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OF 1894. 

. . . .. 

' "^tft'M 

T- '-"-H 

' ' ' - : ' ^'.^ % ' ?: > 

,-- - 

- i 


OF 1894. 




1 '/ / 







I8 95 . 

L T A1 






"AN OLD JEW" - 9 



GHOST" 32 


"THE TRANSGRESSOR" - - - - - - 41 


"CASTE" 53 











"GO-BANG" 80 






"FAUST" "FROU-FROU" " DON JUAN" - - 103 






"THE WILD DUCK" - - . - - - - 136 



KODAK" 143 


" DivoR90NS ! " " JEAN MAYEUX " " THE Two 












"LEsRois" "A MODERN EVE" .... 196 



"MlRETTE" - - 203 


"BECKET" - - 208 




"HOT WATER" 222 












BAUER " 259 





"A GAY WIDOW" 276 







XLVI 1 1. 

" IPHIGENIA IN TAURIS" -.--.- 324 








EPILOGUE - - - 347 

INDEX - - - - 407 


MY qualification for introducing this annual 
record is, as I have vainly urged upon my friend 
the author, the worst qualification possible. For 
years past those readers of The World whose 
interest in art gave them an appetite for criticism, 
turned every Tuesday from a page on the drama 
by W. A. to a page on music by G. B. S. Last 
year the death of Edmund Yates closed a chap- 
ter in the history of the paper ; and G. B. S., 
having exhausted his message on the subject of 
contemporary music, took the occasion to write 
" Finis" at the end of his musical articles. But the 
old association was so characteristic, and is still 
so recent, that we have resolved to try whether 
the reader will not, just this once more, turn 
over the page and pass from G. B. S. to W. A., 
by mere force of habit, without noticing the 
glaring fact that the musical duties of G. B. S., 


by cutting him off almost entirely from the 
theatre, have left him, as aforesaid, quite the 
most unsuitable person to meddle in a book 
about the theatre and nothing else. 

However, one can learn something about the 
theatre even at the opera : for instance, that 
there are certain permanent conditions which 
have nothing to do with pure art, but which 
deeply affect every artistic performance in Lon- 
don. No journalist, without intolerable injustice 
to artists and managers whose livelihood is at 
stake, can pass judgment without taking these 
conditions into account ; and yet he may not 
mention them, because their restatement in every 
notice would be unbearable. The journalist is 
therefore forced to give his reader credit for 
knowing the difficulties under which plays are 
produced in this country, just as the writer of the 
leading article is forced to assume that his reader 
is acquainted with the British constitution and 
the practical exigencies of our system of party 
government. And it is because the reader 
hardly ever does know these things that news- 
papers so often do more harm than good. 

Obviously, Mr Archer, in reprinting his weekly 
articles exactly as they appeared, and thereby 
preserving all their vividness and actuality, pre- 


serves also this dependence of the journalist on 
the public for a considerate and well-informed 
reading of his verdicts. I need hardly add that 
he will not get it, because his readers, though 
interested in the art of the theatre, neither know 
nor care anything about the business of the 
theatre ; and yet the art of the theatre is as 
dependent on its business as a poet's genius is 
on his bread and butter. Theatrical manage- 
ment in this country is one of the most desperate 
commercial forms of gambling. No one can 
foresee the fate of a play : the most experienced 
managers carefully select failure after failure for 
production ; and the most featherheaded be- 
ginners blunder on successes. At the London 
West End theatres, where all modern English 
dramas are born, the minimum expense of run- 
ning a play is about 400 a week, the maximum 
anything you please to spend on it. And all 
but the merest fraction of it may be, and very 
frequently is, entirely lost. On the other hand, 
success may mean a fortune of fifty thousand 
pounds accumulated within a single year. Very 
few forms of gambling are as hazardous as this. 
At roulette you can back red or black instead 
of yellow. On the turf you can take the low 
odds against the favourite instead of the high 


odds against the outsider. At both games you 
can stake as much or as little as you choose. 
But in the theatre you must play a desperate 
game for high stakes, or not play at all. And 
the risk falls altogether on the management. 
Everybody, from the author to the charwoman, 
must be paid before the management appro- 
priates a farthing. 

The scientific student of gambling will see at 
once that these are not the conditions which 
permanently attract the gambler. They are too 
extreme, too inelastic ; besides, the game re- 
quires far too much knowledge. Consequently, 
the gambler pure and simple never meddles 
with the theatre : he has ready to his hand 
dozens of games that suit him better. And 
what is too risky for the gambler is out of the 
question for the man of business. Thus, from 
the purely economic point of view, the theatre 
is impossible. Neither as investment nor specu- 
lation, enterprise nor game, earnest nor jest, can 
it attract a single sovereign of capital. You 
must disturb a man's reason before he will even 
listen to a proposal to run a playhouse. 

It will now be asked why, under these circum- 
stances, have we a couple of dozen West End 
theatres open in London. Are they being run 


by people whose reason is disturbed? The 
answer is, emphatically, Yes. They are the 
result of the sweeping away of all reasonable 
economic prudence by the immense force of an 
artistic instinct which drives the actor to make 
opportunities at all hazards for the exercise of 
his art, and which makes the theatre irresistibly 
fascinating to many rich people who can afford 
to keep theatres just as they can afford to keep 
racehorses, yachts, or newspapers. The actor 
who is successful enough to obtain tolerably 
continuous employment as " leading man" in 
London at a salary of from twenty to forty 
pounds a week, can in a few years save enough 
to try the experiment of taking a theatre for a 
few months and producing a play on his own 
account. The same qualities which have enabled 
him to interest the public as an actor will help 
him, as actor-manager, to interest the rich 
theatre fanciers, and to persuade them to act 
as his " backers." If the enterprise thus started 
be watered now and then by the huge profits of a 
successful play, it will take a great deal to kill 
it. With the help of these profits and occasional 
subsidies, runs of ill-luck are weathered with 
every appearance of brilliant prosperity, and are 
suspected only by experienced acting-managers, 


and by shrewd observers who have noticed the 
extreme scepticism of these gentlemen as to the 
reality of any apparently large success. 

This system of actor-manager and backer is 
practically supreme in London. The drama is 
in the hands of Mr Irving, Mr Alexander, Mr 
Beerbohm Tree, Mr Lewis Waller, Mrs John 
Wood, Mr Hare, Mr Terry, Mr W T yndham, Mr 
Penley, and Mr Toole. Nearly all the theatres 
other than theirs are either devoted, like the 
Adelphi and Drury Lane, to the routine of those 
comparatively childish forms of melodrama 
which have no more part in the development of 
the theatre as one of the higher forms of art than 
Madame Tussaud's or the Christy Minstrels, or 
else they are opera-houses. 

We all know by this time that the effect of 
the actor-manager system is to impose on every 
dramatic author who wishes to have his work 
produced in first-rate style, the condition that 
there shall be a good part for the actor-manager 
in it. This is not in the least due to the vanity 
and jealousy of the actor-manager : it is due to 
his popularity. The strongest fascination at a 
theatre is the fascination of the actor or actress, 
not of the author. More people go to the 
Lyceum Theatre to see Mr Irving and Miss 


Ellen Terry than to see Shakespere's plays ; at 
all events, it is certain that if Mr Irving were to 
present himself in as mutilated a condition as 
he presented King Lear, a shriek of horror would v 
go up from all London. If Mr Irving were to 
produce a tragedy, or Mr Wyndham a comedy, 
in which they were cast for subordinate parts, 
the public would stay away ; and the author 
would have reason to curse the self-denial of the 
actor-manager. ^Mr Hare's personally modest 
managerial policy is anything but encouraging 
to authors and critics who wish that all actor- 
managers were even as he. The absence of a 
strong personal interest on his part in the plays 
submitted to him takes all the edge off his 
judgment as to their merits ; and except when 
he is falling back on old favourites like Caste 
and Diplomacy, or holding on to A Pair of 
Spectacles, which is as much a one-part actor- 
manager's play as Hamlet is, he is too often 
selecting all the failures of the modern drama, 
and leaving the successes to the actor-managers 
whose selective instincts are sharpened by good 
parts in them. We thus see that matters are 
made worse instead of mended by the elimina- 
tion of personal motives from actor-management; 
whilst the economic conditions are so extremely 

xviii PREFACE. 

unfavourable to anyone but an actor venturing 
upon the management of any but a purely 
routine theatre, that in order to bring up the list 
of real exceptions to the London rule of actor- 
management to three, we have to count Mr Daly 
and Mr Grein of the Independent Theatre along 
with Mr Comyns Carr. Mr Grein, though his 
forlorn hopes have done good to the drama out 
of all apparent proportion to the show they have 
been able to make, tells us that he has lost more 
by his efforts than anybody but a fanatic would 
sacrifice ; whilst Mr Daly, as the manager and 
proprietor of a London theatre (New York is 
his centre of operations), has had little success 
except in the Shakesperean revivals which have 
enabled him to exploit Miss Ada Rehan's un- 
rivalled charm of poetic speech. 

Taking actor-management, then, as inevitable 
for the moment, and dismissing as untenable the 
notion that the actor-manager can afford to be 
magnanimous any more than he can afford to be 
lazy, why is it that, on the whole, the effect of 
the system is to keep the theatre lagging far 
behind the drama ? The answer is, that the 
theatre depends on a very large public, and the 
drama on a very small one. A great dramatic 
poet will produce plays for a bare livelihood, if 


he can get nothing more. Even if a London 
theatre would perform them on the same terms, 
the sum that will keep the poet for a year or 
five years at a pinch will not keep the theatre 
open for more than a week. Ibsen, the greatest 
living dramatic poet, produces a play in two 
years. If he could sell twenty thousand copies 
of it at five shillings apiece within the following 
two years, he would no doubt consider himself, 
for a poet, a most fortunate man in his com- 
mercial relations. But unless a London manager 
sees some probability of from 50,000 to 75,000 
people paying him an average five shillings 
apiece within three months, he will hardly be 
persuaded to venture. In this book the reader 
will find an account of the production for the 
first time in England of Ibsen's Wild Duck, a 
masterpiece of modern tragi-comedy, famous 
throughout Europe. It was by no means lack- 
ing in personal appeal to the actor-manager ; for 
it contains two parts, one of which, old Ekdal, 
might have been written for Mr Hare, whilst the 
other, Hjalmar Ekdal, would have suited Mr 
Beerbohm Tree to perfection. What actually 
happened, however, was that no London 
manager could afford to touch it ; and it was 
not until a few private persons scraped together 


a handful of subscriptions that two modest little 
representations were given by Mr Grein under 
great difficulties. Mr Tree had already, by the 
experiment of a few matinees of An Enemy of 
the People, ascertained that such first-rate work 
as Ibsen's is still far above the very low level 
represented by the average taste of the huge 
crowd of playgoers requisite to make a re- 
munerative run for a play. The Wild Duck, 
therefore, had to give place to commoner work. 
This is how the theatre lags behind its own 
published literature. And the evil tends to 
perpetuate itself in two ways : first, by helping 
to prevent the formation of a habit of playgoing 
among the cultivated section of the London 
community ; and second, by diverting the best 
of our literary talent frcm the theatre to ordinary 
fiction and journalism, in which it becomes 
technically useless for stage purposes. 

The matter is further complicated by the 
conditions on which the public are invited to 
visit the theatre. These conditions, in my 
opinion, are sufficient by themselves to make 
most reasonable people regard a visit to the 
theatre rather as a troublesome and costly 
luxury to be indulged in three or four times a 
year under family pressure, than as the ordinary 


way of passing an unoccupied evening. The 
theatrical managers will not recognise that they 
have to compete with the British fireside, the 
slippers, the easy chair, the circulating library, 
and the illustrated press. They persist in ex- 
pecting a man and his wife to leave their homes 
after dinner, and, after worrying their way to 
the theatre by relays of train and cab or 
omnibus, pay seven-and-sixpence or half-a- 
guinea apiece for comfortable seats. In the 
United States, where prices are higher in other 
things, the same accommodation can be had for 
five and six shillings. The cheaper parts of the 
London theatre are below the standard of com- 
fort now expected by third-class travellers on 
our northern railway lines. The result is, not 
that people refuse to go to the theatre at all, but 
that they go very seldom, and then only to some 
house of great repute, like Mr Irving's, or to see 
some play which has created the sort of mania 
indicated by the term " catching on." No doubt, 
when this mania sets in, the profits are, as we 
have seen, enormous. But when it does not 
and this is the more frequent case the acting- 
manager is at his wit's end to find people who 
will sit in his half-guinea stalls and seven-and- 
sixpenny balcony seats for nothing, in order to 

xxil PREFACE. 

persuade the provincial playgoer, when his turn 
comes to see the piece " on tour " from an 
excellent seat costing only a few shillings, that 
he is witnessing a " great London success." In 
the long run this system will succumb to the 
action of competition, and to the growing 
discrepancy between the distribution of income 
in the country and the distribution of prices in 
the theatre ; but the reader who wishes to in- 
telligently understand the failures and successes 
recorded in this book, must take account of the 
fact that, with the exception of the shilling 
gallery, every seat in a West End London theatre 
is at present charged for at a rate which makes 
it impossible for theatrical enterprise to settle 
down from a feverish speculation into a steady 

Among other effects of this state of things is 
an extreme precariousness of employment for 
actors, who are compelled to demand unreason- 
ably high salaries in order that they may earn 
in the course of the year discouragingly small 
incomes. As we have seen, the few who have 
sufficient adaptable ability and popularity to be 
constantly employed, save rapidly enough to be- 
come actor-managers and even to build theatres 
for themselves. The result is that it becomes 


more and more difficult to obtain a fine cast for 
a play. The " star system," which is supposed to 
have disappeared in London, is really rampant 
there as far as acting is concerned. Compare, 
for example, the Opera, where the actor-manager 
is unknown, with the Lyceum Theatre. Sir 
Augustus Harris can present an opera with a 
whole constellation of stars in it. One of the 
greatest operas in the world, sung by half-a- 
dozen of the greatest dramatic singers in the 
world, is a phenomenon which, as a musical 
critic, I have seen, and found fault with, at 
Covent Garden. Now try to imagine Mr Irving 
attempting to do for a masterpiece of Shake- 
spere's what Sir Augustus Harris does for 
Lohengrin. All the other stars are like Mr 
Irving : they have theatres of their own, and are 
competing with him as men of business, instead 
of co-operating with him as artists. The old 
receipt for an opera company, " Catalani and a 
few dolls," is, leaving scenery and mounting out 
of the question, as applicable to a Shakesperean 
performance at the Lyceum to-day as it was to 
the provincial starring exploits of the late Barry 
Sullivan. One expects every month to hear 
that Mr Waring, Mr Fred Terry, Mr Yorke 
Stephens, Mr Forbes Robertson, Mr Brandon 


Thomas, and Mr Hawtrey are about to follow 
Mr Alexander and Mr Waller into actor- 
management. We should then have sixteen 
actor-managers competing with one another in 
sixteen different theatres, in a metropolis hardly 
containing good actors enough to cast three 
good plays simultaneously, even with the sixteen 
actor- managers counted in. No doubt such an 
increased demand for actors and plays as six 
additional managers would set up might produce 
an increased and improved supply if the demand 
of the public for theatrical amusements kept 
pace with the ambition of actors to become 
actor-managers ; but is there, under existing 
conditions as to growth of population and dis- 
tribution of income, the slightest likelihood of 
such an upward bound of public demand without 
a marked reduction of prices ? 

There is yet another momentous prospect to 
be taken into consideration. We have at pre- 
sent nine actor-managers and only one actress- 
manageress Mrs John Wood. So far, our chief 
actresses have been content to depend on the 
position of "leading lady" to some actor- 
manager. This was sufficient for all ordinary 
ambitions ten years ago ; but since then the 
progress of a revolution in public opinion on 


what is called the Woman Question has begun 
to agitate the stage. In the highest class of 
drama the century has produced, the works of 
Richard Wagner, we find the Elsa of Lohengrin, 
the most highly developed of the operatic 
"prima donnas" whose main function it was 
to be honoured with the love of the hero, sup- 
planted by a race of true heroines like Brynhild 
and Isolde, women in no sense secondary to 
the men whose fate is bound up with their 
own, and indeed immeasurably superior in 
wisdom, courage, and every great quality of 
heart and mind, to the stage heroes of the middle 
Victorian period of Romance. The impulse 
felt in heroic music drama has now reached 
domestic prose comedy ; and Esther Eccles and 
Diplomacy Dora are succeeded by Nora Helmer, 
Rebecca West, Hedda Gabler and Hilda Wangel. 
The change is so patent, that one of the plays 
criticised by Mr Archer in the pages which 
follow is called The New Woman. Now it is 
not possible to put the new woman seriously 
on the stage in her relation to modern society, 
without stirring up, both on the stage and in 
the auditorium, the struggle to keep her in her 
old place. The play with which Ibsen con- 
quered the world, A Doll's House, allots to the 

xxvi PREFACE. 

" leading man " the part of a most respectable 
bank manager, exactly the sort of person on 
whose quiet but irresistible moral superiority 
to women Tom Taylor insisted with the fullest 
public applause in his Still Waters Run Deep. 
Yet the play ends with the most humiliating 
exposure of the vanity, folly, and amorous 
beglamourment of this complacent person in 
his attitude towards his wife, the exposure being 
made by the wife herself. His is not the sort 
of. part that an actor-manager likes to play. 
Mr Wyndham has revived Still Waters Run 
jDeep : he will not touch A Doll's House. The 
one part that no actor as yet plays willingly 
is the part of a hero whose heroism is neither 
admirable nor laughable. A villain if you like, 
a hunchback, a murderer, a kicked, cuffed, duped 
pantaloon by all means ; but a hero manque', 
never. Man clings to the old pose, the old 
cheap heroism ; and the actor in particular, 
whose life aspiration it has been to embody 
that pose, feels, with inexpressible misgiving, the 
earth crumbling beneath his feet as the en- 
thusiasm his heroism once excited turns to pity 
and ridicule. But this misgiving is the very 
material on which the modern dramatist of the 
Ibsen school seizes for his tragi-comedy. It is 


the material upon which I myself have seized 
in a play of my own criticised in this book, to 
which I only allude here to gratify my friend 
the author, who has begged me to say some- 
thing about Arms and the Man. I comply by 
confessing that the result was a misunderstanding 
so complete, that but for the pleasure given by 
the acting, and for the happy circumstance that 
there was sufficient fun in the purely comic 
aspect of the piece to enable it to filch a certain 
vogue as a novel sort of extravaganza, its failure 
would have been as evident to the public as it 
was to me when I bowed my acknowledgments 
before the curtain to a salvo of entirely mistaken 
congratulations on my imaginary success as a 
conventionally cynical and paradoxical casti- 
gator of "the seamy side of human nature." 
The whole difficulty was created by the fact 
that my Bulgarian hero, quite as much as 
Helmer in A Doll's House, was a hero shown 
from the modern woman's point of view. I 
complicated the psychology by making him 
catch glimpse after glimpse of his own aspect 
and conduct from this point of view himself, as 
all men are beginning to do more or less now, 
the result, of course, being the most horrible 
dubiety on his part as to whether he was really 


a brave and chivalrous gentleman, or a humbug 
and a moral coward. His actions, equally of 
course, were hopelessly irreconcilable with either 
theory. Need I add that if the straightforward 
Helmer, a very honest and ordinary middle- 
class man misled by false ideals of womanhood, 
bewildered the public, and was finally set down as 
a selfish cad by all the Helmers in the audience, 
a fortiori my introspective Bulgarian never had 
a chance, and was dismissed, with but moderately 
spontaneous laughter, as a swaggering impostor 
of the species for which contemporary slang has 
invented the term " bounder " ? 

But what bearing have the peculiarities of 
Helmer and my misunderstood Bulgarian on 
the question of the actress-manageress ? Very 
clearly this, that it is just such peculiarities 
that make characteristically modern plays as 
repugnant to the actor as they are attractive to 
the actress, and that, consequently, the actress 
who is content to remain attached to an actor- 
manager as " leading lady," forfeits all chance of 
creating any of the fascinating women's parts 
which come at intervals of two years from the 
Ibsen mint. Among the newest parts open to the 
leading lady, Paula Tanqueray counts as "ad- 
vanced," although she would be perfectly in her 


place in a novel by Thackeray or Trollope, to 
either of whom Nora Helmer would have been an 
inconceivable person. A glance at our theatres 
will show that the higher artistic career is prac- 
tically closed to the leading lady. Miss Ellen 
Terry's position at the Lyceum Theatre may 
appear an enviable one ; but when I recall the 
parts to which she has been condemned by 
her task of "supporting" Mr Irving, I have 
to admit that Miss Janet Achurch, for in- 
stance, who made for herself the opportunity of 
" creating" Nora Helmer in England by placing 
herself in the position virtually of actress- 
manageress, is far more to be envied. Again, 
if we compare Miss Elizabeth Robins, the 
creator of Hedda Gabler and Hilda Wangel, 
with Miss Kate Rorke at the Garrick Theatre, 
or the records of Miss Florence Farr and 
Miss Marion Lea with that of Miss Mary Moore 
at the Criterion, we cannot but see that the time 
is ripe for the advent of the actress-manageress, 
and that we are on the verge of something like 
a struggle between the sexes for the dominion 
of the London theatres, a struggle which, failing 
an honourable treaty, or the break-up of the 
actor-manager system by the competition of 
new forms of theatrical enterprise, must in the 


long run end disastrously for the side which is 
furthest behind the times. And that side is at 
present the men's side. 

The reader will now be able to gratify his 
impatience, and pass on to Mr Archer's criticisms 
(if he has not done so long ago), with some 
idea of the allowances that must be made for 
circumstances in giving judgment on the curious 
pageant which passes before the dramatic critic 
as he sits in his stall night after night. He has 
had to praise or blame, advocate or oppose, always 
with a human and reasonable regard to what is 
possible under existing conditions. Most of his 
readers, preoccupied with pure ideals of the art 
of the theatre, know nothing of these conditions, 
and perhaps imagine that all that lies beyond 
their ken is the working of the traps and the 
shifting of the scenery. Perhaps these few hints 
of mine may help them to understand that the 
real secrets of the theatre are not those of the 
stage mechanism, but of the box-office, the acting- 
manager's room, and the actor-manager's soul. 

G. B. S. 


I HAVE to thank the Trustees under the will of 
my lamented Editor and friend, Mr Edmund 
Yates, for confirming his sanction of this reprint. 
To trie Editors of the Pall Mall Budget, Sketch, 
and the Athenaeum my thanks are also due for 
their permission to include one or two articles 
necessary to complete the record of the year. It 
is a great pleasure to me to be able to associate 
the name of my friend Mr George Bernard Shaw 
with my own on the title-page of this volume ; 
and I am sure that the synopsis of playbills, 
kindly suggested and compiled by Mr Henry 
George Hibbert, will be found very materially 
to enhance the value of the book for purposes of 

__,, W. A. 

C. A. AND J. A. 

Mid gaunt hill-bastions of Hindostan, 
And ^neath the sacred cone of Fuji-san, 

May these faint echoes from our haunts of yore 
Set boyish pulses stirring in the man. 




Last Performance. 

BEAUTY'S TOILS (Strand) January 3. 

CAPTAIN SWIFT (Haymarket) January 17. 

DON JUAN (Gaiety) June 16. 

A GAIETY GIRL (Prince of Wales's; 

transferred to Daly's, September 10) December 15. 

GUDGEONS (Terry's) January 6. 

THE HEADLESS MAN (Criterion) ... March 10. 

MRS. OTHELLO (Vaudeville) January 12. 

MOROCCO BOUND (Shaftesbury ; trans- 
ferred to Trafalgar Square, January 8) February 10. 


(St. James's) April 21. 

Six PERSONS (Haymarket First Piece) April 21. 

TOM, DICK, AND HARRY (Trafalgar 
Square ; transferred to Strand, 

January 8) February 21. 

TRIPLE BILL (Court Theatre) January 16. 

A WOMAN'S REVENGE (Adelphi) ... March 3. 


i i 


yd January. 

" WITH Cinderella?* I read in last week's " Celebrities 
at Home," "Mr Oscar Barrett hopes to mark an 
epoch in the history of modern pantomime. He 
means still further to widen the gulf which already 
divides the pantomime of to-day from the pantomime 
of a couple of generations ago." In the first of these 
aspirations, Mr Barrett has in all probability succeeded. 
He has certainly produced by far the prettiest and 
most entertaining pantomime we have seen for many 
a year. If it has anything like the success it deserves, 
he will be encouraged to follow it up, others will tread 
in his footsteps, and we shall indeed have a new epoch 
in pantomime an epoch of beauty, refinement, and, 
if not precisely wit, at least of reason and coherence. 

* Lyceum, December 26, 1893 March 17. 


But all this is surely not "widening the gulf" between 
the pantomime of to-day and that of half-a-century 
ago. It is rather carrying the art of Christmas 
spectacle back to the days of its youth the days of 
Mathews and Vestris at this very Lyceum, the days of 
Planch^ and of Beverley. Mr Barrett's production, of 
course, is far more costly and splendid than anything 
Planchd would have dreamt of;* but it runs entirely 
on the lines of the old-fashioned Christmas piece, 
telling its story clearly and gracefully, and illustrating 
it with fantastic episodes which have a certain natural 
relevance to the main theme. It is difficult to express, 
without seeming to exaggerate, the pleasure which one 
feels in this return to rational and thoughtful artistic 
methods, this happy co-operation of mind with money. 
In writing of last year's pantomimes, I was moved to 
forecast a regeneration of this most useful and admir- 
able art-form. "When the Aristophanes arrives for 
whom we are all yearning," I said, "he will almost 
certainly write pantomime. . . . The ideal panto- 
mime should charm the senses, stimulate the imagina- 
tion, and satisfy the intelligence. It should be an 
enchanting fairy-tale to the young ; to the old a witty, 
graceful, genially satiric phantasmagoria." Thus I 

* This statement was disputed by a courteous correspondent. 
But I believe he will find that, though Planche doubtless pro- 
duced striking effects, he dealt in far less costly materials than 
are nowadays used in spectacular productions. 


prophesied, little dreaming that a single year would 
carry us so far towards the realisation of my vision. 
How far? Well, suppose we say half-way. Mr 
Horace Lennard, though he writes simply and 
pleasantly enough, is not precisely an Aristophanes, 
or even a Planche". The wit and satire of the produc- 
tion are to be found in the " gags " of the comedians 
(inoffensive, but not over-brilliant) rather than in the 
written text. If Mr Barrett is disposed to proceed 
further along the path on which he has already made 
so daring an advance, might he not induce one of our 
acknowledged masters of satiric verse to collaborate 
with Mr Lennard, whose practical experience would 
always be invaluable ? How about Mr Austin Dobson? 
or Mr Anstey ? or Mr H. D. Traill ? or Mr Court- 
hope ? Might not Mr " Lewis Carroll " be persuaded 
to lend a hand in a fairy-play for children ? If I were 
a manager, I know the poet whom I should bribe 
with untold gold to work my Christmas puppets for 
me : the author of The Happy Prince, The Selfish 
Gianf, and other exquisite fairy-tales to wit, Mr 
Oscar Wilde. 

A poet and literary artist, then, would have made 
Cinderella more interesting to grown-up people; no 
one could possibly have made it more amusing to 
children. It is a delight to the little folks from first 
to last, and a delight of the healthiest and most 
innocent order. One pleasure succeeds another with- 


out intermission : the iridescent glooms of the 
" Factories of Fairyland," the dance of the Autumn 
Leaves, with the episode of the Wood Pigeon and the 
Fox, quite the most beautifully-coloured ballet I can 
remember to have seen ; the entrance of Cinderella, 
her encounter with the Fairy Godmother and with the 
handsome Prince ; her gambols with the stray cat in 
the kitchen at home; the departure of the Baron, 
Baroness, and the ugly Step-Sisters for the ball ; the 
reappearance of the Fairy Godmother, and conversion 
of the cat into a black footman (one of the most 
marvellous of Mr Lauri's quick changes), with all the 
indispensable miracles of the pumpkin, the mice, the 
rat, and the lizards ; the attiring of Cinderella in the 
Fairy Boudoir, a deliciously fanciful scene ; her 
departure for the ball in a chariot drawn by six black 
ponies, and with wheels ablaze with electric jewels ; 
the arrival of the Sisters at the Palace in Sedan-chair- 
tricycles ; the opening of the Bal Champetre, with its 
Classical, Florentine, Indian, Tudor, and Japanese 
dances; the entrance of Cinderella, and her flight; 
the trying-on of the slipper, and ultimate discomfiture 
of the unkind Sisters ; the imaginative and beautiful 
Transformation Scene; and, finally, a novel and 
spirited Harlequinade, with Mr Charles Lauri as 
Clown, made up (if I mistake not) in exact imitation 
of a well-known print of Grimaldi. It must be indeed 
a terrible infant whose cup of content is not filled to 


overflowing by all these enjoyments. Mr Barrett has 
been singularly happy in casting his pantomime. Miss 
Ellaline Terriss is an ideal Cinderella simple, child- 
like, and pathetically pretty. Miss Susie Vaughan 
makes a most amiable and authentic Fairy Godmother ; 
ai d Miss Minnie Terry is charming as the Sylph 
Coquette, who presides over the jewels and scents, the 
handkerchiefs, gloves, fans-, and powder-puffs of the 
Fairy Boudoir. Mr Harry Parker and Miss Clara 
Jecks are an amusing Baron and Baroness ; and Mr 
Victor Stevens and Mr Fred Emney, who play the 
Sisters, are as unobjectionable as male comedians in 
petticoats can possibly be. Mr Stevens, indeed, is 
often irresistibly funny. Miss Kate Chard, makes a 
dashing Prince, and sings capitally; and Miss Alice 
Brookes acts with pleasant vivacity as his valet Dan- 
dini. Miss Louie Loveday and Mile. Zanfretta are 
graceful, accomplished, and non-gymnastic dancers; 
and as for the merits of Mr Charles Lauri's cat, are 
they not the most indisputable fact in pantomimic 
natural history ? But it is not only in his principals 
that Mr Barrett has been fortunate. His chorus and 
ballet are most carefully selected, and present an 
uncommonly high average of beauty ; the dresses (by 
Wilhelm) are admirably tasteful and fanciful ; ,and in 
the arrangement of the dances Madame Katti Lanner 
has surpassed herself. The only fault of the scenery, 
by Messrs Emden and Hawes Craven, is an occasional 


neglect of the principle of contrast. In the ball-scene, 
for example, the background is so bright that the 
figures do not stand out against it as they ought to, 
and the eye is fatigued in a wilderness of glitter. The 
musical setting, to conclude, is in Mr Barrett's best 
manner, popular airs of the day being charmingly 
diversified with classical fragments and concerted 
pieces. For my own part, I could spare one or two 
of the sentimental ballads, graceful though they be; 
and something ought certainly to be cut out in order 
to make room for the second scene of the harle- 
quinade. The first was so amusing, that all the 
children, big and little, were full of regrets when the 
curtain prematurely descended. My whole feeling 
about Cinderella may be summed up in the statement 
that I should be delighted to see it again to-morrow ; 
and it is twenty years and more since it has seemed 
to me possible for any human being to sit out a 
pantomime twice over. 

Sir Augustus Harris's fifteenth annual, Robinson 
Crusoe? is an excellent pantomime of what may be 
called the monster-medley type. It has as little as 
possible to do with the story of Robinson Crusoe, 
but that name is as good as another for a series 
of gorgeous pageants, with interludes by the most 
popular "artistes." The Fish Ballet is resplendent 
beyond description, and will no doubt be spirited as 

* Drury Lane, December 26, 1893 March IO. 


well when the dancers have become accustomed to 
their scaly habiliments. The Indian Ballet is not 
only magnificent, but really beautiful; and the 
tableaux from English history are elaborate, ingenious, 
and for the most part effective. No more superb 
spectacle has been seen on the Drury Lane stage than 
the final Apotheosis of the House of Hanover, if we 
may call it so. The " artistes " were somewhat ill at 
ease on the first night, but have no doubt long ago 
shaken off their nervousness. Miss Ada Blanche 
made a very popular Robinson Crusoe, and ministered 
to that patriotism which is one of the holiest feelings 
of our nature, by exterminating a huddled crowd of 
savages with a machine-gun. " Little Tich," who is 
really a very agile and amusing personage, was nomi- 
nally Man Friday, but did not take himself seriously 
enough to blacken his face. Mr Herbert Campbell, 
as Will Atkins, converted into a Pirate Chief, seemed 
to me unusually subdued, and therefore unusually 
amiable; but nothing, apparently, can subdue Mr 
Dan Leno, who appeared as Crusoe's mother. The 
most successful incident of the evening was the bed- 
room scene, in which Miss Marie Lloyd modestly 
disrobed and retired to rest. At every string she 
untied, the gallery gave a gasp of satisfaction; and 
when Mr Dan Leno exhibited himself in a red flannel 
petticoat and a pair of stays, the whole house literally 
yelled with delight. You may think it odd, and even 


ungallant, but somehow I don't seem to yearn for the 
privilege of assisting at Miss Marie Lloyd's toilet, or 
admiring Mr Dan Leno in dishabille; but, amid all 
that vast audience, I was evidently in a minority of 
one. The two Poluskis, as the Captain and Mate, 
proved themselves admirable pantomimists. When 
you go to Drury Lane take care to be in time, for the 
encounter of the Poluskis with the dummy sailors, in 
the opening scene, is the funniest thing imaginable. 
Miss Julia Kent did some very clever patter-dancing; 
and Madame Zucchi and Signor Albertieri, and Mr 
John and Miss Emma D'Auban, represented the 
higher branches of the art. 

The Crystal Palace pantomime of Jack and 'the Bean- 
stalk* may be confidently recommended to parents and 
guardians. It is pleasantly written by Mr Horace 
Lennard, and produced with care and liberality by 
Mr Oscar Barrett. There are two ballets, "The 
Revels of the Nereids," and a most picturesque dance 
of diablerie in the Valley of Desolation ; and as pretty 
as either of them, to my thinking, is the rustic dance 
in the village of Cowslipdale. Miss Edith Bruce 
makes a very spirited Jack, Mr Reuben Inch is a 
terrific giant, and Miss Kitty Loftus is exceedingly 
bright and vivacious as Scarlet Runner, the Spirit of 
the Beanstalk. The harlequinade, unfortunately, is 
decidedly poor. 

* December 23, 1893 February IO. 

"AN OLD JEW.'' 9 



loth January. 

LET me make one thing clear before attempting to 
discuss in detail Mr Sydney Grundy's new play at the 
Garrick. The executioner, in Thackeray's story, wept 
over The Sorrows of Werther ; whence we learn that 
even the most despicable of human beings, in the 
most odious of offices, has " his feelinx " as a man. 
Of myself I narrate the fable. Though by profession 
an executioner, not to say an assassin, of dramatic 
literature, when I lay aside the axe, the rope, and the 
furtive stiletto, I can be a man even as Mr Grundy is. 
Simply as a man, then, I admire and applaud the 
courage shown by Mr Grundy and Mr Hare in 
writing and producing An Old Jew.* Perhaps because 
my own disposition is cautious and timorous, courage, 
even carried to the extreme of foolhardiness, has 
always had a peculiar fascination for me. Well, Mr 
Grundy has had the courage of his opinions, of what 
he no doubt believes to be his observations. He has 
said his say, and made a clean breast of it, and, like 
his own Paul Venables, has let off the steam of a 
long-pent indignation in the very face of the objects 
of his scorn. It was a plucky thing to do, and it 
enhances the respect in which, as a man, I hold Mr 


Grundy as a man. Mr Hare, too, in producing the 
play, and loyally doing his best to give full effect to 
Mr Grundy 's satire, has shown a courage which, 
frankly, one did not quite expect of him. He has, in 
especial, faced one or two really awkward situations 
with admirable and unflinching firmness. We can 
all remember the time when the conclusion of the 
fourth. act the driving of the money-changers from 
the Temple would have been considered audacious 
almost to the pitch of blasphemy; some of us, 
perhaps, may even have been present when an 
audience (at the old Haymarket, I fancy) hissed the 
line, " I came to scoff, but I remain to pray," under 
the impression that it was a quotation from the Bible. 
That day is long past. We have not only ceased to 
pay a superstitious reverence to Biblical phraseology, 
we have ceased even to respect the literary beauties 
of the Bible. At our most popular burlesque theatre 
a low comedian is night after night singing, with 
unbounded applause, a slangy and vulgar parody of 
the story of the Prodigal Son, the Censorship, which 
vetoed the tragic and beautiful Salome, offering no 
objection. Such is popular inconsistency, however, 
that had An Old Jew been " going badly," it is quite 
likely that the malcontents would have professed 
themselves shocked by Julius Sterne's parallel between 
himself and the Scourger and Purger of that other 
" den of thieves." Mr Hare, then, deserves all credit 


for facing this and other dangers ; one only wishes 
that his intrepidity had been displayed in the cause 
of a better play. 

For here the man must give place to the critic, 
and I must own that An Old Jew has by no means 
enhanced my esteem for Mr Grundy as an observer, 
a thinker, a dramatic artist. No; it is not a good 
piece of work, either as a drama or as a satire. It is 
full of clever and amusing things, and is very well 
worth seeing; but as a work of art, an effort of 
thought, it breaks down at almost every point. Mr 
Grundy himself will scarcely doubt the sincerity of 
the regret with which one makes this admission. 
He must know that even the meanest of critics enjoys 
the cheap magnanimity of professing his withers un- 
wrung by satire, and praising, from an impersonal 
and impartial standpoint, a work which might have 
been expected to rub him the wrong way. If Mr 
Grundy had given us the slightest opportunity for 
exercising this facile virtue, I am sure we would all 
have rushed at it with avidity. But he has not. The 
drama is commonplace ; the satire is thin, superficial, 
and confused. Since Mr Grundy has set the good 
example, we too may as well have the courage of our 

The drama, of course, is neither here nor there ; it 
is a mere framework for the satire. It has the merit 
of being a quite simple framework, but it cannot be 


called neat in its simplicity. Not that I, for my part, 
object to its essence. That fairy-tale was, perhaps, 
as good as another for the author's purpose. The 
Monte Cristo motive appeals unfailingly to the 
imagination. Who does not find a pleasure in pictur- 
ing " The Return of the Millionaire," transformed by 
his wealth into a sort of incarnate Providence, and 
able to mete out rewards and punishments to the just 
and the unjust with an accuracy which the other 
Providence does not always attain ? There is even a 
certain novelty in the conception of a Monte Cristo 
who carries coals of fire in his magic pocket-book 
(my metaphors, like Mr Grundy's fable, smack of the 
pantomime season), and heaps jthem upon the heads 
of those who have wronged him. It would be unjust, 
moreover, to object to the absence from the fairy- 
tale of anything like observed or studied character. 
Where is the ideal personage in his right place if not 
in the fairy-tale ? Here we have perfect magnanimity 
and beneficence, combined with sententious wisdom, 
in the benign Enchanter ; the Good Boy and Girl are 
of talent and virtue all compact (of course there is 
not the least need for the Old Jew to open Paul's 
manuscript in order to assure himself that it is a 
masterpiece) ; * and even the Erring Mother has 

* Mr Grundy, in the American edition of the play, objects to 
this remark, alleging that " it is nowhere described as a master- 
piece." No ; but Slater, who is represented as an able though 

"AN OLD JEW" 13 

come as gold through fire, and is an exquisite embodi- 
ment of chastened penitence. This would be all very 
well if the fairy-tale were well told ; but unfortunately 
it isn't. In the first place, it is told several times 
over; or, at any rate, long explanations of matters 
which we have all divined hours ago produce an 
effect of tedious repetition. This is the last error 
one would have expected from Mr Grundy, who 
knows no one better that if there is one thing the 
skilful playwright should dread more than obscurity, 
it is over-insistence on the obvious. Again, the 
thing does not rightly dovetail. If Julius Sterne 
wants to preserve his incognito, why does he come 
and go with the utmost freedom in his wife's house, 
trusting to the very improbable chance that he may 
not meet her? We are not given to understand that 
he is altered beyond recognition. Slater does not 
recognise him, but Slater is blind with drink. When 
at last the husband and wife do meet, she is at some 
trouble not to look at him until her cue comes for 
the recognition. This is a small matter, but in the 
work of a champion of the well-made play we may 
surely look for nicety of adjustment. Is it not carry- 
ing the Arabian Nights convention a little too far to 
represent a young playwright, even in a crisis of 

corrupt critic, very emphatically calls it "a splendid play." 
If the difference seems vital to Mr Grundy, I cheerfully with- 
draw "masterpiece" and substitute "splendid play." 


discouragement, selling a play for three-guineas-worth 
of Old Dramatists ? And how is it that the name of 
this rising young author seems to convey no idea to 
the mind of Slater, not even piquing his curiosity ? 
Drink-sodden though he be, he can scarcely have 
forgotten so remarkable a name as Paul Venables. 
I think, too, that Mr Grundy has made a mistake in 
not keeping his satire distinct, as it were, from its 
framework of story. No doubt he thought it an 
ingenious stroke of economy to make the seducer 
and the dishonest trustee members of the Moonlight 
Club ; but the result is only an added sense of arti- 
ficiality. It was not in the least necessary that the 
evil genii of the fairy-tale should appear in person 
at all. This attempted welding of the story and the 
satire goes far to spoil the simplicity which is the 
chief merit of the story. It is improbable, without 
being really ingenious. 

All these objections, however, would be of very little 
moment if the satire were good. We do not look too 
closely at the feathers of an arrow, if the barb goes 
straight to its mark. But does it ? I really do not 
know, for I cannot in the least tell what mark Mr 
Grundy was aiming at ; and the worst of it is that 
I don't think he knows himself. There is a terrible 
lack of lucidity about Mr Grundy's invective. As 
trait followed trait, and each seemed more irrecon- 
cilable than the last with journalistic life and manners 

"AN OLD JEW." 15 

as I know them, I kept on saying to myself, " But 
how can you tell ? This is not supposed to be the 
life you know. It is the gutter journalist, the garbage- 
grubber, that is writhing under the lash." I did my 
very best to bear this in mind, though every here and 
there I recognised scraps of satire amusing and 
quite legitimate raillery that were evidently aimed 
at the so-called new school of criticism, to which I 
may claim the honour of belonging. For instance, I 
am not aware that a tendency to make light of plot, 
situation, and what is commonly termed construction 
in drama, is a characteristic of gutter journalism ; but 
it is certainly a characteristic a foible, if you will 
of " the new criticism." However, it is quite possible 
that our catchwords may be taken up by the Vultures 
of the press; and in any case I should be the last 
to grudge Mr Grundy his little fling, even if it involve 
a trifling defect of verisimilitude. Granted, then, 
that the main brunt of the satirist's attack is directed 
against a phase of journalism with which I am 
personally unfamiliar, the fact remains that here we 
have three or four dramatic critics writing for papers 
which cannot be entirely uninfluential, or it would 
not be worth Monte Cristo's while to buy them up ; 
and yet not one of them strikes me as bearing the 
most distant resemblance to any journalist I ever saw 
in my life. Mr Grundy does not represent that 
they all habitually write their notices without going 


to the theatre, so it follows that I must rub shoulders 
with their prototypes two or three times a week, year 
out, year in. Well, I looked for these prototypes 
I literally stood up and looked 'around, lest I might 
spy some obscure first-nighter shrivelling in a corner, 
who had escaped my memory, and in whom I could 
recognise some traits of John Slater, or Willie Wandle, 
or James Brewster but no ! he was not to be found. 
My worst enemy, I am sure, will not accuse me of 
suffering from exaggerated or supersensitive esprit 
de corps. I frankly admit that it would have given 
me lively satisfaction to have seen a little good- 
natured banter levelled at some of my colleagues 
just as they, no doubt, enjoyed the aforementioned 
hits at some of my little manias. So far from finding 
us a clique of log-rollers, the satirist " up to date " 
would probably have to represent us as a set of 
Ishmaels not, I hope, devoid of personal kindliness 
and good fellowship, but with every man's pen, in a 
literary sense, turned against his neighbour. Thus 
there is ample material for the satirist in theatrical 
journalism as it is, and if he distributed his satire 
with any impartiality, all parties would enjoy it ; but 
where is the use of satirising theatrical journalism 
as it isn't? I have heard legends of such critics 
as John Slater, M.A., LL.D., but they were extinct 
before my time, and I don't know why they should 
be resurrected. As for Brewster and Wandle, did 

"AN OLD JEW." 17 

Mr Grundy even find them in his memory ? Has he 
not simply evolved them out of his moral conscious- 
ness ? Other portraits are more recognisable. I 
think I could put my finger on Bertie Burnside and 
Mr Polak (am I right in bracketing them ?) ; the 
Hon. and Rev. Adolphus Finucane I used to know 
very well, and though my particular Honourable and 
Reverend has disappeared from my ken (whether 
to the House of Lords or to Portland I cannot tell), 
no doubt he still survives in other incarnations ; 
and the Old Actor is familiar to all of us, in several 
editions. " Well then," Mr Grundy may say, " since 
you admit the resemblance of some of my portraits, 
is it not only reasonable to assume that I have what 
you would call ' documents ' for the others also ? " 
Agreed ; we will assume it ; but I must still maintain 
that the whole picture is false and inartistic. At 
the very best even admitting that somewhere, in 
some purlieu of Bohemia, there may exist such a den 
as this Moonlight Club it is obviously dragged into 
grossly exaggerated prominence, and grossly exagge- 
rated influence is attributed to it. Managers, for 
instance, may be egregious noodles, but where is the 
manager in London who would shape his policy, as 
Mr Wybrow Walsingham does, by the auguries of the 
Vulture ? No, no ; this club is not really intended 
for a mere " boozing-ken " of the rag-tag and bobtail 
of journalism, which Mr Grundy has happened to 


discover in his peregrinations. He is not instructing 
us in the natural history of an unknown region, but 
appealing to our knowledge of the life around us. 
He is not exposing some obscure clique of mere 
ruffians of the press why should he be at the trouble ? 
but satirising modern dramatic atticism as a whole. 
He intends that we should recognise the picture, 
and we don't. He may say that the people satirised 
are always the last to recognise the justice of the 
satire. That may be so when the satire is directed 
against a united and homogeneous body of men ; 
but we are nothing of the sort. The first-night house 
is a house divided against itself, of which each section 
and sub-section would be only too ready to chuckle 
over well-directed hits at the other parties. As it 
was, the only hits (at dramatic criticism) in which I 
recognised any substantial justice, and which conse- 
quently afforded me the least entertainment, were 
those which I may perhaps assume without undue 
vanity to have been partly levelled against myself. 

There is only one way in which I can explain the 
total lack of verisimilitude in Mr Grundy's picture of 
theatrical journalism. Is not the play an old one 
rather hastily furbished "up to date " ? Does it not 
depict the Bohemia of Mr Grundy's first years in 
London, the Bohemia of the 'sixties and early 'seven- 
ties, with a few catchwords of the 'nineties placed in 
the mouths of the personages, and perhaps even an 


extra character or two (Mr Polak, for example) thrown 
in ? The erudite and alcoholic critic is certainly a 
thing of the past (his erudition, I fear, no less than 
his alcoholism) ; and there are a good many other 
touches which remind one of the Bohemia sketched 
by Mr Grundy in his early novel, recently republished, 
entitled The Days of his Vanity. There may even 
have been coteries in the days of Mr Grundy's vanity 
in which such a scene as that of the election by 
acclamation of Stern and Paul Venables to the 
membership of the Moonlight Club would not have 
been entirely inconceivable. That Bohemia, it is 
certain, is long since dead ; social geographers are 
even in doubt as to whether the very name of 
Bohemia ought not to be expunged from the map. 
It is true I have seen one critic writing his notices 
in a club smoking-room; but the club was in St 
James's Street, not Maiden Lane, and the notices 
happen to be as unimpeachable in honesty as they 
are (Mr Grundy himself would, I am sure, admit) 
brilliant in ability. It is possible, of course (though 
I don't believe it), that we journalists of to-day may 
be as venal and spiteful as Messrs Slater, Brewster, 
and Wandle ; but at least we are not so gregarious in 
our villainy; we have learned a decent hypocrisy.* 

* On this Mr Grundy remarks : " Has Mr Archer forgotten 
his own lapse from virtue ? Does he not remember the occasion 
(I wish I could blot it from my memory) when he publicly 


You may find among us " the smyler with the knife 
under the cloke;" but who has seen the band of 
blustering bravos the Moonlighters of Mr Grundy's 
imagination ? 

invited ' us pressmen ' to combine to ' boycott ' every author 
who resented criticism ? I am happy to believe it was a moment 
of aberration . . . but there was no ' decent hypocrisy ' about 
that. When Mr Archer suggested that the pressmen of London 
should enter into a criminal conspiracy, was he not ' gregarious 
in his' unwonted enthusiasm?" If Mr Grundy will refer to 
the incriminated article (World, April 24, 1889), he will find that 
its purport was precisely to deplore the lack of gregariousness 
which rendered this " criminal conspiracy " impossible. The 
whole article, in fact, is only an amplification of the very phrase 
to which Mr Grundy cites it as a contradiction. As to the 
"criminal conspiracy, "boycotting is one of the law-made or 
rather law-defined crimes which are no crimes until they come 
within the legal definition. I did not suggest that " every 
author who resented criticism " should be boycotted, but that 
this treatment should be adopted in the case of authors (and 
managers and actors) who took one particular method of resent- 
ing honest comment on their productions a recourse, namely, 
to the notoriously one-sided machinery of our law of libel. At 
the same time, I am prepared, in substance, to accept Mr 
Grundy's rebuke. Without in the least departing from my 
opinion that the artist who submits questions of art to the 
arbitrament of a British jury thereby places himself without the 
pale, I recognise that press boycotting, even within the limits 
imposed by our sufficiently stringent law of conspiracy, might be 
made the instrument of injustices still more crying than those 
it proposed to counteract. It is best to leave in its sheath, 
even under the strongest provocation, a weapon which, once 
drawn, would clearly lend itself to tyrannous misuse. There- 
fore, even if we were as gregarious in fact as in Mr Grundy's 
fancy, I should now say, " Let us leave boycotting alone." 

"AN OLD JEW." 21 

But I say again, go to the Garrick, and see whether 
you recognise us. An Old Jew will certainly amuse 
you, for it is full of wit, much of the sentiment is 
pleasant enough, and it is admirably acted by every- 
one, from Mr Hare, who makes a quite memorable 
figure of the Old Jew, down to young Mr Du Maurier, 
who is a delightfully realistic Swiss waiter. Mr 
Gilbert Hare is " in progress," as they say in France ; 
Miss Kate Rorke and Mrs Wright are charming ; and 
Mr Anson, Mr Abingdon, Mr W. H. Day, Mr Scott 
Buist, Mr Gilbert Farquhar, Mr De Lange, and Mr 
E.obb Harwood are all as good as they can be. The 
mounting and stage management of the club scene 
are a delight to all that have an eye for such things. 
And whatever its faults, the piece is by no means 
unpleasant. For my part, I find it quite curiously 
amiable, for a play that sets forth to be, and is, so 
vehemently satiric. I have just been re-reading a 
few chapters of The Days of his Vanity, a work of 
ingenuous, hot-headed, charmingly boyish idealism. 
The same quality survives unimpaired in the fairy-tale 
of The Old Jew. Even in the satire and invective 
it has only put on a hin disguise. 




iff A January. 

AT last, at last ! The long series of disappointments 
has ended at last, and we have to thank Mr Daly for 
an evening of rich and keen, if not absolutely unmixed, 
enjoyment. The performance of Twelfth Night * has 
the one supreme merit which, in a Shakespearean 
revival, covers a multitude of sins it really " revives " 
the play, makes it live again. There is nothing 
mechanical or academic about it. We feel we are in 
a live playhouse, not a historical museum. Not that 
I, personally, object to seeing the theatre turned now 
and again into a historical museum. When we have 
our Endowed Theatre, at which Mr Sydney Grundy 
scoffs (but " come it will, for a' that "), some twenty 
to five-and-twenty nights in the year (not more, Mr 
Grundy !) will probably be devoted to the merely 
historical drama, to plays which interest us, not for 
their living merits, but because, like those people 
with whom Mr Browning parleyed in one of his 
last books, they were of importance in their day. 
The Country Girl, despite the freshness and charm 
of Miss Rehan's Peggy, belongs on the whole to this 
class. It is pleasant enough to parley with Garrick 
for once in a way (since Wycherley is out of the 
question) : but his work gives us pleasure, not because 
* Daly's, January 8 April 28. 


it is absolutely and perdurably beautiful or witty, but 
because the mediocrity of long ago acquires a certain 
charm in the very act of growing old. Here, I take 
it, lies the explanation of the difference between Mr 
W. S. Gilbert and Mr Clement Scott. Mr Scott, per- 
haps, does not quite thoroughly analyse the pleasure 
which he receives from The Country Girl, and mis- 
takes for inherent superiority what is really an 
"unearned increment" of quaintness due to mere 
lapse of time ; while Mr Gilbert, not making sufficient 
allowance for this unearned increment as inevitable, 
under certain conditions, in literature as in economics 
is inclined to compare new plays and old on their 
absolute merits, weighing wit against wit, and inven- 
tion against invention, as though the pleasure we 
received from wit and invention were, or ought to be, 
strictly commensurate with the sheer brain-power 
involved in it. Twelfth Night, on the other hand, 
is a work of inherent and permanent vitality. Poetry 
is the one thing imperishable, and Shakespeare has 
never written more tenderly and exquisitely than in 
the romantic scenes of this comedy. The fable has 
all the charm of a myth of the elder world, when 
instinct spoke to instinct unashamed, and when love 
found its sufficient sanction in beauty, with "no 

d d nonsense about merit," about spiritual affinity, 

or harmony of souls, or friendship, or even mutual 
esteem. Someone in Paris has recently produced a 


pantomime-play in which Juliet awakens before Romeo 
has drunk the poison, and they set up house together, 
quarrel, and lead a cat-and-dog life. What wanton 
vulgarity of imagination ! In Twelfth Night, only 
Malvolio, the would-be "bourgeois gentilhomme," 
associates love with domesticity. Malvolio, a born 
major-domo, dreams of ruling Olivia's house, bidding 
others know their place as he knows his, and, in short, 
fulfilling the social duties of marriage. To the noble 
and beautiful children of fantasy, marriage is only a 
spell or charm to be recited " for luck," as it were, as 
they cross the threshold of love. They are pagans in 
a pagan world, and we no more care to imagine them 
"married and settled," than we want to follow the 
figures on Keats's Grecian Urn into their workaday 

life in the 

*' Little town, by river or seashore, 
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel." 
We leave the lovers in each other's arms, beyond the 
reach and time of destiny. It is in this etherealising 
of the material, this elimination of all after-thought 
from life, all doubt and fear and shame, that the 
perennial charm of the poem consists. These " high- 
fantastical" beings are so frankly absorbed in the 
passion of the moment that they make the moment 
an eternity. Since Shakespeare left the comedy with- 
out an epilogue, Keats might have supplied it, in the 
shape of a fantasia on the theme : " For ever shalt 
thou love, and she be fair." 


Mr Daly and I will never quite agree, I fear, as to 
the proper way of treating Shakespeare's text. We 
differ in our fundamental principles. To me it seems 
that the aim of the artistic manager should be to 
present any given play with as little cutting and re- 
arrangement as possible, having regard to the altered 
conditions of the theatre both before and behind the 
curtain. Mr Daly seems rather to cut and rearrange 
as much as he possibly can, without absolutely going 
the length of Dryden, Tate, and Gibber, and re-writing 
his author. My rule would be, "When in doubt, 
play Shakespeare ; " to which Mr Daly would probably 
reply that he is never in the least doubt as to the 
superiority of his own ideas. For instance, nothing 
shall ever reconcile me to the barbarism (of which Mr 
Irving was also guilty) of opening the play with a 
seashore tableau, instead of with that bewitching 
speech of Orsino's, " If music be the food of love, 
play on," in which Shakespeare (who occasionally 
knew what he was about) strikes the keynote of the 
whole comedy. Mr Daly is not content with running 
Shakespeare's first and fourth scenes together as the 
second scene of his production : he actually cuts the 
six loveliest lines in the Duke's speech : 

Give me excess of it : that, surfeiting, 
The appetite may sicken, and so die. 
That strain again ! it had a dying fall : 
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south, 
That breathes upon a bank of violets, 
Stealing, and giving odour. 


This is so incredible, that I almost hesitate to make 
the assertion ; my wits may have been wool-gathering 
for the moment ; but I certainly did not hear the lines. 
The running together of the two scenes, Mr Daly may 
say, was necessary because of the deep stage required 
for the Duke's court. Well, if the retention of 
Shakespeare's arrangement had involved the sacrifice 
of a few of the odalisques strewn about the floor of 
the ducal seraglio, we need not have been inconsolable. 
But I do not even see that any such sacrifice would 
have been necessary. If the resources of the modern 
theatre are unequal to the changes of scene required 
in following Shakespeare's arrangement, all I can say 
is, the more shame to it. There are many cases, of 
course, in which judicious rearrangement is quite 
permissible ; but a rearrangement which displaces and 
mutilates what Shakespeare obviously intended for 
the opening chord of his romance is surely the reverse 
of judicious. The text throughout is treated very 
cavalierly, not only in the omission of important 
and characteristic speeches (such, for instance, as 
Viola's reply to Antonio, " I hate ingratitude more in 
a man," &c.), but in the curtailment and alteration 
of some even of the best-known phrases in the 
play. Why should the Clown's part be docked 
of the protestation that " Ginger shall be hot i' the 
mouth, too " ? Why should Viola stop short at " By 
my troth, I'll tell thee, I am almost sick for one " (i.e, t 


a beard), and omit " though I would not have it grow 
on my chin " ? Is Mr Daly of opinion that Shake- 
speare " rubbed in " the jest inartistically ? Perhaps ; 
but what we want is Shakespeare's lack of art, not 
someone else's art. What possible authority is there 
for "And dallies with the innocence of love like ripe 
old age"? The emendation is as stupid as it is 
unnecessary. Finally, to pass over many more im- 
portant matters, and descend to a very trifling, but 
not uncharacteristic, detail, why should the Clown 
modernise the line " Youth's a stuff will not endure," 
and sing " that won't endure " instead ? This may 
seem the very pedantry of fault-finding, but the altera- 
tion serves no conceivable purpose, and to the ear 
which is familiar with the phrase in its quaintly 
archaic form (and what ear is not?), the modernisa- 
tion is a quite sensible annoyance. 

There now ; I have had it out with Mr Daly, and 
can now return with an easy conscience to my original 
statement that, whatever his lapses of taste, he has 
truly revived the play, making it, as it ought to be, a 
thing beautiful, enjoyable, and lovable. I shall not 
even quarrel with the omission of " Come away, come 
away, Death," and the interpolation of one or two 
other more or less appropriate airs. In an ideal 
revival, the play would doubtless be less operatically 
treated; but the musical portion of the present per- 
formance is too beautiful to be otherwise than grate- 


fully accepted. I don't know where Mr Windmer 
found the setting of " Oh, Mistress Mine ! " which 
Mr Lloyd Daubigny sings so charmingly. It seems 
curiously unlike the words, converting the Clown's 
light-hearted ditty into a solemn and plaintive dirge : 
but it is beautiful, exquisitely beautiful and touching.* 
" Who is Sylvia ? " treated as a serenade at the end of 
the third act, is perhaps not strikingly appropriate, 
but it, too, is perfectly rendered, while the stage, by an 
original and ingenious arrangement of lights, presents 
one of the loveliest pictures imaginable. The per- 
formance, take it all round, is capital. In the very 

* I am permitted to borrow from my friend and colleague 
G. B. S. the following note on the music of the production : 

The musical side of Mr Daly's revival of Twelfth Night is a 
curious example of the theatrical tradition that any song written 
by Shakespeare is appropriate to any play written by him, 
except, perhaps, the play in which it occurs. The first thing 
that happens in the Daly version is the entry of all the lodging- 
house keepers (as I presume) on the sea-coast of Illyria, to sing 
Ariel's song from The Tempest, " Come unto these Yellow 
Sands." After this absurdity, I was rather disappointed that 
the sea-captain did not strike up " Full Fathom Five thy Brother 
Lies " in the course of his conversation with Viola. Since no 
protest has been made, may I lift up my voice against the 
notion that the moment music is in question all common sense 
may be suspended, and managers may take liberties which 
would not be allowed to pass if they affected the purely literary 
part of the play? "Come unto these Yellow Sands" is no 
doubt very pretty ; but so is the speech made by Ferdinand 
when he escapes, like Viola, from shipwreck. Yet if Mr Daly 
had interpolated that speech in the first act of Twelfth Night, 
the leading dramatic critics would have denounced the pro- 


first scene, Mr Hobart Bosworth, as Viola's sea- 
captain, led off by speaking his lines not only with 
perfect verbal correctness (alas, that we should have 
to remark on so simple and mechanical a virtue !), but 
with excellent phrasing and accentuation. Similar 
praise must be accorded to Mr John Craig, who did 
full justice both to the metre and the meaning of 
Orsino's lines. Miss Violet Vanbrugh made a pleasant 
and intelligent Olivia ; and the other blank-verse parts, 
if not excellently treated, were at least not notoriously 
maltreated. Mr George Clarke's Malvolio lacked 
fantasy, but was otherwise quite respectable ; Mr James 

ceeding as a literary outrage ; whereas the exactly parallel case 
of the interpolation of the song is regarded as a happy thought, 
wholly unobjectionable. Later on in the play Shakespeare has 
given the Clown two songs one, " Come away, Death," to sing 
to the melancholy Orsino ; and the other, " O, Mistress Mine," 
quite different in character, to sing to his boon companions. 
Here is another chance of showing the innate superiority of the 
modern American manager to Shakespeare ; and Mr Daly 
jumps at it accordingly. " Come away, Death," is discarded 
altogether, and in its place we have " O, Mistress Mine"; 
whilst, for a climax for perverse disorder, the wrong ballad is 
sung, not to its delightful old tune, unrivalled in humorous 
tenderness, but to one which is so far appropriate to " Come 
away, Death," that it has no humour at all. On the other hand, 
the introduction of the serenade from Cymbeline at the end of 
the third act, with "Who is Sylvia?" altered to "Who's 
Olivia ? " seems to me to be quite permissible, as it is neither an 
interpolation nor an alteration, but a pure interlude, and a very 
seductive one, thanks to Schubert and to the conductor, Mr 
Henry Widmer, who has handled the music in such a fashion as 
to get the last drop of honey out of it. 


Lewis was an admirable Sir Toby, incomparably the 
best I have ever seen ; Mr Herbert Gresham, as Sir 
Andrew, was quite worthy of his partner; and Miss 
Catherine Lewis, though she somewhat over-elaborated 
the sprightliness of Maria, was not so very florid in 
her humour as she is sometimes apt to be. The 
comic scenes, on the whole, had the true " festivitas," 
without which they are a weariness of the flesh. By 
the way, why does Mr Daly take all the humour out 
of .Viola's appeal for " Some mollification for your 
giant, sweet lady," by making it apply to Malvolio 
instead of Maria? The contrast between Miss 
Rehan's stature and Miss Lewis's is quite sufficient 
to give the thing point, though Shakespeare no doubt 
intended Maria to be played by a mere " wren " of 
a boy. 

Lastly, of Miss Rehan's Viola. It is a beautiful, a 
fascinating, a truly poetic creation on the whole 
more pleasing, to my own personal taste, than her Rosa- 
lind. Its one prevailing defect is slowness. Strange 
that one should have to say this of a performance of 
Miss Rehan's, but it gives all of Viola except her 
sparkle, her vivacity. A large exception, you may 
say ; but until you have seen Miss Rehan you don't 
know what liberal compensations she presents in the 
shape of tenderness, delicacy, and quiet, subdued 
humour. At the same time, there is every reason why 
she should try to bring her achievement up to the 


point of perfection by hastening the movement of 
several passages. She has adopted a curious sort of 
psalmody in her treatment of verse. She exaggerates 
her pauses, and lengthens out her vowel sounds, 
caressingly, beautifully, but, as I cannot but think, 
immoderately. I first noticed this tendency to what 
I then called grandiloquence in her performance of 
Maid Marian in The Foresters. It is an error on the 
right side, and gives a peculiar, dreamy, languorous 
charm to many passages of her Viola ; but an error it 
certainly is when carried to excess. Now -and then, 
too, she misses what I may call syllabic perfection in 
the wording of her lines, baffling the ear, for example, 
by saying, " I'm the man, if it be so as 'tis," instead of 
" I am the man." Her worst slip of this nature 
occurs in the very first lines of her part. Can any- 
thing be more beautiful than the echoing cadence of 

" And what should I do in Illyria ? 
My brother, he is in Elysium," 

which Miss Rehan ruins by omitting the " he"? But, 
after all possible deductions, this Viola remains a 
creation of indescribable beauty and charm a thing 
to be seen, and never to be forgotten. 




2 ^th January. 

MR ROBERT BUCHANAN has written for the Hay- 
market Theatre an interesting, effective, and quite 
intelligent play, which will in all probability enjoy a 
long run. The Charlatan* as its name portends, is 
concerned with the impostures of modern miracle- 
mongering, and at the same time dallies pleasantly 
with some other crazes and affectations of the day. 
Mr Buchanan is a firm believer in the maxim " What- 
soever thy hand findeth to do " (and his are certainly 
not the idle hands for which Satan provides employ- 
ment), " do it with all thy might." For the moment, 
he is writing popular drama, and he spares no pains 
to make it popular in every sense of the word. He 
leaves the how and why of imposture the temptations 
of the Charlatan and the cravings of his dupes to 
Bostonian novelists and other dabblers in nice dis- 
tinctions and fine shades. The business of the popular 
stage, as Mr Buchanan very justly recognises, does not 
lie in analysis, casuistry, or any sort of moral hair- 
splitting. The dramatist should not seek to impart or 
suggest new knowledge or thought, but should simply 
appeal, as regards character, to the common stock 

* January 18 March 17. 


of observations, as regards morals, to the currently 
accepted standards. Mr Buchanan's impostors, then, 
are impostors pure and simple, innocent of self- 
deception, and actuated by sheer, undiluted self- 
interest. One of them, it appears, has genuine 
hypnotic powers, which he exercises through the 
medium of eloquent adjurations that smack of the 
Old rather than the New Demonology. He has also 
a knack of summoning up "astral bodies," under 
conditions which seem very unfavourable for any 
Pepper's-Ghost or magic-lantern trickery. A less 
skilful playwright would probably have taken some 
trouble to explain the apparition of Colonel Arlington ; 
but Mr Buchanan knows that we are quite prepared 
to take it on trust, if only the situation, of which it 
forms the culminating point, interests and thrills us. 
He knows, too, that audiences are devout adherents 
of what Professor Marrables would probably call the 
catastrophic theory in psychology, especially where 
the purifying power of love comes into play. There- 
fore he has deftly contrived to introduce the necessary 
element of sympathy into his theme, by instantaneously 
converting his Cagliostro into a Bayard as soon as the 
woman he loves is in his power and at his mercy. 
There are, no doubt, superfine persons who will call 
this f rudimentary " and "childish." Perhaps, in 
another mood, I should have done so myself. But 
Mr Buchanan had somehow managed to put me in 


just the right mood for this pleasant piece of romance ; 
and what is the inmost secret of the playwright's art, if 
it be not to beget in his hearers the mood he requires 
for the purposes of his fable ? Mr Buchanan played 
on the right strings throughout. The entrance of the 
mysterious Philip Woodville was a piece of truly scenic 
imagination ; the seance of the second act was admir- 
ably handled, with real originality and skill ; the third 
act was charmingly picturesque and romantic; and 
the fourth act, which might easily have been an anti- 
climax, kept its hold on my interest and my sympathies 
to the end. The comic or satiric scenes, too, contain 
a good deal of light and clever badinage, at which one 
cannot choose but smile ; and altogether we have to 
thank Mr Buchanan for a well-imagined, and skil- 
fully and genially executed, romance, which filled an 
evening very pleasantly, and will doubtless fill a long 
series of evenings at the Haymarket. 

There ! At last ! I have had nothing but praise 
for a play of Mr Robert Buchanan's, and have said, 
withal, exactly what I think about it. It is the proudest 
moment in my life. I have not lived in vain, and can 
die happy. 

And now, having achieved one of my most cherished 
ambitions, I may whisper a thought which I have 
hitherto studiously dissembled, lest it might introduce 
a jarring note into the millennial harmonies of the 
foregoing paragraph. It seems to me that in the 


character of Philip Woodville, Mr Buchanan has been 
on the verge of lapsing into subtlety, and sinking 
almost to the Bostonian level. What he intended I 
do not quite know, for he has not lapsed into lucidity ; 
but I seem to see in Philip the glimmerings of a novel 
and delicately -observed character -type. I permit 
myself the Bostonian indiscretion of inquiring : What 
are the motives of his imposture ? and I see a possible 
answer which Mr Buchanan at least says nothing to 
contradict. He does not seem to be a mere needy 
adventurer; so far as we can make out, money is 
no object with him. What, then, has made him a 
charlatan ? May we answer, that he is one of those 
people (and they are not so rare as you perhaps 
think) who love imposture for its own sake, or, more 
precisely, for the power it confers, and the skill and 
daring it calls into play ? The game of deceit has its 
fascination like any other sport, and it is the crudest 
misconception to suppose that even the criminal is 
always actuated by the gross, material considerations 
which we describe as "mercenary motives." Who 
can doubt that men and women have sometimes 
yielded to the sheer intellectual fascination of "murder 
as a fine art," avid of the glorious excitement of baffling 
justice? When they fail, we call them homicidal 
maniacs; but who knows how many may have 
succeeded, and gone to their graves in the odour of 
sanctity and sanity ? The literary impostors, again 


the Chattertons, Irelands, and Colliers is it for mere 
filthy lucre, or even for the sake of renown, that they 
go about their nefarious work? Suppose Ireland 
could have reaped endless glory and profit from the 
production of Vortigern under his own name, would 
it have given him half the pleasure, think you, that he 
received from palming it off as Shakespeare's ? The 
sense of power which belongs to adept rascality the 
sense of intellectual, ay, and moral, exaltation over 
your fellows must be one of the finest intoxications 
of which human nature is capable. Then refine a 
little further upon this, and, without going beyond the 
bounds of the possible and even probable, you can 
conceive an impostor of such truly " sporting " tem- 
perament that he cares only for the excitement of the 
chase, and not at all for bringing down the game. 
Once assured that it is at his mercy, he lets it slip 
through his fingers without a second thought. Thus, 
for example, one can' imagine a Don Juan and is 
this Joseph-Juan quite imaginary? making victims 
on all hands, enough to tax the arithmetic even of a 
Leporello, yet always desisting from the chase just at 
the psychological moment. May we not take Philip 
Woodville to be an impostor of this sort? Mr 
Buchanan seems almost to indicate as much in 
the apologue of; the white gazelle, which prepares us 
for the revolution of the third act. There is, in short, 
a pleasant field for speculation in the character of this 


" Eurasian Mystery." One could fill columns with 
conjectures as to what the author intended or might 
have intended. He has had a very narrow escape. 
A little more clearness and consistency, and he might 
have drawn a character worthy of Mr Howells and 
passed the rest of his days in an agony of contrition. 

Mr Beerbohm Tree's performance of the enigmatic 
Philip is polished, picturesque, and, in the later acts, 
full of genuine feeling. His make-up is masterly; 
and, take it all in all, his chivalrous Charlatan is an 
immense advance, in point of artistic finish, upon his 
fascinating Bushranger. The minor key in which the 
whole character of Isabel Arlington is pitched suits 
Mrs Tree's talent to a nicety, and I don't mind owning 
that I was really moved at several points in the scenes 
between Isabel and Woodville in the last act. Mr 
Frederick Kerr and Miss Lily Hanbury played the 
comic lovers very brightly, and Mr Nutcombe Gould 
and Mr Charles Allan contributed clever character- 
sketches. Mr Fred Terry, as Lord Dewsbury, makes 
an unnecessarily thunderous entrance, marching on 
like the Statue in Don Giovanni ; but he puts all due 
earnestness into a somewhat " sacrificed " part. Miss 
Gertrude Kingston's part, also, is none of the best, 
but she does all that can be done with the cigarette- 
smoking Russian adventuress. How often, I wonder, 
has this useful actress played Madame Obnoskin 
under other aliases ? Mr Holman Clark's Professor 


Marrables is an excellent bit of character. The tone 
of placid detachment in which he remarks, "The 
soul ? Ah, yes, the soul ! " is the most amusing thing 
in the whole play. We feel that the soul has not yet 
come within the ken of his microscope, but that, if it 
ever should, he will know how to deal with it 

Bjornstjerne Bjornson why does Mr Osman 
Edwards persistently misspell his name ? is an ex- 
quisite lyric poet, a novelist and romance-writer of the 
first order, a historical dramatist of almost Shakes- 
pearean power (I vie with Mr Robert Buchanan in 
my admiration for Sigurd Slembe), and the great 
orator and demagogue (if you like to put it so) of his 
country and time. If you do not know Norwegian 
(but who does not, nowadays ?), the best way to make 
acquaintance with him is to read his beautiful and 
most touching novel, Paa Guds Veje, somewhat un- 
happily entitled In God's Way by its English trans- 
lator. As a writer of social dramas he is somewhat 
overshadowed, both at home and abroad, by Henrik 
Ibsen, but even in that line he has done excellent 
work. I say all this because no one, assuredly, would 
divine from the performance of what purported to be 
one of his plays, at the Royalty Theatre on Saturday 
evening, that he was a writer of any note whatever. 
A Gauntlet* purported, I repeat, to be "translated by 
Osman Edwards and adapted by George P. Hawtrey " 

* January 20-24. 


from his three-act drama, En Hanske ; but how much 
of its feebleness was attributable to Bjornson, and how 
much to Messrs Edwards and Hawtrey, I really cannot 
say. It was utterly, unrecognisably different from the 
drama now before me, published in 1883; but I am 
aware that Bjornson himself made some alteration in 
it, for the German stage, if I am not mistaken ; and I 
presume that in some points, at any rate, Messrs 
Edwards and Hawtrey have followed this second 
version.* It seems almost incredible that a writer 
like Bjornson should convert a strong, if somewhat 
disputatious, social drama into a clumsy farcical 
comedy like that of Saturday night ; but we know that 
when a playwright begins to boggle and botch at a 
play which has once taken definite form, he almost 
always makes a mull of it. The inherent defect of all 
dramas which seek to establish an equal moral law for 
both sexes, is that it is practically impossible, on the 
open stage, to go to the root of the existing difference. 
Even in the French drama this difficulty is felt. In 
Denise, no less than in The Profligate and A Gauntlet^ 
the discussion resolves itself into a bandying of empty 
phrases, no one daring to state in plain terms the very 
obvious reason why society has in all ages laid down 
one law for men and another for women. I do not 

* I have since ascertained that they followed it pretty closely. 
This version has never been published in Norway, but there 
seems to be no doubt that Bjornson himself is responsible for it. 


mean that the recognition of this obvious reason 
would end discussion, but rather that discussion cannot 
profitably be begun until it is recognised and admitted. 
Its inconclusiveness, then, A Gauntlet shares with 
many other plays ; its crudeness of construction and 
feebleness of dialogue (as here presented) are all its 
own. Miss Annie Rose was very much overweighted 
with the part of Svava; Miss Louise Moodie (a 
valuable actress, of whom we see too little) was 
excellent as Mrs Ries; and Mr Elliot, a clever 
comedian, had certainly some excuse in the dialogue 
assigned him for treating the character of Ries from a 
farcical point of view. 

Mr Sapte's farce, Uncle's Ghost* produced last week 
at the Opera Comique, has at least the merit of being 
a home-grown and inoffensive piece of tomfoolery. 
It shows once more at what trifling expense of wit or 
invention an audience can be amused for this class 
of work does undoubtedly entertain its own particular 
public. Mr Fred Thorne is reasonably funny as a 
ghost in a tourist suit and a straw hat ; Mr Tresahar 
plays a light-comedy part with a good deal of spirit ; 
and Miss Carrie Coote is bright as an American 

* January 17 February 12. 




$ist January. 

MR A. W. GATTIE, the author of the new play at the 
Court Theatre, is evidently a man of marked ability. 
Rumour has it that, like Charles Lamb, Mill, Grote, 
Bagehot, and so many other distinguished writers, he 
is by profession " something in the City." Whatever 
his actual calling, he would evidently have made an 
excellent barrister or leader-writer, and probably a 
good doctor or scientific lecturer in short, he would 
have made his mark in any profession in which a 
good solid intelligence is a sufficient basis of opera- 
tions. Clearly, too, he could write an interesting 
novel for aught I know, he may already have done 
so. It is even possible that he may have latent in his 
composition the special gift, the indefinable, incom- 
municable something, that constitutes the dramatist; 
but his first play, The Transgressor,* gives no very 
convincing evidence of it. It is the work of a man 
who is far too intelligent to make a fool of himself, 
even on the stage; but although he had hit on a 
strong theme, there was no moment in the course of 
the four acts when we said to ourselves, " Ha ! there 
is the unmistakable touch of the born playwright ! " 

* January 27 April J. 


