so 
they all were. The house was full I heartily 
confess I was very nervous. It was no small 
matter to take, at four days' notice, the place of 
one who had made such a study as Miss Marti- 



2l6 MARIE JANSEN. 

not had made, and who had been so widely 
advertised. But I succeeded." 

The Jansen attracted a great deal of attention 
by this performance. Such columns of adulation 
as those poured upon this effort, it would be hard 
to duplicate. She laughs at them herself, but 
she has them all clipped carefully from the news- 
papers in which they appeared, and pasted 
neatly in a nice green scrap-book. She showed 
them to me, and the following rhapsody from the 
Louisville Post is so funny that I can't resist the 
temptation of giving it verbatim. Here it is: 
** Marie Jansen — she of the Circe eyes, the rav- 
ishing dimples, and poetic legs — was a big favor- 
ite with the Louisville folks, but it isn't a marker 
to what she is with the Gothamites. All of New 
, York almost, from the exclusive 400 to the dregs 
of the Bowery," (imagine the dregs of the Bow- 
ery at the Casino) '' nightly worship at her 
fleshly shrine, and drink in the intoxication of 
her eye, lip, and limb. In a slightly different 



MARIE JANSEN. 21 7 

way, it is another case of Phryne and the Athen- 
ians " (Jansen would have a lovely libel suit) *' of 
Lois and the Carthagenians." 

Jansen dotes on all these little tributes to her 
personality. Here is another item descriptive of 
Marie at the sea-shore, which certainly deserves 
to go down to posterity, (of course it will do so 
in this book). Jansen cut it out with her own 
fair fingers, and prizes it excessively. It runs as 
follows : 

*' That sleepy little settlement bordering on 
the white sands of Winthrop beach, known as 
Ocean Spray, has at last a real sensation. It 
arrived the other day, and has thrown the cot- 
tagers into a state of indescribable excitement. 
The young men of the place are more directly 
affected by the presence of the invader than are 
the young ladies, although their sensibilities 
have received a shock that it will require all the 
winter months to subdue. Singular as it may 
seem, the cause of this extraordinary commotion 



2l8 MARIE JANSEN. 

is a little bundle of salmon-colored Japanese silk. 
What in the world could be found in a package 
of this kind that its presence has created such a 
furore? Listen. This flimsy material when 
examined, shows that it has been made into two 
garments. There are two pieces : one is a little 
pair of 'pants,' no more than sixteen inches long, 
while the other looks like a ballet dancer's dress. 
Who owns them, and what are they for? Why, 
that's Marie Jansen's bathing costume — haven't 
you seen her with it on ? No ! then go to the 
beach immediately, and enjoy the sweet divinity 
when she takes her daily dip in the 'briny.' It 
is a sight for the gods. Marie has become quite 
a natatorial expert during her sojourn at Ocean 
Spray, and enjoys her morning bath as keenly as 
the small boy who steals from school for a swim. 
When Nadjy rolls over on her back, and does 
the floating act, she looks like a small bundle of 
sunset clouds riding the waters. Her move- 
ments are as graceful as a speckled trout's. She's 



MARIE JANSEN. 219 

not looking for flies, however. She is satisfied 
with admiration, and she gets it, too. But the 
great dimax is reached when Marie lifts herself 
from the waters, and runs up on the beach in 
search of her long cloak, which she throws over 
her shoulders after finishing her sport. Of all 
material, Japanese silk is the most clinging when 
wet. Is it any wonder then that Marie creates a 
thrill of admiration among the privileged observ- 
ers when her pink toes trip along the sea-kissed 
skirts of the continent ?" 

Isn't that a gem ? I wish to goodness I knew 
the name of the paper in which it appeared. I 
wouldn't for the world be accused of trying to 
purloin such a jewel. Marie laughs at all the 
witty paragraphs written at her expense. If you 
could see the gruesome pictures of her that have 
been published, you would wonder that she could 
still smile. Many of these pictures look as 
though they had been sketched in the Chamber 
of Horrors of the Eden Musee. 



220 MARIE JANSEN. 

But Jansen is a dear, good-natured little girl. 
She likes newspaper men, as every sensible 
actress, with an eye to the vast assistance of 
advertising, should do. When a newspaper man 
wants opinions on any subject connected with 
the stage, he flies to Marie Jansen, and the sweet 
young woman rushes into print, and very clev- 
erly, too. 

A Chicago paper asked Jansen for a criticism 
on Madame Jane Hading. She wrote one, and 
wound it up as follows : 

*' An old Irishwoman once said to a party who 
shall be nameless : * Ah, sure, thim two eyes w^uz 
niver put in yer head for the good av yer sowl !' 
Could that woman see Madame Hading, she 
would, I'm sure, repeat herself. Did you ever 
see such eyes ? I never did, and never shall I 
forget them. Now, what I've said, may sound 
like gush, but it isn't ; it's honest." 

Here are a few lines that Jansen wrote to me : 

" I have never been married " (a very ferocious 



MARIE JANSEN. 



221 



dash under the adverb) "and at present have 
no desire to be. As to my ambitions — what 
shall I say? I sometimes think I am one mass 
of contradiction. When the final verdict is 
given, however, I should like it to be, * She has 
caused more smiles than tears !' " 





Marie Wainwright. 

NE of the actresses who may 
be described as " getting 
there," is Miss Marie Wain- 
wright. She was lucky 
enough to secure a manager 
who toiled for her with the 
zeal of an enthusiast, who 
literally thrust her into the position she now 
occupies. He is dead now — poor Gus Morti- 
mer. During Miss Wainwright's recent engage- 
ment at the Fifth Avenue Theater, he passed 
away. The play went on just the same. Not a 
single performance was sacrificed to the memory 
of its engineer. Truly, there are members of the 
theatrical profession who lose their charms the 
instant that the glamor of the footlights is 

removed. 

223 



2 24 



MARIE WAINWRICxHT. 



Miss Wainwrlght is a very pretty woman, 
thoroughly educated. She is the daughter of 
the late Commodore Wainwright and the grand- 
daughter of Bishop 
Wainwright. She 
was brought up to 
regard the stage — 
well, certainly from 
a discreet distance. 
Miss Marie was an 
impulsive maiden, it 
is said. I find it dif- 
ficult to believe this, 
but as I had not the 
felicity of knowing 
her in those young 
days, I must accept what I am told as fact. She 
married a gentleman named Slaughter, under 
romantic circumstances, and by him had two 
pretty daughters. One of them is as tall as Miss 
Wainwright herself at the present time— a 




MARIE WAINWRIGHT. 225 

pleasant-faced, amiable-looking damsel. Her 
father is now dead, and Miss Wainwright is 
the wife of Louis James, an excellent actor, 
intelligent and magnetic. 

The actress always had a hankering for the 
stage. She was a Philadelphia girl, and I can 
understand Philadelphia people hankering for 
anything that will take them away from Philadel- 
phia. She used to slip away from home and go 
to the theatre. Its fascinations tempted her 
strongly. And when once the fever of the stage 
seizes you, there is nothing to do but to plunge 
into its vicissitudes. If you are fortunate, its 
beauties will still remain ; if unfortunate, you 
will see its emptiness. Under no other circum- 
stances can you obtain this knowledge. 

Miss Wainwright was plucky. She has a charm- 
ing personality. It would have been strange if 
she had not met with success. There is always 
hope for pretty women. The public want to 
see them. It is easier to forgive an awkward 



226 MARIE WAINWRIGHT. 

manner than an unlovely face. Miss Wain- 
wright made her debut at Booth's Theater, 
appearing with George Rignold as one of his 
six Juliets. Rignold, at his benefit, played 
Romeo with a different Juliet every night, and 
Miss Marie was one of these lucky women. 

She was greatly impressed with the part of 
Juliet. Nearly every actress is. It is the most 
remarkable thing in the world, hov/ women who 
are unsuited in every way to such parts, long to 
moan and gurgle and languish as Shakespeare's 
beautiful Italian. Juliet is a disease, a virulent, 
contagious disease. At times it even becomes 
an epidemic. Miss Wainwright has recovered 
from the malady. I believe that sensible Gus 
Mortimer rooted it out of her. If it could only 
be eliminated from the systems of a score of 
actresses at present before the public, how delight- 
ful it would be ! 

After her appearance with Mr. Rignold, Miss 
Wainwright did some more Juliet-ing at the 



. MARIE WAINWRIGHT. 227 

Boston Museum. Then she appeared as the 
Countess in " Diplomacy." This she did not like 
at all. The Juliet fever was still raging, and she 
looked upon it as retrograding to play such a 
part as the Cotmtess in a modern Sardou effort. 
A great deal of sound advice was lavished upon 
the ambitious young woman, and such good 
effect did it have that in a short time she was 
singing Josephine in Gilbert and Sullivan's opera 
" Pinafore." I believe she was the original Jose- 
phine. I have never ceased to regret that I did 
not see the performance. I can imagine that 
Miss Wainwright must have been delightful in 
this pretty opera. She considered that she had 
lost her dignity. She wept bitterly, and made 
herself thoroughly miserable. It certainly was 
rather unnatural {0x2. Juliet to be capering about 
as Josephine, but it is by just such experiences 
that an actress is made. Mrs. Agnes Booth would 
never have been to-day in the exalted position 
she holds, if her work had not been equally as 



228 MARIE WAINWRIGHT. 

varied as the instance now under consideration. 
As I have said elsewhere, Mrs. Booth remarked 
to me, •'! have played everything— almost old 
men." 

Miss Wainwright was a very successful /<?^^- 
phine. She played the part for nineteen weeks. It 
was her first and last experience in comic opera. 
After that she went back to the "legitimate " and 
stayed there. She first met Mr. James, now her 
husband, while playing in ''The Exiles." She 
then went with him to Lawrence Barrett's com- 
pany, where the two remained for a long time. 

But Miss Wainwright was very ambitious, 
and it was not long before she was attacked by 
the starring mania. This purely theatrical 
malady must have treated her very cruelly. She 
was unable to resist its influence, and it was not 
long before she had the felicity of seeing her 
own and her husband's name in flaming letters on 
the posters of the city's highways. Mr. and 
Mrs. James met with much success. Their work 



MARIE WAIN WRIGHT. 229 

was very excellent. I saw her as Lady Teazle, 
and enjoyed the performance very much indeed. 
One day Broadway gloated over the rumor that 
Mr. and Mrs. James were to separate theatrically ; 
that is to say, he was to head one company, and 
she another. I spoke to Gus Mortimer, their 
manager, about it. 

Said he, ''You see she doesn't care to play 
second fiddle to him in certain plays, and he 
doesn't care to appear in a similar position with 
regard to her in other plays. Hence the separa- 
tion." 

Can you, my untheatrical readers, understand 
such a condition, of things ? If you are able to 
do so, you will astonish me greatly, for it is 
only after long and varied experience with the 
eccentric beings of the stage, that I have been 
able to master their whims and their caprices. 
I nevertheless found it almost impossible to 
understand this case. Here was a married 
couple, appearing before the public in the lead- 



230 MARIE WAINWRIGHT. 

ing roles of their plays, positively jealous of each 
other. She didn't like to see him take prece- 
dence In certain parts ; he hated to subordinate 
himself to her. The partnership made money. 
It was a sheer case of that fearful vanity that 
rages behind the footlights. It makes brutes of 
men whom the public only see smiling and smirk- 
ing in their rouge and their finery ; it converts 
into veritable demons the apparently guileless, 
lovable women who impersonate the models of 
feminine virtue and heroism that the playwright 
paints. 

The separation took place, and the husband 
and wife are now in different companies. She 
has nobody who can possibly draw a grain of 
attention from herself ; he is the lord and master 
of his organization. I hope they like it. I can't 
help thinking that the public have a sneaking 
regard for a husband and wife in a single com- 
pany. Every kiss he gives her they look upon 
(foolishly, of course) as an evidence of sincere, 



MARIE WAINWRIGHT. 23 1 

legitimate love ; every fond glance she casts in 
his direction they like to believe (wrongly, of 
course) is genuine and proper. 

Miss Wainwright's Viola in "Twelfth Night" 
is a beautiful piece of work. Her recent engage- 
ment at the Fifth Avenue Theatre was probably a 
financial success. As I said, the actress is " get- 
ting there." She suffers a great deal from self- 
consciousness, but I presume that this defect will 
be remedied as time rolls on. She is shapely and 
pretty, and is aware of both facts. When she 
appeared as Rosalmd in ** As You Like It," her 
manager was particularly careful to circulate 
some dainty little stories about the Ganymede 
dress she, would wear. It was a delicate way of 
calling attention to Miss Wainwright's shapeli- 
ness. These dainty little stories, however, were 
not received with the undisguised pleasure 
expected. There are several actions favored by 
Miss Marie in the male episodes of Rosalind and 
Viola, that might more gracefully be omitted 



232 MARIE WAINWRIGHT. 

There are, however, many theatre-goers who 
only endure these roles for the sake of the revel- 
ations that they make possible. The ** doublet 
and hose" ought to be absolutely delicate. Any 
interpretation which robs Viola and Rosalind of 
any of this delicacy is un-Shakesperian. 

Miss Wainwright has a brilliant future. Her 
defects are few, and they can all be remedied. 




Louise Beaudet. 




DEFTLY arranged crown of 
copper-tinted hair ; a row 
of pearl-white teeth per- 
petually revealed by an 
irresistible smile ; a trim 
little figure, which the 
people who try to es- 
chew English vjouXd C2i\\ petite ; and a creamy 
complexion unmarred by " make-up " of any 
sort, formed a combination of pretty character- 
istics that I saw one morning at the Hotel 
Belvedere, when I called upon Miss Louise 
Beaudet. In fact they existed in Miss Louise 
Beaudet, the vivacious little comic opera singer, 
whose art was revealed most conspicuously to 
New Yorkers when she sang the role of Chilina 

233 



234 



LOUISE BEAUDET. 



in " Paola " at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, with 
the Duff comic opera company, not very many 
months ago. 

Miss Beaudet has already had a very checkered 
career, though she is still 
young and — I was going to 
say foolish. Well, I will say 
it, because I consider that 
winsome little Louise has 
not thoroughly realized her 
own artistic worth as a comic 
opera singer, or she would 
never have spent years play- 
ing Shakespearian roles, and 
courting comparison with artists who had made 
them a specialty. Of course she told me that 
she didn't know what to say about herself, and 
equally of course, I found, with a little cross-ex- 
amination, that she did. 

I drew her out gradually, and she proved to be 
quite interesting. " Of course you know that I 




LOUISE BEAUDET. 235 

am French," she began. I didn't, and I could 
hardly believe it, as her English is perfect, with 
no foreign accent whatever. " I was born in 
Tours, France, and I came to America with my 
parents when I was a little bit of a child. When 
the * Pinafore ' craze was at its height, I appeared 
in one of the juvenile companies, at fourteen 
years of age. After that Mr. Duff began a search 
for a girl that could sing the role of the Duchess 
in 'The Little Duke,' and look very young at the 
same time — a combination that was not the easi- 
est thing in the world to discover. I had been 
singing for a few months, and it seemed that I 
was just what he wanted. So he engaged me, 
and thus it was that my stage career really be- 
gan." 

Miss Beaudet folded her hands, sat bolt up- 
right, and adopted a pertly fascinating look that 
I should very much like to have captured for a 
picture. 

" I was in luck," continued Miss Beaudet. 



236 LOUISE BEAUDET. 

** ' The Little Duke ' was produced at Booth's 
Theatre, and Mme. Aimee, who was going to 
present the opera in French, saw it. She and her 
manager, Mr. Grau, Hked my performance, and 
engaged me for the French production. So I 
created the part of the Duchess in New York in 
English and in French, and at the same theatre. 
It was really strange. I had even the same dress- 
ing-room for both productions. I enjoyed the 
French production immensely. I was speaking 
my mother-tongue, and it seemed delightful to 
me. I was completely infatuated with the stage, 
and my early education had not taught me that 
there was anything objectionable about it, as most 
American girls learn to believe. To be an artist 
is, in France, a very great thing, and of course I 
wanted to be an artist. We all do." 

Miss Beaudet laughed in a very kittenish way 
— that is to say, if a kitten ever laughed, which Is 
open to question, it would laugh just as did Miss 
Beaudet. 



LOUISE BEAUDET. 237 

**The first time I ever went to the theatre," 
she said, "my mother took me to the Comedie 
Fran^aise, and I longed to play one of those 
lovely parts. But to continue: I stayed six 
months with Mme. Aimee. She was very, very 
charming. I owe everything to Aimee — poor 
Aimee ! She did not seem to look upon me as a 
member of her company. I was very young, and 
she was very attached to me. She taught me her 
parts. When she was in San Francisco she was 
prostrated by a very severe cold. She knew it 
was coming on, and she instructed me in her part 
without saying a word to anybody. I had a re- 
hearsal with the leader of the orchestra, and 
Mme. Aim6e then told Mr. Grau that she would 
be my sponsor. I was only a child. Grau 
couldn't believe that Aimee was in earnest. But 
she was, and I had the honor of appearing as 
Serpolette in * Les Cloches de Corneville.' She 
taught me four of her parts. I can never for- 
get her. Anything that I have ever done in 
comic opera I owe to Aimee." 



238 LOUISE BEAUDET. . 

Miss Beaudet lost herself in meditation for a 
few moments. Apparently they were not of the 
most cheerful nature. She appeared to be think- 
ing about less pleasing incidents in her stage 
career. 

" I left the comic opera stage," she said sud- 
denly, " and went into the drama. My voice 
seemed to have given out. I suppose that I sang 
too much at a time when any undue strain upon 
the voice would be likely to prove dangerous. 
In San Francisco I joined the Baldwin stock 
company. I was the ingenue, I studied Shake- 
speare diligently, and by those wonderful plays I 
perfected myself in the English language. It 
was the best schooling I ever had. It was a great 
company. Clara Morris and other stars would 
come to San Francisco, and we would support 
them. But I had become a roamer, and I did not 
stay in California. I went to Australia, India, 
China and Japan, playing Shakespearian parts. 
I have been more varied than you could possibly 



LOUISE BEAUDET. 239 

Imagine. I dG3.rly loved yu/i'e^ 3indRosa/md3ind 
Portia and Desdeinojta, Physically I think this 
arduous work Injured me, but It was an educa- 
tion, and an education that will benefit me even 
now, when I have returned to the comic opera 
stage, and am not likely to try Shakespeare again. 
I like to remember my success In the far-off lands, 
and I can do so by these souvenirs." 

