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Full text of "The theatrical "World" for 1893-[1897]"

THE THEATRICAL 'WORLD' 
OF 1895. 



UNIFORM WITH THE PRESENT VOLUME. 
Price 3/6 per vol. 

THE THEATRICAL WORLD FOR 1893. 
By WILLIAM ARCHER. With an Epistle Dedica- 
tory to MR. ROBERT W. LOWE. 

THE THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1894. 
By WILLIAM ARCHER. With an Introduction by 
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW ; an Epilogue by the 
Author; and a Synopsis of Playbills of 1894, 
compiled by HENRY GEORGE HIBBERT. 

Both the above Vols. contain complete Indices of the 
Plays, Authors, Actors, Actresses. Managers, Critics, etc., 
referred to. 



THE 

* 

THEATRICAL^ 3RLD' 
OF 1895. 



BY 



WILLIAM ARCHER. 



WITH A PREFATORY LETTER 

BY ARTHUR W. PINERO, 

AND A SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS OF THE YEAR 

BY HENRY GEORGE HIBBERT. 




LONDON : 
WALTER SCOTT, LTD., 

PATERNOSTER SQUf**r 



/^Ajjix ov^v mixj^j 

1896. MICROFORMED 
P^ELERVATIO 



.^ nnn 4 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

PREFATORY LETTER, BY MR. ARTHUR W. PINERO - xi 
AUTHOR'S NOTE ... ... 



I. 

THE PANTOMIMES " SLAVES OF THE RING" - - i 

II. 
"THYRZA FLEMING" 12 

III. 
" AN IDEAL HUSBAND "----- 14 

IV. 

"KING ARTHUR" "Guv DOMVILLE" - 20 

V. 

"AN INNOCENT ABROAD " " HIGH LIFE BELOW 

STAIRS" "A PAIR OF SPECTACLES" - 35 

VI. 

"ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL" - - - 37 

VII. 
"A\ ARTIST'S MODEL" 41 

VIII. 

" A LEADER OF MEN " 47 



vi CONTENTS. 

IX. PAGE 

"THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST" 

"THOROUGH-BRED" "AN M.P.'s WIFE" - 56 

X. 

" GENTLEMAN JOE" - - 62 

XI. 
THE CENSORSHIP - 65 

XII. 
" SOWING THE WIND " - - 74 

XIII. 

"THE NOTORIOUS MRS. EBBSMITH"- - - 75 

XIV. 

" MRS. EBBSMITH " AGAIN " A LOVING LEGACY " 

"SALVE" "THE BLUE BOAR" 86 

XV. 

THEATRE AND MUSIC-HALL 96 

XVI. 

"L'CEuvRE" 104 

XVII. 

THE MAETERLINCK WEEK - in 

XVIII. 
"THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND ME" - - - - 119 



CONTENTS. VII 

XIX. PAGE 

"FANNY" "DELIA HARDING "" THE LADIES' 

IDOL" "THE SHOP-GIRL" - - 123 

' 

XX. 

"VANITY FAIR" "THE PASSPORT" 132 

XXI. 

"THE STORY OF WATERLOO "" DON QUIXOTE "- 

" JOHN-A-DREAMS" - ... 137 

XXII. 
" THE HOME SECRETARY " H4 

XXIII. 

" THE TRIUMPH OF THE PHILISTINES "THE SECOND 

MRS. EBBSMITH - - - - ' - - 152 

XXIV. 

" THE DEFEAT OF THE PURITANS " ... 164 

XXV. 

"FEDORA" - - 172 

XXVI. 

SIR HENRY IRVING .... . - 180 

XXVI I. 

" THE PRUDE'S PROGRESS " "GISMONDA" - - 181 

XXVIII. 
EI.EONORA DUSE 188 



Vlii CONTENTS. 

XXIX. I'AGE 

"HEIMAT" ----,--- 193 

XXX. 
THE RIVAL QUEENS ....... 202 

XXXI. 

"LA PRINCESSE LOIXTAIXE" " DIE EHRE" - - 209 

XXXII. 

THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE SOCIETY .... 219 

XXXIII. 

SUDERMANN " MlSS BROWN '' " THE RAILROAD 

CF LOVE " - 226 

XXXIV. 

"THE Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA" "MA 

COUSINE" - 234 

XXXV. 

" A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM " - - - - 243 

XXXVI. 

"ALL ABROAD'' "QwoNG-Hi" .... 253 

XXXVII. 

"A YOUNGSTER'S ADVENTURE" -"NEW YORK 

DIVORCE " 260 

XXXVIII. 

"THE SWORDSMAN'S DAUGHTER" - - - - 261 



CONTENTS. IX 

XXXIX. PAGE 

"ALABAMA" - - - 267 

XL. 
"BOGEY" "THE CHILI WIDOW" - 275 

XLI. 

" ROMEO AND JULIET" ... - - 284 

XLI I. 
" ROMEO AND JULIET" AGAIN " CHEER, BOYS, 

CHEER" "!N A LOCKET" 295 

XLIII. 
" HER ADVOCATE" - - 303 

XLIV. 
"POOR MR. POTION" 308 

XLV. 
"THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT" - - - -313 

XLVI. 

"THE RISE OF DICK HALWARD" - - - - 321 

XL VI I. 
" TRILBY " " THE LORD MAYOR''" MRS. PONDER- 

BURY'S PAST" - - - - - - 328 

XLVIII. 

"THE SQUIRE OF DAMES" "A TRILBY TRIFLET" 337 



X CONTENTS. 

XLIX. PAGE 

"THE RIVALS'" "NANNIE" "A MODEL TRILBY" 

"MERRIFIELD'S GHOST" 346 

L. 

"THE DIVIDED WAY" - ... 353 

LI. 

"THE MANXMAN" "THE MISOGYNIST "" AN 

OLD GARDEN" 361 

LII. 
"THE COMEDY OF ERRORS" .... 366 

LI 1 1. 

" THE GREATEST OF THESE " MADAME " 

" KITTY CLIVE (ACTRESS)" .... 374 

LIV. 
"ONE OF THE BEST" - 378 



EPILOGUE 383 

SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS, BY MR. HENRY G. 

HIBBERT - - 397 

INDEX 437 



PREFATORY LETTER. 



MY DEAR ARCHER, 

Your constant readers will not have 
forgotten that you preface The TJieatrical World 
for 1893 with an Epistle Dedicatory to your 
friend Mr. Robert W. Lowe ; and they may 
remember also that in the course of this Epistle, 
when you recall the pleasant hours spent in his 
company in the pit of the Princess's Theatre 
in Edinburgh, you remind Mr. Lowe that, just 
previous to those joint experiences in that shabby 
little play-house, the more important Theatre 
Royal had been destroyed by fire, and that 
among the burnt-out actors was one whose name 
my own crops up pretty frequently in the 
record which follows your Epistle. To some 
readers this passage may have conveyed little 
more than the suggestion of a desire on your 
part to preserve Mr. Lowe from the hideous 
charge, which otherwise might have been pre- 
ferred against him, of contentedly frequenting 



xii PREFATORY LETTER. 

the pit of a theatre of inferior rank. To save 
Mr. Lowe's character ay, and with the same 
stroke of the pen, your own was perhaps your 
object ; but, with me, you succeeded in going 
further, for by the mere mention of my name in 
association with that ill-fated Theatre Royal 
and with those stricken actors who, on a 
gloriously- fine February afternoon, silently 
turned their backs upon its smouldering shell, 
you contrived to stir my heart to a peculiar beat. 
Edinburgh ! 

I am not, as you are aware, a Scotsman. 
My affection for Edinburgh, my heart -jump 
at the sound of the name of that splendid 
capital, do not spring from the natural, in- 
herited love of country of which Scotsmen, and 
especially Scottish writers, assert the possession 
with an energy and persistency which, I fear, 
have caused many a Southerner to throw up 
patriotism in sheer despair. But it was in Edin- 
burgh I "began life" if I can at all mark such 
a period, for " life " began with me very early. 
It was in Edinburgh on a melancholy, mys- 
terious, humid night in the month of June, one 
thousand eight hundred and seventy-four that 
I was born, just outside the Waverley Railway 
Station, to the troubles and rewards of a 



PREFATORY LETTER. Xlii 

theatrical career. Had this (to me) interesting 
event occurred in Wigan or Bolton, I suppose 
Wigan or Bolton would have stood in my regard 
much as Edinburgh stands to-day. And yet 
I am glad I was born, at nineteen years of age, 
in Edinburgh ; I rejoice, my dear Archer, that it 
was in Edinburgh. 

Just outside the Waverley Railway Station 
my infant eyes, having first taken in the deplor- 
ably wet and dirty pavement, sought the sky. 
Where the sky, according to observations made 
in a previous existence, should have been, I saw, 
suspended in the dripping mist, the illuminated 
windows of those wonderful, high " lands " 
a spectacle which, I agree with you, forms at 
night-time one of the most surprising sights in 
your beautiful city. On my other hand, the 
lamps of Princes Street, each blurred light cast- 
ing an evil-looking halo, ran away in a regular, 
diminishing line : towards Princes Street I 
turned my steps, wearied, mystified, saddened. 
For I was born, at nineteen years of age, to no 
great fortune only to the modest and tem- 
porary competency of a six weeks' engagement 
at the Theatre Royal, for " general utility," at a 
salary of one pound a week. I had lately parted 
too in my previous existence from a mother 



xiv PREFATORY LETTER. 

who was weeping and from two sisters who were 
preparing to do so ; and I was moreover harassed 
and perplexed by the possession of the heaviest, 
most cumbersome travelling-trunk which has 
ever, I truly believe, bent the back of a railway- 
porter. The exorbitant tips this wretched box 
cost me on the day of my second birth, and 
thereafter, defy computation. It was of oak, 
and was bound in massive iron clamps which 
rusted and wounded the fingers ; and it was 
the most obstinate and cruelly-disposed box my 
experience has brought me into contact with. 
For instance, when open, its lid would hang 
lazily back, supported by a chain, at a angle 
which apparently made it impossible that it 
should close without human aid. Yet whenever 
I was unwary enough to trust my head within 
its jaws, in search of some article or other lying 
deep in the swallow of the beast, down would 
come the lid, to strike me upon the neck, and 
nearly kill me after the fashion in which a rabbit 
is slain by a keeper. It played the same cowardly 
trick, though with even more serious results, 
upon an honest old landlady of mine, of whom 
I shall by-and-by make grateful mention, to 
whose hands I took an early opportunity of con- 
fiding the key of the hated receptacle, investing 



PREFATORY LETTER. XV 

her at the same time with all attendant privileges. 
Ultimately, upon her firmly renouncing these 
privileges, I sold the box to a man who dealt 
in discarded military uniforms, and other odds 
and ends, in the Canongate at an absurdly low 
figure, on account, as the purchaser urged, of 
the expense of cart-hire for removal. But he 
took it away at night, while I was out, and to 
my chagrin I heard that he brought no cart 
with him. However, he was accompanied, it 
appeared, by several members of his family, and 
together they staggered away with their burden. 
The relief was considerable at getting quit of 
the thing its absence made my room quite 
spacious and yet the transaction caused me a 
pang. For the buying of that box, directly I 
had formed my dreadful resolution of "going 
upon the stage," had, I remembered, afforded 
my mother a certain small feeling of security 
and comfort. Perhaps its solidity, its indubitable 
age, had been as figures to her hopes, and had 
given her reassurance. Or, in her anxious mind, 
she attached the thing to me, from mere con- 
sideration of its weight, as an anchor to a ship ; 
or it may be that the circumstance of the 
horrible affair having originally been a plate- 
chest in a noble family the vendor offered a 



XVI PREFATORY LETTER. 

written warranty to this effect had some in- 
fluence with her as conferring respectability, if 
not dignity, upon my undertaking. 