Construction, dialogue, characterisation, ratiocination 
everything was able, respectable, interesting ; only 
there was no single scene or speech to make us (as 
the vulgar phrase it) " sit up," either intellectually or 

Mr Gattie is of opinion that the insanity of one of 
the parties to a marriage should be, not merely a 
permissive, but a compulsory ground for divorce that 
it should of itself, as it were, annul the contract He 
does not explain what extent of mental aberration he 
proposes to class as " insanity," or what authority is to 
pronounce upon the mental state of the patient ; but 
these are details upon which the dramatist, as such, is 
certainly not bound to enter. He assumes a case of 
indubitable, incurable mania, in other words, he 
takes the very plainest aspect of the matter, and asks 
us to reflect upon that, leaving definitions, distinctions, 
and difficulties for further consideration. The point 
is one of vast importance, and eminently arguable by 
dramatic methods of that there can be no doubt. 
The author, too, has shown strong logical sense in the 
form in which he has chosen to present his case. 
Many playwrights would have shilly-shallied over a 
Rochester and Jane Eyre who could not marry because 
of the Mrs Rochester in the garret ; and then, after 
three acts of virtuous anguish, would have killed Mrs 
Rochester No. i, so that the funeral baked meats 
might legally furnish forth the marriage feast of No. 2. 


Not so Mr Gattie. He indicts the law by making his 
hero break it, and showing, or at least arguing, that 
his crime is a law-made crime, not an offence against 
humanity, or even social policy. Eric Langley's 
action, it must be admitted, is more logical than 
probable. He either has, or has not, reason to believe 
that his wife's death will presently set him free. In 
the former case, he would surely be content to wait a 
little rather than risk penal servitude ; in the latter, as 
it is not in the nature of things that the second 
marriage can long be kept secret, he faces, not the 
risk, but the certainty, of imprisonment for himself and 
misery for Sylvia, for the sake of a few weeks or 
months of precarious and clandestine happiness. A 
man who would do this ought to be, by the author's 
own argument, incapable of marriage, for he certainly 
cannot be called sane. Under the circumstances 
stated, one could conceive Langley marrying Sylvia, 
and immediately after the ceremony, saying to her: 
" This marriage is a felony in the eyes of the law. If 
you agree with the law, there is no harm done ; give 
me a week's start for South America, and I will leave 
in your hands evidence which will at once nullify the 
marriage and make you a free woman again. If, on 
the other hand, you set love and conscience above an 
iniquitous law, our boat is on the shore and our 
barque is on the sea ; and, now that there is an extra- 
dition treaty with Argentina, we will live happy and 


die happy in Bolivia or Chili." This course would 
have been much more rational, and no whit more 
dishonourable, than that which Eric actually adopts. 
The fact is, he is not animated by ordinary human 
motives, but, out of pure public spirit and friendship 
for Mr Gattie, is bent upon getting up a good " test 
case." In this he succeeds, and in giving himself up 
to the law he brings the thing to its logical conclusion. 
But if he proves anything at all, he proves rather 
more than he seems to have intended. He commits 
Sylvia to her uncle's charge during her enforced 
" widowhood," assuming that when he emerges from 
retirement they will resume conjugal relations, whether 
the legal Mrs Langley be alive or dead. The infer- 
ence seems to be, not merely that marriage should be 
nullified by insanity, but that marriage, as a whole, 
is a decorative detail which persons of the highest 
principle (for these two are nothing if not heroic) 
may, if they please, dispense with altogether. On this 
point I express no opinion; I merely deduce what 
appears to be, whether Mr Gattie intends it or not, 
the ultimate moral of his fable. 

Able as the play is, it cannot be said that Mr 
Gattie has, at his first attempt, attained to perfect 
technical competence. He introduces one flagrantly 
superfluous character Sir Thomas Horncliffe ; his 
comic relief is cumbrous, and not very comic ; he 
brings about his central revelation conventionally and 


rather clumsily ; and he misses what I take to be, not 
only from the dramatic, but from the dialectic point of 
view, the seine a faire. Surely the one person whom 
it is important to convince of the iniquity of the 
present law is the heroine who suffers by it. I fully 
expected that her discovery of the illegality of her 
marriage would be followed by a scene in which her 
lover should plead his cause, and convert her from 
horror and amazement at his treachery to sympathy 
for his temptation, and pride in the great love which 
made him risk everything for its sake. We should 
thus have had the theme thrashed out by the two 
protagonists of the drama surely, I repeat, the one 
essential end to be attained, both from the dramatic 
and the dialectic point of view. But Mr Gattie passes 
quite beside this scene. The heroine is duly con- 
verted from horror to sympathy, but it is by an almost 
instant intuition, not by the hero's statement of his 
case, or any ordered appeal either to her intellect 
or her emotions. Miss Nethersole's powerful and 
striking performance concealed for the moment the 
emptiness of the scene j but, none the less, the author 
let slip a fine opportunity. It was in the character of 
the Rev. Henry Meredith, however, that his inexpert- 
ness chiefly betrayed itself. Here he sinned both in 
omission and commission. When the secret came 
into Meredith's possession, he was evidently in a very 
nice moral dilemma. He might instinctively feel it 


his duty to denounce the bigamist, and yet be re- 
strained by fear lest the vindictiveness of the defeated 
and jealous lover should reinforce the purer motive 
impelling him to such a determination. This inter- 
esting and truly dramatic point of conscience Mr 
Gattie entirely overlooks that is his sin of omission. 
His more positive and demonstrable error lies in 
making Mr Meredith such an egregious ass as to 
suppose that his own cause could possibly gain by his 
denunciation of Langley. True, it is conceivable that 
Sylvia might be coerced into a loveless marriage with 
him, simply for the sake of hushing up the scandal ; 
but if he is prepared to accept that solution of the 
matter, his case is a morbid one, which requires far 
more careful analysis than Mr Gattie vouchsafes. So 
far as we can see, his conduct at the end of the third 
act and beginning of the fourth is based upon an 
idiotic idea that he is going to divert to himself 
Sylvia's passionate love for his rival, by the simple 
process of ruining their happiness, and inflicting on 
her as well as him the greatest possible injury and 
pain. " Clergymen," says one of the characters, " are 
not a bit better than other men ; " but does Mr Gattie 
really believe that they are so very, very much 
foolisher ? 

I have already spoken of the extraordinary intensity 
and power of self-abandonment displayed by Miss 
Nethersole in the part of Sylvia. This performance 


ought to mark a step in her career. Mr Elwood 
played the part of the virtuous bigamist with more 
discretion, perhaps, than force ; but the character is 
an exceedingly difficult one, and discretion in this 
case was doubtless the better part of valour. Mr 
Fernandez, as the old Colonel who is the spokesman 
of the conventional morality, would be more con- 
vincing if he did not disdain the modern art of make- 
up, and stick to the undeceptive wig and whiskers of 
fifty years ago. Other parts are very fairly filled by 
Mr Brookfield, Mr Seymour Hicks, Mr Bucklaw, Miss 
Fanny Coleman, and Miss Bessie Hatton. 



1th February. 

WHEN a fond mother, adopting Mr Pinero's excellent 
idea, articles her son to me for instruction in the 
noble craft of dramatic criticism (premium, &c., on 
application), one of the first great truths I shall instil 
into him is that the critic, as such, has nothing to do 
with a play's chances of success. His business is to 
appreciate it as a work of art, not to take upon him- 
self the function of Old Probabilities, and predict how 
the "popular wind," as Dick Sheridan calls it, is 
likely to blow. Only the other night, I was discussing 


The Charlatan with an able and influential critic. " I 
did not like it," he said, " because I don't think the 
public is interested in the two subjects it deals with 
theosophy and hypnotism. The public cares for 
nothing but a love story." I am sure my colleague 
will forgive me if I protest against this "because," 
and the undue humility of the attitude it implies. 
Why should he pause to consider what " the public " 
likes ? It is his business to lead, not to follow, the 
public. If the author has succeeded in interesting 
him (if only for the moment) in theosophy and hyp- 
notism, let him tell the public so, and bid them go 
and be interested likewise. The drama must inevit- 
ably sink lower and lower if the critics and the public 
keep on thus underbidding each other, as it were 
each claiming less and less at the (real or supposed) 
dictation of the other. But I should say to my in- 
genuous apprentice even the best of rules has its 
exceptions. Plays there be with regard to which no 
mortal man need ask himself any question except 
" Will this please the public ? " Mr Buchanan's Dick 
Sheridan,* produced amid much applause at the 
Comedy Theatre on Saturday night, is one of these 
plays. There is absolutely nothing in it that calls for 
critical thought or discussion. From the point of 
view of literature, of literary history, of theatrical 
technique, it simply does not exist. A few ready- 
* February 3 March 30. 


made puppets from eighteenth-century comedy (one 
or two of them bewildering us a little by their obtru- 
sive unlikeness to the very well-known historical per- 
sonages whose names they have assumed) go through 
a childishly simple action, every step of which we all 
foresee from the first, and talk certain lengths of 
dialogue which is neither well nor ill written, neither 
brilliant nor flagrantly inane, but has the air of a sort 
of expert, fluent improvisation, founded on remi- 
niscences of all the plays of the standard English 
repertory. If you find this sort of thing amusing, you 
spend a pleasant evening, and there is no more to be 
said. The great majority of the audience seemed to 
spend a very pleasant evening on Saturday, and Mr 
Comyns Carr congratulated them on their good taste. 
I, too, congratulate them, for they were happier than 
I. It will interest me greatly to watch the fortunes of 
Dick Sheridan. The runs which Mr Buchanan's 
eighteenth-century plays used to achieve at the Vaude- 
ville were always marvellous to me ; but the Vaude- 
ville (in those days) was worked under peculiar and 
inexpensive conditions. If Dick Sheridan becomes 
really popular at the theatre where that powerfully- 
written and moving play Sowing the Wind ran only 
a little over a hundred nights, I shall admit in this 
instance (what, as a rule, I strenuously deny) a 
total discrepancy between my taste and that of 
the great public. We often differ as to what is 


beautiful and interesting, very seldom as to what 
is tedious. 

It has always seemed to me that Mr H. B. Irving 
has a career before him as a romantic actor, an actor 
of cape-and-sword parts. He may develop higher 
qualities later ; in the meantime, he has picturesque- 
ness and a certain distinction. His humour, on the 
other hand, is almost a negative quantity, though, like 
his father, he can sometimes make us laugh by the 
mere unbending of his normal gravity and stateliness. 
It would be unfair to hold him responsible for his 
total unlikeness to Richard Brinsley Sheridan, as he 
lives for us in a thousand traits of history and legend. 
Perhaps he could not, at best, have come very near 
the sanguine, mercurial Irishman ; there is more of 
the Spanish hidalgo in his composition ; but certainly 
Mr Buchanan gave him no opportunity for any 
attempt at genuine character-acting. It was not Mr 
Irving but Mr Buchanan that made Sheridan the 
unconscionably dull dog who on Saturday night 
moped and prosed through four interminable acts. 
There are doubtless debatable points in Sheridan's 
character, but three things are abundantly clear : that 
he had wit, that he was of a happy-go-lucky devil- 
may-care temperament, and that he had kissed the 
Blarney Stone, or, as the Irish guide-books put it, was 
possessed of " the gift of persuasive eloquence." All 
these characteristics Mr Buchanan has sedulously 


suppressed. True, it has been said that Sheridan, 
like other noted wits, made up his impromptus before- 
hand ; but in this case he has come abroad quite 
unprovided, not only with well-coined epigram, but 
even with the small change of humour and whim. 
He "jocks wi' deeficulty," if ever man did. Ques- 
tioned as to The Rivals, he remarks, " I can say of it, 
as the lady said of her complexion, { It is my own ' " ; 
and David Garrick actually has the complaisance to 
laugh ! His repartee never rises above the unpre- 
tending level of "You're another." "You're an 
impudent beggar," says Lord Dazzleton ; " And you, 
sir, are an impudent lord," is the crushing retort. 
" You shall rot in the Fleet," says Captain Matthews ; 
" And you shall sulk [or skulk I did not quite catch 
the word] outside it," rejoins the author of " the best 
comedy, the best farce, the best prologue, and the 
best oration in the English language." Sheridan, 
indeed, is the one leading character in the play who 
never has a scintillation of wit. Miss Linley makes 
one or two neat rejoinders to Lady Miller ; there is a 
certain humour in some of O'Leary's lines ; and one 
or two of the others now and then turn a phrase not 
inaptly. The only approach to wit that I can re- 
member in the part of " the illustrious author of The 
School for Scandal" is a saying to the effect that 
"What everybody says is what nobody should be- 
lieve," and even that I fancy he spoils with some 


superfluous words. And if his wit is ignored, what 
shall we say of his powers of blarney ? This magni- 
ficent representative of the great race of Borrowers, 
this man who, more than any other of his time, could 
be trusted not only to soothe an irate creditor, but to 
squeeze a further loan out of him, is represented as 
clumsily infuriating a Hebrew money-lender in sheer 
wantonness of insolence ! The scene, as Mr Buchanan 
owns, is " lifted " from Love for Love ; but Congreve 
keeps it within the limits of comedy, by making Valen- 
tine civil throughout to Trapland, and only Scandal 
openly impertinent. Congreve, in his turn, borrowed 
from the passage between Don Juan and Monsieur 
Dimanche in Le Festin de Pierre. Moliere's scene 
is exquisite, Congreve's is coarsely effective, Mr 
Buchanan's, as even the first-night audience felt, is 
senseless and grotesque. And here, precisely in the 
wrong place, is the one point where we have any 
glimpse of the recklessness of Sheridan's character. 
For the rest he is stolid, sedate, saturnine, diffident, 
dolorous, with much more of Chatterton than of 
Sheridan in him. What could Mr Irving do with such 
a part ? It seemed to me that, barring a little natural 
nervousness, he played very well the character Mr 
Buchanan had set down for him. Perhaps the chronic 
corrugation between his eyebrows added a touch of 
unnecessary gloom ; but that was a result, no doubt, 
of the nervousness aforesaid. 

"CASTE." 53 

Miss Winifred Emery made a charming Elizabeth 
Linley, but there was really nothing for her to take 
hold of in the namby-pamby personage. Mr Cyril 
Maude, as Lord Dazzleton, added another to that 
long list of " Stap-my-vitals " characters of which he 
must surely be getting very tired. Mr Brandon 
Thomas as O'Leary was amusing, but rather too 
deliberate ; and Miss Pattie Browne, as Mrs Lappet, 
made excellent use of her fine eyes. Mr Lewis Waller 
was good as the lurid Captain Matthews ; and 
other parts were well played by Mr Sydney Brough, 
Mr Edmund Maurice, Mr Will Dennis, Miss Vane, 
and Miss Lena Ashwell. 



i^th February 

WE are all agreed to regard T. W. Robertson as an 
innovator, a "way-breaker," as the Germans say, in 
our theatrical life ; but what he really did, and whither 
he led, it is not quite easy to determine. We are apt 
to talk very much in the dark about the theatrical 
history of the past half-century or so, for the necessary 
documents, if procurable at all, are almost unreadable 
and quite unrememberable. What was the state of 
the drama, and especially of comedy, when Robertson 


came to the front? It is useless to talk as though 
"he found not, but created first, the stage." The 
stage was there, and men of ability were writing for 
it. Westland Marston, Tom Taylor, Charles Reade, 
Dion Boucicault, were at the height of: their activity ; 
Douglas Jerrold's last comedies were things of yester- 
day. To Jerrold in especial a writer of original 
English comedies Robertson must have stood in 
some sort of relation, whether of likeness or unlike- 
ness ; but who remembers Jerrold's comedies, so as to 
compare them with Robertson's ? Not I, for one, 
though I have read several of them in my time. Did 
Robertson head a revolt against the tyranny of Scribe 
and the mechanically "well-made play"? Nothing, 
certainly, could exceed the simplicity of such a play 
as Caste. It is as plotless as any " slice of life " ever 
served up at the Theatre Libre, and makes us feel 
that in declaiming against plot, in these later days, we 
have been battering at an open door. But can we 
say that Robertson substituted character for plot? 
Scarcely, I think. Eccles, in this play, is the one 
real character he created ; the rest of his figures are 
ready-made puppets, which for a time passed muster 
as characters by reason of a certain modernity of dress 
and dialect. It was "business," rather than character, 
that he substituted for plot. His true originality (at 
least so I am disposed to think) lay in his knack of 
placing everyday objects and incidents upon the stage t 

"CASTE." 55 

He dealt in " touches of things common," and enlarged 
the property-list of serious comedy by such objects as 
milk-cans, tea-kettles, and rolling-pins, which had 
hitherto (unless I am mistaken) been held available 
only in farce. In dialogue, too, he pursued an 
analogous method, replacing the formal " wit " of 
would-be classic comedy with the easy-going flippancy 
of common talk. All this is implied in the famous 
nickname (who invented it, by the way?) of "cup- 
and-saucer comedy"; but the name, though happy 
enough, does not help us to place the thing it repre- 
sents in its true relations either to what went before or 
what has come after. Did Robertson initiate the 
modern English drama? Is he the intellectual 
ancestor of Mr Pinero and Mr Oscar Wilde? Is 
The Second Mrs Tanqueray implicit in Caste 1 ) Or 
did the Robertson impetus die away in Mr Byron and 
Mr Godfrey, while Mr Pinero, Mr Wilde, and Mr 
Jones are the products of a still newer movement? 
Is Mr Carton, perhaps, the one survivor of "the tribe 
of Tom " ? Twenty years hence, when we see things 
in a truer perspective, we may be better able to 
answer these questions. In the meantime, I am 
inclined to regard Robertson as a man with a curious 
instinct of superficial modernity, of which his intimate 
knowledge of stage-effect enabled him to make the 
most, but without the psychological penetration, the 
philosophical culture, or the artistic seriousness neces- 


sary for the great dramatist. He has been called the 
Thackeray of the stage I should rather call him the 
Leech, inasmuch as his criticism of life is that of 
the family caricaturist rather than of the philosophic 
satirist. His comparatively early death was perhaps a 
greater loss to his friends than to the drama, for it 
seems that he has done his real work, which may be 
described (inadequately, but not inaccurately) as the 
modernisation and refinement of the mechanism of 
the stage. This is the view I am inclined to take for 
the moment; but there is nothing more difficult, I 
repeat, than to write recent history, and stage history 
in particular. 

His masterpiece, Caste,* remains surprisingly fresh 
and "up to date." It is only in definite allusions 
to the Indian Mutiny, to dramatic ballets at Covent 
Garden, and so forth that it reminds us of its age. 
Its general tone is quite that of to-day. What is 
unnatural now has not become so by lapse of time, 
but was no less unnatural twenty-seven years ago. It 
is curious to remember that Caste (produced in 1867) 
is now just as old as Money and London Assurance 
were when Caste was new. Yet the distance that 
separates them from Caste in tone and diction appears 
infinitely greater than the distance between Caste and 
Liberty Hall, which is very slight indeed. It is quite 
true that at the Garrick Caste seemed to have "gone 
* February 5 April 4. 

" CASTE." 57 

off " a good deal, but that was mainly on account of 
the distinct inferiority of the acting. The three parts 
which were really well played are those which are 
least essential to the success of the comedy George 
d'Alroy, Esther, and the Marquise, to wit, performed 
by Mr Forbes Robertson, Miss Kate Rorke, and 
Miss Rose Leclercq. Miss Rorke, as Esther, greatly 
overdid the end of the second act, making it ugly and 
stagey, but at every other point she was charming ; and 
Miss Rose Leclercq, looking quite regal in her sables, 
made the Marquise as little of a bore as possible. 
Esther's terrible line about " Master d'Alroy " had 
been judiciously cut. Might not a few lengths of 
Froissart follow it into oblivion? Mr Anson was a 
forcible and grotesque rather than an unctuous or 
comic Eccles. He exaggerated the sheer physical 
ugliness of the character. Captain Hawtrey seemed 
entirely to elude Mr Abingdon. The character simply 
faded out of the play, to the total destruction of its 
balance and meaning. Mr Gilbert Hare, as Sam 
Gerridge, was neither good nor bad, but colourless. 
His sobriety was praiseworthy in intention, but some- 
what insipid in effect. To Miss Hay Harvey's Polly 
hard measure had been meted out in more than one 
quarter. Miss Harvey is distinctly a clever comedian, 
who will prove her value, I have no doubt, when she 
comes across a good original part. Following Mrs 
Bancroft as Polly Eccles, she was altogether too 


heavily handicapped. Her humour seemed hard, 
aggressive, self-conscious, and her mere physical 
unlikeness to the ideal Polly whom we had in our 
mind's eye was greatly to her disadvantage. But it is 
an abuse of words to say that she showed no humour 
or talent. To those who had never seen the play 
before, she no doubt seemed all that could be desired ; 
and there were several things notably her recognition 
of George in the third act which she did not only 
comparatively, but positively well. 


2ist February. 

THE first ten minutes or so of The Little Widow* 
produced last week at the Royalty, seemed to belie 
the announcement in the programme : " This play has 
no motive." A motive was very clearly announced 
a motive something like that of Niobe, or of Mr 
Anstey's Fallen Idol what may perhaps be briefly 
indicated as the Frankenstein Motive. An amateur 
mesmerist has hypnotised a lady, and does not know 
how to break his own spell, so that she follows him 
about, worshipping him as her " lord and master," to 
the total disorganisation of his domestic economy. 
* February 15 March 10. 


Not only is this a motive it is the motive of a fairly 
well-known play, to wit, The Master Builder, by one 
Henrik Ibsen. Had Mr William Jarman (the motive- 
less author) been alive to his opportunities, he might 
have enlisted the sympathies of the majority of the 
critics by professing to ridicule that exasperating pro- 
duction. But after the first ten minutes all appearance 
of reason vanished. " The Little Widow " came upon 
the scene, and incoherence instantly set in, with im- 
becility following hard upon it. The Little Widow, 
be it known, is not the Monster of the hypnotic 
Frankenstein, but a totally different person, having 
no connection whatever with the subject originally 
announced. In a word, the piece is indescribably 
senseless and vulgar, and it is pitiful to see actors like 
Mr Charles Sugden and Mr Welton Dale engaged in 
such work. Miss Minnie Palmer played the title- 
part, and seemed to have numerous and vociferous 
admirers among the audience. Indeed, the piece 
may be said, on the whole, to have been favourably 

The hundredth night* of A Gaiety Girl was quite a 
brilliant and festive occasion. The piece went very 
briskly, and everybody, both on and off the stage, 
seemed to be in the best of spirits. This type of 
musical farce is not an elevating or intellectual art- 

* Prince of Wales's, February 9. Transferred to Daly's 
Theatre, September 10 December 15. 


form, but it is at least an improvement on the solemn 
and stodgy Gaiety burlesque of the old school which 
it seems to be supplanting. In selecting Mr Dudley 
Hardy to design the handsome memento which was 
distributed in the theatre, the management showed a 
nice sense of appropriateness. Along with French 
methods of draughtmanship, the tone of the French 
comic papers is gradually permeating a large section 
of English journalism ; and A Gaiety Girl is, on the 
stage, an unmistakable symptom of the same tendency. 
" Spiciness " is the distinguishing trait of this class of 
work both in the drama and in art ; and the dialogue 
of Messrs " Owen Hall " and Harry Greenbank is 
certainly spiced with an unsparing hand. For my 
own part, I have queer old-fashioned notions as to the 
limits of becoming mirth on the stage. If I cannot 
see why the serious drama should deal with nothing 
but dinner-table topics, still less do I see why the 
wit of the lighter stage should persistently approximate 
as nearly as possible to that of the tap-room. It gives 
me very little pleasure, even in the presence of ladies, 
to hear dialogue which elaborately leads up to an 
objectionable point, and then, as it were, sheers oft 
with a wink before the point is quite attained. There 
is an old legend of some ingenious gentleman who had 
invented an anecdote with two endings, one gross, 
the other innocent. He would tell it with the " spicy" 
ending at the dinner-table after the ladies had left, and 


then, to the consternation of all the other men, would 
recommence it in the drawing-room, fathering it upon 
the most grave and reverend senior who happened to 
be present. In this playful gambolling on the verge 
of indecency lies half the art of the "up to date" 
librettist, whose great aim seems to be to get the 
aroma of the smoking-room over the footlights. Well, 
the ladies seem to enjoy it, and who am I that I 
should complain ? Indeed, I am not complaining ; I 
am only recording a sociological observation. A 
Gaiety Girl has, since the first night, been pruned of 
some of its spiciest flowers of fancy, and the laicising 
of the erstwhile " Honorary Chaplain " is an immense 
improvement. Mr Monkhouse is a comedian of such 
over-brimming energy and irrepressible " go " that he 
can afford to dispense with tasteless and meaningless 
travesties. I see no reason why " the cloth " should 
be sacred from fair satire and even caricature; but 
this was a case of gratuitous insult. " But," you may 
ask, "is not the insult simply transferred to the 
medical profession?" In a sense, yes; but it loses 
all its sting. The doctor has no " cloth," no " livery," 
to be insulted ; and besides, as sanctity is no part of 
the medical ideal, the contrast between profession and 
practice is not so flagrant and painful. 





IT is not easy, in the case of a production like The New 
Boy* to apportion the requisite "praise, praise, praise," 
between the author and the leading actor. Mr Arthur 
Law, to be sure, would have been nowhere without 
Mr Weedon Grossmith ; but where would Mr Weedon 
Grossmith have been without Mr Arthur Law ? This 
is not one of the cases in which the author, so to 
speak, merely provides the horse-collar, while the actor 
does all the grinning. What we laugh at is not simply 
the personal quaintness of Mr Grossmith of that we 
should tire soon enough but the ingenuity of Mr 
Law in complicating the embarrassments and miseries 
which throw the comedian's quaintness into relief. 
The very funniest moment in the play occurs, not in 
one of the " pathos scenes " (to adopt the phraseology 
of Greek tragedy) while the protagonist is protagonising 
before our eyes, but in the " messenger scene " of the 
last act, when we are informed of the gruesome expia- 
tion to which the police-court Rhadamanthus has con- 
demned the hero. Here it is clearly the author, not 
the actor, who moves us to laughter; though even 
here a very subtle disputant might argue that it is not 

* Terry's, February 21. Transferred to Vaudeville, April 16. 
Still running. 

"THE NEW BOY." 63 

so much the author's invention in the abstract that we 
laugh at, as the concrete image conjured up in our 
minds of Mr Weedon Grossmith undergoing the peine 
forte et dure of castigation. The upshot is, of course, 
that the pleasure]we receive is due to a very equal and 
intimate co-operation between author and comedian. 
Mr Law stands to Mr Grossmith precisely in the 
relation in which Sardou stands to Sarah Bernhardt 
when he fits her with a part like Fedora or Theodora. 
Just as La Tosca exploits the beauty and genius of 
the divine Sarah, so does The New Boy exploit the 
genius and beauty of Mr Weedon Grossmith. It is 
very easy to say that Mr Law might have treated his 
theme with greater ingenuity. Possibly he might; 
but the critic who makes such a complaint is bound 
in honour to indicate the opportunities which the 
author has missed. For my part, I think Mr Law 
has shown all the ingenuity which his theme " com- 
ported." It would have been mere waste of labour 
to raise a very delicate and complex structure on such 
a foundation ; for no ingenuity in the world can give 
the initial idea that air of plausible common-sense 
which is indispensable to what may be called literary 
farce. Take Mr Pinero's three farces, The Magistrate, 
The Schoolmistress > and Dandy Dick does not their 
very charm lie in the fact that there is nothing which 
we can utterly reject as impossible either in their 
starting-point or in their development? No single 


incident is quite incredible; the author's art lies in 
concentrating a fantastic number and continuity of 
ludicrous moments into the two hours' traffic of the 
stage. But Mr Law's farce, though he does not, like 
Mr Anstey in Vice Versa, call in the aid of the super- 
natural, is frankly impossible from the outset. Even if 
we could conceive it physically possible that a man 
of thirty (whatever his stature) should pass for a boy of 
fourteen, the motive for keeping up the deception has 
no sort of plausibility. We cannot possibly believe 
that Archibald Rennick is going to pass as his wife's 
son until Dr Candy's will comes into operation, which 
may not be for a quarter of a century or so. Mr 
Law simply asks us to hold our reason and common 
sense in total abeyance for a couple of hours, in order 
to enjoy the humour of Mr Weedon Grossmith ; and 
under these conditions it would be mere wastefulness 
to expend upon the theme any more ingenuity than is 
necessary in order to keep the attention of the 
audience on the alert. The dialogue is not without 
a certain humorous vivacity, and that is all the literary 
quality required in work of this description. On the 
other hand, the piece is quite funny enough to dis- 
pense with one or two witless and vulgar lines, at 
a particular point which I need not specify. Mr 
Grossmith is excellently supported by Mr Beauchamp, 
Mr Beveridge, and Miss Gladys Homfrey, while some 
younger artists make quite marked successes. Mr 


Sydney Warden's sketch of the French tutor is really 
clever; Mr Kenneth Douglas as "Bullock major" 
is the hulking schoolboy to the life ; and Miss May 
Palfrey as a wide awake young lady of sixteen, shows 
a good deal of address in a not over-pleasant part. 
The farce is preceded by The Gentleman Whip> by 
Mr H. M. Paull, a pleasant old-fashioned comedietta, 
in which Miss Esme Beringer plays with freshness 
and vivacity. 

Yes, it was a dismal, deplorable evening that we 
spent at the Opera Comique on Friday last. For 
once the Independent Theatre entirely failed of its 
purpose, and gave us a bad performance of an in- 
tolerable play. Not that Les Heritiers Rabourdin* is 
devoid of interest. On the contrary, it might make 
the text of a very curious and suggestive article on 
" The Old Humour and the New." But the starting- 
point of any such article would necessarily be the 
inquiry, "Why is the play intolerable?" That it is 
a lugubrious blunder on Zola's part is the postulate 
on which all profitable discussion must be based ; and 
as this fact was easily verifiable in the study, there 
was no occasion for experiment on the stage. Let 
me simply record that Mr Welch struggled gallantly 
and not unsuccessfully with the part of Rabourdin 
and, that justice done, say no more of a performance 
which ought never to have taken place. 

* February 23. 


That delightful artistic-critic, Mr Quiller-Couch, 
once did me the honour to reprove me for holding 
that fiction is a progressive art, or, at any rate, an art 
that has progressed. The thing is to me so self- 
evident that I think I must have failed to convey my 
meaning to Mr Couch, else he could scarcely have 
disagreed. If he would read Les Heritiers Rabourdin 
(including, of course, Zola's preface), and then ask 
himself the question suggested above : " Why is the 
play intolerable ? " I think he might see my position 
in a new light. Zola has gone back to two of the 
great comic writers of the seventeenth century : he 
has taken a theme from Ben Jonson, and treated it, 
or tried to treat it, after the manner of the farces of 
Moliere : and the result is a hideous fiasco. Why ? 
It is not sufficient to answer that Zola is neither 
Jonson nor Moliere, for it is not from no lack of ability 
that he has failed. It is not the execution of the play 
that is at fault, but the whole conception, the form 
as it were. The execution is, of course, open to 
criticism, but we feel it useless to trouble about 
details, for no possible merit of execution could have 
saved such a theme. It is the very idea of the 
Molieresque treatment of the Jonsonian subject that 
we cannot away with. The more successful the 
pastiche (to use Zola's own word), the more intolerable 
the play would be. Again, why ? Surely because we 
have outgrown the necessity for Jonson's gross, crude, 


ogreish exemplars of the primary passions, and the 
taste for that reckless and triumphant effrontery, that 
rough and cruel horseplay, that perpetual exhibition 
of the cudgel and the bolus, in which the public of 
Moliere's day delighted. We, too, take a certain 
delight in these things, in relation to their time, as 
belonging to an interesting chapter in the history of 
the human spirit; but we have turned over a new 
leaf, or rather many new leaves, and such elementary 
psychology and semi-barbarous humour do not fit 
into the context of that Chapter XIX. (to adopt an 
arbitrary numeration) which is now drawing to a close. 
We have nothing to learn from such monstrous em- 
bodiments of cynical rascality, cupidity, and cunning 
as Rabourdin, Chapuzot and Charlotte, the Volpone, 
Corbaccio and Mosca, of the French play. These 
crude passions have become commonplaces to us 
what interests us is their disguises, their modifications, 
their attenuations, their conflict with other motives 
and passions in the individual. Jonson's personages, 
and Zola's, have no moral consciousness ; and, on the 
stage at any rate, it is moral consciousness which 
interests us. Zola has shown that great effects can 
be produced by an epic treatment of the "human 
beast ; " but in drama he, or rather it, must be used 
sparingly, incidentally, by way of contrast. Give us 
the beast, the whole beast, and nothing but the beast, 
and tedium culminating in nausea is the result. This 


large-type psychology in words of one syllable had its 
use in its day, for a public just awakening to moral 
consciousness; but nowadays the man in the street 
has got beyond it. "What about Shakespeare?" I 
shall be asked. " Do you tell us that the psychology 
of modern fiction has got beyond Shakespeare?" 
Certainly, with Shakespeare's help. It is quite true 
that Shakespeare had moments, many moments, of 
miraculous clairvoyance; but his discoveries have 
entered into the common stock, and men and women 
without a tithe of his genius are now able to look 
more deeply and minutely than he did into the inmost 
fibres of human nature. Psychology, in a word, is 
a science which progresses by cumulative experience 
and observation ; and as the art of fiction is correlative 
to the science of psychology, it follows that the one 
tends to advance at an equal pace with the other. 
What Zola has done in Les H'eritiers Rabourdin is to 
throw overboard the accumulated knowledge and skill 
of nearly three centuries to what purpose I cannot 
conceive, nor, clearly, could the Opera Comique 

The World* revived at the Princess's on Saturday 
evening, is the first and, to my thinking, the liveliest 
and best of the series of Drury Lane melodramas. 
The invention of the authors Messrs Meritt and 
Pettitt and Sir Augustus Harris was fresh and fertile 
* February 24 April 14. 


in those days, and the mechanical sensation scene 
had not yet become the be-all and end-all of the 
melodramatist's craft. The raft-scene is effective, and 
the two murder-scenes have really a touch of Wilkie 
Collinsish ingenuity. It is capitally played at the 
Princess's by Mr Charles Dalton as the hero, Mr 
Charles Glenny as the villain, Mr Elton as the comic 
Hebrew, and Miss Olga Brandon and Miss Kate 
Tyndall as the heroines. 


7 th March. 

FOR a man to lay down laws as to what is and is not 
"womanly" and "seemly," appears to me, theoreti- 
cally, a piece of impertinent Helmerism. Those who 
do so may urge Pauline precedent, but Paul himself 
could not plead the precedent of his Master. Now- 
adays, at any rate, women are perfectly capable of 
looking after their own dignity, and are even beginning 
to turn the tables and lay down laws for men. I will 
not be so audacious, then, as to assert that the per- 
formance of As You Like It* by a company consisting 
entirely of women, sinned against any eternal canon 
of conduct or ideal of Womanhood. All I will venture, 
* Prince of Wales's, February 27 (afternoon). 


very diffidently, to remark, is that neither the use nor 
the beauty of such an exploit is quite apparent to the 
male observer. This is a case in which I think we 
may fairly ask, " What does it prove ? " What does it 
exemplify ? What does it illustrate ? A performance 
by men alone might help to illustrate the conditions 
of the Shakespearean stage ; but this performance has 
no bearing on either the past or the future, for I do 
not understand that even the most vindictive champion 
of her sex proposes to take revenge for the sixteenth 
century by entirely excluding men from the stage of 
the twentieth or twenty-first. There was no sociologi- 
cal principle at stake, no artistic lesson to be learnt. 
The performance had not even the comprehensible 
attraction of burlesque, that appeal to the average 
sensual man which lies in the display of " shapely " 
limbs ; for jack-boots were the only wear in the Forest 
of Arden. The whole thing, then, was a purposeless 
curiosity, and rather ugly than beautiful. It is true 
that the ladies, as a rule, wore their male habiliments 
inoffensively, and with considerable grace and ease ; 
but there is something uncomely to the eye and un- 
pleasing to the ear in a " bearded woman." It matters 
not whether the beard be well or ill applied, deceptive, 
or transparently false. In the latter case the effect is 
simply grotesque and ugly ; in the former, the illusion 
gives place to a disturbing and almost painful dis- 
illusion as soon as the performer opens her mouth. 


So far as I am aware, this (or, at any rate, the New 
York performance which this one imitated) was very 
nearly the first occasion on which bearded ladies have 
been seen outside the showman's booth. I vaguely 
remember to have read of a female Falstaff, but cannot 
lay my hand on the reference. For the rest, actresses 
who have played male parts have almost always chosen 
beardless ones. Peg Woffington's very popular per- 
formance of Sir Harry Wildair was the occasion of a 
jest of Quin's, which, as the demure and reverend 
Genest phrases it, " must not be repeated." Mrs 
Siddons played Hamlet in the provinces, and I myself 
have seen a female Hamlet in my day. Charlotte 
Cushman acted Romeo to her sister's Juliet ; there 
have been several female Macheaths ; and innumerable 
boys or boyish characters have been performed by 
women ever since women first appeared on the stage. 
But Sir Harry Wildair, Hamlet, and Romeo are all, 
or at any rate may be, as beardless as the Ganymede 
of Arden, and I certainly cannot remember that, until 
the other day at the Prince of Wales's, I ever saw 
anything beyond the least indication of a moustache 
on a female face on the stage. The next time I want 
to see a bearded lady, I shall seek her in her proper 
habitat the caravan. 

It is only fair to say, however, that many of the 
ladies, hirsute or otherwise, spoke their lines well, and 
acquitted themselves with much credit. Miss Ada 


Ferrar made a most spirited Orlando, Miss Charlotte 
Morland and Miss Naomi Hope were good as Adam 
and Jacques respectively, and Miss Sophie Larkin was 
by no means the worst Touchstone on record. Miss 
Beatrice Selwyn was a charming Celia, Miss Lillie 
Belmore a very passable Audrey, and Miss Frances 
Ivor a competent if not very poetical Rosalind. 
When next she plays the part, I would beg her not 
to say : 

"Like many other mannish cowards have.* 
Dr Furnivall, indeed, maintains that Shakespeare did 
use " like " in this way ; but the only lines in which it 
is unmistakably and intentionally so used, are unmis- 
takably the work of someone else than Shakespeare. 
This, I need scarcely say, is not one of them. The 
playbill confessed that Mr Leonard Outram was re- 
sponsible for the acting version of the play "now 
performed for the first time in London." I wish I 
could think that confession in this case implied 

Mr J. H. Darnley's farce, Mrs Dexter* at the Strand 
Theatre, suffers from a total lack of connected interest. 
There is nothing in it to excite our curiosity as to 
what is going to happen, much less to arouse a 
sympathetic interest in the course of events. The 
fun is extracted or purports to be from a quite 
arbitrary series of situations, due to the mania which 
* February 28 March 10. 


possesses all the characters for calling on each other 
with no rational motive, and consequently encounter- 
ing the people they least wish to meet. Mr Hawtrey's 
Irish accent does not sit very lightly on him, but he 
is amusing when he gets a chance ; and Miss Fanny 
Brough manages to put a good deal of humour into a 
part in which but little is supplied to her. The best 
scene in the play is the reconciliation between Mr and 
Mrs Dexter, with its pianoforte accompaniment; but 
even here a little more fancy and ingenuity in working 
up the interplay of dialogue and music would not have 
been out of place. 



\Atth March. 

THE courteous and indefatigable Mr Bram Stoker 
just as all majesties are " gracious " so are all acting- 
managers "courteous and indefatigable" has, it 
appears, been taking his turn at the popular sport of 
chastening the dramatic critics. No doubt he thinks 
that long experience in putting them in their places 
qualifies him, a fortiori, for putting them in their 
place. I have not yet had an opportunity of sitting 
at his feet, so that if in this article I sin against any of 


his canons, it is in ignorance, not in obduracy. I see 
it stated, however, that he makes some allusion to a 
critic and translator of plays who had the audacity 
and imbecility, or words to that effect, to remark that 
the actor is a parasite upon the play. We are all 
staring at each other with a wild surmise, and asking 
who can have been the audacious imbecile in question? 
Charles Lamb, as everyone knows, said something of 
the sort in one of his most famous essays ; but as he 
was not a translator of plays, he cannot be Mr Stoker's 
imbecile. Coleridge translated plays, and so did 
George Henry Lewes ; but it may be doubted whether 
Mr Stoker's literary researches have carried him so far 
back into the abysm of time. Among contemporaries, 
I fancy Mr Walkley has made some passing remark of 
the kind ; but he is innocent of translations. Can it 
have been Mr Clement Scott ? Mr Malcolm Watson ? 
Mr J. H. McCarthy ? translators all ! I can quite 
understand that the guilty creature should shrink from 
confession, for really, even if Lamb had not anticipated 
it, the statement was too obvious to be quite worth 
making. In moments of intellectual lassitude we are 
all of us apt to fall back upon truisms ; but we do not 
like to be reminded, however courteously and indefati- 
gably, of our lapses. It is patent, I will not even say 
to the meanest intelligence, but to the mere physical 
sense, that the play can and does exist apart from the 
actor, the actor cannot and does not exist apart 

"THE BEST MAN 7 ." 75 

from the play. The odd thing is that Mr Stoker, 
unless he has been misquoted, seems to doubt this. 
His doubt proceeds, I gather, from a generous but 
illogical jealousy for the dignity of criticism. If the 
actor, he says, be a parasite on the play, the critic 
must be a parasite on the actor ; and from that con- 
clusion he shrinks with abhorrence. In the worst 
event, Mr Stoker's abhorrence could not alter the 
stubborn fact above stated ; but fortunately we need 
not take so gloomy a view of the critic's position. He 
is not a parasite upon the actor, but a co-parasite 
with the actor upon the play. The critic could exist 
without the actor, the actor without the critic, but 
neither without the play. The person who could not 
exist without the actor is the courteous and inde- 
fatigable acting-manager. 

But to every rule there are exceptions (if Mr Stoker 
will pardon the truism), and the standing exception 
to this one is Mr J. L. Toole. He is not a para- 
site upon anything; he is self-existent, fundamental. 
Plays are all one to him ; he is the substance, they 
the mode, the accident. He sets at defiance the 
logic of Mr Stoker's imbecile. That dialectician must 
either admit that there is a gap in his syllogistic net, 
or must set about proving that Mr Toole is not an 
actor which is absurd. It is true that Mr Ralph 
Lumley in his new farce, The Best Man* provides an 
* March 6 June 27. 


agreeable setting for Mr Toole's humour; but who 
would call the picture a parasite upon its frame, the 
jewel a parasite upon its socket? There is a good 
deal of ingenuity in the piecing together of the play, 
and some merriment, if not precisely wit, in the 
dialogue. One cannot but chuckle over the idea of 
the railway director, travelling on his own line, who 
pulls the communicator in implicit confidence in its 
inefficiency, and finds to his horror that it actually 
works ! Miss Beatrice Lamb plays the lady of the 
railway carriage with spirit and humour; Miss Cora 
Poole shows indications of talent in a somewhat 
monotonous part ; and those " permanent officials," 
Mr John Billington, Mr C. M. Lowne, Mr George 
Shelton, and Miss Eliza Johnstone, are all at their 

Mr Sutton Vane, the author of The Cotton King* at 
the Adelphi, may at least claim one distinction he 
has created the champion villain of this, or any other, 
age. There are defects in his drama, even as tested 
by the poetics peculiar to its class. For example, it 
is not necessary to tell even the stalest story twice 
over in order to make it comprehensible to the 
Adelphi audience ; and this practice tends to bring 
the fall of the curtain perilously near " closing time " 
a grave error in Adelphi art. But before these 
lines are in print the redundancies and superfluities of 
* March 10 May 5. 


The Cotton King will doubtless have vanished, and 
the villain will remain to delight the sympathetic soul. 
For my part, I cherish for him a respectful admiration, 
like that which Mr Kipling's Tommy Atkins bestows 
upon the Soudanese Fuzzy Wuzzy "he's a pore 
benighted haythen, but a fust-class fighting man." 
Against overwhelming odds for his machinations 
have never the remotest chance of success he 
carries on a heroic battle with inexhaustible resource- 
fulness and indomitable daring. Not that there is 
any ingenuity in his crimes on the contrary, they are 
quite childish ; but he always has a fresh one ready to 
meet any emergency, and each more foolhardy than 
the last. And then he is so obliging as to tell himself 
all about his villainies, every now and then, in the 
minutest detail after the manner, to be sure, of his 
great exemplar, lago. But there is this difference 
between the methods of these distinguished men : 
lago thinks aloud in the act of concocting or, as he 
puts it, engendering his wiles ; whereas Mr Richard 
Stockley's revelations are retrospective: he recapitu- 
lates his turpitudes, he chews the cud of his depravities. 
As thus : " Ha ! uneasy is he ? I fancy he'd be more 
than uneasy if he knew that I had altered his code- 
number 24, by which he instructed his American 
agent to sell, into 124, which means 'Buy all you 
can.' The telegraph -clerk is in my power, and dare 
not oppose me, so that even when the American 


agent cabled for confirmation of the orders, we were 
able to cook the despatches," and so on through 
several monologues almost as long as that of Charles 
V. before the tomb of Charlemagne. The complexity 
of his crimes is positively bewildering, and it is part 
of his method always to accuse other people of them, 
without any reasonable likelihood of being believed. 
He seduces the " Pet of the Works," and declares that 
the hero is the culprit, though it is obviously impossible 
to keep up the deception for half, an hour, and he 
very nearly gets lynched for his pains. He ruins the 
hero by means of the aforesaid forged cablegram, and 
then lays the blame on the benevolent Jew financier, 
though no one believes him for half a moment. He 
places stolen money in the hero's safe; he has the 
hero kidnapped and chained in a lunatic asylum ; he 
suborns a drunken workman to expose the heroine to 
the contagion of a deadly fever, thereby putting him- 
self irrevocably in the drunkard's power; he cages 
the heroine in the shaft of an elevator and then rings 
down the lift upon her; he wades and wallows in 
iniquity, is exposed and denounced over and over 
again, but goes on irrepressibly, imperturbably, for the 
sheer pleasure of the thing. I feel quite sure, though 
this is not explicitly stated, that it was he who set fire to 
the lunatic asylum in which the hero is chained, hoping 
on the roast-pig principle, to secure a dish of roast 
hero; but unfortunately it is only the other lunatics 


who are roasted. And all these crimes he crowds into 
three acts; how many he adds to the calendar in 
the fourth act I cannot tell, for I tore myself away 
at 11-20, leaving him with another half-hour or so 
of sin still before him. He is, indeed, a colossal, 
a magnificent malefactor, beside whom the petty 
scoundrels of Messrs Merritt, Pettitt, Sims, and 
Buchanan shrink into utter insignificance. Mr 
Edward O'Neill embodies him admirably. There is 
villainy in every twirl of his cane. Mr Charles Warner 
makes the impressive hero we all know; and Miss 
Marion Terry is such a charming heroine, that no one 
feels the slightest surprise when she receives three 
offers of marriage within less than fifteen minutes. Mr 
Herbert Flemming plays the philanthropic financier 
with quiet skill. Have we to thank Mr Zangwill for 
the fact that the sinister and the comic Israelite are 
now quite at a discount on the stage ? Certain it is 
that our playwrights no longer go to Barabbas and 
Fagin for their Hebrew types, but rather to Spinoza 
and Nathan der Weise. Miss Hall Caine makes a 
pleasant and pathetic " Pet of the Works," and Mr 
Charles Cartwright's portrayal of the drunken engineer 
is a powerful piece of melodramatic acting. 

Of Mr Percy Fendall's duologue, Fashionable Intelli- 
gence* which now precedes The Transgressor at the 
Court Theatre, one may at least say that it improves 
* March 5 April 7, 


as it goes on. The opening scene, with Mrs Fitz. 
Adam's criticisms of her supposed rival, is emphati- 
cally farcical, and this is a pity, for it might have been 
much more subtly handled. The latter half of the 
little piece, however, rises into the region of light 
comedy, and is worth seeing. Miss Lottie Venne 
plays the widow with unflagging humour and vivacity, 
and Mr Brookfield does all that is needed with a 
somewhat sacrificed part. 



2ist March. 

MR " ADRIAN Ross," the librettist of Go-Bang* at the 
Trafalgar Square Theatre, is one of the interesting 
figures of the stageland of to-day. He is interesting, 
not so much for what he is, as for what he might be if 
he chose. Of course that is an unphilosophical expres- 
sion. If he does not choose to rise above Morocco 
Bound and Go-Bang^ it is because he cannot choose 
he lacks some subtle convolution of the brain. 
What we mean when we say that a man could " if he 
chose " do this or that, is that he at least comes 
within measurable distance of the ability. Will is 
in one sense a part of faculty : if you have not the 
* March IQ August 24. 

"GO-BANG." 8 1 

will, the character, to do a thing, that is the most 
fatal disability of all. But there is also a very im- 
portant sense in which will and faculty are distinguish- 
able ; and though will without faculty is the complaint 
from which most of us suffer, there is always, in any 
art, a respectable minority possessed of faculty without 
will. Go-Bang has confirmed an old impression of 
mine that Mr Adrian Ross has all the faculty, if only 
he has the will, to rescue extravaganza from the 
slough of inanity, and give it something like intel- 
lectual substance and literary form. " The theatre is 
irresistible : let us organise the theatre," said Matthew 
Arnold in one of his late essays, with a certain air, 
perhaps, of making the best of a bad business. It is 
with no such feeling, I vow and protest, that I say, 
" Extravaganza is inevitable : let us rationalise ex- 
travaganza." Don't tell me that the public prefers 
witless tomfoolery. The public puts up with it when 
it can get nothing better; but, other things being 
equal (and by " other things " I mean pretty faces, 
bright dresses, taking music, and so forth), it prefers 
clever nonsense to stupid nonsense,, and good rhymes 
to bad. See how the return of Mr Gilbert at once 
brings the public back to the Savoy; see how Mr 
Adrian Ross, by far the cleverest rhymer, after Mr 
Gilbert, on the contemporary stage, has with surpris- 
ing rapidity made himself by far the most popular 

librettist of the day. If an Aristophanes were to 


appear to-morrow, the public would rise at him ; and 
even a semi- or a demi-semi-Aristophanes would not 
fail of a welcome. Why should not Mr Adrian Ross 
be he? 

It may seem a Hibernianism, or even a complicated 
Hiberno-Scotticism, to recommend a burlesque writer 
to take himself seriously ; but that is nevertheless my 
earnest advice to Mr Adrian Ross. At present his 
frivolity is an affectation, a deliberate and unpleasing 
exaggeration. He is so I gather from the news- 
papers "inland bred," a man of culture and even 
of academic distinction. His training has been in 
the direction of refinement, of sestheticism, perhaps 
even of puritanism. He is not a Bohemian, native 
and to the manner born, but an immigrant trying 
to prove his right to naturalisation by becoming, in 
manners and dialect, more Bohemian than the natives 
themselves. Having once kicked over the traces, he 
sets no limit to his escapades, forgetting the wisdom 
of that gnomic couplet of his own (I alter only one 
word in it) : 

The proper kick for a don, you know, 
Is not too high and it's not too low. 

" Go to !" he seems to say, " since we must be vulgar, 
let us be vulgar with a vengeance ; since frivolity is 
our cue, let us out-frivole the most frivolous." He 
dredges the music-hall for its English, the drinking- 
bar for its manners, the smoke-room for its wit. 

" GO-BANG." 83 

" When I'm boss of the blooming show," says one of 
the personages in Go-Bang, 

Then all my subjects I'll amuse 
With lovely songs as fairly ooze 
With booze and booze and booze and booze. 

Of course this is " rote sarkastic," but the shot is not 
without its recoil. A great deal of Mr Ross's own 
work " fairly oozes," if not with mere alcohol, at least 
with a highly alcoholised style of humour. It is re- 
dolent of the tap-room. How far he is directly re- 
sponsible for the prose dialogue of Go-Bang I do 
not know, but he is at least indirectly responsible for 
all but the mere "gags," and the wit of it, barring 
one or two flashes, is decidedly cheap and well, the 
opposite of nice. There is a certain humour in the 
notion of the Eastern potentate who supposes the 
Divorce Court to be one of the legislative institutions 
of Britain, " because it is there that the nobility go to 
get their decrees made absolute ; " but there are, on 
the whole, far too many allusions to the Divorce 
Court and kindred topics. This facile vein of cyni- 
cism is already overworked by Mr Ross's imitators 
in The Gaiety Girl. And then he is fatally careless 
of plot. Mind of man cannot conceive anything 
more inept and incoherent than the fable of Go-Bang 
unless it be that of Morocco Bound. If Mr Ross 
has no invention, he ought to find a collaborator 
who can supply the deficiency ; but I suspect it is 


rather carelessness than incapacity that is the matter 
with him. He thinks anything is good enough for 
the public, which cares only for jingle, frivolity, and 
mild topical illusions ; but one day he will find out 
his mistake. If Go-Bang should fall short of success, 
it will be on account of the poverty of its idea and the 
inconsequence of its incidents. 

But I hope and believe that it will live down these 
defects, in virtue of Mr Ross's rhymes, Dr Carr's 
music, and Miss Letty Lind's dancing. Mr Ross is 
certainly an inexhaustibly ingenious rhymer. His 
work is easier and more fluent even than Mr Gil- 
bert's; language is more plastic in his hands. Mr 
Gilbert's verses always seem to be exquisitely carved 
in wood; Mr Ross's are modelled in some ductile 
material, which yet takes and retains very sharp and 
definite forms. Some of his refrains are irresistible 
bits of verbal tintinnabulation. The average "book 
of the words " is a terror to the eye and ear ; but I 
positively invested in a libretto letting sixpence go 
bang for Go-Bang in order to enjoy at leisure the 
delicious jingles of "You're not supposed to know, 
you know," " Di, Di, Di," and " The Chinese Dolly." 
These are not things that will bear quotation in cold 
blood; you must go and hear them if you want to 
appreciate Mr Ross's really remarkable talent. Dr 
Carr's music, too, if it does not tax the intellect or 
strain the attention, is at least fluent and vivacious. 


Its melodic forms are perhaps a little too familiar, 
its orchestration too unpretending. I suspect, though 
I am not musician enough to say this with confidence, 
that Dr Carr shares his colleague's tendency to write 
down rather than up to his hearers. But he is neither 
heavy nor pedantic, and that is the main thing. Miss 
Letty Lind gambols very gaily through the part of Di, 
and her dancing is quite delightful. Her imitations 
of Miss Katie Seymour and Miss Sylvia Grey as- 
tonished as much as they amused me. I had no idea 
that dancing could b made the subject of such deli- 
cate mimicry. As for Miss Lind's imitation of Miss 
Cissie Loftus's imitation of Miss Lind our English 
pronouns are quite inadequate to so complex a pheno- 
menon it is a marvel of ingenuity and humour. Mr 
J. L. Shine is excellent a> the Boojam of Go-Bang; 
Mr Henry Grattan, though greatly overweighted by 
the part of Jenkins, is full of good intentions ; and 
Miss Jessie Bond seizes every possible opportunity in 
a part entirely unworthy of her. 



tfh April. 

ONCE upon a time there was a king, who ruled over 
the ancient and famous realm of Haymarckia. His 


name was Rhododendron I., and he was handsome, 
wise, witty, valiant, and withal an ardent champion of 
the divine right of kings. He was always to be found 
in the forefront of every battle, and, as a token of his 
divinity, a shaft of light descended from heaven and 
followed him wherever he went, forming a halo around 
his head. Now King Rhododendron had many 
children. They succeeded one another faster than 
he could quite have desired; but there are some 
circumstances beyond the control even of the best- 
regulated autocrat. And there was this melancholy 
peculiarity about his offspring, that one always died 
before another was born, so that in the royal nursery 
the funeral was apt to tread upon the heels of the 
christening with frightful rapidity. In vain did King 
Rhododendron invite all the sages and magicians of 
the world to the christening feasts. At times they 
would actually mutter curses over the cradle, and even 
their blessings seemed somehow of small avail. For 
the first few weeks, indeed, each child would appear 
preternaturally healthy, and the Court Circular would 
announce in leaded type that so vigorous a bantling 
had never been known in the annals of Haymarckia. 
But presently, just as it seemed to be " going strong 
and well," it would turn rickety, dwindle, peak, and 
pine ; and, after an unostentatious funeral, the cards 
would be sent out for another christening. In the 
space of a little more than a year, King Rhododendron 


had lost no fewer than four children. The first, a 
handsome girl of classic features, was thought to have 
been killed by a Jewish physician whom the king 
unwisely called in to attend her. The second was a 
sprightly youth of great promise ; but he succumbed 
to a surfeit of epigrams, of which he was so immoder- 
ately fond that he would not even stop to distinguish 
the new-baked from the stale. Next came a misshapen 
and tinsel-eyed changeling, babbling blusterous and 
unseemly words. Him King Rhododendron fondly 
loved, and of the sages who thronged to his christening, 
one only, and he a sage of no importance, was rudely 
candid as to the little stranger's ugliness and deformity. 
But the blessings which the other Wise Men of the 
West showered down upon the cradle could not pro- 
long the poor monster's unhealthy existence. He was 
succeeded by a somewhat commonplace but sturdy- 
looking bairn, who might perhaps have come to 
maturity, had not a potent enchanter, the Archirnagian 
of his day, hurled a terrific curse at his head, beneath 
which he melted away like snow-wreaths in a thaw. 
Finally and here the history of Haymarckia suddenly 
breaks off a pretty, and merry, and fairy-like babe 
came to gladden the royal nursery. The sages, duly 
convoked, did not quite know what to make of him. 
They praised his robes and trappings, but they were 
far too sage to care about the vivacity, and grace, and 
charm of the child himself. The ancient manuscript 


comes to an end just as they were drawing the most 
depressing horoscopes around the smiling innocent. 
What may have been its fate ? Alas ! one apprehends 
the worst. Yet it is well to remember that the weak 
things of this world sometimes confound the strong, 
and we can at least hope that the love of children, and 
of all whose imagination still answers to the spell of 
" Once upon a time," may have counteracted the 
predictions and imprecations even of the austerest 

In all seriousness, I beg you to go and see Once 
upon a Time,* and to take your children if you have 
any, and other people's if you haven't. There is only 
one thing in it they won't understand why Magdalena 
should refuse to be in love with the King in the first 
act, and should consent with effusion in the last and 
that they will never trouble their heads about. For 
the rest, they will be enraptured to see one of the 
most amusing of their beloved Hans Andersen's stories 
blended with another pretty fantasy the exchange of 
station between Diomede and Habakuk, Magdalena 
and Rita, and decked out with all the gorgeousness 
of a veritable Arabian Night. And you, if you do not 
delight in it too, don't flatter yourself because it is of your 
superior wisdom. It only shows that you have vitiated 
your palate with alcohol, and nicotine, and curry and 
cayenne, till you have lost your honest natural relish 
* Haymarket, March 28 April 21. 


for " lucent syrups tinct with cinnamon." Of course, 
in a fairy-tale, the psychology is primitive, the ethics 
simple ; it would not be a fairy-tale else. But if you 
must needs find grist for the mill of that vast unresting 
intelligence of yours, there are a score of symbolic 
issues to the legend of the Emperor's New Clothes 
which you can follow up at your sweet will. For one 
thing, it is a genuine Fable for Critics. Which of us 
has not in his time gone into ecstasies over (say) the 
gorgeous singing-robes of some heaven-born poet, and 
shouted down the still small voice of the unsophisticated 
child (within us or without us) whispering, " But I see 
nothing at all " ? As for the poet himself, may he not 
read the lesson that the unanimous acclaim of a host 
of log-rollers will not shield him from the biting blast 
of oblivion unless he have indeed woven for himself a 
robe of honest, tangible, durable texture ? And other 
people besides poets have been known to array them- 
selves in these air-drawn filaments. Have we not seen 
more than one actor-manager marching forth solemnly 
in his pyjamas amid the all-hails of his faithful first- 
nighters, and recalled to his senses only by the 
" churlish chiding of a wintry wind " from his box- 
office? For my part, too, I own that I am not 
indifferent to the political satire of the play. Whether 
Herr Fulda intended it or not, his fable has an obvious 
application to what may be called contemporary history, 
which I take leave to find entertaining. But these 


things are all inessential. Meaning or no meaning, 
the piece is charming simply as a dramatised fairy-tale. 
It is a poem, not certainly of any very lofty order, but 
graceful and unpretending so far as it goes ; and I 
welcome it as an oasis amid the arid prose of our 
workaday modern drama. 

Messrs Parker and Tree's "free adaptation" of 
Der Talisman is not unwarrantably free, and does no 
substantial injury to the original The English text 
is smooth and pleasant, except where Mr Tree and 
others make a deliberate hash of lines which were 
evidently written as blank verse. The tripping 
irregular rhymes in which the part of Rita is written 
are of charming effect, and Mrs Tree speaks them 
very prettily. Dramatically, the weak point in the 
play is the second act, where the succession of courtiers 
rubbing their eyes before the empty clothes-horse 
necessarily becomes monotonous. The first act is 
bright, interesting, amusing, and went excellently. 
The third act is really dramatic, and would be more 
so if Miss Neilson and Mr Nutcombe Gould could 
manage to put a touch of sincerity into the scene 
between Magdalena and Diomede. The audience 
has been credited with a gigantic effort of courtesy 
in not laughing at the king's entrance in his under- 
garments. Where would have been the harm if they 
had laughed? The play is not a tragedy, but a 
romantic legend, and the situation is inherently, 


intentionally ludicrous, though its dramatic interest 
may make us for the moment put a curb upon our 
mirth. There was one point, however, where Mr 
Tree raised an undesirable laugh. It was at the end 
of the third act, where he says, " I am cold ; give me 
a cloak." By speaking this loudly and hardly he 
made it comic ; had he moderated his voice, and put 
some feeling into it, we should have felt the pathos 
rather than the ludicrousness of the situation. The 
fourth act was so imperfectly rehearsed that its 
dramatic movement was lost; but it contains some 
pretty and effective scenes. Mr Fred Terry was 
capital as the weaver of the magic robes; Miss Neilson, 
in the last act, made a most imposing Amazon ; Mr 
Luigi Lablache was a duly sinister villain ; and Mr 
Lionel Brough was really amusing as Habakuk. 

The untoward circumstances which converted A 
Comedy of Sighs into a Comedy of Groans affected 
even the opening play of the evening, The Land of 
Hearts Desire* by Mr W. B. Yeats. The players had 
taken no account of the defective acoustic of the 
Avenue Theatre, so that I, for one, heard only about 
half the dialogue, and that imperfectly and with a 
painful strain. There can be no doubt that the little 
piece is prettily written, but its spiritual motive, so to 
speak, eluded me. The fairy's power over Mary 
Bruin must surely symbolise something in her nature, 
* March 29 April 14 ; April 21 May 12. 


or, at any rate, there must be something in her nature 
or circumstances to give the Good People a hold over 
her. Now what this something was entirely escaped 
me, whether by the author's fault or the actors' I 
cannot tell. There is no more beautiful idea in the 
whole realm of folklore than that of a wild, elemental 
creature, tamed for a time by human love, yet drawn 
by an irresistible home-sickness back to her native 
element, be it water, air, or fire. Such legends are 
innumerable in all mythologies, and have been treated 
a hundred times by poets of all orders for instance, 
by Ibsen in The Lady from the Sea, and (in an inverted 
form) by Matthew Arnold in The Forsaken Merman. 
Mr Yeats has every right to deal with it for the 
hundred-and-first time, and that I conjecture to have 
been his intention ; but even in a fairy- play the author's 
intention should not be left to conjecture.* 

Dr Todhunter's intention in A Comedy of Sighs ^ 
seems to have been to get the scent of Keynotes over 
the footlights, and some pretty strong whiffs of it 
certainly reached the nostrils. Well, it is an ambition 
like another, and I don't quarrel with it. Nor is it a 
criticism of essence to remark that he has expanded a 
one-act comedietta we have all seen it under half a 
dozen different names into a four-act comedy. There 
is no reason in the nature of things why this should 

* See concluding paragraph of Article XVI. 
t March 29 April 14. 


not be done, and done successfully. Dr Todhunter 
has not succeeded, because he has not developed his 
characters clearly, because his wit is apt to be pedantic 
rather than scenic (the dialogue bristles with quotations, 
which should always be used very sparingly on the 
stage), and because his audacities of thought and 
expression are frigid, deliberate, self-conscious, and 
therefore inartistic. It is possible, of course, that the 
last objection might not have made itself felt had the 
Frou-frou- Hedda-Gabler heroine been played by an 
actress of genius, a Desclee or a Duse, for it would 
have required no less. Miss Florence Farr was (not 
inexcusably) panic-stricken from the outset; but at 
best one does not see that she possesses either the 
physique or the art for such a character. It is over- 
whelmingly difficult, and one is teir;>ted to add, with 
Dr Johnson, "Would to heaven, madam, it were 
impossible." Miss Vane Featherstone and Mr James 
Welch were both excellent, and quite held the play 
together when they were on the stage ; and Mr Bernard 
Gould and Mr Yorke Stephens were at least passable. 
I am puzzling my head to remember in what other 
play the incident occurs of the wife flinging her jewels 
at the husband's feet. Is it in La Princesse de Bagdad ? 
As for the easy-going husband who so astounds his 
wife by swearing at her that she rushes into his arms, 

" Vous etes mon lion, superbe et genereux 
Je t'aime ! " 


the difficulty is rather to remember in what play he 
does not occur. This modern and George-Egertonian 
shrew is remarkably easily tamed; but one could 
almost wish that Dr Todhunter had reserved for her 
some of the poison which seemed so out of place 
in The Black Cat. As Mr Stevenson puts it in 
Underwoods : 

" Dear heaven, with such a rancid life, 
Were it not better far to die ? " 

Why do Mr Wyndham and Lady Violet Greville 
lend colour to the accusations of MM. Sardou and 
Company, the former by omitting all mention of Le 
Gendre de M. Poirier on the playbill of An Aristocratic 
Alliance* the latter by bowing from a box in response 
to the call for the author? Of course one acquits 
them from the outset of any wish to deceive. The 
origin of the play has been paragraphed on every 
hand, and, in any case, the original is so widely known 
that they might as well produce a new rendering of 
Faust and hope to escape detection. By this object- 
less lack of courtesy they do a serious wrong to the 
English stage, and especially to our original dramatists. 
It is the prevalence of such practices in the past, and 
(as we see) their occasional survival in the present, 
that makes it so difficult to disabuse even rational 
Frenchmen of the idea that the English stage lives 
entirely upon pilferings from Paris. Mr Pinero, of 
* Criterion, March 31 May 29. 


course, is not responsible for the proceedings of Lady 
Violet Greville ; but from the Parisian point of view 
the distinction between them is immaterial ; what one 
English playwright does (at a respectable theatre) 
another is capable of doing ; therefore the boulevard 
journalist has no difficulty in believing, without the 
smallest evidence, that The Profligate is adapted from 
Denise, and The Second Mrs Tanqueray from Le 
Mariage d'Olympe. The whole production marks a 
return to the bad methods of the bad days. There is 
something sublime in the audacity of foisting a set of 
unspeakably feeble love-scenes upon a classic like Le 
Gendre de M. Poirier. Poor Miss Annie Hughes ! 
What a part to assign to an artist of such talent ! 
And Miss Emily Fowler comes but little better off. 
Where Lady Violet Greville condescends to fall back 
upon Augier, some of the interest of the original sur- 
vives, though English names, costumes, and allusions sit 
very uneasily upon the essentially French characters, 
and the necessary elimination of the duel leaves the 
last act utterly savourless. It was not Mr Charles 
Groves's fault that Mr Firkin Potter was to Monsieur 
Poirier as a crab-apple to a jargonelle. The ineffable 
bourgeois so inimitably incarnated by Got, and so 
cleverly acted by Coquelin, would of course have been 
quite out of place in a quasi-English play. Mr 
Wyndham was good in the lighter passages of the 
Anglicised Gaston de Presles; Miss Mary Moore 


made an ingenuous Antoinette; and Mr De Lange 
contributed a most amusing sketch of the outraged 



\\th April. 

IN all discussions of the actor-manager question, 
those of us who are opposed to the system have been 
careful to introduce a saving clause in favour of Mr 
John Hare. An artist to the finger-tips, he has 
never made his theatre a mere instrument of self- 
glorification, and has thus earned our esteem no less 
as a manager than as an actor. But until Saturday 
night we had not reckoned adventurousness among 
his virtues. We should rather have called intelligent 
conservatism the note of his policy. He was certainly 
not the manager whom we should have held most 
likely to produce a first play, by an untried author, 
and that author of the sex which has commonly, 
of late years at any rate, been considered destitute 
of dramatic faculty. The production of Mrs Lessing- 
ham* proves that Mr Hare has the insight to recognise 
good work when he sees it, and the courage to act 
upon that recognition. The event should be highly 
inspiriting to those who have hitherto believed our 
* Garrick, April 7 May 16. 


leading managers totally inaccessible to unproven 
talent. " One swallow," I shall be told, " does not 
make a summer, and the exceptional good fortune 
of ' George Fleming ' may not find a parallel for 
years to come." I do not deny that this lady has 
had the luck on her side, but her first and greatest 
piece of luck lay in her ability to write a strong, 
moving, and eminently actable play. No one who 
can do that need despair of finding a hearing. For 
my part, I wish I could believe in the unacted master- 
pieces with which the managerial pigeon-holes are 
said to be bursting. 

The faults of Mrs Lessingham are not faults of 
femineity to use a word which may plead the 
authority of Coleridge and Mr George Moore. 
Except, perhaps, in an occasional touch of tenderness 
beyond the reach of your average male, I fancy it 
would be a very keen critic who should detect a 
feminine hand in the workmanship. It is true that 
the author's effort is bent rather towards emotion 
than analysis ; but then we are told (and several 
striking instances can certainly be alleged in favour 
of the theory) that the faculty for analysis is precisely 
that which has been brought to greatest perfection in 
Woman by the immemorial necessity imposed upon 
her of studying the motives and caprices of the 
tyrant Man. (This is the doctrine, I beg to state, 
of Herbert Spencer, not, as you might suppose, of 


Madame Sarah Grand.) It is also true that there are 
several errors and weaknesses in the construction of 
the play ; but members of the superior sex have been 
known to commit similar, and perhaps even greater, 
maladresses, in their first attempts at playwriting. 
Let us glance at some of these weak points. Theo- 
retically, nothing could be clumsier than the means 
by which the meeting between Gladys and Lady 
Anne is brought about in the first act ; but as there 
is, after all, nothing impossible in it, and as the 
audience accepts it without a murmur, it should 
perhaps be called a happy audacity rather than an 
error. In the second act, the scene between 
Hardy and Lady Anne is perhaps a trifle too long ; 
but that is the only technical defect. The opening 
of the third act though, being essential to the 
development of the situation, it ought not to be 
called "comic relief" is deplorably crude and 
amateurish. The author should have invented some 
quite different method of indicating the painfulness 
of Gladys's position. It seemed to me, too (this is 
not the author's business, but I may as well get 
through with my fault-finding at once), that the stage- 
management of the whole scene down to Gladys's 
exit might have been improved. It cost us quite an 
effort to determine what portions of the dialogue 
were or were not supposed to be audible to all on the 
stage. In the fourth act, the old nurse's warnings 


against an overdose of the medicine are distinctly 
overdone. We are so fully prepared for what is 
coming that they seem merely conventional and 
tedious. A much greater fault, and yet, one would 
think, quite easily corrigible, lies in the author's 
omission to make it clear, before the scene between 
Gladys and Forbes, that Lady Anne has relented 
towards Major Hardy, and that therefore Gladys's 
self-effacement is destined, in so far, to fail of its 
purpose. This would at once heighten the tragic 
irony of the closing scenes, and relieve the audience 
from an uneasy dread lest Lady Anne and Forbes 
should be going to fall into each other's arms over 
Gladys's body. As it is, the huddling up of matters 
between Lady Anne and Hardy, in the very horror of 
the catastrophe, would be felt to be heartless if it 
were not so hurried as almost to escape notice. A 
very short scene, interpolated at an earlier point in 
the act, would enormously help the position for all 
the leading characters. 

Chief among the merits of the play is the sobriety 
and firmness of its style in all the more serious scenes. 
"George Fleming" knows how to strike the just 
mean between flatness and either pathetic inflation 
or artificial brilliancy. Her dialogue is thoughtful, 
nervous, natural. In a word, she writes well. And 
she invents well too. We see the true dramatist in 
the contrast, so skilfully brought out in the first act, 


between Forbes's recollection of the Algerian time 
and the same five years as they dwell in the memory 
of Gladys. This is a true touch of human pathos ; 
and equally strong and original is the scene between 
Forbes and Lady Anne at the end of the act, in which 
she wrings from him the truth about Mrs Lessingham. 
The great scene of the second act is on the surface a 
little more conventional, but only on the surface. 
Scenes of magnanimity, self-accusation, heroic dis- 
simulation, are common enough on the stage and 
generally very undeceptive ; but here the pathos of 
the thing lies in its undeceptiveness. The two 
women are playing a heart-broken comedy, and in 
the duel of quixotisms the battle is necessarily to her 
who has the less pretence to keep up. The author 
has set forth to show that there are complications 
in life from which the utmost effort of selflessness 
provides no tolerable exit ; and it was morally neces- 
sary as well as dramatically effective, that Gladys 
should be, as it were, coerced against her own wiser 
instinct into the error for which she pays so dear. 
Lady Anne, in fact (though the analogy may seem a 
trifle grotesque), is very much in the position of 
Gregers Werle in The Wild Duck, and her attempts 
to enforce " the claim of the ideal " meet with no 
better success than his. It is inevitable that the 
solution of such a knot should be less novel and 
interesting than the complication; but the scene at 


the close of the third act is, in a commonplace sense, 
perhaps the most effective in the play, and Gladys's 
death, though doubtless foreseen and discounted, is 
felt to be such a natural outcome of her character, 
that we lose the sense of conventionality in that of 
inevitableness. The scene, too, is beautifully written, 
with a delicacy of touch in which you may, if you are 
so minded, discern the sex of the writer. 

And it is beautifully acted by Miss Elizabeth 
Robins, who in her sincerity, simplicity, and penetrat- 
ing, unconventional pathos, more than redeemed her 
shortcomings in the first act. I wish I could attribute 
these shortcomings entirely to nervousness. No 
doubt that had a good deal to do with the matter ; 
but it could not altogether account for the lack of 
grip and realisation which appeared in some passages, 
or for the abruptness of movement and singularity of 
carriage which again and again detracted from the 
desired effect. In the second act, on the other hand, 
Miss Robins handled her very difficult scene with 
originality and power, and she contributed her full 
share to the excellent effect of the situation at the end 
of the third act. Miss Kate Rorke played Lady 
Anne very charmingly. There is perhaps more 
character, more wilfulness in the part than Miss 
Rorke quite brought out, but all that she did she did 
tastefully and well. There is probably no actor on the 
stage who could have made so much of the exceed- 


ingly ungrateful part of Forbes as did Mr Forbes 
Robertson. His firmness and tact were invaluable. 
Major Hardy gave Mr Hare another chance of proving 
the versatility of his art. The character is a delight- 
ful one, and Mr Hare played it delightfully. It does 
not come within what we are accustomed to consider 
Mr Hare's " line " ; but the mistake lies in supposing 
that so accomplished an actor is tied down to any 
" line " whatever. Miss Helen Luck, though a little 
overweighted, was very bright and pleasant as Mrs 
Hope Glen. 

As several critics have assumed that Mrs Lessing- 
ham must have been in some way inspired by The 
Second Mrs Tanqueray, I may mention that I read 
" George Fleming's " play three or four months 
before the production of Mr Pinero's, and that it had 
then, I understand, been in existence for at least a 

Though there are three children instead of one in 
The Little Squire * at the Lyric, they did not together 
make up a Little Lord Fauntleroy. The children 
themselves Miss Dorothy Hanbury and Misses Isa 
and Emspie Bowman are as pretty and clever as 
need be. Miss Hanbury, indeed, in the title-part, 
makes a very charming boy. But the play, adapted 
by Mrs William Greet and Mr Horace Sedger from 
a novel by Mrs De La Pasture, is a poor and tedious 
* April 5 May 4. 