Miss Beaudet showed me an enormous port- 
folio containing newspaper clippings culled from 
India and China. 

" On one occasion, in Calcutta," she said, " I 
played Hamlet — yes the role of the melancholy 
Dane — and at the close of the entertainment I 
sang portions of Patience.' Read this : ' We 
had hardly recovered from our amazement, when 
she sang Patience. She had divested herself of 
the depths of manly passion, and stood before us 
as a pretty dairy-maid.' In Shanghai I made a 
speech, which was a great hit. The newspapers 
treated me most kindly. While abroad I made 



240 LOUISE BEAUDET. 

a few attempts at comic opera, and sang in ' La 
Grande Duchesse ' — I blush to think of it ; and 
my pet part, that of Rose Michon in ' La Jolie 
Parfumeuse.' Was I not versatile ?" 

I was bound to admit that she was. So much 
variation in such a little lady seemed almost 
impossible. 

" I do not think that I am destined for a 
Juliety' she went on. '* Americans want large, 
lovely women, and they have Mary Anderson. 
I am afraid that I should never be remembered 
in this country for my Shakespearian work, but 
before returning to comic opera, I indulged once 
more. Mr. McVicker, of McVicker's Theatre, 
Chicago, was going to produce ' The Tempest,' 
and I made up my mind to study the part of 
Ariel. I played the part, and I enjoyed it 
thoroughly. It was very, very difficult, but oh ! 
so lovely." 

Miss Beaudet clasped her hands, and then, with 
pardonable femininity, produced a photograph 
of herself as Ariel, and asked me to look at it. 



LOUISE BEAUDET. 24 1 

" I think that Ariel is one of the most beauti- 
ful parts that Shakespeare ever wrote," she said. 
'' It is certainly the most poetical to my mind. I 
believe that I appreciated it more than anything 
I had ever played. Chicago was very kind to me, 
and one writer in particular was certainly flatter- 
ing. 

She gave me a slip from a newspaper, and 
turned away with an assumption of coyness, 
while I read a description of herself. It was 
beautiful, yet Chicago-esque. In fact I cannot 
refrain from reproducing it. " Her complexion 
is clear, but pale, and her large eyes are dark 
brown — the wave-washed onyx that goes with 
genius ! Her rich brown hair, seeming as if 
sprinkled with gold dust, is brushed well back 
over the pale, intellectual forehead, and provides 
an excellent setting for regular features and a 
face of rare animation !" 

The Journal gentleman certainly surpassed 
himself in his adjectival eloquence. I told Miss 



242 LOUISE BEAUDET. 

Beaudet that it was indeed truly beautiful, and 
she laughed, though she dearly appreciated the 
compliments. 

" Then," she resumed, " I returned to comic 
opera. My voice had come back to me, and my 
friends told me that comic opera was my forte, if 
I had any. Friends are so funny. Sometimes 
they tell you one thing; sometimes another. 
However, I intend remaining in comic opera 
now, and am really going to settle down, and 
find a resting place for the sole of my foot. I 
still consider France my home, but I am an 
American citizen, with full rights to enjoyment of 
the privileges of Uncle Sam's country. I took 
out naturalization papers two years ago. Yes, I 
am very proud of being an American, I can 
assure you. though I still love dear old France. 
I suppose I can love France, and still be loyal to 
my adopted country, can't I ?" 

Miss Beaudet arched her eyebrows in naive 
inquiry. I hastened to assure her that nobody 



LOUISE BEAUDET. 243 

who had spent five minutes in her society would 
venture to accuse her of treason. 

" I frequently take a run over to my native 
country. My mother, who lived here for a num- 
ber of years, returned to France, and her dutiful 
daughter visits her whenever she can spare the 
time. I have travelled so much that a trans- 
Atlantic crossing is not a very formidable under- 
taking for me. I should love to play in France. 
That is really one of my ambitions. Before I 
became an American citizen, I had an offer to 
return to France, with prospects that might have 
resulted in a pleasant engagement there. I did 
not know what to do, or how to decide. I didn't 
want to give up America, and I hated to let the 
French opportunity slip through my fingers. 
So I did what women are very fond of doing — 
asked everybody's advice, determined to adopt 
that which I considered most agreeable. My 
friends told me to stay in America by all means. 
They said that I had already done a great deal of 



244 



LOUISE BEAUDET. 



work here, and had been very kindly received. 
They thought it would be folly on my part to 
begin all over again in France, where I had 
never appeared. So I followed this advice. I 
still hope that one day I may get an opportunity 
to appear in my native country. But in the 
meantime I am making the most of my oppor- 
tunities in this country, and am not going to let 
them be disturbed by any idle dreams that may, 
after all, never be realized." 

*' And do you like the life of a comic opera 
singer ?" I asked. My interrogations had been 
very few, and I felt that I could not tear myself 
away without a questioning word. 

*' Do I like it ? It is delightful to me. There 
is variation, and there Is not very much hard 
work. It is a pleasure to me to sing. Then 
New Yorkers treated me very kindly. I have 
just been singing Pitti-Sing in 'The Mikado.' I 
almost cried when Mr. Duff gave me the part. 
But it was well received, and I am not sorry that 



LOUISE BEAUDET 



245 



I sang it. I ought to be satisfied. I have good 
friends and good opportunities. What more 
does a girl need ?" 
I didn't know. 





Photo by FALK. 



L^AUlilNE iQAhh. 



Pauline Hall. 

OMETIMES I am inclined 
to believe that if the dig- 
nified but symmetrical 
Goddess of Liberty chose 
to desert the pedestal 
from which she surveys 
the incoming and outgo- 
ing vessels in New York 
Bay, to mundanely seek a position in a comic 
opera company, her success in that walk of life 
would be nothing but a question of time. You 
see, she has plenty of shape, which seems to 
be the main qualification for the career of a 
comic opera ''star," nowadays. 

I am not at all sure that if the queenly (I say 

" queenly " because in this case I wish to be con- 

247 




248 PAULINE HALL. 

ventional,) Pauline Hall had been less superbly 
fashioned from a physical point of view, she 
would be in the elevated position she now graces. 
The dudelets and the golden youths of the great 
American metropolis would not be paying out 
papas money for the privilege of watching the 
beautiful Pauline at the Casino ; nor w^ould the 
dear old glistening bald-heads be fighting for the 
front seats, and, in ecstatic scrutiny, flinging bou- 
quets at the feet of Miss Hall. 

The comic opera world is an eminently pecu- 
liar one. It is governed by other rules and 
regulations than those which prevail in the legiti- 
mate dramatic fields. Vocal merit is not neces- 
sarily an essential in the success of a favorite. 
Of course it hastens the desired result. But 
given a handsome woman, with a knack of keep- 
ing herself before the publie, and it is tolerably 
easy to speculate upon her chances. 

When Apothecary Schmidgall of Cincinnati 
saw his little dark-eyed daughter artlessly frol- 



PAULINE HALL. 249 

icking in her western home, I am quite sure 
that never in his most prophetic moments, could 
he have pictured her estabHshed in a metropoH- 
tan suite of rooms, calmly deigning to recognize 
her own success. I used the word " frolicking." 
It sounds rather grotesque applied to the 
statuesque Miss Pauline Hall. As easy would 
it be to imagine my friend the Goddess ot 
Liberty pirouetting upon her pedestal. 

Miss Hall was nde (as they say in the society 
papers) Pauline Frederica Schmidgall. It is a 
melancholy fact that we are none of us able to 
regulate our own surnames. We are born, sur- 
named ; all we can do is to rectify the error when 
we reach years of discretion. John Brodrib was 
of the opinion that his name displayed on Lon- 
don play bills would hardly be inviting, so he 
became Henry Irving. Pauline Frederica Schmid- 
gall was evidently of a similar mind. The 
Schmidgall has faded into deserved oblivion. 
Pauline Hall is now before us. Long may she 
remain ! 



250 PAULINE HALL. 

Cincinnati, as I have already hinted, had the 
honor of supplying us with Pauline. New York 
is proverbially selfish. In the teeming contest 
for a World's Fair that was recently so vigorous- 
ly waged, New York attempted to down every 
other city. Now, I hold that in return for the 
inestimable boon of Pauline Hall, New York 
ought to have gracefully resigned all her claims 
to the World's Fair in favor of Cincinnati. 

I believe in reciprocity. I am quite sure that 
not one of my readers will venture to assert that 
Pauline Hall isn't worth at least half a dozen 
World's Fairs. 

Miss Hall is about thirty years of age, plump, 
pretty, and well-formed. Her large, lustrous 
eyes are perhaps her greatest charm, though her 
shapeliness is admired by all. Miss Hall looks 
even more charming in the street than she does 
on the stage. She is one of the few women who 
have the knack of knowing what clothes suit her 
best, and of wearing those clothes. She is a 



PAULINE HALL. 25 I 

model of sedate luxury ; a walking essay on the 
absurdity of over-dressing. If you met her on 
Broadway you would notice her garments 
because they are so beautifully made, and 
because you have an artistic eye. The masses 
woulcj pass her by, because she doesn't wear 
greens, and blues, and flaming reds, and dia- 
monds. But if she doesn't wear diamonds, she 
has them. Ah ! my dear young friends, I wish 
you had as many. I, myself, would be satisfied 
with just half. 

Pauline became stage-struck in the year 1875. 
Please recollect that year. Write it in letters of 
red upon the tablets of your mind. She was 
first seen in a ballet, in a play produced under 
the management of Colonel R. E. J. Miles, of 
Cincinnati. Yes, fifteen years ago Pauline Hall 
was one of a number of young Terpsichorean 
bread-earners, dancing in Cincinnati. Colonel 
Miles evidently recognized the possibilities of a 
career or the stately Pauline. Her next engage- 



252 PAULINE HALL. 

ment was also under his management. She 
traveled with the American Racing Association 
and Hippodrome, posing in tableaux and being 
otherwise ornamental. Then she joined the 
Alice Oates opera company, and appeared in a 
piece called ** Folly." 

Many of my readers may be surprised to know 
that Miss Hall has appeared in legitimate drama. 
She "supported" Mary Anderson (lucky Mary 
to have such a beautiful pillar to lean upon !) I 
never saw her when she played with Miss Ander- 
son. In fact I can hardly realize that she could 
have been Lady Capulet in " Romeo and Juliet," 
and the Widow Melnotte in " The Lady of 
Lyons." But she impersonated both of these 
creations. 

Miss Hall was a member of Rice s Surprise 
Party in "Pop;" she was seen in " Orpheus and 
Eurydice " at the Bijou in 1883 ; in " Bluebeard," 
in "The Seven Ravens," and in 1885 in " Ixion." 
Miss Hall has even sung in German. She was 



PAULINE HALL. 253 

heard in the " Fledermans" at the Thalia Thea- 
tre in 1885. But her first actual success was 
made at the Casino, and she has remained at 
that theatre since 1886. Miss Hall's voice is not 
at all extraordinary. In fact it is somewhat 
metallic in quality. Her dramatic powers are by 
no means great. She walks gracefully through 
her parts, filling the eye with her personal charms. 
As I hinted before, however, the public often 
receives a handsome woman better than it does 
a talented one. . 

Says Reid : '* All the objects we call beautiful 
agree in two things, which seem to concur in our 
sense of beauty. First, when they are perceived, 
or even imagined, they produce a certain agree- 
able emotion or feeling in the mind ; and, 
secondly, this agreeable custom is accompanied 
with an opinion or belief of their having some 
perfection or excellence belonging to them." 

So when we see Pauline Hall in her sumptuous 
Casino garbs, when we notice the lustrous dark 



254 PAULINE HALL. 

eyes, and the tumultuous beauty of her form, we 
are tempted to believe that her voice is purer 
than it really is, and that her dramatic powers are 
greater than in our cooler moments, removed 
from her personality, we would care to admit 
them to be. We are all so disgracefully human 
where a pretty woman is concerned. 

Pauline Hall is rich, but unlike those stage 
favorites who live stupidly in the present, and 
fritter away the wealth that pours in upon them, 
Miss Hall casts one of those lovely eyes of hers 
in the direction of the future. She is a sensible 
woman, and a shrewd one. She is said to be 
worth about $100,000, which she has most profit- 
ably invested. One of these days she will 
retire. The career of a comic opera singer is a 
short one. The more famous she happens to be, 
the shorter her career. A quick fire burns itself 
out more rapidly than a slow one. Miss Hall 
realizes this. Should she retire at the present 
time, she could live comfortably for the rest of 



PAULINE HALL. 255 

her days. But she will probably remain with 
us*for some years to come. Her voice, at the 
present time, is better than it has ever been. 

Miss Hall lives very quietly when she is in the 
city. She has a little flat in West Thirty-Fifth 
Street near Seventh Avenue, and lives there 
with "Dora," a secretary and "general man- 
ager." Miss Hall was at one time married to 
Mr. Edmund R. White, who was known as " a 
man about town," and whom she first met in 
San Francisco in 1878, and later in St. Louis. 

But Miss Hall tired of being Mrs. White. She 
secured a divorce, one of the grounds for which 
was (no, don't laugh) non-support. Yes, Mrs. 
Pauline Hall White declared that her husband 
didn't support her. She obtained her freedom 
and I don't think she will be foolish enough to 
forfeit it again. I hope not, for the sake of the 
man. The husband of a comic opera " queen '* 
has my most sincere sympathy. If Mr. Fox 
were alive, I would suggest that he include all 



256 PAULINE HALL. 

such husbands in a revised edition of his 
"Book of Martyrs." 

Miss Hall thoroughly recognizes the necessity 
of always keeping her name before the public. 
She likes people to know where she spends her 
summers, and how she is cultivating her voice, 
and other equally interesting facts concerning 
herself. 

To meet, she is most charming. She can 
always furnish a topic of conversation, and will 
invariably say something amusing. 

She is kind hearted and womanly. Her 
brother, Fred Hall, was a member of the Casino 
company, probably at her instigation. The 
young fellow died a. few weeks ago, succumbing 
to the disastrous weather of 1889 and '90. Miss 
Hall was at his bedside night and day, giving up 
her own engagements, and devoting herself 
exclusively to her brother. She nursed him 
carefully, and was with him when he died. A 
better sister surely never lived. I like to think 



PAULINK HALL. 



257 



of this trait in Miss Hall's character, and to 
show you that a popular comic opera prima 
donna need not necessarily forget the instincts 
of gentler womanhood. 

As a rule it is only the frivolities of a metro- 
politan favorite that reach the public ear. 





Marion Manola. 

HAD a nice long talk with little 
Miss Marion Manola the other 
day. I called upon her at the 
handsome house No. 42 West 
Thirty-Fourth street and had 
quite a pleasant chat. The 
Manola is a quiet, unaffected 
young woman, with no " frills " about her consti- 
tution. In the street, she isn't a bit *' actressy ; " 
she doesn't paint, she doesn't overdress, she 
doesn't flaunt. When she is not upon the 
stage she is Mrs. Mould, invariably accompa- 
nied by her pretty little nine-year-old daughter, 
whose age she candidly tells, without a blush and 
without the least hesitation. 

It was this damselette who asked me to 

259 



26o 



MARION MANOLA. 



excuse " mamma " for a few minutes, and who 

spoke to me as though we were the oldest and 

best of friends. 

I excused '* mamma " very 
readily, and she did not 
keep me waiting very long. 
She entered the room, 
greeted me cordially, and 
before I could realize the 
fact, we were in the midst of 
an entertaining talk. 

" I always feel," said Miss 
Marion, '* that I am going 
through life on a rush. .1 
have no time for anything. 
Singing every night and 

rehearsing every day — that is my yearly routine. 

Yes, I like it, of course. I agrees with me." 
It certainly did. Miss Manola was the picture 

of health. She had none of the lanquid can't- 

help-it-ism that the prima-donna loves to affect. 




MARION MANOLA. 26 1 

She was happy. She was talking to somebody 
who was going to write something about her, 
and she let me see that it pleased her. Sensible 
woman ! I admire that kind of candor. I 
despise the woman who says to you, '* Don't 
write a word of what I have said," and who cuts 
you dead the next time you meet her, because 
you followed these instructions. 

'* I have been very lazy to-day," said the 
Manola, " I have only just come down-stairs " 
(it was two o'clock in the afternoon), " and I 
have been taking my breakfast and luncheon as 
one meal. Isn't that really very dreadful when 
you remember that I have a daughter growing 
up, ready to follow bad examples ?" 

She laughed, and I, not having an answer 
ready, did likewise. It is always safe to laugh at 
anybody else's humor. People appreciate such 
laughter a great deal more than a witty response, 
or a sparkling bit of repartee. I asked the 
Manola to tell me something about her stage 



262 MARION MANOLA. 

career. She seemed rather frightened. I put 
her at her ease by informing her that I knew all 
about it, but yearned for her own personal nar- 
ration. 

" I haven't any sta^e career," she declared 
rather ruefully. ** I have really only been before 
the public for five years. You don't mean to 
say you'd like to know where I was born ?" 

I asserted that I pined for this little scrap of 
knowledge. 

"Well I don't know that I need mind confess- 
ing," she remarked after a pause. " My name 
was Stevens. I was born in Oswego. No, 
please don't laugh, Oswego is a lovely place — 
grand, beautiful and all that sort of thing. At 
any rate, if it were the most odious town on 
the surface of the globe, I can't help it. I was 
born there." 

Miss Manola seemed to be positively defiant. 
She looked at me as if she were saying *' The 
murder is out. Now condemn me." I com- 



MARION MANOLA. 26; 



forted her quietly, and suggested that everybody 
couldn't be born in London and Paris and New 
York. Oswego was rather a pleasing birth- 
place. 

" I used to act a good deal in private theatri- 
cals in Cleveland,'' she said, "and when society 
turned out to be amused, I generally managed 
to be one of the amusers. I sang in ' Pinafore, 
as an amateur, and worked really very hard. 
But there was not much satisfaction in it. I was 
very ambitious. I longed to go upon the stage, 
as nothing less than a grand opera singer. 
Comic opera ? No indeed. It never entered 
my mind. I yearned for grand opera. The 
dream of my life was to appear as Marguerite in 
' Faust,' with two lovely golden pigtails, and a 
sweet white frock." 