With the reluctant aid of a porter, who thought 
proper to comment with dreary sarcasm upon 
my precautions, I carefully consigned my box to 
the Left Luggage department, and set out, afoot 
towards Princes Street, as I have said to 
find my hotel. Somebody, in my other life, had 
warmly commended to me, on the score of 
comfort and economy, an hotel situated in one 
of the streets lying parallel with George Street. 
I forget the name of the street ; I wished to 
forget it; I destroyed the paper upon which the 
title and whereabouts of the hotel were inscribed. 
I never had the desire, when affairs had become 
settled and comfortable with me, nor indeed the 
courage, to revisit this street and identify the 
hotel. Perhaps, less than a month afterwards 
I could not have found the place, for I entered 
it dog-tired, and in the dark, and when I left it 
I was thoroughly shaken and demoralised. It 
may have possessed all the advantages my friend 
had claimed for it I was totally without ex- 
perience, as became one newly born, in such 
matters. I am inclined now to think that it was 
even a ridiculously cheap establishment. But 



PREFATORY LETTER. xvii 

it was dear to me, poor, simple infant that 
I was horridly, unexpectedly, overwhelmingly 
costly. The first shock of discovery had passed 
when I paid my bill, and I handled my few gold 
pieces like a man in a dream. I knew at that 
moment exactly how a great speculator feels 
upon receiving news of utter ruin; and, oddly 
enough, I have never since then found myself 
able to give a first glance at an hotel bill without 
feeling the same sensations, the painful catch in 
the breath, the icy spine, the chill tingling in 
the legs, which I endured upon discovering my 
liabilities at my first hotel. 

My next venture was a Temperance Hotel, in 

Leith Street, kept by a Mrs. MacD with 

the assistance of a spare, dry, hard-featured 

daughter. Mrs. MacD 's duties were of a 

kind which served to rob her boarders of the 
light of her presence. I saw her but on two 
occasions on my arrival, when I expressed a 
desire to avail myself of the " special terms '" 
mentioned in her advertisements the special 
terms, in my case, resolving themselves into an 
undertaking on Mrs. Mac's part (for which no 
extra charge was to be made) that I should 
fill the place in her affections formerly occu- 
pied by a nephew who had been drowned 

b 



Xviii PREFATORY LETTER. 

in Greenock Harbour; and, again, when I took 
my departure. Giving the place a farewell look 
over my shoulder as I drove away, I espied Mrs. 

MacD 's crimson, wrinkled face rising from 

behind a wire-blind like a shrivelled sun, and I 
quailed under its malignant rays. It was a 
peculiarity of Miss MacD ' 's, excused perhaps 
by the fact that she was the entire visible staff 
of the establishment, that her sleeves were 
turned up above her elbows from morning till 
night; the skin of her poor arms, I remember, 
struck me as not being in the least degree a fit. 
But the principal impression remaining with me of 

my week with the MacD s is that the house, 

from its awful bareness and frigidity, seemed to 
offer every inducement to its visitors to rush out 
and drink. I shared this hotel with one other 
guest, an old gentleman whose general mellow- 
ness made me wonder at his selecting the shelter 
of such ungenial walls. One day, however, in 
the course of a guarded talk with me, he let in 
a faint light upon my doubts by informing me 
that if you went to bed early in a Temperance 
Hotel, and then rang the bell violently and 
complained of sickness, the landlord or landlady 
was obliged, under heavy penalty, to produce a 
bottle of whisky and to leave it on a chair by your 



PREFATORY LETTER. xix 

bedside. Such, he assured me, is the law of 
Scotland ; and he added that he would suggest, 
in view of my feeling indisposed, the particular 
brand of whisky known as Campbeltown that 
or a blend of Campbeltown with Islay as 
being the most healing form of the spirit for 
an invalid. 

But from my companions in the theatre I 
soon learned that I was on the wrong tack 
altogether in making for hotels, temperance or 
otherwise; that by no means could the charges 
of an hotel, however humble, obscure, and dirty 
that hotel might be, be brought to agree with 
the earnings of a country actor. A young actor 

named G , a good, simple fellow, with whom 

I formed firm friendship, gave me further en- 
lightenment by informing me that only "stars" 
eminent artists who travelled from town to 
town, who played leading Shakespearian char- 
acters, and were, therefore, enormously wealthy 
ever thought of putting up at hotels, and that 
the ordinary actor invariably dwelt in a modest 
lodging under the watchful care of a landlady 
whose views of the theatrical profession were 
broad and generous. To a suitable lodging I 

was speedily inducted by G . Hail to thee, 

G , wheresoever thou now art ! To-night I 



XX PREFATORY LETTER. 

retrace my steps across the bridge that spans a 
score of years to greet thee and grasp thee by 
the hand ! 

The road to Portobello must be a familiar 
one to you, my dear Archer. Often, in summer, 
you must have made your way down Leith Street 

passing, on your left, MacD 's Temple 

of Temperance and along Greenside Street 
and Greenside Place at which spot you will 
have paused for a few moments reverently to 
contemplate the imposing fagade of the Theatre 
Royal till you had gained Leith Walk. You 
will not, however, have traversed much of Leith 
Walk on your journey to Portobello, for on 
reaching Union Street you will, taking a sharp 
turn to your right, have found yourself in 
London Road; and so, pursuing this road, you 
will, without another deviation, have trudged 
onward, till you were startled, perhaps, in the 
midst of reflection by suddenly finding the salt 
of the sea greeting your nostrils. (This London 
Road leads also, I venture to remind you, to 
Musselburgh, and at Musselburgh, at certain 
seasons, were held race-meetings which, for the 
weak, possessed attractions of an irresistible 
kind. But such pastimes will have presented 
no allurements to one of your austere habit; 



PREFATORY LETTER. XXI 

you will often have enjoyed your sea-dip upon 
the shelving shore of Portobello, but the evil 
angel travelling, bagman-like, in the interests of 
Musselburgh will, I am sure, have slunk by you 
abashed.) Now, on your walks to Portobello 
you will hardly have failed to observe, lying 
compactly on your left, just opposite Norton 
Place, a small colony of some six or seven 
regular little streets, each street bearing a pretty 
and suggestive title and formed of neatly-built, 
somewhat dwarfish, stone tenements. The con- 
struction of these little houses was peculiar. 
They were obviously houses possessing one 
story, but this advantage was for the eye only, 
for the ingenious architect had so contrived it 
that the first-floor of any one of his cottages 
was not accessible to the ground-floor tenant, 
unless that tenant put himself to the trouble 
of walking round into the next street, where 
he might gain admittance to his first-floor by 
means of a toilsome flight of stairs built outside 
the back of his premises. As a matter of fact, 
however, the first and second floor had nothing 
to do with each other, but were as twins, held 
together by a vital, unseverable ligature, who 
were not on speaking terms. In this way, the 
first-floor of, say, Number 5 Balaclava Place 



XXli PREFATORY LETTER. 

became Number 10 Maryland Street, and so 
forth; with the odd result that while all the 
inhabitants of one side of Maryland Street were 
compelled to live on the garden level, their 
opposite neighbours could not come downstairs, 
without finding themselves in the open air, for 
the life of them. 

For eight months I was a lodger at Number 

Balaclava Place ; it was there I was 

happier than any king in history, richer than 
any South African billionaire of to-day. O 
busy, cheerful, healthful times ! I have recently 
been chatting with an old gentleman who spent 
these same months in Edinburgh ; he professes 
to distinctly remember how disagreeable the 
weather was ! What nonsense ! why, it was 
transcendently fine weather, the days full of 
sunshine, the nights star-lit and peaceful, and 
most favourable to the practice of reading into 
the small hours. And if one's pockets were, on 
occasions, empty well, there was all the more 
room for one's hands when the frost came 
as it did severely in the early autumn of 
that year, you will recollect to nip them in its 
jolly, teasing way. Not that my pockets were 
often incapable of a little, unpretentious, tuneful 
jingle, for had I not Mrs. S to instruct me 



PREFATORY LETTER. xxiii 

how to live, to repletion, upon the narrowest of 
incomes ; how to come out, even, at the week's 
end with a modest balance to the good ? Mrs. 

S was my landlady. Heaven bless her ! 

I see her now standing at my cab door with 
her apron to her eyes, if you please bidding 
me good-bye and God-speed As the flyman 
whipped up his horse, she threw an old silver 
brooch into my lap a brooch fashioned like the 
Arms of a certain great family, and bearing the 
motto, "Amo." I recognised it as one of her 
few treasures. The good woman had been in 
service at Dalkeith Palace, and was in the enjoy- 
ment, I understood, of a small pension. She 
had the soft tread and subdued voice of one 
once accustomed to move about vast chambers 
and to seek to avoid the echoes lurking upon 
broad staircases. Sometimes she would talk to 
me of the Palace, especially when, upon a show- 
day, I had been viewing its rich stores ; and 
then she would tell me, in her habitual half- 
whisper, where that door, and that, closed 
against such as I, led to. And, standing in 
the middle of my little room as she talked, a 
light would come into her grey eyes which 
seemed to make my walls recede, to enable her 
even to look beyond them. Dear soul ! She 



PREFATORY LETTER. 

was silver-haired twenty years ago ; were I to 
find myself in Balaclava Place to-morrow I 
should be afraid to ask for her. 