" FAUST." IO3 

affair, into which even the excellent company engaged 
Miss Rose Leclercq, Miss Mary Rorke, Miss Fanny 
Brough (in an ultra-lachrymose character), and Mr 
Charles Sugden cannot infuse any real life. It was 
favourably received, however, and may possibly suit 
the taste of afternoon audiences. 

Messrs " Richard Henry's " burlesque of Jaunty 
Jane Shore * at the Strand is old-fashioned in style, and 
somewhat meagrely mounted and presented, but not 
unentertaining if you happen to be in the humour for 
such divertissement. To those who like Mr Harry 
Paulton's humour and for my part I have somewhat 
laboriously acquired a quite real relish for it his 
Richard of Gloucester will afford plenty of amusement. 
It is capital fooling of its kind. Miss Alice Atherton, 
in the title-part, certainly justifies the epithet accorded 
her, and makes herself very popular with the audience. 
The rest of the company are rather provincial in 
tone, but show unbounded energy and some talent. 



AN Anglo-Swiss newspaper, some years ago, recording 

the first ascent of the Matterhorn by ladies, stated 

* April 2 May 19. 


that on their return to Zermatt the adventurers (or 
should I say adventuresses ?) were received " with 
much enthusiasm and some fireworks." That phrase 
sums up Saturday night * at the Lyceum. It was an 
occasion of much enthusiasm (in the audience) and 
some fireworks (on the stage). Mr Irving's welcome 
bore vociferous testimony to the respect and affection 
in which he is held, and justly held, by all classes of 
playgoers. The plaudits of all America seemed to be 
re-echoed in the Strand, until one's pulse could not 
help bounding in sympathy. Without attempting to 
analyse it, I am quite conscious in my own breast of 
the feeling which evidently animated the whole house 
the feeling, to wit, that Mr Irving had conferred a 
personal favour on me, and somehow ministered to 
my self-esteem, in bringing back from America whole 
shiploads of laurels and doubloons. There is some- 
thing inspiriting, exhilarating, in great success : the 
mere spectacle of it warms the cockles of the heart ; 
and he who denies or dissembles the sensation is a 
hypocrite or a curmudgeon. As for the play well, it 
really doesn't matter two pins what I think of it. The 
public which has flocked to see it " four hundred and 
thirty-one times at this theatre " thinks differently, 
and in theatrical matters the majority is always right. 
Meanwhile, " Goethe in Weimar sleeps," and, to all 
appearance, "sleeps well." We do not hear, at any 
* Faust, April 14 July 7. 

" FAUST." 105 

rate, that his protesting ghost has been seen in 
Wellington Street. But I do think that Mr Irving 
might imitate the delicacy of Mr Charles Wyndham, 
and omit Goethe's name from the programme. De 
mortuis nil nisi bonum; the dead (in the present rudi- 
mentary stage of psychical research) cannot defend 
themselves. One can imagine, however, an interest- 
ing and animated " Dialogue of the Dead " between 
the Herr Geheimrath and the late Mr W. G. Wills 
let us hope that the shade of Eckermann is there to 
report it. In the meantime everything has its uses in 
the moral economy of the universe, and the Lyceum 
Faust has filled my heart with compunctious visit- 
ings in regard to the late and hitherto unlamented 
Tempter, Mr Jones had approached much nearer 
than I imagined to Mr W. G. Wills. As for the 
acting, not even the raptures of the eight hundred 
and odd thousand playgoers who (at a modest com- 
putation) must have applauded Mr Irving's Mephis- 
topheles at the Lyceum alone, can convince me that 
it is for a moment to be mentioned along with his 
Charles I., his lago, his Louis XL, his Becket, or any 
of his really great performances ; but of its popularity 
there cannot be the shadow of a doubt. Miss 
Ellen Terry never looked more fascinating or 
played more tenderly than she did as Margaret 
on Saturday night. Mr Terriss made an ideal Faust 
a la Wills, and Miss M. A. Victor lavished all her 


ripe and fruity humour on the congenial part of 

Many critics have objected to the revival of Frou- 
frou* at the Comedy Theatre that it is "so English, 
you know." Well, English it is, beyond a doubt ; but 
what else could it possibly be ? This criticism would 
apply to all performances of translated plays, and, if it 
always involved condemnation, would banish transla- 
tions from the stage. If Miss Emery and Miss Marie 
Linden, Mr Brandon Thomas and Mr H. B. Irving, 
tried to ape the manners of French society, or even of 
the Conservatoire, the result would be sheer farce 
all the funnier the more perfect was the mimicry. 
The one character in which a little artificial Gallicism 
is permissible is that of Brigard, which is in its essence 
grotesque. It is important we should bear this in 
mind, and not make a reproach of a quite inevitable 
drawback, lest we discourage the good habit of trans- 
lating plays, and encourage the bad habit of adapting 
them and transferring the scene to England. How 
much better to see French characters with an external 
touch of English manner, than (as in An Aristocratic 
Alliance) to see characters with English names whose 
every action and sentiment proclaims them in reality 
French ! There may conceivably be altitudes of style 
in acting at which we lose all consciousness of nation- 
ality ; but in modern drama, at any rate, I have never 
* March 31 June 15. 


seen them attained. And, as a rule, we are not in the 
least disturbed by the absence of local colour in mere 
details of manner. It is only because we happen to 
be very familiar with Frou-frou in French because 
we carry in our mind's eye a composite photograph 
of some half - dozen French actors in each of the 
leading parts that we are vividly conscious of the 
Englishness of their substitutes at the Comedy. 
Nothing could be more ludicrously unlike Norwegian 
life than the presentations of it to which we are 
accustomed on the English stage in the plays of 
Ibsen ; but even those of us who realise the inevitable 
discrepancy soon learn to overlook it, just as we over- 
look the inevitable removal of the fourth wall of a 
stage room. Again, the France of La Dame aux 
Camelias, as represented by Signora Duse, is comi- 
cally Italianate. To those who know the two nations, 
Latin though they both be, French and Italian 
manners are no less clearly distinguishable than 
French and English. If we chose to let our attention 
dwell upon these details, we could easily spoil our 
pleasure, and perhaps other people's, in almost any 
performance of a translated play ; but that, I submit, 
is not the mission of criticism. One further observa- 
tion will make my meaning still clearer. Objection 
may fairly be taken to one piece of acting at the 
Comedy Theatre, though it is in itself by no means 
without ability. Mr Brandon Thomas's De Sartorys 


is not simply English, but is Lancashire or Yorkshire, 
and therefore disturbingly out of place. An English 
De Sartorys we can easily accept, for he is inevitable ; 
but not so a Lancashire De Sartorys. The distinction 
is clear, the principle evident ; I need not illustrate it 
further. Miss Winifred Emery is not quite at her 
best in Frou-frou ; she is, in fact, a Frou-frou without 
frou-frou ; but in the more serious scenes she is excel- 
lent. Mr H. B. Irving's Valreas is probably the best 
thing he has done ; it is full of distinction and charm. 
Miss Marie Linden makes an admirable Louise, and 
Mr Cyril Maude plays cleverly the sadly Bowdlerized 
part of Brigard. And why cut out the prompter, Mr 

In the new "edition " of Don Juan * at the Gaiety, 
the burden of the entertainment falls more than ever 
on the shoulders of Mr Arthur Roberts ; but they are 
broad, strenuous, and indefatigable shoulders, well up 
to the weight. The burlesque "living pictures" in 
the last act went without much " snap " on the night 
of their introduction ; but there are elements of 
humour in them which will doubtless come out more 
clearly when the tableaux themselves are better dis- 
played, and when the accompanying " gags " are 
properly worked up. 

* April 12 June 16. See Theatrical World, 1893, p. 257. 




25/A April. 

No one with even a rudimentary knowledge of human 
nature will expect me to deal impartially with a play 
by Mr George Bernard Shaw. "Jones write a book !" 
cried Smith, in the familiar anecdote "Jones write 
a book ! Impossible ! Absurd ! Why, / knew his 
father!" By the same cogent process of reasoning, 
I have long ago satisfied myself that Mr Shaw cannot 
write a play. I had not the advantage of knowing 
his father (except through the filial reminiscences with 
which he now and then favours us), but what is 
more fatal still I know himself. He is not only my 
esteemed and religiously-studied colleague, but my 
old and intimate and valued friend. We have tried 
our best to quarrel many a time. We have said and 
done such things that would have sufficed to set up a 
dozen lifelong vendettas between normal and rightly- 
constituted people, but all without the slightest success, 
without engendering so much as a temporary coolness. 
Even now, when he has had the deplorable ill-taste 
to falsify my frequently and freely-expressed pre- 
diction by writing a successful play, which kept an 
audience hugely entertained from the rise to the fall 
of the curtain, I vow I cannot work up a healthy 
hatred for him. Of course I shall criticise it with 


prejudice, malice, and acerbity; but 1 have not the 
faintest hope of ruffling his temper or disturbing his 
self-complacency. The situation is really exasperating. 
If only I could induce him to cut me and scowl at 
me, like an ordinary human dramatist, there would be 
some chance of his writing better plays or none at 
all. But one might as well attempt " to bully the 

There is not the least doubt that Arms and the 
Man * is one of the most amusing entertainments at 
present before the public. It is quite as funny as 
Charley's Aunt or The New Boy, we laughed at it 
wildly, hysterically ; and I exhort the reader to go and 
do likewise. But he must not expect a humdrum, 
rational, steady-going farce, like Charley's Aunt, 
bearing a well-understood conventional relation to 
real life. Let him rather look for a fantastic, psycho- 
logical extravaganza, in which drama, farce, and 
Gilbertian irony keep flashing past the bewildered eye, 
as in a sort of merry-go-round, so quickly that one 
gives up the attempt to discriminate between them, 
and resigns oneself to indiscriminating laughter. The 
author (if he will pardon my dabbling in musical 
metaphor) is always jumping from key to key, without 
an attempt at modulation, and nine times out of ten 
he does not himself know what key he is writing in. 
Here, indeed, lies the whole truth. If one could 
* Avenue, April 21 July 7. 


think that Mr Shaw had consciously and deliberately 
invented a new species of prose extravaganza, one 
could unreservedly applaud the invention, while 
begging him in future to apply it with a little more 
depth and delicacy. But I more than suspect that he 
conceives himself to have written a serious comedy, 
a reproduction of life as it really is, with men and 
women thinking, feeling, speaking, and acting as they 
really do think, feel, speak, and act Instead of pre- 
senting an episode in the great war between the 
realms of Griinewald and Gerolstein, or in the historic 
conflict between Paphlagonia and Crim Tartary, he 
places his scene in the (more or less) real principality 
of Bulgaria, dates his action to the year and day 
(6th March 1886), and has been at immense pains to 
work-in Bulgarian local colour in the dialogue, and to 
procure correct Bulgarian costumes and genuine Balkan 
scenery. It is an open secret, I believe, that Mr 
Shaw held counsel on these matters with a Bulgarian 
Admiral, a Bohemian Admiral would scarcely be 
more unexpected, and that this gallant horse-marine 
gave him the hints as to the anti-saponaceous pre- 
judices of the Bulgarians, their domestic architecture, 
their unfamiliarity with electric bells, and the mush- 
room growth of their aristocracy, which he has so 
religiously, and in some cases amusingly, utilised. 
But all this topographical pedantry proves, oddly 
enough, that " 'e dunno where 'e are." By attempting 


to fix his action down to the solid earth he simply 
emphasises its unreality. He is like the young man 
in Pickwick, who, having to write an essay on "Chinese 
Metaphysics," read up the articles " China " and 
"Metaphysics" in the Encyclopaedia, and combined 
the two. Mr Shaw went to his Admiral for "Bulgaria," 
and to his inner consciousness for " Psychology," 
and combined the two in an essay on "Bulgarian 
Psychology." Why confound the issues in this way, 
my dear G. B. S. ? Some critics have assumed, quite 
excusably, that the play was meant as a satire upon 
Bulgaria, and I should not be in the least surprised if 
it were to lead to a "diplomatic incident" like that 
which arose from the introduction of the Sultan in 
Don Juan. Of course you really know and care no 
more about Bulgaria than I do. Your satire is directed 
against humanity in general, and English humanity 
in particular. Your Saranoff and Bluntschli and 
Raina and Louka have their prototypes, or rather 
their antitypes, not in the Balkan Principalities, but 
in that romantic valley which nestles between the 
cloud-capped summits of Hampstead and Sydenham. 
Why not confess as much by making your scene 
fantastic, and have done with it ? 

Having now disentangled "Bulgaria" and "Psy- 
chology," I put the former article aside as irrelevant, 
and turn to the latter. Mr Shaw is by nature and 
habit one of those philosophers who concentrate their 


attention upon the seamy side of the human mind. 
Against that practice, in itself, I have not a word 
to say. By all means let us see, examine, realise, 
remember, the seamy side. You will never find me 
using the word "cynic" as a term of moral reproach. 
But to say of a man that he is habitually and per- 
sistently cynical is undoubtedly to imply an artistic 
limitation. To look at nothing but the seamy side 
may be to see life steadily, but is not to see it whole. 
As an artist, Mr Shaw suffers from this limitation ; 
and to this negative fault, if I may call it so, he super- 
adds a positive vice of style. He not only dwells on 
the seamy side to the exclusion of all else, but he 
makes his characters turn their moral garments inside 
out and go about with the linings displayed, flaunting 
the seams and raw edges and stiffenings and paddings. 
Now this simply does not occur in real life, or only to 
a very limited extent ; and the artist who makes it his 
main method of character-presentation, at once con- 
verts his comedy into extravaganza. It is not Mr 
Shaw's sole method, but he is far too much addicted 
to it. His first act is genuine fantastic comedy, 
sparkling and delightful. Here he has set himself to 
knock the stuffing, so to speak, out of war ; to con- 
trast a romantic girl's ideal of battle and its heroic 
raptures, with the sordid reality as it appears to a 
professional soldier. He has evidently " documents " 
to go upon, and he has seized with inimitable humour 



upon the commonplace and ludicrous aspects of war- 
fare. Of course Bluntschli's picture is not the whole 
truth any more than Rama's, but it presents a real 
and important side of the matter, the side which 
chiefly appeals to Mr Shaw's sceptical imagination. 
The great and serious artists Tolstoi, Zola (for I am 
impenitent in my admiration for La Debacle), Whit- 
man in his Specimen Days, Stendhal (I am told) in 
La Chartreuse de Panne give us both sides of the 
case, its prose and its poetry. Even Mr Kipling, who 
also has his " documents," has found in them a thing 
or two beyond Mr Shaw's ken. But for the nonce, 
and in its way, Mr Shaw's persiflage is not only vastly 
amusing, but acceptable, apposite. So far good. At 
the end of the first act we do not quite know where 
the play is coming in, for it is obvious that even Mr 
Shaw cannot go on through two more acts mowing 
down military ideals with volleys of chocolate-creams. 
But there are evident possibilities in this generous 
romantic girl and her genially cynical instructor in the 
art of war ; and we hope for the best. Observe that 
as yet we have not got upon the ground of general 
psychology, so to speak ; we have had nothing but a 
humorous analysis of one special phase of mental 
experience the sensations of a soldier in battle and 
in flight. In the second act all is changed. Bluntschli, 
in whom the author practically speaks in his own 
person, without any effort at dramatization, has almost 


disappeared from the scene, and the really dramatic 
effort commences in the characterization of the 
Byronic swaggerer, Sergius Saranoff, and the working 
out of his relation to Rama. At once Mr Shaw's ease 
and lightness of touch desert him, and we find our- 
selves in Mr Gilbert's Palace of Truth. The romantic 
girl is romantic no longer, but a deliberate humbug, 
without a single genuine or even self-deluding emotion 
in her bloodless frame. Sergius the Sublime has no 
sort of belief in his own sublimity, but sets to work 
before he has been ten minutes on the stage to analyse 
himself for the entertainment of the maid-servant, and 
enlarge on the difficulty of distinguishing between the 
six or seven Sergiuses whom he discovers in his com- 
position. Petkoff and his wife are mere cheap gro- 
tesques, both more or less under the influence of the 
Palace of Truth. The major-domo, under the same 
magic spell, affords a vehicle for some of the author's 
theories as to the evils engendered on both sides by 
the relation of master and servant. And the most 
wonderful character of all, perhaps, is the maid Louka, 
who seems to have wandered in from one of the 
obscurer of Mr Meredith's novels, so keen is her per- 
ception, and so subtle her appreciation, of character 
and motive. All this crude and contorted psychology, 
too, is further dehumanised by Mr Shaw's peculiar 
habit of straining all the red corpuscles out of the 
blood of his personages. They have nothing of human 


nature except its pettinesses ; they are devoid alike of 
its spiritual and its sensual instincts. It is all very 
well for Mr Shaw to be sceptical as to the reality of 
much of the emotion which passes by the name of 
love, and over which so much fuss is made both in 
fiction and in life. For my part, I quite agree with 
him that a great deal of foolish and useless unhappi- 
ness is caused by our habit of idealising and eternalis- 
ing this emotion, under all circumstances and at all 
hazards. But it is one thing to argue that the exulta- 
tions and agonies of love are apt to be morbid, facti- 
tious, deliberately exaggerated and overwrought, and 
quite another to represent life as if these exultations 
and agonies had no existence whatever. Here we 
have a girl who, in the course of some six hours, 
transfers her affections (save the mark !) from a man 
whom she thought she had adored for years, to one 
whom she has only once before set eyes on, and a 
young man who, in the same space of time, quarrels 
with the mistress about nothing at all, and, for no 
conceivable reason, makes up his mind to marry the 
maid. Such instantaneous chassis croises used to be 
common enough in Elizabethan drama, and are quite 
the order of the day in Gilbertian extravaganza. In 
any more serious form of modern drama they would 
be not only preposterous but nauseous. 

It is impossible, in short, to accept the second and 
third acts of Arms and the Man as either "romantic 


comedy " or coherent farce. They are bright, clever, 
superficially cynical extravaganza. In the second act, 
there are some, not many, intervals of dullness ; but 
with the reappearance of Captain Bernard Bluntschli- 
Shaw the fun fully revives, and in the third act there 
are even some patches of comedy, in the author's 
finer vein. Pray do not suppose, moreover, from my 
dwelling on the pettiness and sordidness of motive 
which reign throughout, that the whole effect of the 
play is unpleasant. Mr Shaw's cynicism is not in the 
least splenetic ; on the contrary, it is imperturbably 
good-humoured and almost amiable. And amid all 
his irresponsible nonsense, he has contrived, generally 
in defiance of all dramatic consistency, to drag in a 
great deal of incidental good sense. I begin positively 
to believe that he may one day write a serious and 
even an artistic play, if only he will repress his irrele- 
vant whimsicality, try to clothe his character-concep- 
tions in flesh and blood, and realise the difference 
between knowingness and knowledge. 

The acting was good from first to last. Mr Yorke 
Stephens seemed to have cultivated that ironic twist 
of his lip for the special purpose of creating the 
" chocolate-cream soldier ; " Mr Bernard Gould played 
the "bounder" with humour and picturesqueness ; 
Miss Alma Murray lent her seriousness and charm 
(invaluable qualities both, as it happened) to the part 
of Rama ; Miss Florence Farr made a memorable 


figure of the enigmatic Louka ; and Mr Welch, Mrs 
Charles Calvert, and Mr Orlando Barnett were all as 
good as need be. By-the-bye, I wish to withdraw un- 
conditionally the depreciatory remarks, or rather con- 
jectures, which I made the other day anent Mr W. B. 
Yeats's little play The Land of Heart's Desire. I 
have since read it, and find it a gem of its kind. It 
is now audible on the stage, but can scarcely be said 
to gain in representation. 



2nd May. 

MR SYDNEY GRUNDY'S new or renovated play, A 
Bunch of Violets,* at the Haymarket, affords an 
excellent example of a not infrequent phenomenon. 
It is one of those plays which contradict the proverb 
about the chain and its weakest link. It is not only 
stronger than its weakest link, but stronger than its 
strongest. Indeed, it is a strong chain whose links 
are one and all of the craziest. Its second and third 
acts are absorbingly interesting. They are written 
with that nervous terseness which is Mr Grundy's 

* April 25 July 19. Season closed July 20 with a performance 
of Ibsen's Enemy of the People (see Theatrical World 1893, 
p. 162). Theatre re-opened with Bunch of Violets, October 8 
November 3. 


peculiar gift. There are passages in which speech 
rings against speech with the sharp, metallic clash of 
blade on blade. And they are so admirably acted by 
Mr and Mrs Tree and Miss Lily Hanbury, that for 
the moment they seem plausible, and even convincing. 
But when we begin to examine into the motives of 
the characters we find them crumble away to nothing. 
We pick a little at one knot (to quote Mrs Alving), 
and, behold ! the whole seam, <or rather the whole 
fabric ravels out. In a sense, it is all the cleverer of 
Mr Grundy to disguise its flimsiness ; but his clever- 
ness might surely be better employed. 

The legal and financial mechanism of the play has 
been ably, and I think conclusively, shown to be very 
shaky ; but to such purely technical criticism we must 
not attach too much importance. It is better to be 
correct on these points ; but it is sufficient if the 
author's tamperings with reality do not jump to the 
eye of the average layman. Nor is it a vital objection 
to allege, as Mr Walkley does, justly and wittily, that 
the would-be man of iron is but a painted lath. It is 
true that this Napoleon of finance turns out to be a 
Louis Napoleon, blundering blindly on to his Sedan. 
But that is precisely the characteristic of these 
adventurer-emperors ; they are all of the tribe of 
Louis ; and for that matter, even the Little Corporal 
had his Moscow, his Leipzig, his Waterloo. The char- 
acter of Sir Philip Marchant is drawn throughout with 


a rather heavy hand ; but the mere fact that he is a 
weak instead of a strong man must not count to Mr 
Grundy's discredit. The radical error lies in the 
character of Mrs Murgatroyd. Her figure, as pre- 
sented by Mrs Tree, is the chief strength and attraction 
of the play ; her character, her motivation, is its chief 
weakness. Here, I think, we see the join between the 
old play and the new. Had Mr Grundy altogether 
banished Mammon from his mind, and set to work 
on the theme afresh, he would have introduced and 
handled Mrs Murgatroyd very differently. Her 
motives and remember they are the mainspring of 
the action are a jumble of contradictions. She is 
married to Mark Murgatroyd, a man rich enough to 
draw a cheque without winking for ^'96,000. So far 
as we can see, she can turn him round her little 
finger ; and as there is no apparent danger of her 
former marriage being discovered, unless through her 
own folly, we do not quite understand why she should 
be so desperately eager to convey a large sum of 
money from her husband's pocket clandestinely into 
her own. But admitting that she may have some 
conceivable, though unexplained, reason for this 
desire, can we possibly admit that she adopts a 
conceivable method of accomplishing it ? She knows, 
or more than suspects, that Murgatroyd is being 
egregiously duped; yet she is quite willing that he 
shall lose ^96,000 in order that she may gain half 


that sum. In other words, she is willing to pay Sir 
Philip Marchant ^48,000 for acting as her accomplice 
in conveying certain moneys from her right hand to 
her left ! I think this adventuress has mistaken her 
calling ; she does not come from Sheffield ; she is one 
of the Wise Women of Gotham. And in order to 
effect this imbecile transaction, to throw ^48,000 out 
of the window (for that is what it amounts to), she is 
content to run the risk of killing the goose that lays 
the golden eggs, exploding her bigamous marriage, 
and incurring utter ruin and imprisonment. The 
weakness of this seems to have struck Mr Grundy 
as he went along, for in the fourth act she trumps up 
a totally new set of motives. " One's husband is 
always one's husband," she says. "You may have 
forgotten him for a quarter of a century, and both you 
and he may have committed bigamy in the meantime ; 
but ' a woman as zs a woman ' will always come back 
to her first love, and play the deuce with his second 
establishment, even though the horrid law says 
' Naughty, naughty ! ' and sends her to penal servi- 
tude for it." This exposition of motive is a melo- 
dramatic thunderbolt out of a clear sky, and the 
battle for the violets, to which it leads up, is an 
outrageous piece of sentimental clap-trap. But, 
supposing jealousy is indeed the lady's motive, why 
has Mr Grundy kept us so long in the dark about it, 
and led us oft on the false scent of mere cupidity ? 


It is one of the first principles of the well-made play, 
of which Mr Grundy is, perhaps, the sole surviving 
champion, that the audience must never be trifled 
with in this way. Again, to return to the financial 
aspect of the case, when Sir Philip Marchant learns 
that he has to pay ^50,000, instead of an old song, 
for the bogus diamond mine, why does he attempt 
to carry through the transaction at a dead loss ? It 
was all very well to bribe Mrs Murgatroyd not to 
spoil his market, even at the extravagant rate of 
^48,000 ; that left him another ^48,000 clear profit. 
But when that profit is swallowed up, and more, by 
the vendor's increased demand, why on earth does 
he not drop the whole transaction on the spot ? He 
fears that Mrs Murgatroyd will accuse him of bigamy ? 
But the bigamy is double-barrelled, and, as he says 
himself, there is every reason to suppose that for her 
own sake Mrs Murgatroyd will take very good care 
to say nothing about it. As he has not as yet been 
enlightened on the great psychological principle that 
" a woman's husband is always her husband," he has 
not even any adequate reason to fear that Mrs 
Murgatroyd will reveal the truth, privately, to Lady 
Marchant ; for Mrs Murgatroyd cannot possibly know 
that Lady Marchant will regard the communication 
as confidential, and will not set the law in motion. 
The main structure of the play, in short, collapses at 
a touch, like a house of cards. It reminds one of 


the Irishman's boat, which will carry you safely across 
the ferry if you sit quite still and don't cough or 
sneeze. For once in a way, we consent to the 
condition ; but though the result has been fortunate, 
it was a trifle foolhardy on Mr Grundy's part to trust 
to so rickety a craft. 

The fact is, Mr Grundy is morbidly afraid of writing 
what he calls a masterpiece. To judge by Murga- 
troyd's account of his experience, Mr Grundy's con- 
ception of a masterpiece seems to be a play in which 
unpleasant people come to an unhappy end (by that 
test, by the way, A Bunch of Violets would fall within 
the detrimental category); but it is quite a mistake 
to imagine that pessimism is essential to a masterpiece, 
or that anyone wants to make it so. Let Mr Grundy 
produce his gay, his fantastic, his sentimental, his 
genial, even his farcical masterpiece, and if only it be 
a masterpiece, he will never repent it neither he nor 
his heirs and assigns. It is neither pessimism nor 
optimism, neither cynicism nor sentimentalism, that 
makes the masterpiece, but sheer pressure of brain- 
power to the square inch. I believe Mr Grundy has 
the brain-power for half a dozen masterpieces, if only 
he would get rid of one or two technical prejudices 
which still cumber his mind, and so make room for 
one or two aesthetic and philosophical ideas. There 
is no harm, even from the practical, the box-office 
point of view, in being abreast of your age. To a 


dramatist who is really "up to date," philanthropic 
finance, with its political side-issues, evidently offers 
a fruitful theme. But he will not pour his matter 
into an old French mould, and he will try to obtain 
something of a philosophic, a scientific understanding 
of the situation, before proceeding to fashion it to 
his artistic ends. Of course I do not insult Mr 
Grundy's intelligence by assuming that he himself 
takes his " deputation of the Sons of Toil " for any- 
thing more than a set of conventional grotesques. 
They are of a piece with the political "satire" of 
Haddon Hall, begotten of Mr Grundy's ingrained 
faith in the sophism that it is the stupidest person in 
the audience who determines the fate of a play. But 
I am not so sure that he is not himself taken in by 
Sir Philip Marchant's prehistoric ineptitudes about "a 
spirited defiance of sordid political economy," and 
" a bill for abolishing the Laws of Nature," and for 
"bringing peace, comfort, and luxury into the homes 
of the Undeserving." If so if he takes this for apt 
and relevant sarcasm it would seem that Mr Grundy's 
economic education must have stopped short several 
years before he was born. On the very evening when 
A Bunch of Violets was produced, Lord Roberts 
assured his fellow-revellers at the Royal Literary Fund 
banquet that "the Manchester School" was extinct. 
So it is, no doubt, except in the theatre. There its 
ghost still walks. The theatre, indeed, may be called 


the paradise of dead ideas ; there they seldom fail to 
come to 'life again just about the time when they 
breathe their last in the outer world; and they go 
on living, if not for ever, at least indefinitely. The 
reason Mr Grundy's political " satire " passes muster 
is that it has passed muster any time since the first 
Reform Bill ; and audiences always show a touching 
loyalty to old friends. But because they tolerate the 
old and conventional, it does not follow that they 
would reject the new, the thoughtful, the competent, 
the masterly. Mr Grundy may rest assured that it is 
only in the absence of masterpieces that mediocrities 
find acceptance. If other playwrights begin to put 
masterpieces on the market, he will have to gird up 
his loins and do likewise, or he may come to pay 
dearly for his "spirited defiance of sordid political 

The most notable piece of acting in A Bunch of 
Violets is unquestionably Mrs Tree's Mrs Murgatroyd. 
It is intelligent, daring, original. The mere make-up 
shows the true artist. Mrs Tree looks, at times, like 
a creation of Mr Aubrey Beardsley, in one of his 
more human moods. The character goes to pieces in 
the fourth act, but that is not Mrs Tree's fault. In 
the earlier acts I can think of only one weak point ; 
the terribly conventional French-song exit, without 
which no adventuress is complete. Mrs Tree eschews 
the regulation cigarette why not the chansonette as 


well? Mr Tree, too, excels himself in make-up. 
With comparatively little mechanical aid, he re- 
fashions his whole countenance. His playing has 
strong moments; but I think he ought to guard 
against a declamatory tendency which has recently 
been growing upon him, along with a partiality for 
broad and cheap comic effects. Miss Lily Hanbury 
was excellent as Lady Marchant, playing with touching 
dignity and sincerity. Mr Lionel Brough's Murga- 
troyd was a piece of true comedy ; and Mr Holman 
Clark played the obsequiously vindictive Marker to 

I must reserve till next week my remarks upon The 
Masqueraders* by Mr Henry Arthur Jones, produced 
with great and deserved success at the St James's 
Theatre on Saturday evening. It is a curious and 
original romance, very admirably mounted and acted. 
Mrs Patrick Campbell fairly maintained the place she 
has won by her Paula Tanqueray, and that is a great 
deal to say. Her talent seems to have decided limi- 
tations. It is only in a narrow range of parts that the 
childlike helplessness, the impulsive perversity, which 
made the charm of her Paula, and which reappear in 
her Dulcie, will be found effective ; but it is possible, 
of course, that she may be able on occasion to shake 
this off and rise to higher strength and refinement. 
In any case, there is no more piquant and fascinating 
* April 28 July 28. Reproduced November 10 December 22. 


figure, both to the eye and to the mind, at present on 
the English stage. Mr Alexander is excellent as a 
poetic astronomer, and Mr Herbert Waring made a 
remarkable success in an odious character which, but 
for his combined firmness and tact, might have proved 
too much for the tolerance of the audience. His Sir 
Brice Skene forms a companion-piece to his masterly 
Ffolliott-Treherne in Gudgeons, and the two together 
assure his position in the very first rank. Miss 
Granville was charming as the staid, self-sacrificing 
sister of the fairy-tale, and clever character-sketches 
were contributed by Mr H. V. Esmond, Mr Elliot, 
and Mr W. H. Day. 



gth May. 

CRITICISM of The Masqueraders must begin with de- 
finition. Let us first realise what Mr Jones has and 
has not attempted to do ; it will then be time enough 
to inquire how he has done it. 

In more than a literary sense, The Masqueraders 
rhymes with The Crusaders. Both are dramatic 
romances; and by "romance" I mean, for the mo- 
ment, a play which sets forth to amuse the imagi- 
nation rather than to satisfy the senses of reality. It 


has pleased the author to imagine the fable, and he 
asks his audience to share in his pleasure. Just by 
way of illustration, and not with any idea of measuring 
against each other two utterly incommensurable works, 
let us compare Mr Pinero's frame of mind in conceiv- 
ing and building up The Second Mrs Tanqueray with 
Mr Jones's in projecting The Masqueraders. In and 
for itself, the fable of Mr Pinero's play gave him no 
pleasure ; it was a miserable, almost a squalid, story. 
What pleased him was, first, its lifelikeness, secondly, 
its aptness for developing every aspect of the character 
he had determined to depict. His pleasure was not 
direct and simple, but secondary, complex, artistic, 
arising from a sense of nice adaptation, congruity, 
coincidence between the presentment and the thing 
presented. He felt "that stern joy which crafts- 
men feel in subjects worthy of their steel." Very 
different was Mr Jones's case. It gave him direct, 
primary, substantive gratification to conceive this 
variegated and surprising series of events. To be 
sure, there were unpleasant elements in it, but they 
merely served to heighten generosity, throw heroism 
into relief, and lend pathos a new poignancy. Every 
discord led up to a higher harmony. The charm of 
the thing lay, not in its reality, but precisely in its 
unreality, not in its faithfulness to prosaic probability, 
but in its daring correction of the humdrum in the 
interests of the picturesque and the ideal. A certain 


measure had to be observed, of course : the impro- 
bable must not diverge into the inconceivable : but 
within that pretty liberal limit, nothing was inadmis- 
sible that was pleasing to the fancy and grateful to 
the sensibilities. Is not this the fundamental dis- 
tinction between romantic and realistic art that the 
one aims at presenting something directly and in- 
herently piquant to the imagination, the other gives 
pleasure mainly through the intellectual recognition 
of consonance, of veracity, and of the artist's skill in 
selecting and presenting the essential and charac- 
teristic traits of his subject? Realism, in brief, tries 
to mirror life as it is, Romance to refashion it as, for 
the purposes of fiction, the artist and his public would 
like it to be. Compare a novel of Ouida's or Miss 
Marie Corelli's with Esther Waters, for example : 
Ouida's world is certainly no nearer moral or social 
perfection than Mr Moore's, but none the less, or all 
the more, does her imagination, and her readers', 
luxuriate in it; whereas Mr Moore, approaching his 
world with shrinking rather than complaisance, finds 
and gives pleasure in subjugating it, so to speak, to 
the conditions of his art. Let me not be understood 
to imply that the one form of art is lower or higher 
than the other. Each has its philosophical justifica- 
tion, and each can boast its masterpieces. I merely 
wish to make clear the sense in which I .apply the 
term " romance " to The Masqueraders 


The Crusaders was a satirical, this is a sentimental, 
romance. A kindly satire upon social idealisms was 
the main theme of the earlier play ; in the later one, 
the main theme is an ecstatic love-story, upon which 
certain patches of satire on social corruption are 
incidentally embroidered. Mr Jones seems to have 
sought utterance for a mood of Weltschmerz, the 
direct opposite of 

that blessed mood 

In which the burthen of the mystery, 
In which the heavy and the weary weight 
Of all this unintelligible world 
Is lightened. 

Hence his astronomer-hero with the moonstruck 
brother ; hence his sidereal, and nebular, and cosmic 
allusions and images. The refrain of his romance 
is the old antithesis between the microcosm and the 
macrocosm. From the point of view of " that little 
star in Andromeda," all our pleasures and pains, our 
virtues and vices, our loves and hatreds, and heroisms 
and basenesses, seem so infinitesimally small as to be 
unreal, illusory, spectral. " What is it all but a trouble 
of ants in the gleam of a million million of suns?" 
And yet each of the ants carries the vault of heaven 
in its pin-head sensorium. It has the right to say, 
not " I think, therefore I am," but " I feel, therefore 
the universe exists." The ache of a jarred antenna 
is infinitely more important, more real, than the shock 


of insentient spheres. Therefore, at the end of the 
reckoning, it is passion, emotion, conduct that counts. 
" Astronomy and Geology, terrible Muses," proclaim- 
ing as they do, the incalculable vastness of space and 
time, in no wise relieve us of that faculty, that neces- 
sity, of feeling and causing pleasure and pain which is 
the basis of morals. It is material immensity that is 
an illusion, and the infinitesimal that is truly immense. 
So far as practical conduct is concerned, it would 
make no difference though the sky were a dome of 
blue glass, and the stars mere spangles glued on to 
it. But it is open to us, if we are so minded, to 
take refuge from the mysteries of the moral order, 
or disorder, of things, in contemplating the mysteries 
of the material universe, and wondering whether, 
after all, some solution of the enigmas, some 
compensation for the cruelties, of existence may 
not await us in " that little star in Andromeda." 
We may, if we list, seek relief from the morally 
Incomprehensible in the materially Uncompre- 
hended, and, comparing our infinitesimal know- 
ledge with our illimitable ignorance, hope that 
what we do not know may somewhere and somehow 
explain and excuse what we do. That, I take it, is 
the drift of Mr Jones's cosmic symbolism. At the 
same time, he is far from denying that a peep through 
David Remon's great telescope may just as reason- 
ably intensify as relieve the oppression of the world- 


enigma upon the sensitive soul. " You pays your 
money and you takes your choice." 

We define the play, then, as a love-romance steeped 
in Weltschmerz ; but this leaves its individual quality 
quite undetermined. The success of a romance 
clearly depends on how far the author induces his 
readers or hearers to share his pleasure in the pro- 
duct of his invention. Our standards must be sub- 
jective, not objective ; we must not ask whether the 
picture is like life, but whether it pleases us to " let 
on," for three hours of an evening, that life is like 
the picture. Well, there is no manner of doubt that 
to the majority of us it is pleasant to imagine a 
great, deep, chivalrous, silent, hopeless, selfless, ut- 
terly magnanimous and majestic love. We ourselves 
love differently. If we cannot have Chloe we put up 
with Phyllis, or it may be with Phryne. We do not 
follow the faithless one about for years, keeping 
sedulously out of her sight, and living on fleeting 
glimpses of the hem of her garments. We do not 
risk chilblains and misunderstandings with the police 
by standing for two nights outside her window in a 
snowstorm, while she is engaged in presenting our 
brute of a rival with a pledge of their affections. 
When the said rival proposes, in our hearing, that 
she should sell herself to us, we do not make over 
to her a cheque-book and ^200,000, or whatever 
portion of it her husband may require, and then 


deny ourselves even the gratification of waiting, like 
Schiller's Ritter Toggenburg, outside her window. 
These things we do not ourselves do, and we don't 
know anyone who does them ; but it is nice oh yes, 
it is nice to imagine them possible ; for the idealisa- 
tion of love has been, for centuries, one of our 
favourite methods of taking revenge upon tyrannous 
and lamentably unromantic nature. Again, there is 
something infinitely pleasing in the notion of a lady 
boldly confessing to her tyrant lord her love for 
another gentleman, while remaining immovably faith- 
ful in act to her conventional duties. The popular 
mind is always delighted with any contradiction of 
that hard saying which would make sin lie in thought 
and desire rather than in act. The main matter of 
Mr Jones's romance, then, is grateful and comforting ; 
one or two of its details are, to me, less pleasing. In 
the first place, I could wish that Miss Dulcie had 
not slaked her thirst for life, as Hedda Gabler would 
call it, in the bar of a public-house. I am conscious 
of a quite embarrassing lack of the licensed victualler 
in my composition ; there have doubtless been sinners 
in my ancestry, but not, it would appear, a single 
publican. Therefore I am hopelessly out of sympathy 
with thejoie de vivre of the tap-room, and could wish 
that Dulcie had kicked over the traces in any other 
way. Of course, if Mr Jones had intended to indi- 
cate a strain of inherent vulgarity in her nature, it 


would have been all very well ; but I can discover no 
such intention. She is simply a weak, characterless, 
flighty creature, and her choice of a calling seems to 
have been determined by mere scenic convenience, 
with a view to securing a picturesque first act. Then 
the auction scene was, to me, far more painful than 
impressive. I sat on needles through it all. If David 
Remon, instead of bidding ^2000 for the kiss, had 
taken Monty Lushington by the windpipe and pitched 
him neck and crop out of his rostrum among the 
assembled "bounders" of the Crandover Hunt, he 
would have commanded my warmest sympathy. On 
the other hand, the incident of the kiss at the end of 
the act is really pretty, poetic, touching, and quite 
restored my equanimity. (You see I am acting up 
to my principle, and applying a purely subjective 
standard.) The second act develops the romance 
quite pleasantly. I remember the time when Sir 
Brice's speech to his wife at the close of the act 
would have been considered impossibly brutal, and 
would have been ruthlessly blue-pencilled by the 
Censor; but, for my part, I am glad that time is 
past. In the third act, I don't think Dulcie's 
diatribe against marriage comes quite in the right 
place. When a woman is threatened with the loss 
of her child, her impulse, one fancies, is to act, not 
to philosophise. Mrs Patrick Campbell seemed to feel 
this too. and to be ill at ease in the scene. The 


gaming scene at the end of the act is one of the most 
telling pieces of romance I ever saw on the stage, 
and is admirably acted by Mr Alexander and Mr 
Waring. It quite justly determined the success of 
the play. The fourth act well, it is of melancholy 
and moonshine all compact, and is, no doubt, the 
right thing in the right place. In my own unre- 
generate heart I hope, and even believe, that Dulcie 
and David ultimately foregather somewhere on this 
side of Andromeda. David, of course, must go to 
West Africa; a hero of romance cannot desert his 
post ; but if he will only take care and quinine he 
may very likely come back safe and sound, to find 
that Sir Brice has drunk himself to death. And, 
failing that desirable consummation, Dulcie may 
possibly, in the meantime, have carried her reflections 
on marriage to their logical conclusion. 

A certain flavour of irony seems somehow to have 
crept into my account of The Masqueraders, as though 
I disliked and despised romance. This is not so. 
Mr Jones's effort to do something out of the common, 
something large and imaginative, is entirely meri- 
torious. One could wish, perhaps, for a little delicacy 
of imagination and distinction of style ; but these, 
too, Mr Jones may in time achieve. As it is, he has 
quite suppressed his tendency to mere robustiousness 
and violence of expression, while he has written here 
and there with commendable and justified boldness. 


Of his social satire I have said nothing, for there is 
really nothing to say, except that it is of the familiar 
latter-day pattern. "When one is governess in a 
Christian family, one is compelled to behave badly 
for the sake of higher morality." " Marriage is the 
last insult one offers to a woman whom one respects." 
" I cannot afford to be economical." " I'm not 
blaming the man for poisoning his wife. It may have 
been a necessity of his position ; and if she had a 
cockney accent, it was a noble thing to do." Para- 
doxes and epigrams of this quality can nowadays be 
turned out by the gross. They are like faint im- 
pressions of well-known etchings; but they still amuse. 
One can even trace a certain originality of intention 
in the feeble little would-be intelligent quidnunc, 
Percy Blanchflower. 



Sketch, i$thjune. 

IF not absolutely the best of all possible worlds, this 
is certainly the most amusing. No one with the 
slightest sense of humour would dream of exchanging 

* The publication of this article was delayed. I insert it 
here in order to keep to the chronological order of events. 
The Wild Duck was produced at the Royalty (Independent) 
Theatre, on Friday, May 4, and repeated in the afternoon and 
evening of the following day. 


it for " that little star in Andromeda," where, accord- 
ing to Mr David Remon, F.R.S., &c., the writs of the 
Court of Morality do not run. So, at least, we are 
bound to conclude from the fact that, though 

Dulcie was a married lady, 
And a moral man was David, 

he could look forward to " keeping house with her " 
in Andromeda without scandalising anybody. In a 
sphere of such advanced " realism " there can be no 
drama, no Ibsen, no Ibsenites or Anti-Ibsenites 
in brief, no fun of any sort. You could neither see 
The Wild Duck played overnight nor read the 
criticisms next morning. You could neither enjoy 
your own illusions nor contrast them with those of 
other people ; and life without such " little ironies " 
would be simply unlivable. 

I have not hitherto been reckoned lukewarm in 
my appreciation of Ibsen, but I was never more 
deeply thrilled by a sense of his genius than at the 
recent performance at the Royalty. The performance 
had been undertaken under very serious disadvantages 
and against my earnest advice. Of the rehearsals I 
had seen nothing, and I came to the theatre, if not 
precisely prejudiced against the undertaking, at least 
with the gravest misgivings as to the probable result. 
The opening scenes justified my fears. The " Adelphi 
guest " was rampant at Mr Werle's dinner party, and 
the best stage management in the world could not 


have made the thing lifelike or plausible on that 
bandbox stage. But when the Chamberlains were 
disposed of, and old Werle and his son stood face to 
face, they had not exchanged six speeches before 
the drama had its grip on me. And the grip never 
relaxed. The beginning of the second act introduced 
Hedvig, surely one of the loveliest characters in 
fiction, who found in Miss Winifred Fraser an ideal 
representative, simple, natural, childlike, yet with 
mature and ample powers of expression. For the 
rest, the interpretation of the play, though creditable, 
was not such as to cast any adventitious glamour over 
it. Mr Abingdon showed intelligence and a fair 
general conception of the part of Hialmar, but did 
not make him very plausible, and was rather mono- 
tonous in his grandiloquence. Mr Fulton played 
with spirit and earnestness, but scarcely attempted to 
bring out the dreamy unpractical ity of Gregers Werle. 
Mr Lawrence Irving had the sardonic humour, but 
not the burly aggressiveness, of Relling. Mrs Waring 
showed an excellent comprehension of Gina, but had 
not she must allow me to say so the necessary 
commonness of physique and placidity of tempera- 
ment. The other parts, old Ekdal, Werle senior, Mrs 
Sorby, and Molvik, were but passably filled ; so that 
it was certainly not the brilliancy of the interpretation 
that dazzled me. Yet, as " the tragedy of the House 
of Ekdal " unfolded itself, with that smooth, unhasting, 


unresting movement which is Ibsen's greatest inven- 
tion in the technical sphere every word at once 
displaying a soul- facet and developing the dramatic 
situation despite my long familiarity with the play, 
I felt almost as though a new planet had swum into 
my ken. I had been told, but scarcely believed, that 
The Wild Duck was one of Ibsen's most effective 
stage-plays. In Copenhagen, where it was played at 
the Royal Theatre, with Fru Hennings as Hedvig, 
Emil Poulsen as Hialmar, and his brother Olaf as old 
Ekdal, it is remembered by connoisseurs as one of 
the triumphs of that admirable company. This I 
knew, but had always been inclined to give more 
credit to the excellence of the acting than to the 
scenic qualities of the play. I was utterly mistaken. 
The play now proved itself scenic in the highest 
degree. It carried me along in a passion of purely 
theatrical interest. I could detach but a small portion 
of my mind for critical observation of the performance; 
I was practically absorbed in following the process of 
thought and feeling. Hardly ever before, as it seemed 
to me, had I seen so much of the very quintessence 
of life concentrated in the brief traffic of the stage. 
Its poetry and its prose, its humour, its irony, and its 
pathos, its commonplace surface suddenly yawning 
into unplumbed abysses of all this I felt so keen a 
realisation as had but rarely visited me within the 
walls of a theatre. In the corridor, after the curtain 


had fallen, I met the author of Esther Waters, and 
we almost fell on each other's neck with the simul- 
taneous exclamation of " Nothing like it since Shake- 
speare ! " It was a trivial remark enough, and even 
foolish if it had implied any definite comparison. 
But it did not. What we meant was that not since 
Shakespeare had an intellect of equal capacity and 
potency found its sole and sufficient utterance in the 
drama. That was the impression Mr Moore and I 
carried away from the performance that was our 
particular illusion. And in my case it was not a 
passing illusion : it is strong in me at this moment. 

Next morning I looked with interest for Mr Clement 
Scott's illusion, and found it thus expressed : " To 
call such an eccentricity as this a masterpiece, to 
classify it at all as dramatic literature, or to make a 
fuss about so feeble a production, is to insult dramatic 
literature and outrage common-sense. . . . Ibsen 
may be a mighty genius, but he has no sense of 
humour." It is certainly no common achievement to 
come away from a theatre where the whole audience 
has been in fits of laughter over the exquisitely 
humorous character of Hialmar Ekdal, and, with the 
echoes still in your ears, to record gravely that his 
creator has no sense of humour. But Ibsen's 
humour, his dramatic and philosophic power, and 
his rank in literature, are matters on which one 
foresees and is prepared for Mr Scott's illusions. 


What one cannot, despite long experience, so easily 
understand, is his capacity for illusion on plain matters 
of fact. The audience, he says in this case, " roared 
with laughter at the scenes intended to be serious, and 
they yawned ominously at the Master's ponderous 
and heavy-handed wit." The other week, in these 
columns, Mr Scott did me the honour to controvert 
what he called an " honest opinion " of mine respect- 
ing the relative merits of Sarah Bernhardt and 
Eleonora Duse ; and I have noticed that he is very 
fond of applying the epithet " honest " to other 
people's opinions. For my part, I do not understand 
this dwelling on " honesty." We do not talk of " the 
liquid ocean " or " a four-footed horse " : we take it 
for granted that the ocean is liquid and the horse 
a quadruped. I should as soon think of calling 
an opinion " grammatical " or " orthographic," as 
"honest." There might be some doubt as to its 
syntax; there ought to be none as to its honesty. 
But, since Mr Scott likes the phrase, let us call it 
his honest opinion that the audience roared with 
laughter at the serious scenes of The Wild Duck. 
The question then comes to be how he can have 
arrived at this honest opinion in the very teeth of 
the facts. This is a psychological problem of no 
small interest. For my part, I am painfully sensitive 
to laughter in the wrong place. At The Second Mrs 
Tanqueray, the guffaws of the pit at some of Paula's 


outbursts used to make me writhe in my seat. At 
The Master Builder, the inevitable titter over the 
" nine lovely dolls " was often an agony to me. But 
at The Wild Duck I did not hear a single laugh 
that seemed to me at all notably and painfully out of 
place. Is it really Mr Scott's honest opinion that 
when Ibsen made Hialmar exclaim, " What ! Am I 
to drag all those rabbits with me too?" he did not 
foresee and intend the laughter of the audience? 
We shall next have Raina's allusions to her " chocolate- 
cream soldier" quoted as a proof that Mr Bernard 
Shaw has no humour. Mr Scott has long ago given 
us his honest opinion that Ibsen is a " suburban 
egoist and bungler," and a good many other things, 
mostly unfit for publication; but is it his honest 
opinion that he is a madman ? And if not, how can 
it be his honest opinion that Hialmar is not inten- 
tionally ludicrous ? And if Hialmar is intentionally 
ludicrous, how can Mr Scott say that the audience 
"roared with laughter at the scenes intended to be 
serious " ? That, as we know, is his honest opinion ; 
but its honesty only makes the illusion all the more 
remarkable. No doubt, as is so often the case with 
gentlemen and ladies of Mr Scott's impressionable 
temperament, the wish was father to the honest 

This question of the " roars of laughter " is a pure 
matter of fact, of evidence. On all matters of taste, 


on the other hand, my illusions are probably just as 
illusory as Mr Scott's. Illusion for illusion, however, 
I think that which sees a masterpiece in The Wild 
Duck is more desirable than that which sees in it 
"an insult to dramatic literature and outrage upon 
common-sense." And I believe it is the illusion 
which is destined to endure. 



idth May. 

"WELL, what about Duse?" was the question which 
last week greeted one on every hand, from those who 
had not yet been to Daly's Theatre.* The answer from 
those who had was unequivocal : " As great as ever." 
Of course there was not the slightest reason to suppose 

* Eleanora Duse performed La Dame aux Camillas on May 
7, 9, ii, 26 (matinee), 30, June 2 (matinee), 4, 6, II, 14; 
Divorfons on May 16, 17, 19, 21 j Cavalleria Rusticana and 
La Locandiera on May 23, 24, 25, 31 ; June 7, 8, 9, 12, 13 
(matinee). Thus, in a six weeks' season, this actress gave twenty- 
three performances in London. She also played Mirandolina 
in La Locandiera at Windsor Castle on May 18. Sarah 
Bernhardt gave the same number of performances in exactly 
half the time a significant contrast. Duse is reported to have 
surpassed herself in her final performance of Marguerite Gautier 
(June 14), and to have swept her audience away in a whirlwind 
of emotion and enthusiasm. She may have been stimulated by 
the presence of Sarah Bernhardt, who then saw her for the first 


that she should have changed for the worse in a single 
twelvemonth. The real question was whether we 
should find that our delight and enthusiasm of '93 were 
in part due to the mere novelty of her methods, and 
whether, that novelty having worn off, our emotions of 
'94 would prove less vivid and profound. It would 
be hard to say that she moved us more than last year, 
for that was scarcely possible ; but to say that she 
moved us by one hair's breadth less would be simply 
untrue. The mixture of intellectual admiration and 
emotional sympathy which she excites in her great 
scenes (for example, the second and fifth acts of La 
Dame aux Camelias) is, in my experience, unique. 
We feel an intimate, a restful assurance of her perfect 
art, even while we are thrilling to her inimitable, 
irresistible touches of nature. There is never for a 
moment the smallest sense of effort, of strain, or of mere 
ungovernable hysterica passio, as Lear would call it. 
She gives us, so to speak, emotion double-distilled 
at its utmost purity as well as its highest potency. 
Was there ever on the stage anything more absolutely 
noble and beautiful than her second act, from the 
reading of Armand's letter onward ? The long speech 
at the close which leads up to the reconciliation is 
simply a masterpiece of truly natural diction im- 
measurably superior, in my judgment, to the stereo- 
typed diction of the Conservatoire, as we find it, for 
instance, in Coquelin's long confession in Chamillac, or 


Madame Bartet's account of her misfortunes in Denise. 
In both these cases the situation is intentionally and 
elaborately pathetic, whereas there is nothing specially 
moving in the mere idea of a lover's quarrel and 
reconciliation ; but Eleanora Duse moves me in this 
comparatively untearful passage more than Coquelin 
and Madame Bartet put together. Her third act was 
to some extent marred by the Duval of Signor Cesare 
Rossi, who has doubtless been a fine actor in his day, 
but has no longer the force and decision for such a 
scene. It is a pity that he should have thought fit 
to appear before a public which knew nothing of his 
past services, and could not but recognise his present 
insufficiency. The public, to its credit, received him 
with respect ; but its courtesy was severely strained 
by his struggles with his hat, to which he clung 
desperately throughout the scene, and which he 
wagged behind his back at his exit, in token of pro- 
found emotion. The tremulous Duval not only 
distracted our attention from Marguerite, but rendered 
her too, I fancied, a little nervous and uneasy. As 
for the last act, what can one say but that it is pro- 
bably the very summit of contemporary acting of its 
class? Since the comparison is inevitable, one is 
tempted to adapt the old epigram : 

" The town has found out different ways 

To praise its different Lears 
To Barry it gives loud huzzays, 
To Garrick only tears," 


and to read " Bernhardt" for " Barry," and for "Gar- 
rick," " Duse." But neither as regards Garrick nor 
Duse is the statement literally true. His Lear was 
amply applauded, and so is her Marguerite, when, at 
the end of the act, we have come to ourselves again, 
and realised that, after all, we are only " sitting at a 
play." One of the most plausible objections to the 
performance, as a whole, is that, however finely the 
actress may present the sequence of emotions, she 
does not embody the character in its quiddity, as Lamb 
would say she gives us woman in the abstract, not 
a courtesan in the concrete. It is quite true that 
there is nothing in her of the "dashing Cyprian," 
the highly-coloured hetaira. She is refinement itself 
in comparison with the Mrs Tanquerays, the Mrs 
Murgatroyds, and even the Dulcie Larondies of to- 
day. But this is clearly Dumas's fault, not Eleanora 
Duse's. Marguerite Gautier ts a courtesan carved in 
alabaster. Her creator confesses as much, while 
maintaining that such ornaments of their profession 
did exist in 1852. Writing fifteen years later, he 
says : " Cette piece rentre deja dans l'arche"ologie. 
Les jeunes gens de vingt ans qui la lisent par hasard 
ou la voient representer doivent se dire : ' Est-ce 
qu'il y a eu des filles comme celle-la ? ' " Even at 
the time, the correctness of his observation was con- 
tested, and it was to present the other side of the 
case that Barriere wrote Les Filles des Marbre and 


Augier Le Manage d'Olympe. " On les a chantees, 
louangees, poetisees," says Desgenais in the former 
play ; " c'est a mourir de rire, ma parole d'honneur." 
It was Dumas, then, that poetised the character, and 
Eleanora Duse is not to be blamed for taking it as 
she finds it. Marguerite Gautier is an ideal, one 
may almost say a legendary, figure, no less than the 
other Margaret (surname unknown) who goes to 
heaven nightly at the Lyceum. She belongs to a 
sentimental age, when the lilies and languors of 
phthisis were as much in vogue as are now the roses 
and raptures of " neurasthenia." So the actress is 
quite right to shun rouge and bistre, and spare us the 
tawny mane of Titianesque tradition. 

There is a charming eclecticism about A Society 
Butterfly* the " New and Original Comedy of Modern 
Life," by Messrs Robert Buchanan and Henry Murray, 
produced last week at the Opera Comique. It some- 
how suggested a revue in which all the plays, not only 
of the season, but of the age, were stirred up together 
in a monster medley. The authors avowed, in a 
certain sense, their obligations to Francillon> while 
broadly hinting that they meant to write the play 
Dumas ought to have written. They did not mention 

* May IO June 22. On the second night, Mr Robert 
Buchanan, seconded by his collaboratpr, read from the stage 
Mr Clement Scott's Daily Telegraph notice of the play, and 
made a vehement retort. 


their annexation of the rehearsal scene from Frou-frou, 
holding, no doubt, that the thing was too obvious to 
call for remark. So it was, of course. When one 
quotes " The quality of mercy is not strained," or 
"The curfew tolls the knell of parting day," one does 
not feel bound to add (Shakespeare) or (Gray) on 
pain of an accusation of plagiarism. The only 
wonder was that the characters concerned Captain 
Belton and Mrs Dudley did not seem to remember 
that they had seen all this before, at the theatre. 
Mrs Dudley's tirade on marriage occurs in substance 
in Francillon, but in form it rather suggested Cypri- 
enne's great outburst in Divor$ons. The sporting 
Duchess is evidently introduced out of compliment to 
Mr Pinero j but the authors do not seem quite to 
have realised that the humour of " George Tidd " in 
Dandy Dick lies in the contrast between her stable 
slang and the severely ecclesiastical atmosphere of the 
Deanery. Here there is no such contrast, and to 
make up for its absence the authors have mixed their 
slang into a much thicker and coarser "mash," as 
her Grace would say. Except, perhaps, " Yes " and 
" No," she utters not a word that does not reek of the 
loose-box. She is really more akin to the " Shiver- 
my-timbers" Jack Tars of forgotten nautical melo- 
dramas than to any character of rational farce. Her 
" Home for Decayed Jockeys," by the way, was 
anticipated by Mr Spencer-Jermyn in The Hobby 


Horse. The play, then, is practically Frandllon writ 
tedious, eked out with reminiscences from a host of 
other plays, and spiced with an abundance of satirical 
allusions in Mr Buchanan's well-known style. As it is 
one of my most cherished principles that the true 
artist should, or rather must, write primarily to please 
himself, I am bound to approve Mr Buchanan's satire, 
which evidently delights him and him alone. When 
an author crams his works with satirical " hits " which 
very few understand and no one cares about, it is 
impossible not to admire his devotion to his ideal. 
For example, how many persons understood what Mr 
Buchanan was driving at in the chatter about Mrs 
Harkaway's Last Divorce ? And how many of those 
who recognised the sneer at The Second Mrs Tan- 
queray were in the smallest degree entertained or 
gratified by it ? There was a good deal of weird talk, 
too, about an alcoholic German masterpiece, from 
which I conjecture that Mr Buchanan has been 
reading Gerhart Hauptmann's Vor Sonnenaufgang, I 
too happened to have read the play; but it is a 
hundred to one that not another soul in the audience 
had the slightest idea what " Herr Max " was talking 
about. Mr Buchanan and I, then, had the joke all to 
ourselves, and of course we relished it hugely; but 
the rest of the audience must have wondered what 
we were chuckling at, and felt rather " out of it." 
And perhaps, after all, it was not Vor Sonnenaufgaug 


that Mr Buchanan was aiming at ; in which case he 
succeeded in keeping the drift of his satire entirely to 
himself, and realised to the full the great principle of 
" Art for the Artist." The audience, irritated by long 
waits, was inclined to resent these cryptic allusions, and 
the gallery audibly expressed its disappointment in a 
play in which everything is " taken off" except Lady 
Godiva's mantle. Simply as an emotional comedy, 
and apart from its satiric pretensions, the play is 
neither better nor worse than a good many that one 
sees, and might have passed muster fairly enough. 
Mrs Langtry wore several gorgeous and one or two 
really beautiful dresses, but her powers of dramatic 
expression seemed to have grown a little rusty in 
retirement. Miss Rose Leclercq was exceedingly 
good as the Duchess of Tattersall's ; Mr F. Ken- 
played a difficult part with discreet humour ; and Mr 
W. Herbert, Mr Allan Beaumont, and Mr Edward 
Rose all made the most of their opportunities. 

Loyalty to old favourites may possibly attract the 
middle-aged public to King Kodak* at Terry's Theatre, 
in which Mr Terry and Miss Kate Vaughan recall 
the bygone glories of Gaiety burlesque. For my part, 
I cannot work up a sentimental melancholy over these 
reminiscences ; but I feel an entirely practical melan- 
choly at the thought that two artists, of whom one at 
least has been very much better employed for the 
* April 30 June 30. 


past ten years, should be driven by the pressure of 
the times to fall back upon burlesque. Both have 
been outstripped in the interval (there is no good 
mincing the matter) by younger and fresher talents ; 
while, on the other hand, Mr Terry is, in his way, an 
incomparable and irreplaceable eccentric character- 
actor. Thus the loss to the comedy stage is not 
really compensated by a corresponding gain to the 
burlesque stage. This is so clear, indeed, that I am 
sure the aforesaid pressure of circumstances will 
presently restore Mr Terry and his theatre to comedy. 
King Kodak is, in itself, a reduction to absurdity of 
the Morocco Bound type of extravaganza. It is 
written by Mr Arthur Branscombe, who collaborated 
with Mr " Adrian Ross " in that successful production. 
Whatever Mr Branscombe may have contributed to 
the partnership, it was certainly not the power of 
comic invention or polished and witty versification. 


" DivoRgoNS ! " " JEAN MAYEUX." " THE Two 

zyd May. 

THERE are critics who have the art of executing 
inexhaustible variations upon the theme of enthusiasm 
of composing doxologies without end. I am not 


one of them. Having once said a thing is perfect, 
I can get no farther, and have to fall back upon 
damnable iteration. The first two acts of Eleanora 
Duse's Cyprienne in Divorfons* are perfection itself. 
It is impossible to conceive more scintillant, and at 
the same time more natural and unforced, comedy. 
The last act is less admirable from the purely artistic 
point of view, though, for my part, I am very willing 
to forgive the refinement which is its fault. Sardou's 
Cyprienne is (as the lady in Punch puts it) fr-r-ranche- 
ment canaille, and that is just what this actress declines 
to be. No, I am wrong, Cyprienne is not necessarily 
canaille', that is a misconception founded on Chau- 
mont's rendering of the part; but she is frankly sensual, 
and there, too, Signora Duse draws the line. I have 
seen the leading actress of the Royal Danish Theatre, 
Fru Hennings, play this act without any of Chaumont's 
vulgarity, yet with a self-abandonment from which (in 
this instance) Duse shrinks. The fatal defect of her 
Cleopatra is fatal also to the last act of her Cyprienne ; 
but it is one thing to leave out the " spice " in one act 
of a French farce, and quite another thing to omit the 
passion from a great world-tragedy. The play as a 
whole had been considerably Bowdlerised, especially 
as regards the confidences between Cyprienne and 
Des Prunelles in the second act. The English trans- 
lation, too, was at many points exquisitely discreet. 
* See note, p. 143. 


The famous " Ne tuez pas le diner par le lunch " is 
rendered " Do not let the present spoil the future." 
It is impossible to be more delicate. 

After seeing The Two Orphans with the words at 
the Adelphi, and The Two Orphans without the words 
at the Princess's, under the pseudonym of Jean 
Mayeux* I have come to the conclusion that I prefer 
it with. The thing is a fossil, anyway, and ought 
therefore, perhaps, to be mute ; but such reasoning 
by metaphor is always dangerous. The Dennery- 
Cormon-Oxenford dialogue is not a joy for ever as 
pure literature, but it has one great and undeniable 
merit it breaks the silence. In JJ Enfant Prodigue 
and La Statue du Commandeur we were in a purely 
conventional world, in which the convention of dumb- 
ness seemed no more surprising than the rest. In 
Jean Mayeux we had a threadbare, but not at all a 
fantastic, story, moving in the everyday world around 
us ; and here the convention of dumbness soon became 
positively irritating, and the silence oppressive and 
uncanny. The language of gesture (though the actors 
were clever enough in their way) seemed intolerably 
slow and roundabout. One felt inclined to shout out, 
" Come to the point ! " or, with Hamlet, " Leave your 
damnable faces, and begin ! " Moreover, it is quite a 
mistake to suppose that French pantomime is as readily 
comprehensible to English as to French audiences. 
* May 12-19. 


Many touches which appeal to the Parisian public as 
vivid reproductions of manners go for nothing on this 
side of the Channel, and even the conventional 
gestures are less conventional there than here. Al- 
together, Jean Mayeux is a mistake, so far as England 
is concerned. It is ugly to the eye, and depressing to 
the mind. 

At the'Adelphi, The Two Orphans* excellently 
mounted and acted, is still found absorbing and 
thrilling by the unsophisticated public. Never have 
I seen villainy more heartily hissed than was that of 
La Frochard and her swaggering son by the Whit- 
monday audience. They could not reserve their 
indignation for the ends of the acts. Every fresh 
instance of hypocrisy and brutality was stigmatised on 
the spot; and when the tender-hearted cripple took 
off his own coat to shield the blind girl from the 
snowstorm, heavens ! how they cheered ! And now, 
do you insist on my finding the appropriate adjective 
for each of the leading actors ? Well, here goes : 
Miss Marion Terry was pathetic as Louise, Miss Ellis 
Jeffries was earnest as Henriette, Miss Lingard was 
dignified as the Countess, Miss Dolores Drummond 
was duly repulsive as La Frochard (though not quite 
such a Megaera as her predecessor, Mrs Huntley), Mr 
Cartwright was intense as Pierre, Mr William Rignold 
was overbearing as Jacques, and Mr Herbert Flemming 
* May 12 June 18. 

"MARRIAGE." 155 

was polished as the Count. And therewithal I bid a 
fond farewell to The Two Orphans not au revoir, I 
trust, but adieu. 

At the Avenue, Arms and the Man is now preceded 
by an amusing act by Mr Louis Parker, entitled The 
Man in the Street* The fable is trivial, and it can 
scarcely be said that the drunken clarionet-player, who 
gives the piece its title, is a profound or very consistent 
psychological study. His renunciation of all attempt 
to blackmail his daughter when he finds that she is 
legally married to the artist, is rather less than con- 
vincing. But as a study in dialect Mr Welch's 
vagrant was admirable as good as the best of Mr 
Chevalier's costers and kept us in fits of laughter. 
Mr Welch is really a versatile and most valuable 
comedian. He was well supported by Mr Foss and 
Miss Winifred Fraser. 

Why is the first act of Marriage p ,t by Messrs Brandon 
Thomas and Henry Keeling (at the Court Theatre), 
so much better than the second and third? The 
reason is surely not far to seek : the first act announces 
a curious and interesting theme, the second and third 
acts fail to work it out. Our marriage laws, as inter- 
preted in the celebrated Jackson case, present an 
anomaly which is fair sport for the comic dramatist, 
though in real life it may be serious enough. The 
sage legislator, as they say in France, has decreed 
* May 14 July 7. f May 17 July 14. 


that a woman may absolutely decline to fulfil any part 
of her share in the marriage contract, without thereby 
invalidating the contract in the slightest degree, or 
affording the man a loophole of escape from it. In brief, 
as the law stands, the cession of the title-deeds renders 
the bargain irrevocable, but no human power can 
compel the delivery of the estate, nor does the refusal 
of delivery rescind the transaction. Thus the starting- 
point of Marriage is quite possible, and even probable. 
Miss A. detests Miss X., who has always outshone her 
in everything, from their school days onwards. She is 
determined that her rival shall not marry Sir John B., 
and the handiest way of excluding such a possibility 
is to marry him herself. But she does not love him ; 
she hates him, or thinks she does, which comes to the 
same thing. Therefore she leaves him at the church 
door, saying with Orlando, " I do desire we may be 
better strangers," but adding, "So long as I live, I 
defy you to marry that minx, Miss X." The husband 
has no sort of legal remedy; and when it appears that 
Miss X. has meanwhile married the Honble. C., so 
that Lady B. has no longer any motive for asserting 
her property in Sir John, the husband and wife 
together are powerless to slip the noose, which is a 
gross injustice to one of them and a torment to both. 
" No," says the sage legislator, " so long as you behave 
yourselves with propriety there is no escape for either 
of you. If you, Lady B., will kindly misconduct 

"MARRIAGE." 157 

yourself a little, or if you, Sir John, will have the 
goodness to prove yourself a profligate and a brute, 
we will see what can be done for you. But until you 
break the law, the law can give you no relief." Here 
is evidently a pretty complication for farce, or even 
for serious comedy, and the first act enunciates it, so 
to speak, wittily and vivaciously. But what comes of 
it ? Practically nothing at all. The marriage whose 
indissolubility was to be the crux of the problem is, in 
the second act, to all intents and purposes, dissolved, 
by means (as we are given to understand) of a little 
judicious perjury. Henceforth we are asked to interest 
ourselves in the sentimental relations of Sir John and 
Lady B., for whose sentiments we care very little; 
while the duty of amusing us is shifted to the shoulders 
of the Hon. Mr and Mrs C., whose case has nothing 
to do with the theme originally announced. The 
later acts are not precisely tedious, but they seem 
vague and scrappy. The best piece of acting in the 
play is Miss Gertrude Kingston's Hon. Mrs Dudley 
Chumbleigh, whose saccharine maliciousness is studied 
from the life. She might be described as "lucent 
syrup tinct with vitriol." Mr C. P. Little, too, as 
the imperturbable Dudley, shows a real gift of artistic 
caricature. There was, to my thinking, one serious 
fault in Mr Mackintosh's finished performance of Sir 
Charles Jenks. It was everything it ought to have 
been, except amusing. That, of course, is an over- 


statement of the case : Mr Mackintosh was far from 
dull ; only he was not as amusing as he might have 
been. Mr Sydney Brough was good as Sir John 
Belton, and Miss Lena Ashwell will make a pleasant 
Lady Belton when she has overcome her nervousness. 
"Where are the clothes of yesteryear?" was the 
question everyone was asking at the Garrick on Satur- 
day night. It is really high time that Money* should 
take rank, from the costumier's point of view at any 
rate, as a classic. Fancy such speeches as these in 
the mouths of men of to-day : 

" Sir John Vesey; 'James, if Mr Serious, the clergyman, 
calls, say I'm gone to the great meeting at Exeter Hall ; if Lord 
Spruce calls, say you believe I've gone to the rehearsal of 
Cinderella. Oh ! and if MacFinch should come (MacFinch, 
who duns me three times a week) say I've hurried off to 
Garraway's to bid for the great Bulstrode estate. Just put the 
Duke of Lofty's card carelessly on the hall-table. . . .'" 

"Evelyn; 'Wealth! what is it without you? With you, I 
recognise its power : to forestall your every wish, to smooth your 
every path, to make all that life borrows from Grace and Beauty 
your ministrant and handmaid ; and then, looking to those eyes, 
to read there the treasures of a heart that excelled all that kings 
could lavish ; why, that were to make gold indeed a god ! But 
vain, vain, vain ! Bound by every tie of faith, gratitude, loyalty, 
and honour, to another ! ' " 

Such speeches, and the author's whole technique, 
belong to a bygone convention, whose unreality cries 
out when we mount and dress the play as a comedy 
of to-day. And then the dresses of the period were 

* May 19 July 20. Reproduced October 27 December 21. 

" MONEY." I 59 

so delightful ! Did not D'Orsay, at Macready's 
instance, pass the costumes in review ? Did not 
Macready himself wear a waistcoat which dwelt in 
Dickens's memory as the most resplendent garment 
that ever embellished the manly chest ? And did not 
Walter Lacy (still happily among us) play Sir Frederick 
Blount in yellow pantaloons so exquisitely fitting that 
he seemed to have been "dipped in cream"? Regrets, 
however, are useless. Mr Hare has left it to some 
other manager to give us Money as it came fresh from 
the mint. He has mounted the play lavishly and very 
beautifully, and has cast it thoroughly well. Where 
the performance errs, it is not on the side of under- 
playing. It might be a little less boisterous here and 
there ; but the piece is certainly not one of those 
great works of art which are desecrated by the intrusion 
of farce. Mr Hare himself is excellent as Sir John 
Vesey; and Mrs Bancroft, as Lady Franklin, is at least 
amusing, though she perhaps takes the character a 
little too light-heartedly. Mr Forbes Robertson puts 
an astonishing amount of vigour and sincerity into 
that " d d walking gentleman " (as Macready called 
him), Alfred Evelyn. Miss Kate Rorke makes a 
charming Clara Douglas j and Miss Maud Millett, as 
Georgina Vesey, is delightfully irresponsible. Nothing 
could be better than Mr Arthur Cecil's Graves, or Mr 
Kemble's Stout ; but Mr Brookfield's Deadly Smooth 
was not by a long way so good as Mr Elwood's in the 


recent Vaudeville revival, or Mr Frank Archer's. Mr 
Allan Aynesworth and Mr Bourchier, as Mr Frederick 
Blount and Lord Glossmore, ably filled in the picture. 


y>th May. 

JUST as I left Daly's Theatre last Wednesday, in a 
glow of enthusiasm over Eleanora Duse's Santuzza 
and Mirandolina,* I met a cold-blooded wretch of a 
musical critic his initials were not G. B. S. who 
must needs wag his head wisely and say, " Ah, you 
should see Calve" as Santuzza! I've seen the other 
woman, too very nice, you know, but nothing to 
Calve." He little knows the risk he ran at that 
moment ; but I mastered the impulse towards personal 
violence, reflecting that perhaps the more dignified 
course would be to go and see Calve*, so as to be 
able to wag my head in turn and talk of her with 
condescension^ " the other woman." I was the more 
incited to this course by the unwonted enthusiasm 
expressed, or rather implied, by G. B. S. in his last 
article. It is not often that this accomplished 
rhetorician makes use (in a eulogistic sense, at any 

* See note, p. 143. 


rate) of the figure known as aposiopesis, or eloquent 
silence. "A woman and an artist," I thought, "of 
whom G. B. S. 'cannot trust himself to speak,' must 
be an artist and a woman indeed." So I ; betook 
myself to Covent Garden, not, I hope and believe, in 
a partisan spirit, but in a mood of genuine receptivity 
for whatever artistic sensation might await me. 

The comparison, of course, has really nothing dis- 
obliging, as the French say, for either of the great 
artists concerned. Each seems to me perfect in her 
kind, and if preference enters into the matter at all, 
it is not for one artist over another, but for one form 
of art. We have in the two forms of Cavalleria 
Rusticana an almost unique opportunity for compar- 
ing drama pure and simple with music-drama. The 
two plays are not only scene for scene, but almost 
speech for speech and word for word, the same. The 
librettists have simply versified Verga's text with as 
little change as possible; so that, choral passages 
apart, we have practically the same words spoken in 
the play and sung in the opera. Well now, music 
being the language of emotion, the emotional effect of 
the opera ought to be infinitely greater than that of 
the play. But is it? On the contrary, both to my 
personal feeling and to my observation, it seems 
incomparably less. Of course the sensuous thrill, the 
excitement, the whole sum of sensation one receives 
from the opera, is very great. The appeal to the 



nerves is overwhelming. But in the very process of 
translation into this tumultuous, tempestuous, multi- 
tudinous tone-speech, dramatic emotion seems to me 
to lose its appeal to our intimate, human sympathies. 
We hear "music wailing like a god in pain," and it 
sets all our nerves tingling with a sense of unspeakable 
potency and sublimity ; but it is the wail of mortals 
like ourselves that brings the tears to our eyes. I am 
exceedingly sensitive to the pathos of melody, whether 
attached to particular words, or merely suggesting a 
sort of unembodied ghost-poem, as I am convinced 
that Lieder ohne Worte do, for the majority of people. 
But this lyric pathos is quite different from dramatic 
pathos ; it belongs to moments of contemplation, not 
of action, or of instant and acute suffering. Therefore 
a piece of concentrated drama, like this Sicilian love- 
catastrophe, seems to me to lose its directness of 
appeal when translated into music. The emotions, 
you say, find ideal expression ; I should rather use 
Matthew Arnold's phrase and say that the expression is 
"magnified and non-natural." Remember, I am not 
denying the beauty, the splendour, the artistic validity 
of the thing. It is quite arguable that this musical 
art is higher than that of pure mimetics, because it 
raises emotion to the plane of the infinite, and speaks, 
not to the mere brute sympathies, as it were, but to 
a larger and more complex set of faculties. At the 
same time I cannot help asserting the fact (explain 


it how you may), that with all her magnificent physical 
gifts and technical acquirements, and with all the vast 
machinery of music-drama to help her, the Santuzza 
of Covent Garden did not produce upon me, or, so 
far as I could observe, on those around me, anything 
like the intensity of purely emotional effect produced 
by the haggard, inarticulate, ungainly little Santuzza of 
Daly's Theatre. 