Miss Manola's first hopes seemed to rise before 
her eyes — spectre-like, as the penny-dreadfuls 
say. She sighed a little, and frowned a little, 
and bit her lip a little, and reddened a little. 



264 



MARION MANOLA. 



"I went to Paris," she resumed, "and took 
lessons with the famous Madame Marchesi. I 
told her, of course, that I wanted to be a grand 
opera singer, and desired that she should train 
my voice with that end in view. How I worked. 
I had to be at her house at nine o'clock every 
morning, and I stayed there until one in the 
afternoon. Then I went home and practised 
there for two hours. I really devoted all my 
time to the study of music. Some people can 
harrow up their souls by remembering lost 
opportunities. I am thankful to say that I can- 
not do this. I made the most of my time. 
Madame gave me lessons for nine months. Her 
teaching was excellent, but she had one fault. 
She pays too much attention to the high notes 
of the voice, and too little to the middle register. , 
Marchesi dotes on high notes. I heard one of 
her pupils the other day. She sang her high 
notes charmingly, but the middle register was 
really melancholy. I believe I should have 



MARION MANOLA. 265 

known Marchesi's pupils, even if I had not been 
informed of that fact before I heard her." 

Miss Manola's criticism was good, as far as the 
young woman she mentioned was concerned. 

'' When I left Marchesi," she said, " I went to 
England. My husband, Mr. Mould, known 
upon the stage as Carl Irving, had lost his 
money — what little he had — and I was obliged 
to do something there and then. All my hopes 
of grand opera had to be put aside. I was only 
too glad to take the first engagement I could 
get. It nearly broke my heart. I had such a 
very excellent opinion of my own ability, don't 
you know?" 

She smiled, a little bitterly, and I allowed her 
to proceed without interrupting her story. 

'* I accepted a position with Lingard and Van 
Biene's comic opera company, and was cast for 
an important part in * Falka.* I really was very 
lucky, though I did not think so at the time. 
Most girls have to serve an apprenticeship in the 



266 MARION MANOLA. 

chorus, or in very small parts, before they have 
any opportunity to really sing. I served no such 
apprenticeship. I was never in the chorus in 
my life. I made my first appearance with my 
husband in * Falka,' at Bath, and met with the 
approval of the management, though I was by 
no means an extraordinary success. Lingard 
and Van Biene wanted to make me sign a con- 
tract for five years. I needed the money that 
such an engagement would bring me, badly 
enough, but I could not sign such a contract. I 
was very unhappy. My comic opera surround- 
ings were very new to me and not particularly 
pleasant. Then I was miserable in England. As 
I told you, I had never been on the stage in my 
own country. I longed to get back to America. 
My husband was quite as anxious as I was to 
leave England. So we said good-bye to Albion, 
sailed for Uncle Sam's shores, with some very 
nice letters from our managers, and were fortu- 
nate enough to secure an engagement at the 

C* >> 
asmo. 



MARION MANOLA. 267 

Miss Manola, however, did not seem to have 
looked upon this as a piece of good fortune very 
long. 

*' I was not a success at the Casino," she 
declared, very emphatically. " I went to Chicago 
with the company, and the newspapers pitched 
into me so fiercely that I really wished I had 
never been born." 

The idea of Miss Marion reading adverse 
criticisms, her short hair standing on end, and 
the longing for death paling her face, was 
slightly amusing, and I could not repress a 
smile. She smiled, too. It was an experience 
not at all unpleasant to look back upon from the 
security of present success. 

'' I had no confidence in myself," she said. 
"That may sound strange to you, but it is a fact. 
I liked my own voice, but not as much as I did 
before I had made my first appearance. I have 
found that confidence is absolutely necessary to 
success, on the comic opera stage, at any rate. 



268 MARION MANOLA. 

If you feel that you are going to sing a part 
creditably, you will sing it creditably. If you 
predict failure, failure it will be. That has been 
my experience. I always say to myself now 
before I sing a new part, * Manola, that suits you 
admirably. You are going to make a great hit' 
Confidence is everything. Well, I felt I was 
such a failure at the Casino that I sent in my 
resignation to Mr. Aronson. I really hoped and 
half believed that it would not be accepted. But 
it was. Oh ! the blow to my pride ! when I 
knew that they were willing to lose me ! I could 
have fainted, so great was my anguish. The 
exalted opinion of my own ability that I had 
once held, was lost forever." 

Such blows to vanity are often the salt of life, 
spurring men and women on to greater efforts. 
But I did not say this to Miss Manola. I felt 
that she would not agree with me. After all, it 
is the kind of salt that w^e none of us want. 

" Then I joined the McCaull Opera Company, 



MARION MANOLA. 269 

with which organization 1 remained for four 
years — up to the present time in fact. I was 
very happy with this company. I had lovely 
parts to sing, and I believe I appeared in sixteen 
or seventeen operas. ' Boccaccio ' was the opera 
in which I felt I did best. The people were all 
very kind to me. I was completely at home." 

'' And your grand opera hopes ?" I suggested. 

" They are still with me," she said, laughing. 
" I still trust that the day will come when I can 
be MargMerite. I have not forgotten the golden 
pigtails and the white dress. I believe that my 
voice would suit the role very well. Grand 
opera, however, appears to have gone out of 
fashion, doesn't it ? It is a dreadful thing that 
such should be the case, is it not? But I think 
that it will be as popular as it once was before 
long. I do not regret my comic opera life. Not 
a bit of it. The financial inducements have 
been very great. Comic opera singers are very 
well paid, and as they nearly all of them want 



2/0 MARION MANOLA. 

money, they are generally satisfied with their 
lot. The excellent remuneration of the comic 
opera stage is a great thing in its favor, as far 
as we are concerned. One gets careless, how- 
ever, perpetually singing in comic opera. It 
does not give much scope to the voice. I like 
florid, difficult music, but this belongs very 
seldom to comic opera, so I have to reserve 
my florid, difficult efforts for my own personal 
edification." 

" You sing for your own amusement ?" 
" I am always singing," she replied. " I sing 
things that I think will improve my voice. I 
really love music." 

There was a piano in the room, and I half 
hoped that Miss Marion would trill something 
for my delectation. But I did not venture to 
suggest this to her, so she will probably be sur- 
prised when she learns that I craved a few notes. 
I felt, however, that if I stayed much longer that 
I should be unable to refrain from making the 



MARION MANOLA, 



271 



request. So I delicately led the conversation to 
the weather, and from the weather to the door 
there is but a short step. 





^mm 




Effie Ellsler. 

ITTLE Miss Effie Ellsler Is, in 
private life, Mrs. Frank Wes- 
ton. She is married to an ac- 
tor, who, in comparison with 
herself, is big and burly ; and 
it is his name that she assumes 
^ at all times except in the thea- 

Miss Ellsler is an unpretentious little lady, 
who goes quietly through the world, playing 
through the United States during the theatrical 
season, and spending the rest of the year with her 
mother. Such a theatrical family as it is, too ! 
First of all, there Is Miss Effie's father, John 
Ellsler, who Is still an actor of repute, generally 
a member of his daughter's company, but who 
has appeared with all the great stars, and who 

273 



tre 



2 74 



EFFIE ELLSLER. 



travelled with Joseph Jefferson through the South 
as his partner. Then there is Miss Effie's mo- 
ther, once an actress, known in her girlhood as 

Miss Murray, later as Mrs. 
Myers, and finally as Mrs. 
s Ellsler. Mr. and Mrs. Ells- 
ler met at Foster's Theatre 
in Philadelphia, and were 
married. Then there is 
Miss Annie Ellsler, who has 
also been on the stage, and 
who sings charmingly ; and 
goodness knows how many boy Ellslers. I have 
tried to count them, but I get fearfully " mixed " 
in the attempt. Whenever I see the Ellslers I 
always think of the song that used to be popular 
in London, and that rejoiced in this refrain : 

" We are a merry family, 
We are— we are— we are." 

I called upon Miss Effie Ellsler a short time 
ago at the Ashland House, where the family gen- 




EFFIE ELLSLER. 275 

erally stays. While I was waiting for Miss Effie, 
I heard the following little bit of conversation 
between Frank Weston and Miss Fannie Hur- 
lick, one of Miss Ellsler's friends : 

'* Oh," exclaimed Miss Hurlick, enthusiastical- 
ly, "your wife is a charming little thing, Mr. 
Weston. Such a sweet little lady ! I assure 
you that I am quite in love with her." 

"So am I," replied Mr. Weston, bowing. 
• That was of course very pretty. The hus 
bands of actresses as a rule generally parade their 
affection for — well, perhaps I had better not say 
it. It would be uncharitable. 

Little Miss Ellsler came in a moment later 
from rehearsal, looking as dainty as a spring 
flower, and as unruffled as a summer lake. She 
wore a dark green cloth dress, tailor-made (oh I 
of course tailor-made ! ) and a little impudent hat 
of the kind that the English call *' pork-pie." 
There was nothing conspicuous or in the least 
actress-y in her attire. Her manner was easy and 



276 EFFIE ELLSLER 

unconventional. I remarked as much to her, and 
she laughed. 

'*I have no eccentricities at all," she said. '' I 
am just plain, every-day Effie Ellsler. You never 
see. my name in the papers, except in connection 
with my stage work, do you } No, I am quite sure 
you don't. I never do things,— you know what I 
mean ! 1 don't know why it is, but I like to pass 
my life quietly, and when not on the stage devote 
myself to my family. The newspapers treat me 
beautifully, and I always flatter myself that I 
appeal to them on my merits. You would be 
astonished if I told you how few newspaper men 
I know. It is not because I do not wish to know 
them, but because — well, you understand — be., 
cause, as I said before, I am plain, every-day Effie 
Ellsler." 

Mrs. Weston smiled at her husband, but he 
was busy in conversation with a young actor who 
had just entered the parlor. 

*' My husband and I," she said, ''have not been 



EFFIE ELLSLER. 277 

separated for any length of time since we have 
been married. We met in the theatrical profes- 
sion, and we always appear together.- I believe 
with Mrs. Kendal, that actors should marry ac- 
tresses, and actresses should marry actors. I also 
think that if an actress marry a man who is not 
in the profession, she ought to leave the stage at 
once. It is her duty to her husband, and the 
only way in which she will be able to find married 
happiness. But, you know, I like to see a mar- 
ried couple on the stage. There used to be an 
absurd idea that an actress became uninteresting 
to the public as soon as she was married ; that 
people did not care to see her when she had a 
husband. That time has passed. Nay, I believe 
that people are positively attracted toward a mar- 
ried couple on the stage. It is nice to know that 
the clever actor and the talented actress who 
seem to be in such excellent accord are in reality 
husband and wife. Look at Mr. and Mrs. Ken- 
dal, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Florence, Mr. and Mrs. 



278 EFFIE ELLSLER. 

Barney Williams, and Miss Claxton and her hus- 
band. There are instances for you." 

Little Miss Ellsler became quite interested on 
the subject, and it was only by an effort that I 
could wean her from it, and lead to her stage 
career, of which I wanted to hear. 

*' Mine is such a thoroughly theatrical family," 
she said, ** that I can hardly speak of going upon 
the stage. I was really born into the theatrical 
profession. I think that I made my first appear- 
ance as the child in ' A Sea of Ice.' Then I 
played the child part in 'Ten Nights in a Bar- 
room,' and Eva in * Uncle Tom's Cabin.' Yes, I 
was one of the army of Evas with which the 
United States has been invaded. I had to do 
my little turn, of course. After I had played 
these baby roles, I went to school. My stage 
education began in the stock company of my 
father's theatre in Cleveland. I was pushed more 
rapidly than you can imagine. Very few people 
nowadays know that I was educated for the oper- 
atic stage." 



EFFIE ELLSLER. 279 

I didn't know it myself. Miss Ellsler surprised 
me. She laughed at my look of amazement. 

** Don't be so terribly astonished," she said. 
'* My career has been a very varied one. Yes, I 
made my first appearance on the operatic stage as 
Arline in 'The Bohemian Girl.' Then I sang in 
' Martha ' and * The Daughter of the Regiment.* 
I used to devote my time to singing in these 
operas, and playing such parts as Rosalind in 
* As You Like It,' and Portia in ' The Merchant 
of Venice.' A varied career.^ Yes, indeed. I 
have sung Josephine in ' Pinafore' one week, and 
played y^^/^^Z in ' Romeo and Juliet' shortly after- 
wards. I have appeared in 'Trial by Jury' and 
' Othello.' Don't you believe me when I say 
that my career has been varied ?" 

Again Miss Ellsler burst into merriment. I 
had known very little about her earlier life, be- 
fore she had made her appearance in the metrop- 
olis. 

*' I was to have gone abroad," she went on, *' to 



28o EFFIE ELLSLER. 

Study music. Mr. Hess, the manager of the 
opera company in which I sang, offered to make 
me his prima donna. But I was afraid of my 
voice. I had always thought that I was more 
fitted for a dramatic than an operatic Hfe. Some- 
how or other I beHeved that though I might be a 
very fair singer, I could never attain any great 
eminence. You see I know my own voice exact- 
ly, and dearly as I loved music, I thought it best 
to give up all idea of singing in opera." 

*' Then the time you devoted to comic opera, 
was really time lost," I said. 

It was not a very brilliant remark, but I felt 
that I had to say something to keep up my repu- 
tation. 

'' Not at all," remarked Miss Ellsler. '' A 
knowledge of music is a very great help to actors 
and actresses, even if they have no designs upon 
opera. Why, I have known actors who were 
absolutely unable to vary their tones as a stage 
manager instructed them to do. They would see 



EFFIE ELLSLER. 28 1 

no difference between the way he spoke the lines, 
and the way they spoke them. Their musical 
education had of course been neglected. Oh, 
no ! I do not look upon the time I devoted to 
comic opera as lost, by any means." 

I was silent, because I thought I might make 
another wrong suggestion if I spoke. 

" Before I came to New York," said Mrs. Wes- 
ton, " I had the pleasure of playing leading busi- 
ness with Edwin Booth, John McCullough, Law- 
rence Barrett and others. I first appeared in New 
York in ' Hazel Kirke,' at the Madison Square 
Theatre. It was intended that I should play the 
part of Dollyy but for business reasons I played 
the title role. Steele Mackaye was very pleased. 
He said that I had been sent to him. I became 
identified with the part of Hazel Kirke, I played 
it so much that my health broke down at last, and 
my doctor ordered me rest. But it is strange 
how thoroughly one becomes identified with a 
part. On the road my name was hardly remem- 



282 EFFIE ELLSLER. * 

bered, while that of the role I played was in all 
mouths. A lady in New Orleans was asked if 
she would like to meet Effie Ellsler. * Effie Ells- 
ler ! who's that 7 she demanded. She was told 
that it was Hazel Kirke, and was very anxious to 
know me." 

** Of course you dislike long runs ?" 
*' Indeed I do," replied Miss Ellsler, warmly. 
" I believe that they make people mechanical. 
It does an actor or an actress no good to be iden- 
tified with one part for a long time. Whatever 
he or she may do afterwards, critics will always 
find some traces of the long-played role in their 
work. Then we lose our interest in parts after a 
certain time — for actors and actresses are ex- 
tremely human, although the public is inclined to 
forget that occasionally — and, as soon as the in- 
terest is gone, the work becomes purely mechani- 
cal. Nothing is worse than a mechanical actor 
or actress." 

Miss Ellsler said that after she left '' Hazel 



. EFFIE ELLSLER. 283 

Kirke " she became a star, and has been starring 
ever since. Now starring is one of my pet sub- 
jects. It seems to me such a terrible thing that a 
talented actor and actress, who would be an ac- 
quisition in a city of culture and refinement, 
should elect to go barnstorming through the 
country, for the sake of being at the head of an 
organization, and in a play possessing one strong 
part for the star, and weak, pitiful roles for 
everybody else. I tried to say as little as possible 
on this subject to Miss EUsler. I have said a 
great deal about it at times, and written a great 
deal about it, too. But she understood me 
very quickly. 

''Nobody can say," she declared, "that I ap- 
pear in one-part plays. I do not believe that any 
true artist would do it. I am sure that I am 
anxious for every actor and actress in my compa- 
ny to get as much applause as possible. People 
require good performances ; they want to see 
every member of the company act well. Oh ! I 



284 EFFIE ELLSLER. 

assure you that the public wants the best of 
everything nowadays. Of course there are one- 
part plays, in which the star has everything, but 
I believe the time is coming when such plays will 
not be tolerated. It is mostly ' specialty ' people 
who are afraid of having good actors and ac- 
tresses in their companies. I would always rather 
have my audience leave the theatre and say that 
they have seen a thoroughly good performance, 
than find nothing to talk about but Effie Ellsler. 
There are too many of these specialty people. 
It seems to me that America s most important 
theatrical production is the Simon Puresoubrette. 
The legitimate soubrette has yet to come. Miss 
Annie Pixley is perhaps the nearest approach to 
her that we have." 

*• What kind of work do you prefer for your- 
self ?" I asked. 

*' I have no preference at all," replied Miss Ell- 
sler, **and I have found that actresses who have 
passed the greater part of their life on the stage 



EFFIE ELLSLER. 285 

always answer the question in that way. My 
schooling has been a very thorough one, and it 
enabled me to do everything — well, at least intel- 
ligently. Perhaps I may believe that I am more 
successful in emotional work, and in the finer 
comedy roles. But I really always try to avoid 
thinking this. I am an actress, and it is my duty 
to play anything. I told you that I had appeared 
in Shakespearian roles. Can you imagine a tiny 
little woman like me playing Rosalind ? I played 
all through the country in ' As You Like It,' and 
was very kindly received. Yes, I am very fond 
of Shakespeare, but people nowadays seem to 
hanker for modern plays, and pictures of every- 
day life. Shakespearian productions are not very^ 
successful. The public grows natural. The old 
stage methods and plays no longer find favor in 
the eyes of the people. I must say, however, 
that never has Shakespeare been better played 
than to-day. He becomes more human, if I may 
say so, in the hands of our actors and actresses. 



286 EFFIE ELLSLER. 

His heroes and heroines live with a life far dif- 
ferent to the stilted, stereotyped portrayals we 
used to see." 

Mr. Weston interrupted his wife's Interesting 
discourse at this point, and joined in the conver- 
sation. He is a bright, amiable fellow, with a 
keen eye for business. His career has been 
about as varied as that of his wife, and he has 
also sung in comic opera. He is an excellent 
actor, and his impersonations are always pictures 
of manly intelligence. 