But G would never allow me to boast too 

loudly of my quarters in Balaclava Place. His 
landlady, he maintained, at first somewhat to 
my annoyance, came nearer perfection than any 
other landlady in the United Kingdom. And 
by-and-by, without abating one jot of my 

allegiance to Mrs. S , as my visits to G 's 

lodgings became more and more frequent, I 

grew to share his affection for Mrs. L . 

Only in one respect did I rank his apartment 
inferior to my own the pungent odour of 
highly-smoked Scotch herring hung about it 
constantly, appeared wedded to its spare but 
tidy hangings. However, this circumstance I 

soon found was not to Mrs. L 's discredit. 

G 's insatiable fondness for herrings, she 

explained to me confidentially, was one of the 
great troubles of her life it was her heaviest 
sorrow then, I fancy; she had others not long 

afterwards. He, G , zvould breakfast every 

morning upon the obnoxious fish, honestly 

paying the penalty exacted by Mrs. L of 

sitting for the rest of the day with an open 
window. Keen as was this particular winter, 



PREFATORY LETTER. XXV 

G stuck to his herring. Once, when he 

was suffering from a catarrh, I entreated him to 

obtain Mrs. L 's permission that the window 

should be closed. " No, no," said he, " I 
wouldn't, for the world ; it's a solemn promise." 
" But," I protested, " what is gained by all this 
air ? There's no good result that I can detect." 

" Yes," replied G , a little hopefully, " there 

is. To-night, when I return from the theatre, 
this room will be as sweet as a meadow. Only " 
and here his voice dropped, and his chin 
sank upon his breast " only, to-morrow morn- 
ing I shall undo the good of to-day. I've 

struggled hard against it, but ." It has 

been my misfortune several times in my life to 
hear men make confession of some vice, some 
overmastering weakness ; their tone and bearing 

have invariably been those of G upon this 

occasion. 

G 's open window gave him a command- 
ing view of the plot of garden, about fourteen 
feet by twelve, which fronted the house. Within 
this enclosure two small girl-children, with curly, 
straw-coloured heads, played games, and sang 
songs in a broad, strange tongue, on fine days 
with but little intermission from breakfast-time 
till sun-down. These mites prettier children, 



XXVI PREFATORY LETTER. 

more daintily fashioned, more delicately tinted, 

I have never seen were Mrs. L 's dolls (so 

she called them), and were the pets of Maryland 
Street. Passers-by seldom failed to halt at the 
railings to give a nod and speak a word or 
two to these miniature people ; whereupon the 
mother, working about the house, would run 
to the open door and stand there for a 
moment jealously, to be sure that all was well. 
One bright morning, upon going round to 

G , I found no talking-dolls acting lady and 

shopkeeper upon the worn little grass-patch. 
Poor dolls ! they were ill, it appeared, in bed, 

feverish ; G was out, buying toys for them, 

and oranges. That evening, doll number one 
died ; the next day away went doll number two, 
and the grass grew over the bare places of the 
garden and flourished thenceforth undisturbed. 
The mother's household tasks were neglected 
for a few weeks ; but by-and-by she reappeared, 
with broom and pail, and with grey streaks in 
her black hair, and matters went on much as 
usual. But it was not deemed safe to make 
any reference to those departed dolls in her 
presence. Years afterwards, returning to Edin- 
burgh, I went to see Mrs. L and was 

received by her in G 's room. He, good 



PREFATORY LETTER. XXVlt 

fello\v, had vanished out of my life, and out of 
the life of Maryland Street, and, worldly affairs 

having prospered with the L s, his old room 

was now their best parlour. "And how are you, 

Mrs. L ," said I, " after all these years ? " 

Upon which her shoulders moved uncomfort- 
ably, and, in a whisper, and with a faint, depre- 
catory smile, to excuse the admission she made, 
she replied, " Weel I'm just missin' ma bairns." 
I have a boy-friend who, a few days ago, was 
telling me how he had lately been taken by his 
" governor " to some busy provincial centre and 
had been made to explore a quarter of the city 
which had now fallen into disrepute, but in 
which his father had started life and passed 
some years of early manhood. " The governor 
dragged me up one dirty lane and down 
another," said my young friend, "and pointed 
out this hovel and that, and had some tale to 
tell almost of the very cobbles in the streets. 
Until " the boy added plaintively " until he 
just upon bored me to suicide." Now, had I a 
son, I am perfectly certain granting, of course, 
that he was so tractable and unsuspecting as to 
allow me to lure him to Edinburgh I am per- 
fectly certain, I say, that I could bore him to 
suicide in no time. What petty pieces of 



XXV111 PREFATORY LETTER. 

information concerning my early days I could 
impart to him, and with what unimportant detail 
I could overload them ! With what zest I could 
march that reluctant lad off to distant, outlying 
spots, hallowed by me in the very heart of my 
memory, and how readily I could wax senti- 
mental over many a bygone tramp and picnic ! 
To what picturesque account I could turn the 
presence of some broken bottle or fluttering 
paper bag ; and how, giving play to imagination, 
I could profess to see the ghost of my former 
self in yon stripling who strolls by sheepishly, 
and to discover in the comely person of the lass 

beside him the substantial spirit of but here, 

remembering my boy's tender years, and his 
mother at home, I would push on. I would push 
on to the edge of the broad loch upon whose 
sapphire surface it was my wont in times of pro- 
longed frost to venture timorously; and here I 
could tell of certain nocturnal excursions in 
midwinter in the company of boon companions, 
recalling nights which stained the whole country- 
side with their azure ; breathless nights whose 
still air had in it, nevertheless, the sting of the 
nettle, but whose silence was so profound that, 
till the comparative riot of our own breathing 
made us presumptuous, we walked, talked, and 



PREFATORY LETTER. xxix 

essayed to laugh, in a solemn measure. And 
thence I could drag my weary charge along the 
homeward road my friends and I followed on 
those long-ago winter nights, and I could gently 
hum to him snatches of the songs and carols 
which I and those choice spirits had once sung to 
the ring of our hard soles upon the frozen paths. 
And then, nearing the dense city, my reminis- 
cences would flow faster, to keep pace with the 
press of the streets. How every turning, every 
cross-way would jog the memory ! Over there,. 
I could point out, had lodged one who was an 
especial crony of mine a jovial medical student,, 
short in stature but large of heart, wedded to a 
pretty little lady, an actress, erstwhile of the 
Theatre Royal. Bless me! and thereupon I could 
tell how this little lady bore an unusual but soft- 
sounding Christian name at least, the name was a 
novel one to me at that time ; it is more fashion- 
able, I think, nowadays which I didn't, couldn't, 
then suspect was to become a name very close 
and dear to me in after-life ; for had this son of 
mine existence, that name would be his mother's 
name. And then I could recall with what 
gusto ! the gruesome incident of a small supper 
party at the lodgings of my friend the medical 
student, when the guests were assembled, the 



XXX PREFATORY LETTER. 

host unaccountably late in returning from some 
errand, the little hostess crushing natural anxiety 
and misgiving between the teeth of an artificial 
smile ; and when, upon the host putting in a 
tardy appearance, it was discovered that he had 
been delayed over the securing of a strange 
prize the leg of a dead man, which he had 
brought home, for subsequent leisurely dissec- 
tion, enclosed in a roll of mackintosh and 
tucked covetously under his arm. And then, 
to rid our mental palates of the flavour of this 
tale, I could push on, and on, until we gained 
a certain point of observation lying between 
Calton Hill and Greenside Place, and there I 
could identify two rather mean-looking windows 
as belonging to a room in which once dwelt 
a young woman, a mere girl indeed, now dead 
and gone, a sweet, simple creature who was 
nothing but a very poorly-paid drudge of a 
"leading lady," but whose history, one of 
patience, cheerfulness, and virtue preserved 
against temptation, misfortune, and the stress 
of constant struggle, would form a useful lesson 
to those inclined to speak slightingly of her 

class. And then and then ! 

But, my dear Archer, you are surely beginning 
to suspect me of a desire to make you fill the 



PREFATORY LETTER. XXXI 

place of the small boy who is not at hand, of 
a deliberate intention of boring you to suicide. 
The thought that you will so regard my 
rhapsodies checks me and yet it may be that 
your heart will, in some measure, respond to 
these rhapsodies. At any rate, let me assure 
you, in extenuation, that you, yourself, form, 
in my mind, a link in the sentimental chain 
binding me to Edinburgh. Were we not to- 
gether there at a period of life upon which no 
man, safely harboured in middle-age, can look 
back without awe and wonderment and a 
profound sense of thankfulness for having 
escaped the direst of its perils? Were we 
not fellow-explorers of that fairyland whose 
glow-worms are the "floats," none the less a 
fairyland to me because I had the temerity 
to peer into the faces of its pixies while you, 
a more modest mortal, contented yourself with 
viewing the tinselled people from a remote 
bench of the Princess's pit? And if you are 
of a disposition which is but slightly stirred 
by such associations, perhaps you will more 
readily forgive me this garrulous communication 
on the score of my feeling of pride at knowing 
that bound as you are by previous publication 
you cannot escape from devoting to me and to 



xxxii PREFATORY LETTER. 

my work at least two entries of a commendatory 
character in your theatrical log-book for 1895. 