Last year I did not fully appreciate this great 
performance. The play was quite new to me ; I did 
not even know the plot when the curtain rose ; and 
the excessive brevity and bareness fof the action 
somewhat took me aback. This time, knowing the 
characters and the situation beforehand, I was pre- 
pared to give my whole mind to the acting. And 
what acting ! Duse's Santuzza, to my thinking, is the 
very triumph and miracle of reaKsm. She is the 
Italian peasant in every gesture and attitude. We 
can see in her whole carriage that she has shuffled 
along the mountain paths beneath burdens which a 
Northern woman could scarcely lift, while Compare 
Turiddu, very likely, jogged comfortably on his mule 
by her side. Millet's peasant-women are not more 
clearly daughters of the soil. She is young, but toil 
and sorrow have rubbed all the bloom off her beauty ; 
" Lola," she says, " e assai piii bella di me." And her 
expression is as perfect as her appearance and bearing. 
Only in the height of suffering is she stung into 


southern volubility. For the most part her utterance 
is slow and painful. We feel that she has to wring 
every word out of her weary, hopeless heart, and her 
silence is often more pathetic than her speech. And 
all this, mark you, while it has the appearance of 
absolute nature while for the moment it is nature 
is at the same time the outcome of conscious, de- 
liberate study and art. Half an hour later, we shall 
see this same woman transformed into the graceful, 
piquant, witty, voluble, sparkling Mirandolina, the 
very antithesis in every respect of poor Santuzza. If 
the pathos of the Sicilian peasant were, like so much 
second-rate tragic acting, the mere helpless, instinctive 
expression of temperament, this transformation, this 
reincarnation, would be impossible. I venture to 
believe that when Garrick passed from Lear to Abel 
Drugger, he did not show a wider range, or carry to 
a higher point the artXof creative impersonation. 

We see or it is an illusion of mine? that the 
instinct of the world assigns a higher rank to pure 
mimetics than to even the highest, so-called, lyric 
acting. Malibran, Pasta, Grisi, Jenny Lind, are no 
doubt great names, but they are not, on the whole, 
writ so large on the roll of renown as the names of 
Mrs Siddons and Rachel. On the masculine side, 
I really do not know who ought to be opposed to 
Garrick and Kean, Talma, and Fre'de'ric Lemaitre; 
and though this ignorance is disgraceful, it is also 


significant of the comparative failure of operatic artists 
to impress their personalities on the popular imagina- 
tion. Yet there cannot be the least doubt that the 
great operatic artist possesses rarer natural gifts and 
a far more elaborate technical accomplishment than 
the great actor. The advantages of formal training 
to the actor are still a moot point; those who dis- 
believe in it can cite the undoubted fact that Garrick 
walked upon the stage a master of his craft ; but no 
one contests the necessity of a long and arduous train- 
ing for the vocalist. Why then does the vocalist, on 
the whole, take lower artistic rank than the actor? 
Compare Calve with Duse in Santuzza, and I think 
you will see the reason. The actress is far more of 
a creator ; she brings far more of her own observation, 
invention, thought, and feeling to her work. The 
singer's whole expression is prescribed for her, so that 
her achievement is more technical than intellectual. 
It is her glory to be simply a perfect instrument in 
the composer's hands, or rather the chief of what our 
fathers used to call a vast "concert" of instruments. 
The actress has to invent, not only pantomime, but 
vocalisation ; the singer finds her vocalisation invented 
for her, and even her pantomime is restricted within 
comparatively narrow conventional limits. In short, 
the proportion of will to mechanism is much greater 
in the actress's achievement than in the singer's ; and 
it is will, after all, that makes its mark in the world. 


Charles Lamb protested against the fashion of speech 
which seemed to place the actor and the poet on the 
same plane ; but Garrick certainly stood much nearer 
to Shakespeare than (say) Vandyck to Wagner. 

Let me not forget to do justice to Signor Cesare 
Rossi's excellent performances of Alfio and the 
Marchese much happier efforts than his colossal 
Duval. Is it too late to entreat Signora Duse to let 
us see her in at least one new character during her 
present visit? What about her Denise? Or her 
Francillon ? Or even her Fernande ? 



6th June. 

MR CHARLES WYNDHAM is quite too conscientious 
for this world. Some critic has pointed out to him 
(so he tells us) that it is unjust to a French author to 
connect his name with a piece which is not wholly 
and solely his ; therefore Mr Wyndham entirely 
ignores the French author, and piles the whole credit 
or discredit on the shoulders of the English adapter. 
This is much as though a picture-dealer, having a 
work of Sir John Millais's to dispose of, should say to 
himself : " Millais did not frame and varnish this 
picture : it is manifestly unjust that any man should 


be held responsible for what he did not do ; therefore 
I will paint but the ' J. M.' monogram in the corner, 
and substitute the name of the frame-maker." Such 
a course would clearly not be to the pecuniary advan- 
tage of the dealer, nor would it redound to his per- 
sonal honour and glory. There could be no doubt, 
then, that he was animated by disinterested and even 
lofty motives; but whether Sir John Millais would 
fully appreciate them is quite another question. 
Similarly, one cannot but wonder whether French 
authors will be properly grateful for Mr Wyndham's 
extreme delicacy. No doubt he has paid them 
honestly for their wares, just as we assume the picture- 
dealer to have honestly acquired his Millais ; but does 
the purchase of a work of art include the right to 
paint out the artist's signature ? " Not only the right, 
but the duty," Mr Wyndham replies, on the authority 
of the unnamed critic aforesaid. Whoever he may 
have been, I think Mr Wyndham must have mis- 
understood him. Heaven forbid that I should say 
anything to shake Mr Wyndham's childlike faith in 
the infallibility of critics, but in this case I feel 
certain that either he has misread his authority or his 
authority has misled him. The English language is 
not so poor as to be unable to express with tolerable 
accuracy the various degrees of relationship between 
foreign originals and their English versions. When 
the original is closely followed, the foreign scene and 


names preserved, and no change made beyond, 
perhaps, some slight curtailment, we call the result a 
"translation." That word has never been included 
in the Criterion vocabulary, but Mr Wyndham may 
find it, if he is curious, in Johnson's Dictionary and 
other excellent authorities. Then there is another 
term which Mr Wyndham must have heard in his 
time, but which he seems to have forgotten the word 
"adaptation." This we employ when the English 
play follows the same general lines as its original, but 
the scene and characters are Anglicised, the dialogue 
is to some extent remodelled, and certain passages, it 
may be, are either omitted or interpolated. Such a 
proceeding is quite legitimate in the case of a farce 
like Le Depute de Eombignac, illegitimate and de- 
plorable in the case of a masterpiece of comedy 
like Le Gendre de M. Poirier ; but in either case 
the word "adaptation" sufficiently indicates, for all 
practical purposes, what has been done or attempted, 
and it becomes the business of criticism to apportion 
merit and demerit between the foreign author and the 
English adapter. Again, when an English writer has 
taken a theme or idea from abroad, but has invented 
his own characters, dialogue, and construction, we 
say that his play is not " adapted from," but " founded 
on " such-and-such a foreign work ; or if it be merely 
a small portion of his play that is not original, we say 
that this act or that scene is " suggested by " this or 


that act or scene in another play. There may be 
individual cases in which it is difficult to draw the 
line between these categories, to determine whether 
a play ought to be described as " translated " or 
" adapted," or to choose between " adapted from " 
and " founded on " ; but in the great majority of 
instances there cannot be the least doubt which term 
ought to be employed, and it is the easiest thing in 
the world to do substantial justice to all parties. The 
great object of language (except in certain forms of 
poetry) is to be understood; why should Mr Wyndham, 
in his too scrupulous solicitude for the reputation of 
foreign authors, absolutely court misunderstanding on 
the part of our susceptible neighbours ? 

M. Bisson and Mr Justin H. McCarthy, between 
them, have certainly produced a highly diverting farce 
in The Candidate.* It amused us quite as much last 
Wednesday as it did ten years ago, by reason of the 
inherent whimsicality of its situations and the un- 
diminished brilliancy of Mr Wyndham's performance. 
In irresponsible, irrepressible light-comedy he remains 
easily first. I do not think the attractions of the play 
are greatly heightened by the rather poor gags about 
Ladas and other political topics of the hour, dragged 
in to bring the thing up to date. By the way, since 
Mr J. H. McCarthy is certainly innocent of these 
coruscations, ought not Mr Wyndham, in common 
* May 30 August 14. 


consistency, to omit his name from the bill, and call 
the play " A Comedy by Charles Wyndham," or who- 
ever may have contributed the topical " wheezes " ? * 
Mr Giddens is excellent as the Radical Secretary, and 
Mr Blakeley's Barnabas Goodeve is both literally and 
figuratively immense. Miss Fanny Coleman is in her 
element as the President of the Peers Preservation 
Society ; Miss Mary Moore is very pleasant as Lady 
Dorothy ; Miss Pattie Browne is perhaps a trifle too 
soubrettish for a Primrose Dame ; and Miss Miriam 
Clements ought certainly to be playing Juno in the 
tableau scene of A Society Butterfly there is no more 
Junonian figure on the stage. 



IT has sometimes occurred to me that the one purpose 
to which the interview is never applied is the one of 
all others to which it is in reality most applicable 
I mean criticism. By aid of the interview, skilfully, 
intelligently, and impartially handled, criticism might 
b] relieved of all its one-sidedness, all its injustice. 

* Mr Charles Wyndham assures me that I was mistaken in 
assuming these interpolations to be " gags," and states that they 
were actually written in by Mr McCarthy. 


The trouble is that there are so many critics to one 
author or even, in the case of a collaboration, to 
two. If the system were generally adopted, a 
dramatist, on the day after a production, would be 
like a fashionable doctor, with his whole time por- 
tioned out into consultations of five minutes each; 
and before the ordeal was half over, his brain would 
be reduced to such a pulp that he would not know 
his hero from his villain, his exposition from his 
catastrophe. None the less is it true that, with a little 
goodwill and tact on the part of author and critic, a criti- 
cism by interview might often do a great deal to dispel 
that sense of hostility one may almost say of mutual 
contempt between playwrights and journalists, which 
arises from the fact that the auti. jr has no natural and 
recognised means of stating his side of the case. 
Some of us chafe against the one-sidedness of the 
arrangement which compels a whole congregation to 
sit tongue-tied while the preacher plays what havoc 
he pleases with morals and theology, the law and the 
prophets. How much harder is the case of the 
author, who has to sit mum on his stool of repentance, 
a congregation of one, as Pat would put it, while he is 
preached at from fifty pulpits ! There is probably not 
one of the fifty homilists who does not more or less 
misunderstand and misrepresent him yet he has no 
means of putting himself right. A letter to the papers 
is of very little use ; even if the editor prints it, the 


critics will merely sneer at the author's fretfulness and 
love of gratuitous advertisement, and perhaps " take 
it out of him next time ; " while the more novel 
method of haranguing the second-night audience from 
the stage is also found to have serious drawbacks. 
Don't tell me that the author's business is to make his 
meaning so transparent on the stage that there shall 
be no possibility of misunderstanding it, and no need 
for commentary or explanation. What play that was 
worth understanding has ever escaped misunderstand- 
ing ? Certainly not Hamlet, or Macbeth, or Othello ; 
certainly not Le Misanthrope or Le Tartufe ; certainly 
not A Dolfs House or Hedda Gabler. Dumas 
fils, a master, if ever there was one, of the mere 
craft of the playwright, has expounded every 
one of his serious plays in a long and elaborate 
preface. For one thing, whatever their genius, the 
actors will always to some extent obscure or disguise 
the author's meaning they will "get between the 
poet and his audience." Of course there are authors 
Ibsen is a notable case in point who would simply 
make game of the critic-interviewer, if they did not 
make mincemeat of him. But it is not everyone that 
enjoys being misunderstood. I am quite sure that if 
Shakespeare had foreseen the commentaries on Hamlet, 
he would have " taken arms against a sea of twaddle," 
and submitted with alacrity to the ministrations of the 


This is a very long preamble to a very little 
criticism. My point is that, since Shakespeare is not 
to be " drawn " upon Hamlet, I should like to inter- 
view " John Oliver Hobbes " and Mr George Moore 
upon their comedietta * produced last week at Daly's 
Theatre. I should begin by complimenting them 
warmly and sincerely upon a clever piece of work, a 
valuable addition to our stock of agreeable curtain- 
raisers. Then I should ask them (of course in polite 
periphrasis) why they did not make it just a little 
better while they were about it ? Why they did not 
treat it either quite seriously or quite fantastically? 
" Do you not think," I should inquire, "that if we are 
intended to take it seriously, the few words which 
Lady Soupise speaks between Maramour's retreat to 
the boudoir and Sir Philip's entrance are very much 
out of keeping ? And, on the other hand, if the thing 
is intended for a mere airy trifle, do you think it is 
quite airy enough, quite as witty and sparkling and 
effervescent as it might be?" Presuming for a 
moment to advise, I should suggest that the serious 
method of treatment was perhaps the better fitted 
for the theme; that the wife's unconscious leaning 
towards reunion with her husband ought to be more 
clearly indicated at the outset ; and that, in the scene 
with Sir Philip, more prominence ought to be given to 

* June 5 (afternoon). It is understood to have been suggested 
by a French play. 


her feverish dread lest the dawn of a new happiness 
should be fatally overclouded by the discovery of the 
intruding Maramour. " And why these preposterous 
names?" I should inquire. "Why Soupise and 
Maramour? If you must be fantastic, why not go 
straight back to Congreve and call your characters Sir 
Philip Fainlove and Captain Millamant ? As it is, 
your nomenclature distantly suggests Congreve, and 
your dialogue still more distantly." In a word, I 
should advise them to make a definite choice, and 
concentrate their effort either upon wit or upon serious 
interest the latter for preference. Then, taking for 
granted their appreciation of the service rendered them 
by Miss Ellen Terry's brilliant beauty and winning 
vivacity, I should inquire, with all possible delicacy, 
whether her treatment of the part entirely answered to 
their intentions? Whether there was not, perhaps, 
too much youth and freshness in her manner, too 
little polish and subtlety in her diction? Whether 
any modern woman is quite so exuberantly youthful, 
quite so eager and emphatic, as Miss Terry's Lady 
Soupise? I should ask whether they did not agree 
with me in admiring the ease and finish of Mr Forbes 
Robertson's performance of the husband? And 
finally I should ask but I should not expect them 
to answer what they thought of Mr Terriss as the 
gay Lothario? 




2Oth fiine. 

IF one were asked to give an example of an essen- 
tially typically "popular" play, or Volksstuck, one 
could not do better than cite The Middleman* 
by Mr Henry Arthur Jones, revived at the 
Comedy Theatre on Saturday. It has everything 
that makes for popularity. The action consists of a 
tremendous c peripety," or reverse of fortune, in which 
the mighty are abased and the humble exalted ; and 
this turning of the tables is effected in strict accord 
with poetical justice, virtue and genius being re- 
warded with millions, wickedness with the workhouse, 
in prospect if not in fact, while amiable foibles of the 
flesh are chastened with temporary unhappiness, but 
end in rehabilitation and holy matrimony. What 
character could possibly be more popular than the 
dreamy inventor who cannot remember whether he 
has dined, or distinguish between Irish stew and veal 
pie? And when his dreaminess gives place to vin- 
dictiveness, what can be more poetic, and at the 
same time edifying, than the Biblical phraseology in 
which he unloads his soul? Could any scene be 
more spirit-stirring than that of the furnace and the 
vase, in which we feel that Providence, for once 
* June 16-23. 


economical, is advancing science and executing jus- 
tice in one operation ? What wonder, then, that so 
artfully compounded a piece of work, aided by Mr 
Willard's personal popularity and genial, forcible 
acting, should excite the audience almost to delirium, 
as it did on Saturday evening. Mr Willard's company 
includes Mr Royce Carleton, who plays " the Middle- 
man," Mr H. Cane, excellent as Batty Todd, and 
Miss Agnes Verity, a sympathetic heroine. The 
comic relief is in the hands of Mr F. H. Tyler and 
Miss Nannie Craddock, two promising newcomers. 
On the whole, it was distinctly pleasant to renew 
acquaintance with The Middleman, which wears well, 
and forms a sort of halfway-house between Adelphi 
drama and rational art. 



27 th June. 

KRONOS is usually reckoned the most impartial of the 
gods. He serves out his minutes, hours, and days 
alike to king and beggar. Golconda or Mount Mor- 
gan cannot bribe him to protract a moment of bliss 
or curtail an hour of agony. We have private devices 
of our own for getting more or less sensation into each 

"IZEYL." 177 

swing of the pendulum ; but of these the god has no 
official cognizance. Unhasting, unresting, he ticks 
off the life-thread to each of us in equal particles, and 
it is not even his fault when the Fates snip it short. 
But at Daly's Theatre, on the night of the production 
of Izeyl* I could not help feeling that Time had been 
using me ill. Everyone else was young ; I alone was 
old and stricken in years. It was not merely that for 
Sarah Bernhardt time had stood still : on the stage, 
such miracles are a matter of course. What seemed 
to me unfair and annoying was that the whole audience 
should be so aggressively, obstreperously young. 
They found keen enjoyment, their pulses leaped, 
their palms grew electrical and thunder-charged, where 
I could find no keener emotion than a calm and 
critical interest, a quite unelectrified admiration, per- 
haps a little quickening of regret for " the days that 
are no more." I felt just like an old fogey watching 
the young folk enjoying themselves, and thinking to 
himself, " Now, in my time we weren't quite so easily 
pleased. There was a refinement, an elegance, a 
spontaneity in our delights, that these young people, 
on the stage and off, somehow cannot approach. 

* Sarah Bernhardt's season lasted five weeks, in the course 
of which she gave thirty-nine performances. Iztyl (produced 
June 18) was performed sixteen times ; La Tosca (June 25), five 
times ; La Dame aux Camillas (June 27), six times ; Phedre 
(June 29), three times ; Les Rois (July 2), twice; Ftdora (July 4), 
lour times ; La Femme de Claude (July 17), three times. 


This Sarah the Younger is a fascinating, seductive, 
supple and sinuous creature, with the smile of a 
Sphinx and the voice of a Siren. But ah ! you should 
have seen her mother, twenty years ago, consule Mac- 
Mahon ! The daughter imitates her marvellously ; 
but the copy is mechanical, and sometimes a little 
coarse. No doubt she has more power : the mother 
could not have played that third act in such a fierce 
whirlwind of frenzy. But that is only because the 
younger woman has learnt that she can, without kill- 
ing herself, go to the very end of her physical re- 
sources a feat which her more fragile mother was 
(thank goodness !) chary of attempting." So the old 
fogey mumbled on, while the theatre rocked with the 
plaudits of the young, and the curtain slid up and 
down, up and down, in response to their thunders, 
like the guillotine-blade on a busy morning a hundred 
years ago. Never mind ! I was young enough, only 
last week, in this very theatre but that is another 
story and Phedre (it ought rather to be Medea, by 
the way) will doubtless rejuvenate me in a day or 
two ; but the fact remains, whatever its explanation, 
that the blandishments of Ize"yl did not " throng my 
pulses with the fulness of the spring." 

Is not the Alexandrine, I wonder, almost as dead 
in France, for dramatic purposes, as the pentameter 
here ? Almost ; not quite ; for it probably takes 
rather more ability to write passable Alexandrines 

"IZ^YL." 179 

than to reel off screeds of flaccid blank verse. But 
both mediums are too easy and pliant to give the 
work real firmness of contour, while they produce a 
harassing effect of insincerity, conventionality, and 
bombast. I do not for a moment pretend to know a 
good Alexandrine from a bad. They say that those 
of MM. Silvestre and Morand in Iz'eyl are only so- 
so ; but they were quite good enough for me. Their 
effect was simply to make me feel as though I had 
heard it all before. Over and over again, on hearing 
the first line of a couplet, I distinctly foresaw the 
rhyme-word at the end of the next line, and, with a 
little time, could probably have made a pretty fair 
guess as to how the authors would work it in. This 
sense of familiarity and foreknowledge is destructive 
to the dramatic interest of the moment. It makes a 
classic solemnity of the performance, while the play 
remains anything but a classic. I am not a Buddhist, 
esoteric or exoteric, and indeed have forgotten most 
that I ever knew about Sakya-Mouni, or whatever his 
name may have been ; but I own it gave me an 
uneasy sense of incongruity, almost of irreverence, to 
see the Founder of a great religion, a sublime meta- 
physic, treated as a vehicle for windy rhetoric, and 
impersonated by a strapping French dragoon. I 
mean no disrespect to M. Guitry, who seems to be a 
most competent actor ; but his personality somehow 
emphasised the operatic emptiness and tawdriness of 


the whole entertainment This is surely the strangest 
of all the Buddha's avatars. As for M. de Max as the 
Yoghi, he succeeded in crowding into one performance 
all the vices of the French school of declamation. 
Dr Gamett, in one of his delightful fantasies, speaks 
of a Yoghi who could "expostulate convincingly with 
tigers"; but this one could have argued a bull of 
Bashan into a cocked hat He was a shouting satire 
on the Conservatoire. On the whole, then, fsfyl gave 
me anything but acute pleasure ; but it made me look 
forward all the more keenly to Ptedr*, On ** baeKtu 
fas ovec Famourf Les Rois, and La ftmme d* Cfaufa 
Mr Walkley has said precisely the just as well as 
the witty thing about the new Adelphi piece, Shall 
Wt Jvrgn* JSftrff "There is a slight error," he 
writes, "in the title of this play. It ought to be, 
SAaM We Forgtvt JStm t When the necessary correc- 
tion is made, we shall all be able to answer the ques- 
tion with a cheerful and emphatic * No. 1 " The un- 
pardonable he to whom the critic refers is, of course, 
the husband of Mr Frank Harvey's heroine, "the 
impeccable, egoistic ass" who, when he learns that 
his wife has " had a past," as the saying goes, " throws 
her about the stage, preaches his platitudinous, pom- 
pous morality at her, and turns her out of doors." 
Now I entirely agree with Mr Walkley's estimate of 

* Which, unfortunately, ws not performed, 
t June to August 18. 


this gentleman's character : he is an offensive Pharisee 
and prig ; but I cannot quite follow Mr Walkley in 
thinking him an improbable noodle, or in holding 
that the conjecture does not present a "problem" 
worthy of dramatic solution. It is the problem of 
Dcnisf, not a despicable play ; it is the problem of 
Mr Hardy's Tess, in which a good many worthy folk 
find the conduct of Angel Clare neither improbable 
nor unpardonable. Mr. Walkley, if he will forgive 
my saying so, is a little too apt to think that because 
the solution of a problem is very clear to him person- 
ally, there is no problem to be solved. The lady in 
this case is undeniably in the wrong for not having 
made a clean breast of matters before the marriage. 
If you come to think of it, she must have been guilty, 
not only of supprtssio veri, but of a good deal of de- 
liberate suggcstio falsi, during the eighteen months of 
her married life. And even waiving that aspect of the 
case, I fancy there is enough of the male monopolist 
left in a good many of us to be considerably taken 
aback by such a revelation as that which befalls Mr 
Oliver West. Remember, I am not defending him ; 
he is a pompous ass, and something of a brute into 
the bargain ; but I cannot help saying, " Let him 
who has no spice of the Helmer in his composition 
throw the first stone at Oliver West" The play is 
written entirely in the Adelphi key, and the situations 
are, or were, tediously dragged out ; but, on the whole, 


it is a far more solid and thoughtful piece of work 
than we are accustomed to at this theatre, and the 
audience seemed to take to it immensely. Miss Julia 
Neilson, as the heroine, proved to be quite in her 
element, dominating the large Adelphi stage, and ex- 
pressing large Adelphi emotions in a large Adelphi style. 
Mr Fred Terry, too, was excellent as the sublime 
prig; and Mr Herbert Flemming, Mr Macklin, Mr 
Charles Dalton, and Miss Ada Neilson, all con- 
tributed to the success of the play. The cast, strange 
to say, includes not a single male low comedian; 
but Mrs H. Leigh let the Pioneer Club take note 
proved that even in this branch of art woman can 
hold her own, and man may safely be dispensed with. 

Mr Tyrone Power's drama, The Texan, produced 
last week at the Princess's, belongs to a class of plays 
for which there is a larger demand in the provinces 
than in London. It is not quite commonplace in 
conception, and it contains several scenes that evi- 
dently gripped and moved the more unsophisticated 
portions of the house, though the stalls remained 
unconvinced. Mr Power himself, in the title-part, 
showed considerable gifts as a character-actor, and 
made himself very popular with the audience ; while 
Miss Edith Crane played the bigamous, not to say 
polyandrous, heroine with distinct charm, and a great 
deal of somewhat undisciplined emotion. 

It is a pity that Mr Mark Melford, author of The 


Jerry Builder* at the Strand, cherishes such an in- 
veterate contempt for coherence or sanity of plot. In 
this farce he has hit upon an excellent subject, which 
might have formed the basis of an almost classic 
buffoonery. Even as it is, one cannot choose but 
laugh at the " settling down " of the jerry-built villa ; 
but the plot, or rather what does duty for a plot, is 
simply imbecile. The leading parts are played by Mr 
Willie Edouin, Mr Ernest Hendrie, Mr Herbert Ross, 
Miss Susie Vaughan, and Miss Mary Edouin the last 
a diminutive but mercurially vivacious young lady, more 
interesting, in her present phase of development, to the 
student of heredity than to the student of acting. 

It is a curious coincidence that by altering one 
letter and deleting another or simply by pronouncing 
the word in the Spanish fashion you convert " Re"- 
jane " into " Rehan." No ! I am not going to inflict 
a comparison upon you ; but there can be no harm in 
saying that Madame Rejane is the Ada Rehan of the 
French stage. Roll Yvette Guilbert and Ada Rehan 
into one, add a dash of Mrs Bancroft, and the merest 
hint of Miss Lottie Venne, and you will have some 
faint idea of Madame Re"jane, as she impressed me 
on Saturday night, t I had never seen her before, and 
I came to the theatre with expectations screwed up to 
a very high pitch by the eulogies of some of the very 
best judges of acting. It is a great deal to say that I 
* June 18-30. t Gaiety, June 23 July 28. 


was in no way disappointed. Let me own, too, that 
I was not in a position to do her the fullest justice, 
for a good deal of her dialogue escaped me not from 
any fault in her diction, which is admirable, but be- 
cause I am imperfectly acquainted with \\Qifaubourien 
French. Not for years have I sat at a French play, 
and felt so many points slip past me unappreciated. 
I was green with envy of a gentleman beside me who 
shouted with laughter whenever any one else did, and 
enjoyed himself, as I thought, somewhat ostenta- 
tiously ; but when I heard him explaining to his fair 
neighbour that "merlans frits" meant "fried thrushes," 
I wondered whether it was always Sardou's wit that 
tickled him. Even through the veil of dialect, how- 
ever, it was easy to recognise in Madame Rjane a 
comedian both born and made a woman of opulent 
gifts perfected by the most sedulous art. There is 
comedy in every line of her face in the arched eye- 
brows, the well-opened dancing eyes, the tip-tilted 
nose, and the wonderful, mobile, expressive mouth. 
This mouth is unquestionably the actress's chief 
feature ; it conditions her art. With a different mouth 
she might have been a tragedian or a heroine of 
melodrama, which would have been an immense pity. 
It is not a beautiful feature from the sculptor's point 
of view ; even from the painter's it is not so much a 
rosebud as a full-blown rose. It has almost the wide- 
lipped expansiveness of a Greek mask ; but it is 


sensitive, ironic, amiable, fascinating. In the first act 
of Madame Sans-Gtne the actress was altogether 
delightful. She brought the character straight home 
to us, making us feel with all around her that this 
was a woman of a thousand. In the second act, she 
condescended to some cheap extravagance which we 
could very well have spared. A woman so adroit and 
generally capable as Madame Sans-Gene could not, 
under any circumstances, be such a grotesque fish out 
of water as Madame Rjane chose to make herself for 
twenty minutes or so. There are scores of actresses 
in our own theatres and music-halls who can go 
through comic antics with a train just as well as 
Madame Re*jane. The scene with Napoleon in the 
third act by far the best in the play was a gem of 
comedy acting, one of the finest things in its kind I 
ever saw. In the fourth act, the interest centres in 
intrigue rather than character, but the actress does 
admirably all she can find to do. I have no space to 
say anything of the play, and indeed there is nothing 
to be said, except that it is a clever, mechanical, trivial 
performance in the manner of Scribe. M. Duquesne, 
an old friend of ours at the Royalty, made an effec- 
tive Napoleon, and M. Cande a bluff and soldierly 
Lefebvre. The mounting is magnificent ; we could 
scarcely have done it better in England ; and the 
minor female characters present a remarkable array 
of beauty, not unaccompanied by talent. 




tfh July. 

ADMIRATION is not the word for the feeling with which 
I regard Mr J. M. Barrie's genius. Affection is nearer 
it. The best pages in Auld Licht Idylls, A Window 
in Thrums, and The Little Minister, are among the 
best things, the most genuinely inspired, in present- 
day fiction. Their humour is of the kind which 
goes straight to our inmost sympathies, and begets a 
sense of personal gratitude towards the author. It 
is entirely to the credit of my critical colleagues that 
they should have let this feeling predispose them to 
leniency in the case of The Professor's Love-Story* 
which is in itself, moreover, an amiable and ingra- 
tiating piece of work. I feel like an impossible 
curmudgeon for not joining in the chorus. But, on 
the other hand, it would be a very poor compliment 
to Mr Barrie to accept this genial improvisation as the 
best work he can do for the stage ; and what possible 
use is there in criticism, unless it be to extract from an 
artist the very best work he has in him? If we 
declare ourselves satisfied with The Professor's Love- 
Story, how is Mr Barrie to know that he has not 

* Comedy, June 25. Transferred to Garrick, August 13 
October 26. 


touched the limit of our capacity for appreciation, and 
that we would not be ^satisfied with finer, stronger, 
more conscientious work ? What can be more dis- 
couraging to the true artist than to find his hasty 
studies, not to say his pot-boilers, accepted as all that 
we can require or desire from him ? If only to spare 
Mr Barrie this discouragement, I think one is bound 
to say quite frankly that The Professors Love-Story .is 
a pleasant.'enough evening's entertainment, but entirely 
trivial, ephemeral, and at some points childish. 

How strange it is that even fine literary artists, 
when they approach the stage, should at once aban- 
don all care for verisimilitude, or even for ordinary 
possibility ! The fact is, no doubt, that the stage has 
from all ages been the home of the miraculous, the 
marvellous, the ultra-romantic, and that both in 
audiences and authors there is an obscure survival of 
the habit of mind, the sense of detachment from the 
world of everyday experience, which must have been 
dominant at both the first and the second birth of the 
drama, in the Hellenic and Christian miracle-plays. 
Thus the psychological inconsequences of Professor 
Goodwillie may have had their origin in the puerilities 
of Aryan folk-lore, and Bob Sandeman's letter, pop- 
ping out in the nick of time from the disused letter- 
box, is doubtless lineally descended from the deux ex 
machina of Attic drama. Explain it how we may, in 
any case, there is no getting away from the fact that, of 


the four chief moments or motives in Mr Barrie's play, 
two are psychologically inconceivable, one psycho- 
logically improbable, and the remaining one materially 
improbable, not to say miraculous. Absurdity No. i 
is the Professor's way of receiving the suggestion that 
he is in love. It is not in the least incredible that he 
should consider himself quite safe in the very quarter in 
which the danger really lies ; that is an excellent touch 
of comedy. What is flatly incredible is that he should 
accept the suggestion in principle, as it were, and 
should believe himself to be in love, without making 
any serious effort to discover who is, or is supposed to 
be, the object of his passion. He is absent-minded, 
but not to the point of insanity ; and no sane man 
ever believed himself in love without forming some 
conjecture, at least, as to the lady in the case. Many 
men have formed wrong conjectures ; they have been 
in love with being in love, and have fixed at random 
upon the first Dulcinea that came in their way. But 
that is not the Professor's case. At Dr Cosens's 
suggestion, he believes himself in love with some lady 
in London (else, why should he run away from 
London to escape her ?) ; but he has not the ghost of 
an idea who the lady is, and makes no real effort even 
to discover who is in the Doctor's mind. This is the 
conduct of a lunatic ; or, in other words, the incident 
is a piece of crude farce. The second absurdity is of 
a piece with the first. If Lady Gilding is a sane 


woman, how can she possibly believe that the Professor 
is on the point of making her an offer of marriage, 
when he displays his fixed aversion from her in every 
possible way? That she should determine to over- 
come that aversion, or even to trick him into marriage 
in spite of it, is conceivable enough ; but so far as we 
can see, she appears seriously to believe that the 
Professor is devoted to her, in spite of the clear evi- 
dence of her senses to the contrary. This, again, is 
crude farce ; and yet a very little adjustment would 
have removed both these absurdities. If Lady Gilding 
had not been the mere heartless and mercenary puppet 
it has pleased Mr Barrie to make her, if she had been 
a woman whom the Professor respected, and with 
whom he could for a moment imagine himself in love, 
Mr Barrie would have had his comic situation intact 
(the Professor jumping out of the frying-pan into the 
fire), and we would have been able to admire his 
delicacy of workmanship, instead of shrugging our 
shoulders at the fortunate audacity of his improvi- 
sation. If Mr Barrie should do me the honour of 
reading these lines, I would beg him to imagine him- 
self putting such a character as Lady Gilding into a 
novel. He could not possibly be guilty of so shallow 
and revolting a piece of cynicism. Why, then, does 
not Lady Gilding on the stage revolt either himself 
or his audience ? Simply because they do not take 
stage character-drawing seriously, and are content 


with the good old crudities of farce. But it is pre- 
cisely this habit of mind which renders the English 
drama the by-word of Europe. Why should Mr 
Barrie make any distinction in point of workmanship 
between his novels and his plays ? Why should he 
insult the playgoing public by offering it scamped 
work, which he would not dare to place before the 
literary public ? It is true that the playgoing public 
does not resent the insult ; but what are we to say of 
the artistic conscience which is content with any sort 
of perfunctoriness that is not certain to be found out ? 
We come now to the psychological improbability, 
or, in other words, the piece of conventional heroinism 
which mars the last act. Lucy White, up to that 
point a competent and sensible girl, in a moment of 
thoughtlessness adopts a very innocent device to make 
the Professor aware of his sentiments towards her. 
That she should be a little ashamed of herself is 
natural and proper enough, and her confession of her 
freak might have made a pretty scene. But what does 
our heroine do ? In an agony of remorse, she declares 
she can never marry the Professor, pretends that she 
does not love him, and is quite prepared to spoil his 
life and her own rather than confess the trumpery 
peccadillo, and at least give him the chance of for- 
giving her ! I wonder Mr Barrie did not make her 
resolve to take the veil, and pass the rest of her days 
in a nunnery meditating on the enormity of pretending 


to faint. Of course it is possible that a silly girl, her 
mind vitiated with the false idealisms of inferior fiction, 
might behave in this idiotic way. If the author treated 
the thing ironically, it might be acceptable enough, 
though improbable at best. But Mr Barrie is innocent 
of ironic intention. He simply adds another to the 
aforesaid false idealisms of inferior fiction. One can- 
not suspect him of really admiring his heroine's morbid 
folly ; but it serves to fill up the last act ; and, after all, 
a play is only a play, and they like this sort of thing 
on the stage. But there Mr Barrie is wrong : people 
don't like this sort of thing; they tolerate it and 
their toleration may break down at any moment. 

I have already spoken of the material improbability 
the miracle of the lost letter. It exemplifies what 
seems to be the radical defect of Mr Barrie's method 
of setting about dramatic composition. He tries to 
make tricky ingenuity do the work of solid thought 
and invention. Like Walker, London, The Professor's 
Love-Story is a mere patchwork of little mechanical 
devices, irrelevant anecdotes, " wheezes," and comic 
business. For instance, Mr Barrie must needs drag 
in from My Lady Nicotine the joke about the present 
of unsmokable cigars, and from some Christy Minstrel 
patter (I should imagine) the lugubrious cherchez la 
femme wheeze. In a word, his one endeavour is to 
raise a laugh at any price. As regards the stage, he 
has no more artistic conscience or genuine artistic 


impulse than the late H. J. Byron. He happens to 
be a much cleverer man, but that only makes his 
abuse of his talent the more regrettable. If he were 
not the author of A Window in Thrums, it would 
be absurd to apply any serious analysis to The 
Professors Love-Story. One would dismiss it in a 
paragraph as a clever sentimental farce, amusing 
enough, but utterly insignificant. It is the certainty 
that Mr Barrie could, if he would, do better work that 
makes it worth while to look into the seams of so 
disappointing a production. 

"But you have admitted," the reader may say, 
" that it is ' amiable and ingratiating ' ; how does this 
square with the unmixed condemnation you have just 
been heaping upon it ? " Well, it is amiable because 
of the amiable central character there is a perennial 
charm in the dreamy, unselfish man of genius ; and it 
is ingratiating because this character is delightfully 
played by Mr Willard, with a simplicity and sincerity 
which even the curmudgeon critic cannot resist. 
Miss Bessie Hatton is pleasant as the heroine ; Miss 
Nannie Craddock does all that can be done to re- 
concile us to the preposterous character of Lady 
Gilding ; and Mr Royce Carleton is excellent as one 
of the Scotch ploughmen, whose " canny " erotics are 
the most amusing episode in the play. Mr F. H. 
Tyler plays the rival swain cleverly enough, but his 
Doric is sadly to seek. 


Mr H. A. Sherburn's farce, A Night in Town* 
produced last week at the Royalty, is a mechanical 
a nd quite uninventive imitation of the Pink Domino 
type of French vaudeville. Thanks to the humour of 
Mr Harry Paulton, however, it seemed to amuse a not 
very exacting audience. It was preceded by a stilted 
and long-drawn dialogue entitled Villon, Poet and 
Cut-throat, by Mr "S. X. Courte," in which Miss 
Florence Friend acted with a good deal of grace and 

Sarah Bernhardt was at her best in La Dame aux 
Camelias last week, not quite at her best, it seemed to 
me, in Phkdre. t Her Marguerite Gautier did not move 
me the least little bit, but that was very likely because 
I went to it in an experimental mood, and was watching 
my sensations the whole time, keeping my finger on 
my emotional pulse, instead of submitting myself 
passively to the influence of the situation. It struck 
me, however, that the people I saw around me were 
almost as phlegmatic as I. They admired vividly and 
applauded without stint, as well they might; but of 
the wonder and pity which all of a sudden catch the 
breath and dim the eye, I saw little or no trace. The 
consummate art of the thing was beyond all doubt. 
In the third act, the scene with Duval senior, the 
incessant gasping for breath seemed to me overdone. 
It certainly got on one's nerves a little. But the fifth 
* June 28 July n. f See note, p. 177. 



act was from first to last magnificent. How excellently 
imagined was the little scene with Prudence, where 
Marguerite lies on the sofa, her face half buried in the 
pillow, stifling her impatience of this intrusion upon 
her agony ! What a fine invention, too, was that of 
the fallen hand-glass, at which she dares not look lest 
she find it broken ! It seemed to me, on the whole, 
that the actress emphasised the physical realism, the 
pathological detail, of her performance more than she 
used to, yet never to an unbeautiful or inartistic 
degree. She makes more of the final flicker of life in 
the exhausted frame than is indicated in Dumas's text, 
but such a masterly development of the author's idea 
is not only allowable, but admirable. 

Phedre, again, is undoubtedly one of Madame 
Bernhardt's greatest parts, perhaps the very finest 
thing she has ever done or can do. In saying that 
she was not quite at her best in it, I was thinking 
only of an accidental and temporary defect of the 
particular performance which I happened to witness. 
She pitched it rather too high from the outset, and 
the result was that in the more violent passages, 
such, for instance, as her declaration to Hippolyte, 
the sense of strain became painful and almost 
intolerable. I wish some expert in voice production 
would explain what Madame Bernhardt does with 
her vocal cords in such passages as this. She seems 
to grind out her words through her clenched teeth, 

" PHfcDRE." 195 

and, moreover, to froth up her voice as they froth 
up eggs or chocolate. There was rather too much 
of this effect on Friday evening, and at one or 
two points the actress's breath seemed almost to fail 
her in the effort after intensity of expression. For 
instance, she spoke as follows one of the most 
celebrated lines of her part : " C'est Venus-a toute 
entiere a sa proie attachee-a." By the letter " a " I 
represent that tragic gasp by means of which actors of 
the old school used to convert the word " blood " into 
a trisyllable, thus: "ba-lud-a." I have never heard 
Madame Bernhardt make this sound before, and can 
only suppose it one effect of the general overpressure 
at which she was playing. But in the languishing 
passages, so frequent in Phedre, she was nothing less 
than divine. You do not realise the possibilities of 
beauty in human speech if you have not heard her 
exhale these four lines : 

Noble et brillant auteur d'une triste famille, 
Toi, dont ma mere osait se vanter d'etre fille, 
Qui peut-etre rougis du trouble oil tu me vois, 
Soleil, je te viens voir pour la demiere fois ! 

I am not ashamed to confess that the sheer exquisite- 
ness of her delivery of these lines brought the tears to 
my eyes, which had remained as dry as *bs desert 
throughout her Marguerite Gautier. 



"LES Rois." "A MODERN EVE." 


A NOBLE and beautiful play is Les Rots* by M. Jules 
Lemaitre. We owe hearty thanks to Madame Bern- 
hardt for having included it in her London repertory, 
seeing that it does not contain one of her great show 
parts. But she had her reward in artistic esteem, if not 
in popular applause. Her performance of the Princess 
Wilhelmine was full of the chastened dignity imposed 
by the whole atmosphere of the play, and afforded a 
grateful relief after the violence of her Sardou-Silvestre 
achievements. It seemed almost as if we had the 
Sarah of other days, the Sarah of the seventies, with 
us once more. The play, however, suffers in some 
degree from the necessity under which the author has 
evidently lain of making Wilhelmine the predominant 
character. I have not read Lemaitre's romance, and 
do not know what part Frida de Talberg plays in it ; 
but it must surely be much more prominent than that 
assigned her in the drama. The theme is symbolic, 
one might almost say allegorical. It is, to state it in 
the most general terms, Sovereign Power between the 
contending influences of Conservatism and Liberalism. 
Though there is no departure from probability in the 

* See note, p. 177. 

"LES ROIS." 197 

relations of the personages, they are at the same time 
perfectly typical on the symbolic plane. Prince 
Hermann is legally and indissolubly wedded to 
Monarchism in the person of Wilhelmine. The in- 
fluences of ancestry, the claims of posterity, bind him 
to her in spite of himself. But his heart and his 
brain yearn towards Democracy in the person of 
Frida. She is the guiding force, the active principle, 
of his conduct, while Wilhelmine makes for tradition 
and routine. Is it not natural to expect, then, that 
the spirit of Change should be at least as prominently 
represented as the spirit of Stability ? Given a King, 
we take as a matter of course that part of his action 
which is inspired by the Monarchical Idea ; it is the 
motives impelling him towards democracy that stand 
in need of analysis and explanation. And yet, even 
as I write, a doubt comes over me as to the soundness 
of this argument. Is it true, as a matter of fact, that 
we are in the least surprised to see a King coquetting 
with Democracy, or that we require any special expla- 
nation of the phenomenon? Is it not rather his 
remains of fidelity to the Monarchical Idea that we 
find difficult to conceive ? Even making every allow- 
ance for hereditary bias, can we understand a man of 
to-day, with any sense of history or sense of humour, 
taking his stand on so patent an anachronism as the 
divine right of kings ? No ; there is really no neces- 
sity, so far as the political fable is concerned, that Frida 


de Talberg's influence over Prince Hermann should 
be elaborately explained to us. A king oppressed by 
his royalty, and fascinated by democratic and humani- 
tarian ideals, is entirely comprehensible. We take 
him for granted at a word. It is for the sake of the 
love-story, not of the political apologue, that we want 
to have Frida's character and charm more clearly 
brought home to us. 

There is no tragedy profounder or more pathetic 
than the Tragedy of Good Intentions. Prince 
Hermann is one of those hapless beings, born 
into a false position, who can neither submit to cir- 
cumstances nor dominate them. Like Hamlet, he 
finds the time fatally out of joint, and with the best 
will in the world he has not the skill to set it right. 
He cannot believe in the religion of royalism, em- 
bodied in his wife; he loathes the corruptions and 
abuses of royalism, embodied in his brother ; and his 
purely idealistic conception of the People breaks down 
the moment it is put to the test. The scene in which 
the royal Girondin, the would-be Marcus Aurelius of 
Alfania, finds himself the murderer instead of the 
benefactor of his people, is intensely dramatic and 
moving. With adequate stage-management, I am 
convinced it would make the play a popular success. 
The third act is comparatively commonplace ; but the 
fourth, again, has not only a strong dramatic interest, 
but a tragic nobility of its own. Altogether, we have 

"A MODERN EVE." 199 

to thank M. Lemaitre for a play which appeals alike 
to the intellect and the emotions an entirely dignified 
and serious piece of work. It is interesting from the 
philosophic and attractive from the romantic point of 
view. I wonder whether M. Lemaitre has ever read 
Mr Stevenson's Prince Otto 1 There are some curious 
though unessential resemblances between the two 
works, and they are somewhat akin in the Utopian 
charm of their setting. 

Mr Malcolm Salaman's drama, A Modern Eve* 
which Mr Tree produced last week at the Haymarket, 
is the ablest play of its kind which we have seen since 
The Second Mrs Tanqueray. It writing it, Mr Sala- 
man has not been (as G. B. S. put it the other day) 
"making up a prescription," but obeying a genuine 
artistic impulse. He has not simply compounded the 
statutory ingredients of popular success, but has set 
himself, soberly and sincerely, to study a character. 
He has depicted life as he sees it, not merely as he 
thinks the public would like to see it. His Vivien 
Hereford is a consistently and even convincingly 
drawn woman. The only trait in her character which 
rather puzzles me is her desire to pass as " a good 
woman " in the eyes of Wargrave. It seems to indi- 
cate two as yet unsuspected forces in her nature 
insincerity and sentimentality. Would Mr Salaman 
have us understand that she values Wargrave's illusion 
* July 2 (afternoon). 


about her as the last safeguard against a second out- 
break ? Does she deliberately play upon his sentimen- 
tality in order to hold his passion in check ? This is 
conceivable, but it is not made clear. It rather seems 
as though she attached a personal value to the reputa- 
tion of " a good woman," even while finally forfeiting 
it by her wrongful assumption of it. It is not as 
though she had casuistically persuaded herself that 
she was " a good woman " in spite of everything. Up 
to that point, she takes a cynical, or as a certain New 
Moralist prefers to phrase it, a " realistic " view of 
her own nature. She knows she is an exceedingly 
unsatisfactory character to herself and every one else, 
but she says, "I can't help it; I'm built that way," 
and is rather inclined to glory in her incapacity for 
the humdrum virtues. One would expect her at least 
to make formal protest against Wargrave's idolatry of 
her " goodness," even if she took good care he should 
not believe her. And Wargrave himself is a little 
puzzling in this connection. When, in the second 
act, he prostrated himself before Vivien's shining 
purity, I thought it was merely a trick of the game, 
a feint, a method of masking his batteries. But he 
appears to be absolutely sincere ; at least his change 
of feeling in the third act loses all its point if we are 
not to understand that the feeling of the second act 
was genuine. Perhaps Mr Salaman conceives him as 
the genuinely sentimental and self-deceptive sensualist 


who habitually enters on a campaign of conquest 
under the white banner of the loftiest and most 
ethereal adoration. In any case, the author has not 
been so explicit as might have been desired as to the 
soul-state of either of the two parties. Some people, 
I understand, have found the play "immoral," because 
no " short sharp shock " of retribution overtakes the 
erring Vivien. It is true that, so far as we can see, 
her prospects are rather brighter at the end of the 
play than at the beginning ; for we gather that this 
time she really loves her lover, whereas all her previous 
troubles have arisen from her inability to love her 
husband or any one but herself. But the moral of 
the play does not centre in her (highly problematical) 
chance of happiness after the fall of the curtain, but 
in her very unmistakable misery during the progress 
of the action. If any young lady in the audience is 
encouraged by the fortunes of Vivien Hereford to give 
the rein to her egoism and vanity, her case must be 
still more abnormal than that of Vivien herself, and 
Mr Salaman cannot be held to account for it. 

The first performance of A Modern Eve was only 
passable. The opening act was suffered to drag a 
good deal, and the restlessness of all the characters 
the way they sat down and got up and crossed and 
recrossed, as though dancing a sort of complicated 
quadrille became in the long run irritating. As the 
play went on Mrs Tree took firmer grasp of her 


character, and played with real power the crucial 
scenes of the last act. Mr Tree, in one of his 
masterly make-ups, was excellent as Wargrave; Mr 
Fred Terry seemed to me unnecessarily stolid as 
Eardley Hereford ; and Miss Lottie Venne was 
admirable as Mrs Mowbray Meryon, perhaps the 
most closely observed and successfully - projected 
character in the play. It remains to be seen whether 
A Modern Eve has quite enough stamina to make 
an enduring popular success ; but, be that as it may, 
it places beyond doubt Mr Salaman's talent for serious 
dramatic writing, and encourages us to hope for even 
stronger work from him. The production, as a 
whole, deserves to be recorded on the credit side of 
Mr Tree's management. If other managers would 
follow his example, and take the trouble to secure a 
trial hearing, under the best auspices, for plays of real 
ability, they would certainly find it to their ultimate 
advantage, even though the immediate pecuniary 
return should be scanty. The discovery and en- 
couragement of talent is the first interest of every 

" MIRETTE." 203 



Pall Mall Budget, \2thjuly. 

THERE is no manager in London to whom we owe 
more than we do to Mr D'Oyly Carte. When the 
time comes to sum up his career (distant be the 
day !) it may be done very briefly, thus : " He found 
comic opera leggy and inane, he left it clothed and 
in its right mind." No doubt, like Toussaint 
L'Ouverture in Wordsworth's sonnet, " he had great 
allies." He could not have done much without 
Gilbert and Sullivan ; but would they have done 
what they have done without Mr Carte ? I doubt it. 
When the inner-history of Savoy opera comes to be 
written (Mr Percy Fitzgerald, we may take it, professes 
no more than to have skimmed the surface), it will 
probably be found to have sprung from a collabora- 
tion, not of two, but of three. Mr Carte may claim a 
good third of our thanks for the series of ingenious, 
witty, and beautiful entertainments which have not 
only made the name of the Savoy a household word, 
but have carried the example of taste and refinement 
into every corner of the English-speaking world. 
Then, again, we have in the so-called Palace Theatre 
a splendid if melancholy monument to [the magnani- 
mity (I use the word in its literal sense) of Mr Carte's 
imagination and artistic ambition. No pusillanimous 


spirit could ever have conceived such an enterprise. 
Tis not in mortals to command success, but Mr 
Carte did all that lay in his power to deserve it. 
Gratitude, then, both for the past and for possible 
" favours to come," prepossesses us warmly in favour 
of any entertainment to which Mr Carte lends the 
prestige of his name. 

Mirette? the new Savoy opera, by MM. Carre" and 
Messager, is by no means unworthy of that name. 
It is from first to last a pretty, innocent, tasteful, 
sympathetic entertainment. To the eye and the ear 
(I speak as one of the unmusical) it is charming 
throughout; to the mind it is shall we say in- 
offensive? Oh yes, it is utterly, almost painfully, 
inoffensive. The scenery and costumes are of the 
very best Savoy quality. The salon of the second act 
is no less graceful than gorgeous the model of a 
comic opera scene and the kermesse of the third 
act is put on the stage with marvellous spirit and 
completeness. Miss Maud Ellicott, in the title-part, 
sings pleasantly and unpretentiously, and goes through 
the motions appropriate to her part with charming 
amateurishness. The same description, with the 
possible omission of the last epithet, applies to Mr 
Scott Fishe as the handsome hero. Mr Courtice 
Pounds and Miss Florence Perry both sing and act 

* J u ty 3 August ii. Reproduced (new version by "Adrian 
Ross ") October 6 December 6. 

" MIRETTE." 205 

well ; Miss Rosina Brandram is as delightful as ever, 
and Mr Walter Passmore is genuinely funny in the 
low -comedy part. Bright scenery, pretty dresses, 
prettier faces, fluent and tuneful music (M. Messager 
is guiltless of the vulgar and clangorous rhythms of 
third-rate comic opera), good singing, and gentlemanly 
and ladylike acting all these are offered us at the 
Savoy ; and what can we wish for more ? I am 
sure thousands of playgoers will cheerfully answer 
" Nothing ! " 

Do I myself want anything more ? Well, I own I 
should not have objected to a little, ever so little, 
interest of plot and ingenuity of situation. M. Carre, 
the librettist, has perhaps over-estimated the childlike 
simplicity of our English taste. The handsome 
Count loves the Gipsy Maiden (she is not even a 
princess in disguise) and for her sake rejects his 
high-born betrothed. For a moment the Gipsy 
Maiden is attracted by his elegant person ; but 
presently her heart veers round to her faithful gipsy 
lover. She declines the Count with thanks, returns 
him to his betrothed and that is all. This seems to 
me a somewhat meagre story to spread over three 
acts. Indeed it is not, and does not pretend to be, 
anything but an excuse for costumes, groupings, and 
a series of simple, familiar musical effects. There is 
an immense amount of verse of this quality : 


Dance along with merry, merry song, 
Though the way be dark and long, 
Ne'er a resting-place have we, 
The world is the home of the Zingari ! 

set to what (in my ignorance) I am tempted to call 
Hungarian rhythms, with a free use of Castanet and 
tambourine in the orchestration. It is all very agree- 
able, as aforesaid, to eye and ear, but one feels that 
the intelligence is placed on short commons. The 
piece is to be regarded, Mr Carte tells us, as opera 
comique, rather than opera bouffe, or what we usually 
understand by comic opera. But is vacuity of plot 
and situation essential to opera comique ? 

I should be inclined to suggest to Mr Carte that, 
for the moment at any rate, romantic light opera is 
played out. La Basoche, for example, was vastly 
more ingenious and entertaining than Mirette; yet 
it never became really popular. It seems to me, as 
an outside observer, that the grand -opera theatres 
are absorbing all the operas comiques, the light 
dramatic operas, that have any real stuff in them, 
and that musical theatres which are not prepared to 
compete with grand opera will have to confine them- 
selves to extravaganza (by which I mean work of the 
Gilbert and Sullivan order) and to fantastic musical 
farce. The dividing line between grand opera and 
light opera no longer coincides with the dividing 
line between tragedy and comedy. Grand opera 
has taken to itself everything dramatic, whether 

" MIRETTE. 207 

tragic or comic, and has left to such theatres as the 
Savoy the domain of fantasy and eccentricity. Why 
should not Mr Carte refine musical farce of the 
Go-Bang and Morocco Bound type, as he formerly 
refined comic opera? Heaven knows there is plenty 
of room for refinement. 

These were the reflections that " within my brain 
did gyrate " as I left the Savoy the other night ; 
but even as I passed out, a little incident occurred 
before which my contempt for the dramatic qualities 
of Mirette stood abashed. The opera was not over, 
I blush to confess ; indeed, the third act had not 
long begun. Two ladies went before me up the 
pit stairs, hurrying for a train; and I heard one 
remark to the other, " It's such a pity we have to 
go, isn't it? I should have liked to know who she 
marries ! " Thus the play, which to me was naught, 
was evidently of absorbing interest to these fair 
playgoers. They could scarcely tear themselves away 
from a theatre which I was leaving of my own free 
will and despite the remonstrances of conscience. 
There you have an example of the difference between 
the professional play-taster and the theatre-loving 





Becket* revived last week at the Lyceum, is a mild 
and dignified rebuke to apriorist criticism, with its 
rules and formulas. There is no rule that it does 
not break, no formula that it fails to set at naught. 
It is rambling, disjointed, structureless; its psycho- 
logical processes take place between the acts; it 
overrides history for the sake of an infantile love- 
interest ; its blank verse is " undramatic," and its 
humour is well, unsophisticated. In short, it is 
nothing that it ought ta be, and everything that it 
oughtn't. Literally everything : for it is what most of 
all it oughtn't to be a success. It delighted the 
audience on the evening when I saw it the third 
of the revival. There was a genuine warmth in their 
applause which did my heart good, for it entirely 
expressed my own sentiments. All Miss Terry's 
charm cannot make the Rosamond scenes very in- 
teresting to me ; but the nobility and pathos of Mr 
Irving's Becket are as irresistible as ever. This is 
undoubtedly one of his great achievements, an en- 
tirely beautiful and memorable creation. The verse 
may be as " undramatic " as you please, but it is a 

* J u ty 9-2O. Last night of season, July 21, The Merchant oj 


delight to hear Mr Irving speak it ; and, for my part, 
I much prefer Tennyson's " undramatic " verse to the 
self-consciously and spasmodically dramatic iambics 
of some other poets. Becket, in sum, is not a co- 
herent, organic drama, but a series of animated 
historic scenes, beautifully written, staged, spoken, 
and acted. 




THE announcement of a play of Alexandre Dumas's 
is always a delight to me, not only, perhaps not 
mainly, because of the pleasure I promise myself in 
seeing it, but because it affords me an excuse for re- 
reading the author's preface. They are incomparable, 
these prefaces. There is vitality and character, 
blood and nerve, in every line of them. If he is 
not a master-dramatist, Dumas is at least a master- 
rhetorician. His style may lack grace I take it he 
is not counted among the really great writers of 
French prose but it certainly lacks neither colour, 
nor energy, nor copiousness, nor ease, nor eloquence. 
He can gossip like Thackeray and fulminate like 
Ruskin. Wit, irony and sophistry, urbanity and in- 

* See note, p. 177. 


science, fantasy and fanaticism he has all the 
qualities of the polemist and some of the prophet. 
The preface to La Femme de Claude a fifty-page 
letter addressed to M. Cuvillier-Fleury might have 
been the product of a collaboration between Isaiah, 
Tolstoi, and Mr Bernard Shaw. 

It is clear that in writing both the play and the 
preface Dumas verily imagined himself to be of the 
company of the prophets. He had long ago created 
God in his own image, and naturally conceived him- 
self as standing in a peculiarly intimate relation to a 
divinity so created, and peculiarly conversant with 
its intentions. In the preface to L'Ami des Femmes, 
published in December 1869, he had unmasked the 
witcheries and villainies of Woman, formulated the 
behests of God concerning her, and then, addressing 
the ladies who most flagrantly disregarded these 
behests, he had perorated thus : " Every society 
which you dominate, be it under the name of Lais, 
Poppaea, or Dubarry [he did not add " or Marguerite 
Gautier "], is a society on the point of falling to pieces 
to make room for another. Whenever you get men 
and affairs into your clutches, it is a sign that affairs 
are out of joint, and that men are growing vile. 
. . . . After you, there remains nothing but the 
invasion of the barbarian, of the foreigner, or of the 
rabble" Think of it ! These words were published 
in December 1869, to be followed in September 1870 


by Sedan, in May 1871 by the Commune ! It was 
the straight tip for the double event ! Even of the 
prophet's most esteemed predecessors in vaticination, 
how few had seen their orders executed with such 
punctuality and despatch ! Human nature could not 
resist the opportunity for a triumphant " I told you 
so ! " and La Femme de Claude was Dumas's way of 
saying it. In the meantime, the Terrible Year had 
exalted his imagination, and had familiarised him with 
blood and fire and the " wild justice " of war. France 
seemed to have fallen a victim to reckless corruption 
within, nefarious conspiracy without. The war of 
chassepot and petroleum had ceased, but the battles 
of Sex and Race were still raging their fiercest. 
The prophet-patriot could neither be silent nor speak 
in the old ironic tone of the mere man-of-the-world. 
Now, if ever, was the time to pontificate. The 
warring forces were too vast to be represented by 
individuals : they must be adumbrated in symbols. 
The man of the theatre, too, ever ready for a feat of 
mastery, was fascinated by the idea of applying to 
larger purposes the -simple machinery of the realistic 
stage. It was at least an experiment worth trying. 
Of all these instincts and motives, seething together, 
La Femme de Claude was the strange precipitate. It 
is the monument of a complex, overstrained mood 
a mood of exaltation, humiliation, exasperation, and 
what seemed like inspiration scarcely, one would 


say, a mood of perfect sanity. For the moment, 
Dumas " saw red." 

The result was undoubtedly a failure an honour- 
able failure, worth a score of vulgar successes, but a 
failure none the less. The drama, the story, apart 
from its symbolism, is of mediocre interest, and 
developed with no great skill. Up to the end of 
the second act, indeed, if we take for granted the 
miraculous element in the personage of Cantagnac, 
there is nothing to object to in the structure of the 
play ; it is simple and workmanlike enough. In the 
third act, on the other hand, the confession of the 
spying servant is perhaps the very weakest thing, 
from a technical point of view, that Dumas ever did. 
It is unmotived, ineffective, and useless; for Claude 
declines to act " on information received " from such 
a source, and his appearance on the scene in time for 
the final shot is due to mere chance, or rather, as we 
are given to understand, to a direct intervention of 
Providence. It is possible that Edmee's confession 
may have some symbolic value ; one might, at a pinch, 
interpret it in various ways ; but it is obscure as sym- 
bolism and execrable as drama. Whether the last 
scene of all could be made effective by better stage- 
management and acting I cannot tell; but it seems 
exceedingly doubtful. A murder, indeed, can never, 
properly speaking, conclude a modern play. The 
very gist of the story remains untold we want to 


know the verdict of the jury. " Viens travailler !" says 
Claude to Antonin as the curtain falls and the 
symbolic lesson is doubtless complete. But if we 
take the slightest interest in the characters as human 
beings, we ^cannot help wondering whether the 
"travail" assigned to Claude by an inappreciative 
country may not be something in the nature of 
oakum-picking. Of two things one: either it is 
certain that a jury would acquit him, or it is not 
certain. If it is certain, what becomes of the daring 
and originality of the famous " Tue-la ! " The author 
is preaching to the converted, buttressing, instead 
of undermining, an established prejudice. We are 
bound to conclude, then, that it is uncertain, even 
improbable ; and in that case the whole point, lesson, 
purport of the play, would lie in the author's criticism 
of the jury's verdict, his appeal, so to speak, from 
social law to transcendental justice. ^Eschylus did 
not bring down his curtain upon the " suppression " 
of Clytemnestra by Orestes, though in that case the 
"Tue-la !" had proceeded from Apollo himself. On 
the contrary, he actually put the trial on the stage, 
jury, advocates, and all. The author of Alan's Wife * 
to make a long stride from ^Eschylus did not 
finish his play with the killing of the deformed child. 
He indicated and (somewhat mildly) criticised the 
judgment of society upon that act. But Augier's 
* See Theatrical World, 1893, P- IJ 4- 


Manage d'Olympe, like La Femme de Claude, ends, 
or rather breaks off, with " le fameux coup de pistolet " 
and has always been a failure. 

On the realistic plane, then, the play leaves us 
cold and dissatisfied; does it impress us. on the sym- 
bolic plane ? Scarcely at all. If the personages are 
too abstract to interest us as men and women, they 
are at the same time too much involved in the 
trivialities of real life to appeal to us as abstractions. 
We require something more than the mere impro- 
bability of their sayings and doings to remind us that 
these are not human beings at all, but apocalyptic 
types and figures. We look for the mask and the 
cothurnus, or, at the very least, for verse and music. 
It is disconcerting to hear the type of the Eternal 
Masculine say, "You'll take pot-luck with us we 
dine at one " (though the ladies, indeed, may think 
the remark eminently characteristic of the Eternal 
Masculine) ; and when the symbol of the Infernal 
Feminine says, "Please send to the station for 
my luggage," we are somehow conscious of an in- 
congruity. " But how about The Master Builder ? " 
you ask, "Is not it full of similiar trivialities?" 
Pardon me! There is a clear and very instructive 
distinction between the two cases. No doubt Ibsen's 
play contains many symbolic sub-intentions, but the 
characters are not themselves symbols, nor is the 
action an allegoric demonstration of a moral thesis. 


A dozen ingenious and detailed interpretations of 
the play have been put forward, in jest and in 
earnest ; but if you ask Ibsen which he intended, he 
does not write a fifty-page preface to expound his 
allegory, but shrugs his shoulders, and begs you to 
take your choice. The truth is, of course, that he 
meant no definite allegory at all. He is a creator 
first, a symbolist only in the second place. He pro- 
jected certain characters and set them to act out a 
story which, for its own sake, pleased his imagination. 
The story, no doubt, had a certain ethical bearing, 
and in many of its details one could not but recognise 
a fragmentary and elusive symbolism, on which it is 
even possible that the poet may have insisted, to the 
artistic detriment of the work as a whole. But the 
play moves primarily on the purely-human plane, 
where nothing human need seem alien. Ibsen would 
be the last man to say, as Dumas does : " In place 
of setting in motion purely human personages, I 
presented absolute incarnations, essential beings, 
entities in a word." Ibsen, for one thing, has not, 
like Dumas, the advantage of a direct mandate from 
heaven, so that he is under the less temptation to 
dramatise a dogma. And the result is that The 
Master Builder even those who most dislike it will 
scarcely deny this has none of the frigidity, formality, 
and pedantry which are fatal to La Femme de Claude. 
Finally though with this dramatic criticism proper 


has nothing to do it may be remarked that Dumas's 
dogma is in itself worthless. From a grotesque 
theology he deduces an inhuman and impracticable 
morality. " If you are an angel, and if you happen 
to marry a demon, and if the law refuses to release 
you from her, you are at liberty to shoot her " that 
is the upshot of his teacking in this play. Observe, 
he expressly stipulates for the angelic virtue of the 
marital executioner he is to be the man " without 
sin" who (in the gospel according to Dumas) was 
authorised to cast the first stone at the erring woman. 
Now, as angels and demons do not occur in natural 
history, this doctrine, literally accepted, would be 
simply inoperative. But as he must be assumed to 
have meant his advice to apply in the real world, its 
practical result, if any, could only be to encourage 
men who were a great deal less than angels to take 
the law into their own hands against women who 
were a good deal less than demons. He is said to 
have avowed that with the passing of the divorce 
law the necessity for this wild justice upon " la Bete" 
passed away. But Claude, in the play, does not 
merely rid- himself of a vicious wife he rids the 
nation and the world of a noxious animal. He is 
not so much the outraged husband as the Saviour of 
Society. If, instead of shooting Ce*sarine, he quietly 
divorced her, he would merely set her free to spread 
corruption and ruin in wider circles. Unless the 


author has grossly misstated his case, no mere 
divorce-law can abrogate the right of a godlike 
personage such as Claude to wipe out a lady of 
whom he disapproves. The fact is, of course, that 
the author has grossly misstated his case, and that his 
morality is as fantastic as his fable. Because reckless 
license the result, mainly, of economic conditions 
which he totally ignores has weakened the physical 
and moral fibre of society, our prophet must needs 
preach an impossible, inconceivable puritanism, against 
which all the forces of Nature and Society are in 
league. His doctrine is literally a counsel of per- 
fection : " Be perfect," he says, " according to my 
ideal of perfection, else there is no hope of salvation 
either for the individual or for society." His ideal, 
meanwhile, has no scientific, but only a pseudo- 
theological sanction. He knows, and implicitly ad- 
mits, that it never has been, and never will be, 
realised on any large scale in this world. Hence, 
as it seems to me, the essential immorality of his 
work; for the preacher of inherently unrealisable 
ideals is the worst enemy of progress. It is to be 
noted that in his preface Dumas draws all his 
arguments and illustrations, not from biology or 
anthropology, but from theology and mythology. 
Even what he calls physiology is apt to degenerate 
(see the preface to L'Ami des Femmes) into something 
very like palmistry. His vaunted science of life, in 


a word, is little more than a superstition. To the 
truly scientific thinker he stands in the relation of the 
astrologist to the astronomer. 

Wearied and very hoarse on the first night, 
Madame Bernhardt concentrated all her energies 
upon Ce*sarine's great scene in the second act, which 
she played in her best style. M. Guitry, as Claude, 
was duly " austere and chilling," and M. Deval made 
an admirable Cantagnac. 


\$th August. 

IF you want to realise how we have gone ahead of 
late in the matter of burlesque, go and see Little Jack 
Sheppard* at the Gaiety. It will amuse you, mildly, 
on its own account (you may safely leave at the end 
of the second act; and I don't know that you will 
miss much if, as I did, you arrive at the end of the 
first); but its main interest is historical rather .than 
actual. It belongs to a defunct order of yes, I 
suppose we must say literature, since the language 
does not provide any special term for literature 
which is not literature at all. We have almost 
forgotten the time when the dialogue of a burlesque 
was necessarily in rhyme (not necessarily in metre), 

* August II September 29. 


and when the poetics of the art demanded a pun to 
every couplet, if not to every hemistich. This con- 
vention lingers on in pantomime; but even there it 
is moribund. In the rhymed burlesques, too, what 
was absolutely too silly to be spoken was set to music 
and sung. Inanity in the dialogue sank to imbecility 
in the lyrics. We have changed all that, and in some 
ways for the better. We no longer make any pretence 
of parodying scarcely even of telling a story; in 
that respect, as George Eliot would put it, we do not 
" debase the moral currency." We ask for a certain 
amount of point and cleverness in the lyrics, and from 
Mr "Adrian Ross" we get it. And for rhymed 
inanity in the dialogue we have substituted prose 
indecency, which is of course an immense improve- 
ment. " Such ribaldry would be impossible with us," 
an American friend said to me, after witnessing one 
of our up-to-date and go-(bang)-ahead extravaganzas. 
"Of course!" I replied; "you unfortunate people 
haven't got a Censorship, and are consequently 
crushed under the tyranny of the decent-minded 
public." In Little Jack Sheppard, to return to our 
immediate subject, the gallery puts in every here and 
there an " Oh ! " of good-humoured protest against a 
particularly monstrous pun, instead of chuckling over 
the persistent attempts of a Divorce Court judge or 
an Oriental potentate to tell an improper story in the 
presence of ladies. The second act of the burlesque 


is really diverting, mainly by reason of the humours 
of Mr Charles Danby in the part of Blueskin, formerly 
played by the late Mr David James. Mr Danby is 
the concentrated essence of vulgarity, but that is 
precisely what he sets out to be, and he attains his 
end like a comedian and an artist. Mr Seymour 
Hicks, as Jonathan Wild, introduced an amazingly 
and most effectively grotesque impersonation of a 
tramp a sort of demon-scarecrow which gave me 
a very high opinion of his powers as a burlesque 
artist. My opinion fell a little when I learned that 
it was a close imitation of an episode in an American 
burlesque, entitled 1492 ; but even as an imitation 
it was very clever and well worth seeing. For the 
rest, Mr Hicks worked hard, and not quite unsuccess- 
fully, to replace Mr Fred Leslie. Miss Jennie Preston, 
who played Little Jack Sheppard, has to my thinking 
an unfortunate figure for " principal boy " characters, 
and I could not greatly admire her singing. But she 
has plenty of energy, pluck, and vitality, and put a 
certain amount of serious dramatic force into some 
of her scenes that was not ineffective. She may 
perhaps develop into a female Robson. Miss Ellaline 
Terriss looked charming as Winifred Wood, and had 
nothing else to do; and Mr Willie Ward and Miss 
Florence Levey contributed some clever dancing. 
The last act wants a great deal of working-up and 
pulling together. 

"LOYAL." 221 

The two-hundredth night of The New Boy at the 
Vaudeville was marked by the production of a new 
comedietta by Mr H. T. Johnson, entitled Loyal.* 
It sets forth in very artless fashion one of the 
thousand-and-one adventures of Charles II. after tke 
Battle of Worcester. He hides in an old manor- 
house, makes love to the (strictly virtuous) wife of 
his host, and is overheard by the indignant husband, 
who acts up to the title by refraining from running 
him through the body or giving him up to the 
Parliamentary dragoons. I could tell Mr Johnson 
how he might have made the scene with the troopers 
really thrilling, not by any invention of my own, but 
because I happen to know a most ingenious scene 
in a German play that would precisely fit into the 
situation. As it is, Mr Johnson is content to treat 
the passage in the key of comic opera, and to rely 
for his dramatic effects upon people saying to Charles, 
"I wish I were as near to the man Charles Stuart 
as I am to you at this moment," and so forth. These 
are rudimentary devices, but they amuse the un- 
sophisticated. Miss Esme Beringer played the wife 
simply and pleasantly, and Mr Volpe was dignified 
as the " loyal " husband. Mr T. Kingston as Charles 
was sufficiently "blackavised," but not quite sufficiently 
gallant and gay. 

* August 9 December 14. 




22nd August. 

THE revival of Hot Water* at the Criterion was 
keenly relished by the first-night audience, and is 
indeed an excellent off-season entertainment. It is 
announced I presume in the absence of MrWyndham 
as " from the French of MM. Meilhac and Halevy." 
This is precisely the form of announcement for which 
we have all been contending, but which Mr Wyndham 
scouted on former occasions as a gross injustice to the 
French authors. There would have been no harm, 
however, in giving the adapter's name, for the piece is 
a good way "from the French of Meilhac and Halevy." 
It is rumoured that the adapter was the lateH. B. Farnie, 
a dramatic artificgj of a class which is now, happily, 
almost extinct. What Mr Farnie did, in this instance, 
was to suppress entirely one act out of the four, and 
to leave out a good third of the wit of the remainder. 
A simple operation in vulgar fractions, then, will 
show that we have in Hot Water just one-half of La 
Boule. At the same time, since it was judged neces- 
sary to transfer the scene to England, I do not know 
that Mr Farnie could have done any better ; and at 
least he refrained, for the best of all possible reasons, 
* August 15 September 15. 


from interpolating any wit of his own. The trial 
scene becomes three times more extravagant in Eng- 
lish than it is in the original ; but its buffoonery is 
screamingly funny, and Mr Blakeley finds one of 
his very best parts in the philoprogenitive judge. 
Mr Hawtrey does all that can be done with the 
husband, but it is not really a good part; it 
loses greatly in becoming a modern young man in- 
stead of the middle-aged bourgeois of the original. 
Mr Righton is amusing as Sir Philander Rose, and 
Mr Valentine is good as the mischief-making valet. 
Miss Miriam Clements makes a most imposing 
Marietta, and Miss Edith Chester * gets what she can 
out of a part which offers but scanty opportunities. 



$th September. 

THE season of 1894-95 could scarcely have opened 
better. We have in The New Woman t a live play, a 
play which is distinctly in the movement, and which 
indicates real progress on the part of one of our ablest 
writers. There will, of course, be a reaction against 

* Miss Edith Chester died November 10. Her most note- 
worthy performance was Lady Orreyd in The Second Mrs 

t Comedy, September I still running. 


the enthusiasm of the first night, and we shall all have 
a good deal to say about the superficiality of the 
character-drawing, the triviality of the satire, the defec- 
tive construction of the last two acts. But the first- 
night enthusiasm is an accomplished fact, not to be 
explained away. It was genuine, spontaneous, of the 
right alloy. It meant that the audience was enjoying 
itself to the top of its bent; it meant, in a word, 
success in despite of criticism. What, then, did the 
audience enjoy ? The answer is very simple : Two 
acts of the most brilliant dialogue, and of delicate, 
unostentatious constructive skill ; one act of vigorous 
emotional drama ; and an idyllic, sympathetic, concilia- 
tory, illusory conclusion. The general public was 
grateful for its two hours and a half of laughter and 
tears ; and we critics were perhaps not altogether dis- 
pleased to find in The New Woman 

" A creature not too bright and good 
For criticism's daily food." 