Mr. Weston married into a very pleasant the- 
atrical family, when he became the husband of 
Miss Effie Ellsler, and he knows it. I am quite 
sure of that. 



Mrs. D. p. Bowers. 




ICTURE to yourself a dainty 
little parlor in the 
Sturtevant House, 
filled with the thou- 
sand and one trifles 
that are dear to 
the heart of woman, 
and pleasing to the eye of man. Imagine, in the 
centre of the pretty things, a sweet-faced, serious- 
looking lady, with bright, canary-like eyes, and a 
certain nervousness of manner that compels per- 
petual attention. That is what I saw when I called 
upon Mrs. D. P. Bowers, of whom Americans 
are always proud, and whose name will go down 
to posterity in the history of the American stage. 

Mrs. Bowers is seldom alone. She is generally 

287 



288 



MRS. D. P. BOWERS. 



surrounded by young people, in whose society 
she finds a great deal of pleasure. Her parlors 
in the Sturtevant are very frequently besieged. 

Amateurs with dramatic 
tastes, novices anxious 
for points, and friends 
desiring to hear what 
Mrs. Bowers has to say 
on the theatrical ques- 
ions of the day, are 
always on hand. Mrs. 
Bowers receives her vis- 
itors most charmingly. 
She is frequently assist- 
ed by her friend Miss 
Courtney Vale, a handsome lady with a com- 
manding presence, and a conversational finesse 
that is very attractive. 

I managed to induce Mrs. Bowers to talk about 
herself, which she is not very fond of doing, 
strange to say. When she had once begun, how- 
ever, her subject appeared to interest her. 




MRS. I). P. BOWERS. . 289 

*' The manner in which I came to go upon the 
stage," she said, " is not so very extraordinary. 
My brother, Mr. Crocker, was a member of a 
stock company in New York, and I used to goto 
see him act. It was my custom .to steal away at 
night, and get into the theatre. No member of 
my family ever knew I did this. It was my 
greatest pleasure. The plays I saw used to give 
me a kind of mental exaltation for which I could 
never account. After I had returned home I 
would go straight to my bed-room and recite. I 
bought plays and read them aloud, and they gave 
me more pleasure than any novel could possibly 
have done. The chairs made me a nice audience, 
— not an enthusiastic one by any means, but one 
that was politely attentive, and warranted not to 
interrupt." 

I remembered that many actresses upon whose 
careers " many moons " have beamed, have prob- 
ably had just such audiences, and not in their 
own private rooms, but in the theatres in which 
they were billed. 



290 MRS. D. P. BOWERS. 

" One day," continued Mrs. Bowers, " I man- 
aged to secure a very old drama, and learned by 
heart the leading role. I went over It most care- 
fully, and firmly impressed it upon my mind. 
Then I said to myself, ' Elizabeth, my dear, you 
shall go upon the stage. I will do all in my 
power to help you.' With this determination 
throbbing through my pulses, I set out for the 
house of an old stage-manager whom I knew — 
Thomas Barry, by name. He was having tea 
when I arrived, but, perfectly undaunted, I was 
shown into the dining-room, which was also the 
sitting-room and kitchen. 

** * What is it you want?' asked Mr. Barry. (I 
suppose that tea was rather interesting at that 
moment, and that I was not.) 

" ' I want to go upon the stage,' I replied with 
courage. He laughed. His wife looked at me 
strangely. She evidently thought that I was a 
queer, old-fashioned looking little thing, and so 
1 undoubtedly was. Mrs. Barry, however, asked 



MRS. D. P. BOWERS. 29 1 

her husband why he didn't try me to see what I 
could do. He thereupon asked me to read the 
part in the play which I had brought with me. I 
did this, and he dropped his fork to listen to me. 
When I had finished he rose and went to an old 
book-shelf, from which he drew a play entitled 
' A Child of Nature.' 

'* * Now, Miss Crocker,' he said, ' take that 
home, study the part I have marked, and on 
Wednesday come with it, letter-perfect, to the 
theatre.' 

" I was thoroughly happy. I walked home on 
air, said ne'er a word to anybody, but set to work 
and mastered the part. 

" Well, I went to the theatre at the stipulated 
time, and the first person I met there was my 
brother. We indulged in a little scene. He was 
disousted at me. I was deceitful and sly. I had 
very little to say, but I was perfectly determined 
that I would stay where I was. 

" Mr. Barry was very cross with me at first, but 



292 MRS. D. P. BOWERS. 

it wore off. When I had finished, he patted my 
head. The members of the company came up to 
me and spoke kindly, and the leading lady put 
her arms around me and kissed me. Leading 
ladies don't do that nowadays." 

Mrs. Bowers laughed. No, I was obliged to 
admit that leading ladies of the present time were 
by no means given to lavishing embraces on 
ambitious young novices. 

" I was cast for the part I had studied in * A 
Child of Nature,' " resumed Mrs. Bowers. '' My 
name, as you know, was Elizabeth Crocker, but 
I appeared merely as ' a young lady.' I made a 
success, and I attributed this to the fact that I 
had absolutely no fear of the public, and, for the 
matter of that, no fear of anybody in the world. 
I think that my first night's performance of that 
part was the best that I ever gave of it. I played 
that part for five weeks before my name ever 
appeared upon the programmes. After that I 
was cast for all kinds of business — boys, sou- 



MRS. D. P. BOWERS. 293 

brettes, and old women. There was nothing that 
I did not do, and it was a capital school for me. 
Finally, I became leading lady of the company. 
Then I went to Philadelphia, where I was known 
as a full-fledged leading lady. It was in Phila- 
delphia that I made my. hit as Lady Macbeth. I 
had a stock company of my own in that city. 
Philadelphia is very dear to me. It has one of 
the greenest spots in my memory. Socially and 
professionally, I was very happy when I was in 
the Quaker City. I always call it even now my 
home, though of course it isn't." 

Mrs. Bowers sighed, and was silent for a few 
minutes, which I spent in looking around the 
pretty, femininely decorated room. 

'' It was in Philadelphia," she went on, ** that I 
first met Mr. D. P. Bowers, who afterwards be- 
came my husband. He was a light comedian. 
I was very young when I married him. We had 
three children, who are living. When I am not 
at the Sturtevant House, and not acting, I am 



294 MI^S. D. p. BOWERS. 

generally visiting my married daughter, who lives 
in Washington. But — let me see — I am getting 
too domestic. Where was I ? " 

She thought for a second, and resumed the lost 
thread. 

" Later," she said, *' I went to London, and I 
shall never forget my English experience, which 
was a truly delightful one. I appeared at the 
Lyceum Theatre in ' Peep o' Day,' and played 
for four hundred nights. Of course I settled 
down for the time in England. I had a lovely 
little home in the suburbs, and used to receive 
my friends on Sunday nights. I met some of 
the most interesting people on the other side, and 
among them Charles Dickens. Then I was also 
introduced to the lady known to the novel-reading 
public as Ouida. I have heard many people des- 
cribe her as masculine and unkempt looking. I 
always thought she was particularly feminine. 
She dressed in the daintiest manner, and was 
very fond of woman's little adornments. She 



MRS. D. P. BOWERS. 295 

said some smart things, and was rather severe 
upon the men, which rather surprised me, for in 
her books it is always the women who fare badly, 
while the men appear as heroes. Millais, the 
artist, was also one of my acquaintances, but I 
was not greatly impressed with him. However, 
I suppose I ought not to be critical. I enjoyed 
myself very much in England, and took away 
many charming souvenirs. One of them was a 
signet ring, which is said to have been worn by 
Queen Elizabeth, and which I still possess." 

I glanced at Mrs. Bowers' hands, but the pre- 
cious ring did not encircle her finger. Perhaps, I 
reflected, she used it as a bit of stage property as 
Elizabeth. 

"After my London engagement," she said, "I 
returned to America, and started in on a starring 
tour, which really lasted for twenty years. I 
think I can truthfully say so. I have played all 
over the country. In those days we did not take 
an entire company >yith us. The star and the 



296 MRS. D. P. BOWERS. 

leading man did the travelling, and they were 
supported by the companies belonging to the the- 
atres at which they played. I think that my 
greatest successes have been as Elizabeth and 
Lady Audley. I made a thorough study of Eliz- 
abeth. I really felt I was the woman when I was 
on the stage. I have played with most of the 
well-known stars, — Forrest, Edwin Booth and 
Salvini. I was in the great production of 
' Othello' at the Metropolitan Opera House, as 
Emilia, My Shakespearian repertoire has also 
included Desdemonay Rosalind^ Lady Macbeth, 
Portia, and other roles." 

*' And your favorite role ?" I asked. 

" I love them all," she said. '* My career has 
been one that I can look back upon with pleas- 
ure, and it has been full of incidents. When 
I first appeared in California — I think it was in 
1868 — E. J. Buckley was in the cast. When I 
last appeared there, twenty years later, Mr. Buck- 
ley's daughter, a young woman, was with me. 



MRS. D. P. BOWERS. 297 

She was not born at the time of my first engage- 
ment there. It seemed so strange to me, and so 
pathetic, too. I remember that I made a speech 
upon that occasion, and I was deeply touched. 

**On one occasion in California I had quite an 
exciting experience. We used to play in the 
mining camps. One night after playing at 
one of the camps, I wanted to get to Denver, 
and could only do so by taking a stage coach. 
My husband was with me, and we had a great 
deal of money with us — several thousand dollars, 
beside valuable jewelry. Just before we started 
we heard that the coach was to be * held up,' but 
as it was only a vague sort of a rumor, we were 
willinor to doubt it. When we took our seats, we 
found to our dismay that we were the only pas- 
sengers in the coach. W^e concealed our money 
very neatly. It was stitched into our clothes. 
That ride I shall never forget as long as I live. 
It was wild and uncanny. The ground was un- 
even, and we were jolted in a most distressing 



298 MRS. D. P. BOWERS. 

manner. Suddenly the coach gave a lurch that 
t was impossible to withstand. We were thrown 
out. It was pitch dark, but for a moment only. 
When we arose, we saw three men with lanterns 
before us. One of them pinioned the driver. 
The other two devoted themselves to us. I was 
nearly frightened to death, and so was my hus- 
band. We were unarmed, and absolutely in the 
power of these villains. But an idea occurred to 
me, and it proved to be a brilliant one. These 
wretches were looking for Mrs. Bowers. How 
did they know her? Filled with this idea, I 
called out to my husband, ' If you had only con- 
sented to wait for Mrs. Bowers, we should not 
have been in this trouble. She is safe, and 

we ' 

" It was a happy thought of mine. The 
thieves, who had already wended their way into 
our pockets, and found nothing, seemed to be 
immediately struck with the force of my remark. 
With oaths, and murmurs of disgust, they finally 



MRS. D. P. BOWERS. 299 

told US to get back into the stage, and you can 
be quite sure the injunction was not disobeyed. 
When we arrived in Denver, I was ill from the 
excitement and worry. That awful night will 
never be forgotten by me." 

After the death of Mr. D. P. Bowers, Mrs. 
Bowers became the wife of James C. McCollom, 
who is now dead. By him she had no children. 
During the present season (1890) she has sup- 
ported Salvini in his farewell American tour. 

'• I am just as devoted to the stage as ever," 
she said. ** I live for it. When I am away from 
it I feel as if I must return. It is impossible for 
me to think of retirement. I always say that 
when I see the footlights I am like a war horse 
that scents battle;" 




„ „, c;ARONY. 



pDA I^EHAN. 




Ada Rehan. 

BELIEVE it was Pope who 
defined fame as "a fancied 
life in others' breath," — not 
that it matters much. Every 
one who thinks about such 
matters seems to have decided 
that the joys of fame are hol- 
low, unless they be linked with the more sub- 
stantial delights of life. The actor who, in his 
solitary room, reads of the pleasure that he con- 
fers upon hundreds of thousands, may be par- 
doned if, glancing round his silent chamber he 
wonders why no real pleasure is conferred upon 
him ; the author who sees his books in the 
market eagerly bought up, looks into the bar- 
ren reality of his life, and sighs at the will-o'-the- 
wisp-like quality of fame. 

301 



302 ADA RERAN. 

I am about to write a few lines on the subject 
of Miss Ada Rehan, an actress with whose 
stage life most of my readers must be tolerably 
familiar ; a woman whose talent has delighted 
the old world and the new. And I cannot 
repress the above thoughts when Rehan is in my 
mind. Her smile which the world sees, does 
not impress me. There always seems to me to 
be something wanting. 

This grand Rehan lives alone and undisturbed 
in a handsome flat in Thirty-ninth street. When 
she leaves the theatre at night, weary and 
broken, as are most of the hard-worked mem- 
bers of Mr. Daly's company, there are no home 
voices to cheer her ; no gentle, waiting women to 
distract her thoughts from the channels through 
which they run so persistently. She has a maid. 
She has servants. Her flat is luxuriously 
furnished. She is reported to own it, and all the 
other flats in the house. But she sees few 
friends ; her life outside of the theatre is a 



ADA REHAN. 



303 



blank. The charming qualities which Ada 
Rehan undoubtedly possesses are left either to 
rust or to be used in the fictitious life of the 
stage. To me, this seems eminently deplorable. 
Just the same as an author who lives for the 
creations of his mind must miss the primary 
objects of life, so must the actor and actress, too, 
completely enclosed in the pictures behind the 
footlights, parody the living, breathing man and 
woman they were intended to represent. 

Miss Rehan is the slave of Augustin Daly, 
and there is no use mincing words in saying so. 
Daly has made her a great actress. Without 
him she would probably have never been known, 
outside of the world of barnstormers. He 
recognized her talent ; he advanced her ; he 
made plays to fit her. She has amply repaid 
him. To the ambition which he implanted in 
her bosom, she has sacrificed her life. Yes, I 
say she has sacrificed her life, and I place all due 
emphasis on the sacrifice. The world is thank- 



304 ADA REHAN. 

ful for this. It has gained everything. In my 
opinion Ada Rehan Is the finest actress of her 
kind in the world. Beside her, Ellen Terry Is 
insignificant and almost pitiful ; compared with 
her Mme. Jane Hading is worthless. 

Wilson Barrett was discussing Ada Rehan a 
short time ago. Said he: "I have never seen 
anybody like her. I consider her a genius. It 
is so easy to detect, In the refinement of her 
work, the advantages of birth and education." 

That is exactly where Mr. Barrett and a great 
many others fall into grave error. Miss Rehan 
is a self-educated woman. She was born In 
Limerick, Ireland, and came to this country 
when very young, making her first appearance 
on the stage at the age of fifteen. A very good 
authority says that she first saw the light of day 
on the twenty-second day of April, 1859. 
Augustin Daly, however, has just made out a 
list setting forth the ages of celebrated people. 
The list is long. It has been cleverly made to ^ 



ADA REHAN. 



305 



end with the name of Ada Rehan, who, if it is to 
be believed, was born in i860. At any rate. 
Miss Rehan looks a great deal older than she is, 
and I don't wonder at it. If I were to tell you 
of the severity of the labor imposed by Mr. Daly 
upon his people, your hair would stand on end. 
As somebody has very justly said, he owns their 
souls and bodies. Not only does he undertake 
to regulate their conduct while in his theatre, 
but he permits his rules to haunt them when 
they have shaken the dust of his house from 
their feet. When they are tucked up in their 
little beds at night, he likes them to remember 
that they are still members of Daly's Theatre. 

Miss Rehan is not permitted to speak with 
newspaper men. None of Daly's people are 
allowed to do this. They are also prohibited 
from habitually walking on Broadway in the day- 
time, as it is the custom of many actors and 
actresses to do. 

Ada Rehan going to rehearsal is really a 



306 APA REHAN. 

remarkable sight. In the first place she dresses 
execrably. You have seen her on the stage, and 
have probably been fascinated by the beauty of 
her costumes. Do you imagine that they were 
her ideas? Not a bit of it. They emanated 
from the brain of Augustin Daly. He planned 
them, he gave them to the dressmaker, he saw 
that they hung gracefully. In the street Miss 
Rehan generally wears dark colors. Were she 
to permit herself the luxury of light shades, I am 
sure that we should see her in greens, yellows 
and pinks atrociously combined. Her walk is 
peculiar. It is hardly a walk. It is a slouch. 
She looks neither to the right nor to the left. 
While actresses far less known than Rehan can 
walk hardly a hundred yards on matutinal 
Broadway without having to bend their heads in 
recognition of a score of people, Miss Rehan is 
unmolested by acquaintances. She belongs to 
Daly's Theatre. Nobody disturbs her. 

I heard an actor one day talking of Rehan in 



ADA KKIIAN 



307 



her girlhood, before Daly had secured her ser- 
vices. She was then playing in a theatre in 
Albany, and he laughed as he remembered the 
raw, awkward girl, who seemed more suited to 
any work than that of the stage. She was 
accustomed to giggle, and she was fearfully 
ingenuous and refreshing. Miss Rehan played 
for two seasons at Mrs. Drew's Theatre in Phil- 
adelphia, before she came to Daly's. 

The only real pleasure in which Ada Rehan 
indulges is a visit paid every Sunday to her 
mother in Brooklyn. To this she looks forward 
with a great deal of pleasure. She has two 
sisters. Miss Hattie Russell, who a season ago 
played with Mrs. Langtry at the Fifth Avenue 
Theatre, and who resembles Miss Rehan a great 
deal ; and Mrs. Byron, wife of Oliver Doud 
Byron, the actor. Then she has a brother, 
Arthur Rehan, a genial, good-natured fellow, 
who manages what is known as Arthur Rehan's 
Comedy Company, playing out of town the 



3o8 ADA REHAN. 

pieces that Mr. Daly makes known to the 
metropolis. 

As an artist, Miss Rehan has overcome even 
the prejudices of Londoners. When she first 
visited England, the apparent affectation of her 
manner was censured. She is an acquired taste, 
like olives, and it is only lately that Miss Rehan 
has been accepted in London at her full worth. 
The London papers gushed ecstatically over her 
performance of Katherine in ** The Taming of 
the Shrew." 

New Yorkers simply adore Rehan. Every- 
thing she has done has been applauded. Among 
her principal successes are roles in '' Seven- 
Twenty-Eight," ''Needles and Pins," "The 
Country Girl," " The Squire," " Love on 
Crutches," ''Nancy and Company," "The 
Taming of the Shrew," "The Merry Wives of 
Windsor," and " As You Like It." 