" Ho, ho ! " I hear you exclaim, " here is a 
person, who has repeatedly assured me that he 
avoids reading criticisms upon his own poor 
work, confessing he is gratified by the qualified 
approval I have bestowed upon him on two 
occasions during the past year ! " Pardon me ; 
upon my honour, I have never meant to convey 
to you that I do not, on any account, read 
criticism upon my work. Some of our walks 
together, in these later days, by shore and cliff, 
have been taken, and enjoyed by one at least of 
the twain, in blusterous nor'- westerly breezes 
conditions unfavourable to clear understanding. 
Allow me to explain, with my hand upon my 
heart I am willing nay, anxious to read, 
even to commit to memory, criticism upon my 
work wJien that criticism is distinctly flattering. 
But such a commodity is, as you are aware, not 
always to be had. Sometimes it lies, too, in 
deep places, like the Avicula Margaritifera, and 
demands much hazardous diving ; and then one 
may be forced to examine a score or more of 
adverse critiques before one lights upon the 
pearl of praise. To leave the troublesome 
metaphor, it is necessary, I consider, for one of 



PREFATORY LETTER. XXX111 

my humour diligently to sharpen the instinct, 
which belongs perhaps to every writer, for 
detecting the presence of adverse criticism. I 
am, I congratulate myself, developing this in- 
stinct to a very fine degree. Indeed at certain 
times during the week or fortnight following 
the production of a play of mine, for example 
I am now able to stroll into my club and enjoy 
an hour's reading without opening a single 
journal containing a disagreeable estimate of 
my work. At such periods I find The Mining 
Journal an invaluable resource. Sometimes I 
meet with a mishap ; but, as my scent grows 
keener, accidents, I am pleased to say, become 
more rare. And there have been occasions, 
with bowed head I confess it, when I have 
yielded to temptation and have deliberately 
unclosed the pages of a review which I knew 
must well, which I was almost sure would 
and yet, I have reasoned, which might not no ! 
there it was, the hateful thing ! However, half- 
a-dozen words have been enough for me, and I 
have then promptly hidden that review where it 
would be least likely to meet the eyes of mem- 
bers. Of recent years thank heaven ! these 
temptations have shown a decided disposition 
to pass me by entirely. And truly virtue is its 



XXXJV PREFATORY LETTER. 

own reward in these practices of abstinence, and 
often the reward comes with surprising swift- 
ness. Within this past week critical surveys 
of the art-work of the departed year are now 
appearing, so this is a time, I may tell you, when 
The Mining Journal and I are close companions 
a man indignantly laid hold of my coat as I 
was leaving the club reading-room. " My dear 
fellow ! " he cried, " have you seen that abomin- 
able attack upon you in The ?" My 
bosom swelled. " No," I was able to reply, " I 

never read The ." " Why not ? " 

" Why not ? See ! Lo, I am about to lunch 
happily ! " " But," said my friend, " you ought 
to read this atrocious article ; you really oug]it 
to." " Ought to ? " I called out gaily, as I 
descended the stairs. " That, my good friend, 
is a question." 

To be quite honest, I admit that my system 
has its flaws. What great system has not ? 
One of the flaws of my system is that it robs 
me of the privilege of reading much brilliant 
writing. For instance, I am compelled, by my 
system, wholly to abstain from studying those 
articles upon dramatic matters contributed to a 
well-known journal by your friend Mr. George 
Bernard Shaw of whom I protest I am, in 



PREFATORY LETTER. XXXV 

general, a warm admirer. And on a few days 
in the year, however engrossing questions of 
broad public interest may be, I am without even 
the cheap luxury of a daily paper ! In the same 
way, I may find myself, twelve months hence, 
forced to regard The Theatrical World of 1896 
as a closed book to myself but this is entirely 
in your own hands. To my mind, the deepest 
flaw in my system is that the Instinct for 
Detecting the Presence of Adverse Criticism, 
and the resolution to avoid reading such criti- 
cism, are only to be cultivated at the expense 
of the instinct for discovering criticism which, 
though adverse, is liberal, wholesome, and help- 
ful which is not, in fact, mere abuse and detrac- 
tion. I do not quite see my way to a means of 
overcoming this defect. Perhaps you can aid 
me. I await your counsel. 

Believe me, my dear Archer, to be 

Yours most truly, 

ARTHUR W. PINERO. 

6th January 1896. 



AUTHOR'S NOTE. 



IT is again my pleasant duty to thank the 
Trustees under the will of Mr! Edmund Yates 
for their sanction of this reprint of my criticisms 
in the World. I am also indebted to the 
Editors of the Pall Mall Budget and the New 
Budget for permitting me to include several 
articles contributed to these papers. To Mr. 
Pinero I offer not only my own thanks, but 
(by confident anticipation) the thanks of all my 
readers, for his charming Prefatory Letter ; and 
I am sure that all students of the stage will 
appreciate the service rendered them by Mr. 
Henry George Hibbert in continuing his 
Synopsis of Playbills. 



LAST PERFORMANCES OF PLAYS 

STILL RUNNING AT PUBLICATION OF 

"THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1894." 



Last Performance, 
1895- 

THE CASE OF REBELLIOUS SUSAN 

(Criterion : the run was several times 

interrupted towards its close) ... March 23. 

THE CHIEFTAIN (Savoy) March 16. 

CLAUDE DUVAL (Prince of Wales's) ... February 15. 

THE DERBY WINNER (Princess's) ... February 16. 

THE FATAL CARD (Adelphi) March 16. 

HAL THE HIGHWAYMAN (Vaudeville) ... June 15. 

His EXCELLENCY (Lyric) April 6. 

THE LADY SLAVEY (Strand) January 25. 

THE NEW BOY (Vaudeville) March 2. 

THE NEW WOMAN (Comedy) February 5. 

THE SHOP GIRL (Gaiety) and CHARLIE'S 

AUNT (Globe) ran throughout the 

year. 



THE 

THEATRICAL "WORLD" 

OF 

1896. 



I. 

THE PANTOMIMES "SLAVES OF THE RING." 

znd January. 

PARAGRAPHS which had an air of inspiration about 
them led us to expect a change of policy at Drury 
Lane this year. Whittington and his Cat* written 
by Messrs. Raleigh and Hamilton and Sir Augustus 
Harris, was to be a veritable children's pantomime, 
not a music-hall saturnalia. But the seasoned the 
sixteen - seasoned statesmanship of Sir Augustus 
Harris shrinks from abrupt transitions. Evolution, 
not revolution, is his motto, and he does his reform- 
ing gently. A certain effort in the direction of co- 
herence is, indeed, discernible. Children will be able 
to recognise in the action several incidents from the 
life of their old friend Whittington ; whereas it must 
have puzzled their brains to discover the remotest 
* December 26, 1894 March 16. 

I 



2 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

resemblance between the Robinson Crusoe of last year 
and the veracious history they all know so well. 
Moreover, the music-hall element has been slightly 
reduced. Sir Augustus Harris clings heroically to 
Mr. Herbert Campbell and Mr. Dan Leno, but he 
has thrown poor "Little Tich" to the wolves of 
criticism. I suppose it is only a proof that gratitude 
is foreign to the wolfish breast, but I cannot help 
feeling that this was beginning at the wrong end. 
The idea of "Little Tich" was painful; the reality 
was, to me, genuinely entertaining. There was so 
much vigour, elasticity, and apparent enjoyment in 
the antics of the little man, that one lost all sense of 
making capital out of deformity, and accepted him 
simply as an inimitable grotesque. Now, if Sir 
Augustus had begun at the other end, and sacrificed 
Mr. Herbert Campbell but no matter ! a time will 
come ! The tide is setting strongly towards refine- 
ment, and even Messrs. Campbell and Leno are this 
year comparatively subdued. On the spectacular 
side of the production, no expense or trouble has been 
spared. Be sure to take your children in good time, 
for nothing in the pantomime will please them more 
than the Cat Review of the opening scene. Then 
there is a very pretty Flower Ballet in the Highgate 
scene, and the boarding of Whittington's ship by the 
Japanese gives occasion for some magnificent cos- 
tumes. The Feast of Lanterns at the Court of China 



THE PANTOMIMES. 3 

is perhaps the most resplendent spectacle ever seen 
even on the Drury Lane stage, and the Lord Mayor's 
Show is almost as gorgeous, and much more amusing. 
In it is introduced a song and dance satirising the 
Municipal Theatre idea, which the authors seem 
somehow to associate with Mrs. Ormiston Chant, 
though it was in fact Mr. Irving who started it. The 
song is harmless enough fooling; but the dance ends 
in one of the most senseless and unpleasing exhibi- 
tions I ever saw in a theatre eight or ten young 
women, dressed as " Hallelujah Lasses," lying flat on 
the stage and tumbling and scrambling over each 
other like leeches in a jar. Without being positively 
indecent, this is precisely the sort of thing to 
strengthen the hands of Puritanism. Miss Ada 
Blanche plays Whittington; Miss Marie Montrose, 
Alice ; Miss Agnes Hewett, the Emperor of China ; 
Miss Lily Harold, the Prince of China ; and Miss 
"Queenie Lawrence, the Princess. 

Mr. Oscar Barrett, at the Lyceum, has followed up 
his delightful Cinderella of last year with an equally 
delightful Santa dans* It lacks nothing in the way 
of splendour, yet it charms us by dint of invention, 
thought, and taste, rather than mere expenditure. 
We never say, " How gorgeous ! " without adding, 
" How beautiful!" The dresses, designed by Wilhelm, 

* December 26, 1894 March 2 (afternoons only after the 
production of King Arthur), 



4 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

are full of grace and fantasy; the dances, arranged by 
Madame Katti Lanner, are clear and flowing in spite 
of their intricacy; and the harmony of colour attained 
in the spectacular scenes is an education, instead of 
a mere bewilderment, to the childish eye. The solo 
dancing, by Mile. Zanfretta and M. and Mile. 
Espinosa, is clever in its kind ; and little Miss 
Geraldine Somerset shows a charming simplicity as 
well as technical skill in the dance of the Spider and 
the Fly. Mr. Horace Lennard has blent the legends 
of the Babes in the Wood and Bold Robin Hood into 
a simple, consistent, easily comprehensible story, told 
in pleasant, unpretending rhymes, with a brevity 
which leaves room for plenty of clever and inoffensive 
fooling on the part of the comedians, Mr. Victor 
Stevens, Mr. Fred Emney, Miss Susie Vaughan, 
and Miss Clara Jecks. Miss Kitty Loftus and Miss 
Rosie Leyton play the Babes in the Wood with an air 
of unconstrained glee and enjoyment which gives sun- 
shine to the whole production. The nursery scene, 
with the visit of Santa Claus, the episode of the 
wooden soldiers, and the Alphabet Procession, are the 
very things to delight the youthful heart; and older 
children, who have got the length of Ivanhoe, will 
rejoice to see Richard Coeur de Lion, in his habit as 
he lived, visiting Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest. 
There is only one thing against which I must enter a 
vehement protest, and that is the death of the Babes' 



THE PANTOMIMES. 5 

faithful collie, Tatters. As embodied by Mr. Charles 
Lauri, Tatters is the most popular and sympathetic 
character in the pantomime, and his untimely end is 
too harrowing to be borne. Pray believe that I make 
this protest quite seriously. Children ought not to 
have their feelings wrung and their pleasures saddened 
in this way. I am bound to admit that on the after- 
noon when I saw the pantomime the children present 
(and they were many) appeared to take it stoically. 
They probably could not realise at the moment that 
Tatters was actually dead; but they will afterwards, 
and it will leave a dark spot in their memories.* One 
other hint to Mr. Oscar Barrett : I hope in his next 
pantomime he will let us have a larger number of 
familiar airs, whether songs of the day or old ballads. 
Apart from the ballet music and perhaps here and 
there an original song, the score of a pantomime 
should, to my thinking, be a mere mosaic of old 
favourites. 