It is a pity that the word " new " cannot be tem- 
porarily banished from the English language sen- 
tenced, say, to seven years' transportation. It has 
become an unmitigated nuisance, a mere darkener of 
counsel We lose all sense of the reality of things in 
futile discussions as to whether they are "new" or 
old the truth being, in almost every case, that they 
are neither or both, just as you choose to look at it. 
But in spite of Ecclesiastes and Mr Andrew Lang, I 

''THE NEW WOMAN." 225 

aver and maintain that there is one new thing under 
the sun to wit, the New Grundy. The rejuvenes- 
cence, one might almost say the renascence, of Mr 
Sydney Grundy is one of the most hopeful signs of the 
theatrical times. Only a few years ago he seemed to 
have lost all ambition to be incapable of rising 
higher than Scribe in theory, and capable of sinking 
infinitely lower in practice. When he was not simply 
purveying for the Adelphi public, he was wasting his 
talent on the trumpery ingenuities and sleights of 
hand which passed for the acme of technical achieve- 
ment in their time, but which we have long since 
recognised to be mere theatrical thimble-rigging. 
Even A Fool's Paradise and A White Lie, able plays 
both, were vitiated by their ingenuity, which was not 
it never is quite ingenious enough. Then, all of 
a sudden, in Sowing the Wind, Mr Grundy threw 
ingenuity overboard, and retold a simple old story 
with such straightforward literary power, such genuine 
human feeling, as to make it new and delightful. 
The New Woman is a further move in the same 
direction. Here we have an absolutely classic sim- 
plicity of plot an action which does not, like A 
Fool's Paradise, depend upon criminal scheming and 
counter-scheming, nor, like A White Lie, upon elabo- 
rate mendacity, nor even, like Sowing the Wind, upon 
the anagnorisis (to use the Aristotelian word) of a 
long-lost child by means of a strawberry-mark on the 


left arm. In the new play the process of the action 
depends entirely on the emotions of the characters. 
We have simply a man between two women who love 
him and to whom he is drawn by different sides of his 
nature. In the first act the senses carry the day (yes, 
that is what it comes to in plain English) ; in the 
second act intellect regains the upper hand ; in the 
third act he realises that intellect without sense is just 
as unsatisfying as sense without intellect ; and in the 
fourth act the senses, somewhat chastened it may be, 
finally reassert their sway, as, in the theatre, they are 
bound to do. This is of course too definite and dia- 
grammatic a scheme ; Margery is no more all sense 
than Agnes is all intellect ; but it is sufficiently near 
the fact to show how entirely the action proceeds from 
within the characters, and is independent of external 
intrigue, coincidence, or misunderstanding. True, 
there are misunderstandings enough in the play, but 
they are those misunderstandings of our own heart 
and other people's which underlie half the comedies 
and tragedies of existence. 

Well, then, Mr Grundy has thrown off his old 
artificiality of structure, and has adopted a technique 
which leaves room for observation, thought, and 
analysis. His next step will no doubt be in the direc- 
tion of a more searching character-study than he has 
hitherto attempted. In this respect The New Woman 
still leaves a good deal to be desired. Gerald, 


Margery, and Mrs Sylvester are somewhat empty 
masks. I have said that Agnes appeals to the intel- 
lectual side of Gerald's nature, because I take this to 
be the author's intention ; but, as a. matter of fact, 
there is no proof that either she or Gerald has any 
intellect to worry about, and we are at a loss whether 
to regard her as a really able and remarkable person, 
or simply as one of the phrase-making charlatans of 
the New-Womanhood, differing from the others only 
in being a little less grotesque. As for Margery, she 
is by hypothesis a character of no great depth. Her 
function is simply to embody in sympathetic form 
those instincts and affections which we are accus- 
tomed to regard as specifically " womanly." I think 
Mr Grundy has unduly simplified his task and com- 
plicated his argument by making her of humble 
extraction. The case would have been much more 
typical had she been of the same rank in life as her 
husband and her rival ; but then the author would 
have had to invent subtler touches to account for her 
getting on her husband's nerves. As it is, she really 
belongs to no social class ; her mental antecedents, as 
it were, are left utterly undetermined. Apart from 
this, her relation to Gerald in the second act is to my 
thinking the best thing in the play. She has no 
" intelligence of love." Nothing short of cruelty on 
her husband's part could ruffle the serenity of her 
light-hearted egoism. " Why did you not tell me what 


you were suffering, instead of that woman ? " she 
cries, very naturally, when at last her eyes are opened ; 
and there is, indeed, some lack of dignity and delicacy 
in Gerald's outpouring to Mrs Sylvester. But it does 
not follow that it would have done any good to make 
the same complaint to Margery herself, in any terms 
that he could possibly have addressed to her. He 
had remonstrated with her, and she had treated his 
remonstrance as a joke. " In default of divining," 
says the Button-Moulder in Peer Gynt, " the cloven- 
hoofed gentleman finds his best hook;" and poor 
Margery's powers of divination were very limited. 
Richard Steele, who knew a thing or two about 
women, has sketched this very situation in a speech 
of Campley's in The Funeral. Substitute some such 
word as " dense " for " gross " in the following 
sentence, and you have Margery's case to a nicety : 
" There's something so gross in the carriage of some 
wives (though they're honest too) that they lose their 
husbands' hearts for faults which, if they have either 
good nature or good breeding, they know not how to 
tell 'em of." It needed a shock like that to which 
she is in fact subjected to make any impression on 
Margery's stolid self-complacency. And the moral 
seems to be that even the womanly woman, though 
she may need no other intelligence, is none the worse 
of a little of the intelletto cT amore. 

I wish Mr Grundy could have seen his way to 


enforce this moral in three acts instead of four. 
From the beginning of the third act, both his grip 
of his subject and his technical skill seem to decline. 
The idea of placing the crucial scenes of his play 
in Lady Wargrave's drawing-room on a reception- 
night was curiously unhappy. In the first place, we 
are astounded to find the said drawing-room almost 
exclusively peopled with the " new -womanly " set 
whom her ladyship loathes. In the second place, 
the publicity of the scene makes all the passionate 
discussions between the four leading characters sound 
painfully unreal. In the third place, there is a daring 
and dangerous technical nonchalance in the way 
in which the performers in this quadrille come 
wandering on precisely when the figure happens 
to require their presence. Fourthly, and lastly, 
Margery's idea of making a scene in the presence of 
Lady Wargrave's guests is both unworthy of her 
character and dramatically ineffective. Seriously, 
there is no need for a fourth act. Margery has had 
her awakening at the end of the second act ; the 
patching-up of matters (for it is at best a patching-up) 
might quite well have come off in the third. It is 
deferred by means of a romantic scruple on Gerald's 
part, which, I confess, I do not understand. Though 
he knows that he does not love Agnes, and tells her 
so : though their relations have all along been entirely 
platonic, and though he feels his heart veering back 


to Margery he chooses to consider himself bound in 
honour to Agnes, and is willing, if she demands it, to 
devote his life to being miserable with her. This is 
a point of heroism quite beyond me. If he felt him- 
self bound to feign love for her, his conduct would be 
conceivable, though foolish ; as it is, it seems simply 
incoherent. I think, too, that Mr Grundy has missed 
one of his best chances in the scene between the two 
women in the third act. This might have been the 
great scene of the play ; it is, in fact, perfunctory and 
insignificant. On the other hand, there is some 
excellent writing in the scene between Margery and 
Gerald. What truth and pathos, for example, in 
Margery's despairing cry, " Don't let the last words I 
hear from you be words defending her ! " 

What, now, of the play as a satire? In the first 
place, it need scarcely be pointed out that Mr Grundy 
has not succeeded in welding his satire and his drama 
into one. So far as the dramatic action is concerned, 
Agnes Sylvester is not a " new woman" at all. She 
is any woman of brains pitted against any woman of 
beauty ; and even her brains we have largely to take 
on trust. Her conduct is in no wise conditioned by 
anything which even purports to be a " new " morality. 
So far as her relation to Gerald goes, she might be a 
woman of fifty or a hundred years ago. The fact of 
their collaborating in a book on the ethics of marriage 
is the only thing that is new in the situation; fifty 


years ago she would have found another excuse for 
meeting, just as she would have worn another style of 
bonnet and done her hair differently. Mr Grundy 
may say that it is precisely his point to show that there 
is nothing'new in the " new woman " ; but I think he 
proves more than he intends. If the substance is 
always the same, its modes are different ; and we find 
in Agnes Sylvester scarcely any of the differentiae by 
which we recognise the specifically " new woman." 
There remain, then, the three grotesques, Enid 
Bethune, Victoria Vivash, and Dr Mary Bevan 
amusing sketches, but scarcely elaborate enough to 
raise the play to the dignity of a satire. I should 
prefer to call it an emotional comedy, eked out with 
an abundantly witty, good-humoured, and entertaining 
skit upon certain phases of contemporary manners. 
Mr Grundy's badinage is quite free from the implac- 
able ferocity which mars that otherwise powerful and 
pathetic story, George Mandeville 's Husband a satire 
with a vengeance. But on one point I am sure Mr 
Grundy does the " new woman " cruel injustice she 
can smoke half a cigarette without being sick, and she 
would divine by the mere light of nature, even without 
the aid of observation, that the gilt tip was designed 
for the mouth and not for the match. 

Miss Winifred Emery is charming as Margery, and 
has one really memorable outburst of emotion in the 
third act. Miss Alma Murray plays Mrs Sylvester 


with admirable delicacy and tact, and Miss Rose 
Leclercq shows just the right quality of dignified 
humour in the part of Lady Wargrave. Nothing could 
possibly be better than Mr Cyril Maude's Colonel 
Cazenove, and Mr Stuart Champion gave an amusing 
little sketch of a latter-day aesthete. It seemed to me 
that both Mr Fred Terry, as Gerald, and Mr J. G. 
Grahame, as Captain Sylvester, were unduly decla- 
matory ; but the fault was perhaps partly Mr Grundy's 
in placing his most emotional scenes in a drawing- 
room during an " At Home." 

Mr W. J. Holloway has opened Terry's Theatre 
with a three-act farce by Messrs W. Lestocq and 
E. M. Robson, entitled The Foundling* It was played 
with quite unusual spirit and vivacity by Messrs 
Charles Groves and Sydney Brough, Miss Ellis 
Jeffreys and Miss Susie Vaughan, and met on the 
first night with a vociferously friendly reception. At 
the refreshment bar, whither I resorted for that cup of 
strong coffee which I often find necessary between 
the acts of such an entertainment, I heard several 
enthusiasts prophesying " Another Charlie's Aunt or 
Neiv Boy" Their enthusiasm was evidently genuine, 
but I have less faith in their prophetic powers. The piece 
seemed to me an extravagant jumble of all the old mo- 
tives and situations of farce. If it succeeds, it will be 
in virtue of the acting, not of the invention or dialogue. 
* August 30 October 26, See note, p. 240, 




i2th September. 

IT is a melancholy, yet consolatory, fact that in this 
world no one is indispensable. Nature repairs her 
ravages with what one may almost describe as callous 
punctuality, and in the place of a Pettitt departed we 
hail a Chambers arrived and " on the spot." For my 
part, I hail him with effusion. It is years since I 
have spent so un-tedious an evening at the Adelphi as 
that of Thursday last. "Un-tedious" is perhaps not 
a classical word it is the sort of compound that a 
child improvises but no more positive term would 
quite befit the occasion. As a rule, at the 'Adelphi, 
one is very much in the condition of Bird o } Freedom 
Sawin at church : " Your dicky sawrin' off your ears, 
an' bilin' to be thru." I had, I confess, long ceased 
to find in the works of Mr Pettitt and his school even 
that flicker of curiosity, that physical thrill of sympathy 
or horror, which really clever melodrama is capable of 
producing. These playwrights had entirely renounced 
all attempts at I will not say invention ; that were 
too much >to demand but even at novel combinations 
of their stock material. They told the same story 
over and over again, imperturbably, implacably. Mr 
Haddon Chambers, on the other hand, with the 


generous ardour of youth, has actually gone to some 
expense of imagination in constructing The Fatal 
Card.* It is not precisely a new story that he tells ; 
all its elements are familiar enough ; but they are 
ingeniously and effectively recombined, with a spirit 
and conviction which have long been strangers to the 
Adelphi stage. The Adelphi public is probably the 
most capricious and incalculable of all classes of play- 
goers, but if they do not rally in their thousands to 
The Fatal Card one really does not know what will 
content them. The first, third, and fifth acts are full 
of bustle and excitement. There is a lynching scene 
in the first act, with "the dim Sierras far beyond 
uplifting their minarets of snow," which touches the 
very summit of melodramatic picturesqueness. The 
murder scene of the third act produces a highly- 
sustained effect of nervous tension, which is precisely 
what the drama of crime should aim at. In the last 
act every species of " thrill " is piled up with lavish 
profusion the thrill of an escape from pursuit, of a 
robbers' cavern, of a footprint in the sand "(for the 
wax vesta discovered on the table is precisely analogous 
to that footprint of Defoe's which has so indelibly 
impressed itself on the imagination of the world) ; the 
thrill of a hand-to-hand struggle, of a heroic confronta- 
tion of death, of a casting of lots (the gambling scene 
in The Masqueraders if possible outbidden in excite- 
* September 6. Still running. 


ment) ; the thrill of waiting for an explosion, of a 
recognition, a revulsion of feeling, and, finally, of the 
explosion itself, on which no expense has been spared. 
He must indeed be a glutton of sensation who can 
possibly " ask for more." The intermediate acts the 
second and fourth are idyllic in their tone, and given 
over to the tender passion in its romantic and in its 
comic aspects. The audience was inclined to disregard 
the distinction, and to look at the romantic love- 
making from the comic point of view; but they 
probably enjoyed it all the more on that account. 
These two acts, indeed, are but breathing-spaces 
between the rounds. Personally, I would rather 
breathe somewhere else than in the Adelphi during 
their progress. Why do not the Messrs Gatti start a 
"roof-garden," on the New York system, to which one 
could adjourn during the love scenes (especially the 
comic love scenes) of melodrama, and whence one 
might be recalled by an electric bell in time for the 
real fun, the blood and dynamite ? I have only two 
serious Criticisms to offer on Messrs Chambers and 
Stephenson's workmanship in this play. Firstly, I 
cannot see the smallest necessity for the character of 
Dolores or is it Mercedes ? after the first act. Miss 
Vane's presence is charming to the eye, but her absence 
would leave no appreciable gap in the fabric of the 
drama. Secondly, the authors are a trifle pedantic in 
their adherence to that canon of melodrama which 


declares that the baffling of the villain must always be 
entrusted to the comic man. This is a counsel of 
expediency, excellent in its way, but not an immutable 
decree, a categorical imperative. Even in the Temple 
of Coincidence, where that long-armed deity may 
naturally claim the amplest elbow-room, our sense of 
probability puts in a little protest when the villain 
throws the key of the mystery into the very back- 
water where the comic man for purposes of double 
entendre happens to be bathing. And then, after 
all, the key unlocks nothing. We have no use for it, 
the lock being blown off with dynamite. This is a 
breach of the great law of economy. If Messrs 
Chambers and Stephenson will refer to Horace, De 
Arte Poetica, v. 352, they will find it written I 
modernise a little in usum Adelphi " Let not the 
long arm of coincidence intervene, unless there be 
some plausible occasion for it." This is a maxim of 
mere common-sense, which need not be disregarded 
even in melodrama. 

Mr Terriss, as the hero, is as buoyant, dashing, 
handsome, and youthful as ever. He seemed some- 
how to shy at the erotics of the part, and to encourage 
the gods in their irreverence. I really don't know 
why the love-making was only a very little sillier than 
usual. Miss Millward made the most immaculate 
and utterly amiable heroine ever presented to an 
adoring public. Mr Murray Carson played one of 


his favourite self-torturing and conscious-stricken 
villains. His physiognomy and his methods are alike 
adapted for this class of parts. Mr W. L. Abingdon's 
impersonation of the lily-livered ruffian, whom the 
wise melodramatist will always use as a foil to his 
criminal-in-chief, was a powerful piece of grotesque 
acting. Mr Abingdon has the art of getting infinite 
expression out of his neckties, but it would heighten 
the verisimilitude of the murder scene if he would try 
to compose the paroxysms of his cravat before sallying 
forth with the stolen bonds. Mr Charles Fulton is 
excellent as the miserly coupon -cutter whose sole 
function is to be murdered ; and the comic relief, in 
all its unspeakable vulgarity, is conscientiously handled 
by Mr Harry Nicholls, Miss Laura Linden, and Miss 
Sophie Larkin. 




THE time has come, I venture to think, for a little 
" straight talk " on the subject of imbecile farce. The 
thing is getting beyond a joke. Managers will pre- 
sently frighten the sane public away from their theatres ; 
and the imbecile public, though doubtless large, is 
not, I am convinced, really a paying public. It is an 


ungracious task to quarrel with the innocent laughter 
of simple souls, and it is a task I am always chary of 
undertaking. How much easier to record that "the 
play was received by a crowded audience with every 
token of approbation,' 1 and pass on with a shrug of 
the shoulders ! But, after all, one owes a certain duty 
to the public, the managers, and not least, perhaps, to 
the farce-writers themselves. One has no right (and 
for my part I have no inclination) altogether to look 
down upon farce, and decline all attempt to dis- 
criminate between what is excellent, what is tolerable, 
and what is execrable. There are masterpieces of 
farce no less than of tragedy let me name, as repre- 
senting three very different styles, La Cagnotte, The 
Pink Dominos, and Dandy Dick. Then there are 
farces of a somewhat lower order of workmanship, but 
embodying a really comic idea, whose popularity is 
quite natural, legitimate, and genuine. Such are 
Charley's Aunt, Niobe, and The New Boy. We in 
England have lately developed a special knack of 
turning out effective work of this second order, and 
are beginning to pay back to Germany, and even to 
France, our borrowings of bygone days. But if the 
export trade in farces is to continue and if not pre- 
cisely a national glory, it is at least no national 
disgrace, as the import trade sometimes threatened to 
become we must prove that we know how to distin- 
guish between comic invention and sheer brainless 


extravagance, or, in a word, between humour and 
imbecility. If one could even believe that imbecility 
really paid its way, one might be content, as aforesaid, 
to leave the imbecile public to its innocent enjoy- 
ments. But I am convinced that this is seldom or 
never the case, and that the authors are wasting their 
time, and the managers their money, who think that 
crass unreason is a marketable article. How often do 
we see a play produced, without a scintilla of talent in 
conception, construction, or dialogue, laughed at by a 
" friendly " first-night audience, treated with indulgent 
geniality by the press, paragraphed, puffed, played at 
Wednesday and Saturday matinees to meet the enor- 
mous demand for places and then softly and suddenly 
vanishing after a month or so into the limbo of 
forgotten inanities ! Sometimes, if the author happens 
to be a man whose means are commensurate with his 
vanity, the run is prolonged for the round hundred 
nights. I could even name one case in which a no 
less offensive than inept buffoonery ran, if I recollect 
rightly, for over a year. But if the ingenious author 
had been obliged to live for a week on the nett profits 
of that year's run, I fear he would have emerged from 
the ordeal in a sad state of emaciation. Indeed, I fail 
to remember a single instance in which a farce of this 
utterly abject order has attained authentic popularity. 
Seeing, then, that they bring neither pleasure nor 
profit to any one, why should they continue to cumber 


the ground, absorbing capital and energy that might 
be a hundred times better employed ? When I see 
the columns of advertisement which assert the gigantic 
success of this or that unspeakable ineptitude, I am 
reminded of a conversation which I heard a short 
time ago. The interlocutors are A and B, a journalist 
and an acting-manager. A " I'm afraid you made a 
terrible failure with So-and-so's piece ? " B (sadly) 
" Yes, that was an awful frost ; we lost ^2,000 by it." 
A "And what about the play that followed it 
Blank's, you know?" B (with cheerful conviction) 
" Oh, that was a great success and had quite a run ; 
we lost ,4,000 by that ! " Without prying unduly 
into the secrets of the treasury, we may be quite 
sure that every season brings forth its crop of similar 
" successes." 

Mr John Tresahar, author of The Chinaman* at the 

* The Chinaman was produced September 13. On September 
21 and 22 the following advertisement appeared : " Owing to 
the immense success of The Chinaman, the Management will 
run it till further notice." "Further notice" was given on 
October 2: "Owing to previous arrangements, Last Night, 
Thursday next, at this theatre of The Chinaman. Due notice 
will be given of transfer." October 4 was the last night, and 
the world still awaits the " notice of transfer." The Foundling, 
at Terry's, was lavishly advertised and paragraphed as a brilliant 
success, and played at Wednesday and Saturday matinees ; but 
it had not got far beyond its 5oth performance, when it vanished 
from the bills. Similarly Uncle's Ghost, produced at the Opera 
Comique, January 7, was advertised as a " great success " on 
January 20, and a "brilliant success" on January 23. On 


Trafalgar Square Theatre, is a comedian of some 
ability, but as a dramatic author well, let him speak 
for himself. Percy Fenton, a briefless barrister, resi- 
dent in the Maze, Hampstead, has written to the aunt 
on whom his supplies depend, informing her that he 
has a flourishing practice, most of his clients being 
what do you think ? Chinamen ! and that he has 
a Mandarin stopping in his house. No reason is 
assigned for this moonstruck mendacity; it is abso- 
lutely gratuitous and motiveless. On the very day 
when his aunt unexpectedly returns from abroad, it 
happens by pure chance that Percy's friend, the Hon. 
Harry Hampton, has put on a Mandarin's dress to go 
to a fancy ball, so that, of course, he has to enact the 
celestial visitor. The idea would have been silly 
enough if Hampton had assumed the disguise on 
purpose to personate the imaginary Mandarin ; repre- 
sented as a coincidence, the thing is mere lunacy. 
Hampton, you must know, a married man, has just 
returned from a little trip to America, undertaken 
without his wife's knowledge. While there, he has 
inadvertently made an offer of marriage to a circus- 
February 3, it ceased to be a "brilliant success," but still 
offered " two hours' hearty fun !" On February 12 it was still 
advertised, but on the following day the Opera Comique was 
" to let on low terms." For further illustrations of my argument 
that there is no effective demand for brainless farce, let me refer 
to the fate of The Jerry Builder (Article XXVI. ), of Truthful 
fames (Article XLL), and of The Wrong Girl (Article XLVII.). 



rider, the Houp-la Girl, who has followed him to 
England with her fire-eating father (what originality of 
invention !), and now by pure chance turns up at 
Fenton's house. The principal advantage of the 
circus-girl is to enable Mr Tresahar to work in the 
scene of the interrupted can-can, indispensable in this 
sort of farce two or more people (one of them, if 
possible, a clergyman or a County Councillor) dancing 
a frenzied breakdown in front of the stage, while all 
the other characters strike attitudes of stupefaction at 
the back. It is always this scene that is represented 
on the six-sheet posters ; the colour-printers keep it in 
stock. But do not imagine that Mr Tresahar's comic 
invention is exhausted by these gigantic efforts. Not 
at all ! You are further to understand that during her 
husband's absence in America, Mrs Hampton has 
been in France, and having there inherited a hand- 
some property, has, under the terms of the will, incon- 
tinently changed her name to Gratin. She has also 
fallen in with a brother of hers, of whose existence 
Hampton has never heard. He, too, has taken the 
name of his deceased relative (you can see from here 
the culinary pleasantries to which this name gives rise), 
so that the brother and sister present themselves on 
their return to England as Monsieur and Madame 
Gratin. Being, furthermore, of an exceedingly affec- 
tionate and caressing disposition, they indulge in 
frequent endearments in the presence of Mr Hampton 


disguised as a Mandarin, which fill his mind with 
injurious suspicions. Exhilarating, is it not? this 
farrago of frigid absurdities! Conceive the author 
in the act of elucubrating them ! Think of the great 
moment, for example, when he hit on the name 
Gratin, and the idea of the inheritance and the 
unknown brother ! These are the high joys in which 
the artist finds his reward 

" As when a great thought strikes along the brain, 
And flushes all the cheek. " 

You may perhaps imagine that since people could be 
found to sit out and even to laugh at The Chinaman, 
the dialogue must be better than the plot. Not at all ! 
It is quite of a piece full of the trumpery quips 
and quibbles which the amateur playwright invariably 
mistakes for humour. The acting, then ? It is true 
that clever comedians sometimes succeed in putting a 
sort of mechanical movement into plays of this order. 
That is the case with The Foundling at Terry's 
not with The Chinaman. The performance is or* 
middling all round. Miss Edith Kenward is vivacious 
as the circus girl, and Miss Clara Jecks plays a page- 
boy with real humour. Mr Frank VVyatt's broken 
English, on the other hand, is the very worst I ever 
heard. If Mr Wyatt does not know French, he might 
at least take the trouble to listen for five minutes to a 
Frenchman speaking English. What, then, do the 
people laugh at ? Well, there are a good many worthy 


folks in the world who will either laugh or cry with 
perfect docility as soon as they clearly understand that 
it is expected of them especially if they are not 
required to pay for their amusement. But these are 
not the people who support a theatre ; and we critics 
ought no longer to mistake them for the patrons who 
give the drama's laws. I am sure that we do harm to 
the stage at large by our tacit conspiracy of tolerance. 
I, at any rate, wash my hands of it, 

For the sake of record I mention the appearance 
at the Royalty of an American "short-skirt artiste," 
named Miss Hope Booth, in a " variety comedy " by 
C. T. Vincent, entitled Little Miss 'Cute* The play 
was utterly futile, and beyond a pretty face and a neat 
figure, the performer seemed to have no particular 
qualifications for the walk of life which she had chosen. 
Neither her acting, her singing, nor her dancing was of 
any account. Miss Booth is said to be advertised in 
her own country as " 'cute, cunning, and curly." This 
eulogy she doubtless merits; and among a public 
which is content with such qualities, she ought to 
command success. The only noteworthy piece of 
acting in the play was Mr Ivan Watson's performance 
of an Italian villain. I wish Mr Frank Wyatt would 
take a lesson from Mr Watson in broken English. 

In The Gaiety Girl, which has been removed to 

* September 14. Does not seem to have been repeated. 


Daly's Theatre,* Mr Rutland Barrington replaces Mr 
Harry Monkhouse as Dr Brierly, and the part cer- 
tainly loses nothing by the change. Mr Barrington is 
exceedingly droll, and Miss Kate Cutler makes a very 
pleasant substitute for Miss Decima Moore as the 
Doctor's demure daughter. The other changes in the 
cast were, on the first night, unimportant, for Miss 
Letty Lind was prevented by indisposition from 
appearing in the title-part. Despite her absence, 
the piece went enormously with the crowded house. 
There is no doubt that this class of play has become 
a social institution, the history of which will one day 
form a curious study. This is the real New Drama, 
and it has brought its own New Journalism in its train. 
But I have at present neither time nor space for philo- 



Pall Mall Budget, zoth September. 

THERE are some people, no doubt, for whom the 
great charm of the new Drury Lane play resides in its 
chariots and its horses. Not so for me. I can work 
up but a mediocre interest in the uncomfortable and 
undeceptive scrambles which pass for races on the 

* See note, p. 59. 


stage. I don't know which are the more uneasy, the 
quadrupeds or the bipeds : and the contagion of their 
nervousness invariably takes hold on me. Even the 
pleasure of seeing Miss Hetty Dene in a governess- 
cart and Miss Beatrice Lamb in a two-horse victoria 
does not, in my case, amount to rapture. All this 
equine business is probably better done in The Derby 
Winner* than it ever was before. The stage is laid 
with some imitation sward which effectually deadens 
the clatter of the horses' hoofs, and immensely 
furthers the illusion. Everything went with perfect 
smoothness, except the great race at the close, in 
which the favourite somehow romped in last instead 
of first. That, of course, was a mere accident; 
favourites will do these things. In all other respects, 
the four-footed performers behaved with absolute 
propriety, and even played their parts with consider- 
able spirit. Yet it was not the Houyhnhnms that' 
charmed me and held me spell-bound in my seat from 
7.30 to 11.45. It was one f m y own rac e, a Yahoo 
and a brother. In a word, it was the villain. 

He is a villain and no mistake a colossal specimen 
of his tenebrous tribe. lago is a pigmy in comparison. 
I have known, in melodrama, more intrepid scoundrels 
villains who held on undaunted against more over- 

* September 15 December 15. Reproduced Princess's 
December 22. Still running. 


whelming odds.* But for far-seeing machination, for 
fertility of resource, for coolness, callousness, and all- 
round cussedness, this Major Mostyn has few equals 
and no superiors. He has, as he himself puts it, an 
astounding number of irons in the fire ; and if, in the 
end, they all of them burn his fingers, we feel that 
though he has not commanded success, he has done 
more he has deserved it. To me, I confess, there 
is something depressing in the contemplation of his 
discomfiture. In my heart of hearts, I accuse Sir 
Augustus Harris and his collaborators of gratuitous 
pessimism in representing that so Napoleonic a knave, 
surrounded by such amazing fools, could not even 
manage to win the Derby. I call it immoral thus to 
sacrifice intellect, courage, and indefatigable industry 
to mere brainless, stolid respectability. It suggests 
the alteration of a single word in a well-known couplet 
of Mr Kipling's : 

" Ride fast who cares, shoot straight who can, 
The odds are on the weaker man." 

Let us try to unravel some of the threads of Major 
Mostyn's machinations. He has two main objects in 
view : to possess himself of the Earl of Desborough's 
wife, Muriel, and the Earl of Desborough's horse, 
Clipstone, or, failing in the latter point, to prevent 
Clipstone from winning the Derby. How, then, does 
he set about it? He begins by lending the Earl a large 

* For instance, the villain of The Cotton King. See Article XI. 


sum of money, and so obtaining a lien (this is very 
unconventional ; your old-fashioned playwright would 
simply have called it a mortgage) on that nobleman's 
property. This is Thread No. i. Then, in a leisure 
moment, he betrays the Earl's nursery-governess. 
Perhaps you don't see the purpose of this, and 
suspect him of yielding to an impulse of the heart, 
unworthy of a self-respecting villain. You little know 
the Major. Not only is the seduction Thread No. 2, 
but it branches into two, or even three, subsidiary 
threads of vast importance. The nursery-governess is 
the daughter of the Earl's trainer, and the sweetheart 
of his favourite jockey, the one man who can ride 
Clipstone to victory. You begin to see the Major's 
game ? He tells the jockey that the Earl has betrayed 
his sweetheart, and the Earl that the jockey has 
behaved like a scoundrel to his esteemed nursery- 
governess, thus leading the Earl to dismiss the jockey, 
and the jockey to conceive an implacable hatred for 
the Earl (Thread No. 2, a and b). Furthermore, he 
tells the trainer that the Earl has dishonoured his 
grey hairs, and tries to induce him, in revenge, to 
hocus Clipstone. It is true that this thread (No. 2, c) 
leads to nothing, for the villain has neglected to take 
into account the inflexible probity of all (stage) 
trainers. But no matter! He was logically bound 
to make the attempt. 

And now I bethink me there is a fourth branch 


(d) to Thread No. 2. The Earl, to whom the 
nursery-governess has confided her misfortune (naming 
no names), has written her a most sympathetic and 
even affectionate letter (as ,any gentleman would, 
under the circumstances, to the daughter of his 
trainer), which comes into the villain's hands. You 
might suppose that he would pass it on to the 
Countess, and tell her the same lie which he has told 
to the jockey and the trainer ; but this would show a 
parsimony of invention unworthy of so great a spirit. 
You are to know (and here we come upon Thread 
No. 3) that a former mistress of the Earl's, Vivien 
Darville by name and eke by nature, has arrived at 
his ancestral hall. The Earl has just begun a letter 
to her, requesting her to betake herself elsewhere, when 
she, moved thereto by the Major, swoops down upon 
him in an electric blue tea-gown, and there ensues a 
midnight scene of tears and reproaches, at which the 
Major takes care that the Countess shall assist unseen. 
Then he picks up the unfinished note, beginning, 
" My dear Vivien," pieces this exordium on to the 
effusive letter to the nursery-governess, shows the 
composite document to the Countess, and thus 
determines her to take the midnight express to King's 
Cross, without even waiting to change the ball-dress 
in which she happens to be attired. Thus is Thread 
No. 2 d ingeniously and effectively intertwined with 
Thread No. 3. 


The Countess who so imprudently Francillonizes 
does not care one straw for Major Mostyn ; but, 
having got her in his power, he is determined to stick 
at nothing, and I tremble to think what might have 
happened in Act iii., scene i, had the villain had to 
deal with a less able-bodied heroine than Miss Beatrice 
Lamb, or even had the Earl battered at the door a 
few minutes later. A divorce suit naturally ensues, 
while the villain forecloses his lien (Thread No. i) 
I am not responsible for the legal terms and com- 
pels the selling-up of the Earl's stable. A sporting 
Duchess buys in Clipstone, and forces the Major to 
fall back upon Thread No. 2, a, />, and c, in his quest 
of the Blue Ribbon of the Turf. Failing in his 
attempt to hocus Clipstone, he hocusses the jockey 
who is to ride him ; and it is only by a malicious 
intervention of Providence that Thread No. 2, a and 
b, breaks down at the very last moment, and the 
nursery-governess's sweetheart, resuming his allegiance 
to the Earl, brings Clipstone triumphantly to the 

Was I not right in protesting against the pestilent 
pessimism of this conclusion? Do we, in real life, 
see courage, dexterity, and perseverance thus baffled 
and put to shame by mere inert stupidity ? I say we 
do not. Major Mostyn ought, by rights, to have won 
both the Countess and the Derby ; and I adjure any 
gentleman who feels within himself a true vocation 


towards villainy not to be deterred from that spirited 
career by the gloomy misrepresentations of Messrs 
Harris, Raleigh, and Hamilton. The battle is not 
alway to the weak, nor the race to the slow. Not 
every one, it is true, can boast Major Mostyn's com- 
manding genius; but who would baulk a real talent 
for music (let us say) merely because he despaired of 
rivalling Wagner? When I remember the delight 
with which I watched the Major at work on Saturday 
night, I cannot sufficiently deprecate any undue dis- 
couragement of villainy. An American critic has 
recently been bragging of the banishment of the 
villain from the popular dramas of his native land. 
What will not your true-born American wrest into a 
subject for self-gratulation ? If he knew how little 
we envy him this fancied superiority, and how fondly 
and admiringly we cling to our traitor ! Abolish the 
villain, and where would The Derby Winner be ? 
Why, nowhere! Spectacular drama would cease to 
exist, Sir Augustus Harris would abandon the National 
Theatre to its fate, and the stage would go (from the 
horses) to the dogs. Let us make no mistake about 
it : the villain is our ultimate bulwark against the 
encroachments of Ibsenism. 

I have not yet had an opportunity of visiting the 
" Deutsches Theater in London " at the Opera 
Comique, but a list of the company has reached me, 
which keenly arouses my curiosity. It appears that 


the partition of emplois, of what we used to call " lines 
of business," still obtains very definitely on the German 
stage. Every member of the company has his or her 
special line laid down. Herr Caesar Beck is Erster 
Held und Liebhaber (first hero and lover), Frl. 
Georgine Vande* is Erste Heldin und Liebhaberin 
(first heroine and loveress). Then we have a "youthful 
hero and lover," a " singing lover," a " bashful lover," 
a " character comedian," two " first youthful come- 
dians," a " first character-actor," and a " heavy 
father " (Heldevater). I regret to observe that there 
is no Schurk, or villain a fact which seems to 
indicate some relaxation of moral fibre in the drama 
of the Fatherland. 

Still more nicely discriminated are the employments 
of the ladies. After the " first heroine and loveress " 
comes a " first sentimental loveress " (the heroine, we 
may conclude, is strictly practical possibly a New 
Woman). Then we have two " first soubrettes," one 
" second soubrette," and a first and second " na'ive 
loveress." The next personage on the list, however 
delightful in herself, makes us look with some con- 
sternation upon her predecessors. She is a " first 
youthful loveress " (Erste jugendliche Liebhaberin) \ 
This somehow suggests an ascending scale of seniority 
"youthful loveress/' say 18, "naive loveress," 28, 

* This lady did not appear, her place being taken by Frl. 
Eleanore von Driller. 


" sentimental loveress," 38, and " first heroine and 
loveress " but no ! the imagination falters and de- 
clines to go any further. At this rate we should 
probably have some difficulty in distinguishing between 
the first lady on the loll and the last, who is somewhat 
crudely set down as KomiscJie Alte " comic old 



Athenaum, 22nd September. 

A RATHER ill-considered attempt to establish a 
" Deutsches Theater in London " has been made 
by a company under the direction of Herr Charles 
F. Maurice. The past ten years have witnessed a 
distinct renascence of dramatic art in Germany, and 
there is no doubt that a well-selected company, pro- 
ducing, with adequate scenery and appointments, the 
works of Sudermann, Hauptmann, Max Halbe, or Otto 
Hartleben, would command a good deal of interest 
not only among German residents in London, but 
among English playgoers of intelligence and culture. 
At the Opera Comique, unfortunately, no effective 
appeal is made to any class or nationality. It would 
tax the most devoted patriotism to sit out such a 
performance as that of Freitag's Graf Waldemar* with 

* September 15. As none of these German plays ran for 
more than three or four nights, it will be sufficient if I mention 
the date of production. The performances were ultimately 


which the season opened. The drama, produced in 
1847, was a strong one in its day, and in Germany, 
perhaps, its day is not yet over. But the general 
European movement has left it far behind. The 
ideals of the " Sturm-und-Drang Periode " survive in 
it unabashed. Graf Waldemar, the cynical, world- 
weary, dare-devil voluptuary, is a lineal descendant 
of Karl Moor, of Die Rduber. Classical English 
contains no terms to characterise him, but the slang 
word " bounder " draws his portrait at a single stroke. 
To find his analogues in our own literature we must 
go to the works of Ouida and to Mr Henry Arthur 
Jones's Duke of Guisebury, who would greet a 
congenial spirit in the high-well-born Graf Schenk. 
Yet throughout the whole of the romantic intrigue, 
our sympathy is enlisted in behalf of this swaggering 
personage, and his conversion through the influence 
of the angelic heroine, the beautiful daughter of the 
virtuous market-gardener, is, of course, a foregone 
conclusion. The play, in short, with its hired 
assassins and its mysterious Russian princess, who 
turns out to be a cast-off mistress of the Count's, is 
hopelessly old-fashioned, and not to be redeemed 
from tediousness save by acting which shall bring 
out to the full its not inconsiderable vigour of 

transferred to the Royalty Theatre, a season of comic opera was 
attempted with small success, and the enterprise came to an end 
jn January 1895. 


dialogue and situation. The performance at the 
Opera Comique was not only haphazard, but spirit- 
less. It would be unjust to dwell on its ludicrous 
scenic deficiencies. They were doubtless beyond the 
control of the management, who may fairly have 
expected to find the theatre better supplied with 
stock scenery than was actually the case. Wherever 
the fault may lie, the fact remains that the dingy 
makeshifts which served for scenery were destructive 
of all illusion. Perhaps the actors, too, were de- 
pressed by the shabbiness of the appointments; 
certain it is that they put little conviction into their 
work. Herr Caesar Beck, who played Graf Waldemar, 
did not attempt to represent the brilliant, fascinating, 
ironic and Byronic Don Juan, but made up like an 
Australian squatter, with a beard half a yard long, 
and was throughout heavy, stolid, sentimental, and 
utterly devoid of that personal magnetism which 
can alone render such a character comprehensible. 
Fraulein Eleonore von Driller played Gertrude with 
pleasant sincerity and with a good deal of technical 
skill; but Fraulein Milli Elsinger as the Princess 
seemed to have no qualifications for the part except 
good looks and goodwill her playing was absolutely 
amateurish. The other members of the cast were at 
best passable and at worst grotesque an epithet which 
applies in particular to a mature and well-grown 
lady compelled by an unkind destiny to represent a 
boy of seven. 




26th September. 

THERE is capital stuff in the German company at 
present appearing at the Opera Comique, but it is not 
seen to the best advantage under existing circum- 
stances. When the bill is changed every second 
night, the plays can at best be but half rehearsed ; 
and the scenic appointments of the theatre are of the 
most beggarly description. The performances take 
one back to the good or bad old days of the provin- 
cial stock company ; days of tattered and threadbare 
scenery and ill-fitting wigs; days when the voice of 
the prompter was loud in the land. It is almost 
refreshing, after the carefully-upholstered, clockwork 
performances to which we are nowadays accustomed, 
to see dramatic expression reduced, as it were, to its 
elements, and deprived of all external and adventitious 
aids and attractions. One may even admit that it is 
greatly to the credit of our visitors that they should 
contrive to acquit themselves as they do when they 
are all the time straining to hear the prompter, who, 
in his hutch in the middle of the stage, reads the text 
right through, from the first word to the last. But 
this is certainly not the way to do full justice either to 
the author or to the actor's own talent. Perhaps, 


when the German colony has fully awakened to the 
existence of a German theatre in our midst, Herr 
Director Maurice will be able to run his pieces 
longer, and to give more attention to mounting and 

The only important production of the past week 
was Ludwig Anzengruber's " Volkssttick mit Gesang " 
Der Pfarrer von Kirchfeld.* The playbill should 
rather have said " ohne Gesang," for the musical 
element was discreetly reduced to a minimum being 
thus rendered co-extensive with the vocal talent of 
the company. Of Anzengruber's work I cannot as 
yet write with any confidence, for there are no play- 
books on sale at the theatre (the policy of the 
management being, apparently, to discourage as much 
as possible the attendance of the English-speaking 
public), and the Bavarian or Tyrolese dialect baffled 
me a good deal. However, a fellow-journalist of 
German nationality kindly explained to me the main 
lines of the plot, and I was able to follow the later 
acts pretty closely. The play seemed to me strong in 
motive, inartificial in construction, simple and forcible 
in dialogue. The account of it given in Klaar's 
useful handbook, Das moderne Drama, appears to 
be eminently just. " It has for its subject," says the 
critic, " the outward and inward struggles of a noble 
and devoted priest, the outward battle which a pastor 
* September 20. 


full of his purely ethical mission, has to carry on 
against dogmatic bigotry, the inward battle induced 
in the soul of a celibate priest by a deep and pure 
love for a woman. The figures of this drama are 
drawn with convincing truth and with the deepest 
intensity of feeling. The embittered Wurzelsepp in 
particular, who is rescued by love from his God-and- 
world-hating pessimism, is a masterpiece of charac- 
terisation. But," Herr Klaar continues, " Der Pfarrer 
von Kirchfeld does not mark the summit of Anzen- 
gruber's achievement. Now and then, especially in 
passages where the tendency is too pronounced, the 
play reminds us of the more unsophisticated forms of 
the Volksstuck. Anzengruber's second play, on the 
other hand, Der Meineidbauer, is a model of the 
concentrated, classical peasant-tragedy." We are 
promised Der Meineidbauer this week, and I hope 
(with the aid of the British Museum Library) to 
appreciate it more thoroughly than I did its prede- 
cessor. In the meantime let me say that Herr Caesar 
Beck seemed an ideal " Pfarrer von Kirchfeld," full 
of dignity, tenderness, and unction ; that Herr Max 
Weilenbeck, in the part of Wurzelsepp, proved himself 
a most able character-actor ; that Frl. Eleanore von 
Driller played the peasant heroine, Anna, with 
simplicity, charm, and feeling; and that Frau Heinold- 
Thomann was excellent as the Pastor's housekeeper, 
old Brigitte. The other two productions of the week 

"ODETTE." 259 

were quite unimportant. Franz Stahl's Tilli* is a 
pleasant farcical comedy of no literary significance ; 
while Robert und Bertram, oder die lustigen Vaga- 
bonden,\ by Gustav Rader, is an enormous buffoonery, 
without plot or coherence of any sort a sort of 
harlequinade in four acts. It was like a dramatisation 
of some of the farcical adventures in the Milnchener 
Bilderbogen interspersed with copious selections from 
the Deutscher Liederschatz, By dint of colossal 
extravagance, however, it became really, though 
somewhat fitfully, amusing. 



yd October. 

NEITHER in Paris nor in London, on its first pro- 
duction, was Sardou's Odette \ a frank success. Mr 
Bancroft describes its career at the Haymarket as 
" aggravating " it was profitable in the long-run, 
but the public never took to it cordially and 
decidedly. On Saturday night, when I saw it for the 
first time, I discovered the reason of this lukewarm- 
ness, and am now prepared to impart it to whom 
it may concern. People did not much like Odette 

* September 18. f September 22. 

: September 29 October 13. 


because Odette was a very bad play. I don't know 
that I should have made this remarkable discovery 
had I seen it at the Haymarket on April 25th, 1882, 
with Madame Modjeska in the title-part, mounted and 
stage-managed with the sumptuousness and skill of 
which Mr Bancroft may almost be called the inventor, 
and, above all, with the gloss of novelty upon it. 
But at the Princess's, the play was divested of every 
external and adventitious charm. One saw the bare 
bones of the thing, and a miserable, rickety skeleton 
it made. What struck me most was its hoary 
antiquity of subject and style. I asked myself again 
and again whether this was indeed Sardou that I was 
listening to, and not rather some resuscitated drama 
of Kotzebue's a companion-piece to The Stranger. 
Perhaps the curious conventionality and staginess of the 
English dialogue had something to do with this effect, 
to which, also, the robust sentimentality of Mr Charles 
Warner's method may doubtless have contributed. 
It would be interesting to know how much there is 
of Sardou in that long speech of Lord Henry Trevene's 
to his daughter, at the end of the second act : " And 
in the clear blyew skyeye there trembled a pale gold 
star," &c. It must be admitted, too, that in France, 
before the divorce law, the play had a certain relevance 
as a mere pamphlet, which it totally lacks in England, 
where the hero has to be endowed with special and 
intransigeant views on the indissolubility of marriage 

"ODETTE." 26l 

(I presume he is a Roman Catholic, though it is 
not explicitly stated) in order that there may be any 
play at all. Thus, in England, the hero imposes on 
himself the very disability which the law imposed on 
him in France, and against which it was the author's 
purpose to protest. But when we have made every 
allowance when we have, so far as possible, recon- 
structed the original play, and replaced it in Paris, 
and in 1881 it remains an almost incredibly empty 
and unintelligent production. It possesses all Sardou's 
limitations, with scarcely any of his qualities. In one 
respect it is instructive, for it shows what a mistake 
we make in complaining of the tricks and ingenuities 
of Sardou's ordinary manner, in such plays as Les 
Paltes de Mouche, Dora (Diplomacy), and fedora. 
We are apt to write as though, if Sardou would only 
refrain from feats of legerdemain, he might be ex- 
pected to produce strong, simple, solid, genuinely 
human plays. No expectation could be more ground- 
less. Here is a play in which he has renounced 
all sleight-of-hand, all scrap-of-paper-hunting, all com- 
plicated wire-pulling. The plot can be told in three 
sentences, and any man of the most ordinary theatrical 
sense could have constructed the scenario just as well 
as Sardou. There is no ostentatious cleverness to 
vex our souls ; and what do we find in its stead ? 
Why, nothing absolutely nothing neither simplicity 
of style, nor solidity of character, nor depth of ethical 


insight. Never was there a play which appealed 
more exclusively to our ready-made and stereotyped 
moral judgments, apart from all consideration of 
individual circumstances. Odette is simply the 
adulteress in the abstract, and as such ticketed " Bad 
Woman," without the least study or suggestion of 
the causes and circumstances, the palliations or 
aggravations, of her case. What is her character? 
Is she passionate or merely perverse ? What is her 
relation to her husband? Why has their marriage 
broken down ? To judge by his proceedings in the 
first act, I think there is a great deal to be said for 
Odette, and the part of her conduct which I can 
most unhesitatingly condemn is that gratuitously 
hypocritical telegram. As for her life after her 
husband has turned her out of doors, it is precisely 
what was to be expected, and he is the last person 
who has any right to reproach her. Then, in the 
end, we are treated to a sudden effervescence of 
conventional and ready-made maternal sentiment, 
unanalysed, undifferentiated one of those sickening 
scenes in which the good old voix du sang utters 
itself in a flood of lachrymose mendacity, and the 
" innocence " of a young girl (who is old enough to 
know better) is respected throughout a series of cruel 
insults to her intelligence. What is particularly 
astonishing in this work of the astute Sardou is his 
total neglect of that first principle of theatrical sagacity 

" ODETTE." 263 

which bids the dramatist always to provide a resting- 
place for the sympathies of the audience. We are 
not even asked to sympathise with either the husband 
or the wife in this unhappy matrimonial complication. 
Up to the very last, they vie with each other in the 
senseless egoism of their conduct. On the whole, it 
appears as though the author expected us to bestow 
a qualified admiration upon the husband ; and yet 
the one point in the whole course of the play at 
which we can heartily approve anything said or done 
by either of them, is the point where Odette, by way 
of adieu, flings the word " Lache ! " in his face. No, 
no ! if this is all Sardou can achieve in the way of 
serious drama, he did wisely in returning to his 
conjuring-tricks, which are evidently the very essence 
of his talent. As the curtain fell on Saturday night, 
a sentence of Zola's floated up to the surface of my 
memory, and expressed to a nicety my sentiments of 
the moment : " Mais il ne pense pas, mais il n'ecrit 
pas, mais il est incapable de rien creer de solide et 
de vivant." 

Of Mrs Anna Ruppert's performance of the title- 
part, I need only say that I could not discover in it 
those high qualifications for her new calling which 
other critics have discerned. She seemed to me a 
fairly intelligent amateur, possessed of a certain 
amount of force and feeling, but sadly handicapped 
by the how shall I phrase it ? the extreme exiguity 


of her physique. Of Mr Charles Warner I have 
already spoken. Mr Bernard Gould and Mr Herbert 
Flemming were good in accessory characters, and 
Miss Ettie Williams showed grace and simplicity in 
the part of the innocent Eva. 

It would not be fair to say that Claude Duval* at 
the Prince of Wales's consists of Mr Arthur Roberts 
and nothing besides, for there are two or three 
other capable comedians in the cast Mr Charles E. 
Stevens, Mr H. O. Clarey, Mr Fitzroy Morgan, and 
Mr Eric Thome. But these actors have to rely upon 
the authors, Messrs Frederic Bowyer and " Payne 
Nunn," for their opportunities, whereas Mr Arthur 
Roberts practically writes, or, at least, makes up, his 
own part. The fantasy of the authors and their 
literary skill are of the meagrest description, and the 
whole fun of the burlesque which, for the rest, is 
abundant resides in Mr Roberts his comic business 
(as Mr Austin Dobson would say), his gags, wheezes, 
interpolations, and interludes. His gift of comic 
realism, if I may call it so, is seen at its best in the 
two female impersonations which he introduces a 
barmaid and a scandal-mongering lady. Of course 
they are grotesque, and in a certain sense vulgar ; 
but every touch is founded on minute and delicate 
observation. Mr Roberts has a marvellous eye and 
memory for gesture and motion. At the Strand 
* September 25. Still running. 


Theatre, some years ago, I forget in what burlesque, 
he gave an imitation in dumb show of a woman doing 
her hair, which was nothing less than a masterpiece 
of realism. His Hebe of the Beer Engine is no 
less admirable in its way. " An encyclopaedia of 
barmaidism ! " said Mr Moy Thomas, beside whom 
I was sitting ; and I could only echo his admiration. 
This may not be the highest form of art, but at least 
it raises Mr Roberts's performance far above the level 
of mere brainless buffoonery. 

Anzengruber's peasant-tragedy, Der Meineidbauer* 
produced last week by our German visitors at the 
Opera Comique, is by far the most interesting thing 
they have yet done. It is a very strong and sober 
play, simple as a fairy-tale in its theme, sincere and 
impressive in its manner. We have no plays in 
English literature, past or present, to which it can 
well be compared. If one had leisure, it might be 
interesting to inquire why the English peasant is so 
totally devoid of tragic dignity, or why, if he be not 
devoid of it, no Anzengruber has arisen to act as 
his interpreter on the stage. Perhaps who knows ? 
that function may be reserved by Providence for 
Mr Thomas Hardy ; and yet one would rather look 
for a " Meineidbauer " among the Yorkshire dalesmen 
or the " statesmen " of Cumberland than among the 
rustics of Mr Hardy's Wessex. A cognate subject 
* September 26. 


of inquiry would be why dialect is so exclusively 
ludicrous on the English stage. Der Meineidbauer is 
almost entirely written in a dialect as different from 
High German as broad Scotch from English ; but 
who could venture to write a tragic play in broad 
Scotch? The French peasant is not so intractable 
a subject as the English for dramatic purposes. 
George Sand's Claudie and Francois le Champi are 
in Anzengruber's manner, and so, with an added dash 
of realism, is Le Mailre by M. Jean Jullien. Herr 
Caesar Beck gave a sombre and powerful portraiture 
of the conscience-stricken peasant-perjurer, and Frl. 
von Driller played Vroni (a quaint contraction of 
Veronica) with a great deal of sincerity and charm. 
But I cannot help repeating that if Herr Maurice 
wants his productions to be generally attractive, he 
must make some slight effort in the direction of 
adequate mounting. 



loth October. 

IN The Case of Rebellious Susan * at the Criterion, 
Mr Henry Arthur Jones offers us that rarest of com- 
modities in the theatrical market, a pure comedy. 
* October 3. Still running. 


There are one or two scenes in which it deflects a 
little on the side of farce, but they are quite episodic ; 
and where is the comedy-writer who has never availed 
himself of a little reasonable license of caricature? 
English literature, assuredly, knows him not. At no 
point does Mr Jones's play trend towards drama. 
Great problems, great passions, great sufferings, do 
not enter into its scheme. Society is regarded from 
the ironic point of view, as an amusing game in which 
nothing very greatly matters, since only vanities and 
velleities, not love and life and death, are really 
at stake. It might have for its epilogue this single 
verse of Heine : 

"Vorbei sind die Kinderspiele, 
Und Alles rollt vorbei 
Das Geld und die Welt und die Zeiten 
Und Glauben und Lieb' und Treu'." 

Not a very exhilarating epilogue, certainly, and I am 
more amused than surprised to observe that one 
critic at any rate (the only one whose judgment I 
have as yet seen) is seriously shocked and pained at 
the cynical " sermon " which Mr Jones has preached. 
I think my esteemed colleague ought to look up his 
Lamb, for this is a case in which the famous plea for 
the irresponsibility of comedy really applies. If we 
insist on regarding it from the serious, moral, re- 
sponsible point of view, we may say (forgive the facile 
Oscarism) that nothing is so tragic as comedy. Life, 


once for all, is not a laughing matter, and in the 
long run there is something essentially melancholy 
in the hollow pretence that it is. But for once in a 
way, and in certain moods, this pretence diverts and 
even delights us : we take our revenge on life by 
laughing at it : and it is to these moods that comedy 
appeals. More precisely, it seeks to beget these 
moods ; therein lies its success. Let me say at once 
that The Case of Rebellious Susan succeeded to per- 
fection so far as one, at least, of the audience was 
concerned. I don't know that the irresponsible mood 
lies nearer the surface in me than in another, and 
certainly I am the very last to sympathise seriously 
with the fireside-and-nursery ideal of womanhood 
which the play appeared to enforce. " Nature's 
darling," says Sir Richard Kato, " is a stay-at-home 
woman, a woman who wants to be a good wife and a 
good mother, and cares very little for anything else" 
In that case, Nature and I differ, as we do, indeed, 
on a good many other points. Between ourselves, 
the woman I sympathise with in this play is Elaine 
Shrimpton. She happens to be a fool and a vixen ; 
but that is not the fault of her ideas it is their 
misfortune. If a creed or opinion were necessarily 
foolish because it is held by a certain number of 
fools, which of our world-wisdoms would 'scape 
whipping? Thus one barrel of the fowling-piece 
with which Mr Jones sets forth to shoot folly as it 


flies, is aimed at one of my own little ideals ; while 
the other is levelled point-blank at what the satirist 
evidently holds to be but a pious opinion the 
monogamous ideal of marriage. But what then ? 
What is an ideal worth if you cannot afford to 
laugh at it once in a while ? I laughed, and very 
heartily, at Mr Jones's banter. It is only when 
ridicule is stupid and malevolent that one resents it, 
like any other stupidity. If we decline to laugh at 
anything that is not wholly and solely and inherently 
and invariably ridiculous, there is an end of comedy. 

The play, then, is a comedy pure and simple. If 
you chose to call it a comedietta, it would be hard 
to say you nay, for the whole gist of the matter might 
have been nay, has been once and again com- 
pressed into one act. A jealous wife rides the high 
horse for a certain time, threatens, and even attempts,* 
vengeance in kind, and then climbs down more or 
less ingloriously that is the whole story. Dumas 

* How I came to say "attempts," I do not know. In the 
theatre, I fully understood the author to imply that she not only 
attempted but accomplished the retaliation she threatened ; and 
I actually noted on my tablets the two speeches in which this 
fact is conveyed. When I came to write the article, by some 
freak of memory or lapse of attention, I seem to have let them 
slip out of my ken. Perhaps I instinctively (and quite uncon- 
sciously) expunged a circumstance that might have run counter 
to my classification of the play as a pure comedy. In any case 
it was a surprise to me, in preparing these pages for the press, 
to come across the above sentence. 


eked it out into three acts in Francillon, more 
ingeniously and daringly than Mr Jones ; but then 
Dumas had French society, French manners, to deal 
with, and that is a great advantage from the theatrical 
point of view. Mr Jones I say it without the least 
impugning his originality has very skilfully trans- 
posed the theme into the key of English life. The 
simplicity and directness of his handling please me 
immensely. His technique is really excellent. Note 
how he plunges straight into the middle of the matter 
in the first scene, without any tedious and conven- 
tional exposition. Dumas could have done no better ; 
Sardou would not have done so well. He would 
have opened with two servants dusting the furniture 
and discussing their master and mistress in the in- 
tervals of a stereotyped flirtation. As the play goes 
on, too, we see how Mr Jones is moving with the 
times. He has no soliloquies, no overhearings ; only 
one coincidence, and that a very simple one. The 
way in which the affair between Lady Susan and 
young Edensor is made to leak out is as pretty a piece 
of theatrical workmanship as heart can desire ; and 
there is genuine and original comedy in the char- 
acter of the Admiral, who, in the middle of an out- 
pouring of vinous penitence for his conduct towards 
his "jewel of a wife," rambles off into a complacent 
speculation as to why it is that " the best English- 
men have always been such devils among the 


women." Of course there is always a debit side 
to the account : the play has its weaknesses both of 
matter and manner. The erring husband, for example, 
is an inconceivable noodle, without a single convincing 
touch of character. A strong character he must not 
be, else the problem could not have been worked 
out "in committee," so to speak, and the comedy 
would have become drama. Dumas was confronted 
with much the same difficulty in Francillon^ and he 
too made the husband a noodle; but there are 
noodles and noodles, and Lucien de Riverolles has 
ten times more character than Mr Jones's James 
Harabin. His imbecility reacts upon his wife : we 
can care very little for a woman who could ever care 
at all for such a man. Whatever else she forgave 
him, she ought not to have forgiven his suggestion 
that she should " go to Hunt & RoskelFs and choose 
something" as a memento, it would seem, of this 
pleasing episode in their married life ! On this 
principle, a lady's jewel-case might come to be a sort 
of bead-roll of her husband's conquests a Leporello- 
register engrossed in gold and diamonds. Again, Mr 
Jones would have strengthened his last act enormously 
if he had prepared us for the sentimental passages 
between Sir Richard Kato and Mrs Quesnel. I 
confess I was utterly taken aback when Sir Richard 
began to play the Benedict, and many of the 
audience must certainly have been in the same 


case. Pray understand that I am not at all ob- 
jecting to these love-passages in themselves : they 
are pleasant, and quite in place ; but they would have 
been much more effective if something in the earlier 
acts had led us to expect them. Indeed the whole 
play would have been strengthened if this second, or 
third, thread of interest had run right through it. 

And now we come to a delicate point delicate, 
because it is impossible to touch upon it without an 
appearance of pettifogging and pedantry. Mr Jones, 
it seems to me, is not sufficiently alive to the value of 
words and phrases; he is negligent, not to say in- 
nocent, of style. It may seem unfair to descend to 
verbal cavillings which would be impossible if the 
author himself had not the courtesy to provide us 
with the printed text of his play ; but I promise to 
adduce no examples which did not strike my ear as I 
heard the play on the stage, before I had ever set 
eyes on the book. Not for a moment would I urge 
Mr Jones to be more " literary" in his diction : he is 
already too much inclined, now and then, to sink the 
dramatist in the essayist. But there is such a thing 
as style in dialogue, no less than in disquisition ; 
rightly chosen words, and rightly balanced phrases, 
are just as essential to dramatic as to narrative or 
expository prose. Mr Jones is careless of these 
things. He often writes heavy and flaccid sentences 
which tax the elocution of the actor and the attention 


of the audience ; and when an opportunity offers for 
some discreet little verbal felicity, he does not always 
seize it. Take, for instance, this speech of Sir Richard 
Kato's : " Well, I can afford to look on with the 
complacent curiosity of an intelligent rustic who sees 
the coach rattling down the hill at a devil of a rate 
with runaway leaders and no break." Here we have 
thirty-four words at a stretch, with "no break," no 
resting-place for the voice, no opening for light-and- 
shade of delivery. The actor has simply to reel them 
out, like a conjuror drawing a ribbon from his mouth. 
You think this niggling hypercriticism ? If you had 
to listen to a play containing many such phrases, you 
would alter your opinion, and realise the difference 
between nervous and flabby dialogue. I do not 
mean that Mr Jones's dialogue is flabby as a whole, 
but there are too many soft spots in it. Such, to 
take another example, is Sir Richard's catalogue 
of the ladies for whom he has sighed : " A light 
girl, a dark girl, a red-haired girl ; a tall girl, a short 
girl ; a merry girl, a sad girl," and so forth. There is 
no trace of wit in any of these antitheses, or in the 
companion set with which Mrs Quesnel presently 
responds ; and what sense is there in such a passage 
if it be not witty ? Mr Jones may reply that he aims 
at naturalness, not at artificial wit, and that people in 
real life do not always talk wittily. No ; but clever 
people, like Sir Richard and Mrs Quesnel, do not 


talk with this elaborate and long-drawn flatness ; and 
if they did, we would rather not have their conver- 
sation reported. Some of the audience laughed, as 
people always do at mere patter ; but this was dis- 
tinctly one of the languid passages of the play. Yet 
again, to take a less obvious point, Mr Jones is too 
fond of allowing his characters, in sentimental pas- 
sages, simply to echo each other's words. "All's 
dull grey with me now," says Lucien, " for the rest of 
my life;" and Lady Susan repeats, "All's dull grey 
with me for the rest of my life." Here, for once, the 
effect is pretty ; but the trick is so very easy that it 
ought to be sparingly employed. A little further on 
Lucien says, " I shall hide you in my heart till 
I die," and Lady Susan again echoes, " And 
I shall hide you in my heart till I die." This 
identity of phrase grates on the ear; we expect the 
second line of the couplet, and we have the first 
repeated instead. It is right that she should echo 
the sentiment, for that belongs to the amoebean 
rhetoric of love ; but, on pain of mere mawkishness, 
she ought to vary the expression. She might have 
said, for instance, " And I shall treasure you in mine 
as long as I live." This is not a very famous inven- 
tion ; Mr Jones might easily have hit on something 
prettier and tenderer ; but it will serve to illustrate 
my meaning. If Mr Jones had worked over his 
dialogue two or three times, with keen and critical 


attention to these verbal niceties, The Case of Re- 
bellious Susan would have had a much better chance 
of outlasting its first popularity. 

The piece is capitally acted. Mr Wyndham's Sir 
Richard Kato is a real incarnation ; he is the man 
himself, and could not possibly be better. Miss 
Mary Moore plays Lady Susan with agreeable 
vivacity ; but the part really requires Miss Ada 
Rehan to bring out all its possibilities. Mr C. P. 
Little does what he can with the cruelly "sacrificed" 
part of James Harabin ; Mr Kemble plays the Ad- 
miral in a broadly effective fashion ; and Mr Ben 
Webster is pleasant, if a trifle stiff, in the part of 
Lucien Edensor. Miss Fanny Coleman plays one of 
the excellent British matrons who usually fall to her 
lot, and Miss Gertrude Kingston makes a distinct 
character of Mrs Quesnel. Mr Fred Kerr and Miss 
Nina Boucicault enter with excellent spirit into the 
parts of Pybus and his Pioneering spouse. 

Mr Charles A. Hoyt's variety play, A Trip to 
Chinatown* is simply a music-hall entertainment, 
and not a bad one as such things go. It seemed 
to delight the audience at Toole's Theatre on the 
night when I saw it, and I should not be sur- 
prised if it became very popular. The leading part 
is played by Mr R. G. Knowles, a stolid American 

* September 29. Transferred to Strand, December 17 
January 12, 1895. 


" artiste," with a stentorian voice and an undeniable 
quaintness of style. The topics of his humour are 
somewhat monotonous and not over refined, but the 
audience does not in the least mind that. Mr De 
Lange plays a comic old man like an artist, not an 
" artiste," and the rest of the company is fairly equal 
to what is required of it. 

As I can say very little for Messrs James Mortimer 
and Charles Klein's farce, Truthful James* at the 
Royalty, I prefer to say nothing at all, except that 
the first-night audience seemed to be entertained by 
it. By far the best thing in it, to my thinking, was 
the part of the slavey, played to perfection by Miss 
Lydia Cowell. " If this part had been stronger, my 
notice had been longer." Mr G. W. Anson and Mr 
Philip Cunningham supplied the low comedy and the 
light comedy respectively, both doing their best with 
uphill parts. 


24//i October. 

FREELY curtailed, A Gay Wid(nv\ may possibly suc- 
ceed. It contains several amusing scenes ; it is 
capitally acted ; and there's no offence in't. It is far 
from being one of the merely imbecile farces about 

* October 2 13. Transferred to Strand, October 15 27. 
f Court, October 20 December i. 

"A GAY WIDOW." 277 

which I recently spoke my mind with some emphasis. 
The public may take to it or they may not ; I should 
be sorry to say anything to prejudice the issue. But, 
unless I greatly misinterpret the signs of the times, 
managers ought to be warned that this sort of thing 
is practically played out. A Gay Widow may pass 
muster ; one or two more adaptations of third-rate 
French farces may chance to succeed ; but, generally 
speaking, the reign of the adapted vaudeville is over. 
We do these things better ourselves ; why should we 
go to France for them ? There are half-a-dozen 
English playwrights who can write better plays than 
A Gay Widow plays which have at least the advan- 
tage of representing English life (after a fashion) 
instead of torturing French life into an English dress. 
Saturday night at the Court took us back in memory 
some twenty years, to the time when the machine- 
made French vaudeville was the staple commodity of 
the theatrical market. Ten years ago it was rapidly 
going out of fashion. To-day it is simply an antiquity, 
like the crinoline, the chignon, and the "bone-shaker" 

It may be a counsel of immorality, but I cannot 
help wishing that some English dramatist had simply 
appropriated the idea of Sardou and Deslandes's farce, 
and made a totally new comedy of it. The idea is 
good the mother who, having got her daughter off 
her hands, determines to make a fresh start and see a 


little of life but that is really all that is good in the 
play, or at any rate all that is good for England. An 
English dramatist, I am quite sure, would not have 
wasted one whole act out of three on the daughter's 
wedding-day, giving us a tedious succession of pre- 
liminary scenes before the subject of the play has 
fairly announced itself. It is to be presumed that in 
Belle Maman the wedding-guests were recognisable 
and amusing types, and that the whole act bore some 
relation to Parisian life as it is. For that very reason, 
it bore no sort of relation to London life, and the 
wedding-guests were a mere procession of meaningless 
grotesques. I am sure, too, that no competent 
English dramatist would have made his solicitor-hero 
go off on a five-weeks' wedding-tour, leaving his 
mother-in-law to decide whether he shall change his 
offices, and what letters are to be forwarded to him. 
This is rather " steep," even for France ; saving Sar- 
dou's reverence, it is one of the silliest postulates that 
ever farce was founded on. In the English play, it 
does not in the least appear on what grounds the 
solicitor bases his extravagant estimate of his mother- 
in-law's business capacity. Perhaps this may be 
clearer in the original ; but if so we are at once con- 
fronted with another difficulty, for there is nothing 
to explain the mother-in-law's sudden outbreak of 
financial idiocy, or "idiotcy" as Mr Hawtrey calls it. 
I do not know whether to attribute to Sardou or to 

"A GAY WIDOW.' 279 

Mr Burnand Peter Rutherford's interminable recital 
of his maritime misadventures. In any case, the 
Ancient Mariner in the second act was as tedious as 
the wedding-guests in the first. We, metaphorically- 
speaking, " beat our breasts " and longed " to hear the 
loud bassoon " of the entr'acte. Some good enough 
fun is got out of the duel and its consequences in the 
third act, which, to my thinking, is the best of the 
three. The letter-scene, indeed, is the one really note- 
worthy comic invention of the play it is worthy of 
Mr Pinero. But we relapse into weariness when we 
come to Dudley's evasions to prevent his wife from 
learning the real reason of his duel an excellent 
reduction to absurdity, by the way, of the whole heroic- 
mendacity convention. " Why on earth shouldn't he 
tell the truth ?" we keep on asking ourselves ; and his 
lies lose all their savour. Here again it is the forcing 
of French sentiment into English dress that is at fault ; 
though one cannot but doubt whether, even in France, 
people think it necessary to lie so furiously on such 
slight provocation. It should be quite possible, in 
sum, to cut down the tedious passages of the play, 
and draw the amusing passages together. But what- 
ever may be its fate, A Gay Widow uses up a good 
subject to very little purpose. Yet why should I say 
" uses up " ? The French farce does not preclude an 
English comedy ; and there is a capital title The 
Prodigal Mother ready to hand. 


Mr Burnand is the Last of the Punsters. I did not 
realise until I saw A Gay Widow how dead the pun 
is on the English stage. There was something pleas- 
ant and almost pathetic in this temporary resurrection 
of an old friend. It made one feel young again. 
Even Mr Burnand has sobered a little with the passing 
years. He does not pun with the old reckless Byronic 
profusion. But when a word-play comes in his way, 
he has the courage of his traditions and does not 
" cut " it. Three several times, for instance, are the 
changes rung upon the meanings of the word " flat." 
Son-in-law : " How was it you came to think of flats ? " 
Mother-in-law : " I needn't say I had you both in my 
mind." Mother-in-law: "The flats were bringing in 
nothing." Son-in-law : "They were flat and unprofit- 
able." Mother-in-law : " They have been accustomed 
to live in flats." Son-in-law : " Yes, and on them." 
Fancy a love-scene carried on in this fashion : She : 
" You want to have me under lock and key." He : 
" Under wedlock and key." She : " Don't let us 
sacrifice our friendship securities in order to speculate 
in matrimonial bonds." For the rest, as I gather from 
M. Sarcey's account of Belle Maman, Mr Burnand 
seems to have followed his original with absolute 

Miss Lottie Venne plays the title-part like the 
excellent comedian she is, with invaluable crispness 
and vivacity. Mr Charles Hawtrey, in a part not 


quite so irresponsible as those with which we are 
accustomed to associate him, acts with his unfailing 
ease and naturalness. Miss Eva Moore is charming 
as the young wife ; and Messrs Edward Righton, Gil- 
bert Hare, Wilfred Draycott, and W. Dennis are all 
good in characters of some importance. 



31 st October. 

THERE was a long period in the history of that 
benign institution, the Censorship, during which the 
drama of Jack Sheppard was prohibited as being 
subversive to public morals, but was, nevertheless, 
occasionally licensed for benefit performances. Why 
benefit audiences should have had their morals 
subverted, while the virtue of the common or every- 
day public was so sedulously safeguarded, is a point 
that, so far as I know, has never been satisfactorily 
elucidated. The Censorship decrees ; it does not 
explain. If Mr Pigott had acted up to the high 
traditions of his office, I fear he would have licensed 
Robbery under Arms* for benefits only. There is not 
the least doubt that it represents bushranging in the 
* Princess's, October 22 November 9. 


most fascinating colours, and casts a glamour of 
romance round the gentle art of " sticking up." For 
my own poor part, I left the theatre a prey to regret, 
not to say remorse. " Et ego in Arcadia " I, too, 
have been in the bush, that home and nursery of all 
the heroic virtues. The police permitting (and, 
according to Robbery under Arms, they are well-nigh 
powerless to prevent), I might have been ranging 
there to this hour, adored of Beauty, beloved of 
the poor, pious, beneficent, happy. Alas ! too late, 
too late ! An abyss of irrecoverable years yawns 
between the blithesome bushranger that might have 
been and the crusty critic that is. But to the 
younger members of the audience, unless they be of 
degenerate race indeed, the example of Captain Star- 
light must surely have been alluring in the extreme. 
Was there a single lad of spirit in pit or gallery who 
did not long to plunge into the wilds of Shepherd's 
Bush, " stick up " a Bayswater omnibus, and retreat 
with his booty to the impenetrable fastnesses of 
Wormwood Scrubbs ? 

In point of construction, Robbery under Arms is 
certainly more Australian than Aristotelian. The 
formula of the dramatisers Messrs Alfred Dampier 
and Garnet Walch is a very simple one. They end 
each act with what may be called a stalemate police 
and bushrangers covering each other with their 
revolvers, and Victory hovering on doubtful wing 


over the martial tableau. When the curtain rises 
again, we gather that Victory continued to vacillate, 
" this way and that dividing the swift mind," until 
both parties got tired of it and called off their forces. 
The bushrangers are still at large, the police are 
still alive ; and matters, in short, are precisely as 
they were. This honours-easy style of situation is all 
very well for once in a way ; but we presently begin 
to hunger for something more decisive. We may 
say of it " placuit semel," but scarcely " deeies 
repetita placebit." Not until the end of the fourth 
act does either party gain a clear advantage. Then 
the gallant Captain Starlight, having fired his last 
shot, and therewithal killed the villainous Inspector 
Goring, sinks down riddled with bullets (or at least 
so it seems) and gives up the ghost. At this point 
my emotions overcame me, and I hurried from the 
ensanguined scene, trusting to ascertain from next 
day's papers whether, and in what way, he came to 
life again in the fifth act. But no ! With trembling 
hands I opened the Daily Telegraph, only to be 
disappointed. The critic apparently knew no more 
than I did of the ultimate fate of Captain Starlight, 
or, if he knew, he kept his counsel. Since then I 
have gone about anxiously inquiring of every one 
I. met, " Did Captain Starlight die?" and the answer 
has always been, like that of the schoolboy who was 
asked whether the water in his bath was frozen, 


" I don't know." At this moment I am ignorant 
as to his fate ; no one seems to have seen the fifth 
act. To all appearance he was dead ; he even took 
such an unconscionable time in dying as seemed to 
preclude all hope of resurrection ; and yet it is 
assuredly an unheard-of and (as they say in Australian) 
close-up inconceivable thing that the hero of a melo- 
drama should die in the penultimate act. On the 
whole, the betting seems to be against his resuscita- 
tion. He was an exemplary character, this Bayard of 
the Bush : he poured forth his soul in prayer, he 
wept over a letter from his mother, he rode his 
own horse in a steeplechase, and won a feat which, 
in a man of his girth, presupposes a special inter- 
position of Providence. But the fact remains that 
he not only effected several of those forcible re- 
distributions of property which the title of the play 
calls by a sterner name, but that he also killed a 
policeman in the discharge of his duty. The police- 
man, to be sure, was a villain, and deserved to die ; 
but the law cherishes such an inveterate prejudice 
in favour of its myrmidons, that it would scarcely be 
possible for our hero, on coming to life again, to 
marry his Aileen, and live, a prosperous gentleman, 
on his undistributed savings. It is worthy of remark, 
moreover, that there appears on the playbill one 
George Storefield, " honest as daylight and straight as 
a dart," who seems to have nothing to do with the 


action, unless it be to marry the heroine in the fifth 
act. All things considered, then, I fear we must 
regard 'Starlight as extinguished so far as this world is 
concerned, and gone to range the bush of Elysium. 

" There Turpin shall greet him with praise and with love, 
And Sheppard and Hood be his Kellys above." 

Seriously speaking, the play is astonishingly artless 
in construction and dialogue, but by no means un- 
amusing. It is a great deal fresher and livelier than 
the pattern-printed melodrama of commerce. By 
this time, no doubt, a good deal of superfluous matter 
has been cut out of it incidents and speeches, which 
may have had their meaning for an Australian 
audience, but conveyed nothing whatever to the 
London public. By this time, too, Mr Dampier, who 
plays Captain Starlight, has probably put more dash 
and animation into his acting. His performance on 
the first night was an exceedingly amiable one. He 
has one of the pleasantest speaking-voices I ever 
heard, and was altogether the most courtly and 
debonnair brigand on record. He made Captain 
Starlight overwhelmingly popular, and invested his 
profession with an irresistible and quite seductive 
charm. But he would have enlisted our sympathies 
quite as immorally if he had taken his part in a little 
quicker time. It must not be supposed, however, 
that the authors make " bushranger " and " gentle- 
man " absolutely synonymous. Oh no ! They do 


not dissemble the fact that there are black sheep 
in that profession, just as in any other. The bell- 
wether of the sable flock, a very abandoned ruffian 
indeed, is played with uncompromising and pictur- 
esque vigour by Mr Charles Charrington. Mrs Anna 
Ruppert threw herself heart and soul into the part of 
the heroine, and performed equestrian feats which 
I own, brought my heart into my mouth. She 
certainly showed to much greater advantage in this 
part than in Odette. Mr Bernard Gould displayed 
his devotion to his calling by appearing, admirably 
disguised, as an Irish " knockabout artiste," who 
has, by some strange chance, enlisted in the Mounted 
Police. Both he and his co-mate in buffoonery, Mr 
George Buller, were now and then genuinely amusing. 
Mr Clarence Holt, Mr Herbert Flemming, Mr Roth- 
bury Evans, and Mr William Bonney were excellent 
in subsidiary characters. 