Her Rosalind is a creditable piece of work. It 
is being played at the time of this writing. Still 



ADA REM AN. 



309 



it was something of a disappointment. It is by 
no means the best impersonation that Miss 
Rehan has given, and everybody seemed to 
think that her Rosalmd vfo\\\d be a surprise, an- 
other instance, I suppose, of realization falling 
short of anticipation. 

Many people have asked me if I thought that 
Miss Rehan knew how great an artist she was, 
her utter want of self-consciousness seeming to 
warrant the belief that she did not. I cannot 
help smiling at such refreshingly innocent ques- 
tions. Just as though any actor or actress that 
ever lived did not know exactly their standing 
with the public ! 

Miss Rehan, believe me, dear reader, charm- 
ing as she is upon the stage, and fascinating as 
she certainly can be off the boards, is by no 
means above the queer little feelings that agitate 
the profession. She was said to have been 
fearfully jealous of little Miss Edith King- 
don, now Mrs. George Gould. Miss King- 



3IO . ADA REHAN. 

don received some favorable notices in Paris, 
while Miss Rehan was comparatively unno- 
ticed. There was a regular '' rumpus," (if you 
will pardon the apparent slanginess of the ex- 
pression) in the Daly camp as soon as the 
notices had been digested. Miss Kingdon was 
treated rather cruelly, and Mr. Daly took imme- 
diate steps to prevent the recurrence of such a 
frightful catastrophe as the recognition of a 
member of his company who was not Ada 
Rehan. It was generally believed that Miss 
Kingdon's marriage with Mr. Gould was precipi- 
tated by the unpleasant results of her success in 
Paris. And Miss Ada Rehan was credited with 
being responsible for these unpleasant results. 



Georgie Drew BarryiMore. 




CANT resist the temptation of 
saying a few words about 
Mrs. Barry more, who has 
made theatre-goers through- 
out the country applaud her 
efforts, and whose presence 
in a cast generally means 
incessant laughter whenever she is upon the 
stage. She has recently " stabbed with laugh- 
ter " those who saw William H. Crane's play, 
"The Senator," at the Star Theatre. The 
role of Mrs. Hillary ^ which she assumed in 
this invigorating comedy, was perhaps one of the 
best efforts she ever made. Mrs. Barr>^morc. 
herself, looked upon it as one of the greatest 
opportunities she ever had. She certainly made 

the most of it. 

3" 



312 



GEORGIE DREW BARRY MORE. 



Mrs. Barrymore Is as amusing in private life 
as she is upon the stage. She is a typical Ameri- 
can, vivacious, entertaining and irresistible, and 
f^ . in her charming lit- 

tle flat in East 
Fifty-ninth street, 
she is one of the 
most accomplished 
hostesses imagina- 
ble. It is at her 
home that she pre- 
fers to be seen. I 
wanted a little talk 
with her about her 
stage career, and 
wrote asking when 
I should call. The followinor letter is character- 
istic : 

" Will you come up to our flat some night 
after the theatre, and take supper with Mr. 
Barrymore and myself? I think it will be so 




GEORGIK DREW BARRYMORE. 313 

much easier to talk, and you can do more in 
half-an-hour at that stage of the game with me 
than in s'teen interviews." 

The Barry mores have three lovely little chil- 
dren, of whom they are intensely proud. These 
children have been the tie that long separations 
and the distractions of vigorous stage life have 
been powerless to dissolve. If all husbands and 
wives, seeking their livelihoods upon the stage, 
had the same souvenirs of early married life, a 
pretty home like that possessed by Mr. and Mrs. 
Barrymore would be less unusual among dra- 
matic couples. 

If it is possible to be born dramatic, Georgie 
Drew must have thought of the green-room 
while she manipulated her nursing bottle ; she 
must have anticipated grease-paint when mam- 
ma powdered her baby face. She has been sur- 
rounded by actors and actresses from the 
moment she made her first appearance in the 
world ; she has lived among them ever since. 



314 GEORGIE DREW BARRYMORE. 

The Drew family is one of the landmarks of 
the American stage. Mrs. Barrymore's father was 
the descendant of a dramatic family, and was 
himself a clever actor. He was an Irishman, 
and came to America at an early age. He 
played his first important engagement in this 
city, at the Old Bowery Theatre, in 1845, appear- 
ing there as Dr. G Toole. He was an Irish 
comedian, and an interpreter of light comedy 
roles. Early in the fifties he became manager 
of the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia. He 
died in 1862 when Georgie was a child, leaving 
several children, among them John and Sidney. 

Mrs. Drew, the mother of this ultra-dramatic 
trio, is an actress whose praises it is unnecessary 
to sing. During the present season (1890) she 
is still acting in support of Messrs. Jefferson and 
Florence, though the "support" might come as 
easily from them as from Mrs. Drew. Her Mrs. 
Malaprop in "The Rivals" is simply a joy. 
Mrs. Drew is an Englishwoman, and played 



(;k()R(;ik dkkw ii\KmMr»HF. 315 

juvenile roles in England before she came to 
this country. She was first seen in America in 
1827, when she was nine years old, as the Duke 
of York to the Richard III, of the elder Booth. 
She is a stately and rather formidable old lady, 
inclined to dwell, with pardonable pride, upon 
the immense advantage of being " a Drew.' 
She is very proud of her children, and is gener- 
ally present at the first performance of. any play 
in which they appear, when her duties do not 
conflict with such an arrangement. She is ver)' 
frank in her criticisms, and if her children's work 
fails to meet with her approval, she is not at all 
slow in acquainting them with that fact. Mrs. 
Barrymore can only remember one occasion 
when her mother succumbed to emotion. She 
tells the story so funnily that I am almost 
ashamed to put it into cold print. 

A well-known actress of Mrs. Drew's com- 
pany, now one of the most popular women in 
New York, (Mrs. Barrymore did not mention 



3l6 GEORGIE DREW BARRYMORE. 



names, but I will tell you that I suspect it was 
Ada Rehan) was playing the part of an 
Indian girl. She had been ill, and the doctor 
had ordered her to shave her head, which she had 
done. Between the acts she sat in her dressing- 
room without her wig. Her head was white as 
snow ; her face as red as half-a-dozen roses, 
thanks to the grease-paint she had used rather 
profusely. Mrs. Barrymore was roaring with 
laughter at the remarkable spectacle she pre- 
sented. Mrs. Drew, indignant at the noise, 
appeared to quell it. She cast one glance at the 
hairless, painted maiden. The sight was too 
much for her. "Merciful Heavens !" she cried. 
Then she fled precipitately. 

Mrs. Barrymore's brothers are very popular 
in this city. John is a member of Mr. Daly's 
company. He first appeared under the charge 
of his mamma, of whose teaching the great 
Augustin Daly must have thought a great 
deal for he engaged from her theatre, John and 



GEORGIE DREW BARRVMORE. 317 

Georgie Drew, and Miss Ada Rehan. .Mrs. 
Barrymore's second brother, Sidney, is also a 
clever young actor. He redeemed a very bad 
play called " A Legal Wreck," from much of the 
contempt that it deserved. Mrs. Barrymore is 
very interested in her brothers, and justly so. 
They are clever young men, and owing to their 
mamma, their opportunities have been many 
and excellent. 

Mrs. Barrymore made her first appearance on 
the stage when she was seventeen^ years of age 
in ''The Ladies Battle." She played the youth- 
ful role, and her mother that of the countess. 
Mrs. Drew was not at all anxious that her chil- 
dren should appear upon the stage. Exactly 
why she should have objected to this is not 
known. I have generally found, however, that 
actors and actresses, even the most successsful 
of them, are very slow in recommending the 
stage to aspirants. John Drew appeared in 
direct opposition to his mother's wishes. Mrs. 



3l8 GEORGIE DREW BARRYMORE. 



Barrymore was suffered to appear under protest. 
But she met with success from the start, and 
vanquished her mother's objections. She has 
supported Edwin Booth, John McCullough, 
Lawrence Barrett, and a number of other cele- 
brated theatrical stars. Mrs. Barrymore now 
says that she thinks she can understand why her 
mother was desirous of her following any other 
career than that of the stage. The public ought 
to feel thankful that Mrs. Barrymore, like 
Katisha, had ** a will of her own." 

Mrs. Barrymore first met her husband, the 
well-known actor, Maurice Barrymore, while a 
member of Daly's company, in which organiza- 
tion he also held a position. Barrymore is a 
delightful fellow to meet. He is an English- 
man with a thorough education. He can talk 
on any subject, and he isn't a bit shoppy. He 
and his wife are on terms of complete " good-fel- 
lowship." 

I would like to bet, however, that the three 



GEORGIE I>KhW bAkkVMORE. 



319 



little Barry mores will never be seen upon the 
stage. I know nothing at all about it, but I am 
convinced that Papa Maurice would have a fit at 
the idea, while Mamma Georgie would indulge 
in the feminine equivalent — a nice swoon. 





Little Gertie Homan. 

HAVE had occasion to write 
a great deal upon the subject 
of stage children, whom I 
have always regarded as 
well-oiled little machines, 
speaking their lines and 
making their gesticulations 
in the manner prescribed by fond mammas 
and zealous stage-managers. I have always scout- 
ed the idea of these juvenile actors and actresses 
possessing inherently any of the dramatic "affla- 
tus." I have always wanted to scout this idea, 
for the notion of an infant, born, as it were, with 
the power to impersonate somebody else, before 
it has learned to interpret its own mission in Jife, 

is somewhat repulsive. I must confess, however, 

321 



322 



LITTLE GERTIE HOMAN. 



that I felt inclined (only inclined, mind you) to 
waver in my views after my visit to sweet little 
Gertie Homan the other day. This dainty little 
maiden, who made such an immense success in 

*' Partners," ''The Burg- 
lar," and '' Booties Baby" 
at the Madison Square 
Theatre, and in '' Little 
Lord Fauntleroy" out of 
town, is simply just as 
much of a surprise off, 
as upon the stage. 

Gertie lives with her 
homely, unpretentious 
parents in a neat flat at No. 452 Wythe avenue, 
Williamsburg, and it was there that I saw her a 
few mornings ago. The little maiden was waiting 
for me at the top of the stairs. Such a fragile, 
winsome little thing ! She wore a red dress, and 
her dark, fluffy hair made an ebon halo around 
her rather pallid face, which was lighted by a pair 
of the most lustrous eyes I have ever seen. 




LITTLE GEKili: II'.MW. 



323 



" Mr. Dale?" she queried, in a perfectly self- 
possessed manner, as she shook my hand (she 
isn't eight years old yet) and led the way into the 
room. 

I followed the child, and we entered a plainly 
furnished but tasteful little parlor. 

Gertie had a doll almost as large as herself in 
her arms, and she seemed to be extremely proud 
of it. 

" I have thirty dolls," she said gleefully. "Love 
them ? I just kiss them all day long when I am 
at liberty." 

At liberty ! The regular stage expression from 
the mouth of this mite ! 

I sat down opposite her, and she introduced 
me to her father, a gray-haired, amiable old man. 
whose tongue seemed to be singularly inactive. 
I wanted to hear something about this child, whom 
I have always admired, but I wondered how I 
could hear it from this silent papa. I did not 
imagine that the child herself would know how 
to tell her story. I made a very great mistake. 



324 LITTLE GERTIE HOMAN. 

"I'm not acting now," she said demurely, seem- 
ing to divine my embarrassment. "Mamma 
thought I needed a rest. I didn't. I am so fond 
of acting, and have hardly had a day idle In a 
year. It isn't work for me, Mr. Dale." 

She spoke with the assurance of a woman. I 
felt that my embarrassment was so ridiculous in 
the presence of this matter-of-fact young lady, 
that I made a great effort, and resolved to talk 
to her just as though she were full-fledged. 

" And you find no trouble in learning such 
long parts ?" 

'* Oh, none at all," with surprise, " I can learn 
a part in two days. I got ' Little Lord Faunt- 
leroy ' — let me see " (meditatively) "one Satur- 
day, and I had to play it the following week. 
That part, you know" (very solemnly) "is as 
long as ' Hamlet.' But my favorite part was the 
little girl in ' Partners.' I thought it very sweet 
and very sympathetic" (these were her own 
words, I assure you). " I had a great deal of cry- 
ing to do, and I liked it so much." 



LITTLE GKRTIE HOMAN. 325 

" She is very fond of stage crying," put in the 
father, with a fond glance at little Miss Pertness. 

" Then," she went on, not heeding papa s 
interruption, " I liked the part of Editfia in 
' The Burglar.' Editha was an awfully nice 
child — a cunning little thing, you know. In 
' Bootle's Baby,' Mignon was really very like 
myself — more like myself than any other 
parts I have played. So it wasn't at all diffi- 
cult." 

Miss Homan stroked her doll's flaxen hair 
with maternal hands, and sat bolt upright in her 
chair. She was evidently enjoying herself. I 
felt that if I didn't hurry on, she would interview 
me. I saw the desire in her eyes. 

'' Is Gertie your only daughter, Mr. Homan?" 
I asked. 

Gertie laughed. *' Papa had ten children," 
she said, before he could ailswer, " and I am the 
youngest. There are seven living. Come and 
see the picture of five of us taken together." 



326 LITTLE GERTIE ROMAN. 

Mr. Homan brought me the photograph in 
question. No wonder that he looked proudly 
upon it. Five comely girls in a group, and all 
his own daughters ! Gertie was among them, 
the prettiest of the lot. I believe that the mite 
knew this, too. Mrs. Homan and her daughter 
Lulu entered the room as I was lost in admira- 
tion of the pretty domestic photograph, Mrs. 
Homan is a foreigner, with a face not unlike 
that of Mme. Modjeska. She was born in 
Dresden, and educated in Paris. The coarse 
black dress, and the plain white apron she wore 
could not conceal her charming dignity, and the 
intrinsic refinement of her manner. I always 
think that the most delightful being on earth is 
a motherly mother. Such was Mrs. Homan. 
She beamed upon Gertie and upon Lulu, and it 
wasn't done for effect, either, as I was very quick 
to perceive. I have mixed too much with the- 
atrical people to be easily taken in. 

Mrs. Homan told me that she was a relative 



LITTLE GERTIE HOMAN. 327 

of Charles Schiller, a writer living in Paris. 
She had been in this country a number of years. 

"We settled in New Orleans," she said, "and 
it was there that Gertie, at the age of three 
years, recited for Sunday School entertainments. 
She made such a hit that a gentleman in New 
Orleans said to me, ' If you don't take that child, 
and put her on the stage, it will be a sin !' Ger- 
tie was born in New Orleans, within a half mile 
of where Jefferson Davis lived. Well, we came 
on to New York, and were lucky at the very 
beginning. The only trouble I seemed to find 
was that Gertie was too perfect for some of the 
juvenile parts — too perfect to be natural. But 
it was a very satisfactory fault, and it never 
stood in her way. She has never had one day's 
sickness. I have never had a doctor for her. 
She is a thoroughly healthy child." 

Gertie listened to her mother in a condescend- 
ing way. She had settled herself upon the lap 
of Miss Lulu, a pleasing girl of about seventeen 



328 LITTLE GERTIE HOMAN. 

years of age, who fondled her little sister as 
though she were a doll. 

" Gertie gets along so admirably with the 
people in the companies with which she plays," 
continued the fond mamma. 

*' I love Miss Burroughs, of the Madison 
Square," interrupted Gertie, eagerly. " She is 
so pretty, and so amiable. And as for young 
Mr. Salvini, I like him well enough to marry 
him. There, now !" 

Miss Lulu laughed reprovingly. 

" I have been advised to keep the child on the 
stage until she is thirteen years old," resumed 
Mrs. Homan. " I went to Mr. A. M. Palmer 
and asked for his advice. * By all means, Mrs. 
Homan,' said he. ' Keep her on the stage.' 
When she is thirteen, I intend to send her to 
Paris, and let her remain there until she is nine- 
teen." 

" Oh. dear !"— from Gertie. 

** I believe in giving her a thorough education. 



LITTLE GERTIE HOMAN. 329 

It is just as necessary, and even more necessary 
for the stage than for other walks in life." 

*' Do you teach Gertie her parts?" I asked. 

" Sometimes I, and sometimes Lulu," replied 
Mrs. Homan. "She is very quick to learn 
them." 

"Indeed she is," said Miss Lulu, "and she 
understands them, too. I say to her, * Now, 
Gertie, suppose you were that little girl. How 
would you say those words ?' She immediately 
answers, ' I would say them like this, or like 
that,' and she generally strikes the right method. 
I think that is the very best way to teach chil- 
dren. It is an appeal to themselves, and they 
rarely forget what they have been taught in a 
reasonable manner. Very often Gertie needs no 
instruction in gesticulation at all. It really 
seems to come quite naturally to her." 

" I don't like my child to leave New York," 
said Mrs. Homan, " but she has been obliged to 
go out of town with companies. Lulu traveled 



330 LITTLE GERTIE ROMAN. 

with her. Gertie got a weekly salary of eighty 
dollars, and all expenses paid. I put all her 
money aside for her education. Next season I 
think I shall travel with her myself." 

" Are any of your other daughters on the 
stage ?" I asked. 

*' No ; Lulu played a few nights in ' Bootle's 
Baby,' as Humpy, Mignons nurse. But my 
children, though not ypon the stage," she added 
proudly, " are all clever. Lulu has done a great 
deal of writing — " 

''Oh, mamma!" — from the bashful Lulu — 
" and one of my daughters draws and paints 
beautifully. All those pictures " (pointing to 
some very pretty sketches on the wall) "were 
done by her. I have a daughter who is cashier 
in a large clothing establishment. Oh ! I assure 
you that my children are clever. I call them 
my jewels. They are all I have." 

Mrs. Homan showed me a handsome book 
presented to Gertie by the members of the 



LITTLE GERTIE HOMAN. 33 1 

Madison Square Theatre company when Gertie 
left that organization. It contained the signa- 
tures of all the actors and actresses who had 
played with her. 

Then Gertie dragged me off to see her play- 
room, situated at the other end of the flat. 1 1 
was a large, light apartment. At one end was a 
bookcase, of the two lower shelves of which 
Gertie had made a doll's house. She had 
divided each shelf into two roomlets, which she 
had carpeted and furnished. 

Then she had a large kitchen, with a real 
stove in it. 

" See," she said, '' I can put on coal, and dump 
my fire, and rake it, and cook beautiful things." 