There is no denying that Mr. Sydney Grundy's 
new play at the Garrick did not produce the effect 
at which the author aimed. The applause was 
courteous, not enthusiastic; whereas the high-pitched 
emotion of the principal scenes ought clearly to have 
worked the audience up to a correspondingly high 
pitch of excitement. If, like Dr. Johnson, I "talked 

* Tatters was eventually brought to life again, in deference to 
many protests. 



6 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

for victory," I might easily find in this lukewarmness 
a conclusive proof of my own pet doctrines about the 
drama. I might point to the fact that Slaves of the 
Ring* belongs to Mr. Grundy's period of ingenuity. 
It is obviously the piece he refers to in a letter to the 
Telegraph, dated October 26th, 1894, from which it 
appears that the first draft was written and read to 
Mr. Hare " before the production of The Danicheffs " 
that is to say, in or before 1876. It afterwards 
underwent some modification, but there is every 
reason to suppose that even in its existing form it 
dates from at least fifteen years ago. At that period 
Mr. Grundy was still a devotee of the French, or, 
more precisely, of the Scribe-Sardou, methods of 
construction; and it would be open to me to argue 
that what marred the full effect of the play on 
Saturday night was precisely the ingenious and 
artificial niceties of adjustment on which writers of 
that school so greatly valued themselves. But even 
in dialectics I am subject to intermittent attacks of 
conscientiousness, and I must forego this triumph 
over the late lamented Scribe. There would be a 
certain measure of truth in the artificiality argument, 
but it would not be the whole, nor even the essential, 
truth. The plain fact is that the acting gave the play 
no chance. It was singularly bad the worst per- 
formance I can remember to have seen in the 
* December 29, 1894 January 16. 



" SLAVES OF THE RING." 7 

Garrick Theatre. With the exception of Mr. Hare 
himself and Miss Kate Phillips, not one of the artists 
engaged did full justice to his or her part. Again 
and again in the first and second acts I found myself 
intellectually recognising the strength of situations, 
the beauty of speeches, which utterly failed to get at 
my emotions. Again and again I said to myself, 
" Here is a fine idea, an admirable scene if only 
they would act it ! " 

There is no doubt, however, that the play "dates." 
It is a belated pioneer. Fifteen years ago it would 
have been epoch-making; to-day, it brings with it a 
vague odour of the pigeon-hole. "It was rejected 
with horror by every important manager in London," 
says Mr. Grundy; and in that fact lies his best 
excuse for the years of intellectual lethargy from 
which he has only recently awakened. The managers 
of fifteen years ago must surely feel some qualms of 
conscience with respect to it; but recriminations are 
vain. Their timidity or obtuseness retarded Mr. 
Grundy's career; it shall not baulk him of the esteem 
due to able, original and courageous work. He was 
ready and eager to lead the forlorn hope; it is not 
his fault that he was denied the opportunity. 

As its title indicates, Slaves of the Ring is an 
attack on marriage not on the tie itself, but on its 
practical indissolubility. The thesis formulated by 
Mr. Grundy's " reasoner," the sage and sententious 



8 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Captain Douglas, is a denial of the wisdom and 
humanity of the " glorious plan " which makes 
divorce the privilege of "sinners," and denies it to 
those who exercise self-control and self-respect. But 
it is the logical weakness, the poetical merit and 
strength of the play, that it goes much deeper than 
its thesis. A quite different fable would have 
illustrated more cogently the iniquities of our divorce 
law. The Transgressor* for example, in its crude and 
violent fashion, went more directly to the point. It 
is not really the divorce-law that Mr. Grundy arraigns, 
but the constitution of things that intricate compli- 
cation of the emotional meshes of life, whereby the 
joy of one involves another's sorrow, kindness to A 
means cruelty to . B, and the only choice allowed us, 
in so many cases, is not between happiness and un- 
happiness for ourselves and others, but between two 
ways of wrong-doing, two forms of remorse. It is 
not any law that makes the misery of the two 
marriages here in question, and the penny-in-the-slot 
divorce facilities of Illinois or Wisconsin would not 
greatly mend matters. A happy union between 
Harold and Ruth is impossible, not because the 
Divorce Court would either " crush or soil " the 
woman, but because no divorce law in the world 
would enable them to extract happiness from the 
misery of the other two Helen and George who 
* See Theatrical World of 1894, p. 41. 



" SLAVES OF THE RING." 9 

had loved and trusted them. It is true that law, and 
the habits of thought which it at once expresses and 
engenders, are not without their influence in the 
matter. The misery of the deserted ones would very 
likely be in some measure factitious, the ingrained 
habit of idealising marriage having made any break- 
down of the arrangement seem quite disproportion- 
ately painful and terrible. These agonies of con- 
vention, these pains which it is our duty to feel, 
are almost as torturing as the more instinctive and 
fundamental agonies of unrequited passion ; and the 
play is not without its practical bearing in so far as it 
suggests such changes in written and unwritten law as 
would tend to minimise the unnecessary and unreal 
pains of emotional readjustments. But until human 
nature has so altered that the word " love " has lost 
both its beauties and its terrors, there will always 
remain an irreducible element of quite real and 
necessary suffering in such a situation as that 
which Mr. Grundy presents. These people are not 
essentially "slaves of the ring"; they are slaves of 
their own and each other's passions. The ring adds 
little to their discomforts. The situation is essentially 
the same in the first act, before the ring is put on. 
What keeps Harold and Ruth apart in the last act is 
not the law of marriage, but the same shrinking from 
happiness founded on the misery of others which 
kept them apart in the first act, before they had come 



10 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

under the dominion of the marriage-law. They not 
only shrink from it, they regard it as impossible. In 
the first act, there was still some hope that they 
might find peace in sacrificing themselves to the 
happiness of the other two; in the last act the 
mischief is done, the happiness of Helen and George 
Uelamere is effectually ruined, and yet they find it 
less impossible to continue the now futile sacrifice 
than to attempt the building of their own happiness 
out of the ruins they have involuntarily created. 
" Yes," says Mr. Grundy, " they bow their heads 
under the social yoke, and remain slaves of the ring." 
But he surely does not imagine that the ring would 
keep them apart if their own heart and conscience 
did not raise an impassable barrier between them. 
That seems to me to be the only justification for the 
end, which is, however, so disconcertingly abrupt 
that one is really not quite sure what Mr. Grundy 
intended to convey. 

The construction of the first two acts, though old- 
fashioned in its complexity, seems to me altogether 
admirable. A very austere technique would shun 
the parallelism of the first act Harold failing to 
break from his bondage because Helen clings to him 
so tenderly, Ruth held to her word by the very fact 
that George Delamere offers to set her free. There 
is doubtless an air of artificiality in this; but it really 
belongs to the situation, and for my part I cannot 



" SLAVES OF THE RING." I I 

help taking pleasure in such a piece of delicate and 
skilful constructive counterpoint. The second act is 
probably the most original and powerful piece of 
writing Mr. Grundy has ever done. It rises to the 
very summit of the drama of situation, of emotion in 
the abstract, as distinct from the drama of character. 
From the entrance of Captain Douglas onwards, it 
simply bristles with dramatic moments, and there is 
a touch of really poetic imagination in the scene of 
Ruth's delirium. Had this scene been adequately 
acted by Miss Calhoun and Mr. Gilbert Hare, it 
would have converted a success of esteem into a 
great and memorable triumph. Miss Calhoun was 
deficient in passion, in pathos, and especially in the 
sense of mystery upon which the whole effect of the 
passage depends. The last act did not strike me as 
happily conceived, but I don't know that I can lay 
my finger on any very tangible error. The scene 
Delamere's conservatory is surely ill chosen, and 
Helen's leap through the hedge is more daring than 
effective. 

It would be unkind to speak of Mr. Gilbert Hare's 
performance. He has shown some promise as a 
character-actor, but neither his physique nor his 
talent fits him to step into Mr. Forbes Robertson's 
shoes. Miss Calhoun acted agreeably enough in the 
opening and closing scenes, but in the second act 
she missed her great opportunity. Miss Kate Rorke 



12 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

did not seem to me at all at her best. In some of 
the crucial passages of the play I could not but think 
her stagey and unreal. Mr. Bourchier's part offered 
him small opportunities, but he handled it rather 
heavily; and Mr. Brandon Thomas, despite his un- 
failing sincerity, did not succeed in making a very 
credible personage of Captain Douglas. Mr. Hare 
was delightful as the cynical old Earl, and Miss Kate 
Phillips made the most of the designing widow a 
part in which the date of the play was written very 
large. By-the-bye, the little glimpse we are given 
into the tragedy of Lord Ravenscroft's life struck me 
as the best thing in the third act;- but it passed 
almost unnoticed. 



II. 

"THYRZA FLEMING." 

gth January. 

Miss DOROTHY LEIGHTON'S play, Thyrza Fleming* 
produced by the renovated Independent Theatre 
Society at Terry's Theatre, is marked by inexperience, 
but not at all by incompetence. The first act is a 
comedietta in itself, a spirited, natural, and entertain- 
ing duologue. As the action proceeds, Miss Leighton 
* January 4 January 10. 