Despite its childishness of plot a jumble of the 
Cinderella legend with the episode of the disguised 
bailiffs in Goldsmith's Good- Natured Man Mr George 
Dance's musical farce, The Lady Slavey, * at the 
Avenue, struck me as a very fair specimen of its class, 
and seemed, when I saw it on its third night, to be 
shaping for success. Its attraction lies entirely in the 
acting and in the spirited music, mainly contributed 
by Mr John Crook ; for in point of invention and 
* October 20. Still running. 


writing it does not for a moment compare with the 
work of Mr Adrian Ross, or even of Mr " Owen 
Hall." Mr Charles Danby is the life and soul of 
the production. He is not a thing of beauty, and 
he does not know the meaning of refinement ; but 
he- raises ugliness and vulgarity to the level of a fine 
art, and is inconceivably, indescribably droll. More 
than once he entirely upset the gravity of his fellow- 
actors ; and though larking and guying on the stage 
are my abhorrence, in this case I really could not 
blame them. Moreover, there is something so frank 
and hearty in his vulgarity that it becomes inoffensive ; 
and, in this instance at any rate, it is quite free 
from what is known as " spice." Indeed, the play as 
a whole is innocent of the leering suggestiveness, 
the elaborate and deliberate indecency, which appear 
to have proved so attractive in other productions of 
this class. Miss May Yoh gambols very agreeably 
through the part of the neat-ankled Phyllis. There is 
a crudity in her acting (I use the word in its literal 
sense) which is undeniably piquant ; and her clarion 
voice -to my ear its timbre seems precisely that of a 
cornet-a-piston is certainly unique, though its beauty 
may be open to question. Miss Adelaide Astor looks 
extremely pretty her second dress is really a poem 
and dances delightfully ; Mr Pateman acts with 
abundant spirit as an impecunious Irishman ; and 
the grotesque cleverness of Mr George Humphrey's 


performance of an officer and gentleman reduced to 
the rank of a bailiff's man, deserves a word of recog- 

The German company at the Opera Comique have 
been doing a good deal of sound and creditable 
work, under sadly disadvantageous circumstances, 
both before and behind the curtain. They are clever 
and versatile comedians, but their repertory has 
hitherto been of slight intrinsic interest. The light 
comedies and farces of Von Moser, Schonthann, and 
L' Arrange are neither strong enough nor sufficiently 
different from our own plays of the second order 
to be very attractive to English audiences. Der 
Veilchenfresser, Krieg im Frieden, Das Stiftungsfest, 
Mein Leopold, and other pieces of similar calibre, 
have been passed in review, and in each there have 
been some capital pieces of acting, more or less 
obscured by imperfect rehearsal and miserable mount- 
ing. Last week Von Moser's Der Bibliothekar* to 
which we owe Tlie Private Secretary, occupied the 
bill, and was acted with excellent spirit by Herr 
Caesar Beck (a very able, pleasant comedian), Herr 
Ludwig Schubart in the title-part, Herr Ernst Peter- 
son, Herr Max VVeilenbeck, Fraulein von Driller, 
Fraulein Anna Hocke, and Frau Heinold-Thomann. 

* October 20. 




Pall Mall Budget ', ist November. 
THE first thing, and the chief thing, to be said 
about His Excellency* is that, from beginning to end, 
it is very enjoyable. Mr Gilbert has never been more 
merrily or more pleasantly inspired. If we think 
with greater affection yes, that is the word for my 
feeling of some of His Excellency's predecessors, 
that is mainly because they are wedded in our 
memory to Sir Arthur Sullivan's ingenious, witty, 
elegant, playful, and pellucid strains. For my part, 
my favourites in the Gilbert series are The Pirates of 
Penzance, The Mikado, and the delightful Gondoliers. 
You, no doubt, have other preferences, with which, 
whatever they may be, I shall certainly not quarrel. 
The main point, on which we all, I hope, agree, is 
that in inventing and perfecting this graceful, thought- 
ful, really recreative form of entertainment, Mr Gilbert 
enhanced the harmless gaiety of nations, and earned 
a gratitude which even the amplest pecuniary rewards 
can but poorly express. It is no disparagement to 
Sir Arthur Sullivan to say that the real initiative 
came from his collaborator. Just as Wagner created 
Bayreuth music-drama, so did Mr Gilbert create 

* October 27. Still running. 


Savoy extravaganza ; and in its little way (not to say 
it profanely) the latter is the more perfect creation of 
the two, for Wagner had not Mr Gilbert's genius for 
stage-management. We used to wonder, in former 
days, whether the musician did not suggest to the 
librettist some of his amazingly vivid and versatile 
rhythms ; but recent events have entirely vindicated 
Mr Gilbert's originality even in this respect. He can 
write just as sparklingly for Mr Cellier or for Dr Carr 
as ever he did for Sir Arthur Sullivan if only Dr 
Carr could sparkle in response ! 

But we must not be unfair to Dr Carr. We must 
remember that, under the circumstances, Mozart 
himself would have been handicapped by the mere 
fact that he was not Sir Arthur Sullivan. I write of 
music as one of the ignorant, but perhaps for that 
very reason my feeling may be taken as fairly repre- 
senting that of the average audience. One critic, 
I see, finds in the score of His Excellency " a certain 
lack of tunefulness." To me it seemed that its per- 
sistent and fluid "tuneyness" was its chief defect. 
The overture itself was a mere string of tunes, 
structureless and, to use a Johnsonian word, unidea'd. 
It sounded for all the world like a set of quadrilles. 
But Dr Carr's tunes are pretty, refined, and now and 
then even humorous. They have none of the vulgar 
blatancy which passes for cleverness with one or two 
of our minor composers. His orchestration shows no 


great individuality, but seemed to me quite competent. 
On the whole, the ear was pleasantly amused through- 
out the evening ; it was only that the pulses remained 
unstirred and the intelligence (if that has anything 
to do with the matter) ungratified. There was real 
humour, to my thinking, in the song of the dancing 
soldiers ("Though I'm a soldier all pugnacity"), in 
the duet between Dame Hecla and the Syndic ("You 
little roguey-poguey, you"), and the quartet in the 
second act ("One day the syndic of this town"). 
The bee-song at the beginning of the second act was 
quite felicitously set, and a good deal of the music 
assigned to Nana and Thora and their lovers was 
distinctly piquant. If Dr Carr has not the vivacity 
and inventiveness of Sir Arthur Sullivan, or the 
delicate workmanship of the late Mr Cellier, he at 
least writes agreeably, unpretentiously, and in har- 
mony with what we may call the Gilbertian tradition. 
With the exception, perhaps, of The Yeomen of the 
Guard (which, to tell the truth, I do not very clearly 
remember), His Excellency is a nearer approach to 
true comic opera, as opposed to extravaganza, than 
anything Mr Gilbert has as yet done. Its plot is 
simple and ingenious, with no supernatural element, 
and with none of those quibbles and quiddities, those 
(i nice dilemmas" and " ingenious paradoxes," which 
the author so much affects. Even in The Mounte- 
banks there was a magic potion, and its effects were 


so intricate that, delightful though the piece was as 
a whole, the plot of the second act to this day remains 
a mystery to me. In the new opera everything is 
as clear as daylight. We feel, indeed, that some 
further complications might have been worked up 
without overburdening the theme. It is odd that 
Mr Gilbert should in this instance have departed 
from his usual practice of giving his operas a second 
title, for a very apt second title lay ready to hand. 
The piece might have been entitled His Excellency ; 
or, 27ie Biter Bit. Scribe would have revelled in 
the idea of so natural and effective a development 
of the Haroun al Raschid theme, and would have 
made of it, not a comic opera in our modern 
post-Offenbachian sense of the term, but a dramatic 
opera comique. Indeed, the thought is such a happy 
one that, without for a moment questioning Mr 
Gilbert's originality, one would not be surprised to 
learn that it had previously occurred to some French 
or Spanish dramatist. Granted the potentate in 
disguise, wandering in some out-of-the-way part of 
his dominions (and this idea belongs to the common 
stock of romance), what more natural than that his 
likeness to himself should be noticed, and should 
suggest to some more or less nefarious personage 
the idea of inducing him to personate himself? 
Thus put into words, wrapped in a mist of pro- 
nouns, the notion may seem to lack something of 


the perspicuity for which I have been extolling it ; 
but in action it comes out quite lucidly. 

Of course, the setting in which Mr Gilbert has 
placed the theme is extravagant enough. The 
Governor who spends his whole time in practical 
joking, the pirouetting regiment, the instantaneous 
elevation of the Corporal, and the degradation of 
Griffenfeld such incidents and characters as these 
do not precisely belong to the sphere of realism, or 
even, so to speak, of rational romance. The action 
passes, not in the Denmark of convention where 
Scribe would have placed it, but in a Denmark 
of pure fantasy. Mr Gilbert does not even shrink 
from topical allusion ; for instance 

" Griffenfeld. When the case is quite completed, then the 
prisoner defeated with severity is treated, as you're probably 


" For it's carefully provided that the jury shall be guided by 
my summary one-sided which disti esses Labouchere 
" All. It is rough on Labouchere 
It is hard on Labouchere 
Oh, the dickens, how it sickens tender-hearted 
Labouchere ! " 

Here is no pedantic fidelity of local colour, no 
scrupulous avoidance of anachronism. In other 
words, Mr Gilbert does not attempt any new de- 
parture. His formula is essentially that of the old 
Savoy extravaganza. The only difference is that he 
happens to have hit on a pleasant and ingenious 


comic-opera theme, which is something of a relief after 
the merely verbal quibbles, the tricks of logical leger- 
demain, on which so many of his plots have turned. 

What a peculiar talent is this of Mr Gilbert's ! 
Definite and limited in its processes, even to the 
point of monotony, it is nevertheless curiously elusive 
of analysis and classification. This mighty paradox- 
monger is himself an embodied paradox. Never, 
perhaps, did a man of such genuine literary faculty 
for Mr Gilbert is an astonishing virtuoso in language 
talk so much and say so little. Here we have his 
fourteenth or fifteenth extravaganza (to say nothing 
of his other plays), and we know no more of what he 
thinks, or how he feels, about life and death, about 
man and woman, than if he had never taken pen in 
hand. Is he an optimist, a pessimist, or a meliorist ? 
Is he a Conservative or a Radical ? Is he Christian 
or pagan ? Is he a cynic or a sentimentalist ? You 
may say that it is not a dramatist's business to make 
any direct profession of faith, and point to the never- 
ending controversies as to Shakespeare's politics, 
religion, and philosophy. But Mr Gilbert is not a 
dramatist pure and simple. He is of the lineage, 
not of Shakespeare, but at whatever distance of 
Aristophanes. In extravaganza we have every right 
to expect, if not to demand, a more or less direct 
criticism of life and Aristophanes saw that we got 
it. Mr Gilbert's extravaganzas, too, are full of what 


purports to be criticism of life ; but somehow it comes 
to absolutely nothing. It is paradoxical and often 
merely verbal persiflage, without any serious meaning 
behind it. Mind, 1 am not complaining; I am only 
noting a curious fact. It is doubtless their very 
colourlessness that has secured for these extravaganzas 
their universal acceptance. 

" But hold ! " you say. " Is not Mr Gilbert 
notoriously a cynic ? " Notoriously, yes ; but matters 
of notoriety are not always matter of fact. It hap- 
pened that in early life he wrote a play, The Palace 
of Truth) in which everyone, by the magic of a certain 
locality, was compelled to speak his whole thought 
without disguise, imagining all the time that he was 
uttering our usual polite insincerities. Ever since 
then the influence of this Palace of Truth has made 
itself more or less felt in all that Mr Gilbert has 
written, his characters being for ever apt to break out 
into preternatural frankness of self-revelation. But 
they do not reveal, on their creator's part, any deep 
insight into human nature, or any systematic disbelief 
in it. No one doubts that there are miserly, and 
ungrateful, and snobbish, and pretentious people in 
the world, and it is not cynicism to say so. The 
cynic is he who insists on the baser element in 
what we think our noblest actions, and habitually 
generalises, so to speak, to the disadvantage of human 
nature. In Mr-Gilbert we find no capacity for gene- 


ralisation. He is content to make merry, sometimes 
rather heartlessly, over individual foibles and vanities, 
the minor uglinesses and absurdities, physical and 
moral, of life. He has none of the " saeva indignatio" 
of Swift, the cold-blooded penetration of La Roche- 
foucauld, the smiling scorn of Labiche, so often 
mistaken for geniality. There is more cynicism in 
Le Voyage de M. Perrichon, or Celimare le Bien-Aime, 
or Le Plus Heureux des Trots, than in all Mr Gilbert's 
plays put together. Mr Gilbert seems to be incapable 
alike of enthusiasm and of healthy hatred. He has 
taught us that young women love fine uniforms, and 
that old women are apt to grow fat these, and such 
as these, are the favourite topics of his sarcasm, his 
most scathing generalisations, his most crushing in- 
dictments against human nature. 

It was because the characters in Arms and the Man 
indulged freely in self-dissection and self-revelation, 
after the fashion of the Palace of Truth, that Mr 
Bernard Shaw was accused of Gilbertianism. In 
repelling the impeachment he somewhat mistook its 
precise import. He triumphantly proved that whereas 
his criticism was levelled at traditional ideals, Mr 
Gilbert's banter implied an unquestioning acceptance 
of these ideals, and spent itself upon reductions-to- 
absurdity of the mere phrases and catchwords in which 
they are formulated This defence was good as 
against the critics, if such there were, who compared 


Mr Shaw's philosophy with Mr Gilbert's; not good 
against those who remarked that Mr Shaw had 
unconsciously adopted one of the most farcical of 
Mr Gilbert's technical devices. The distinction 
drawn by Mr Shaw, however, puts us on the track 
of what is probably the true secret of Mr Gilbert's 
gifts and limitations. His talent is almost exclusively 
verbal. He seizes upon turns of expression, and, by 
the application of a formal, mechanical logic, deduces 
from them the quaint and paradoxical consequences 
with which we are all familiar. But his criticism very 
seldom penetrates through the words to the things 
they represent. His humour is almost entirely con- 
cerned with what philologists call diseases of language, 
artificially induced by a method of his own. 

For the rest, he has little more than the superficial 
observation of a journalist on the alert for copy. He 
is neither a story-teller nor a character- creator. His 
real strength lies in his remarkable literary faculty, 
and especially in his unique gift of rhythmical, as 
distinct from harmonious or sonorous, expression. 
This, combined with his genius for scenic effect and 
stage-management, has enabled him to produce the 
admirable and delightful series of entertainments of 
which His Excellency is the latest, and one of the 
best. It is curious, by the way, that while the general 
effect is charming, none of the individual parts is 
particularly good. Mr Grossmith and Mr Rutland 


Barrington, both excellent in their way, have both 
had much more effective parts in earlier productions. 
Mr John Le Hay, as the Syndic, makes an exceedingly 
quaint figure out of somewhat scanty materials ; and 
Mr Arthur Playfair is good as the Corporal of the 
Dancing Dragoons. Miss Nancy M'Intosh, Miss 
Jessie Bond, and Miss Ellaline Terriss are all charm- 
ing ; and Miss Alice Barnett plays the inevitable comic 
old woman with invaluable discretion. 


1th November. 

To tell the plain truth a luxury I am fain to permit 
myself once in a while I went to the Trafalgar 
Square Theatre violently prejudiced against the new 
burlesque by its very title, All My Eye- Van/we,* which 
seemed to me to plumb the depths of silliness. I 
found myself instinctively taking some trouble to 
avoid telling people where I was going, for I felt a 
sort of humiliation in even pronouncing the name. 
It is a strong testimony to our innate sense of 
solidarity with our kind, that extreme ineptitude 
seems to have a sort of diffusive power, and to afflict 
even those who have neither art nor part in it with 

* October 31 November 7. 


a sense of personal degradation. One blushes for 
one's species, as though the fact of existing in the 
same hemisphere with a flagrant outrage upon sense 
and taste involved a certain complicity in it. In the 
present instance, no doubt, such a feeling may seem 
disproportionate ; but I own to an old affection for 
the romance of Ashby-de-la-Zouche and Torquilstone, 
which made me "squirm" to see its name so vulgarly 
taken in vain. The first act of the burlesque of the 
second I say nothing, for a reason which " more fits 
you to conceive than me to speak" the first act 
bore out the promise of the title, and was abjectly 
pointless and silly. Cedric became " Seedie Wreck," 
Rowena "Soft Roe-Ina," the Prior of "Jawfolks" 
Abbey was described as an " Any-odds-I'll-lay Brother," 
and the wit of the dialogue and business was " in a 
concatenation according." Fortunately, after invent- 
ing these delightful transmogrifications of the names 
of Scott's characters, the author seemed to have 
forgotten all about Ivanhoe^ and to set off fantasti cat- 
ing in the void. The thing would certainly have 
been more painful had it borne any resemblance to 
its alleged original. Even as I listened, too, it seemed 
to me that the verse was much less inept than the 
prose dialogue, and when I afterwards looked into 
the libretto I found this impression confirmed. Mr 
Philip Hayman can write fairly fluent and pointed 
rhymes ; if he could muster up a few comic ideas, and 


disabuse his mind of the notion that any mechanical 
and frigid perversion of words is necessarily amusing, 
he might one day write a tolerable burlesque. Messrs 
J. L. Shine, Harry Grattan, Fred Storey, and E. M. 
Robson worked hard to put some life into the pro- 
duction ; Miss Phyllis Broughton made an attractive 
" Rebecca Hothouse Peach " ; and Miss Alice Leth- 
bridge did some pretty dancing. 

" I dare to call this a spirited tour," wrote Boswell 
to Johnson when he went to Corsica" I dare to 
challenge your approbation." On Friday last the 
German company at the Opera Comique dared to 
challenge our approbation with a more spirited effort 
than they had made for several weeks past, and I 
imagine they have had no cause to repent their 
daring. Schiller's Robbers* is a landmark in theatrical 
history, and one of the strangest curiosities of dramatic 
literature. It is a classic written by a schoolboy 
a classic, one may almost say, because of its ebullient 
boyishness. " I presumed to delineate men," said 
Schiller himself, "two years before I had seen a 
man ; " and of stagecraft, of course, he was ludicrously 
ignorant. Yet such is the crude eloquence, the 
vehement sincerity, the youthful fervour of the play, 
that it has lived on the stage for more than a century, 
and to this day never fails to draw a popular audience. 
It lives, of course, partly by the simple fact that it is 

* November 2. '. ' 

"DIE RAUBER." 301 

Schiller's. If he had never written the Wallenstein 
trilogy and Wilhelm Tell, we might have heard little 
enough of Die Riiuber at this time of day. But it 
is also, no doubt, inherently congenial to the German 
temperament. Its romanticism is intensely Teutonic 
in tone, and its very sins of extravagance in senti- 
ment and robustiousness of expression are not without 
their charm even for the race which produced Goethe 
and lent its language to Heine. Read Sudermann's 
Sodom's Ende, one of the most successful plays of 
the Young Germany to-day, and you will understand 
the popularity of Die Riiuber. Schiller was in the 
Marlowe stage of development when he wrote the 
play. Its qualities are precisely those of Marlowe 
an uninformed but not ungenerous spirit of rebellion, 
a fiery energy, a sonorous, untamed rhetoric. Even 
in its prose we seem every now and then to hear 
the ring of the " mighty line," and many of Schiller's 
mouth-filling polysyllabic cadences would certainly 
have been a joy to Marlowe. Die Riiuber is the 
work of a Marlowe who has read Rousseau ; though 
I own it seems to me that the high-hearted Karl 
von Moor makes an unnecessary confusion between 
Rousseau's state of nature and Hobbes's. There is 
something of that inconsequence in his treatment of 
society which we remark in the murderer's explanation 
of his conduct towards his victim : " I never liked 
the fellow, so I did for him with a cold chisel." Herr 


Max Weilenbeck, who played Franz, was, as he no 
doubt ought to be, an anointed villain, but I am not 
sure that he did not put a little too much unction 
into his turpitude. Fraulein von Driller's Amalia was 
charming in its simplicity and sincerity. I may 
remark, by the way, that the elocution of the whole 
company was decidedly above our English average. 
The German actors have voices, and are not afraid 
to use them. 

The transference of Little Christopher Columbus* 
from the Lyric Theatre to Terry's does not seem to 
have impaired its popularity. Miss Addie Conyers 
now plays the title part (she is the third, if not the 
fourth, in succession), and plays it very brightly. Mr 
Lonnen and Mr Sheridan work as hard as ever, and 
the dialogue bristles with the inexpensive gags about 
the County Council, without which no popular 
entertainment is nowadays complete. 




THERE is a slang phrase which I am tempted to apply 
to Mr Haddon Chambers, though I do not quite 

* October 29 December 15. First produced at the Lyric, 
October 10, 1893. 


know its meaning. It is commonly used in a dis- 
paraging sense indeed, almost as an insult; whereas 
it seems to me (and I certainly intend it in this case) 
to involve a high compliment. John-a- Dreams* I 
venture to say, proves Mr Chambers to be " on the 
make";! therefore it interests me, and revives my 
interest in its author, which, truth to tell, had sadly 
languished of late. Of no man, or at any rate of 
no artist, can we say anything more hopeful or more 
encouraging than that he is "on the make." It 
implies, if he is young, that he Is using the birthright 
of youth ; if he is old, that he has escaped the curse 
of age. If we are not " on the make," be sure we are 
on the unmake. In art, a man is either going uphill 
or down that is, if he has ever put his foot on the 
Delectable Mountain at all, and is not merely plashing 
about (and perhaps groping for guineas, with more or 
less success) in the Slough of Despond at the bottom. 
" What ! " you say, " can he never stand secure and 
immovable on the pinnacle of perfect accomplish- 
ment ? " Frankly, I doubt it, if his art have any larger 
scope than the mere carving of cherry-stones. And 
in any case, the impeccable master, the "Andrea Senz' 
Errori" of any art, very soon ceases to interest us. 

* llaymarket, November 8 December 27. 

t It would seem that, as I suspected, this phrase has a quite 
different signification from that which I here attach to it. My 
meaning, however, remains clear enough, so I leave the paragraph 


We leave him to reel out his monotonous masterpieces 
at his leisure, while we follow with eagerness every 
step of the man who is still struggling upwards. Half 
the fascination of Ibsen a fascination which even 
those feel who like him least lies in the fact that he 
is still "on the make." He never repeats himself, 
never pours new water on old tea-leaves. At an age 
when most men have lost all forward impetus, he is 
ever experimenting, ever " breaking out in a fresh 
place." To him, as to Wagner, was given that : 'nie 
zufriedene Geist, der stets auf Neues sinnt." And if 
you ask me what brings Ibsen to my thoughts in this 
somewhat unlikely context, why I am sorry I cannot 
tell you.* 

To return to Mr Haddon Chambers. The first two 
acts and a half of John-a-Dreams are not only much 
the best work he has done, but the only work, to my 
thinking, in virtue of which he can really claim a 
place in the little group of our serious playwrights. 
Soon after the production of Captain Swift, Mr Pinero, 
being asked in some interview or other to mention 
any " coming dramatist " in whose future he had faith, 
singled out Mr Haddon Chambers. I wondered at 
the time; and with every new production of Mr 
Chambers's my wonder deepened until Thursday 
night. Then I felt, up to about 10.15 P.M., that Mr 

* A few hours before the production of John-a-Dreams, I had 
received and read (in proof sheets) the first act of Lille Eyolf. 


Pinero's penetration had been keener than mine. At 
11.15, I was not so sure f this; the end of the play 
was not only a sad falling off, but seemed to drag the 
beginning with it in its fall. Things which had ap- 
peared interesting and significant as we looked ahead, 
now seemed, in retrospect, mere sound and fury, signi- 
fying nothing But the whole upshot of the evening 
was undoubtedly to Mr Chambers's advantage. The 
first two acts proved that he could write ; the last 
two proved that he could not yet think, or at any 
rate could not give consistent dramatic form to his 
thought. That power, however, may come in time ; 
for the immense interval between the first two acts 
and the best of Mr Chambers's previous work, shows 
clearly that he is "on the make." The man who 
could write the scene of Kate Cloud's confession and 
of Percy de Coburn's dismissal the one strong, 
dignified, tactful ; the other instinct with scenic 
humour is certainly not a man to be despaired of. 

If there were a Chair of Dramatic Criticism at one 
of the Universities, the professor might find \v\John-a- 
Dreams an excellent object-lesson for his students. 
It illustrates to perfection the difference between a 
drama of character and a drama of mere mechanical 
plot. It promises to be a drama of character, and 
interests us keenly; it breaks its promise, and our 
interest drops like a bird with a broken wing. John-a- 

Dreams! The very title seems to throw a preliminary 


search-light into the hero's soul. In the first act, on 
board the yacht, we find this dreamer contending for 
a woman's love, against a man of concentrated purpose 
and fierce, unimaginative, physical passion. The con- 
trast is well imagined, the situation is rich in possi- 
bilities all the more so because the two men happen 
to be friends. Of course it is as old as the hills, but 
that merely means that it is typical ; and every typical 
situation is capable of a hundred fresh developments. 
The lady inclines, and much more than inclines, to 
the poet, the dreamer, who tells his rapture to the sky 
and sea, and " unpacks his heart with words " in a 
fashion which leads us, on the one hand, to doubt his 
constancy, on the other hand, to question his power of 
sustaining the battle against the sombre determination 
of his inarticulate rival. In brief, he seems fluid and 
shallow, and at the end of the first act, " the odds are 
on the deeper man." We feel sure that some flaw, 
some weak spot, in Harold Wynn's character is either 
to lose him his love or to go very near to it. In the 
second act, we find him an opium-eater (by the way, 
the scene between the father and son, in which Harold 
confesses and renounces his vice, is both well conceived 
and well written), and, unconvinced by his renunciation, 
especially as the astute old parent leaves the opium- 
phial under his very nose, we all the more confidently 
expect some trouble to arise from his weakness and 
irresolution of character. But now a new motive 

" JOHiN-A-DREAMS." 307 

comes in, and bewilders us a little. The heroine, 
Miss Kate Cloud, who has let fall some mysterious 
hints even in the first act, takes the old Vicar apart 
and confides to him that her mother was a woman of 
the town, and that she herself was well, her mother's 
daughter, until she was rescued, educated, and launched 
as a singer by some philanthropic lady. This seems 
an unnecessary complication ; but, the Magdalen 
being now in vogue, we cannot quarrel with Mr 
Chambers for following the fashion, and electing to 
work out his problem with this additional factor in it. 
When the second act closes, the character-study of 
John-a-Dreams has not got much forr'ader ; but we 
still hope for the best. There are two acts to come, 
and much may be done in two acts. Alas ! the third 
act brings us rapid disillusion. It is soon evident that 
there is no character-study whatever ; or, at any rate, 
that the character is to have no effect on the action ; 
or, to put it quite precisely, that the only element of 
character which is in any way to influence the action 
is the mere Adelphi villainy of the saturnine Sir Hubert 
Garlinge. Harold Wynn is not a John-a-Dreams at 
all, but a veritable John-a-Deeds. His dreaminess, 
his rodomontade, his unpracticality, are only skin 
deep. He takes the pledge against opiates, and he 
keeps it like a man. Even when his Kate seems 
fickle, and he is very wretched, he feels no temptation, 
it would appear, to fly to the Comforter. His fortitude 


is nothing short of Spartan. He conquers his vice in 
the twinkling of an eye, and it takes him about a 
minute and a half to overcome his prejudice against 
his lady-love's Past. In both cases he wins without 
turning a hair. There is no struggle, no drama. So 
far as the action is concerned, he might have been an 
ascetic engineer (engineers are always virtuous) instead 
of a self-indulgent poet. We see that his poetic 
vapourings of the first act were nothing but inert 
embroidery, mechanical decoration ; and we are not 
slow to remember that, as decoration, they were rather 
cheap and tawdry. Nor is there any struggle between 
love and friendship, either on Harold's side or 
Sir Hubert's. The moment love comes in at the 
door, friendship flies out at the window. It is needless 
to add that the heroine's past has left no tiniest 
trace upon her character. The frayed hem of her 
garment has been mended to perfection, and is as 
good as new. She is all purity, all refinement, all 
magnanimity. Then why, you ask, has the author 
made all these preparations to no purpose ? Why is 
Harold a poet and opium-eater? Why are he and 
Sir Hubert sworn friends? Why is Kate an ex- 
Promenader ? I will tell you why. All this elaborate 
mechanism tends simply and solely to a single pre- 
posterous Adelphi situation. That is the " one far-off 
sublime event To which this whole ' contrapshun ' 
moves." Harold is a poet, partly because a poet is a 


decorative object and lends himself to declamation, 
but mainly because poetry and opium-eating are 
supposed to go together ; and he is an opium-eater in 
order that the villain may find a bottle of laudanum 
ready to his hand when the great situation requires it. 
Villain and hero are sworn friends, and have, as is the 
common practice of the studious youth of this realm, 
entered into an " Oxford compact " of perfect amity, 
in order that the hero may be induced to write on a 
piece of paper, " I release you," which paper the 
villain may fraudulently represent as being addressed 
to the heroine. And the heroine has frayed the hem 
of her robe on the Piccadilly pavement to no other 
end than that she may insist on giving the hero half 
an hour for reflection before he pledges himself to her, 
that half-hour being essential to the execution of the 
villain's plot. If the villain even talked the hero into 
a relapse, as lago seduces Cassio, or Hedda Gabler 
Lovborg, there would be some meaning in the thing. 
John-a-Dreams would justify his name, and character 
would be the determining element in the action. But 
no ! the situation is purely mechanical. Harold's 
weakness or strength of will, his temperament, his 
mental habit, have nothing to do with it ; unless, 
indeed, we hold it a John-a-Dreams-like infirmity in 
him not to recognise at a glance that in Sir Hubert 
Cartwright-Garlinge he had to do with an inveterate 
Adelphi villain. As for the last act, on board the 


yacht, it would scarcely pass muster even at the 
Adelphi. Words fail me to express my sense of its 
intellectual and dramatic feebleness. It is a mystery 
how it could ever proceed from the same pen which 
wrote the second act, and the really daring scene 
between Harold and Kate in the third. 

Harold Wynn is not one of Mr Beerbohm Tree's 
good parts. He did not seem to believe in it himself, 
and to me, at any rate (though not, apparently, to the 
majority of the audience), he remained unconvincing. 
Perhaps it was the somewhat windy insincerity of his 
poetising in the first act that led me to mistake a mere 
ideal personage for a genuine character-study. Mrs 
Patrick Campbell lent her peculiar personal charm to 
the character of Kate, and, on the strength of it, made 
a marked success. The more dramatic scenes she 
distinctly underplayed, but that is a fault she will no 
doubt correct as the run proceeds. Mr Charles 
Cartwright as Sir Hubert Garlinge was the very man 
the author seemed to intend, and that is, of course, 
all that can be required of an actor. Mr Nutcombe 
Gould was admirable as the benevolent Vicar ; Mr 
Herbert Ross may almost be said to have leapt into 
fame by means of the delicate and skilful comedy of 
his Percy de Coburn ; and Mr Edmund Maurice and 
Miss Janette Steer were excellent as Mr and Mrs 

I have left myself no space in which to do justice 


to the very interesting performance of A Doll's House* 
(rechristened Nora) by the German company at the 
Opera Comique. Fraulein von Driller's Nora, though 
not very profoundly thought-out or minutely elaborated, 
was full of spirit, and of the right spirit. None of the 
many Noras I have seen made so much of the end of 
the first act ; the second act was quite creditable 
throughout (one easily forgives the slurring of the 
tarantella) ; and if the last scene of all was marred by 
a too great infusion of temper, it must be owned that 
more famous actresses than Fraulein von Driller have 
fallen deeper into the same error. Herr Beck was an 
ideal Helmer the very man himself. Not even Mr 
Waring's excellent performance realised the character 
so thoroughly. Herr Rusing's Rank was sketchy but 
intelligent, and the other members of the cast were but 
so-so. The scene represented a gaunt and arras-hung 
baronial hall, decked with trophies of war and of the 
chase as though the Helmers had taken a flat in the 
Castle of Otranto ! 

The run of The Masqueraders t was resumed at the 
St James's on Saturday night before an enthusiastic 
audience. Miss Evelyn Millard, as the heroine, has 
certainly this advantage over Mrs Patrick Campbell, 
that her heart is entirely in her work. She is, perhaps, 
rather too much of the barmaid in the first act, and 
does not sufficiently indicate Dulcie's underlying dis- 
* November 7. t See p. 126. 


taste for her position ; but in the subsequent acts she 
is all that can be desired. Mr Alexander, Mr Waring, 
Mr Esmond, Mr Elliot, and Miss Granville are as 
good as ever, and the sheer brute force, if one may 
call it so, of Mr Jones's situations continues to work 
the audience up to a very high pitch of excitement. 




THERE were some promising scenes and ideas, if I 
remember rightly, in The New 1 Wing, by Mr H. A. 
Kennedy, produced some seasons ago by Mr Edouin ; 
but in The Wrong Girl* his new farce at the Strand, 
he has gone over, for the moment at any rate, to the 
imbeciles, already a quite sufficiently large and indus- 
trious body. If there were any possibility of arriving 
at the genuine facts as to theatrical success or failure, 
I should be quite willing to accept The Wrong Girl 
as a test case, and, in the event of its success, to 
apologise to the School of Imbecility, individually 
and collectively, admitting that they supply a want, 
and have their place in the economy of the universe. 
All the external circumstances are in favour of Mr 
Kennedy's piece. The acting is quaint and spirited 

* November 21 December 15. 


the former epithet applying chiefly to Mr Blakeley, the 
latter to Miss Fanny Brough the first-night reception 
was warm to the point of enthusiasm, and the press, 
so far as I have observed, has been lenient, if not 
absolutely cordial. We have here all the ingredients 
of success except a good play, even of its inferior 
kind; and if, as aforesaid, success is achieved in 
spite of that little reservation, I shall be constrained 
to admit,* what I have hitherto denied with some 
vehemence, that the great public does not know 
humour and comic invention from brainless and 
machine-made tomfoolery. The antique groundwork 
of the play is nothing to its disadvantage. Theflatria 
potestas is so convenient a source of dramatic compli- 
cations that it will probably survive on the stage long 
after it has ceased to be an appreciable factor in real 
life ; and the time is still distant when audiences shall 
decline to take an interest in plots to obtain the stern 
parent's consent to Edwin's marriage with Angelina. 
Till marriage itself has gone by the board and perhaps 
even afterwards "Bless you, my children," will still 
be the conventional tag of farce. For my part, I am 
perfectly willing to take a keen and sympathetic interest 
in the circumvention of the heavy father, on the sole 
condition that the plots to that end shall have a cer- 
tain measure of ingenuity and plausibility. No one 
demands probability ; that would be to insist on the 
substitution of comedy for farce ; but plausibility, a 


very different matter, is surely indispensable. We 
want, for the time being, to feel that the course of the 
action is not inconceivable. Our imaginative credence 
will stretch to a certain point, but no further ; and it 
is the first and last essential of the author's craft to 
know what strain may safely be put upon it. At a 
very early point in The Wrong Girl, my imaginative 
credence snapped short off "and the subsequent 
proceedings interested me no more." Mr Kennedy 
tried to resurrect a convention which died nearly two 
hundred and fifty years ago the convention of miracu- 
lous, impenetrable disguise. The convention of the 
indistinguishable twins, or even of startling accidental 
resemblances of the Dubosc-Lesurcq order, is still, in 
a certain sense, alive ; but here we had simply a case 
of an actor, announced on the bill as " Mr Willie 
Edouin, of the Strand Theatre," making himself, by 
the aid of false hair and paint, so exactly like another 
man, that the other man's wife, meeting her sham 
husband in broad daylight, two minutes after parting 
from her real husband, has no suspicion of the trick. 
This is simply asking us to believe in a miracle ; and 
it ought to be the first axiom of dramaturgy that 
miracles do not happen. The beauty of it is that, 
even with all the assistance of that "theatrical per. 
spective " which is supposed to be such a wonder- 
worker, the miracle does not happen, nor anything 
approaching to it. Mr Edouin is not in the least like 


Mr Blakeley ; a baby in arms could not mistake one 
for the other. Mr Edouin mimics, not very happily, a 
few of Mr Blakeley's very easily imitable mannerisms ; 
but (to say nothing of his features) his stature, his 
figure, his voice, are all utterly different from Mr 
Blakeley's. The impossibility of the whole thing 
positively hits you in the eye; why should Mr 
Kennedy expect us to play at believing in it? In 
the complications which he extracts from his miracle, 
moreover, there is scarcely a touch of ingenuity or 
happy invention. The intrigue is bewildering without 
being, in the good sense of the word, elaborate. It 
has no form, no elegance, none of that perspicuity in 
complexity which ought to be the great aim of all 
intrigue-weavers. " How comes it, then," Mr Kennedy 
may ask, " that, by your own showing, the reception of 
the play was ' warm to the point of enthusiasm ' ? " 
Well, I own it surprises me ; but it has been proved 
again and again that first-night audiences have a 
tolerance for brainless farce which the general public 
is far from sharing. Without suggesting any absolute 
" packing " of the house, we may be sure that a large 
proportion of a first-night audience is influenced by 
considerations to which the paying playgoer is a 
stranger. They are interested in the success of the 
author, the management, or the actors, and have 
therefore a motive for stretching what I have called 
their imaginative credence to the very utmost. If the 


public at large came to the theatre with the express 
purpose of obliging Mr Kennedy and Mr Edouin by 
persuading itself that it is vastly entertained, I should 
have no doubt of the continued success of The Wrong 
Girl. But that is not the motive that generally takes 
people to the play. 

Did my ears deceive me, or did genuine sounds of 
disapproval mingle with the " Ohs ! " of simulated and 
playful remonstrance which greeted the grivoiseries (we 
use a more straightforward word in English) of The 
Shop Girl* at the Gaiety ? If so and I do not think 
I can have been mistaken the fact was very sig- 
nificant. It is the first time I ever heard what shall 
I say ? well, that sort of thing, hissed on the English 
stage. Far more flagrant offences have passed of late 
years without a murmur ; but at last it seems as though 
the public were awakening to the truth that the only 
way to keep the stage wholesome and reputable is to 
take the censorship into its own hands. The piece, 
as a whole, let me hasten to say, was clever, merry, 
inoffensive, and entirely successful. It was greeted 
with those deafening volleys of applause which the 
English public reserves exclusively for Gaiety extrava- 
ganza. Mr Irving and Miss Ellen Terry were never 
saluted (in London, at any rate) with such salvoes of 
irrepressible enthusiasm as rewarded the humours of 
Mr Edmund Payne and Miss Katie Seymour, Miss 

* November 24. Still running. 


Ada Reeve and Mr Seymour Hicks. It was not, then, 
that the audience was in an ill-humour; it was simply 
that one or two speeches were so gratuitously and 
deliberately suggestive as to disgust a certain portion 
of the audience, who had the courage and public spirit 
to express their disgust. No one can allege that the 
party of protest was too quick to take offence. In the 
first act they listened without budging to a long list of 
" birth-marks " on the persons of a group of young 
ladies, then and there present, which are supposed 
to have been examined and catalogued by a young 
gentleman, described in the language of the day as 
" the chappie who trots them around," or something 
to that effect. To old-fashioned notions there is, 
perhaps, a suspicion of indelicacy in such a scene, 
and, indelicate or not, it certainly struck me as witless 
and nauseous but it passed quite without protest. It 
was only when, in the second act, a newly married 
husband manifested the utmost impatience to investi- 
gate the " birth-marks " of his wife, wondered whether 
" we could not find a quiet place here," and was met 
by an underlined " Oh, can't you wait ? " it was not 
till then, I say, that hisses mingled with the gasps of 
delight which (as a faithful reporter, I am bound to 
admit) greeted the sportive sallies. I beg the reader's 
pardon for printing these things ; but what the Censor 
has certified as fit to be spoken on the stage cannot, 
surely, be unfit for publication. Veiled allusions are 


useless in these cases. If we are to preserve the stage 
from that Puritan intermeddling which is the bugbear 
of the hour, we must not shrink from nailing to the 
counter the base money which some people find such 
a cheap and ready substitute for the sterling coinage 
of wit. It is quite true that a jest's impropriety lies as 
much in the ear that hears as in the mind that con- 
ceives it. But it is precisely an author's business to 
realise what effect his words will produce upon the 
average ear, so to speak, of the public ; and when he 
knows that a certain speech will appear to the mass of 
his hearers an impropriety, and will be accepted and 
(by some) rejoiced in as such, it is useless for him to 
argue that it may have an innocent meaning, and that 
he is not responsible for the interpretation which the 
audience puts upon it. We all know perfectly well the 
sort of chuckling laugh, often accompanied by an 
"Oh!" of mock protest, which greets a "risky line" 
in burlesque; and I venture to assure the authors, 
managers, and actors who deliberately bid for that 
chuckle, or who fail to expunge a speech which 
unintentionally provokes it, that they are betraying 
their own true interests and those of the drama at 
large. But the ultimate responsibility, of course, lies 
with the public itself; and I am glad to observe some 
indication, however faint, that they are becoming alive 
to the fact. 

For the rest, The Shop Girl is undoubtedly one of 


the brightest and cleverest pieces of its type. The 
songs are written by Mr H. J. W. Dam and Mr 
" Adrian Ross," and I cannot more strongly express 
my appreciation of Mr Dam's rhyming than by saying 
that, not having received the slip which apportions 
the lyrics between the two authors, I do not to this 
moment know which were his and which his col- 
laborator's. The song sung by Mr Seymour Hicks in 
the second act, " Her golden hair was hanging down 
her back," is not precisely an edifying production. It 
treats in a tone of flippancy a subject which Hogarth 
illustrated in one of his best-known series of plates, 
and which is, perhaps, better fitted for Hogarthian 
than for Hicksian illustration. But it is cleverly 
written and cleverly sung; and so far am I from 
sharing the Puritan point of view, that I am always 
ready to stand up for anything (in reason) that has 
brains in it. Roscommon was guilty of a hypocritical 
platitude when he wrote, "For want of decency is 
want of sense." It is not necessarily anything of the 
sort we may once for all disabuse our minds of that 
particular piece of cant. It is "want of decency and 
want of sense" that the public, I hope, is beginning 
to tire of. Mr Edmund Payne's impersonation of the 
blighted shop-walker, Miggles, was a first-rate piece of 
fooling ; and the drum scene, in which he triumphs 
over his defeated tyrant, rose to the dignity of really 
powerful grotesque acting. His partner, Miss Katie 


Seymour, was no less clever in her way, and the 
immense success of their Japanese song and dance 
was by no means undeserved. Mr Arthur Williams 
and Miss Lillie Belmore were both quite amusing, Mr 
Colin Coop sang his one song excellently, and Mr 
George Grossmith, jun., was quaint in his somewhat 
monotonous fashion. The dancing of Miss Topsy 
Sinden is not very much to my taste ; it seems to me 
essentially stiff, and remarkable rather than graceful ; 
but it is exceedingly popular with the audience. Miss 
Ada Reeve was very bright as the shop-girl mil- 
lionairess, but her art appeared to lie entirely in a sort 
of personal piquancy. Mr Ivan Caryll's music seemed 
to my unskilful ear considerably above what we are 
accustomed to in such productions. It was certainly 
very tuneful and taking. 



$th December. 

THE gentleman who chooses to be known as " S. X. 
Courte" why does he trouble us with so silly a 
pseudonym ? may perhaps do good work for the stage 
when he has come to know the difference between 
brutality and strength, smartness and wit. His Wife 
of Dives,* produced at the Opera Comique last week, 

* November 26 December 8. 


was not a mere matine"e ineptitude. When he has 
learnt to blush for it as one of the sins of his youth, 
he will be in a fair way to become a competent 
dramatist. In point of structure and characterisation 
it was quite on the matinee level, but there was some- 
thing not altogether commonplace in its very disagree- 
ableness ; and the epigrammatic dialogue, though for 
the most part no less futile than inappropriate, was 
every now and then illuminated by a genuine flash of 
wit. The very names of the characters betray the 
'prentice hand. When we find a millionaire dubbed 
Julius Van Duccat and a curate the Rev. Boanerges 
Bodkin, we know what to expect. And the author 
takes care not to disappoint us. His plot does not 
hang together in the least ; two-thirds of his dialogue 
have no bearing upon it ; and his characters are not 
men and women at all, but phrase-making, attitudin- 
ising shadows. I will make the author a present of a 
suggestion a very simple one. Let him pigeon-hole 
the play for ten years or so, then take it out and 
re-write it from first to last. Let him make his " Wife 
of Dives," not a lady with a, Past her Past is quite as 
gratuitous as Miss Kate Cloud's in John-a-Dreams 
but simply a vain woman, who, having jilted the hero 
in a fit of pique and married the parvenu, now cannot 
endure to see her former lover marry another woman. 
Let her give her rival the diamond necklace, with the 
deliberate purpose of denying the gift and involving 


her in an accusation of theft ; and from this starting- 
point let the drama develop as best it may. It will 
then be like Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, turned inside out 
and writ commonplace ; at present, it is like nothing 
in heaven or earth. Even if it were better constructed 
and written, the vagueness of Mrs Van Duccat's 
character and motives would deprive it of all interest. 
In its dialogue, however, ludicrously pretentious and 
overstrained though it was, there seemed to lurk the 
promise of better things. About one in twenty of the 
author's witticisms was really witty. This is not a 
large proportion ; but as there was scarcely a line that 
did not aim at brilliancy, though the ratio of hits to 
misses was small, the absolute number of clever things 
was far from contemptible. If the author would cut 
out the wit which is not wit the mechanical allitera- 
tions, the forced antitheses, the vapid Oscarisms 
there would remain quite as much of the genuine 
article as is fairly admissible in a play of modern life. 
Unfortunately, it is the inanities that lend themselves 
to quotation. I give a small anthology, by way of 
showing other clever young gentlemen how not to do it : 
" He has the wealth of a Dives and the manners of a Dustman." 
" He owns several clubs and restaurants. There are more 
waiters than people in the clubs, and more people than waiters 
in the restaurants." 

"I must say that these people who get the best of everybody 
give the best of everything." 

" Before dinner, one thinks ; after dinner, one drinks." 

" To keep the happy mean is generally to be meanly happy." 


"Marriage is an extravagance for a man, a necessity for a 

" The Old Bailey is the new Bull- Ring." 

" Societies are the curse of society." 

" How can you give up love and liberty for domesticity and 

" In the old times the aristocracy looked upon trade as a 
crime ; now they look upon crime as a trade." 

" Am I what I look, or do I look what I am ?" 

The very brightest scintillations I find in my note- 
book are the parvenu's remark, "It seems I can't 
belong to a club unless the club belongs to me," and 
Lord Cyril Sieveking's lament for some one who 
" married an American with an accent like a banjo." 
The really good things of the dialogue, growing, as 
they necessarily must, out of the interplay of character 
and situation, cannot thus be torn from their context. 

Miss Olga Brandon did not seem to be at her best 
in the part of Mrs Van Duccat, in which, however, 
there was very little for the actress to take hold of. 
She showed a good deal of emotional power in the 
last act. Miss Florence Friend was pleasant as the 
victim of the diamond-necklace intrigue, and Miss 
Carlotta Addison was excellent as a British matron of 
the advanced type. Mr Anson played the millionaire 
with his usual grotesque vigour ; Mr Charles Glenney 
portrayed the hero in such a way as to make the 
vulgarism " If I hadn't have loved you " seem quite 
natural in his mouth ; and Messrs Cosmo Stuart and 
Cecil Ramsey contributed passable pieces of comedy. 




Pall Mall Budget, 6th December. 
" WHEN ignorance can be turned to account, the wise 
man will make no pretence of knowledge." I cannot 
give you the exact reference for this pregnant saying 
of Euripides, but somewhere or other in his works I 
am sure you will find it as Nora Helmer was sure 
that somewhere or other in the law-books you would 
find it written that forgery with a good motive was 
rather laudable than otherwise. The apophthegm, at 
any rate, is quite worthy of Euripides, and I cheerfully 
act up to it. If the check takers at the Theatre Royal, 
Cambridge, had been instructed to exclude every one 
who could not construe a simple piece of Greek say 
a passage from' Xenophon my anabasis to the Iphi- 
genia in Tauris * would have been summarily barred. 
I could have repeated the Lord's Prayer in Greek, but 
that accomplishment might not have been held proof 
positive of my fitness to criticise a performance of 
Euripides. In brief, I had just enough of Greek to 
enable me to follow the performance in the crib with- 
out hopelessly losing the place. The play itself I had 
read long ago in a German translation, but I had 
forgotten it utterly. "Why, then," you ask, "make 

* November 30. 


these disgraceful confessions ? Why not either ' smug 
it up,' or say nothing about it ? " Simply because my 
ignorance was, in its way, a godsend. Who has not 
wished that he could come with an absolutely fresh 
mind to a play of Shakespeare's, his perceptions 
unblunted by long familiarity, unhampered by tradi- 
tional reverence? This was precisely my position 
with regard to Euripides. I recognised a fine and 
provident instinct in that temperate application to 
Hellenic studies which my short-sighted pastors and 
masters used to stigmatise as laziness. 

Here was I, then, precisely in the position of a 
barbarian who had chanced to stray into the Theatre 
of Dionysus somewhere in the latter half of the fifth 
century B.C. The lyrical, and even the rhythmical, 
element in the drama would be more or less lost upon 
him ; but the smattering of Greek he had picked up 
would enable him to follow the dramatic action, and 
arrive at some understanding of the sort of pleasure 
which the playwright aimed at giving, and the audience 
appeared to receive. He would know, in a general 
way, that Euripides was a poet of high repute ; but he 
would also have gathered that there was an opposition 
party to whom, in the words of its latest representative, 
Mr Swinburne, he was "the dreariest of playwrights 
if that term be not over-complimentary for the 
clumsiest of botchers that ever floundered through 
his work as a dramatist." He would thus approach 


the play with a perfectly even mind, and be able, 
from his barbarian point of view, to form an estimate 
of its purely dramatic qualities which might not be 
without its interest even for the expert Athenian 
critic. It is always instructive to make abstraction 
of the literary integuments of a drama, and see it in 
its bare bones, so to speak, as a representation in 
action of human character and destiny. 

The first thing that strikes this barbarian is that 
there is a great deal more destiny than character in 
the play. In fact, character can scarcely be said to 
enter into the matter at all. Iphigenia has no charac- 
teristics that are not plainly dictated by the action ; 
Orestes and Pylades are Tweedledum and Tweedledee, 
differentiated only by external circumstances ; and 
Thoas is nothing but the simple-minded savage who 
exists for the sake of being hoodwinked by the wily 
Hellene. "Ah, your Greek wits," he says, "how 
quick they are ! " little knowing that Iphigenia is 
inventing on the spur of the moment the very trivial 
instance of sagacity which he applauds. The Athenian 
audience must have chuckled over the compliment, so 
much better deserved than the ingenuous Scythian 
imagined ; and that chuckle, and not any illustration 
of character, was evidently the effect at which the poet 
aimed. In the first scene between Orestes and Pylades, 
Orestes, appalled by the difficulties of their adventure, 
suggests instant flight, and Pylades has to screw his 


courage to the sticking-place ; but here again a mere 
momentary effect, rhetorical rather than dramatic, is 
intended, since there is no attempt in the sequel to 
carry through the suggestion that Orestes is irresolute 
and Pylades a man of steadfast mettle. Compare, or 
rather contrast, the way in which Shakespeare sustains 
the characters of Hamlet and Horatio ! The essential 
difference between Goethe's and Euripides' Iphigenia 
is that the whole development of the German play 
depends upon character. 

The poet's effort, then, is to keep the audience 
amused by an interesting story, set forth with the aid 
of several approved theatrical devices. First we have 
the device of the misinterpreted oracle ; but Euripides 
merely plays with it for a moment and passes on. 
The irony of the thing vanishes when Iphigenia's 
seemingly bodeful dream proves to be in reality auspi- 
cious. In the CEdipus Tyrannus and Macbeth, which 
are tragedies, not popular entertainments, the seem- 
ingly auspicious oracles prove to be bodeful of doom. 
Then we have a skilful little scene of exposition 
between Orestes and Pylades (note how, in the 
absence of play-bills, they are careful to name each 
other at the very outset); then a brief lyric lamenta- 
tion, a sort of aria, for Iphigenia, followed by one of 
those long passages of animated narration the Herds- 
man's account of the frenzy of Orestes and his capture 
in which it is evident that Greek audiences must 


have taken great delight. These " messenger scenes " 
are sometimes considered to have been forced upon 
the Greek dramatists by the " unity of place"; but the 
careful development of such a passage as this proves 
that the narratives were not simply mechanical neces- 
sities for advancing the plot, but were inherently, and 
even potently, attractive. The Herdsman having 
departed, a pathetic recitation for Iphigenia, describ- 
ing the sacrifice at Aulis, brings us up to the first 
choral ode. 

The second act, or episode, is a piece of singularly 
modern stagecraft its opening scene worthy of Victor 
Hugo, its conclusion of Scribe. I have somewhere 
heard or read of a Danish settlement in Greenland to 
which only one ship a year is despatched from the 
mother country. It happened that in 1870 the ship 
set sail immediately after the declaration of war 
between France and Germany, so that for a whole 
year the Greenland colonists knew that Europe was in 
flames, but were shut off from every rumour as to the 
progress of events. Then, in the autumn of 1871, the 
ship made her annual reappearance, and the whole 
story of the Terrible Year Worth, Gravelotte, Sedan, 
the Siege of Paris, and the Commune, the collapse of 
one empire, and the creation of another had to be 
poured forth in a breath, as it were, to the awe-stricken 
recluses. This is precisely the situation of the opening 
scene between Iphigenia and Orestes, with the added 


circumstance that the person on whom this avalanche 
of world-history descends has a keen personal interest 
in the events narrated. Iphigenia has been rapt to the 
Greenland of her day at the very outset of the Trojan 
expedition ; Ilium is now in ruins, Achilles is dead, 
Calchas is dead, Ulysses is " missing," her father has 
fallen by her mother's hand, her mother by her 
brother's ; and all this she learns in less time than it 
takes me to write the words ! And remember that all 
this was at once poetry and history to the audience, 
that the very names would stir their blood, bringing 
with them a thousand associations of glory, of terror 
in a word, of romance ! Apart from character and 
passion, what more magnificent dramatic effect could 
be conceived ? It was here that Goethe, partly because 
he did not write for a Hellenic audience, but mainly 
because his stagecraft was inferior, fell far short of 

The recognition scene, again, with the device of the 
letter, is manipulated with an ingenuity worthy of 
Scribe or Sardou ; but at this point Goethe, who 
makes the recognition depend on no chain of chances, 
but on the character of Orestes, had the artistic, if not 
the scenic, advantage. Then we have what may be 
called a telling domestic scene in the raptures of the 
long-lost brother and sister ; after which a passage of 
consultation, of plotting, brings the episode to a close. 
In the first scene of the third act, the audience is 


entertained, and its sense of national astuteness is 
flattered, by Iphigenia's hoodwinking of Thoas " for 
they held the grey barbarian lower than the Grecian 
child " ; while in the last scene of all the poet reverts 
to narrative, and the "angelos" delivers a recitation 
which might have been written by Mr Rudyard Kipling 
for style, by Mr Rider Haggard for matter. The 
piling up of obstacles to the escape of the fugitives is 
exactly in Mr Haggard's manner. One difficulty over- 
come, another crops up; until at last the Dea ex 
machina appears to secure the happy ending, and so 
flatter the national spirit once more by bringing these 
events of the heroic age into direct relation with the 
life of the present. 

Yes, it is very easy to understand how the Iphigenia 
in Tauris must have been vastly entertaining to an 
Athenian audience. It is a Volksstuck of the first 
order. I don't know whether its reception is on 
record, but unless the judges were absurdly superior 
persons, I think they must have awarded it the prize. 
Whether it can be very profitably presented by under- 
graduates on the narrow stage of the Cambridge 
Theatre is another question. You must know that 
Greek acting at Cambridge, like all acting all the 
world over, has had its palmy days. One hears 
thrilling accounts of the achievements of Messrs 
Stephen and Macklin in the Ajax, and fascinating 
legends of the performance of The Birds. I myself 


saw the Eumenides some years ago ; it was scenically 
more effective than the Iphigenia, and with a lady 
"dea certa" for Athene, it presented fewer elements of 
the ridiculous. The performance of last Friday was 
most creditable to all concerned ; what earnestness, 
taste, and enthusiasm could do was done without fail ; 
but these excellent qualities are powerless to convert 
men into women or amateurs into actors. The music, 
by Mr Charles Wood, pleased me very much, and I am 
assured by those who know that I " had a right " to be 
pleased ; but music, to tell the truth, is Greek to me. 
I wish I could say that Cambridge Greek was music. 
Even apart from the terrible banality of the vowel 
sounds, the ruthless Englishness of intonation is 
destructive of all illusion. May I suggest that if the 
promoters of the Greek plays, instead of merely amus- 
ing their little academic world, wish to render a real 
service to art, they will at least attempt a return to 
something approaching the original conditions of 
representation? Let them boldly revert (after due 
experiment) to the mask, the cothurnus, and the 
hieratic robe. Let them instruct their actors to intone 
instead of bow-wowing their speeches. Let them 
(athletics permitting) reserve their performances for a 
more genial season, hire a commodious circus-tent, 
build a wooden stage after the Greek proportions, and 
assign the chorus its proper place in the arena. The 
parts would then be recited by trained singers instead 


of untrained actors; the sex difficulty would be got 
over just as it was in Attica ; and we should be spared 
the incongruities of a heroic play treated like a modern 
comedietta by unmitigated undergraduates in Liberty 
frocks. The performances might at first, and even at 
last, seem grotesque ; but, frankly, they could not be 
more grotesque than that of last week, and they would 
be much more instructive. 



i2th December. 

MR GEORGE BANCROFT, whose maiden effort as a 
dramatist was produced at the Court Theatre on 
Saturday evening, is refreshingly careless of the as- 
pirations and affectations of the time. The Birthday* 
is modest almost to the point of bashfulness. It is 
all flowers and sunshine, benevolence, manliness, and 
innocence. One was prepared for a hereditary bias 
in the direction of teacup-and-saucer comedy; but 
really Mr Bancroft seems almost to have omitted the 
tea from his concoction, and given us only the cream 
and sugar. There is a touch of character in this 
proceeding which I cannot but applaud. It takes 
some courage for a young man of to-day to dally with 

* December 8 21. 

"THE RED LAMP." 333 

the innocence of love as though he believed in it. 
An affectation of callow cynicism is so much cheaper 
and showier. We are getting just a little tired of 
le Byron de nos jours, who leaves Harrow a man of 
the world, and Cambridge a decadent for whom life 
has no secrets and love no illusions. Amiability 
alone, however, does not make a playwright, and 
The Birthday gives but scant evidence of specific 
talent on its author's part. The end of the play 
shows a pretty fancy and a light touch ; for the rest 
it presents nothing very noteworthy, either in con- 
ception or in handling. It was well played by 
Mr W. H. Day, Mr Draycott, and especially by Miss 
Dora de Winton, who showed real grace and sim- 
plicity. The revival of the Aide-Carre farce, Dr Bill* 
which started Mr George Alexander on his prosperous 
career, went very merrily with Mr Hawtrey in Mr 
Alexander's part, Miss Lottie Venne in Miss Fanny 
Brough's part, and Miss Edith Kenward in her own 
original part of the Kangaroo Girl. 


i^th December. 

IT might have brought balm to the wounded spirit 
of " X. Y. Z.," and all the other letters of the alphabet 

* December 8 January 9, 1895. 


who have been bewailing in the Times the deprava- 
tion of public taste, could they have seen the enormous 
audience that filled the Haymarket last Thursday 
afternoon to applaud those chaste and breezy master- 
pieces, The Red Lamp and The Ballad- Monger* No 
one could desire a better confutation of the theory 
that it is the unholy attraction of Kate Cloud's " past" 
that draws the public to John-a- Dreams. There is 
neither an " opium-drinking sot" nor a " partially- 
reclaimed harlot " in The Red Lamp. There is no 
allusion whatever to any sins of the flesh, past, 
present, or future. The sentiment on which the play 
turns is a sister's devotion to her brother ; and the 
love-interest, properly so called, is not only quite 
subsidiary, but of absolutely Robertsonian purity. 
We hear a good deal of political crimes, it is true, 
but the only vice that comes within our ken is 
cigarette-smoking. In brief, there is nothing "ques- 
tionable " about the play except its talent and yet 
the impious and horrific John-a-Dreams certainly 
could not have drawn a better audience. The truth 
is that the public has a depraved taste for being 
interested and amused, and will flock to any theatre 
that happens to be in vogue, where a fairly enter- 

* Played at matinees, December 6 and 13., On the afternoons 
of December 20 and 26 The Merry Wives of Windsor was 
performed. Two evening performances of Hamlet (December 
28 and 29) brought the season to a close. 

"THE RED LAMP." 335 

taining play is presented. It has got over the silly 
prudishness of " X. Y. Z." and the other unknown 
quantities, but it has no morbid hankering after ladies 
with a history. What it hankers after is poignant 
drama, the clash of emotions, will battling against 
will; and we all know that breaches of the social 
and moral code are particularly fruitful of such dra- 
matic conflicts. The rational-minded public sees no 
reason why this whole category of subjects should be 
placed under a taboo ; but it is the veriest folly to 
pretend that any one takes a prurient or vicious interest 
in The Second Mrs Tanqueray or John-a- Dreams, 
simply because Paula and Kate Cloud happen to 
have been women of irregular life. In this contro- 
versy, Mr Haddon Chambers is paying the penalty 
of defective art. His play is so ill-considered and 
ill-developed as to give a little colour to the conten- 
tion that he has dragged in his heroine's " past" 
merely to pander to some perversion of taste in his 
audience. It is not because Kate Cloud is a woman 
with a past, but rather because she obviously is not, 
that the voice of the outraged " X. Y. Z." is heard 
in the land. We feel that there is no necessity for her 
past, that it does not really belong to her, that it is 
invented in cold blood, as it were, in obedience to 
some extrinsic, inartistic, illogical motive. "X. Y. Z." 
assumes the motive to have been a desire to attract 
a morbid-minded public by dealing with indelicate 


topics ; whereas the author's real motive was simply 
to bring about a telling melodramatic situation. He 
required some obstacle between his hero and his 
heroine in order to give the villain time to work out 
his machinations ; and he simply grasped at the first 
obstacle that came in his way, without the least idea 
of subverting public morals, calling the blush of shame 
to the cheek of " X. Y. Z.," or in any way setting the 
Thames or the Times on fire. And I have very little 
doubt that it is precisely the melodramatic situation 
the thing which in my eyes, drags fohn-a- Dreams 
down to the level of The Red Lamp that makes the 
public crowd to Mr Chambers's play just as they did 
on Thursday last to Mr Outram Tristram's. It would 
be too much to pretend that there is no greater 
interest in the character and situation of Kate Cloud 
than in the character and situation of the Princess 
Claudia Morakoff. We feel no pressing need for 
adjusting our attitude towards Nihilism and tyran- 
nicide, so that the moral problems suggested by The 
Red Lamp seem to us rather remote and abstract. 
All of us, on the other hand, are more or less 
frequently called upon to form an opinion, and pur- 
sue a certain line of conduct, with reference to 
persons who have infringed the dominant moral and 
social codes. The question of our attitude towards 
the Paula Tanquerays and Kate Clouds of this world 
is anything but remote and abstract; therefore the 

"THE RED LAMP." 337 

history of Kate Cloud, however unconvincingly pre- 
sented, is more actual to us, than the history of 
Claudia Morakoff. "X. Y. Z.," no doubt, would 
have us pretend that we never have the least occasion, 
in decent society, to consider such questions ; but 
the common-sense of even Puritan England has long 
ago risen in rebellion against this ostrich-like hypo- 
crisy. There is not a word in John-a- Dreams I 
wish I could say as much for all the other popular 
entertainments of the day not a word that is unfitted 
for the ears of any person who is old enough to 
go to a "grown-up" theatre at all. As my readers 
may remember indeed, I have hinted as much in 
this article my opinion of the play as a work of art 
is none of the highest. But as for calling it a " sickly 
immorality," and a " desecration " to the stage 
rendered illustrious by the spotless refinement of 
" Buckstone and Sothern," " X. Y. Z." must excuse 
me if I quote from that esteemed classic, The Vicar 
of Wakefield, Mr Burchell's expressive monosyllable of 
" Fudge ! " It would be interesting to know, by the 
way, whether the Misses " X. Y. Z." are permitted to 
read the story of Olivia? No doubt the episode of 
Lady Blarney and Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia 
Skeggs is blacked out, after the fashion of the Russian 
censorship, in the " X. Y. Z." edition. 

I went to The Red Lamp, not to test the theories 
of the alphabetical Jeremiahs of the Times, but to see 



Miss Janet Achurch's performance of the heroine, of 
which I had heard excellent accounts. It is a very 
strong and vivid piece of acting, quite in the tone 
of the play, and full of emotional self-abandonment. 
It seemed to me, too, that Miss Achurch had im- 
proved in the management of her voice, which used 
sometimes to ring a little false in moments of ex- 
citement. Mr Tree's Demetrius remains an admirable 
piece of grotesque character-acting, and Mr Nutcombe 
Gould made an excellent Ivan Zazzulic. 

Mr H. M. Paull has contributed a new curtain-raiser 
to the bill at the Vaudeville, where The New Boy 
reached its three hundred and fiftieth performance on 
Saturday night. Hal the Highwayman* is distinctly 
above the average of its class, and passes half an hour 
very agreeably. I was a little disappointed, I own, 
that Kitty Carter did not soften down at the close, 
repent of her jealous frenzy, and stand by the others 
in furthering the highwayman's escape. Mr Paull 
seemed even to lead up to the situation in which 
Kitty, called upon to identify Handsome Hal, should 
declare that she had never set eyes on the gentleman 
before. This I take to be the conclusion demanded, 
not, perhaps, by the logic of character, but by the 
tradition, the convention if you will, of this class of 
work. There is no room for such development of 
character as should render one thing inevitable, the 

* December 15. Still running. 


other impossible ; and the choice being left open, the 
author might fairly have chosen the pleasanter con- 
clusion, and at the same time given his actress an 
additional opportunity. The frankness with which 
Kitty confessed to Celia the secret of her treachery 
seemed to me improbable ; but, on the whole, the 
little piece is well put together and well written. Miss 
Helena Dacre showed real ability as the "woman 
scorned," Miss Esme Beringer was pleasant as Celia, 
Mr T. Kingston made a dashing highwayman, and Mr 
J. L. Mackay's stable-boy was a clever bit of broad 



Pall Mall Budget, zoth December. 
WAGNER and Sir Arthur Sullivan are my favourite 
composers; and if I put Wagner first, it is only by 
right of seniority. Perhaps, on the whole, if I had my 
choice, I would rather have composed Tristan und 
Isolde than Pinafore. And yet, I don't know Pina- 
fore is so much more companionable. You can whistle 
it from end to end ; whereas you can't at least /can't 
whistle Tristan und Isolde. It is a " good joy " in 
the theatre, but it's of no use whatever on a lonely 
road after nightfall. For Sir Arthur Sullivan, at any 
rate, from the date of Trial by Jury onwards, I have 
cherished a warm and grateful admiration ; but never 


did he so imperatively claim both admiration and 
gratitude as last Wednesday night at the Savoy. To 
him, and to him alone, we owed a delightful evening. 
If Mr Burnand's lines can in any valid sense be said 
to have inspired his collaborator's graceful, and jocund, 
and witty and exhilarating rhythms, then much may 
be forgiven him ; but as I glance down number after 
number in the libretto, my wonder grows at the art 
which can steep such jingle-jangles in melody and 
merriment. The " lyrics " in their musical setting are 
veritable flies in amber. 

One is prepared beforehand to apply a modest 
critical standard to the work of Mr Burnand. He is 
a man of his period; and his period say, 1855 to 
1875 was one of absolute indifference to common- 
sense and literary form in burlesque. Planche had 
almost ceased to write, Gilbert had barely begun. 
The stage was given over to happy-go-lucky, irrespon- 
sible improvisations, some of them showing a sort of 
slap-dash cleverness, but all relying far more on the 
talent of the comedians than on the invention or wit 
of the author. The pun reigned supreme ; and when 
the good puns had all been exhausted, there arose a 
convenient theory that the worse and more idiotic a 
pun was, the more " mirth-provoking " it became. We 
hear amazing tales of the rapidity with which this or 
that successful extravaganza was written ; but when we 
turn to the libretto, we cease to be amazed at the 


rapidity it is the success that astounds us. " It may 
be interesting to know," writes Mr Burnand in the 
preface to The Chieftain* "that The Contrabandista 
[of which the new extravaganza is an expanded ver- 
sion] was written, composed, and produced in sixteen 
days." It is interesting to know that in 1867 authors 
had so little respect for their art, and managers for 
their public. One only wishes that Mr Burnand 
would take some interest in the still more important 
fact that the pun, as a " mirth-pro voker," is dead, and 
that the palmy days of improvisation are past. 

There would be something touching in Mr Burnand's 
faithfulness to the pun, if one felt that his will were in 
any way concerned in it. But he has probably come 
to think in puns, just as Mr Swinburne has come to 
think in epithet-laden antitheses. We can no more 
alter an inveterate habit of mind than we can assume 
a new handwriting at will. We can at best laboriously 
and temporarily disguise it. His dialogue, then, and 
his versification, must be regarded as matters more or 
less beyond Mr Burnand's control ; not so the utter 
futility of his comic invention. There is no reason in 
the world why, even on the somewhat crazy ground- 
work of The Contrabandista, he should not have raised 
a more coherent and shapely superstructure than The 
Chieftain. He had only to take a little more time and 
thought ; but thought is precisely what Mr Burnand 

* December 12. Still running. 


declines to expend upon the playgojng public. No- 
thing feebler or more childish than the story of The 
Chieftain can possibly be imagined. Verisimilitude, 
of course, one does not look for; but humour and 
ingenuity are equally absent. With music less masterly 
than Sir Arthur Sullivan's, how it would have bored us ! 
As it was, the music redeemed everything. There 
was something a little i867-ish, I thought, about one 
or two of the numbers in the first act. But the finale 
brought the house down, and the second act was a 
delight from beginning to end, each number more 
sparkling than the last. Sir Arthur Sullivan is surely 
the most polyglot composer on record. He can write 
music in any language under the sun, and always with 
equal grace and felicity. We left the theatre charmed, 
after congratulating all concerned upon a brilliant 
success. It is precisely lest this success should re- 
establish the tradition of the Inept Libretto that I 
have spoken my mind so emphatically on Mr Bur- 
nand's share in it. When the collaborators came 
before the curtain, the composer, not yet recovered 
from his sprain, appeared to the physical eye to be 
leaning heavily on the librettist's arm. To the mental 
vision, the positions were reversed, and Sir Arthur 
Sullivan seemed to be tripping gaily and gracefully 
along, carrying Mr Burnand, a dead weight, on his 




26/7* December. 

WHY does Dr Conan Doyle only trifle with the stage ? 
He has evidently " the gift," and it is anti-social and 
indefensible in any one who can write good plays not 
to do so with all his might. The country swarms 
with excellent story-tellers, and every month brings 
forth a new one ; but we can tell our dramatists on 
our fingers, not counting the thumbs. For my own 
part, I have a strong liking for what I know of Dr 
Conan Doyle's work, but he is not one of the great 
artists whom Fiction cannot afford to lend, even for 
the briefest term, to her poverty-stricken sister. If he 
can write three acts with anything like the felicity of 
touch of which he has given proof in two one-act 
pieces, his position on the stage would soon be quite 
as honourable as his position in literature, and cer- 
tainly no less lucrative. The Story of Waterloo* 
which Mr Irving produced for 'the first time in 
London at the Garrick matinee in aid of the Newport 
Market Refuge, more than confirmed the opinion of 
his ability which his comedietta of Foreign Policy, 
produced last year under Mr Charrington's manage- 
ment, led us to entertain. The idea is charming, 

* December 17. 


and the dialogue is nervous, delicately humorous, 
and, in the good sense of the word, eminently 
theatrical or scenic. Even with an actor of quite 
ordinary talent in the part of the Waterloo veteran, 
I have no doubt that the little piece would get well 
over the footlights.' The only theatrical quality of 
which it gives no definite proof is power of construc- 
tion. For this there is scarcely room in a play 
which is little more than a monologue; but if the 
inventor of Sherlock Holmes does not possess the 
constructive faculty, I should like to know who 
does. Mr Irving's performance of Corporal Gregory 
Brewster is a carefully elaborated and admirably sus- 
tained piece of character-acting, showing the subtlest 
sympathy with the author's humour. It is to my 
thinking the finest thing Mr Irving has done in 
comedy if comedy it can be called a thing by no 
means to be slighted merely because the play is 
short. What I liked least, both in the author's 
conception and the actor's execution, was the very 
end. I wonder if it would not have been more 
artistic to have left the old man alive ? It is natural 
enough, no doubt, that he should join his comrades 
and " the Dook," and one hopes he did not go 
without his flag and his firing party ; but the end is, 
nevertheless, theatrical, and too clearly foreseen to be 
very effective. Mr Irving was ably supported by 
Miss Annie Hughes and Mr Fuller Mellish. 


A performance of The Vicarage, Mr Clement Scott's 
pleasantly-written adaptation of Feuillet's Le Village, 
preceded Dr Doyle's piece, Mr and Mrs Bancroft and 
Mr Arthur Cecil appearing in their original parts. 
Never was play more admirably cast. The quiet 
dignity of Mrs Bancroft's playing after she learns of 
the plot against the peaceful life of the vicarage is 
very touching ; Mr Cecil never did anything more 
delightful than his embodiment of the simple-minded 
Vicar ; and Mr Bancroft is perfect as the selfish but 
good-hearted bachelor who comes near to playing the 
serpent in this elderly Eden. 


EIGHTEEN-NINETY-FOUR has not been such a stirring 
and memorable year in the theatrical world as was 
eighteen-ninety-three. The difference can be summed 
up very briefly, thus : 



1893. 1894. 

The Second Mrs Tanqueray. Nothing. 

The Amazons. 

A Woman of No Importance. Nothing. 

Robin Goodfellow. Nothing. 


The Bauble Shop. The Masqueraders. 

The Tempter. The Case of Rebellious Susan. 

Sowing the Wind. An Old Jew. 

The New Woman. 



1893. l8 94- 

Becket (Lyceum). Nothing at Lyceum. 

The Foresters (Daly's). Twelfth Night (Daly's). 


The Master Builder (New). Nothing new. 
Rosmersholm. The Wild Duck. 

Hedda Gabler. A Dolt's House (in German). 

Brand (Fourth Act). 
An Enemy of the People. 
A Doll's House (in English 
and Italian). 


The Strike at Arlingford. The Heirs of Rabourdin. 

Alan's Wife. The Wild Duck. 


A Question of Memory. 

The Blafk Cat. 

Eleanora Duse. Eleanura Duse. 

The entire Comedie Sarah Bernhardt. 

Franchise. Madame Rejane. 

It appears, then, that in no department has 1894 a 
marked advantage over 1893, while in some it stands 
at a marked disadvantage. To my thinking, indeed, 
the one event of interest in 1894 which had no 
counterpart in the previous year, was the production 
of Mr George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man. 
Not that I think that "romantic comedy" sufficient, 
on its own merits, to render the year illustrious ; but 
it certainly revealed a new and peculiar talent, and 


may possibly be remembered (I have more than 
merely speculative grounds for this prophecy) as the 
forerunner of other plays, equally characteristic and 
much more accomplished. 