I was glad to see that she could be genuinely 
amused with the toys that please children of her 
age. Above her stove was a picture of little Miss 
Elsie Leslie, another child actress. 

"You like Miss Leslie?" I a ked. a little 
curiously. 



332 LITTLE GERTIE ROMAN. 

"I think she is beautiful," replied Gertie 
readily, ** I always keep her picture in my kitchen. 
I met her once at a reception given to stage 
children, and I fell in love with her. I have 
seen her act, and I think she acts splendidly." 

That sounded nice. I liked to hear it. I 
looked into the large, honest eyes of the child 
and could not doubt her possession of a sweet, 
lovable disposition, that contact with the stage 
had in no way harmed. I was charmed with the 
Homans — mother, father, Lulu and Gertie. 

** Are you going so soon ?" asked Gertie regret- 
fully, as I rose to leave. 

And I shouldn't have been human, if I had not 
liked her all the better for that little bit of inter- 
rogation. 




Lilly Post. 



ILLY POST is in private life 
Mrs. William H. Morton. 
Her husband was formerly 
manager of the Columbia 
Theatre in Chicago, and is a 
very energetic gentleman. It 
is rarely that a comic opera 
prima donna has a theatrical husband of such 
good standing as Mr. Morton. The husband of 
the prima donna is, as a rule, a gentleman with a 
superb scorn for hard work ; one of those amia- 
ble, fragrant creatures, who look upon "wifey" 
with admiring eyes, and are very glad indeed that 
she is so popular with the public. But Mr. Mor- 
ton is not one of those conjugal hangers-on. If 
Miss Post were to retire, I rather imagine that 
Mr. Morton would interpose no objections. 

333 



334 



LILLY POST. 



When I called upon Miss Post at the Hotel 
Vendome, she kept me waiting so long in the 
parlors of the hotel that I began to imagine that 
she was going to be very ceremonious. I am 

always suspicious of a 
doctor who permits a pa- 
tient to sit for hours in an 
ante-chamber, unless this 
doctor be somebody of 
national reputation. I 
would never pin my faith 
to a lawyer who adopts 
this policy, because I know 
it to be one of the tricks 
of the trade. With a 
comic opera singer or an 
actress, there is very fre. 
quently a tendency to affect the procession of 
callers, each waiting impatiently for his little 
five minutes. 

So I began to believe that I was not going to 




LILLY POST. 3|35 

like la Post. I had never met her, though I had 
frequently heard her sing, and admired that fresh, 
pure voice, which seems almost too good for a 
comic opera singer. Just as I was on the verge 
of the fidgets, a portiere was swept aside, and a 
lady with an extended hand stood before me. I 
at once recognized Miss Lilly Post, though I was 
bound to admit that it was difficult to do so. 
Mrs. W. H. Morton is a very different woman to 
Miss Lilly Post. The former is majestic and 
portly ; the latter arch and inclined to be kitten- 
ish. The matron is simple and rather timid ; the 
singer is vivacious and conspicuous. I no longer 
wondered at the delay to which I had been sub- 
jected. It was before noon, but Miss Post was 
absolutely resplendent. She wore a costume that 
nothing on earth could ever induce me to attempt 
to describe. It was brown in many shades, and 
it was bef rilled and befurbelowed, and bewilder- 
ing. Diamonds of purest ray serene glistened in 
Miss Post's dainty ears. 



336 LILLY POST. 

" I am sure I have nothing to say about my- 
self." began my fair hostess, with genuine modes- 
ty. "It is quite a new experience for me to talk 
about Miss Post. What is there to tell ? Really 
I do not know." 

I convinced the winsome Vum-Vum that her 
career was surely interesting, as is that of every 
woman who has succeeded — by which I do not 
mean to infer that those who have not discovered 
success could not be even more entertaining and 
instructive to the public. But people prefer to 
hear about success, because it generally means 
merit, though lack of success does not always 
signify want of merit. 

•* I was originally," she began, " a church sing- 
er. I used to lend my soprano tones regularly 
to church services in San Francisco, where I v/as 
bom, and I had no more intention of ever appear- 
ing before the public in comic opera than you 
have yourself at the present moment." (Miss 
Post could have used no more emphatic argu- 



LILLY POST. 337 

ment, as far as I was concerned.) " My appear- 
ance was purely accidental. I was one of the 
numerous * Pinafore ' debutantes. A single per- 
formance of 'this charming little opera was given, 
and the manager was hunting for a Josephine, 
My position as the church soprano was rather a 
prominent one, and he happened to think of me. 
He broached the subject to me, and though my 
people were fearfully opposed to any such thing, 
I consented to appear, and did appear as Jose- 
phine. After that I sang the role at the Bush 
Street Theatre in San Francisco with the Emily 
Melville company. That is how I happened to 
go upon the stage. Not a single member of my 
family had ever been theatrical. Indeed, my 
father was a very quiet, unassuming citizen of 
San Francisco, and in a bank in that city. Since 
I have been before the public, a younger brother 
emulated my example, and went upon the stage." 
Miss Post was beginning to see that she could 
be interesting. It is astonishing how appetizing- 
ly a career can be dished up, with a little care. 



338 LILLY 'POST. 

*' I came east with the Emily Melville com- 
pany," resumed Miss Post, "and when it was 
combined with the McCaull opera company, I 
was there at the consolidation. The organiza- 
tion was known as the * McCaull Comic Opera 
Company,' and with it I remained for six years. 
I sang in all the operas that McCaull pro- 
duced. Since I left the company I have been 
roaming around, so to speak. Of late I sang 
with the Henderson company in * The Gondo- 
liers,* and I am now with Mr. Duff. Yes, I like 
the life very much, but comic opera was not the 
goal of my ambition." 

Miss Post laughed, and I knew what was 
coming. 

" I had great thoughts of grand opera," she 
said, laughing, " I had a repertoire of ten operas. 
Think of that ! You know I have really worked 
very hard with my voice. I studied in Paris for 
a short time, and when I returned to this coun- 
tr\-. I continued to labor very assiduously. In 



LILI.V POST. . 339 

San Francisco I had the very best musical culti- 
vation that money could purchase. One of my 
teachers had been a pupil of the celebrated 
Mme. Marchesi in Paris. Have I given up all 
thoughts of grand opera? Well, perhaps I had 
better say that I have." 

Miss Post said this with such charming can- 
dor, and her manner was so unconventional and 
free from restraint, that I mentally begged her 
pardon, and wondered how I could possibly have 
dreamed of ceremony in her connection. 

*' I practice every day," said Miss Post, "and 
when you came, I was exercising my voice. 
That is why I am hoarse at the present time." 
(She wasn't.) "When I neglect practising, I 
never sing so well at night, as I have discovered 
to my cost. Opera singers should never go 
upon the stage unless they have previously gone 
over the scales. No matter how short the exer- 
cise may be, practice is absolutely necessar)'. If 
only ten minutes each day can be spared, those 



340 LILLY POST. 

ten minutes will be very valuable. I used to 
stay at a hotel where Herr Fischer, the German 
singer, whom you have undoubtedly heard at the 
Metropolitan Opera House, with his wife, used 
to occupy rooms directly beneath mine. Every 
morning I used to hear him arise, and before he 
could possibly have time to dress, he would go 
to the piano and run over the scales." 

I ventured to remark that, in Miss Post's 
place, I should have selected another part of the 
hotel. 

** But he was most considerate," she resumed, 
laughing. " He always sang pianissimo, and I 
was very much interested. What Fischer did 
was much better than all the absurd preparations 
and voice tonics that singers take before appear- 
ing upon the stage. I used to imagine that I 
couldn't possibly sing unless I drank a glass of 
sherry, or ate a raw ^gg. This is utter non- 
sense. Some people, I believe, even drink a 
glass of sweet oil, and this, it seems to me, is 



LILLY POST. 341 

really injurious. Oil will clog up the throat, 
unless the singer happens to have a cold Only 
in that case will it possibly prove beneficial. 
Just before appearing, the very best thing to do 
is to exercise the glottis. Teachers of profes- 
sional singers give them an exercise by which 
they can work the glottis without uttering a tone. 
just as pianists with a silent piano can exercise 
their fingers without producing a sound. Some- 
times I take a little bit of rock candy, and that 
is positively the extent of my vocal prepara- 
tions." 

'' You have never appeared in anything but 
comic opera ?" I asked. 

She smiled. 

*' I am a little ashamed to say," she replied, 
*' that I played in the burlesque extravaganza 
known as ' Bluebeard, Jr.' I was doing nothing, 
and I thought I might as well do this in Chi- 
cago. The costumes were lovely, and my role 
was a nice one, but I don't care to think about 



;^2 LILLY POST. 

it too much, you know. You may have discov- 
ered that I am just as ambitious now as I ever 
was. I thought, when I married Mr. Morton, 
that I would give up the stage, and settle down 
into a nice, quiet, domestic wife. I tried it, and 
I found" (Miss Post made a queer little wry 
mouth) "that I could not possibly give up my 
lovely stage. Life seemed too tame without it. 
There was no aim in anything. I might even 
have gone back to church singing, and made a 
great deal of money by it, too. But I had 
scented comic opera, and I had found it to be 
positively irresistible. There is something about 
the fascination of the stage that I am utterly 
unable to explain. I only know that it exists. 
What it is, and why it is, I have never been for- 
tunate enough to discover, though I have 
attempted to analyze myself and my motives. 
There is a something — a je-jie-sais-quoi, as the 
French say, that defies description Since we 
have been married, Mr. Morton and I have lived 



LILLY POST. 



343 



in Chicago. He tells me that there is a possi- 
bility of Denver in the future, and 1 rather dread 
the idea of it." 

Miss Post has sung a great deal in the comic 
operas of Gilbert and Sullivan. She is ex- 
tremely fond of Sir Arthur's music One of the 
roles upon which she looks favorably is that of 
Mabel in " The Pirates of Penzance," as she con- 
siders that in its florid music she has opportuni- 
ties for vocal efforts. She has lately been sing- 
ing the part of Yum-Yum in *' The Mikado" at 
the Broadway Theatre, and she is not at all fond 
of the part. Miss Post prides herself upon her 
high notes, and is never thoroughly happy unless 
she can bring them into play. She has all the 
physical development of the successful opera 
singer, and I think that she could very advan- 
tageously attempt roles of a more arduous nature 
than those with which she has been identified. 

Miss Post is no longer a pet of those connois- 
seurs of comic opera success, known as the gilded 



344 LILLY POST. 

youth. There was a time when the dear chap- 
pies used to drop in for an hour, don't you know, 
to hear the Post. That was at the time when 
she was singing in " The Black Hussar," with 
the McCaull Comic Opera company. • Since she 
became Mrs. Morton, Miss Post has been cruel 
enough to desert the metropolis, comparatively 
speaking, and to devote herself to the financially 
interesting, but by no means artistically appreci- 
ative West. Her interests, of course, are there. 
Miss Post's photographs are not at all kind to 
her. In fact, they treat her rather cruelly, 
accentuating the peculiar lines of her mouth, 
which is her least desirable feature. She is a 
very comely woman, with pretty light hair and 
eyes, and a clear white complexion. 




Photo bv SARQNY. 



CLLjBN ©bi^i^y. 



Ellen Terry. 

HE big steamship, Fulda, had 
just steamed into Quaran- 
tine with an unusually large 
freight of sea-weary passen- 
gers, who flocked to the rail 
that surrounded tlie deck 
and gazed eagerly at the 
signs of busy humanity, as a 
welcome picture relieving an ocean-tossed condi- 
tion of chaos. 

Hardly had the Fulda cast a temporary 
anchor, than a little yacht, upon which were a 
number of city people, including your humble 
servant, approached. A tall, lank being and his 
companion, a sunny-haired, smiling woman, were 
distinctly visible, uttering farewells to the Fulda's 

34 5 




346 



ELLEN TERRY. 



passengers, and preparing to descend a flight of 
steps leading from the imposing vessel to the 
comparatively ridiculous yacht. 

The lank individual was Henry Irving, stately 
even after his sea voyage ; classical after the 
utter prose of the transatlantic crossing. His 
companion was of course Miss Ellen Terry, as 
supremely charming as though she had just 
stepped from her London home. They were 
soon on board the yacht, regretfully watched by 
the less-welcomed passengers. 

Miss Terry became emotional as soon as we 
had started for the city. A tear or two lurked 
in her eyes, and she talked rather wistfully of 
home. I imagined that this was a little bit of 
affectation, devised to please the newspaper men, 
who were watching her every movement with 
lynx eyes. I was mistaken, and learned later 
that Miss Terry, in her private life, is as emo- 
tional as in any of the roles she is called upon to 
portray. 



ELLKN TEKRV. 



347 



That was the first glimpse I had of her — on 
board that little yacht. She talked very charm- 
ingly, but very informally, and when not thus 
engaged, devoted herself to her little daughter, 
Edith Wardell, who accompanied her. 

I say "little daughter." Perhaps, however, 
I am unnecessarily gallant. Miss Terry is one 
of the few actresses who ''make no bones" about 
telling their ages. While in this country, she 
celebrated her fortieth birthday, the year of her 
birth being 1848. So, under the circumstances, 
I will tell the truth, and say Edith Wardell, when 
I first saw her, was a great, big, awkward girl, with 
a rather incongruous assumption of juvenility. 
She was evidently very proud of " mamma," and 
rarely budged from her side. 

Miss Wardell is not at all pretty. She cer- 
tainly betrays little resemblance to her lovely 
mother, which induces the inference that 
Wardell, himself, could not have been a beauty. 
I believe he was an artist, and that he died 
recently. 



348 



ELLEN TERRY. 



Miss Terry always treats Irving with great 
respect. On one occasion, speaking of him to 
an American, she said : ''I look upon him as a 
god." In fact, there is a sort of mutual admira- 
tion society between these two artists. Irving 
never loses an opportunity of praising Miss 
Terry, and in nearly all his speeches allusions 
are made to **that charming actress, Miss Ellen 
Terr}', whom you have all admired." 

I had the felicity of accompanying Mr. Irving 
and Miss Terry to West Point when they played 
*' The Merchant of Venice," without scenery, at 
the Military Academy. It was an occasion I 
shall never forget, so completely different to the 
prosaic everydayness of things. I have seldom 
seen such genuine pleasure shown by a human 
being as that manifested by Ellen Terry. The 
applause of the cadets seemed to afford her the 
keenest delight. After the performance she 
held a little court of her own. She was literally 
an island surrounded by cadets. They asked 



ELLEN TERRV. 



349 



her questions, she answered them gladly, and if 
all those boys didn't melt beneath the warmth 
of those Terry smiles, lavished upon them with a 
reckless disregard of the adult visitors who were 
comparatively out in the cold — well, I am no 
judge. 

'' I hate to leave West Point," said Miss Terry. 
as she stepped into the sleigh that was waiting 
to convey the party from the academy to the 
railway station. "Those dear boys! That is 
the sweetest audience to which I have ever 
played." 

Miss Terry is something of a ** dowdy " in her 
attire, when not on the stage. I met her at 
some private theatricals given in aid of the 
Neighborhood Guild, and at which her daughter 
Edith played. I was rather astonished at her 
dress, which was of the style popularly known as 
" Susan's Sunday out." Let me see if I can 
recall it. She wore a dark green silk, as old- 
fashioned as the hills, and it was made in an 



350 ELLEN TERRY. 

ancient, unlovely style. In fact, if I recollect 
rightly, she wore a " panier," an article which I 
believe was the rage when Mr. and Mrs. Noah 
walked into the ark. 

But Miss Terry's sun-kissed tresses (though I 
am not at all sure that they are golden by means 
of the sun) and her clear-cut cameo face, called 
all glances very quickly away from her dress. 
With such personality, anybody could afford to 
disregard the sartorial question. 

I might here say that Miss Wardell certainly 
showed none of her mother's dramatic talent. I 
believe the occasion to which I have referred was 
the first time that the young girl had played a 
speaking part. She had appeared as witches 
and fairies in the production of " Faust." Miss 
Terry has a son, who was educated at Heid- 
elberg, and who has lately appeared with her in 
London, in '♦ The Dead Heart," at the Lyceum, 
if I am not mistaken. 

And now just a word about the career of this 



ELLEN TERRY. 351 

actress, who has defied criticism by her natural- 
ness, and absolute absence of all self-conscious- 
ness. She first appeared in 1856. That sounds 
fearfully long ago, doesn't it ? But I must hasten 
to remark that, at the time, Miss Terry was but 
eight years of age. She played the part of 
Mamilius in ** The Winter's Tale," at the time 
when Kean was managing the Princess Theatre, 
London. Two years later she appeared as 
Arthur, in what we now call " a great produc- 
tion " of "King John." 

It is a mistake to suppose that Miss Terry 
was unknown before Mr. Irving engaged her. 
She made a distinct success in 1863, when she 
appeared at the Haymarket Theatre with Soth- 
crn in ''The Little Treasure;" in 1867 as Rose 
de Beaurepaire in " The Double Marriage ; " and 
in 1874 as Susan Morton, in " It Is Never Too 
Late to Mend." Miss Terry, at the opening of 
the Lyceum Theatre by Henry Irving. Decem- 
ber 30, 1878, appeared as Ophelia to the Hamlet 



^^2 ELLEN TERRY. 

of Mr. Irving. She was certainly recognized as 
an artist of purest ray, and since that time 
nobody has been able to dethrone her. Ellen 
Terry is more natural on than off the stage, if I 
may be indulged with such a paradox. The effer- 
vescent girlishness, the spontaneous good-humor, 
and the delicate bits of '' business " that she intro- 
duces into her roles, are unrivalled in their excel- 
lence. In my opinion, she is at her best as Bea- 
trice in " Much Ado About Nothing." 





Clara Morris. 

HERE have been few ac- 
tresses who have been more 
discussed and analyzed in 
their day than Miss Clara 
Morris, the ** queen of emo- 
tion ;" few actresses have en 
joyed a more brilliant ana 
more successful day. If Miss 
Morris were to retire at the present time, she 
would do so in comparatively unrivalled glor\ 
The indications, however, are that she will pla 
herself into old age, struggle with those odious 
comparisons, which, miasma-like, are beginning to 
arise, and end in the sorrowful way made known 
by the great Ristori, who returned to America 
for a last tour, to ruin a perfect fortification of 

illusion. 