"THYRZA FLEMING." 13 

strays from the path which she seems to have pro- 
posed to herself. The play being obviously designed 
as a counterblast to The Heavenly Twins and other 
neo-puritanic denunciations of the Eternal Masculine, 
the romantic fable of the long-lost mother is a 
mere irrelevance and embarrassment. The theme is 
treated with such extreme delicacy that I am really 
quite uncertain whether Thyrza Fleming has or has 
not been the mistress of Colonel Rivers. If she has 
not, the case is flatly irrelevant, and does not touch 
the question of pre-nuptial morality at all. If she 
has and I think we are forced to assume that she 
has, in spite of a half-hearted and probably hair- 
splitting denial on her part then the question of 
pre-nuptial morality is complicated by a quite un- 
necessary, improbable, and painful conjuncture ot 
circumstances. Playwrights of far greater experience 
than Miss Dorothy Leighton have been equally blind 
to the artistic necessity of stating a case in its simplest 
terms, if you want to state it at all. It is clear that 
what was primarily in Miss Leighton's mind was the 
general question of the man who has lived " a man's 
life " before marriage, not the very rare and extremely 
disagreeable case of the man who has lived a man's 
life with the mother of his bride. In pitching upon 
this particular complication, Miss Leighton utterly 
overshoots her mark; while, on the other hand, if 
the relations between Colonel Rivers and Thyrza 



14 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. . 

were platonic, she no less clearly undershoots her 
mark, or rather fails to discharge her bolt at all. 
Miss Winifred Frazer played Pamela quite admirably, 
Mr. Bernard Gould was good as Rivers, and Miss 
Esther Palliser showed some ability in the part of 
Thyrza, but was hampered by nervousness and in- 
experience. Miss Agnes Hill, I observe, has been 
accused of burlesquing Theophila Falkland. I don't 
see what else she could have done with the speeches 
assigned her. 



III. 

" AN IDEAL HUSBAND." 

Pall Mall Budget, \QthJanuary. 

MR. OSCAR WILDE might have given a second title 
to his highly entertaining play at the Haymarket,* 
which we all enjoyed very nearly as much as he 
himself did. He might have called it An Ideal 
Husband ; or, The Chillern Thousands. There were 
eighty-six of them ,86,000 was the price paid to 
Sir Robert Chiltern, then private secretary to a 
Cabinet Minister, for betraying to an Austrian 
financier the intention of the Government to pur- 

* January 3 April 6. Transferred to Criterion. April II 
April 27. 



"AN IDEAL HUSBAND." 15 

chase the Suez Canal Shares. The thousands have 
increased and multiplied; he is wealthy, he is 
respected, he is Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, 
he is married to a wife who idolises and idealises 
him ; and, not having stolen anything more in the 
interim, he is inclined to agree with his wife and the 
world in regarding himself as the Bayard of Downing 
Street. The question which Mr. Wilde propounds 
is, " Ought his old peccadillo to incapacitate him for 
public life?" and, while essaying to answer it in the 
negative, he virtually, to my thinking, answers it in 
the affirmative. On the principle involved, I have 
no very strong feeling. It is a black business 
enough; no divorce -court scandal could possibly 
be so damning; but one is quite willing to believe 
it possible that a sudden yielding to overwhelming 
temptation may occur once in a lifetime, and may 
even steel the wrong-doer against all future tempta- 
tion and render him a stronger man than he would 
otherwise have been. This, I repeat, is possible; 
but unfortunately the first thing Mr. Wilde does is to 
show that Sir Robert Chiltern is not a case in point. 

Enter Mrs. Cheveley from Vienna, tawny-haired, 
red -cheeked, white -shouldered. She has in her 
pocket the letter in which Sir Robert let the Suez 
cat out of the bag; and, if he will not support in 
Parliament an Argentine Canal, which he knows 
to be a gigantic swindle, she will send the letter 



1 6 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

to the papers and ruin his political career. Here, 
then, is an excellent opportunity for Sir Robert 
to show his mettle. If his honour rooted in 
dishonour stands, if the boy's weakness has fortified 
the man's probity, he will of course send Mrs. 
Cheveley to the right-about and prepare to face 
the music. It will then be for the dramatist's 
'"ingenuity to devise some means of averting the 
exposure, which Sir Robert deserves to escape, for 
the very reason that he is man enough to -brave 
it rather than commit a second and greater 
treachery. Alas ! this is not at all Mr. Wilde's view 
of the matter. Sir Robert Chiltern does not send 
Mrs. Cheveley to the right-about. On the contrary, 
he licks the dust before her, and is quite prepared to 
involve his country in a second Panama catastrophe 
in order to save his own precious skin. This is 
giving away the whole case. It may be a mistake to 
hold a man disabled by his past from doing service 
to the State; but this man is disabled by his present. 
The excellent Sir Robert proves himself one of those 
gentlemen who can be honest so long as it is 
absolutely convenient, and no longer; and on the 
whole, in spite of Mr. Wilde's argument, I am 
inclined to think it a wise instinct which leads us 
(so far as possible) to select for our Cabinet Ministers 
men of less provisional probity. 

And Sir Robert Chiltern is as irresolute in ill-doinsr 



"AN IDEAL HUSBAND." I/ 

as in well-doing. Unfortunately for Mrs. Cheveley 
and her Argentine accomplices, he has told his wife 
all he knows about the canal scheme; and when she 
learns that he is going to chop round and support 
the scheme in Parliament, she cannot believe her 
ears. " This woman must have some hold over 
you," she says. "Oh, dear, no!" replies Bayard; 
"how can you think such a thing? I just thought 
I'd like to oblige her." Lady Bayard naturally 
thinks that this is carrying chivalry a little too far, 
and insists that he shall sit down and write a note 
crying off his promise. With the utmost docility he 
does so, but still conceals from his wife the reason 
of his original compliance, preferring apparently that 
she shall learn it from Mrs. Cheveley, as she duly 
does. Then Bayard loses his temper and rates his 
wife roundly for her stupidity in not knowing all 
along that he was a scoundrel, and acting up to her 
position as a scoundrel's helpmeet. The happy pair 
are now at a deadlock, and the action accordingly 
passes out of their hands and into those of Lord 
Goring, a young aristocrat who combines a pretty 
wit with the subtle policy of Hawkshaw the Detective. 
While exuding epigrams at every pore, he manages to 
slip, not the bracelets, but a tell-tale bracelet, upon 
the adventuress's wrist, and to send her back baffled 
to Vienna. Then he looks in at Park Lane and 
talks like a father to Lady Chiltern, convincing her 

2 



1 8 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

that to have betrayed your trust once, and to have 
been with difficulty dissuaded from doing so a second 
time, is not at all an undesirable record for a Cabinet 
Minister. And the curtain descends upon this com- 
fortable moral. 

Upon my honour (if the creator of Sir Robert 
Chiltern will forgive the Pharisaism), I had not the 
slightest intention when I sat down of picking the 
play to pieces in this way. I don't know what 
possessed me. An Ideal Husband is a very able and 
entertaining piece of work, charmingly written, where- 
ever Mr. Wilde can find it in his heart to sufflaminate 
his wit. There are several scenes in which the dia- 
logue is heavily overburdened with witticisms, not 
always of the best alloy. For Mr. Wilde's good 
things I have the keenest relish, but I wish he 
would imitate Beau Brummel in throwing aside his 
"failures," not exposing them to the public gaze. 
His peculiar twist of thought sometimes produces 
very quaint and pleasing results. To object to it as 
a mere trick would be quite unreasonable. Every 
writer of any individuality has, so to speak, his trade- 
mark; but there are times when the output of Mr. 
Wilde's epigram-factory threatens to become all trade- 
mark and no substance. An Ideal Husband^ how- 
ever, does not positively lack good things, but simply 
suffers from a disproportionate profusion of inferior 
chatter. In each of Mr. Wilde's plays there has been 



" AN IDEAL HUSBAND." 19 

one really profound saying, which serves to mark it 
in my memory. In Lady Windermere's Fan it was: 
"There are only two tragedies in life: not getting 
what you want and getting it." In A Woman of 
no Importance it was: "Thought is in its essence 
destructive; nothing survives being thought of." In 
this play it is: "Vulgarity is the behaviour of other 
people." Simple as it seems, there is in this a world 
of observation and instruction. 

The acting was sufficient without being distin- 
guished. Mr. Lewis Waller, as Sir Robert Chiltern, 
was quite equal to his opportunities, which were not 
really so great as they might at first sight appear; and 
Miss Neilson, in her stately fashion, made Lady 
Chiltern a rather trying monitress to live up to. The 
good and bad fairy of the Christmas piece were 
impersonated by Mr. Charles Hawtrey and Miss 
Florence West respectively. Mr. Hawtrey's Lord 
Goring will be altogether delightful when he is quite 
firm in his words and takes his part a little quicker. 
Miss West played Mrs. Cheveley in a straightforward 
and somewhat obvious, but not ineffective, fashion. 
Miss Maud Millet was invaluable in a character cut 
to her measure; and Mr. Alfred Bishop, Mr. Brook- 
field, and Miss Fanny Brough were all excellent. 



20 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

IV. 

"KING ARTHUR " " GUY DOMVILLE." 

ibth January. 

A SPLENDID pageant and a well-built folk-play (for 
why should we leave to the Germans such a 
convenient word as Volksstiick T) these are the 
ingredients of the dish served up at the Lyceum 
on Saturday night, and hugely relished by the 
audience. King Arthur* is a genuine success, of 
that there is no doubt; and it deserves its fortune. 
In producing such a work, Mr. Irving is putting his 
opportunities and resources to a worthy use. In the 
historic or legendary pageant-play he seems to have 
found the formula best suited to the present stage of 
his career. On this path, at any rate, he marches 
from success to success from Henry VIII. to Becket, 
from Becket to King Arthur. Mr. Comyns Carr, it 
is true, is neither Shakespeare-Fletcher nor Tennyson. 
We miss not only the distinction of style, but the 
large dramatic movement which even Tennyson 
succeeded in imparting to one or two of his scenes. 
On the other hand, Mr. Carr writes very creditable 
blank verse, correct and by no means lacking in 

* King Arthur ran from January 12 to May 3, and was after- 
wards played at many matinees, and at three additional evening 
performances, before the close of the season. 



"KING ARTHUR." 21 

dignified sonority; and he knows how to put a play 
together much better than Tennyson ever did, or 
than Shakespeare cared to in Henry VIII. There 
are some very pretty ingenuities of compression in 
his treatment of his somewhat unwieldy theme. 
Perhaps, when a new pageant-play is wanted, Mr. 
Carr might collaborate with one of the young poets 
who are burgeoning around us like flowers in spring; 
and thus might the reign of Mr. Irving be at last 
immortalised by a substantial enrichment of English 
literature. 