I am far from suggesting that the comparative 
barrenness of 1894 is a fact of any particular signifi- 
cance. On the contrary, it is purely fortuitous. A 
year is in reality an arbitrary division, so far as 
theatrical history is concerned. If we were to revert 
to the old method of reckoning by " seasons " from 
summer to summer we should arrive at a quite 
different result. Then The Second Mrs Tanqueray 
would fall within the season 1892-93, and its successor 
from the same pen (we may confidently hope) within 
the season 1894-95, leaving the intermediate 1893-94 
without any contribution from Mr Pinero. Similarly 
Becket would fall to 1892-93, King Arthur to 1894-95, 
and the intermediate season would have no Lyceum 
production wherewith to adorn its record. It happens 
that Mr Pinero has taken longer than usual over his 
new play ; it happens that Mr Irving found it more 
convenient to produce King Arthur in January 1895 
than in December 1894. To draw any auguries 
from these chances would be absurd, unless, perhaps, 
we read an augury for good in Mr Pinero's determina- 
tion to give ample time and thought to his next venture. 
If The Second Mrs Tanqueray had been a failure, 
and his silence had been due to discouragement, then, 


indeed, we should have had to record a serious check 
to the dramatic movement. As it is, there is no sign 
of even the slightest relaxation in our rate of advance. 
Public interest in the stage is undiminished, and there 
is certainly no decline in the average of intelligent 
receptivity. Taking the productions of the year all 
round, we find that merit and success have been 
approximately commensurate. The Old Criticism 
has continued to exercise, in some respects, a hurtful 
influence ; but where it has succeeded in killing a 
piece of able work, it has always been helped by 
some inherent weakness, whether of conception or 
of representation. We may safely declare, in short, 
that a steadily increasing amount of brain-power is 
being applied to dramatic production, and that there 
is no sign of the tendency having met with any check 
during the past twelvemonth. 

Still, the fact remains that this volume presents the 
record of a comparatively lean year. Some friendly 
critics, whose judgment I cannot but respect, found 
that its predecessor, though dealing with an excep- 
tionally fat year, contained such a preponderance of 
trivial and ephemeral matter as to render very ques- 
tionable its right to exist. What these critics will say 
of this volume, I tremble to think. Their premises, 
of course, are incontestable ; but I venture to put 
forward one or two pleas which may conceivably 
mitigate the trenchancy of their conclusion, 


There is, at first sight, an air of audacity in the 
very idea of such a year-book. Better men than I 
are engaged year after year in the criticism of the 
other arts ; yet none of them dreams of making an 
annual collection of his articles. What right have I 
to imagine that mine are worth garnering, while theirs 
are suffered to drift like autumn leaves before the 
wind, and presently to rest in the " cold obstruction " 
of dust-covered newspaper-files ? Why should I go 
pretentiously to oblivion in volume-form, instead of 
accepting it quietly, like my betters, in the natural 
course of journalistic things ? 

These questions would be quite unanswerable if the 
interest and vitality of criticism were strictly propor- 
tionate to the talent of the critic. But that is not the 
case. Subject must also be taken into account ; and 
I venture to suggest that, as a subject for criticism, 
the drama possesses certain advantages over all the 
other arts. 

The subjects with which criticism is commonly 
concerned are, roughly speaking, four : music, plastic 
and pictorial art, literature, and the drama. This is 
obviously an unscientific classification. The circles 
of music and the drama overlap, and the drama is, 
after all, included in the wider circle of literature. 
But we find, in practice, that the four departments 
indicated engage the attention of four different classes 
of specialists. What, then, are the characteristics of 


these four departments, regarded as materials or 
bases for the parasitic art of criticism ? A clear dis- 
tinction at once suggests itself between music and 
painting, on the one hand, and literature and the 
drama on the other. Criticism of music and painting 
is very largely a criticism of technique, of execution ; 
criticism of literature and the drama is, or ought to 
be, very largely a criticism of life. It is true that all 
competent discussion of music and painting must 
rest on a wide foundation of aesthetic theory, and that 
in formulating and expounding their different theories, 
many critics have produced works of great and endur- 
ing value. But when the critic is no longer philo- 
sophising at leisure, but chronicling, so to speak, the 
musical or pictorial productions of the day or of the 
week, he has seldom time or space to refer back to 
principles. He passes from picture to picture, from 
performance to performance, approving or disapprov- 
ing, as the case may be, and producing a series of 
marginal notes, rather than a sustained analysis or 
argument. The art-critic goes to a given exhibition 
and writes a sort of gossiping or judicial catalogue 
of the pictures which attract his attention. His work 
may be full of observation, penetration, knowledge, 
wit ; but it is essentially and inevitably scrappy. He 
will often dismiss a hundred pictures in a couple of 
articles ; this whole volume deals with just about a 
hundred plays. It is very seldom that, in his jour- 


nalistic capacity, he has any occasion to write a 
serious and carefully-developed essay on a single 
theme. When he wants to do so to use a given 
picture as the text for an aesthetic dissertation, or to 
study in their sequence the works of a particular 
painter he at once writes either a magazine article 
or a book. The musical critic, again, in his capacity 
as a chronicler of passing events, is chiefly concerned 
with technical details of execution, as opposed to 
creation. The appraisement of this or that individual 
performance, instead of being relegated to a brief 
paragraph at the end of an article, is apt to furnish 
the body and substance of his work. Virtuosity is 
his main theme ; and virtuosity is a matter of evanes- 
cent, though for the moment absorbing, interest. 
Even when he has a new creation to deal with, his 
criticism is largely technical, and bears but a proble- 
matic relation to life a relation which becomes more 
definite, indeed, in proportion as the work in question 
approaches to literature, and especially to drama, by 
taking the form of oratorio, opera, or song. I am far 
from denying that a man of genius may make even 
a newspaper notice of the Royal Academy or of a 
" Monday Pop." permanently valuable and delightful ; 
all I maintain is that it assuredly takes a man of 
genius to do so. Mr Bernard Shaw (why should I 
refrain from expressing an opinion so germane to my 
present point ?) has to my thinking a peculiar genius 


for bringing day-by-day musical criticism into vital 
relation with aesthetics at large, and even with ethics 
and politics in a word, with life and the fact that 
he cannot be goaded into making a collection of, or 
selection from, his articles, is, I own, somewhat of 
a rebuke to me. But my suggestion is that, even 
assuming Mr Shaw to be right, it does not follow that 
I am wrong. He has the advantage in talent, I in 
theme. He deals, with the art which is furthest from 
life, I with that which is nearest to it. Of course it 
would not tax Mr Shaw's ingenuity to prove that the 
reverse is the case ; but the sense in which I use the 
terms " furthest " and " nearest " is, I hope, sufficiently 
clear. To state the matter briefly, music is the most 
absolute of the arts, drama one of the most relative ; 
and it is much easier to write interestingly of the 
relative than of the absolute. 

" But," it may be urged, " there is not, or need not 
be, anything technical, abstruse, or scrappy in the 
criticism of literature. It forms a large part of the 
life-work of many eminent and brilliant writers ; yet 
not one of them not Mr Lang, nor Mr Saintsbury, 
nor Mr Theodore Watts, nor Mr Traill, nor Mr 
Quiller-Couch issues a 'Year-Book of Literature.' 
The drama, in its present condition, is certainly 
very far from being the most important or flourish- 
ing branch of English letters. Why should we be 
supposed to want a yearly chronicle of the theatrical 


world, when the much larger and more fruitful 
domain of poetry and fiction is left unchronicled, 
not, certainly, for want of able historiographers ? " 
To this I can only answer that the temptation to 
collect these essays lies precisely in the fact that 
they deal with a limited, clearly-defined, and, so 
to speak, manageable subject. A critical year-book 
of literature, or even of imaginative literature alone, 
as detailed and exhaustive as this record of the drama, 
would be more than any one man could possibly 
accomplish, and would run to something like the bulk 
of the Post Office Directory. The most industrious 
reviewer makes but casual dips into the literary lucky- 
bag ; whereas the critic of the drama takes cognisance 
of every event of the slightest importance in the 
theatrical history of the year. England resembles 
France, and differs from Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, 
and even America, in the extreme centralisation of 
her drama. The whole literary life of the stage (one 
must be allowed to use the term " literary " without 
committing oneself as to the quality of the literature) 
is centred in some dozen or fifteen theatres in the 
West End of London. It is true that a great many 
plays are produced at East End, suburban, and pro- 
vincial theatres ; but they are absolutely ephemeral 
and negligible the " penny dreadfuls " of the drama. 
Within my own experience, I cannot recall a single 
play of the slightest importance that has been pro- 


duced out of the West End of London. Now and 
then, when a company happens to be on tour, it will 
give a few performances of a play not yet seen in 
town ; but these are little more than public rehearsals, 
preparatory to the London production. To all intents 
and purposes, at any rate, the seed-plot of the English 
drama may be said to fall within, and well within, the 
two-mile radius from Charing Cross. To record the 
year's occurrences within an area extending from 
Oxford Street to the Thames, and from the Law 
Courts to Sloane Square, is to write the history of the 
English drama for that year, " as it strikes a ontem- 
porary." All the higher theatrical life of the pro- 
vinces draws its nourishment from this centre, and 
words first spoken in the Strand will presently echo 
eastward and westward to the shores of the Pacific. 
I am not vaunting this centralisation as an advantage, 
but merely noting it as a fact. And since this fact 
renders it possible for a man of very ordinary faculties 
and opportunities to give a complete record, within 
reasonable limits, of the heart-beats which send the 
blood coursing through so vast a system, can you 
wonder that it should seem to him a thing worth 
doing? However humbly we may rate it as a branch 
of literature, a form of art, the English drama is un- 
deniably a social institution of the first importance. 
I am no great believer in the direct moral influence 
of drama I doubt whether Don Juan has ever re- 


formed a libertine or L'Assommoir made a drunkard 
sober but the indirect and diffusive influence of the 
ideas and ideals presented on the stage cannot but be 
enormous. When you consider that a successful 
play Mr Jones's Masquer aders, for example, or Mr 
Haddon Chambers's John-a-Dreams will in all pro- 
bability be witnessed by at least a million people all 
the world over in the course of the next ten years, 
you will scarcely deny that the present and future of 
the factory, so to speak, which turns out such widely- 
disseminated wares, is a matter of rational concern. 

The critic of the drama, then, can survey the whole 
field with an exhaustive minuteness impossible to the 
critic who takes for his province the illimitable ex- 
panse of literature. And he can not only survey it : 
he may not unreasonably hope to exercise an appre- 
ciable influence upon its tillage. What literary critic, 
were he Lamb and Arnold and Pater rolled into 
one, could hope to produce a visible effect upon the 
unhasting, unresting, majestic development of English 
literature ! As well think to alter the course of a 
glacier by chipping at its edges. This illustration, I 
grant, goes a little beyond the mark. Great critics 
influence lesser critics, and, though it is doubtful 
whether criticism ever starts an artistic movement, it 
may, in the long run, advance or retard one. But 
only in the long run. It is much if a man, at the 
close of his career, can look back and say, " This 


tendency I helped to foster ; that craze I did some- 
thing to kill." No doubt every word spoken is in 
reality dynamic ; but the object to be influenced is so 
vast, that the activity of an individual critic or group 
of critics produces no measurable and momentary 
effect. The dramatic critic, on the other hand, 
appears to be, and is in a certain sense, making 
history. If literature moves like a glacier, the drama 
may be compared to a mountain brook, babbling 
noisily along, seeming to turn and wind incessantly 
(though its general direction may be constant enough), 
and neither so headlong nor so voluminous but that 
its rush may be checked at this point, hastened at 
that, and here and there, perhaps, diverted into a new 
channel. There is always a certain movement to be 
recorded ; and we may even flatter ourselves that the 
movement is not wholly beyond our control. Some 
critics (this I maintain in spite of paradoxical asser- 
tions to the contrary) have an enormous influence, 
collectively if not individually, over the great mass of 
the theatre-going public. Though they can neither 
crush a very strong play, nor puff a very weak one 
into popularity, they can, and do, make or mar the 
average play, whose fate remains undecided at the 
fall of the curtain. Other writers, who may not have 
gained the ear of the great public, exercise an unmis- 
takable influence upon managers and authors. Thus 
the dramatic critic, far more than his literary co-mate, 


is conscious of having a battle to fight, a policy to 
pursue, an end to strive for ; and this, one may 
perhaps be allowed to hope, tends to give not only a 
certain unity, but a special vivacity, a dash of char- 
acter and human interest, to his lucubrations. From 
day to day, from week to week, he is carrying on a 
campaign ; and his articles, as they come fresh from 
his pen, with all their blunders, all their crudities, all 
their defects of insight, and foresight, and balance, 
and proportion, may still have the direct and first- 
hand interest of despatches from the seat of war. It 
has been my fortune to assist at all the events of any 
moment in the theatrical history of 1894, and in this 
volume I present the sheaf of my special correspond- 
ence. It has at least the merit of completeness 
within its own sphere ; and if it be not at the same 
time readable, the fault lies in the writer, not in his 
theme. , 

And now (as Richie Moniplies puts it), "to promul- 
gate the haill veritie," I must own that this year-book 
is, in my intention, not merely the record, but, as it 
were, the prolongation of a campaign. It is only, or 
chiefly, as it bears upon the future that the past year 
is worth recording. A newspaper criticism is quickly 
read, and as quickly forgotten. It may have produced 
its little effect, whether of assent or dissent, which will 
live on in the reader's habit of thinking and feeling, 
long after the individual utterance has vanished from 


his mind ; but its direct influence ceases- with the day 
or week of the paper's currency. Frankly, then, it is 
in the hope of protracting, and at the same time focus- 
sing, their influence that these articles are collected. 
They one and all, directly or indirectly, make for a 
certain line of policy, which I most potently believe to 
be conducive to the best interests of the English stage. 
In a detached article, this policy can at best appear in 
fragmentary fashion ; I venture to hope that it may 
body itself forth more clearly, and perhaps more per- 
suasively, in the collected effort and thought of a whole 
year. Proselytism is my aim I confess it freely 
but not, I trust, the fierce and narrow proselytism of 
either an orthodoxy or a heterodoxy. I have no 
wish to convert my reader to any particular dogma or 
enthusiasm, but simply to beget or confirm in him a 
liberal, helpful, and hopeful habit of mind in relation 
to the stage, equally remote from lax and cynical 
acceptance of what is base, and from contemptuous 
rejection of what is better, because it falls short, as 
yet, of the ideal best. 

Do I seem to pontify absurdly, talking of the petty 
politics of stageland in a strain that might befit 
imperial themes? Let me remind you once more 
that just because it is petty almost to ludicrousness in 
extent, our stageland is susceptible of influence at the 
hands of any one who brings sympathetic intelligence 
to bear upon it ; while it is well worth influencing by 


reason of the vast sphere throughout which its influ- 
ence, in turn, is felt. A few pages back, I defined 
Stageland as that tract of ground which lies between 
Oxford Street and the Thames, between the Law 
Courts and Sloane Square ; but in so doing I really 
exaggerated its area. It is nothing but a garden 
divided into some dozen or fifteen plots or beds, 
which we name the Lyceum stage, the Haymarket, 
the Garrick, the St James's stage, and so forth. 
Placed side by side, these play-beds, if I may call 
them so, might perhaps make up an expanse of two 
or three acres ; and in this very modest pleasance the 
whole English drama has to be grown. What more 
natural than that we should supervise it with jealous 
care, and find an absorbing interest in trying to enable 
and encourage the different gardeners to cultivate to 
the best advantagk the plots entrusted to them ? Yes, 
entrusted ; for such power as they wield involves a 
species of trust. They are the holders of a monopoly, 
none the less real because it is conferred on them by 
circumstances, not by law. Where the whole space is 
so limited, every inch is of importance. It behoves 
us, then, to be unwearied in urging that every plot 
in our little stage-garden should be devoted to the 
highest form of culture its conditions will admit of; 
and that, even if it grow only the homeliest green- 
stuff, the produce shall at least be fresh and whole- 
some after its kind. That is my reason for including 


in this yearly survey even the most insignificant 
corners of the demesne. 

Clearly, if we are to have any influence upon the 
cultivation of these play-beds, we must attentively 
study their conditions and possibilities. It is futile to 
clamour for pine-apples in a climate suited only for 
cauliflowers, or to insist on a dish of olives for our 
own private delectation, when we know that the effec- 
tive demand is for broad beans. To drop the horti- 
cultural metaphor, the critic who wishes to be more 
than a voice crying in the wilderness, must always be 
a Possiblist ; or at least, if he should now and then 
elect, for the sake of argument, to write as an Impos- 
siblist, he must always know and confess what he is 
about. I am commonly suspected, I know, of being 
a hardened I mpossiblist a sort of critical Will-o'-the- 
Wisp, who would lure into the sloughs of bankruptcy 
any manager or author rash enough to put trust in my 
guidance. At a first night, not long ago, I happened 
to sit beside a dramatic author who is an old friend of 
mine. "Do you know anything of this piece?" he 
asked me before the curtain rose. " Yes," I said ; "I 
have read it, and rather believe in it." "Oh! then 
it's no go," was his reply. In that particular instance, 
he happened to be right ; but he afterwards confessed 
that, in the main, the innuendo was unjust. It is true 
that I take the keenest pleasure in certain plays which 
do not appeal to the general public ; but I am so far 


from confounding them with the commercial drama 
(I use the term in no derogatory sense) that I am 
much more apt to underestimate than to overesti- 
mate their attractiveness. In the case of Ibsen, for 
example, I have several times done my best to dis- 
courage experiments which ultimately proved very 
successful, as such things go. No one is less desirous 
than I to force Ibsen on the public at large ; no one 
would be more surprised than I if he, or any other 
foreign dramatist, were to become really popular on 
the English stage. Ibsen's plays are relished by a 
small but sufficient public ; they have exercised, and 
are exercising, a marked influence on the English 
drama, no less than on that of France and Germany ; 
but the critic who should depreciate earnest and 
worthy English work because it is "not Ibsen," or 
should try to make room for Ibsen by slaughtering 
our native playwrights, would be not only a traitor 
but a fool. I claim for the non-commercial drama a 
right to exist as best it may, and to influence, in the 
natural order of things, the commercial drama; but 
when you find me confounding the two, or decrying 
the one in the interests of the other, I give you leave 
to call me an Impossiblist, prefixing whatever most 
forcible epithet your vocabulary may furnish. 

There are haughty spirits among us who hold that 
it is no part of a critic's business to pay the smallest 
attention to the public that he is simply to record 


his personal impression, "after what flourish his nature 
will," and pass on in majestic indifference. No one, I 
believe, consistently acts up to this doctrine ; no one, 
at all events, who really loves the theatre. Assuredly 
the critic ought not to be led by the public to form 
his opinion in accordance with what he thinks 
" the public wants." That is one of the commonest 
and most obstructive vices of criticism. The critic's 
business is to lead, not to be led ; but to that end it 
is absolutely essential that he should keep fairly 
in touch with the public he seeks to influence. He 
will often deal with a play from two aspects the ideal 
and the practical. He will try to enable his readers to 
form their own judgment on the practical question 
whether they are likely to be entertained by it ; and, 
at the same time, he will point out where it seems to 
him to achieve, and where to fall short of, a not 
impossible ideal. Thus he may hope, within his little 
sphere, gradually to beget a habit of thought more or 
less consonant with his own ; and that he believes his 
own to be, on the whole, the better opinion, is implied 
in the fact of his writing and publishing it. This is 
the sort of proselytism at which I aim. I do not seek 
to drag my readers by leaps and bounds to my own 
personal or ideal standpoint, but rather to reinforce 
their appreciation of what is reasonably good, while 
insinuating a not too importunate desire for what is 
practicably better. 


Now I make so bold as to believe and this 
volume and its predecessor will sufficiently confirm 
or refute my contention that so far from being an 
exceptionally unpractical, crotchety, and " faddy " 
critic, I have been endowed by nature with a quite 
normal and average taste in things theatrical. I may 
often give reasons for my likes and dislikes which 
would not occur to the man in the street reasons, 
indeed, from which he may actively dissent but in 
the bare fact of our likes and dislikes, he and I are 
commonly, and even surprisingly, at one. Putting 
aside the non-commercial drama, and looking simply 
at plays bidding for ordinary popularity at the regular 
theatres, you will find very few instances in which I 
have radically differed from the public at large. I 
have liked (without enthusiasm) a few plays which 
they did not greatly take to, such as The Charlatan, 
Once upon a Time, and Mrs Lessingham ; but in these 
cases it was rather from the critics than the public 
that I dissented, for the hapless pieces were killed by 
criticism before they had any real chance of getting at 
the public. On the other hand, I doubt whether 
you will discover in the space of these two years a 
single play which distinctly bored me, and yet proved 
permanently attractive to the public. With regard to 
two plays one in each year I have vehemently 
dissented from the general approval. The Bauble 
Shop, by Mr Henry Arthur Jones, I considered 


an unfortunate and ill-inspired effort ; and The Pro- 
fessor's Love Story, by Mr J. M. Barrie, I regarded as 
a fitfully amusing improvisation, totally unworthy of 
the author's talent. In these two cases, then, the 
public and I disagreed as to the merit of a particular 
piece of work ; but pray observe that, though I dis- 
liked the plays in question, I did not find them 
tedious. For the rest, I am greatly deceived if the 
general sense of a play's vitality indicated in my 
criticism of it be not, as a rule, approximately jus- 
tified by its eventual fortunes. There is only one 
department of theatrical activity Adelphi melodrama 
with regard to which I confess myself very much at 
fault ; and even here such plays as The Fatal Card 
and The Derby Winner seem to me to merit their 
popularity by being distinctly less tedious than the 
general run of their class. With respect to farce, my 
taste is nicely coincident with that of the public. 
For years past, the farces which really amused 
me have one and all succeeded, the farces which 
thoroughly bored me have one and all failed, in spite 
of critical leniency and managerial puffery. As to 
the musical farces, again, which have lately supplanted 
the old three-act burlesques, I have from the first 
welcomed and applauded them, though I have often 
had to protest against the deliberate indecency in 
which some authors have seen fit to indulge. I am 
by no means convinced that even in this respect the 


great body of the public is not with me, though the 
habit of acquiescence, begotten by the Censorship, 
prevents them from expressing their feelings. 

Need I say that in all this I am not claiming any 
direct influence whatever ? If my criticism could make 
or mar a play, there would be no need to point out 
the coincidence between my judgment and its for- 
tunes. But a writer in a high-priced weekly paper 
cannot possibly have any appreciable influence on the 
fate of any particular play. He may affect the esti- 
mation in which it is held, as a work of art, by the 
few who care to consider it in that light ; but if he 
sends a few hundred people to the theatre, or keeps as 
many away, that is the utmost immediate effect he 
can hope to produce ; and it is not hundreds but tens 
of thousands that make a play a success or failure. 
What I have been trying to point out, at the risk of 
tedious egoism, is that although I cannot, like some 
critics, impose my own likes and dislikes on the 
public, my estimate of a play, except perhaps in the one 
article of melodrama, affords a very fair prognostic of 
its chances of success. What entertains me is exceed- 
ingly apt to entertain the public ; what bores me is 
almost certain to bore the public. Therefore, when 
I am accused of being a crotchety, faddy, unpractical 
critic in brief, an inveterate Impossiblist I think 
I may, with tolerable assurance, plea<i " Not Guilty." 

This faculty for making the best of the actual 


without losing sight of the ideal lies at the root of the 
policy enforced in the foregoing pages. Its inspiring 
principle, to sum it up as briefly as possible, lies in 
the conviction that, on pain of becoming an anti-social 
and almost criminal futility, criticism must be fertilis- 
ing, not sterilising, in its tendency. Though there is 
no shallower sophism, no more pernicious heresy, 
than that which would place the drama in essential 
and eternal subjection to the tastes of a sort of 
abstract, average Populace, which nowhere exists in 
the flesh, yet it is certainly a popular art in the sense 
of being capable of giving pleasure to the multitude. 
The multitude, then, will always have its theatres, 
and the forms of art which appeal to it will always be 
worthy of sympathetic study, not only as a matter of 
social policy, that the fare provided' for the people 
may be good and wholesome of its kind, but also 
because a vigorous popular drama is an excellent, 
perhaps an indispensable, basis for higher and subtler 
artistic developments. The essential fact to be borne 
in mind, however, is that, in a vast community like 
ours, there is no Public but many publics, and that if 
only we can encourage the lesser and better publics to 
take an interest in the theatre, to think about it, to 
cultivate an intelligent taste and pay for the gratifica- 
tion of that taste, there is no limit to the possibilities 
of progress in the direction of intellectual competence 
and artistic refinement. By a fertilising policy, then, 


I understand a policy which makes for the healthy 
vitality of the theatre as a whole, while insisting on 
such differentiation of parts as shall enable it to 
interpret and appeal to the higher, as well as the 
lower, life and thought of the age. 

Such a policy is, with me, not a matter of choice 
but of irresistible tendency. I was born with an 
instinctive, unreasoning, unreasonable love for the 
theatre, simply as the theatre, the place of light and 
sound, of mystery and magic, where, at the stroke of 
the prompter's bell, a new world is revealed to the 
delighted sense. That unreasoning love is still strong 
within me. If all the germs of progress were stamped 
out, and the stage declined entirely upon spectacle 
and buffoonery, I should still, I believe, find a melan- 
choly fascination in the glare of the footlights. But 
close upon the heels of this mania for the theatre 
came another and still more absorbing passion the 
passion for high thoughts and beautiful words, for 
things delicately seen, and subtly felt, and marvellously 
imagined in short, for that divinest emanation of 
the human spirit which we call literature. These two 
things have I loved, sometimes blindly and foolishly, 
sometimes, I hope, with understanding; and it has 
been the instinctive, inevitable effort of my life 
to make these two one flesh. Literature in the 
theatre great inventions greatly realised, beautiful 
words beautifully spoken such literature as can 
2 A 


attain its highest potency only in this most fascinat- 
ing, because most complex and human, of artistic 
mediums that has been the yearning of my whole 
conscious life. Where I have found it, I have rejoiced 
with a great joy ; wherever I have seen or imagined any 
movement, any endeavour, towards it, I have pro- 
claimed the fact with an eagerness (I doubt not) often 
fanatical and disproportionate. That the drama 
should once more take rank among the highest ex- 
pressions of English creative genius, and that the 
theatre, not as a place of mere pastime, should once 
more become a preponderant interest and influence in 
the lives of thinking men and women that is the 
end to which, like all the rest, this year of my life- 
work is dedicated. 





I. THE COUNTRY GIRL. Revival at Daly's. Cast: 
Peggy Thrift, Miss Ada Rehan ; Sqtiire Moody, Mr William 
Farren ; Sparkish, Mr George Clarke ; Harcourt, Mr Herbert 
Gresham ; Belville, Mr Allan Aynesworth ; Old Will, Mr 
Bridgland ; Servant, Mr Powell ; Alethea, Miss Violet Van- 
brugh ; Lucy, Miss Catherine Lewis. Withdrawn 6th January. 

6. AN OLD JEW: Comedy in Five Acts, by Sydney 
Grundy. Garrick. Cast : Julius Sterne, Mr John Hare ; 
Paul Venables, Mr Gilbert Hare ; Bertie Burnside, Mr W. L. 
Abingdon ; Douglas Craik, Mr Eugene Mayeur ; Wybrow 
Walsingham, Mr Charles Rock; John Slater, M.A., LL.D., 
Mr G. W. Anson ; James Breivster, Mr W. H. Day ; Willie 
Wandle, Mr Scott Buist ; The Hon. and Rev. Adolphus Finucane, 
Mr Gilbert Farquhar ; Mr Polak, Mr H. De Lange ; Franconi, 
Mr Gilbert Trent ; Old Actor, Mr Robb Harwood ; Fritz, Mr 
G. Du Maurier ; Mrs Venables, Mrs Theodore Wright ; Eliza, 
Miss Conti ; Ruth Venables, Miss Kate Rorke. Withdrawn 
3rd February. "An Old Jew" was preceded by a CASE 
FOR EVICTION. Cast : Frank, Mr Scott Buist ; Dora, 
Miss May Harvey ; Servant, Miss Helen Luck. 

8. TWELFTH NIGHT. Revival at Daly's. Cast: 
Orsino, Mr John Craig ; Sebastian, Mr Sidney Herbert ; Antonio, 
Mr Thomas Bridgland ; A Sea Captain, Mr Hobart Bos worth ; 
Valentine, Mr Alfred Hickman ; Curio, Mr Lowndes ; Sir Toby 
Belch, Mr James Lewis ; Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Mr Herbert 


Gresham ; Malvolio, Mr George Clarke ; Fabian, Mr William 
Sampson ; Feste, Mr Lloyd Daubigny ; Priest, Mr Powell ; 
Officer, Mr Gollan ; The Countess Olivia, Miss Violet Vanbrugh ; 
Maria, Miss Catherine Lewis ; Viola, Miss Ada Rehan. With- 
drawn 28th April. 

17. UNCLE'S GHOST : Farce in Three Acts (originally 
produced at the Prince of Wales's Theatre, I5th June 1887). 
Opera Comique. Cast : John Smithson, Mr John Tresahar ; 
Cecil Crawley, Mr Charles Burleigh ; Professor Erasmus Pipjaw, 
Mr Alfred Maltby; Professor Sharp, Mr Lionel Wallace; Pro- 
fessor Noodlechump, Mr Charles Lander ; Doctor Howe, Mr E. 

Dagnall ; Dr Watt, Mr Brandon Hurst ; Nobbs, Mr H. Norton ; 
Uncle Josiah Turbot, Mr Fred Thome ; Mrs Bartholomew, Miss 
Emily Thome ; ? ? ? ? , Miss Carrie Coote ; Ravinia 
Pipjaw, Miss E. Brinsley Sheridan ; Jane, Miss Nolon. Pre- 
ceded by SUNSET. Cast : Lois, Miss Mary Kingsley \Joan, 
Miss Mary Nolon ; Aunt Drusilla, Miss H. Cowen ; Laurence, 
Mr Brandon Hurst ; Azariah Stodd, Mr Lionel Wallace ; Mr 
Rivers, Mr J. F. Graham. Withdrawn I2th February. 

18. THE CHARLATAN: Play in Four Acts, by Robert 
Buchanan. Haymarket. Cast: Philip Woodville, Mr Tree; 
The Earl of Wanborough, Mr Nutcombe Gould ; Lord Dewsbury, 
Mr Fred Terry ; The Hon. Mervyn Datrell, Mr Frederick Kerr ; 
Mr Darnley, Mr C. Allan; Professor Marrables, Mr Holman 
Clarke ; Butler, Mr Hay ; Footman, Mr Montagu ; Lady Carlotta 
Deepdale, Miss Lily Hanbury ; Mrs Darnley, Mrs E. H. Brooke ; 
Olive Darnley, Miss Irene Vanbrugh ; Madam Obnoskin, Miss 
Gertrude Kingston; Isabel Arlington, Miss Tree. Withdrawn 
1 7th May. 

20. A GAUNTLET: A Play in Three Acts, translated 
from the Norwegian of Bjornstjerne Bjornson by Osman Edwards, 
adapted by George P. Hawtrey. Cast: Riis, Mr Elliot; Mr 
Christensen, Mr George P. Hawtrey; Alf Christensen, Mr 
Gaston Mervale; Hoff, Mr Alfred Bucklaw; Peter, Mr Herbert 
George ; Mrs Riis, Miss Louise Moodie ; Airs Christensen, Miss 
Katherine Stewart; Marie, Miss Eileen Munroe; Frederike, 
Miss Cornelie Charles ; Kamma, Miss Florence Munroe; Hanna, 


Miss Kate Graves; Else, Miss Frances Burleigh; Olga, Miss 
Maud /Clifford; Ortrude, Miss Edith Maitland; Svava, Miss 
Annie Rose. Withdrawn 24th January. Preceded by PENE- 
LOPE. Cast: Tosser, Mr C. P. Little; Pitcher, Mr George 
Hawtrey; Walker Chalks, Mr Aubrey Lumley; Mrs Croaker, 
Miss Eileen Munroe; Penelope, Miss Kate Santley. 

27. THE TRANSGRESSOR: Play in Four Acts, by A. 
W. Gattie. Court. Cast : Eric Langley, Mr Arthur Elwood ; 
Gerald Hurst, M.D., Mr Seymour Hicks; Colonel Foster, Mr 
James Fernandez ; Sir Thomas Horncliffe, Bart., J. P., Mr C. H. 
E. Brookfield; The Hon. and Rev. Henry Meredith, Mr Bucklaw; 
Robert, Mr David Cowis ; Mrs Woodville, Miss Fanny Coleman ; 
Constance, Miss Bessie Hatton; Anne, Miss Minna Blakiston; 
Sylvia, Miss Olga Nethersole. Withdrawn 7th April. 


I. BEYOND : a Study of a Woman by a Woman, suggested 
by a story of Rene Maizeroy. Criterion. Cast : Mrs Fenton, 
Mrs Bernard Beere ; Captain Fenton, Mr Arthur Bourchier. 
An afternoon performance. 

3. DICK SHERIDAN : Comedy in Four Acts, by Robert 
Buchanan. Cast : Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Mr H. B. Irving ; 
Dr Jonathan O'Leary, Mr Brandon Thomas ; Lord Dazzleton, 
Mr Cyril Maude; Captain Matthews, Mr Lewis Waller; Sir 
Harry Chase, Mr Sydney Brough ; Mr Linley, Mr Edmund 
Maurice; David Garrick, Mr Will Dennis; Mr Wade, Mr F. 
M. Paget ; Captain Knight, Mr Crawley ; Sir James Loder, Mr 
H. J. Carvill; Mr Abednego, Mr John Byron; Servant, Mr 
Bertram; Mr Linley's Servant, Mr Anning; Lady Miller, Miss 
Vane ; Lady Pamela Stirrup, Miss Lena Ashwell , Lady Shuttle- 
worth, Miss Radcliffe; The Hon. Mrs Elliott, Miss Constance 
Brietzcke ; Miss Copeland, Miss Ettie Williams ; Miss Beamish, 
Miss A. O'Brian ; Mrs Lappett, Miss Pattie Browne ; Miss 
Elizabeth Linley, Miss Winifred Emery. Withdrawn 3Oth 

5. CASTE : Comedy in Three Acts, by T. W. Robertson. 
Revived at the Garrick. Cast : The Hon. George D'Alroy, Mr 


J. Forbes Robertson ; Captain Hawtree, Mr W. L. Abingdon ; 
Eccles, Mr G. W. Anson; Sam Gerridge, Mr Gilbert, Hare; 
Dixon, Mr George Du Maurier; The Marquise de St Maur, 
Miss Rose Leclercq ; Polly Eccles, Miss May Harvey ; Esther 
Eccles, Miss Kate Rorke. Withdrawn 4th April. 

6. THE LEGACY : Comedy in One Act, by Frank Lindo. 
Cast : Jack Mqrtyn, Mr Douglas Gordon; Alfred Attleboy, Mr 
Robert Castleton ; Jonas Sparky, Mr A. H. Brooke ; Agnes 
Hamilton, Miss Mary Clayton; Clara Sparley, Miss Marjorie 
Christmas; Eliza, Miss Mary Bessie. JUDITH SHAKE- 
SPEARE : Drama in One Act, by Alec Nelson, founded upon 
an incident in William Black's novel. Cast: Jack Orridge, Mr 
Rothbury Evans; Thomas Quincy, Mr Frank Lacey; Frank 
Evans, Mr E. H. Patterson; Willie Hart, Mr Lionel Calhaem; 
Judith Shakespeare, Miss Eva Williams. TWO HEARTS : 
Drama in One Act, by S. J. Adair Fitzgerald. Cast : Dr Angus 
Williams, Mr Frank Mac vicars; The Rev.Josiah Darville, Mr 
W. Aubrey Chandler ; Capel Arliss, Mr Frederic de Lara ; 
Heresta Aynsley, Miss Emilie Calhaem ; Jane, Miss Kate Bealby. 
Morning performance promoted by the Society of British 
Dramatic Art. Royalty. 

15. THE LITTLE WIDOW : Farce in Three Acts, by 
William Jarman. Royalty. Cast : Mr Wilkins Potter, Mr 
Charles Sugden ; Dr Arthur Potter, Mr Welton Dale ; Captain 
Rattlebrain, Mr Frank Lacey; Auguste Bousieur, Mr A. E. W. 
Mason; Morton, Mr E. H. Patterson; Mrs Wilkins Potter, 
Miss Sydney K. Phelps ; Emily Randall, Miss Emilie Grattan ; 
Sophonisba Bousieur, Miss Jane Gray; Mrs Constance Rattle- 
brain, Miss Minnie Palmer. Withdrawn loth March. Preceded 
by IN OLDEN DAYS: a Dramatic Incident in One Act, 
by Mrs Hodgson Burnett. Cast : Jocelyn Durant, Mr A. E. 
W. Mason ; Capt. Desborough, Mr Harry Grattan ; Damaris 
Nethercliffe, Miss Emilie Grattan. 

17. WAPPING OLD STAIRS: Comic Opera in Two 
Acts, by Stuart Robertson, Music by Howard Talbot. Vaudeville. 
Cast : Sir Wormwood Scrubbs, Mr Herbert Sparling ; Mark 
Mainstay, Mr Courtice Pounds ; Captain Crook, Mr Henry 


Bouchier ; Ben Brace, Mr Avon Saxon ; Dick Fid, Mr Richard 
Temple; Nancy Joy, Miss Mary Turner; Molly Joy, Miss Hannah 
Jones; Daisy Pennant, Miss Mary Hutton; Kate Capstan, Miss 
M. Warren; Fitz Binnacle, Miss L. Stewart; Susan Sinnett, 
Miss Jessie Bond. Withdrawn 6th April. Eventually preceded 
by WET PAINT. Cast : Peter Penley, Mr Herbert Spar- 
ling; Mrs Chiselhurst, Miss Annie Laurie; Polly, Miss Geraldine 

20. DAN'L DRUCE. Revival. Prince of Wales. Cast: 
Sir Jasper Coombe, Mr William Rignold ; Dan' I Druce, Mr 
William Mollison ; Reuben Haines, Mr Sidney Valentine ; 
Geoffrey Winyard, Mr Fuller Mellish ; Marple, Mr Julian 
Cross ; Joe Ripley, Mr Fred W. Permain ; Sergeant, Mr Charles 
Medwin; Soldier, Mr Lionel Wallace; Dorothy, Miss Nancy 
Mackintosh. Afternoon performance. 

21. THE NEW BOY : Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, 
by Arthur Law. Terry's. Cast : Archibald Rennick, Mr 
Weedon Grossmith ; Dr Candy, Mr J. Beauchamp ; Felix 
Roach, Mr J. D. Beveridge ; Theodore de Brissac, Mr Sydney 
Warden ; Bullock Major, Mr Kenneth Douglas ; Mr Stubber, 
Mr T. A. Palmer ; Mrs Rennick, Miss Gladys Homfrey ; Nancy 
Roach, Miss May Palfrey ; Susan, Miss Espie Beringer. Even- 
tually transferred to the Vaudeville. Still running. Preceded 
by THE GENTLEMAN WHIP, by H. M. Paull. Cast : 
Mr Brown, Mr Frederick Volpe ; Baxter Slade, Mr Sydney 
Warden ; Tom Sincott, Mr J. R. Hatfield ; Dixon, Mr George 
Robinson ; Lady Jane Verinder, Miss Adena Dacre ; Mabel 
Verender, Miss Esme Beringer. 

23. THE HEIRS OF RABOURDIN : Play, by Emile 
Zola ; translated by A. Teixeira de Maltos. Opera Comique 
(Independent). Cast : Rabourdin, Mr James Welch ; Chapuzot, 
Mr Harding Cox; Dominique, Mr C. M. Hallard; Le Doux, 
Mr Douglas Gordon ; Dr Morgue, Mr Charles Goodhart ; Isaac, 
Mr F. Norreys Connell; Vatissard, Mrs Arthur Ayers; Piquet, 
Mrs Lois Royd; Eugenie, Miss Lena Dene; Charlotte, Miss 
Mary Jocelyn. 


24. THE WORLD : Drama in Five Acts, by Henry 
Pettitt, Paul Meritt, and Augustus Harris. Revived at the 
Princess's. Cast: Sir C. Huntingford, Mr C. Dalton; Moss 
Jewell, Mr W. Elton ; Martin Bashford, Mr Julian Cross ; Harry 
Huntingford, Mr C. Glenney ; Mabel Huntingford, Miss Olga 
Brandon; Ned Owen, Miss Agnes Thomas; Mary Blyth, Miss 
Kate Tyndall; Blackstone, Mr Maurice Drew; Pearson, Mr F. 
MacVicars ; Owen, Mr Clarence Holt ; Langley, Mr James 
Francis; Gilbert, Mr Maurice Dudley; Locksley, Mr F. Mavard; 
Hawkins, Mr J. A. Cave ; Wyndham, Mr Frank Damer ; 
Rushton, Mr J. Horsfall ; Detective, Mr F. L. Robins ; Com- 
missionaire, Mr S. Williams ; Commissioner, Mr John Durant ; 
Marshall, Mr Nicholas Nomico; Alice, Miss Ethel Verne; Miss 
M'Tab, Miss Lydia Rachel. Withdrawn, I4th April. 

28. MRS DEXTER : Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, by 
J. H. Darnley (originally produced at the Court Theatre, Liver- 
pool, on 28th December 1891). Strand. Cast : Major Kildare, 
M.P., Mr Charles Hawtrey; Frank Fairfield, Q.C., Mr Lionel 
Wallace; Henry Thornton, Q.C., Mr Wilfred Draycott; The 
Hon. Timothy Townsend, Mr Gordon Harvey ; Reginal Dexter, 
M.P., Mr W. F. Hawtrey; Mr Paxton, Mr Ernest Cosham; 
Fulton, Mr S. Lascelles ; James, Mr Alec Mackenzie ; Mrs 
Dexter, Miss Fanny Brough; Mrs Kildare, Miss Helen Conway; 
Mrs Thornton, Miss Eva Williams; Miss O'Hara, Miss Alice 
Mansfield ; Marie, Miss Ina Goldsmith. Withdrawn loth 
March. Preceded by FOR CHARITY'S SAKE. Cast : 
Nicholas Nubbles, Mr W. F. Hawtrey ; Mr Zebeedy Benjamin 
Catchpole, Mr S. Lascelles ; Edward Fisher, Mr Gordon 
Harvey; Inspector Jones, Mr Alec M'Kenzie; Nick, Mr 
Ernest Asham ; Charity, Miss Eva Williams. 


Percy Fendall. Court. Cast: Mr Egerton, Mr C. H. E. 
Brookfield; Mrs Fits Adam, Miss Lottie Venne. A front piece 
to " The Transgressor." 

6. THE BEST MAN : Farce in Three Acts, by Ralph R. 
Lumley. Toole's. Cast : Sir Lovel Gage, Mr John Billington ; 


Price Putlow, Mr J. L. Toole ; Allen Skifford, Mr C. M. Lowne ; 
Walter Brewer, Mr E. A. Coventry; Minch, Mr George Shelton; 
Williams, Mr Charles Brunton; Pemble, Mr F. J. Arlton; Mrs 
Alont Aubyn, Miss Beatrice Lamb ; Brenda Gage, Miss Florence 
Fordyce ; Ada Jevoiis Bailey, Miss Cora Poole ; Nina Skifford, 
Miss Alice Kingsley ; Sarah Spooner, Miss Eliza Johnstone. With- 
drawn 27th June. Preceded by HESTER'S MYSTERY. 
Cast : Mr Owen Silverdale, Mr Henry Westland ; John Royle, 
Mr C. M. Lowne ; Joel, Mr F. J. Arthur; Nance Butterworth, 
Miss Kate Carlyon ; Hester, Miss Florence Fordyce. 

10. THE COTTON KING : Drama in Four Acts, by 
Sutton Vane. Adelphi. Cast : Jack Osborne, Mr Charles 
Warner ; Richard Stockley, Mr Edward O'Neill ; De Fonseca, 
.Mr Herbert Flemming; James Shillinglaw, Mr Charles Cart- 
wright; Benjamin Tupper^ Mr Arthur Williams; The Rev. Mr 
Ponder, Mr Lennox Pawle ; Dr Gilbert, Mr Lyston Lyle ; Silas 
Kent, Mr John Carter ; George Piper, Mr W. Northcote ; Peter 
Bell, Mr Howard Russell ; Phillips, Mr Tripp ; Inspector 
Graham, Mr Williamson ; Mrs Drayson, Mrs Dion Boucicault ; 
Elsie Kent, Miss Hall Caine; Kitty Marshall, Miss Alma 
Stanley ; Mrs Martin Smith, Miss Kate Kearney ; Susan, Miss 
Harrison ; Hetty Drayson, Miss Marion Terry (who was replaced 
a while by Miss Janet Achurch). Withdrawn 5th May. 

IO. GO-BANG : Musical-Farcical Comedy in Two Acts, 
Libretto by Adrian Ross, Music by Osmond Carr. Trafalgar 
Square. Cast : Jenkins, Mr Harry Grattan ; Sir Reddan 
Tapeleigh, K.C.S.L, Mr Arthur Playfair; Lieut. The Hon. 
Augustus Fitzpoop, Mr George Grossmith, junior; Wang, Mr 
Sydney Howard ; Narain, Mr Frederick Rosse ; Dam Row, 
Mr John L. Shine ; Helen Tapeleigh, Miss Jessie Bond ; Lady 
Fritterleigh, Miss Agnes Hewitt; Sarah Anne, Miss Adelaide 
Astor; Miss Belle Wedderburn, Miss Maggie Roberts; Miss 
Flo Wedderburn, Miss Rubie Temple; Miss Di Dalrymple, 
Miss Letty Lind. Withdrawn 24th August. 

17. FROU FROU (a new English version). Comedy. 
Cast: Henry de Sartorys, Mr Brandon Thomas; Monsieur 


Brigard, Mr Cyril Maude ; Le Vicomte Paul de Valreas, Mr H. 
B. Irving; Le Baron de Cambri, Mr Will Dennis; /ack, Miss 
Gladys Doree; Zanetto, Mr Crawley; M. Brigard's Servant, 
Mr Barrett ; Servant in the Palazzo at Venice, Mr Anning ; La 
Baronne de Cambri, Miss Vane ; Louise Brigard, Miss Marie 
Linden ; Pauline, Miss Lena Ashwell ; Governess, Miss RadclifTe ; 
Gilberle Brigard, Miss Winifred Emery. A morning performance. 
Put in the evening bill, 3ist March. Withdrawn I5th June. 

28. ONCE UPON A TIME: Play, freely adapted from 
Ludwig Fulda's " Der Talisman," by Louis N. Parker and 
H. Beerbohm Tree. Haymarket. Cast: The King, Mr 
Beerbohm Tree; Berengar, Mr Luigi Lablache; Diomede, Mr 
Nutcombe Gould ; Niccola, Mr Gilbert Farquhar ; Stefano, Mr 
Charles Allan; Panfilio, Mr Holman Clark; Fetrante, Mr H. 
Revelle ; Basilio, Mr Hugh Dorrington ; Omar, Mr Fred Terry ; 
Beppo, Mr F. Perceval Stevens; Benedict, Mr Willes; Guide, 
Mr Frederick Watson ; Baldino, Mr Gayer Mackay ; Pedro, Mr 
D. Cowis ; Caspar, Mr Bert Thomas ; The Head Cook, Mr W. 
Hargreaves; Officer of the Guard, Mr Edward Ritchie ; Habakuk, 
Mr Lionel Brough ; Magdalena, Miss Julia Neilson ; Rita, Mrs 
Tree. Withdrawn 2ist April. 

29. A COMEDY OF SIGHS : Comedy in Four Acts, by 
John Todhunter. Avenue. Cast : Sir Geoffrey Brandon, Mr 
Bernard Gould ; Major Chillingworth, Mr Yorke Stephens ; The 
Rev. Horace Greenwell, Mr James Welch ; Williams, Mr Orlando 
Barnett ; Lady Brandon, Miss Florence Farr ; Mrs Chillingworth, 
Miss Vane Featherstone ; Miss Lucy Vernon, Miss Enid Earle. 
Withdrawn I4th April. Also, THE LAND OF HEART'S 
DESIRE : Play in One Act, by W. B. Yeats. Cast : Michael 
Bruin, Mr James Welch; James Bruin, Mr A. E. W. Mason; 
Father Hart, Mr G. R. Foss; Bridget Bruin, Miss Charlotte 
Morland ; Mary Bruin, Miss Winifred Fraser ; A Fairy Child, 
Miss Dorothy Paget. 

29. IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD: Play in One 
Act, by A. C. Fraser Wood. Globe. Cast : Richard Carlton, 
Mr H. Reeves Smith; Lord Wilfred Pontefract, Mr Harry 
Farmer; Horatio Parr, Mr Cecil H. Thornbury; Wilks, Mr 


Edwin H. Wynne ; Lady Mabel Wendover, Miss Mabel H. Lane. 
Front piece to "Charley's Aunt." Still running. 

Three Acts, by Lady Violet Greville, adapted from Augier and 
Sandeau's " Le Gendre de Monsieur Poirier." Criterion. 
Cast : Gerald, Earl of Forres, Mr Charles Wyndham ; Mr 
Firkin Potter, Mr Charles G rover; Mr Anthony Greenwood, 
Mr J. G. Taylor; Captain Alarchmont, Mr Frank Worthing; 
Monsieur Cordognac, Mr H. de Lange; Jarvis, Mr Markham; 
Lady IVinnifred Skipton, Miss Fowler; Rose Lea, Miss Annie 
Hughes; Alice, Miss Mary Moore. Withdrawn 2gth May. 
Preceded by MRS HILARY REGRETS. Cast : Mrs 
Hilary, Miss F. Francis ; Dr Power, Mr F. Atherley. 


2. JAUNTY JANE SHORE: Burlesque in Two Acts, 
by Richard Henry ; Music by John Crook. Strand. Cast : 
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Mr Harry Paulton; Edward IV., 
Mr Edward Lewis; Grist, Mr Fred Emney; Matthew Shore, Mr 
George Humphrey; Waterbury, Mr Arthur Nelstone; Telefag, 
Mr Alfred B. Phillips; Data, Mr Charles Lovell; Hastings, Miss 
Grace Huntley ; Catesby, Miss Emmeline Orford ; Elizabeth 
Woodville, Miss Florence Daly; Dame Ursula, Miss Ada Doree; 
Alary, Miss Carrie Coote; Alicia, Miss Hilda Hanbury; The 
Young Princes, Miss Nellie and Miss Maggie Bowman ; Jaunty 

Jane Shore, Miss Alice Atherton. Withdrawn igth May. 

3. MISS RUTLAND : Play of Modern Life, by Richard 
Pryce. Gaiety. (A morning performance. ) Cast: George Marston, 
Mr William Herbert ; The Hon. John Massareen, Mr W. T. 
Lovell ; Air Layton, Mr W 7 . Wyes ; Mr Alordaunt, Mr Norest 
Percy; Mr Le Marchant, Mr Mules Brown; Mr Warburton, 
Mr Guy Coulson; Morisson, Mr John Byron ; Jackson, Mr James 
Welch; Call-boy, Mr R. Earle; Helen Alarston, Miss Frances 
Ivor; Lady Wroxeter, Miss Henrietta Lindley; Mildred Lux- 
mere, Miss Helen Forsyth; Miss Skelt Jordan, Mrs B. M. de 
Solla; Miss Ethel Orient, Miss Evelyn Faulkner; Miss Florry 
Paget, Miss Olga Garland ; Wilson, Miss Mabel Hardy ; Mar- 


garet Brown, Mrs T. H. Brooke; Eleanor Rutland, Miss Ettie 

4. THE FIEND AT FAULT : Medieval Musical Mys- 
tery, by Sutherland Edwardes and William H. Taylor; Music 
by F. Forster Buflfen and W. H. Taylor. Vaudeville. Cast : 
Enrico, Mr C. Emlyn Jones ; Satanio, Mr William Dever ; Vera, 
Miss Madeleine Martinez. A front piece to " Wappine Old 

Oi ) * * & 


S THE LITTLE SQUIRE : Comedy in Three Acts, 
adapted from a novel by Mrs de la Pasture, by Mrs William Grat 
and Horace Sedger. Lyric. (For a brief series of afternoon 
performances.) Cast: Claud Vernon, Mr Charles Sugden; Mr 
Went worth, Mr Seymour; Wilkinson, Mr W. S. Laidlaw; 
Granfer West, Mr Montelli; Cartridge, Mr Bentley; Adrian 
De Coursay, Miss Dorothy Hanbury; Mrs De Coursay, Miss 
Mary Rorke; Bessie Barton, Miss Fanny Brough; Mrs Hard- 
wick, Miss Rose Leclercq; Mrs Brownlow, Mrs Edmund Phelps; 
Cicely Hardwick, Miss Isa Bowman ; Lise de la Riviere, Miss 
Empsie Bowman; First Villager, Mr Charles Crook; Second 
Digger, Mr S. Williams; First Wife, Miss D. Thorne; Second 
Wife, Miss Fenton. Withdrawn 4th May. 

7- MRS LESSINGHAM : Play in Four Acts, by Miss 
Fletcher ("George Fleming"). Garrick. Cast: Mr Walter 
Forbes, Mr J. Forbes Robertson; Major Edward Hardy, R.A., 
V.C., Mr John Hare; The Hon. Archie Hope Glen, Mr Sheridan 
Lascelles; Mr Charles B. Snead, Mr Charles Rock; Mr James 
Vane, Mr G. W. Hardy ; Master Bobby Snead, Master Frank 
Saker; Farmer, Mr G. Du Maurier; Lady Anne Beaton, Miss 
Kate Rorke; Lady Porteous, Miss Dolores Drummond; Mrs 
Lessingham, Miss Elizabeth Robins; Mrs Hope Glen, Miss 
Helen Luck; Harper, Miss Emily Cross. Withdrawn i6th 

Three Acts, by Charles Smith Cheltnam. Criterion. (After- 
noon performance. ) Cast : Earl Pinchbeck, Mr C. W. Somerset ; 
Lord Groomsbury, Mr York Stephens; Sir Rupert Oakfield, Mr 


Frank Macrae ; The Hon. Julian Fairmain, Mr A. E. W. 
Mason; Reginald Bright-well, Mr Granville Barker; William, 
Mr F. Vernon; Lord Oakfield, Miss Essex Dane; Gabrielle, 
Miss Di Travers; Augustine, Miss Mary Jocelyn; Mrs Gay- 
thorne, Mrs Ivy Dacre. 

21. GENTLEMAN JACK : Drama in Five Acts, by 
Chas. I. Vincent and William A. Brady (originally produced in 
America.) Drury Lane. Cast: Jack Royden, Mr James J. 
Corbett ; Joseph Royden, Mr William A. Brady; Mr Halliday, 
Mr Ben Hendricks ; George Halliday, Mr Cuyler Hastings ; Bat 
Houston, Mr John Donaldson; Schuyler Southgate, Mr Jay 
Wilson; Toin Carlton, Mr Frank Damer; Maxey Splash, Mr 
John M'Vey; Manager Short, Mr J. H. Wren; Special Officer 
of the Roof Garden, Mr F. Harrison ; Waiter at the Ropf Garden, 
Mr Bert Tuckman ; President of the Olympic Club, Mr Dan 
Sawyer ; Captain of Police, Mr Andrew Hayne ; Alice Saunders, 
Miss George Esmond; Polly Graham, Miss Sadie M 'Donald; 
Mrs Royden, Miss Robertha Erskine ; Mrs Morriarty, Mr Bud 
Woodthorpe; Tottie Splash, Miss Florrie West. Withdrawn 
nth May. 

21. ARMS AND THE MAN : Romantic Comedy in Three 
Acts, by G. Bernard Shaw. Avenue. Cast : Major Paul Petkoff, 
Mr James Welch; Major Sergius Saranoff, Mr Bernard Gould; 
Captain Blunt schli, Mr Yorke Stephens; Major Plechanoff, Mr 
A. E. W. Mason; Nichola, Mr Orlando Barnett; Catherine 
Petkoff, Mrs Charles Calvert ; Ra'ina Petkoff, Miss Alma 
Murray ; Louka, Miss Florence Farr. Withdrawn 7th June. 

25. A BUNCH OF VIOLETS: Play in Four Acts 
(founded on Octave Feuillet's " Montjoye "), by Sydney Grundy. 
Haymarket. Cast : Sir Phillip Marchant, Mr Tree ; Viscount 
Mount Sorrell, Mr Nutcombe Gould ; The Hon. Harold Inglis, 
Mr C. M. Hallard ; Mark Murgatroyd, Mr Lionel Brough ; Jacob 
Schwartz, Mr G. W. Anson ; Harker, Mr Holman Clark ; Butler, 
Mr Hay; Footmen, Mr Montagu and Mr Ferris; Lady Marchant, 
Miss Lily Hanbury ; Violet, Miss Audrey Ford ; Mrs Murgatroyd, 
Mrs Tree. Withdrawn igth July; reproduced 8th October to 
3rd November. 


28. THE MASQUERADERS : Play in Four Acts, by 
H. A. Jones. St James's. Cast : David Remon, Mr George 
Alexander; Sir Bryce Skene, Mr Herbert Waring; Montagu 
LushingtoJt, Mr Elliott; Eddie Remon, Mr H. V. Esmond; 
Lord Crandover, Mr Ian Robertson; The Hon. Percy Blanch- 
flower, Mr A. Vane Tempest ; Sir Winchmore Wills, M. D. , Mr 
Graeme Goring ; George Copeland, Mr Ben Webster ; Fancourt, 
Mr Arthur Royston; Carter, Mr Guy Lane Coulson; Randal, 
Mr J. A. Pentham; Rodney, Mr F. Kinsey-Peile ; Sharland, 
Mr A. Bromley Davenport; Jimmy Stokes, Mr William H. Day; 
Brinkler, Mr Alfred Holies; Thomson, Mr F. Loftus; A Servant, 
Mr Theo. Stewart ; Dulcie Larondie, Mrs Patrick Campbell ; 
Helen Larondie, Miss Granville ; Charley Wisranger, Miss Irene 
Vanbrugh; Lady Charles Raindean, Miss Beryl Faber; Lady 
Crandover, Mrs Edward Saker. Interrupted by Mr Alexander's 
provincial tour from 28th September to loth November ; with- 
drawn 22nd December. 

,>' -' -.%.-<> ttjAWf. --A'aiM IR.ll 

30. AS YOU LIKE IT. Revival at Daly's. Cast: 
The Duke, Mr Campbell Gollan ; Frederick, Mr Thomas Bridg- 
land ; Amiens, Mr Roland M 'Quarie ; Jaques, Mr George Clarke ; 
A Lord, Mr Bosworth ; Le Beau, Mr Sydney Harcourt Herbert ; 
Charles, Mr Hobart Bosworth ; Oliver, Mr John Dixon ; Orlando, 
Mr John Craig ; Jacques, Mr Lloyd Lowndes; Adam, Mr William 
Farren; Dennis, Mr Rupert Lister; Touchstone, Mr James 
Lewis ; Corin, Mr Charles Leclercq ; Silvius, Mr Alfred Hick- 
man ; William, Mr William Sampson ; Pages, Mr Olive Barry 
and Miss Florence Conron ; Hymen, Miss Dagmar ; Celia, Miss 
Sybil Carlisle; Phccbe, Miss Ida Molesworth; Audrey, Miss 
Catherine Lewis; Rosalind, Miss Ada Rehan. A few perform- 
ances only. 

30. KING KODAK: Musical Extravaganza, by Arthur 
Branscombe and numerous composers. Terry's. Cast: James 
South, Mr Edward Terry ; Dick Daskaway, Mr Charles Danby ; 
Admiral Sir William Broadsides, R.N., Mr George Giddens; 
Mr M. T. Head, Mr Compton Coutts; Hugh E. Foote, Mr 
Huntley Wright ; Lord Deadbroke, Mr E. H. Kelly ; Lieut. Jack 
Broadsides, R.N., Mr George De Pledge; Charlie Broadsides, 


Miss Ada Barry; Harry Vernon, Mr J. Thompson; Sergeant 
O'Flynn, Mr F. W. Trott; Boleg Nula, Mr W. Edwards; Hilda 
South, Miss Violet Robinson ; Letitia Gushington, Miss Margaret 
Ayrtoun; Violet, Miss Mabel Love; Lillie, Miss Eva Levens; 
Dora Nightingale, Miss Lizzie Ruggles; Frankie Dashaway, 
Miss Amy Saunders ; Millie Tarry, Miss Blanche Barnett ; 
Jennie Rossity, Miss Violet Friend; Eva Nescent, Miss Marie 
Lascelles ; Ella Gant, Miss Irene du Foye ; Kitty Seabrook, 
Miss Kate Vaughan. Withdrawn 3Oth June. 


2. HER DEAREST FOE: Comedy Drama in Four Acts, 
adapted from Mrs Alexander's novel by Miss Henrietta Lindley. 
Criterion. (Afternoon performance.) Cast: Colonel Sir Hugh 
Galbraith, Mr Frank Worthing; Major Upton, Mr Frank 
Atherley; Mr Robert Ford, Mr Acton Bond; Frank Reid, Mr 
Hamilton Revelle ; Adolphus Trapes, Mr Sydney Valentine ; Dr 
Slade, Mr Charles Allan ; Edwards, Mr C. Terric ; Lady Styles, 
Miss Dolores Drummond ; Amy Leigh, Miss Annie Webster ; 
Mills, Mrs E. H. Brooke; Mrs Travers, Miss Henrietta Lindley. 

4. THE WILD DUCK: Play in Five Acts, by Henrik 
Ibsen. Royalty. (Three performances promoted by the In- 
dependent Theatre Society.) Cast : IVerle, Mr George Warde; 
Gregers Werle, Mr Charles Fulton; Old Ekdal, Mr Harding 
Cox ; Hialmar Ekdal, Mr W. L. Abingdon ; Gina Ekdal, Mrs 
Herbert Waring; Hedvig, Miss Winifred Fraser; Mrs Sorby, 
Mrs Charles Creswick ; Relling, Mr Lawrence Irving ; Molvik, 
Mr Gilbert Trent ; Graaberg, Mr Charles Legassick ; Petterson, 
Mr Sydney Dark; Jensen, Mr C. S. Skarratt; Flor, Mr G. 
Armstrong ; Balk, Mr Herbert Fletcher ; Kaspersen, Mr Herbert 

8. A SILVER HONEYMOON: Domestic Come4y, by 
Richard Henry. Trafalgar. Cast : Mathew Brumby, Mr A. 
Playfair ; Martha, Miss Hilda Glenn ; Sawstone, Mr H. G. 
Dupres ; Lilian, Miss Maggie Roberts ; Jim, Mr Edgar Stevens ; 
A Personage, Miss Adelaide Astor, Afront piece to "Go-Bang." 


10. GENTLE IVY : Play in Four Acts, by Austin Fryers. 
Strand. (Afternoon performance. ) Cast : Lord Hartland, Mr 
Alfred B. Cross; The Hon. Stuart Plowden, Mr Stanley Pringle; 
Lord Ruislip, Mr H. A. Saintsbury ; The Hon. Tom Bucklaw, 
Mr Rowland Atwood; Mr Job Polwyl, Mr Leonard Calvert; 
The Rev. Stephen Trefelyn, Mr Orlando Barnett ; Ernie Bower ; 
Miss Valli Valli ; Mrs Polwyl, Miss Susie Vaughan ; Countess of 
Eglin, Mrs Theodore Wright; Lady Gwendoline, Miss Rose 
Nesbitt: Lady Adelaide, Miss Kate Bealby; Mrs Trefelyn, Miss 
C. E. Morland; Miss Trefelyn, Mrs Gordon Ascher; Ivy Bower \ 
Miss Frances Ivor. Preceded by A LOVE LETTER. 
Cast : Captain Damborough, Mr Graham Wentworth ; John, 
Mr V. Flexmore ; Lady Torchester, Miss Mary Stuart ; Hetty, 
Miss Clara Greet ; Nurse Edith, Miss Ethel Selwyn. 

10. A SOCIETY BUTTERFLY : Comedy of Modern 
Life, by Robert Buchanan and Henry Murray. Opera Comique. 
Cast : Mr Charles Duiiley, Mr William Herbert ; Dr Coppee, Mr 
Allan Beaumont ; Captain Be/ton, Mr F. Kerr ; Lord Augustus 
Leith, Mr Edward Rose ; Major CraigeUler, Mr Henry J. 
Carvill; Lord Ventnor, Mr S. Jerram; Herr Max, Mr H. 
Templeton ; Bangle, Mr Charles R. Stuart ; The Duchess of 
Newhaven, Miss Rose Leclercq ; Lady Mil-wood, Mr Walsingham ; 
The Hon. Mrs Stanley, Miss Liddie Morand ; Mrs Courtlandt 
Parke, Miss E. B. Sheridan ; Miss Staten, Miss Ethel Norton ; 
Rose, Miss Eva Williams ; Marsh, Miss Eva Vernon ; Mrs 
Dudley, Mrs Langtry. Characters in the intermezzo : Hera, 
Miss Walsingham ; Pallas, Miss Liddie Morand ; sEnone, Miss 
Gladys Evisson; Pans, Mr F. Kerr; Aphrodite, Mrs Langtry. 
Withdrawn 22nd June. 

12. JEAN MAYEUX: Mimodrama in Three Acts. 
Princess's. A French Company. Withdrawn igth May. 

12. THE TWO ORPHANS: Drama in Five Acts, 
adapted from the French by John Oxenford. Adelphi. Cast: 
Count de Liniere, Mr Herl>ert Flemming ; Marquis de Presles, 
Mr Lyston Lyle ; Armand, Mr Ernest Leicester ; Jacques, Mr 
William Rignold ; Pierre, Mr Charles Cartwright ; The Doctor, 
Mr W. Cheesman; Picard, Mr David S. James ; Mar/ex, Mr W, 


Northcote; La Fleiir, Mr J. Northcote; Marais, Mr Herbert 
Budd ; Count de Alailly, Mr V. Everard ; Marquis d'Eslrees, Mr 
R. Norton; Charlotte, Mr R. Collins; Jacquot, Mr Nesbitt; 
Countess de Liniese, Miss Alice Lingard ; Louise, Miss Marion 
Terry; Henriette, Miss Ellis Jeffreys ; LaFrochard, Miss Dolores 
Drummond; Marianne, Miss Edith Cole; Genevieve, Miss 
Marietta Polini ; Florette, Miss Alma Stanley ; Cora, Miss Ailsa 
Craig. Withdrawn 1 8th June. 

14. THE MAN IN THE STREET: Play in One Act, 
by Louis N. Parker. Avenue. Cast : Jabez Cover, Mr James 
Welch ; Philip Adare, Mr G. R. Foss ; Minnie Adare, Miss 
Winifred Fraser. A front piece to "Arms and the Man." 

17. MARRIAGE : Play in Three Acts, by Brandon Thomas 
and Henry Keeling. Revived at the Court. Cast : Sir Charles 
Jenks, Mr Mackintosh; Sir John Belton, Bart., Mr Sidney 
Brough; The Hon. Dudley Chumbleigh, Mr C. P. Little; 
Quayle, Mr H. Hudson ; Lady Belton, Miss Lena Ashwell ; 
The Hon. Mrs Dudley Chumbleigh, Miss Gertrude Kingston. 
Withdrawn I4th July. Preceded by THE CAPE MAIL. 
Cast: Mrs Preston, Miss Carlotta Addison; Mrs Frank Preston, 
Miss Vane Featherstone ; Alary Preston, Miss M. Abbot ; Capt.- 
Surgeon Hugh Travers, Mr W. Draycott ; Mr Quiche, Mr Sant 
Matthews ; Bartle, Mr W. H. Quinton ; Mason, Miss Lilian 

Ip. MONEY : Lord Lytton's Comedy. Revival at the 
Garrick. Cast : Sir John Vesey, Mr John Hare ; Lord Gloss- 
more, Mr Arthur Bourchier; Sir Frederick Blount, Mr Alan 
Aynesworth; Stotit, Mr Kemble; Graves, Mr Arthur Cecil; 
Evelyn, Mr Forbes Robertson ; Captain Dudley Smooth, Mr C. 
H. E. Brookfield; An Old Member, Mr Gilbert Hare; Mi- 
Sharp, Mr C. Rock ; Take, Mr Du Maurier ; Servant, Mr A. 
Sims ; Lady Franklin, Mrs Bancroft ; Georgina, Mrs Maud 
Millett; Clara, Miss Kate Rorke. Withdrawn 2oth July; run 
resumed 27th October; withdrawn 2 1st December. 

One Act, by Lawrence Irving. Criterion. (Afternoon per- 
2 B 


formance. ) Cast : Ivan Ivanovitch Saradoob, Mr Cyril Maude ; 
Vasili Ivanovitch, Mr H. B. Irving ; Dimitri Konstantinovitch, 
Mr Lawrence Irving; Grigori Grigorivitch, Mr Cecil Ramsey; 
Misha, I. Heslewood; Nikolai, Mrlnnes; Anna Ivanovo, Miss 
Dolores Drummond ; Katyer, Miss Isa Bowman. Preceded by 
THE SUPER, a One Act Play, by Arthur M. Heathcote. 
Cast : Christopher Tweddle, Mr A. M. Heathcote ; Kenneth 
Adare, Mr R. Horniman ; Mrs Avery, Mrs Ed. Phelps. 

30. THE CANDIDATE: Comedy in Three Acts, adapted 
^by Justin Huntly M'Carthy from Alexander Bisson's " La 
Depute de Bombignac." Revival at the Criterion. Cast : 
Lord Oldacre, Mr Charles Wyndham ; Alaric Baffin, Mr George 
Giddens ; Barnabas Goodeve, Mr W. Blakeley ; Amos Martlett, 
Esq., Mr C. W. Somerset; Captain Hazlefoot, Mr Frank 
Worthing ; Jacobs, Mr Markham ; Dowager Countess Osterley, 
Miss Fanny Coleman; Lady Oldacre, Miss Miriam Clements; 
Mrs Amos Martlett, Miss Pattie Browne; Lady Dorothy Osterley, 
Miss Mary Moore. Withdrawn I4th August. 



Proverb in One Act, by "John Oliver Hobbes" and George 
Moore. Daly's. (Afternoon performance.) Cast : Sir Philip 
Soupise, Mr Forbes Robertson ; Captain Maramour, Mr William 
Terriss ; Lady Soupise, Miss Ellen Terry. 

7. THE BLACKMAILERS: Play in Four Acts, by John 
Gray and Andre Raffalovitch. Prince of Wales's. (After- 
noon performance.) Cast : Admiral Sir Felbert Dangar, Mr 
Julian Cross; Mr Dangar Felbert, Mr C. Colnaghi; Edward 
Bond Hinton, Mr A. B. Davenport ; Guy Joscelyn, Mr Harry 
Eversfield ; Claud Price, Mr W. L. Abingdon ; Servant to Hal 
Dangar, Mr Frank Weathersby ; Servant to the Bond Hintons, 
Mr E. Bellenden ; Hyacinth Halford Dangar, Mr Charles 
Thursby ; Lady Felbert, Miss Emily Miller ; The Hon. Miss 
Alcyra Felbert, Miss Mary Collan ; Mrs Dangar, Mrs Theodore 
Wright ; Violet Bond Hinton, Miss M. T. Brunton ; Susan, Miss 
Henrietta Cross; Camilla Bond Hinton, Miss Olga Brandon. 


14. SIXES AND SEVENS: A Dialogue, by E. H. 
Whitmore. Criterion. (Afternoon performance. ) Cast : Miss 
Edith Cashdown, Miss Irene Vanbrugh ; Captain George Hope, 
Mr Arthur Bourchier. 

14. CHERRY HALL: Play in Three Acts, by Forbes 
Dawson. Avenue. (Afternoon performance.) Cast: Lady 
Baynton, Mrs Bennett ; Miss Metcalf, Miss Ettie Williams ; Mrs 
Taylor, Miss Marjorie Christmas; Mabel Vander, Miss Dora 
Baston; Maid, Miss Agnes Russell; Mr Trevor, Mr Charles 
Glenney ; Lord Baynton, M.F.H., Mr J. A. Rosier; Lord Elgar, 
Mr W. L. Abingdon; Dr Tayler, Mr Gilbert Trent; Captain 
Potter, Mr J. Barker; Walter Stockson, Mr Lawrance Dorsay; 

Jack Stockson, Mr Compton Coutts; Michael, Mr James A. 
Warden ; Reed, Mr Story Gofton ; Footman, Mr Barratt. 

15. DULVERYDOTTY : Farce, by Mrs Adams Acton. 
Terry's. Cast : Mr Sandbird, Mr George Belmore ; Mr Joshua 
Sandbird, Mr E. H. Kelly ; Mr Quintin Westbrook, Mr Huntley 
Wright; Mrs Sandbird, Miss Jessie Danvers; Miss Polly Sand- 
bird, Miss Blanche Barnett ; Miss Vera Westbrook, Miss Lizzie 
Ruggles; Susie, Miss Eva Levens. Front piece to "King 

16. THE MIDDLEMAN: Play in Four Acts, by Henry 
Arthur Jones. Revived at the Comedy. (Mr Willard's season.) 
Cast : Sir Seat on Umfraville, Mr Basse tt Roe ; Lady Umfraville, 
Mrs George Canninge; Felicia Umfraville, Miss Violet Arm- 
bruster ; Mr Joseph Chandler, Mr Royce Carlton ; Mrs Chandler, 
Mrs H. Caine ; Maud Chandler, Miss Keith Wakeman ; Captain 
Julian Chandler, Mr W. T. Lovell ; Batty Todd, Mr H. Cane ; 

Cyrus Blenkam, Mr Willard; Jesse Pegge, Mr F. H. Tyler; 
Mary Blenkarn, Miss Agnes Verity; Nancy Blenkarn, Mis 
Nannie Craddock ; Daneker, Mr F. Maxwell ; Epiphany Danks 
Mr Cecil Crofton; Mr Vachel, Mr Thos. Sidney; Dutton, Mr 
C. Moore. Withdrawn 23rd June. 

18. Madame Sarah Bernhardt began her season at Daly's with 
the production of IZEYL. Subsequent productions or revivals 
were : " Les Rois," " La Femme de Claude," " Fedora," " La 


Dame aux Camelias," and "La Tosca." THE SPARE 
ROOM : Curtain Raiser, by Leopold A. A. D. Montague ; and 
FOR GOOD OR EVIL : Play in Three Acts, by Mrs A. J. 
Macdonnell. Royalty. (Afternoon performance.) 

20. SHALL WE FORGIVE HER? Drama in Five 
Acts, by Frank Harvey. Adelphi. Cast : Oliver West, Mr 
Fred Terry ; Paul Elsworth, Mr F. H. Macklin ; Neil Garth, 
Mr Charles Dalton; Doctor M'Kerrow, Mr Julian Cross; fames 
Stapleton, Mr Herbert 1'lemming; Reggie, Mr Harry Eversfield; 
Jerry Blake, Mr Herbert Budd ; Grace, Miss Julia Neilson ; 

Aunt Martha, Mrs H. Leigh ; Joanna Lightfoot, Ada Neilson ; 
Nellie West, Miss Mabel Hardinge. Withdrawn i8lh August. 

21. THE TEXAN : Play in Four Acts, by Tyrone Power. 
Princess's. Cast : Sir Eardley Gumming, Mr Rudge Harding ; 
Cecil dimming, Mr Oswald Yorke; Major Gordon Tyrrell, Mr 
A. E. Drinkwater ; Dr Bryant, Mr Ernest Cosham ; Jordan 
Wycke, Esq. , Mr Littledale Power ; Osborne, Mr L. Lees ; 
Cra-wley, Mr Mark Paton; Mr Busteed, Mr Robert Munro; 
William Plainleigh, Mr Tyrone Power; Lady Gumming, Miss 
May Howard ; Mrs Gordon Tyrrell, Miss Edith Crane ; 
Mrs Wycke, Miss Katherine Stewart; Maria Barker, Miss 
Kate Hartley ; Bishop, Miss Maggie Byron. Ran only a few 

23. MADAME SANS GENE : Play in Four Acts, by 
M. Victorien Sardou and Emile Moreau (Madame Rejane's 

Three Acts, by J. M. Barrie. Comedy. Cast : Professor 
Goodwillie, Mr E. S. Willard; Dr Cosens, Mr H. Cane; Dr 
Yellowlees, Mr Hugh Harting ; Miss Agnes Goodwillie, Mrs G. 
Canninge; Lucy White, Miss Bessie Hatton; Effie Proctor, Mrs 
H. Cane; Sir George Gilding, Mr Bassett Roe; Lady Gilding, 
Miss Keith Wakeman ; The Dowager Lady Gilding, Miss 
Nannie Craddock; Henders, Mr Royce Carlton; Pete, Mr F. 
H. Tyler; Servants, Messrs Moore and Maxwell. Transferred 
to the Garrick Theatre. Withdrawn 26th October. 


27. A FAMILY MATTER: Comedy in Three Acts, by 
C. G. Compton and A. George Hockley. Garrick. (Afternoon 
performance. ) Cast : The Rev. John Conisbee, Mr Charles 
Groves ; Gilbert, Mr C. M. Ilallard ; The Rev. William 
Richardson, Mr Alfred Bucklaw ; Lord Eustace Leslie, Mr W. 
Granville; Colonel Sir George Mitchell, Mr Howard Sturge; 
Barlram, Mr Albert Sims; Lady Conisbee, Miss Mary Rorke; 
Dulcie, Miss Winifred Fraser ; Jean, Miss Ellis Jeffries; Maid, 
Miss Pendennis. Preceded by IN TWO MINDS: Com- 
medietta, by A. M. Heathcote. Cast : Lady Margaret Minniver, 
Miss Annie Webster ; Parkins, Mrs- Agnes Hill. 