353 



254 CLARA MORRIS. 

Of one thing I am deeply regretful. It is that 
I never saw Clara Morris at her greatest ; when 
the American people raved about the sublimity 
of her emotional work and listened eagerly to 
countless stories of her studies in mad-houses, of 
her nocturnal visits to hospitals and dissecting 
rooms, and to various other little tales as profit- 
able as they were interesting. I saw Clara Morris 
within the last five years, and set her down as the 
" queen of spasms." The electrical effect of her 
work is undoubtedly as forcible as it ever was ; 
she can still thrill an audience with the absolute 
reality of her emotion ; the women can yet weep, 
as they look at Miss Morris' eyes, into w^hich the 
real wet tears well so genuinely, but save for these 
spasms, I must confess that Miss Morris was to 
me a grievous disappointment. In her quieter 
moments, she appeared crude and unrefined, and 
there were times when I could quite understand 
the feelings of those who portrayed her as " wild- 
ly western." 



CLARA MORRIS. 355 

But in spite of all her faults, Clara Morris is a 
case of genius, and her name in the annals of the 
American stage is luminous for all time. 

Miss Morris has won her fame amid obstacles 
that in the present state of the drama, when 
pretty faces and handsome forms are looked upon 
as unquestioned passports to success, would seem 
unconquerable. She has a face that is far. from 
beautiful, and a figure that is gaunt and unlovely. 
I always think of Gilbert and that " left shoulder 
blade, which is a miracle of loveliness," when I see 
Clara Morris. I do hope that she possesses this 
boon, even if we are never to know the truth for 
ourselves. She looks like a thoroughly healthy. 
robust woman, and it requires the most vivid im- 
agination to give credence to the stories of her 
ineffably exhausted state, her broken nerves, her 
need of drugs, and other requirements. 

It would be awful to believe that so great an 
artist would have recourse to feeble fictioa 
When, however, one sits for half an hour in utter 



2^6 CLARA MORRIS. 

impatience between every act of a performance, 
to be told that Miss Morris' nerves need attend- 
ing to, the inner self talks unkindly. 

Actresses, strange to say, love to give the im- 
pression that they feel the griefs they portray so 
intensely, that it affects their domestic life. Sarah 
Bernhardt would have a fit if you dared to sug- 
gest health to her. Only the other day I read of 
her intense suffering, during which she sat up in 
bed, in a white satin night-gown, her hair in pic- 
turesque confusion, and her room filled with art- 
ists, who took turns sitting by her bedside. Think 
of the intense suffering that will permit such ob- 
trusive idiocy ; picture the tortured frame in the 
white satin frills, or the throbbing head with the 
Psyche knot ! 

Miss Clara Morris is very much in this style. 
When a newspaper man asks her if she is well, 
this is a specimen reply : 

•"Well, did you say? Yes, for me; but not 
perfectly well. I never expect to be that in this 



CLARA MORRIS. 



357 



world. Perhaps when I get to a bciu-r. with a 
good many other people, I may enjoy perfect 
health for the first time." 

Now, Miss Morris is one of those women who 
thoroughly enjoy this wicked world. Why it 
should make her ill, I can't make out. She has a 
devoted husband, F. C. Harriott, and a lovely 
home at Riverdale-on-the- Hudson. When she is 
not acting, she is placidly enjoying herself. She 
is an accomplished equestrienne, and is a well- 
known figure, on horseback, in the leafy lanes of 
Riverdale. Supreme health seems to hover 
around her. Isn't it funny that these stage peo- 
ple can't be absolutely natural off the stage ? Is 
it not equally ludicrous that perfect health, God s 
most lovely gift, should be looked upon as unro- 
mantic, prosaic, detrimental to success? Our 
consumptive Sarah, and our nerve-racked Clara 
are peculiar instances of those idols the people 
love to worship. Sarah's tuberculosis is a dainty 
little recognition of the requirements of her sup. 



2^8 CLARA MORRIS. 

porters ; Clara's nerves have made a fortune all 
by themselves. 

Miss Morris was born at Morristown, Canada, 
in 1848, and began her stage career in Cleveland, 
in 1862. 

'• I was living in Cleveland," said Miss Morris, 
*' and there boarded in the same house with my 
mother, a Mrs. Bradshaw, an actress, and her 
daughter Blanche. John Ellsler produced 'The 
Seven Ravens,' and Blanche had a place in the 
ballet. She worried my mother to let me join 
her, and made my mother's life miserable until 
she gained her consent. Blanche took me down 
to the theatre, but Mr. Ellsler said I was too lit- 
tle, and that unless he could find somebody to 
inarch with me, he could not give me a place. I 
burst into tears. John Ellsler seemed to be sorry 
for me. He patted me on the head, and told me 
to come to the theatre. He secured an old-fash- 
ioned little woman to walk with me, and every- 
thing went well. I appeared as a fairy, and a 



CLARA MORRIS. 



359 



very strange fairy I looked. After that 1 was a 
zouave, and went on the stage in boy's clothes. 
Blanche and I used to chew gum, and it didn't 
seem to interfere with our acting. * The Seven 
Ravens ' ran for two weeks, and my salary was 
$3 per week. Mr. Ellsler asked me if I would 
remain with him the following season. My mo- 
ther refused his request at first, but finally gave 
her consent, saying that I might as well do this 
as anything else. That is how I came to go upon 
the stage." 

Miss Morris lived in Cleveland for a number 
of years, and appeared in Buffalo in i866. She 
also played in Cincinnati, where for one season 
she occupied the position of leading lady, at a 
salary of $35 per week. She supported her mo- 
ther, and, as may be imagined, was not able to 
enjoy a very luxurious life. Her local reputation 
as an actress was excellent, but actresses don't 
care very much for local reputations, unless the 
locality be the metropolis. Miss Morris, how- 



360 CLARA MORRIS. 

ever, received some very good offers, one from 
Augustin Daly, of New York city. She packed 
up her trunk, bade a temporary good-bye to her 
mother, and set out for the metropolis, at her 
own expense. 

When Miss Morris first came to New York, 
she had in her pocket a contract with Mr. 
Maguire, of California. He pledged himself to 
give her $100 per week " in gold," two benefits, 
and the right to choose her own parts as leading 
lady. But Miss Morris sighed for New York ; 
it was the Mecca of her hopes. She had but 
two dresses in the world, and a very meagre stage 
wardrobe. She possessed none of those sartorial 
'* dreams " that actresses of the present day seem 
to consider as necessary as dramatic talent. 
Talking of dresses reminds me that on one occa- 
sion I had to criticise a feminine star who was 
playing the part of a governess. To my aston- 
ishment, she appeared in the most gorgeous 
gowns, Worth-made and exceedingly costly. I 



CLARA MORRIS. 36 1 

mentioned the Incongruity of a governess don- 
ning such garbs. This was her reply : 

" I know they are gorgeous, but if I appear 
out of town in cheap clothes, people will say that 
I am not a success, and am unable to wear 
startling dresses. I have got to make an 
* appearance.' " 

This, by-the-way, of course. 

Miss Morris describes her own appearance 
when she presented herself before the austere 
Augustin Daly for the first time, as follows : 

" Mr. Daly had been accustomed to the mag- 
nificence of Miss Morant, Fanny Davenport, 
Agnes Ethel, and others of his splendid stock 
company. He looked down upon my five feet 
three inches, clad in a rusty linen gown, and 
carrying a satchel. He shrugged his shoulders, 
and there was doubt expressed in every line of 
his face. He engaged me to play any part save 
that of soubrette and general utility. My salary 
was to be $40 per week, with the understanding 



362 CLARA MORRIS. 

that if I made a distinct hit, it was to be doubled. 
Upon this sum I was to live, support my 
mother, and buy my stage dresses." 

Miss Morris declares that when she had 
brought her mother to New York, and settled 
down, she had not one dollar to her credit. 
Mother and daughter were so cramped for 
means, that meat once a day was a luxury. The 
young actress was often so weak at rehearsal, 
that she was unable to do herself justice. Her 
mother used to ask if she would have her chops 
to rehearse upon or to act upon. Miss Morris 
often used to think that in those days Daly was 
convinced that she would make a fearful fiasco. 
She suffered very acutely herself. Her stage 
wardrobe was no use at all for the modern society 
plays in which she was called to appear, while the 
tortures of shabbiness were felt when she minorled 
at rehearsal with the beautifully dressed women 
of the company. 

Miss Morris met with her first metropolitan 



CLARA MORRIS. 363 

triumph through the usual accidents. In theatri- 
cal life, accidents are very frequently blessings. 
Mr. Daly was to present ** Man and Wife," a 
dramatization of Wilkie Collins' famous novel. 
Miss Agnes Ethel was cast for the part of Anne 
Sylvester; Miss Morris was to appear as Blanche, 
a comparatively insignificant role. At the last 
moment Miss Ethel refused to act, with the 
charming caprice of the successful actress. Miss 
Morris received the part, and was told that she 
would be required to play Anne Sylvester that 
night. She did so unhesitatingly. It is in just 
this way that dramatic reputations are made. Her 
Anne Sylvester was a triumph. She was called 
five times before the curtain on the opening 
night. Her metropolitan reputation was estab- 
lished. 

Miss Morris has made her principal successes 
as Camille, as Mercy Merrick in "The New 
Magdalen," as Cora in "Article 47." as Alixe 
and as Renie de Moray, 



364 CLARA MORRIS. 

Her Camille has always attracted a great deal 
of attention. The death scene is a wonderful 
piece of work. Miss Morris has always disliked 
the part, and declares that she never really 
intended to play it. She first appeared as 
Dumas' consumptive heroine very unwillingly. 
She had just returned to New York after a long 
absence, to find that the theatres had decided 
upon giving an entertainment for the benefit of 
the poor. The winter had been a hard one, and 
the distress in New York, in the tenement dis- 
tricts, had been very great. Miss Morris con- 
sented to appear, and a list of parts was given to 
her to select from. It was headed by Camille, 
through which she immediately drew a pencil. 
Her wish was disregarded. A couple of days 
before the performance she found that she must 
appear as Camille, or remain out of the pro- 
gramme. 

Miss Morris made the best of matters, and 
studied the objectionable role. There was but 



CLAKA MUkKlS. 365 

-one rehearsal, and Frank Mayo, well known now 
in connection with "Nordeck" and "Davy 
Crockett," was the Armand Duval, The fateful 
night arrived, as fateful nights have a way' of 
doing. Miss Morris selected her dresses with a 
great deal of care. Her manager was having 
scenery painted for a new French play that he 
was to produce. It was never produced. 
"Camille" was a gigantic success, and Mi>^ 
Morris found the part foisted upon her. 

She then made it a special study. " I learned 
from my physician," she said upon one occasion, 
*' that there are two coughs peculiar to lingering 
consumption. One of them is a little hacking 
cough that interferes with the speech, and injures 
the throat ; the other is a paroxysm brought on 
by extra exertion. I chose the paroxysm, and 
introduced it in the first scene, after I have been 
dancing. Camille says at one time that all pain 
is gone. My doctor told me that this was on 



366 CLARA MORRIS. 

account of entire loss of the lungs. He cautioned 
me against saying much after that, and told me 
that the tubes of the throat could be used for a 
few words. I studied Camille in this manner, 
and not in the coarse way that has been attrib- 
uted to me." 

A great deal of nonsense has been written 
on the subject of Miss Morris' ideas. Probably 
but very little of it emanated from the artist 
herself. The St. Louis Post Despatch printed 
a very interesting account of Miss Morris' views 
on emotion, and as her manager has had the 
talk printed for circulation, it is worth giving in 
part: 

"You cannot affect other people except by 
feeling yourself," she said. "You must feel, or 
all the pretty and pathetic language in the world 
won't make people sympathize with you. You 
must cry yourself, and tears alone won't do it. 
There must be tears in your voice, in order to 



CLARA MORRIS. 367 

bring them forth from other people. Before I 
appear on the stage, I am in a nervous tremor. 
all because I am afraid that I shan't cry in the 
play. I spend an hour or two with my company, 
making just as much fun as I possibly can, so as 
to get all the laughter out of me. Then I shut 
myself up, and work up an artificial agony. 1 > 
do this, I think of some sad incident, or read a 
sad story. One of Bret Harte's books supplied 
me with emotion for two years. 

" I get the story fixed in my mind, and 
dwell upon the most pathetic incident in it until 
my feelings are completely aroused. Then I cr)\ 
and the whole thing is done. I have to look 
out for the other danger, and keep from being 
overcome. All the false sobs in the world will 
never take the place of real emotion. There 
must be real tears in eyes or voice. This is very 
hard on the eyes, of course. Mine are sometimes 
so inflamed that I can scarcely use them. We 



368 CLARA MORRIS. 

cannot play emotional scenes as they were 
formerly played. It used to be that there was 
only one way of dying on the stage. All that 
has been changed." 

Clara Morris is an ardent admirer of Sarah 
Bernhardt. "Her Camille is perfect," she said 
on one occasion. " She has a wonderful voice, 
that thrills her audiences, but she does not make 
you cry. She is a supreme artist. I went to see 
her in 'Adrienne Lecouvreur,* and w^as begin- 
ning to be deeply moved. But the crisis came 
too quickly. The large audience was waiting 
in pained expectancy. I leaned forward and 
listened. Every word fell upon my ear. I 
was harrowing rapidly, when — she cleared 
her throat. The spell was broken. Noth- 
ing could move the audience. Too much 
nature is unpardonable; too much art is 
death." 

Miss Morris is frequently asked whether she 



CLARA MORRIS. 369 

loses her own identity in the character she plays. 
Here is a story she tells : 

" Once, in New York, when a number of us 
were at dinner, Mr. Stuart, one of the party, 
asked me the same thing. I told him to wait 
until after the play, and he would see if I lost 
myself in my role. We were very merry at din- 
ner — you know I can be merry — and when it was 
over, Stuart, who had been laughing uproarious- 
ly, said, ' You needn't think you can make me 
cry to-night, after seeing your mirth at this table 1' 
Well, we went to the theatre. The play was 
' Miss Multon.' It has a very strong climax. 
The scene is very forcible. It is brought to a 
close by Miss Multon casting herself, or rather 
falling upon the floor, very nearly in convulsions. 
I fell down as usual. I felt the part ver>^ acutely. 
My heart was beating violently, and I was 
red with excitement. As I lay there, I hap- 
pened to look at the box overhead. There I 



370 CLARA MORRIS. 

saw Stuart. Even in my anguish, I recognized 
him. 

"His nose was red from excessive weeping, 
and 1 could distinctly see the tears tracing them- 
selves down his cheeks. I caught his eye, and — 
yes, I will say it — ^gave him a very decided wink. 
He was furious, and made some remark. The 
audience hissed him, and he went quietly to 
the back of the box. He has always declared 
that he would never forgive me for that 
wink." 

Miss Morris says that it is dangerous to be too 
sympathetic. Nature must be tempered with art. 
" I must cry in my emotional roles, and feel 
enough to cry ; but I must not cry enough to 
mumble my words, to redden my nose, or to be- 
come hysterical." 

Although the actress relies very little upon the 
attractions of her person, she does not despise 
dress. She thinks that good clothes have a great 



CLARA MORRIS. 37 



deal to do with a part, and she is decidedly cor- 
rect. Miss Morris, however, deals very artisti- 
cally with this question. Her motto is not 
** Worth; encore Worth; toujotirs Worth." On 
one occasion, in the days to which I have before 
referred, when her stage wardrobe was decidedly 
meagre, her waiting-maid appeared in a pink silk 
dress, with lace and diamonds. Miss Morris has 
never forgotten that. The maid entirely eclipsed 
the mistress. 

Many a maid nowadays would be willing to do 
the same thing. The question of dress is far too 
forcibly emphasized. Women who are known 
to dress well stand far better chances of engage- 
ment than those who are not. And it is the 
same with the men. Visit the dramatic agencies. 
and you will always hear the same thing : ** He is 
a good dresser "; or " He has an excellent ward- 
robe." Very few stars appear in plays that give 
them no opportunity to " dress." Of course, I do 



372 CLARA MORRIS. 

not include the Shakespearian actresses. Even 
playwrights have become aware of the fact that 
plays without a drawing-room scene, or a recep- 
tion incident where costumes can be as extrava- 
gant as possible, are unwelcome. 

Miss Morris can discuss the question of dress 
as readily as she can those connected with the 
more important questions of theatrical interests. 
She has read a great deal, and has digested all 
that she has read. She studies intricacies very 
carefully, and does not cast them aside as unnec- 
essary, as many less worthy actresses are inclined 
to do. The greater the artist, the more willing 
will he or she be to clutch at every possible hint 
that may be given. 

Miss Morris is always extremely interesting. 
She understands her profession from its alpha 
to omega, and is always willing to talk. She 
has been frequently misrepresented, but it has 
done her little harm. As I said before, her name 



CLARA MORRIS. 



373 



in the annals of the American stage is luminous 
for all time. She should, however, not abide 
with us until her greatness has become a 
memory. 







»- ^^=' --■:;;_»it^ 




RosiNA Yokes. 

CCUPYING a nice little place 
all by herself on the American 
stage, her particular line being 
refined comedy, is Miss Rosina 
Yokes. She is a charming lit- 
tle lady, as sprightly and amus- 
ing in private life, where she is 
known as Mrs. Cecil Clay, as she is behind the 
footlights. 

Miss Yokes was the daughter of a London 
costumer, who did a little for Queen Victoria's 
realms in the way of supplying them with popu- 
lation. Jessie, Yictoria, Fred and Rosina were 
all Yokes', very much of an age, and all drama- 
tic. When managers wanted a child for a play 

to be produced, they used to go to Mr. Yokes. 

375 



3/6 



ROSINA YOKES. 



** Have you a child of the necessary age ?" 
they would ask. 

The proud father would promptly reply : 
" I have a child of any age." 
^gr" j " I commenced my 

f ^ J stage career," said 

J^ttitS^L. M Miss Yokes, *' at the 

age of three. Per- 
haps I had better say 
that I was born in 
London, October i8, 
1858; witness the 
family Bible, in which 
the following remark- 
able entry occurs : 
'Rosina Theodosia, third daughter of Fred- 
erick Mortimer Stratford Yokes, and Sarah 
his wife.* I was carried on the stage by Mr. 
Creswick, the eminent English actor. (I don't 
mean that he was eminent because he carried me 
on, but eminent on his own account.) He carried 




ROSINA YOKES. 