Mr. Carr is reputed to have gone back to Malory 
for his inspiration, not daring, or perhaps not 
deigning, to tread in the footsteps of Tennyson. 
That he went to Malory I don't doubt; that he 
brought very much away from Malory I cannot 
discover. Where he departs from Tennyson, it is 
not, or very seldom, to follow Malory; and the 
characters of Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot are 
much more Tennysonian than Malorian. It asks 
some courage, but I am moved to take my critical 
life in my hand and say a word for The Idylls of the 
King in their relation to the Morte d 1 Arthur. That 
Tennyson refined away the racy medievalism of 
Malory's compilation, that he carved a set of highly 
polished modern romances out of the rough mass of 
the primitive epic so much is patent to every one. 
It may even be admitted that the Idylls bear too 



22 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

many traces of those upper-middle-class, squire- 
archical ideals which informed so much of his work. 
The moral atmosphere of the poem is a trifle stuffy. 
But how rare and exquisite its physical atmosphere, 
its plastic and picturesque aspects ! Its landscape 
alone is a possession for ever to the imagination of 
our race; and it is full of essential poetry, of things 
said as nobly and beautifully as it is possible to say 
them. Why should we quarrel with the work of a 
great poet because he was not at the same time a 
pioneer spirit and a master dramatist? Apply to 
the Paradise Lost the methods of criticism currently 
applied to the Idylls, and it would cut a sorry figure. 
But why do I use the conditional mood ? The thing 
has been done, with memorable effect, by the late 
Monsieur Taine. My present purpose, however, is 
chiefly to protest against the idea that, in his 
Blameless King, Tennyson has been guilty of a 
sad injustice to the magnificent Arthur of Malory. 
Tennyson's Arthur is, no doubt, a bit of a prig, as 
any mystic and semi-allegoric personage is apt to be. 
He does not wear his blamelessness with a very easy 
grace, and manages now and then to rub our un- 
regenerate human nature the wrong way. But if he 
is a prig, he is at least an eminently well-meaning 
one; whereas Malory's Arthur is a prig and a hound 
to boot. He had the advantage, of course, of not 
being blameless. He had quite a little brood of 



" KING ARTHUR." 23 

children (and among them Mordred) or ever he met 
Guinevere; but, after all, there is no great merit in 
that. The drowning of all the children born on 
May-day was not precisely an amiable circumstance: 
one prefers even Tennysonian blamelessness to such 
out-Heroding Herod. But it -is precisely in his 
relation to Guinevere and Lancelot that Malory's 
Arthur comes out in the most questionable light. 
In the first place, he is very much annoyed when 
Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred (answering in the 
affirmative Labiche's query, Doit-on le dire ?) insist 
on telling him the Court scandal. " The King was 
full loth thereto, that any noise should be upon 
Launcelot and his queen; for the King had a 
deeming, but he would not hear of it." Then, when 
the thing is no longer to be hushed up, this excellent 
monarch stoops to the familiar device of a pre- 
tended absence for "taking them with the deed." 
He has no sort of belief in the trial by battle which 
he has been countenancing all his life. " Lancelot," 
he says, in effect, " must be caught in the act; for if 
you leave him a chance to appeal to the wager of 
arms, he'll knock you all into a cocked hat, and 
where shall we be then?" Lancelot, having fallen 
into the trap, cuts his way out of it; and Guinevere, 
without any form of trial, is to be burnt at the 
stake, though even Sir Gawaine says to the outraged 
husband, "Wit you well, I will never be in that place 



24 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

where so noble a Queen as is my lady dame Guen- 
ever shall take a shameful end." Lancelot rescues 
her, and in so doing kills Gareth, Gaheris, and 
many others of his old comrades; whereupon Arthur 
remarks, " Much more I am sorrier for my good 
knights' loss than for the loss of my fair Queen; for 
queens I might have enow, but such a fellowship of 
good knights shall never be together in no company." 
No doubt there is reason and candour in this; but 
dignity is somewhat lacking. No ! it is Lancelot 
who plays the fine part in Malory; or rather, one 
may say, Lancelot is the real character, the poetically 
conceived and projected figure, of the whole. His 
quiet, resolute, indomitable devotion, his melancholy 
courtesy and inexhaustible magnanimity, are infinitely 
and quite immorally touching. When it comes to 
open war between the King and his knight, Lancelot 
is untiring in his chivalric forbearance, while Arthur 
allows Gawaine to challenge him to single combat, 
well knowing that Gawaine is not going to fight fair, 
but is protected by sorcery. Tennyson could not 
possibly have reproduced the base, barbarian Arthur 
of Malory, who, after winking at his wife's intrigue, 
is bent upon burning her when he can wink no 
longer. Even the much-denounced allocution at 
Almesbury was less inhuman than that. And Mr. 
Carr was bound to follow Tennyson's lead in some- 
what redressing the balance between Arthur and 



" KING ARTHUR." 25 

Lancelot. I cannot find that his Arthur is much 
more human than Tennyson's, but at least he is free 
from the smug egoism that defaces some of the 
Tennysonian speeches. Mr. Carr's Arthur does not 
say: 

" I am thine husband not a smaller soul, 
Not Lancelot, nor another." 

He does not twit her with her childlessness : 

" The children born of thee are sword and fire, 
Red ruin, and the breaking up of laws." 

And yet, as I write the words, there comes over me 
a quite indefensible wish that he had said anything 
half as magnificent, in however execrable taste, 
instead of mildly reflecting that 

" There is no might can give back to the spring 
Its lowliest flower dead under changing skies ; 
Then how should I, with winter at my heart, 
Plead with the ruined summer for its rose ? " 

This is a highly respectable and harmless sentiment; 
no gentleman, under the painful circumstances, could 
possibly express himself with greater propriety; but 
somehow I feel as if even the tactless outpourings of 
Tennyson's Arthur had a little more blood and nerve 
in them. They are a sort of middle term between 
Mr. Carr's delicacy of sentiment and the crude 



26 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

realism of Malory's "Queens I might have enow, 
but such a fellowship of good knights shall never be 
together in no company." 

The first and third acts of Mr. Carr's play (mind, 
when I say the first act, I don't mean the Prologue) 
are quite admirably constructed. The way in which 
the living Elaine reveals Lancelot's passion to the 
Queen, while the dead Elaine reveals it to the King, 
is not only ingenious, but beautiful: and the process 
of emotion in both acts is excellently dramatic. The 
best-written passage in the play, to my thinking, is 
the declaration between Lancelot and Guinevere. If 
Miss Ellen Terry had been a tragic and passionate 
instead of an idyllic and fascinating actress, this 
would have been a really thrilling dramatic moment. 
Much less excellent are the second and fourth acts. 
In the second, one cannot help wondering why 
Lancelot and Guinevere should select the occasion 
of a picnic, when the woods are known to be full of 
merrymakers, for such compromising endearments. 
In the fourth, the drama is practically over, and has 
only to be wound up in formal and spectacular 
fashion. 

The spectacle is gorgeous throughout; but the 
supernatural element, the diablerie, if I may put it 
so (with apologies to Merlin), is, from first to last, 
inferior. In all other departments of scenic decora- 
tion Mr. Irving is a pioneer; in his dealings with the 



"KING ARTHUR. 2/ 

supernatural he is, if not behind the age, at any rate 
barely abreast of it. He relies entirely upon his scenic 
artists for his sorceries, and they, though masters in 
their own department, are the veriest tyros in necro- 
mancy. Mr. Irving ought to call in a specialist for 
his illusions, no less than for his costumes an artist, 
and at the same time a man of mechanical and 
inventive genius Professor Herkomer, for example. 
A resolute adherence to antiquated methods of 
diablerie did much to mar the effect of Faust ; in 
King Arthur it is still more deplorable, though 
fortunately it does not enter into any of the essential 
scenes of the drama. The Prologue it utterly ruins. 
Anything more feebly undeceptive and ludicrously 
unpoetical than this whole scene it would be hard to 
conceive. It presents, as you probably know, the 
finding, or taking, or achieving, of the brand Ex- 
calibur, an incident familiar to the imagination of 
every one. How much better to have left it entirely 
to the imagination, if this was all that could be done 
to realise it !* 

In the first place, the Magic Mere becomes a 
dismal chasm in a cliff-bound coast, so narrow that 
Arthur could not have taken a header into it without 
danger of dashing out his brains against the rocks on 
the opposite side. In the background, but at the 

* This paragraph, and the three following, appeared in the 
Pall Mall Budget, January 24. 



28 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

distance of only a few yards, a dim arch, like a 
bridge, traverses the whole scene. To this moment 
I am unable even to conjecture what it represents 
whether a natural arch in the rock, or a stationary 
mist-wreath, or nothing at all. Whatever it may be, 
it is very stiff and ugly. Above it hang mathe- 
matically horizontal " sky-borders," apparently repre- 
senting a flat layer of fog in the upper air. But 
again this is a mere guess; whatever they represent, 
they resemble nothing but sky-borders. The water 
is simulated by the old device of strips of gauze 
stretched across the stage a transparent convention. 
Over the edge of the gauze a hand (not an arm) 
awkwardly protrudes the sword for a few moments 
and then withdraws it again (!), while Merlin amuses 
Arthur with a vision of Guinevere, seen under the 
aforementioned arch, against a crudely-painted back- 
ground of may-blossom. This over, the Spirit of the 
Lake rises stiffly from behind the gauze and speaks 
her piece, while Excalibur once more bobs up like 
a dog at her heels. When she has disappeared, 
Excalibur somehow shambles a yard or two nearer 
the point of rock where Arthur is standing, and he 
secures it at some risk of toppling into the pool. 
Is it possible Mr. Irving does not realise how the 
narrowness of the pool, the popping up and down of 
the sword, and its unspeakably ludicrous position 
beside and yet apart from the Spirit of the Lake (as 



" KING ARTHUR." 29 

though she disdained to deliver her parcels in person) 
how all this ruins the poetry of the incident and 
reduces it to mechanical and childish make-believe? 
The whole staging of the Prologue is unimaginative, 
uninventive, unbeautiful. It may be (though I don't 
believe it) that the resources of stage-illusion go no 
further. In that case it is a thousand pities they 
should ever have gone so far. 