28. A NIGHT IN TOWN: Farcical Comedy in Three 
Acts, by H. A. Sherbourn (originally produced at the Strand, 
on 2 1st April 1891. Afternoon performance.) Royalty. 
Cast: Mr Babbicombe, Q.C., Mr Harry Paulton; Fred, Mr 
Cecil Ramsey; Mr Dovedale, Mr Hindman Lucas; Frank 
Darlington, Mr Loring Fernie; Mr Culpepper, Mr William 
Lockhart ; Jorkins, Mr Compton Coutts; Simmons, Mr Henry 
Nelson; Policeman, Mr Hubert Evlyn; Pierotte, Mr Grahame 
Herrington ; Mrs Babbicombe, Miss Emily Miller ; Mrs Dovedale, 
Miss Louisa Peach ; Mabel, Miss Henrietta Cross; Beatrice, Miss 
Florence Friend; Polly Parker, Miss Julia Warden; Mrs Pegivell, 
Miss Blanche Eversleigh; Maud Merrilon, Miss Lucille Heaton; 
Lottie, Miss K. M'lver; Nellie, Miss Ada Palmer; Bettie, Miss 
Legh; Carrie Cuthbert, Miss Kate Santley. Withdrawn nth 
July. Preceded by FLOATING A COMPANY, in which 
Miss Henrietta Cross and Mr Hurdman Lucas appeared, and by 
VILLON. Cast: Francois Villon, Mr Loring Fernie ; Father 
Gervais, Mr William Lockhart ; Helene, Miss P'lorence Field. 


2. A MODERN EVE : Play in Three Acts, by Malcolm 
C. Salaman. Haymarket. (Afternoon performance. ) Cast : 
Vivian Hereford, Mrs Tree; Mrs Mowbray Meryon, Miss Lottie 
Venne; Mrs Malleson, Mrs Boucicault; Sir Gerald Raeburn, 
Mr Charles Allan; Eardley Hereford, Mr Fred Terry; Kenyan 
Wargrave, Mr Tree ; Servant, Miss Conover ; Melford, Mr Hay. 


OUR FLAT: Comedy in Three Acts, by Mrs Musgrave. 
Strand. (A revival.) Cast: Margery Sylvester, Miss May 
Whitty; Lucy M l Callum, Miss Georgie Esmond; Bella, Miss 
Annie Goward; Clara Pryout, Miss May Edouin; Madam 
Volant, Miss Ina Goldsmith; Elsie Claremont, Miss Grace Lane; 
Reginald Sylvester, Mr Charles S. Fawcett ; Clarence Vane, Mr 
Herbert Ross; Mr M' Callum, Mr Ernest Hendrie; Stout, Mr 
E. M. Sillward ; Pinchard, Mr Robert Wainby ; Foreman, Mr 
Douglas Gordon ; Nathaniel Glover, Mr Willie Edouin. With- 
drawn nth October. 

3- MIRETTE : Opera in Three Acts ; Book by Michel 
Carre, English Lyrics by Frederic E. Weatherley, English 
Dialogue by Harry Greenbank, Music by Andre Messager ; the 
book eventually revised by Adrian Ross. Savoy. Cast : Gerard, 
Mr Scott Fishe; The Baron Vanden Berg, Mr John Coates; 
Notary, Mr Her ert Rolland; Picorin, Mr Courtice Pounds; 
Bobinet, Mr Walter Passmore; Francal, Mr Avon Saxon; Ber- 
bicao, Mr Scott Russell ; Burgomaster, Mr John Coates ; Max, 
Mr Herbert Ralland ; Mirette, Miss Maud Ellicott ; Bianco, 
Miss Florence Perry; The Dancing-Girl, Miss Emmie Owen; 
The Marquise, Miss Rosina Brandram. Withdrawn nth 
August ; revived 6th October to 6th December. 

5. THE NEW LIFE : Play in One Act, by William 
Gayer Mackay. Avenue. (Afternoon performance.) Cast: 
Dennis Wylde, Mr W. Gayer Mackay ; Robert Capper, Mr 
Herbert Flemming; Vera Wilde, Miss Mary Allestree. Also 
IN THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA : Musical Fantasy in 
One Act and Two Scenes; Words and Lyrics by William Gayer 
Mackay, Music by Angela Goetze. Cast : {Mortals") Sir James 
Barker, Mr Robert Legge ; Algy Fttzroy, Mr Hamilton Revelle ; 
Lady Barker, Miss Carlingford ; Maud Fitzroy, Miss Hilda 
Rivers ; (Immortals) Sylvia Whiting, Mrs Herbert Morris ; 
Marina, Miss Jenny Featherstone ; Ruby Mullett, Miss Juliet 
Groves ; John Doricus, Mr W. Gayer Mackay. Also SUCH 
IS LOVE : Comedy in One Act, by Alfred M. Mond. Cast : 
Clarence Montagu, Mr Montgomery ; Mr Greville, Mr Dawson 


Millward; Augustus Stanley, Mr Robert Legge; Mrs Rainer, 
Miss Cowper Coles ; Miss Daisy Rainer, Miss Braithwaite ; Mrs 
Greville, Miss Mary Allestree ; Servant, Mr Shiel. THE 
HOUSE OF LORDS: Operetta in One Act, written by 
Harry Greenbank ; Music by G. W. Byng and Ernest Ford. 
Lyric. Cast : Duke of Hanover Square , Mr Furneaux Cook ; 
Halifax Finsbury, Mr Wilbur Gunn ; Air Murgatroyd, Mr W. 
S. Laidlaw ; Duchess of Hanover Square, Miss Adelaide Newton, 
Lady Victoria Portobello, Miss Dora Thorne. 

12. TERPSICHORE : Play in One Act, by Justin Huntly 
M'Carthy. Lyric. (Morning performance for the benefit of 
the Choristers' Association. ) Cast : Margaret, Miss Ada Jenoure ; 
Barbara, Miss Marianne Caldwell; Lord Mohun, Mr A. H. 
Revelle; Master Oldacre, Mr Rudge Harding. Also A 
DRAWN BATTLE : Duologue, by Malcolm Watson. 

14. A SUCCESSFUL MISSION : Duologue, in One 
Act. Prince of Wales's. (Tentative production, before an 
afternoon performance of "The Gaiety Girl.") Cast: Alice 
Gray, Miss Maud Hobson ; John Winton, Mr George Mudie. 

20. A LIFE POLICY : Play in Four Acts, by Helen 
Davis. Terry's. (Afternoon performance. ) Cast : Colonel 
Leigh, Mr Charles Rock; Lawrence Maber, Mr Herbert Flem- 
ming; Dr Langley, Mr Phillip Cunningham ; Reginald Lowthian, 
Mr Rudge Harding; The Rev. Mr Govette, Mr F. Percival 
Stevens ; Mr Kelp, Mr Robb Harwood ; Dr Rogers, Mr Albert 
Sims; Dr Drew, Mr Harold Mead; Detective, Mr E. G. Wood- 
house; John, Mr Rivers; Little Lawrence, Miss Valli Valli; 
Elsie, Miss Winifred Fraser; Beatrice Morte, Mrs Herbert 
Waring; Mrs Lothian, Miss Bertha Staunton; Nurse Billings, 
Mrs Edward Saker; Matilda, Miss Rose Dudley. 

23. NOT A BAD JUDGE: Comic Drama in Two Acts, 
by J. R. Planche. Revival at the Royalty. Cast : Marquis de 
Treval, Mr Leslie Kenyon; Count de Steinberg, Mr W. Lugg; 
John Caspar Lavater, Mr W. L. Abingdon ; Christian, Mr J. 
Kingston; Bet man, Mr Compton Coutts; Zug, Mr E. Dagnal; 
Rutley, Mr F. Macrae; Notary, Mr Arthur Coe; Servant, Mr 


Barrett; Louise, Miss Ettie Williams; Madam Betman, Miss 
Katherine Stewart. Also a Revival of THE LINEN- 
DRAPER : Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, by J. R. Brown 
and J. F. Thornthwaite. Cast: Benjamin Bazin, Mr E. M. 
Robson ; Squire de Broke, Mr W. Lugg ; Captain Harold de 
Broke, Mr Leslie Kenyon; Reginald Maitland, Mr Compton 
Coutts; Lush, Mr E. Da^nall; George, Mr Barrett; Sarah, 
Miss Cicely Richards; Elinor Marsh, Miss Ettie Williams; 
Mary Bazin, Miss Mary Raby ; Mrs Maitland, Miss Katherine 
Stewart. Withdrawn. 

26. THE PURITAN : Play in Four Acts, by Christie 
Murray, Henry Murray, and J. L. Shine. Trafalgar. (After- 
noon performance.) Cast: frank Milton, Mr Charles Glenney ; 
Sir John Saunderson, Mr W. L. Abingdon; Baron de Marsal, 
Mr Edward O'Neill ; James Burdock, MrJ. L. Shine; Mr Bufios, 
Mr Sant Mathews; Colonel Cheriere, Mr George Warde; Del- 
becchi, Mr Harry Grattan ; Suisse, Mr S. Hill ; Jean, Mr H. G. 
Dupres ; Waiter, Mr J. Mahoney ; Countess de Ricquiere, 
Miss Florence Seymour ; Mary Milton, Miss Winifred Fraser; 
Leonide de Blanc, Mrs Theodore Wright ; Baroness de Marsac, 
Miss Alice de Winton ; Madame Dtiflos, Miss Agnes Hewitt ; 
Adele Duflos, Miss Dora Barton. 


9. LOYAL : Play in One Act, by H. T. Johnson. Produced 
as a front piece to "The New Boy." Vaudeville. Cast: Col. 
Clulcrw, Mr F. Volpe ; King Charles II., Mr T. Kingston; 
Master Perkin Portsoken, Mr A. Helmore ; Robin Ruddock, Mr 
T. A. Palmer; Sergeant Joel, Mr J. Mackay ; Lilian Clulow, 
Miss Esme Bezinger ; Cicely, Miss A. Beet. 

II. LITTLE JACK SHEPPARD: Burlesque in Three 
Acts, by H. P. Stephens and W. Yardley ; Music by various 
composers. (A revival. ) Gaiety. Cast : Jack Sheppard, Miss 
Georgina Preston ; Jonathan Wilde, Mr Seymour Hicks; Blue- 
skin, Mr Charles Danby; Mr Wood, Mr E. W. Royce; Abra- 
ham Mendez, Mr Frank Wood ; Mrs Sheppard, Miss Lizzie 
Collier; Kneebone, Mr W. Warde; Sir Roland Trenchard, Mr 


W. Cheeseman ; Thames Darrell, Miss Amy Augarde ; Poll 
Stanmore, Miss Florence Levey ; Edgeworth Bess, Miss Violet 
Monckton, Kitty Kettleby, Miss Georgina Preston ; Mrs Wood, 
Miss Maria Jones ; Winifred Wood, Miss Ellaline Terriss. With- 
drawn 29th September. 

15. HOT WATER: Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, 
adapted from MM. Meilhac and Halevy's "La Boule." (A 
revival. ) Criterion. Cast : Chauncery Pattleton, Mr Charles 
Hawlrey; Sir Philander Rose, Mr Edward Righton ; Martin, 
Mr George Giddens ; Corbyn, Mr J. G. Taylor ; M'Lud, Mr 
William Blakeley ; Moddle, Mr Sydney Valentine ; Clerk of the 
Court, Mr W. Wyes ; Stage Manager, Mr F. Atherley ; Pielro, 
Mr F. Vigay ; Footman, Mr Nichols ; Tiger, Master Westgate ; 
Mrs Pattleton, Miss Edith Chester ; Madam Marietta, Miss 
Edith Clements; Lady Rose, Miss Alice de Winton; Mrs Pitcher, 
Miss Emily Vining ; fane, Miss Katharine Drew ; Nina, Miss 
Annie Saker. Withdrawn I5th September. 

One Act, by Sutton Vane. Terry's. Cast : fasper Hope, Mr 
George Warde; Lieut. Fergus Boyn'e, Mr Oswald Yorke; 
Morgan, Mr Stanley Kenness; Felicia Hope, Miss Lizzie 
Webster; Beatrice', Miss Gwynne Herbert. Also THE 
FOUNDLING : Farce in Three Acts, by W. Lestocq and E. 
M. Robson. Cast : Major Cotton, Mr Charles Groves ; Dick 
Pennell, Mr Sydney Brough ; Timothy Hucklebridge, Mr 
Huntley Wright ; Jack Stanton, Mr Oswald Yorke ; Sir Nicholas 
Pennell, Mr George Warde; Alice Meynall, Miss Ellis Jeffries; 
Mrs Cotton, Miss Susie Vaughan; Sophie Cotton, Miss Fanny 
Erris; Miss Ussher, Miss Minnie Clifford; The Tricky Little 
Maybud, Miss Emmeline Orford. Withdrawn a6th October. 


I. THE NEW WOMAN: Comedy in Four Acts, by 
Sydney Grundy. Comedy. Cast : Gerald Cazenove, Mr Fred 
Terry; Colonel Cazenove, Mr Cyril Maude; Captain Sylvester, 
Mr J. G. Grahame; Mr Armstrong, Mr W. Wyes; Mr Percy 


Pettigrew, Mr S. Champion ; Wells, Mr J. Byron ; Lady 
Wargrave, Miss Rose Leclercq ; Mrs Sylvester, Miss Alma 
Murray; Enid Bethune, Miss Laura Graves; Victoria Vivash, 
Miss Gertrude Warden; Dr Mary Bevan, Miss Irene Rickards; 
Margery Armstrong, Miss Winifred Emery. Still running. 

6. THE FATAL CARD : Play in Five Acts, by C. 
Haddon Chambers and B. C. Stephenson. Adelphi. Cast : 
Gerald Austen, Mr William Terriss ; George Marrable, Mr 
Murray Carson; Harry Burgess, Mr Harry Nichols; A. K. 
Austen, Mr Charles Fulton ; James Dixon, Mr W. L. Abingdon ; 
Terence CfFlynn, Mrs Richard Purdon ; Sulky Smith, Mr Cory 
Thomas; Harry Curies, Mr Herbert Budd; -Hiram Webster, 
Mr Caleb Porter ; Cyrus Wackford, Mr Ackerman May ; Bully 
Jack, Mr W. A. Harrison; Dutch Winnigan, Mr W. Strickland; 
Cowboy, Mr W. Younge; Cattleman, Mr Walford; Mike, Mr F. 
Boden; Margaret Mart-able, Miss Millward; Mercedes, Miss 
Vane ; Cecile Austen, Miss Laura Linden ; Miss Penelope Austen, 
Miss Sophie Larkin ; Kate Threestars, Miss Du Foye ; Servant 
in Act III., Miss Retta Villis ; Servant in Act 1 V. , Miss Beatrice 
Hayden. Still running. 

Three Acts, adapted by Brandon Thomas from the German of 
TheodorTaube and Isodor Fuchs; Music by Edward Jakobowski. 
Lyceum. Cast : Florian Bauer, Mr Hubert Wilke ; Delia 
Fontana, Mr Arthur Williams; Lucca Rabbiato, Mr W. Denny; 
Grelotto, Mr John Le Hay ; Major Victor Pulvereitzer, Mr Avon 
Saxon ; Count Radaman Caprimonte, Mr Owen Westford ; 
Moritz, Mr Fred Story ; Max, Mr F. Wright, jun. ; Beppo, Mr 
Compton Coutts; Andrea, Mr Rupert Lyster; Waiter, Mr 
Henry George ; Fritz, Mr George Honey ; Don Garcia, Mr 
James Pearson ; Footman, Mr Hendon ; A Hackney Coachman, 
Mr Robert Stevens ; Head Gardener, Mr John Evans ; Madame 
Englestein, Madame Amadi ; Emma, Miss Lizzie Ruggles ; 
Orsola, Miss Annie Meyers; Mirandola, Miss Florence Burle; 
Carola, Miss Sadie Wigley ; Fioretta, Miss Lillie Comyns ; 
Minna, Miss Susanne Leonard ; Fraulein Kauf, Miss Zoe 
Gilfillian ; Fraulein Schmidt, Miss Jessie Bradford ; Head 


Matron, Miss Bertha Staunton ; Bella, Miss Lillian Russell. 
Withdrawn i8th October. 

13. THE CHINAMAN: Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, 
by John Tresahar. Trafalgar. Cast : The Hon. Henry 
Reginald Hampton, Mr John Tresahar ; Percy Fenton, Mr T. G. 
Warren ; Ephraim Z. van Beekman, Mr Graham Wentworth ; 
Cotton, Miss Clara Jecks ; M. Henri Gratin, Mr Frank 
Wyatt; Julia, Miss Cicely Richards; Constance Fenton, Miss 
Rhoda Halkett ; Lucy, Miss Delia Carlyle ; Stella van Beekman, 
Miss Edith Kenward. Preceded by THE ELECTRIC 
SPARK: Adaptation by Elizabeth Bessie of " L'Etincelle. " 
Cast : Lady Treherne, Miss Blanche Ripley ; Geraldine, Miss 
Delia Carlyle ; Captain Norreys, Mr Graham Wentwater. 
Withdrawn 4th October. 

14. LITTLE MISS 'CUTE: Variety Comedy in Four 
Acts, by C. T. Vincent ; arranged for the English stage by E. 
B. Norman. Royalty. Cast : Archie Forrester, Mr Gerald 
Spencer ; Sir Arthur Radcliffe, Mr Frank H. Fenton ; Admiral 
Caroll Leslie, Mr Eardley Turner ; Edward Mountfort, Mr 
Edward Broughton ; Count Giuseppe Marani, Mr Ivan Watson ; 

Jones, Mr Albert Sims ; Filippo, Mr A. H. Brooke ; Lady 
Radcliffe, Miss Alexis Leighton ; Helen Dean, Miss Violet 
Armbruster ; Mrs Leslie, Miss Ethel Hope ; Miss Cute Dexter, 
Miss Hope Booth. Withdrawn after one performance. Pre- 
ceded by ON TOAST. Cast : Mrs Leigh, Miss Violet Arm- 
bruster ; Mrs Mapleson, Miss Lillie Young ; Air Peter Mapleson, 
Mr S. Lascelles ; Mr Leigh, Mr Owen Harris ; Joseph, Mr 
Albert Sims. 

15. THE DERBY WINNER: Drama in Four Acts, by 
Sir Augustus Harris, Cecil Raleigh, and Henry Hamilton. 
Drury Lane. Cast : The Duchess ofMilford, Mrs John Wood ; 
The Countess of Desborough, Miss Beatrice Lamb; Mrs Donelly, 
Miss Louise Moodie ; Annette Donelly, Miss Pattie Browne ; 
Vivien Darville, Miss Alma Stanley ; Mary Aylmer, Miss Hetty 
Dene; Nurse Lumley, Miss Amy Abbott; The Earl of Des- 
borough, Mr Arthur Bourchier ; Harold, Viscount Fernside, Miss 
Evelyn Hughes ; Colonel Myles Donelly, Mr James East ; Major 


Geoffrey Mostyn, Mr Charles Cartwright ; Captain Lord Chis- 
holm, Mr Ruclge Harding; Rupert Leigh, Mr Charles Dalton ; 
The Hon. Guy Bagot, Mr Ernest Lawford ; Cyprian Streatfield, 
Mr George Giddens; Joe Aylmer, Mr Lionel Rignold; Dick 
Hammond, Mr Harry Eversfield ; Mr Longford, Mr Maurice 
Drew; Mr Wilson, Mr Charles Hurst; Mr Wallace, Mr Henry 
Loraine ; Waiter at the Railway Hotel, Mr James Francis ; 
Boots at the Railway Hotel, Mr Jervis Vincent; Auctioneer at 
TattersaFs, Mr Maurice Dudley; Guide at the Law Courts, 
Mr Arthur Cowley ; Usher at the Law Courts, Mr John 
Lock ; Servant to Lord Desborough, Mr Digby Roberts ; 
Waiter at the White Hart Hotel, Mr Charles Danvers; Lady 
Hilborough, Miss Lena Delphine; Lady Mary Prestbury, Miss 
Lizzie Wilson ; Countess of Longfield, Miss Georgie Cook ; 
Duchess of Queenstown, Miss Lydia Rachel ; Lady Betty Tufnell, 
Miss L. Brooking; Lady Broadmoor, Miss L. Feverell; Lady 
Hilda Pentonville, Miss E. Beaumont ; The Hon. Mrs Bento- 
mond, Miss J. Talbot ; Miss Amelia P. Calhoun, Miss M. 
Thyler; Miss Grace O'Grady, Miss St Aubyn. Transferred to 
the Princess's, several alterations being made in the cast, 
22nd December. A German Company opened at the Opera 
Comique with GRAF WALDEMAR, and during a season 
that was continued at the Royalty, produced "Tilli," "Der 
Pfarrer von Kirchfeld," "Robert und Bertram," "Die Meined- 
bauer," "Doctor Klaus," "Der Bibliothekar," " Krieg im 
Frieden," " Mein Leopold," " Stiftungsfest," " Wilhelm Tell," 
"Faust," "Nora," "Die Rauber," " Hasemann's Tochter," 
" Hermann und Dorothea," "Eine Partie Piquet," "Man Sucht- 
einen Erzieher," " Der Sportsman," and " Schwabenstreiche. " 

25. CLAUDE DUVAL: Musical Piece in Two Acts, 
written by Frederick Bowyerand Payne Nunn ; Music composed 
by John Cook and Lionel Monckton. Prince of Wales's. 
Cast : Sir Philip Saxmundham, Mr Eric Thome; Percy, Mr 
Fitzroy Morgan ; Sherlock Holmes-Spotter, Mr H. O. Clarey ; 
Pincher, alias Lord Touchem, Mr Charles E. Stevens ; Johnny 
Albany, Miss Georgie Edwards; Harry Burlington, Miss Maud 
Crichton ; Gussy Criterion, Miss Ada Peppiatte ; Bertie Grafton, 


Miss Marie Bmdell ; Jasper, Mr J. Winterbottom ; Simon 
Wuzzle, Mr Hayman ; Jeames, Mr Laidman ; Claude Duval, Mr 
Arthur Roberts; Lady Joan Saxmundham, Miss Amy Liddon ; 
Gertie, Miss Eva Ellerslie; Dolly, Miss Nellie Arline; Betty, 
Miss Thornhill; Letty, Miss Louise Norman; Polly, Miss Ida 
Young; Marjorie Saxmundham, Miss Florice Schuberth; Lady 
Dorcas Chetwynd, Miss Marie Hatton. Still running. 

29. A TRIP TO CHINATOWN : Musical Comedy in 
Two Acts, by Charles Hoy te. Toole's. Cast: Wella nd Strong , 
Mr R. G. Knowles ; Ben Gay, Mr H. de Lange; Rashleigh 
Gay, .Mr Edgar Stevens; Norman Blood, Mr Harry Hilliard; 
Willie Grow, Miss Clara Jecks ; Norah Heap, Mr Albert 
Bernard ; Price, Mr George Egbert ; Slavin Payne, Mr Fred 
Bousfield ; Tiny Gay, Miss Audrey Ford ; Isabella Dame, 
Miss Edith Vane ; Flirt, Miss Georgie Wright ; Mrs Guyer, 
Miss Edith Bruce. Transferred to the Strand, I7th December. 
Still running. Preceded by RICHARD'S PLAY. Cast: 
Richard Alaitland, Mr H. Tripp Edgar ; Admiral Clipperton, 
Mr Albert Bernard ; Sylvia Delaraine, Miss Madeline Rowsell; 
Postboy, Master Watson; Prudence, Miss Kate Everleigh. 
ODETTE : Adaptation of Sardou's Play, by Clement Scott. 
Princess's. Cast: Lord Henry Trevene, Mr Charles Warner ; 
fohnny Stratford, Mr Bernard Gould ; Philip Eden, Mr Herbert 
Flemming; Lord Shandon, Mr Sheridan Lascelles; Lord Arthur 
Trevene, Mr Eardley Howard ; Prince Nobitskvy, Mr Rothbury 
Evans ; Dr Wilkes, Mr Sydney Bowkett ; Air Hanway, Mr 
Gordon Tompkins; Narcisse, Mr Paul M. Berton ; y^v?/^, Mr 
Frederic Jacques; Francois, Mr W. Rosse; Eva Trevene, Miss 
Ettie Williams; Margaret Eden, Miss Marie Cecil; Lady 
Walker, Miss Brinsley Sheridan; Countess Varola, Mrs W. L. 
Abingdon ; Mrs Hanway, Mrs B. M. de Solla; Miss Bertram, 
Miss M. Duppe ; Olga, Miss Eva Valmard ; Odette, Mrs Anna 
Ruppert. Withdrawn I3th October. 



2. TRUTHFUL JAMES : Comedy in Three Acts, by 
James Mortimer and Charles Klein. Royalty. Cast : Nathaniel 
Tugstock, Mr G. W. Anson ; Lemuel Bignold, Mr T. P. Haynes ; 

James Verity, Mr Philip Cunningham; Guy Pontefract, Mr 
Douglas Hamilton ; James Selwyn, Mr Wyndham Guise ; Mrs 
Bignold, Miss Elsie Chester ; Florence Bignold, Miss Annie 
Ferrell ; Ada Selwyn, Miss Carrie Coote; Sarah Tugstock, Miss 
Kate Kearney; Emma Roseby, Miss May Allestree ; Eliza, Miss 
Lydia Cowell. Transferred to the Strand I5th October; with- 
drawn 27th October. Preceded by A PIOUS FRAUD. 
Cast : Sir George Allison, Mr Wyndham Guise ; Herbert 
Allison, Mr Douglas Hamilton ; May, Miss Carrie Coote ; 
Miss Martin, Miss Kate Kearney. 

by Henry Arthur Jones. Criterion. Cast : Sir Richard Kato, 
Q.C., Mr Charles Wyndham; Admiral Sir Joseph Darby, Mr 
Kemble ; James Harabin, Mr C. P. Little ; Fergttsson Pybus, 
Mr Fred Kerr ; Lucien Edensor, Mr Ben Webster ; Mrjacomb, 
Mr E. Dagnall; Kirby, Mr Markham; Lady Darby, Miss 
Fanny Coleman ; Mrs Quesnel, Miss Gertrude Kingston ; Elaine 
Shrimpton, Miss Nina Boucicault ; Lady Susan Harabin, Miss 
Mary Moore. Still running. 

18. MARRIED BY PROXY : Farcical Comedy in Three 
Acts, written by A. W. Yuill. Toole's. (A morning per- 
formance.) Cast: Major Chardin, Mr Clifford Bown; Albert 
Chardin, Mr Edward Compton; Captain Lumley, Mr Robert 
Greville ; Lieut. Archer, Mr Harrison Hunter ; Lieut. Pettigrew, 
Mr Arnold Fitzroy ; Humphrey, Mr Reginald Dartrey ; John, 
Mr John H. Brewer; Mrs Hudson, Miss Bessie Thompson; 
Cecilia Hudson, Miss Sidney Crowe ; Olive Mitford, Miss 
Madeleine Meredith ; Hemma, Miss Elsa Wylde ; Mrs Bummer, 
Miss Jessie Cross. 

20. THE LADY SLAVEY : Musical Farce in Two Acts, 
by George Dance; Music by John Crook. Avenue. Cast: 
Roberts, Mr Charles Danby; Major O'Neill, Mr Robert Pate- 


man ; Vincent A. Evelyn, Mr Henry Beaumont ; Lord Lavender, 
Mr Herbert Sparling ; Captain Fitznorris, Mr George Humphrey; 
Flo Honeydew, Miss Jenny M'Nulty; Maud, Miss Adelaide 
Astor; Beatrice, Miss Blanche Barnett; Madame Pontet, Miss 
Elcho; Madame Louise, Miss Dufoye; Liza, Miss Maryon; 
Emma, Miss Turner ; Phyllis, Miss May Yohe. Still running. 
A GAY WIDOW: Adaptation, by F. C. Burnand, of MM. 
Sardou and Deslandes' Farcical Comedy " Belle Maman." 
Court. Cast : Horace Dudley, Mr Charles Hawtrey ; Peter 
Rutherford, Mr Edward Righton ; Algy Bruce, Mr Gilbert 
Hare; Johnny Danford, Mr Nye Chart; The Hon. Hugh 
Anstruther, Mr E. H. Kelly ; Vicomte de Barsac, Mr Wilfred 
Draycott ; Colonel Afumby, Mr Fred Thome ; Dodd, Mr Compton 
Coutts ; Mr Bentham, Mr Will Dennis ; Count Caramanti, Mr 
Robb Harwood ; Uncle Popley, Mr Fred Vaughan ; Watworth 
Mumby, Mr Aubrey Fitzgerald ; Inspector Percy, Mr V. Everard ; 
Robert, Mr W. Ritter Riley ; James, Mr C. Francis; Joseph, Mr 
Ernest Bertram ; Nellie Dudley, Miss Eva Moore ; Mrs Pipwidge, 
Mr Charles Maltby; Adeliza, Miss Mabel Hardinge; Countess 
Caramonti, Miss Violet Raye; Miller, Miss Arlette Mowbray; 
Miss Witham, Miss Lydia Rachel ; Mrs Marbrook, Miss Lottie 
Venne. Withdrawn. 

22. ROBBERY UNDER ARMS: Drama in Five Acts, 
adapted by Alfred Dampier and Garnet Welch from Rolf Boldre- 
wood's romance. (Originally produced in Australia. ) Princess's. 
Cast: Captain Starlight, Mr Alfred Dampier; Dick Marston, 
Mr Herbert Flemming ; Jim Marston, Mr Rothbury Evans ; Sir 
Ferdinand Morringer, Mr Paul Perton ; Inspector Goring, Mr 
Henry Vibart; Trooper M'Ginnis, Mr Bernard Gould; Trooper 
O'Hara, Mr George Buller; Old Ben Marston, Mr Clarence 
Holt ; George Storefeeld, Mr Owen Harris ; Moran, Mr Charles 
Charrington ; Daly, Mr Charles lender ; Blackjack, Mr E. G. 
Pont; Hulbert, Mr Swift; Mr Baxter, Mr Fred Jacques; The 
Champion Cook, Mr T. Dwyer ; Warrigal, Mr William Bonny ; 
Bilbah, Mr Archer ; King Billy, Mr F. Ford ; Lucky Jack, Mr 
Cohen; Clifford, Mr Edward Bonfield; Dandy Green, Mr H. 
Powis ; Harry the Reefer, Mr West ; Dan Robinson, Mr Garrett ; 


Sam Da-wson, Mr Scot; Arizona Bill, Mr Edwards; Aileen 
Marston, Mrs Anna Ruppert ; Kate Morrison, Miss Katharine 
Russell; Grace Storefield, Miss Rose Dampier; Jennie, Miss 
Marie Cecil ; Miss Euphrosyne Aspen, Miss Carrie Daniels ; 
Norah, Mrs B. M. De Solla; Bella Barnes, Miss Margaret 
Warren ; Lady Passenger, Miss Erlyn. Withdrawn gth 

27. HIS EXCELLENCY : Comic Opera in Two Acts, by 
W. S. Gilbert ; Music by F. Osmond Carr. Lyric. Cast : The 
Regent, Mr Rutland Barrington ; Governor Griffenfeld, Mr 
George Grossmith; Erling, Mr C. Kenningham; Tortennssen, 
Mr Augustus Cramer ; Mats Afunck, Mr John Le Hay ; Harold, 
Mr Arthur Playfair; Sentry, Mr George Temple; First Officer, 
Mr Ernest Snow ; Second Officer, Mr Frank Morton ; Christina, 
Miss Nancy Mackintosh ; Nana, Miss Jessie Bond ; Thora, Miss 
Ellaline Terriss ; Dame Courtlandt, Miss Alice Barnett ; Bianca, 
Miss Gertrude Aylward. Still running. 

31. ALL MY EYE-VANHOE : Burlesque in Two Acts, 
by Philip Hayman; Music by John Crook, Howard Talbot, 
Philip Hayman, and Edwaid Solomon. Trafalgar. Cast: 
Ivanhoe, Mr J. L. Shine; Will Scarlettina, Mr Harry Grattan ; 
Robert Fitzoof, Mr Fred Storey; Seedie Wreck, Mr Fred Wright, 
junior; The Prior of Jaivfolke Abbey, Mr E. M. Robson; Sir 
Brandiboy Gilbert, Mr H. M. Clifford ; Mr Ithaacth, Mr James 
Stevenson ; Prince fohnnie, Mr Harold Eden ; The Lady Soft 
Roeina, Miss Maggie Robert-; Nell Guitar, Miss Alice Leth- 
bridge; Tomba, Miss Clara Jecks; The Countess of Grundy, 
Miss Agnes Hewitt; Boilden Oiley, Esq., Miss Bertha Meyers; 
Lady Alicia Fitzworse, Miss Nita Carlyon ; Miss Rebecca Hot- 
house Peach, Miss Phyllis Broughton. Withdrawn 7th November. 


8. JOHN-A-DREAMS : Play in Four Acts, by C. Haddon 
Chambers. Haymarket. Cast : Harold Wynn, Mr Tree ; Sir 
Hubert Garlinge, Mr Charles Cartwright ; Lord Barbridge, Mr 
Charles Allan; The Hon. and Rev. Stephen Wynne, Mr Nut- 
combe Gould; Percy de Coburn, Mr Herbert Ross; Mr George 


Wanklyn, Mr Edmund Maurice ; Captain Harding, Mr Percival 
Stevens ; First Mate, Mr Willes ; Boats-wain, Mr Bert Thomas ; 
First Steward, Mr Montagu ; Second Steward, Mr Lesley 
Thomson ; Butler, Mr Hay ; Kate Cloud, Mrs Patrick Camp- 
bell; Lady Barbridge, Miss Le Thiere; Mrs Wanklyn, Miss 
Janette Steere ; Servant, Miss Conover. Withdrawn 27th 

13. THE JOKER : Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, by M. 
Howard Tennyson. Avenue. (A morning performance. ) Cast : 

Joseph Miller, Mr Fred Thorne; George Miller, Mr H. Ashford; 
Air Caryon Crowe, Mr Alfred Maltby ; Felix, Mr Lewis Fitz- 
hamon ; Gerard Brewster, Mr Cosmo Stewart ; James, Mr W. 
Powell ; Mrs Caryon Crowe, Miss Emily Thorne ; Penelope, Miss 
Ethel Christine; Mrs Loive, Miss E. M. Page; Stella Lovel, Miss 
E. Neilda; Fannie, Miss Annie Fox-Turner. 

14. A KNIGHT-ERRANT: Romance in One Act, written 
by Rutland Barrington, composed by A. J. Caldicott ; front piece 
to "His Excellency." Lyric. Cast: The Baron de Boncaur, 
Mr Ernest Snow ; The Lady Ermengarde, Miss May Cross ; 
Armand, Mr Alexander; Sir Flotian de Gracieux, Mr W. 

21. THE WRONG GIRL: Farcical Comedy in Three 
Acts, by H. A. Kennedy. Strand. Cast: Captain Harry 
Montagu, Mr Forbes Dawson; George Glen field, Mr W. Blakeley; 
Oliver Chester, Mr Howard Russell; Willoughby Chester, Mr 
Phillip Cunningham ; Willie Edouin, Mr Willie Edouin ; Isaac 
Lynx, Mr Dudley Cloran ; Colb, Mr Pickard Blunt ; Gladys 
Gordon, Miss Violet Armbruster; Florence Craven, Miss Fanny 
Brough; Mrs Glenfield, Miss Helen Cresswell; Eva Glenfield, 
Miss Daisy Bryer ; Airs Freernantle IVyville, Miss K. Lucille 
Foote. Also THE QUEEN'S PRIZE: Comedietta, by 
Fenton Mackay. Cast: Captain Tom Dallis, Mr Forbes Dawson; 
Colonel Dallis, Mr Richard Blunt; Sergeant Jones, Mr Charles 
Harvey ; Lieut. Bob Graves, Mr Gordon Harvey ; Captain Kate 
Rivers, Miss R. Lucille Foote ; Lieut. Hetty Wren, Miss Ettie 
Williams ; Lucy Waveley, Miss Violet Armbruster. Withdrawn 
2 C 


1 5th December; but there were subsequently a few morning 
performances of " The Wrong Girl." 

24. THE SHOP GIRL: Musical Farce by H. J. Dam; 
Music mainly by Ivan Caryll. Gaiety. Cast : Mr Hooley, Mr 
Arthur Williams; Charles Appleby, Mr Seymour Hicks; Bertie 
Boyd, Mr George Grossmith, junior; John Brown, Mr Colin 
Coop ; Sir George Appleby, Mr Cairns James ; Colonel Singleton, 
Mr Frank Wheeler ; Count St Vannen, Mr Robert Nainby ; Mr 
Tweets, Mr Willie Warde; Mr Miggles, Mr Edmund Payne; 
Lady Dodo Singleton, Miss Helen Lee; Miss Robinson, Miss 
Katie Seymour; Lady Appleby, Miss Maria Davis; Ada Smith, 
Miss Lillie Belmore; Faith, Miss Lillie Dickinson; Hope, Miss 
Agatha Roze ; Charity, Miss Lillie Johnson ; Maud Plantagenet, 
Miss Maud Hill ; Eva Tudor, Miss Fannie Warde ; Lillie Stuart, 
Miss Maud Sutherland; Mabel Beresford, Miss Violet Monckton; 
Agnes Howard, Miss Louie Coote; Maggie Jocelyn, Miss Maggie 
Ripley; Violet Tierney, Miss Topsy Sinden; Bessie Brent, Miss 
Ada Reeve. Still running. 

26. THE WIFE OF DIVES: Comedy Drama in Three 
Acts, by S. X. Courte (originally produced at Birmingham as 
"The Great Pearl Case"). Opera Comique. Cast: Julius 
Van Duccat, Mr G. W. Anson ; Lord Cyril Sieveking, Mr 
Cosmo Stuart ; The Rev. Boanerges Bodkin, Mr Cecil Ramsey ; 
Htiniphries, Mr Frank May; Darryl Dreighton, Mr Charles 
Glenny; Lady Haltwhistle, Miss Carlotta Addison; Muriel 
Haltivhistle, Miss Lucy Wilson ; Cecily Allardyce, Miss Florence 
Friend; Mrs Van Duccat, Miss Olga Brandon. Withdrawn 
8th December. Preceded by A FOLLY OF AGE : Comedy 
in One Act, by Arthur Ingram. Cast : Dick Ardingley, Mr 
Hurdman Lucas ; Richard Ardingley, Mr C. Medwin ; Violet 
Ardingley, Miss Nanson ; Kate, Miss Beatrice Summers ; 
Augustus, Master Hal Bailey ; James Barlow, Mr L. Bean. 

30. ASHES : Play in Three Acts, by Edward Collins and 
R. Saunders. Prince of Wales's. (A morning performance.) 
Cast : Reginald Denning, Mr Charles Glenney ; Sir Everett Kerr, 
Mr Phillip Cunningham ; Dr James Courtney, Mr Oswald Yorke; 


Mr Brocuildgh) Mr Stuart Champion ; Frank Fairfax, Mr 
Richard Saunders; Mr Frazer, Mr J. R. Hatfield; Captain 
Fawcett, Mr Lawrence D'Orsay ; Muriel Kerr> Miss Lucy 
Wilson; Cointesse de St Maur, Miss Gwynne Herbert; Mrs 
Potisonby, Miss Robertha Erskine ; Lady Constance Ki,rr, Miss 
Alice de Winton. 


8. DR BILL: Farcical Comedy, adapted from the French 
by Hamilton Aide. Revival at the Court. Cast : Dr William 
Brown, Mr Charles Hawtrey; Mr Finnan, Mr William II. Day; 
Mr Horton, Mr Robb Harwood; George Webster, Mr E. H. 
Kelly; Baggs, Mr F. Featherstone ; Sergeant of Police, Mr 
Francis; Louisa Brown, Miss Dorade Winton ; Jennie Firman, 
Miss Violet Lyster; Mrs Firman, Miss Dolores Drummond; 
Ellen, Miss Mabel Harding ; Miss Fauntleroy, Miss Edith 
Ken ward ; Mrs Horton, Miss Lottie Venne. Still running. 
Preceded by THE BIRTHDAY: Comedy in One Act, by 
George Bancroft. Cast: Mr Leslie, Mr William H. Day; Dr 
Wakefield, Mr Wilfred Draycott ; Hubbard, Mr W. Quinton ; 
Ruth Leslie, Miss Dora de Winton. 

11. VILLAIN AND VICTIM: Duologue, by W. R. 
Walkes, (Morning performance for a Charity.) Cast: Adolphus, 
Mr Cyril Maude; Millicent, Miss Winifred Emery. Hay- 

12. THE CHIEFTAIN: Opera in Two Acts, written by 
F. C. Burnand, composed by Sir Arthur Sullivan (an elaboration 
of "The Contrabandista," by the same author and composer, 
produced at St George's Hall on i8th December 1867). Savoy. 
Cast : -.Count Vasquez de Gonzago, Mr Courtice Pounds; Peter 
Adolphus Grigg, Mr Walter Passmore ; Ferdinand de Roxas, Mr 
Scott Fishe; Sancho, Mr Richard Temple ;Jose, Mr R. Morand; 
Pedro Gomez, Mr Scott Russell ; Blazzo, Mr Bowden Haswell ; 
Escatero, Mr Powis Pinder; Pedrillo, Master Snelson; Inez de 
Roxas, Miss Rosina Brandram; Dolly, Miss Florence Perry; 
Jiianita, Miss Emmie Owen; Maraquita, Miss Edith Johnston ; 


Anna, Miss Ada Newall ; Zitella, Miss Beatrice Perry ; Nina, 
Miss Ethel Wilson ; Rita, Miss Florence St John. Still running. 

15. HAL THE HIGHWAYMAN: Play in One Act, by 
II. M. Paull. Vaudeville. Cast: Handsome Hal, Mr T. 
Kingston ; Sir James Mortimer, Mr F. Volpe ; Dauby, Mr 
Arthur Helmore; Tim, MrJ. L. Mackay; Celia Mot timer, Miss 
Esme Beringer; Kitty Carter, Miss Helena Dacre. A front 
piece to "The New Boy." 

24. EASTWARD HO ! An Operatic Burlesque, by C. M. 
Rodney ; Revised by Willie Younge ; Music by C. E. Howells. 
Opera Comique. Cast: Reginald Nanty, Mr Joseph M' Bride; 
Kitty Spangles, Miss Jenny Dawson; Julian Ranter, Mr Fowler 
Thatcher ; Betterton Surge, Mr C. A. White ; Gwendoline 
Brougham, Miss Fanny Selby ; Rhoda Royal, Miss Annesley; 
Tiny, Miss Maudie Brookman ; Minnie Fateman, Miss Alice 
Beresford ; Bella Vavasour, Miss Maude Adams ; Inez Brabazon, 
Miss Edith Hoppe ; Gladys Fontenbleu, Miss Lilian Stead ; Vera 
Fancourt, Miss Florence Lavender; Muley Mtizfiha, Mr George 
De Pledge ; Fasti, Miss Madge Rockingham ; Zeffa, Miss Kate 
Everleigh ; Atcha, Miss Lilian Morgan ; Balradour, Miss Rose 
Bernard; Bebie, Miss Lilly Piercey ; Zeni, Mr Charles Baldwin ; 
Mista Murphi, Mr Gerald Hoole. Also THE HOUSE 
THAT JACK BUILT: A Pantomime, played by children 
(Afternoons only), by H. Chance Newton. Still running. 

26. DICK WHITTINGTON : Pantomime, by Augustus 
Harris, Cecil Raleigh, and Henry Hamilton. Drury Lane. 
Cast : Dick Whittington, Miss Ada Blanche ; Alice, Miss Marie 
Montrose ; Idle Jack, Mr Dan Leno ; Eliza the Cook, Mr Herbert 
Campbell ; Fitzwarren, Mr Spry ; Prince Mi- Yung-Man, Miss 
Lily Harold ; Emperor of China, Miss Agnes Hewitt ; Princess 
Ni-si-pi-see, Miss Queenie Lawrence; King Cat, Miss Eva West- 
lake; King Rat, Miss Madge Lucas; Cat and Mate, the Brothers 
Griffiths ; Fairy Christinas, Miss D. Wood ; Fairy Blue Bell, 
Miss Lydia Flopp; F'airy Snowdrop, Miss Morris; Captain of 
the Seagull, Miss Kate Dudley; Steersman, Mr Percy Mordy; 
Mangold, Mr Hendon; Cabby, Mr Fawdon Yokes; The Sexton, 


Mr J. Cave ; Aides de Camp, Miss Arrowsmith and Miss Gerard ; 
Tee- To- Turn, Miss Delphine ; Pang- Si- Ku, Miss Kemble ; Ho- Che- 
Fow, Miss V. Murton ; Kin- Ya-Bow, Miss E. Pritchard ; Major 
Domo, Miss A. Esmond; Zim-Dra-Fuz, Miss V. Ellicott; fond 
Mother, Miss Darkin. Still running. SANTA CLAUS : A 
Fairy Pantomime, written by Horace Lennard. Lyceum. Cast : 
Santa Claus, Mr William Rignold; Queen Mab, Miss Amy 
Farrell ; Robin Goodfellow, Miss Lily Twyman ; Fantasy, Miss 
Ina Lucas ; Truth, Miss Alice Rene ; Memory, Miss Bertha 
Staunton ; Hope, MissH. Nicholl ;Jack Frost, Miss Cicely Turner ; 
Holly, Miss Cassie Bruce; Ivy, Miss H. Gallon; Mistletoe, Miss 
H. Gallon ; Sir Joseph Grimshaw, Mr Fred Emney ; Lady Gay 
Grimshaw, Miss Susie Vaughan ; Marian, Miss Lillie Comyns ; 
Eric, Miss Kitty Loftus ; Rosamund, Miss Rosie Leyton ; 
Evadne New/angle, Mr Victor Stevens ; Pert, Miss Clara Jecks ; 
Richard Cceur de Lion, Mr Charles Thorburn ; The Sheriff of 
Nottingham, Mr Harold Coulter ; Kuftis, Mr Francis Hawley ; 
Uriah, Mr Richard Blunt ; Robin Hood, Miss Annie Schuberth ; 
Friar Tuck, Mr Wattie Brunton; Little John, Mr Picton Rox- 
borough ; Alan-a-dale, Miss Grace Lane ; Will Scarlett, Miss 
Marie Lascelles ; Much the Miller's Son, Mr G. Durlach ; Jack, 
Mr Reginald Roberts; Polly, Miss Grace Leslie; Dorothy, Miss 
Dislay; Notary, Mr E. Zanfretta; Stevvard, M. Philippe; Toy 
Soldiers, Mr Harry Kitchen and Mr Fred Kitchen; Tatters, Mr 
Charles Lauri ; Moonbeam, Mdlle. Zanfretta ; Lullaby, Miss 
Judith Espinoza; Nightmare, Signer Edouard Espinoza; Fly, 
Miss Geraldine Somerset. Still running. HANSEL AND 
CRETE L : Fairy Opera ; Music by Humperdinck ; the 
Libretto, founded on one of Grimms' Fairy Tales, by Adelheid 
Wette. Daly's. Cast : Peter, Mr Charles Copland ; Gertrude, 
Madame Julia Lennox ; Hansel, Miss Marie Elba ; Gretel, Miss 
Jeanne Douste ; The Witch who eats Children, Miss Edith Miller ; 
Sandman, Miss Marie du Bedat; Dewman, Miss Jessie Huddle- 
ston. Preceded by BASTIEN AND BASTIENNE: 
Opera, by Mozart. Cast : Bastien, Mr Reginald Brophy ; Bas- 
tienne, Miss Jessie Huddleston; Colas, Mr Joseph Claus. Still 
29. SLAVES OF THE RING : Play in Three Acts, by 


Sydney Grundy. Garrick. Cast : The Earl of Ravenscroft, 
Mr John Hare ; The Hon. George Delamere, Mr Arthur Bourchier ; 
Mr Egerton, M.P., Mr Will Dennis; Captain Douglas, Mr 
Brandon Thomas ; Harold Dundas, Mr Gilbert Hare ; Sir 
William Kennedy, Bart., Mr Charles Rock ; Mr Tweedie, 
M.R.C.S., Mr Gerald Du Maurier; Helen Egerton, Miss Kate 
Rorke; Ruth Egerlon, Miss Eleanor Calhoun; Airs Egerton, 
Mrs Boucicault ; Mrs Winterbotham, Miss Kate Phillips. Still 



Adelphi, xvi., 76, 154, 180,233. 
Avenue, 91, 109, 155, 286. 

Cambridge, Theatre Royal, 324. 
Comedy, 47, 106, 175, 186,223. 
Court, 41, 79, 155, 276, 332. 
Covent Garden, xxiii. 
Criterion, xxix., 94, 166, 222, 

Crystal Palace, 8. 

Daly's, 22, 59, 143, 151, 160, 
170, 176, 193, 196, 209, 244. 

Deutsches Theater, 251, 253, 
256, 265, 288, 300, 310. 

Drury Lane, xvi., 6, 245. 

Gaiety, 108, 183, 218, 316. 
Garrick, xxix., 9, 53, 96, 158, 
1 86, 343. 

Haymarket, 32, 85, 118, 199, 
302, 333. 

Independent, 65, 136. 

Lyceum, xxiii., xxix., I, 103, 

Lyric, 102, 289, 302. 

Opera Comique, 40, 65, 147, 
253, 256, 265, 288, 300, 310, 

Prince of Wales's, 59, 67, 264. 
Princess's, 68, 153, 182, 246, 
259, 281. 

Royalty, 38, 58, 136, 193, 244, 

Saint James's, 126, 311. 
Savoy, 203, 339. 
Strand, 72, 103, 182, 275, 276, 

Terry's, 62, 150, 232, 302. 

Toole's, 75, 275. 

Trafalgar Square, 80, 237, 298. 

Vaudeville, 62, 221, 338. 


Alan's Wife, 213. 
All My Eye-Vanhoe, 298. 
An Aristocratic Alliance, 94, 

1 06. 
Arms and the Man, xxvii. , 109, 

As You Like It, 69. 

The Ballad Monger, 334. 
La Basoche, 206. 
Becket, 208. 
The Best Man, 75. 
The Birthday, 332. 
Belle Maman, 278. 
Der Bibliothekar, 288. 



PLAYS Continued. 

The Black Cat, 94. 

La Boule, 222. 

The Bunch of Violets, 118. 

La Cagnotte, 238. 

The Candidate, 166. 

The Case of Rebellious Susan, 


Caste, xvii., 53. 
Cavalleria Rusticana, 143, 160. 
Celimare le Bien-Aime, 296. 
Chamillac, 144. 
The Charlatan, 32, 48. 
Charlie's Aunt, no, 238. 
The Chieftain, 339. 
The Chinaman, 237. 
Cinderella, I. 
Claude Duval, 264. 
Claudie, 266. 
A Comedy of Sighs, 92. 
The Contrabandista, 341. 
The Cotton King, 76. 
The Country Girl, 22. 
The Crusaders, 127. 

La Dame aux Camelias, 107, 

143, 177, 193- 
Dandy Dick, 63, 148, 238. 
Denise, 39, 95, 145. 
Le Depute de Bombignac, 168. 
The Derby Winner, 245. 
Dick Sheridan, 47. 
Diplomacy, xvii., 261. 
Divor9ons ! 143, 148, 151. 
Doctor Bill, 333. 
A Doll's House, xxv., xxvii., 311. 
Don Juan, 108, 112. 
Dora, xvii., 261. 

An Enemy of the People, xx., 

L'Enfant Prodigue, 153. 

Fashionable Intelligence, 79. 
The Fatal Card, 233. 
Faust, 103. 
Fedora, 177, 261. 
La Femme de Claude, 177, 209. 
Le Festin de Pierre, 52. 
Les Filles de Marbre, 146. 
A Fool's Paradise, 225. 
The Foundling, 232, 240. 
Francillon, 147, 271. 
Fran9ois le Cham pi, 266. 
Frou-Frou, 106, 148. 

A Gaiety Girl, .59, 83, 244. 

A Gauntlet, 38. 

A Gay Widow, 276. 

Le Gendre de M. Poirier, 94. 

The Gentleman Whip, 65. 

Go -Bang, 80. 

The Gondoliers, 289. 

Graf Waldemar, 253. 

Haddon Hall, 124. 

Hal the Highwayman, 338. 

Hamlet, xvii., 334. 

Hedda Gabler, 322. 

Les Heritiers Rabourdin, 65. 

His Excellency, 289. 

H.M.S. Pinafore, 339. 

The Hobby-Horse, 148. 

Hot Water, 222. 

Iphigenia in Tauris, 324. 
Izeyl, 176. 

Jack and the Beanstalk, 8. 
Jack Sheppard, 281. 
Jaunty Jane Shore, 103. 
Jean Mayeux, 153. 
The Jerry-Builder, 182. 
John -a- Dreams, 302, 334. 
Journeys End in Lovers Meeting, 



PLAYS Continued. 

King Kodak, 150. 
King Lear, xvii. 
Krieg im Frieden, 288. 

The Lady from the Sea, 92. 

The Lady Slavey, 286. 

The Land of Heart's Desire, 91. 

Liberty Hall, 56. 

Little Christopher Columbus, 


Little Jack Sheppard, 218. 
Little Miss 'Cute, 244. 
The Little Squire, 102. 
The Little Widow, 58. 
La Locandiera, 143, 160. 
Lohengrin, xxiii. 
London Assurance, 56. 
Love for Love, 52. 
Loyal, 221. 

Madame Sans-Gene, 185. 

The Magistrate, 63. 

Le Maltre, 266. 

The Man in the Street, 155. 

Le Mariage d'Olympe, 95, 147, 


Marriage, 155. 
The Master Builder, 59, 142, 


The Masqueraders, 126, 311. 
Der Meineidbauer, 258, 265. 
Mein Leopold, 288. 
The Merry Wives of Windsor, 


The Middleman, 175. 
The Mikado, 289. 
Mirette, 203. 
Mrs Dexter, 72. 
Mrs Lessingham, 96. 
A Modern Eve, 199. 
Money, 56, 158. 
Morocco Bound, 80. 
The Mountebanks, 291. 

The New Boy, 62, 1 10, 238. 
The New Woman, xxv., 223. 
A Night in Town, 193. 
Niobe, 58, 238. 

Odette, 259. 

An Old Jew, 9. 

Once Upon a Time, 85. 

A Pair of Spectacles, xvii. 
The Palace of Truth, 295. 
Les Pattes de Mouche, 261. 
Der Pfarrer von Kirchfeld, 256. 
Phedre, 177, 194. 
The Pink Dominoes, 238. 
The Pirates of Penzance, 289. 
Le Plus Heureux des Trois, 296. 
The Private Secretary, 288. 
The Professor's Love-S.tory, 186. 
The Profligate, 39, 95. 

Die Rauber, 300. 
The Red Lamp, 334. 
Robbery under Arms, 281. 
Robert und Bertram, 259. 
Robinson Crusoe, 6. 
Les Rois, 177, 196. 

Salome, 10. 

The Schoolmistress, 63. 

The Second Mrs Tanqueray, 55, 

95, 102, 128, 141, 149, 335. 
Shall We Forgive Her? 180. 
The Shop Girl, 316. 
Sigurd Slembe, 38. 
A Society Butterfly, 147. 
Sodom's Ende, 301. 
Sowing the Wind, 49, 225. 
La Statue du Commandeur, 153. 
Das Stiftungsfest, 288. 
Still Waters Run Deep, xxvi. 
A Story of Waterloo, 343. 


PLAYS Continued. 

The Tempter, 105. 

The Texan, 182. 

Tilli, 259. 

La Tosca, 63, 177. 

The Transgressor, 41. 

A Trip to Chinatown, 275. 

Tristan uncl Isolde, 339. 

Truthful James, 276. 

Twelfth Night, 22. 

Two Orphans, 153. 154 

Uncle's Ghost, 40, 240. 

Der Veilchenfresser, 288. 
The Vicarage, 345. 

Le Village, 345. 
Villon, Poet and Cut-throat, 193. 
Volpone, 66. 
Vor Sonnenaufgang, 149. 
Le Voyage de M. Perrichon, 

A White Lie, 225. 

The Wife of Dives, 320. 

The Wild Duck, xix., 100, 136. 

The World, 68. 

The Wrong Girl, 312. 

The Yeomen of the Guard, 291. 


Ai'de, Hamilton, 333. 
Anzengruber, Ludwig, 257, 265. 
Augier, Emile, 94, 147, 213. 

Bancroft, George, 332. 
Barrie, J. M., 186. 
Barriere, Theodore, 146. 
Bisson, Alexandre, 169. 
Bjo'rnson, Bjornstjerne, 38. 
Boucicault, Dion, 54- 
Bowyer, Frederick, 264. 
Branscombe, Arthur, 151. 
Buchanan, Robert, 32, 38, 47, 

79, 147- 

Burnand, F. C., 276, 339. 
Byron, H. J., 55. 

Carre, , 204, 333. 

Carton, R. C., 55. 

Chambers, Hacldon, 233, 302, 


Congreve, William, 52. 
"Courte, S. X.," 193, 320. 

Dam, H. J. W., 319. 
Dampier, Alfred, 282. 
Dance, George, 286. 
Darnley, J. H., 72. 
De La Pasture, Mrs, 102. 
Deslandes, Raymond, 276. 
Doyle, Dr Conan, 343. 
Dumas, A.,Ji/s, 209, 291. 

Edwards, Osman, 38. 
Euripides, 324. 

Farnie, H. B., 222. 
Fendall, Percy, 79. 
Feuillet, Octave, 345. 
" Fleming, George," 96. 
Freitag, Gustav, 253. 
Fulda, Ludwig, 89. 

Gattie, A. W., 41. 

Gilbert, W. S., 23, 81, 115 

203, 289. 
Godfrey, G. W., 55. 



AUTHORS Continued. 

Goethe, 103, 327. 
Greenbank, Harry, 60. 
Greet, Mrs W., 102. 
Greville, Lady Violet, 94. 
Grundy, Sydney, 9, 22, 118, 

" Hall, Owen," 60. 
Hamilton, Henry, 245. 
Harris, Sir Augustus, 68", 245. 
Harvey, Frank, 180. 
Hauptmann, Gerhart, 149. 
Hawtrey, G. P., 38. 
Hayman, Philip, 299. 
"Henry, Richard," 103. 
" Hobbes, John Oliver," 173. 
Hoyt, Charles A., 275. 
Hugo, Victor, 328. 

Ibsen, Henrik, xix., 59, 92, 136, 
304. 311- 

Jarman, William, 59. 
Jerrold, Douglas, 54. 
Johnson, H. T. , 221. 
Jones, Henry Arthur, 55, 105, 

127, 175, 266. 
Jonson, Ben, 66. 
Jullien, Jean, 266. 

Keeling, Henry, 155. 
Kennedy, H. A., 312. 
Klein, Charles, 276. 

Labiche, Eugene, 296. 
L'Arronge, Adolf, 288. 
Law, Arthur, 62. 
Lemaitre, Jules, 196. 
Lennard, Horace, 3, 8. 
Lestocq, W. , 232. 
Lumley, Ralph, 75. 
Lytton, Lord (Bulwer), 158. 

M'Carthy, J. H., 169. 
Marlowe, Christopher, 301. 
Marston, Dr Westland, 54. 
Meilhac and Halevy, 106, 222. 
Melford, Mark, 182. 
Meritt, Paul, 68, 79. 
Moliere, 52, 66. 
Moore, George, 173. 
Morand, , 179. 
Mortimer, James, 276. 
Moser, Gustav von, 288. 
Murray, Henry, 147. 

" Nunn, Payne," 264. 

Parker, Louis N. , 90, 155. 
Paull, H. M., 65, 338. 
Pettitt, Henry, 63, 79, 233. 
Pinero, A. W., 55, 63, 94, 128, 

148, 335- 
Power, Tyrone, 182. 

Rader. Gustav von, 259. 
Raleigh, Cecil, 245. 
Reade, Charles, 54. 
Robertson, T. W., 53. 
Robson, E. M., 232. 
" Ross, Adrian," 80, 319. 

Salaman, Malcolm, 199. 

Sand, Georges, 266. 

Sapte, W. , jun., 40. 

Sardou, V., 63, 152, 185, 259, 

276, 329. 
Schiller, 300. 
Schontann, F. von, 288. 
Scribe, Eugene, 328. 
Scott, Clement, 345. 
Sedger, Horace, 102. 
Shakespeare, 22, 69. 
Shaw, George Bernard, 28, 109, 

Sherburn, H. A., 193. 



AUTHORS Continued. 

Sims, G. R., 79. 
Stahl, Franz von, 259. 
Stephenson, B. C., 232. 
Sudermann, Hermann, 301. 
Sylvestre, Armand, 179. 

Taylor, Tom, xxvi., 54. 
Tennyson, 208. 
Thomas, Brandon, 155. 
Todhunter, Dr John, 92. 
Tristram, Outram, 336. 

Vane, Sutton, 76. 
Vincent, C. T., 244. 

Walch, Garnet, 282. 
Wilde, Oscar, 3. 55. 
Wills, W. G., 105. 
Wycherley, W. , 22. 

Yeats, W. B., 91. 
Zola, Emile, 65. 


Abingdori, W. L., 20, 57, 138, 


Albertieri, Signor, 8. 
Allan, Charles, 37. 
Alexander, George, xvi., xxiv. , 

127, 135, 312, 333. 
Anson, G. W., 120, 157,276, 323. 
Archer, Frank, 160. 
Aynesworth, Allan, 160. 

Bancroft, S. B., 345. 
Barnett, Orlando, 118. 
Barrington, Rutland, 245, 297. 
Beauchamp, J., 64. 
Beaumont, Allen, 150. 
Beck, Caesar, 255, 258, 266, 288, 

3" : 

Beveridge, J. D., 64. 
Billington, John, 76. 
Blakeley, W., 170, 223,313, 315. 
Bonney, W., 286. 
Bosworth, Hobart, 29. 
Bourchier, Arthur, 160. 
Brookfield, Charles, 47, 80, 159. 
Brough, Lionel, 91, 126. 
Brough, Sydney, 53, 158, 232. 
Bucklaw, A., 47. 
Buist, Scott, 20. 
Buller, George, 286. 

Campbell, Herbert, 7. 

Cande, , 185. 

Cane, H., 176. 

Carleton, Royce, 176, 192. 

Carson, Murray, 236. 

Cartwright, Charles, 79, 154, 


Cecil, Arthur, 159, 345. 
Champion, Stuart, 232. 
Charrington, Charles, 286, 343. 
Clarey, H. O., 264. 
Clark, Holman, 37, 126. 
Clarke, George, 29. 
Coop, Colin, 320. 
Coquelin aittt 1 , 95, 144. 
Craig, John, 29. 
Cunningham, Philip, 276. 

Dale, Welton, 59. 

Dalton, Charles, 69, 182. 

Dampier, Alfred, 285. 

Danby, Charles, 220, 287. 

Daubigny, Lloyd, 28. 

Day, W. H., 20, 127, 333. 

De Lange, Hermann, 20, 96, 


De Max, , 180. 
Dennis, Will, 53, 281. 
Deval, , 218. 



ACTORS Continued. 

Douglas, Kenneth, 65. 
Draycott, Wilfred, 281, 333. 
Du Maurier, G., 20. 
Duquesnc, , 185. 

Edouin, Willie, 183, 314. 
Elliott, W. G., 40, 127, 312. 
Elton, W., 69 
Elwood, Arthur, 47, 159. 
Emney, Fred, 5. 
Esmond, H. V., 127, 312. 
Evans, Rothbury, 286. 

Farquhar, Gilbert, 20. 
Fernandez, James, 47. 
Fishe, Scott, 204. 
Flemming, Herbert, 79> *54> 

182, 264, 286. 
Foss, George, 155. 
Fulton, Charles, 138, 237. 

Giddens, George, 170. 
Glenney, Charles, 69, 323. 
Got, Edmond, 95. 
Gould, Bernard, 93, 117, 264, 

Gould, Nutcombe, 37, 90, 310, 


Grahame, J. G., 232. 
Grattan, Henry, 85, 300. 
Gresham, Herbert, 30. 
Grossmilh, George, 297. 
Grossmith, George, jun., 320. 
Grossmith, Weedon, 62. 
Groves, Charles, 95, 232. 
Guitry, , 179, 218. 

Hare, Gilbert, 20, 57, 281. 
Hare, John, xvi. , xix., 9, 20, 

96,102, 159. 
Harwood, Robb, 20. 
Hawtrey, Charles, xxiv., 73, 

223, 280, 333. 

Hendrie, Ernest, 183. 

Herbert, W., 150. 

Hicks, Seymour, 47, 220, 317, 


Holt, Clarence, 286. 
Humphrey, George, 287. 

Inch, Reuben, 8. 

Irving, Henry, xvi., xxiii., 105, 

208, 344. 

Irving, H. B., 50, 106. 
Irving, Lawrence, 138. 

Kemble, Henry, 159, 275. 
Kerr, Frederick, 37, 150, 275. 
Kingston, T., 221, 339. 
Knowles, R. G., 275. 

Lablache, Luigi, 91. 

Lacy, Walter, 159. 

Lauri, Charles, 4, 5. 

Le Hay, John, 298. 

Leno, Dan, 7. 

Lewis, James, 30. 

Little, C. P., 157, 275. 

Lonnen, E. J., 302. 

Lowne, C. M., 76. 

Mackay, J. L., 339. 
Mackintosh, W., 157. 
Macklin, F., 182. 
Macready, W. C., 159. 
Maude, Cyril, 53, 108, 232. 
Maurice, Edmund, 53> 3 IO< 
Mellish, Fuller, 344. 
Monkhouse, Harry, 61. 
Morgan, Fitzroy, 264. 

Nicholls, Harry, 237. 

O'Neill, Edward, 79. 
Outram, Leonard, 72. 



ACTORS Continued. 

Parker, Marry, 5. 
Passmore, Walter, 205. 
Pateman, Robert, 287. 
Paulton, Harry, 103, 193. 
Payne, Edmund, 316, 319. 
Penley, W. H., xvi. 
Peterson, Ernst, 288. 
Playfair, Arthur, 298. 
Poluskis, The Two, 8. 
Poulsen, Emil, 139. 
Poulsen, Olaf, 139. 
Pounds, Courtice, 204. 
Power, Tyrone, 182. 

Ramsay, Cecil, 323. 
Righton, E., 223, 281. 
Rignold, W., 154. 
Roberts, Arthur, 108, 264. 
Robertson, Forbes, xxiii., 57, 

102, 159, 174. 
Robson, E. M., 300. 
Rose, Edward, 150. 
Ross, Herbert, 183, 310. 
Rossi, Cesare, 145, 166. 
Rusing, Ludwig, 311. 

Schubart, Ludwig, 288. 
Shelton, George, 76. 
Sheridan, J., 302. 
Shine, J. L., 85, 300. 
Stephens, Yorke, xxiii., 93, 117. 
Stevens, Charles E-, 264. 
Stevens, Victor, 5. 
Storey, Fred, 300. 
Stuart, Cosmo, 323. 
Sugden, Charles, 59, 103. 

Sullivan, Barry, xxiii. 
Terriss, W., 105, 174, 236. 
Terry, Edward, xvi., 150. 
Terry, Frederick, xxiii., 37, 90, 

182, 202, 232. 
Thome, Eric, 264. 
Thorne, Fred, 40. 
" Tich, Little," 7. 
Thomas, Brandon, xxiii., 53, 

1 06. 

Toole, J. L., xvi., 75. 
Tree, H. Beerbohm, xvi., xix., 

37,85, 119,126,202,310,338: 
Tresahar, John, 40, 240. 
Tyler, F. H., 176, 192. 

Valentine, S., 223. 
Volpe, , 221. 

Waller, Lewis, xvi., xxiv. , 53. 
Ward, Willie, 220. 
Warden, Sydney, 65. 
Waring, Herbert, xxiii., 127, 

135, 311, 312. 
Warner, Charles, 79> 260. 
Watson, Ivan, 244. 
Webster, Ben, 275. 
Weilenbeck, Max, 258, 288, 


Welch, James, 65, 93, II 8, 155. 
Willard, E. S., 176, 192. 
Williams, Arthur, 320. 
Wyatt, Frank, 243. 
Wyndham, Charles, xvi., xxvi., 

94, 1 66, 275. 


' 415 


Achurch, Miss Janet, xxix., 338. 
Addison, Miss Carlotta, 323. 
Ashwell, Miss Lena, 53, 158. 
Astor, Miss Adelaide, 287. 
Atherton, Miss Alice, 163. 

Bancroft, Mrs, 57, 159, 183, 


Barnett, Miss Alice, 298. 
Bartet, Madame, 145. 
Belmore, Miss Lillie, 72, 320. 
Beringer, Miss Esme, 65, 221, 

Bernhardt, Sarah, 63, 141, 146, 

177, 193,. 196. 
Blanche, Miss Ada, 6. 
Bond, Miss Jessie, 85, 298. 
Booth, Miss Hope, 244. 
Boucicault, Miss Nina, 275. 
Bowman, Miss Empsie, 102. 
Bowman, Miss Isa, 102. 
Brandon, Miss Olga, 69, 323. 
Brandram, Miss Rosina, 205. 
Brookes, Miss Alice, 5. 
Brough, Miss Fanny, 73, 103, 


Broughton, Miss Phyllis, 300. 
Browne, Miss Pattie, 53, 170. 
Bruce, Miss Edith, 8. 

Calve, Madame, 160. 
Calvert, Mrs Charles, 118. 
Campbell, Mrs Patrick, 126, 

134, 3io. 

Chard, Miss Kate, 5. 
Chaumont, Madame Celine, 


Chester, Miss Edith, 223. 
Clements, Miss Miriam, 170, 

Coleman, Miss Fanny, 47, 170, 

Conyers, Miss Addie, 302. 

Coote, Miss Carrie, 40. 
Cowell, Miss Lydia, 276. 
Craddock, Miss Nannie, 176, 


Crane, Miss Edith, 182. 
Cutler, Miss Kate, 245. 

Dacre, Miss Helena, 339. 
D'Auban, Miss Emma, 8. 
Dene, Miss Hetty, 246. 
De Winton, Miss Dora, 333. 
Driller, Frl. E. von, 255, 258, 

266, 288, 302, 311. 
Drummond, Miss Dolores, 154. 
Duse, Eleanora, 141, 143, 151, 

1 60. 

Edouin, Miss Mary, 183. 
Ellicott, Miss Maud, 204. 
Elsinger, Frl. Milli, 255. 
Emery, Miss Winifred, 53, 106, 

Farr, Miss Florence, xxix., 93, 


Featherstone, Miss Vane, 93. 
Ferrar, Miss Ada, 72. 
Fowler, Miss Emily, 95. 
Fraser, Miss Winifred, 138, 155. 
Friend, Miss Florence, 193,323. 

Granville, Miss, 127, 312. 
Grey, Miss Sylvia, 85. 
Guilbert, Yvette, 183. 

Hall Caine, Miss, 79. 
Hanbury, Miss Dorothy, 102. 
Hanbury, Miss Lily, 37, 119, 


Harvey, Miss May, 57. 
Hatton, Miss Bessie, 47, 192. 
Hennings, Fru Betty, 139, 152. 
Hocke, Frl. Anna, 288. 


ACTRESSES Continued. 

Homfrey, Miss Gladys, 64. 
Hope, Miss Naomi, 7 2 - 
Hughes, Miss Annie, 95, 344. 

Ivor, Miss Frances, 72. 

Jecks, Miss Clara, 5, 243. 
Jeffries, Miss Ellis, 154, 232. 
Johnstone, Miss Eliza, 76. 

Kent, Miss Julia, 8. 
Kenward, Miss Edith, 243. 
Kingston, Miss Gertrude, 37, 
'57, 275- 

Lamb, Miss Beatrice, 76, 246. 
Langtry, Mrs, 150. 
Larkin, Miss Sophie, J2, 237. 
Lea, Miss Marion, xxix. 
Leclercq, Miss Rose, 57, 103, 

150, 232. 

Leigh, Mrs H., 182. 
Lethbridge, Miss Alice, 300. 
Levey, Miss Florence, 220. 
Lewis, Miss Catherine, 30. 
Lind, Miss Letty, 84. 
Linden, Miss Laura, 237. 
Linden, Miss Marie, 106. 
Lloyd, Miss Marie, 6. 
Loftus, Miss Cissie, 85. 
Loftus, Miss Kitty, 8. 
Loveday, Miss Louie, 5. 
Luck, Miss Helen, 102. 

Mackintosh, Miss Nancy, 298. 
Millard, Miss Evelyn, 311. 
Millett, Miss Maud, 159. 
Millward, Miss, 236. 
Moodie, Miss Louise, 40. 
Moore, Miss Eva, 281. 
Moore, Miss Mary, xxix., 95, 
170, 275. 

Morland, Miss Charlotte, 72. 
Murray, Miss Alma, 117, 231. 

Neilson, Miss Ada, 182. 
Neilson, Miss Julia, 90, 182. 
Nethersole, Miss Olga, 45, 46. 

Palfrey, Miss May, 65. 
Palmer, Miss Minnie, 59. 
Perry, Miss Florence, 204. 
Poole, Miss Cora, 76. 
Preston, Miss Jennie, 220. 

Reeve, Miss Ada, 317, 320. 
Rehan, Miss Ada, xviii., 22, 30, 

133, 275- 

Rejane, Madame, 183. 
Robins, Miss Elizabeth, xxix., 

Rorke, Miss Kate, xxix., 20, 

57, 101, 159. 
Rorke, Miss Mary, 103. 
Rose, Miss Annie, 40. 
Ruppert, Mrs Anna, 263, 286. 

Selwyn, Miss Beatrice, 72. 
Seymour, Miss Kate, 85, 316, 


Sinden, Miss Topsy, 320. 
Steer, Miss Janette, 310. 

Terriss, Miss Ellaline, 5, 220, 

Terry, Miss Ellen, xvii. , xxix., 

174, 208. 

Terry, Miss Marion, 79. 154. 
Terry, Miss Minnie, 5. 
Thomann, Frau Heinold, 258, 

Tr-e, Mrs Beerbohm, 37, 90, 

119, 125, 201. 
Tyndall, Miss Kate, 69. 


ACTR ESSES Contin ued. 

Vanbrugh, Miss Violet, 29. 
Vane, Miss, 53, 235. 
Vaughan, Miss Kate, 150. 
Vaughan, Miss Susie, 5, 183, 

Venne, Miss Lottie, 80, 183, 

202, 280, 333. 
Verity, Miss Agnes, 176. 
Victor, Miss M. A., 105. 

Waring, Mrs Herbert, 138. 
Williams, Miss Ettie, 264. 
Wood, Mrs John, xvi. , xxiv. 
Wright, Mrs Theodore, 20. 

Yohe, Miss May, 287. 

Zanfretta, Mile., 5. 
Zucchi, Madame, 8. 


Bancroft, S. B., 259. 
Barrett, Oscar, I, 8. 

Carr, J. Comyns, xviii., 49, 108. 
Carr, Dr Osmond, 84, 290. 
Carte, R. D'Oyly, 203. 
Caryll, Ivan, 320. 
Craven, Hawes, 5. 
Crook, John, 286. 

Daly, Augustin, xviii., 25. 
Emden, (Scenic Artist), 5. 

Gatti, The Brothers, 235. 
Grein, J. T., xviii. 

Harris, Sir Augustus, xxiii., 6. 
Hol!oway, W. J., 232. 

Lanner, Madame Katti, 5. 

M'Carthy, J. H., 74. 
Maurice, Charles, 253, 257. 

Messager, Andre, 204. 

Pigott, E. F. S. (Examiner of 
Plays), 281. 

Quiller-Couch, A. T., 66. 

Sarcey, Francisque, 280. 
Scott, Clement, 23, 74, 140, 


Shaw, G. Bernard, 160. 
Stoker, Bram, 73. 
Sullivan, Sir Arthur, 203, 289, 


Thomas, W. Moy, 265. 

Wagner, Richard, xxv. , 339. 
Walkley, A. B., 74, 119, 180. 
Watson, Malcolm, 74. 
Wilhelm, (Costumier), 5. 
Wood, Charles, 331. 

"X.Y. Z.,"333- 




THE THEATRICAL WORLD FOR 1893 . '. '" . 3 



PEER GYNT . . , . . . .5 


DRAMATIC ESSAYS . . . .' . .. .7 




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