377 



me round his neck, whilst he fought a broad-sword 
contest with seven villains. I nearly ended the 
eminent actor's eminent career then and there by 
hanging on to his wind-pipe with ten small but pen- 
etrating fingers. My sister Jessie played all the 
classical juveniles at the Drury Lane Theatre. 
The mantle and the rest of the costume descended 
successively on Victoria and myself. We 
branched out as the Yokes children in Scotland, 
and afterwards as the Yokes family, making our 
first appearance in London in 1870, with the 
Drury Lane pantomime. We first appeared in 
America at the Union Square Theatre in the 
spring of 1872, in ' The Belles of the Kitchen/ 
and played in this country the best part of five 
seasons, going back each Christmas for the panto- 
mime at the Drury Lane Theatre. I left the stage 
in 1877, and when I returned to this country. 
eight years afterwards, it was with the very dif- 
ferent style of plays that we are now presenting. 
I believed that there was room for some such 



378 ROSINA VOKES. 

light and unpretentious, but refined entertain- 
ment, and have every reason to be deh'ghted with. 
and grateful for our reception in all quarters." 

Miss Voices and her husband spend the greater 
part of their time in this country. They occupy 
a pleasant little flat in Fifth avenue, and vary 
flat life with a short sojourn at the St. James 
Hotel. They travel all over the country, always 
closing their season in New York. Then they 
go to England for the summer. Mr. Clay has a 
house in London which is always rented during 
his absence here, and a little country place in 
Devonshire. It is to the Devonshire retreat that 
Miss Voices always flies as soon as she gets to 
England. 

" We might as well stay in New York as in 
London," says Mr. Clay, "barring the humid- 
ity." 

Miss Vokes is delightfully domesticated. When 
she is off the stage she forgets all business cares. 
<;ho is not what the members of the theatrical 



ROSIN A VOKKS. ^yg 

profession call ♦' shoppy." In fact she can rarely 
be induced to talk of the theatre at all, and as a 
rule it is Mr. Clay to whom she refers all visitors. 
She lives very quietly indeed, and is not in the 
least eccentric. 

Miss Yokes is a hard worker. She directs all 
rehearsals of plays in which she is to appear, 
making suggestions from start to finish. Some- 
times she produces little comedies, in which her 
leading actors appear, and in those cases she re- 
lies upon the actors themselves, believing that 
this is the wisest policy, when she can afford 
to do so. Her great anxiety is that ever}' 
member of her company shall have a chance. 
She is one of the most unselfish "stars" that 
I have ever met. She does not believe in 
'' one-part " plays, and makes it a point to 
secure comedies that do not rely entirely for 
success upon her own bright individuality. '* A 
thoroughly good performance all round ** is the 
criticism that is most pleasing to Miss V^okes. 



380 ROSINA YOKES. 

Mr. and Mrs. Clay read about eight hundred 
plays each year. They are deluged with the ef- 
forts of young playwrights, who think it an easy 
matter to write one-act comedies like those pro- 
duced by Miss Yokes. But it is a case of the 
survival only of the fittest. 

*' We read everything," said Mr. Clay, as we 
chatted together one afternoon in the lobby of 
the St James. " I think it was Talleyrand who 
remarked that he saw every caller for fear he 
might miss the man he had been waiting to meet 
for twenty years. That is our idea. If we did 
not read all the manuscripts submitted to us, we 
might lose our greatest chance. We have at the 
present time a great many more plays, accepted 
and paid for, than we shall be able to produce." 

In studying a part the very last thing Miss 
Yokes does is to learn the lines. She knows all 
the points of the play, and the smallest details 
of the role she is to play, before she has com- 
mitted to memory a single word. She has com- 



ROSINA YOKES. 381 

pletely realized the character before she is able 
to rehearse it. The songs she introduces 
very carefully selected, and on no occasion arc 
they ever completely irrelevant to the play. 

After Miss Yokes* retirement from the stage, 
she used to appear in private theatricals. On 
one occasion she was a member of an amateur 
company from which great things were expected. 
Sir Charles Young and a number of other well- 
known people were in the cast. There was some 
difficulty, and Miss Yokes found herself left with 
these people, all their plans having evaporated 
She made contracts with them ; the organization 
was too good a one to lose. She made the com- 
pany her own, and returned to the stage. 

Hundreds of young girls apply to Miss \'okes 
each year for ''advice," and she is always ready 
to give the best she can. She says that she 
would like to engage them all, but that of course 
would be impossible, especially as some of them 
have nothing to offer the stage but their good 



382 ROSINA VOKES. 

looks. Miss Yokes considers a stage career very 
seriously. She does not believe in adopting it in 
a patronizing way. Great industry and sincerity 
she looks upon as absolutely necessary to achieve 
success. One of her favorite stories is that of 
the little boy, who, when his papa asked him 
what he wanted to be when he grew up, replied 
that his ambition was to become a policeman. 
The father entertained grave doubts as to his 
son's success in that walk. 

"Well, papa," said the boy "you know that 
if the worst comes to the worst, I can be an 
actor." 

Two of the members of the old Yokes family 
are dead — Jessie and Fred. Yictoria came to 
America during the present season (1890) as a 
star, but did not meet with much success. Faw- 
don Yokes, who was not a son of the costumer, 
but merely a Yokes professionally, is still playing 
in England. 

When asked as to her hopes. Miss Yokes 



ROSIN A YOKES. 



383 



always says : " My ambition — personal ambition, 
that is — is to do small things well, so that no- 
body can know that I couldn't do big things 

well if I tried." 





Nellie McHe.xrv 



IKE a draught of champagne is 
Miss Nellie McHenry, re- 
freshing, invigorating, and 
more-ish — with a thousand 
excuses for the last adjective. 
which I know is not to be 
found in Webster's Una- 
bridged. She is known in private life as Mrs. 
John Webster, though, if she take her husband's 
name. I don't know why she shouldn't be Mrs. 
*' Johnny" Webster. It is not the easiest thing 
in the world to catch a glimpse of Miss 
McHenry. It is still more difficult to make her 
the subject of an interview, as she is generally 
roaming through the United States. She occa- 
sionally plays even through the summer months. 

385 



VS6 



NELLIE MCHENRY. 



Vet Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Webster have a 
delightful residence In the Highlands of New 
Jersey, on the banks of the Shrewsbury river, 

and when they are at home 
— well, they are "at home " 
with a vengeance. They 
keep open house as far as 
their friends are concerned. 
The house on the Shrews- 
bury is "Liberty Hall." 
Mr. and Mrs. Webster are 
royal entertainers. 

In spite of her perpetual 
peregrination, Miss Mc- 
Henry is growing stout, 
and I half suspect that it is 
owing to this fact that she is anxious to aban- 
don the " rough and tumble " business of the 
farce-comedy soubrette, and adopt more serious 
roles. Her manager, Mr. Frank Maeder, 
informed me that she wanted " lights and 




NELLIE MCHENRV. 387 

shades" and intended to have them, as she 
believes that more dignified comedy would suit 
her admirably. So do I. 

I had the pleasure of calling upon Miss 
McHenry when she was playing in New York a 
few weeks ago, and I put her through her 
*' paces" without any hesitation. She is de- 
liciously unconventional and "free and easy.** 
Miss McHenry doesn't know the meaning of the 
word " frills " as applied, perhaps rather vulgarly. 
to manners. She is not at all impressed with 
the sense of her own importance, and. after all, 
it is rather nice to meet an actress who isn't. 
There is something of the unusual about them. I 
am inclined to think. Miss McHenry was in her 
dressing-room, between the acts of " Green-room 
Fun," in which she was playing at the Harlem 
Opera House. She was willingly reminiscent, 
and my ears — both of them — were more than 
at her service. 

" Sometimes . say to myself," began Miss 



388 NELLIE MCHENRY. 

McHenry, *'when I see all these theatrical sur- 
roundings, and feel this play-house atmosphere, 
that life is a strange thing, after all. I know that 
is rather a conventional" (Miss McHenry said 
" chestnutty ") " utterance, and I like to be original 
at times, but it does seem peculiar that a whole 
career should sometimes hinge upon a mere 
incident. The most trivial happening is some- 
times sufficient to change the whole course of a 
life. Don't look so impatient. I am making a 
point. You agree with me, don't you ?" 

Of course I did. It is my business to agree 
with everybody, until I have a nice pen and ink 
in front of me. 

"I went upon the stage by the purest acci- 
dent," said Miss McHenry. '' My family was 
not theatrical. I had no idea of ever earning my 
living behind the footlights. Listen to an ac- 
count of the accident : A comedian named Will 
Wiggins lived in the same house as that occupied 
by my father and mother. Of course I became 



NELLIE Mchenry ^gg 

acquainted with him. One day I was returning 
home from school, and who should I meet but 
the amiable Mr. Wiggins. He asked me where 
I was going, and I, being a nice, affable, well- 
behaved school-girl, told him that, as it was a 
half holiday, I was about to seek some girls 1 
knew, and have a good time. 

" ' Have you ever been to a theatre ?' asked 
Wiggins. 

'* I never had. I looked up to Wiggins im- 
ploringly. I was longing to go. ' Come along/ 
he said, and I need not remark that he did not 
repeat the injunction. I followed him like a 
little lamb. Mr. Wiggins was going to a 
rehearsal, he told me. I didn't exactly know 
what a rehearsal was, so I was silent, not wishing 
to betray my ignorance. I was not at all im- 
pressed with the sight of the theatre. It was 
dark and gloomy, and so untidy that it gave me 
a positive pain. Everything seemed to be topsy- 
turvy. I began to wonder how it could possibly 



390 



NELLIE MCHENRY. 



look gay and festive at night, and why people 
paid so much attention to what seemed to me 
such an undesirable looking place. The play 
that they were rehearsing was Octave F'eulllet's 
'Romance of a Poor Young man.' Lawrence 
Barrett was to play the leading part. Now 
conies the accident. Of course you know that 
a child is needed in * The Romance of a Poor 
Young Man,' to play the part of the flower-girl. 
Well, on this afternoon, the girl was not able to 
come to the theatre. Her mother was ill, I 
believe, or something of the kind. Mr. Barrett 
saw me standing on the stage, and I heard him 
say to the manager, ' Who Is that child ?' 

" ' I don't know,' was the reply. * I'll find out. 
Perhaps she can play thq flower-girl. I don't 
believe that the other child knew her part, any- 
way.' 

" I was just a little bit frightened .when Law- 
rence Barrett came up to Aie and took my hand. 
He asked me if I could read. That put me on 



NELLIE MCHENRV, 



39' 



my mettle, and I replied, rather fiercely, that of 
course I could. Said Lawrence, taking mc 
immediately at my word : ' Well, my little girl. 
come over here, and read this part for mc 
Remember that I want you to read it just as 
though you were talking to one of the little girls 
with whom you go to school. See if you can do 
that. You must forget that you are among 
strange people, and in a strange place. Tr)- to 
imagine that you are a flower girl. I wonder if 
you can do it. I don't believe you can.' I 
didn't believe I could, either, until he uttered 
those words. They finished me. I was perfectly 
determined that I would do my ver)' best I 
was not afraid any more. Taking up the manu- 
script, I read deliberately the words that I saw. 
Since those days, I have wondered at my s#lf- 
assurance. Lawrence Barrett is, and was. an 
actor of recognized ability, and very few girls 
would read a part for the first time before him 
without some very conspicuous hesitation. When 



392 



NELLIE MCHENRY. 



I had finished, all the people standing around in 
that dark, cold theatre, clapped their hands and 
smiled at me. Mr. Barrett patted my cheek, I 
thought that was very nice of him. 

•* * 1 wonder,' he said, presently, looking at me 
very carefully, ' if you could learn what you have 
just read, by heart, and come and act here 
to-night.' 

•* I don't remember exactly what I said. He 
took my breath away, and, at any rate, I could 
not have been very coherent. A short time 
afterwards, however, I found myself on my way 
home with the manuscript in my hand, and, 
arrived at my domicile, I informed my father and 
mother that I was going to be an actress, flour- 
ishing the manuscript in the air in proof of my 
statement." 

Miss McHenry laughed. I was just going to 
compliment her on her excellent memory, when 
I remembered that such a speech might discon- 
cert her. It would sound as thoucrh the events 



NELLIE Mchenry. ^gx 

she had just described were very far off, whereas 
an actress' memory is not supposed to go back 
farther than ten years, at least while she is still 
before the public. 

*' The first thing I did," she resumed. " when I 
had taken off my things, was to go before the 
glass in my bed-room and pose. How I posed ! 
I was intensely dramatic, and I flourished away 
as though my life depended upon it. I found no 
difficulty in committing the part to memory. 
By dinner-time I was letter-perfect, as we say in 
the profession. Well, I sat down to dinner, and 
was hungry enough to forget my dramatic aspir- 
ations for hal-f an hour. As soon as the meal 
was over, I flew to my book, and imagine my 
horror and grief when I found that I had for- 
gotten a great many of the lines. I burst out 
crying. My father and mother, who were not 
too pleased with Mr. Wiggins, wanted to take 
the book from me, but I had told Mr. Barrett 
that I could act the part at night, and I was 



394 NELLIE MCHENRY. 

determined that nothing should interfere with 
my doing so. I dried my tears and began to 
study again, and once more I was letter-perfect. 
Then I set out for the theatre, and arrived there 
long before I was due. I went through the part 
again and again, and they told me, at last, that 
the performance was about to begin. Then it 
was that I grew frightened. I wished most 
devoutly that I had not had a half holiday. I 
blessed the unfortunate Mr. Wiggins for ever 
having made the acquaintance of my father and 
mother. I wondered how it would all end. My 
heart beat violently, my legs trembled ; I was so 
nervous that I couldn't keep still. Mr. Barrett 
must have seen my agony ; it was visible to the 
most casual observer. 

" • Don't be afraid, Nellie,' he said, kindly. 
•You have nothing to fear. Just forget that 
there are any people in the house, and speak 
your lines perfectly naturally, just as though you 
were talking to your friends. If you ever become 



NELLIE MCHENRY. 



395 



an actress, remember what I say. It will serve 
you in good stea*d.' 

"And it has," continued Miss McHcnr>'. 
" But to proceed with my narrative. I knew 
nothing about ' cues ' and other theatrical 
phrases. I didn't even know when I had to go 
upon the stage. Somebody who was standing 
by my side whispered to me. * Now it is your 
turn, Nellie ; go on the stage like a brave girl. 
and say your lines, then turn round, and come 
off.' I shall never forget that moment It was 
simply awful. But I was in for it. and I remem- 
ber resolving to do my very best So I made 
my first appearance, before what they call in the 
penny dreadfuls ' a sea of faces.* I never missed 
a word. I was surprised at myself. It really 
seemed easy after all. The company treated me 
very kindly, and I received many words of 
praise. And that is how I first went on the 
stage." 

It was certainly interesting, and the actress 



396 NELLIE MCHENRY. 

related the incident as though she thoroughly 
enjoyed the reminiscence. 

*' And afterwards ?" I asked. 

"Oh," she said, "the afterwards was the tug 
of war. You see I liked my first appearance 
with the stao-e, and determined that I would be 
an actress. But there were not so very many 
plays then with children in them. I used to 
rush up to Mr. De Bar, the manager, every time 
I met him in the street. * When can I play 
again ?' I would ask. Mr. De Bar was a good- 
natured fellow, but he used to chaff me merci- 
lessly. His favorite reply to my demand was, 
* Oh, go home, Nellie, and grow. You're such a 
bit of a thing.' That made me very angry. Of 
course I was a bit of a thing, but I couldn't help 
that, and I thought it was very cruel of him to 
be always throwing my size and age in my 
teeth. But he hadn't forgotten me, by any 
means. My next appearance was due to an- 
other accident. Charlotte Thompson was 



NELLIE McHENKV. 



397 



playing in the city, and ihr. child in lur company 
fell ill. Mr. De Bar at once sent for mc Ii 
seems dreadful to think that my two first engage- 
ments were due to somebody's illness, doesn't it } 
But it is a fact. I learned my lines like a little 
heroine, and was not in the least ner\'ous. I5iit 
I had a terrible experience, one that would dis- 
concert me even now, when I have done a great 
deal of knocking around in the theatrical world. 
I had to make my appearance in the second act. 
and utter a little speech all by myself, after which 
Miss Thompson was to come upon the stage* 
and interrupt me. Well, I made my little speech 
very nicely, I am quite sure. Then I looked 
around for Miss Thompson. She was not forth- 
cominof. I didn't know what to do. I almost 
wished that the stage would open and swallow 
me up. But it didn't. Think what a horrible 
position I was in. I said my speech all over 
a<^ain. No Miss Thompson made her appear- 
ance. I repeated it once more ; the audience 



398 NELLIE MCHENRY. 

grew impatient ; there was a hum of disapproval. 
At last she came, looking furious. I shall never 
forget the anger that shot from her eyes. By 
this time I was quite beside myself. I had lost 
all idea of the play. Miss Thompson's appear- 
ance upset me. I went all through my part as 
though it were a connected recitation, and as if 
nobody had a right to interrupt me. I will leave 
you to imagine the utter chaos that I caused. 
The act was ruined, and — well, I will also leave 
you to imagine what kind of a reception I had 
behind the scenes." 

Miss McHenry had many other bright anec- 
dotes to tell. Since the days of which she spoke 
she has been a member of Barney McAuley's 
company, and of the stock company at Hooley's 
Theatre, Chicago. It was there that she met 
Nate Salsbury, and with him she started in the 
organization known as the Salsbury Troubadours. 

Miss McHenry's husband, Mr. Webster, 
always appears on the stage with her. A sister, 



NELLIE MCHENKV. 399 

Miss Tillie McHenry, also became a member of 
the profession, but has retired But Nellie gocu 
through the country year after year, bringing 
laughter in her wake, and leaving the influence 
of her own bright personality with ever)' audience 
that welcomes her. Her art may not be of a 
very lofty kind ; her methods may not be always 
worthy of serious criticism. But, as ! said at 
the beginning of this sketch, Miss McHenr)* is 
like a draught of champagne, refreshing, invig- 
orating, and more-ish. 




^^ifc{ 






tSi^S^ffi 



.*.%) 






^^1^^ 




^^^^ 



^^Zit-: 



Wm^m^m 



PN Cohen, Alfred J. 

2259 Familiar chats 



PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE 
CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY 



-^.