No less ineffectual is the vision of the Grail in the 
first act. It is an error of art to begin with (like the 
disappearance and reappearance of Excalibur), and 
it is badly executed to boot. These marvels lose all 
their marvellousness when they occur and recur at a 
given hour of the afternoon. To top off Sir Kay's 
description of the great miracle with a private 
repetition of it for Sir Lancelot's special benefit is 
to perpetrate an obvious piece of bathos. The only 
excuse for it would be that the actual miracle should 
surpass its description; whereas, in fact, it falls ludi- 
crously short of it. To the eye of faith, the apparition 
may be an angel bearing the Holy Grail; to the 
natural eye, it rather suggests a waiting-maid of the 
period walking along a corridor with a vol-au-vent 
swathed in a napkin. The s'.age-direction says that 
" a red light strikes like a star through the trans- 
parent veil that covers the cup;" but I saw nothing 
of the sort. An artist-machinist might surely have 
found inspiration in that verse of Tennyson's: 



3O THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

" A gentle sound, an awful light ! 

Three angels bear the Holy Grail : 
With folded feet ', in stoles of white, 
On sleeping wings they sail." 

Or, if it come not within the powers of the modern 
stage to realise such a picture, it might at least 
dissemble its impotence by leaving the thing un- 
attempted. Similarly, Tennyson has drawn for all 
time the picture of the Passing of Arthur; and if 
scenic ingenuity cannot (as it certainly does not at 
the Lyceum) come anywhere near the presentation of 

" The level lake, 
And the long glories of the winter moon," 

Arthur would much better be suffered to pass unseen 
to the Unseen. But I cannot persuade myself that it 
is impossible to devise a worthier illusion than that 
clumsy barge hopelessly aground in a grey-green fog. 
I dwell on this matter of the supernatural effects, 
neither exaggerating nor extenuating their deficiencies, 
because I have perfect faith in Mr. Irving's liberality, 
enthusiasm, and desire to do the very best with the 
means at his command. He does not realise, I am 
sure, how lame and unimpressive is the supernatural 
side of this great production; and as soon as he 
begins to think about it, he will see his way, on 
future occasions, to more novel and beautiful effects. 
Thought is really all that is required; and though 



"KING ARTHUR." 31 

Mr. Irving, of course, cannot be his own machinist 
any more than his own costumier, there must be 
plenty of people able and willing to devise and carry 
out improvements, the moment Mr. Irving's imagina- 
tion has become fully possessed of the desire for 
them. He surely cannot doubt the possibility of 
improvement, when he reflects on the enormous 
advance that has been made under his management 
in everything else, while the mechanism of the super- 
natural has alone remained stationary. How the 
late Mr. Bateman would have stared at the costumes, 
the scenery, and the general appointments of King 
Arthur! but the visions and portents would have 
struck him as quite in their accustomed order. 
Pictorial illusion is not the highest aim of theatrical 
art, but it is at all events better worth achieving than 
pictorial disillusion. 

The character of Arthur will undoubtedly be 
reckoned among Mr. Irving's finer achievements. 
He embodies it with incomparable nobility and 
refinement, and speaks his verses with perfect 
distinction and purity of accent. Mr. Comyns 
Carr's blank verse is Tennysonian in its movement, 
and therefore suits Mr. Irving's methods much better 
than a more impetuous and dramatic prosody, which 
calls for a corresponding impetus of delivery. Miss 
Ellen Terry is an ideal Guinevere to the eye; it is 
impossible to conceive a statelier or more gracious 



32 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

figure; and her performance is altogether charming. 
Mr. Forbes Robertson is an ethereal ised Lancelot. 
His figure is absolutely beautiful; but it suggests 
an "affable archangel" of Carpaccio's or Benozzo 
Gozzoli's rather than a knight of the Round Table; 
or if indeed a knight, then the stainless Galahad 
rather than the superbly human Lancelot of the 
Lake. His acting, let me hasten to add, is perfect 
in its kind. Miss Genevieve Ward and Mr. Frank 
Cooper do nothing to soften the villainy of Morgan 
le Fay and Mordred, and Miss Lena Ashwell makes 
a simple and pleasant Elaine. A beardless Merlin 
seems almost a contradiction in terms. It was 
thought, no doubt, that a beard might bring with it 
reminiscences of Santa Claus in Mr. Oscar Barrett's 
pantomime; but there might surely have been a 
middle course between Father Christmas and the 
First Witch in Macbeth. Mr. Valentine, in any case, 
spoke his lines sonorously and well. As for the 
armour and costumes designed by Sir Edward Burne- 
Jones, one may report, safely and briefly, that 
nothing more beautiful has ever been seen on any 
stage. 

Since Beau Austin, we have seen nothing on the 

English stage so charming as the first act of Guy 

Domville* The motives are delicately interwoven, 

yet remain clear and convincing; the scenes are 

* St. James's, January 5 February 5. 



" GUY DOMVILLE." 33 

ordered with a master hand; and the writing is 
graceful without mannerism. It seemed to me that 
Mr. James made one slight mistake, or rather missed 
one opportunity. Mrs. Peverel has told Frank 
Humber that the signet-ring is designed as a 'parting 
gift for a friend, meaning Guy Domville. Then she 
comes to think that it is from Humber, not Domville, 
that she must part; what a pretty and dramatic 
touch it would be if she were to give the ring to 
Humber, by way of announcing, in delicate sym- 
bolism, her rejection of his suit ! As a matter of 
fact, she does give the ring to Humber; but the 
significance of the gift seems to occur to her only 
as an afterthought, and the ingenuity and beauty of 
the effect is lost. This is a very small matter so 
minute, indeed, that I may have been misled as to 
Mr. James's intention by some momentary slip on 
Miss Marion Terry's part. Otherwise, the act was a 
gem without a flaw. In the second act Mr. James 
appeared to pass from comedy of sentiment to 
comedy of intrigue. There was no further develop- 
ment of Domville's character, and even the immediate 
motives which governed him ceased to be very clear. 
The drinking-scene, too, seemed to be a concession 
to some supposed demand for lively and even violent 
action, rather than a natural outgrowth of the 
situation. One did not even see why the young 
sailor should assume as a matter of course that he 

3 



34 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

could carry more liquor than Domville, on whom he 
had never set eyes until that moment. The third 
act returned to the key of sentiment, but pitched it 
too high. To this day I am quite in the dark as to 
why Lord Devenish's gloves on Mrs. Peverel's table 
should produce such a momentous revolution in 
Domville's frame of mind. He has not the slightest 
shadow of reason for suspecting that she is in league 
with his lordship to entrap him into marriage, and 
apparently he does not suspect anything of the sort. 
The mere remembrance of Lord Devenish seems to 
throw him into a sudden and motiveless frenzy, in 
which he sacrifices his own happiness and that of 
Mrs. Peverel to a chance recollection of his not very 
effectual call to the priesthood. Of course, I mis- 
understand his motives; of course, he "has grounds 
more relative than this": but the fact remains that 
Mr. James has failed to make his hero's conduct 
comprehensible to a very attentive and, I hope he 
will believe, a very sympathetic listener. The staging 
of the play was perfect in every respect, and the 
acting was, on the whole, admirable. Mr. Alexander, 
Mr. Waring, and Mr. Esmond were all excellent; 
only Mr. Elliot, as Lord Devenish, did not seem 
quite to catch the tone either of the period or of the 
particular play. Miss Marion Terry was charming as 
Mrs. Peverel ; Miss Millard did all that was possible 
with the part of Mary Brasier; and Miss Irene 






"AN INNOCENT ABROAD." 35 

Vanbrugh, as Fanny, played her little scene in the 
third act very cleverly. 



V. 



"AN INNOCENT ABROAD" "HIGH LIFE BELOW 
STAIRS" "A PAIR OF SPECTACLES." 

2 yd January. 

IT is rather sad to see the theatre* to which, in our 
memories, there still clings a faint aroma of Sweet 
Lavender, given over to such work as An Innocent 
Abroad, and the actor who created Dick Phenyl 
wasting his quaintness on the Tobias Pilkingtons of 
fifth-rate farce. Mr. W. Stokes Craven's play, how- 
ever, will probably serve its turn. It is an errant- 
husband buffoonery of the most conventional type ; 
but it does not stand on the lowest level of workman- 
ship, and there are some really diverting situations in 
the last act. This act Mr. Terry has all to himself, 
but in the earlier scenes it is Mr. Ernest Hendrie, 
rather than Mr. Terry, that holds the play together 
by the grim humour of his impersonation of a prize- 
fighter. 

As an afterpiece to An Innocent Abroad, Mr. Terry 

* Terry's. An Innocent Abro.id and High Life Below Stairs 
ran from January 14 to March 16. 



36 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

produced "the Musical Farce in one act, entitled 
High Life Below Stairs, by the Rev. James Townley." 
Poor Mr. Townley ! He got no credit for his work 
while he lived, for the piece was generally attributed 
to Garrick ; and now that he is dead he comes in for 
all the discredit of an outrageous mutilation and 
stultification of a really humorous and pleasant satire. 
Mr. Terry omits a good half of the dialogue (the 
original play is in two acts), introduces, if I am not 
mistaken, one or two reminiscences from Sam Weller's 
celebrated "swarry" at Bath, and, for the rest, gives 
his whole mind to frigid, grotesque, and often wholly 
incomprehensible malapropisms and meaningless 
perversions of words. How far tradition may be 
responsible for this bedevilment of the text I do not 
know ; but, tradition or no tradition, it is foolish and 
unworthy. . I am far from regarding High Life Below 
Stairs as a classic into which it would be sacrilege to 
introduce a single "gag"; but in this case the gagging 
is reckless and childish. The little caricature-comedy 
for it scarcely deserves to rank as a mere farce 
would well repay careful and artistic revival. It is, 
indeed, an ingeniously double-barrelled satire. Pro- 
fessing to display the corruption of the servants' hall, it 
in reality satirises the affectations of the coffee-house 
and the boudoir. "What an impertinent piece of assur- 
ance it is in these fellows," says Freeman, "to affect 
and imitate their masters' manners ! " Whereupon 



"ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL." 37 

Lovel very justly replies, "What manners must those 
be which they can imitate? " The piece was originally 
played (in 1759) by Palmer and King, Mrs. Clive and 
Mrs. Abington. Mr. Terry and his comrades reduce 
it to the level of a music-hall "sketch." 

That charming fairy-tale A Pair of Spectacles* the 
condensed milk of human kindness has been revived 
at the Garrick, and, with Mr. Hare, Mr. Groves, and 
Miss Kate Rorke in their original parts, goes as 
merrily as ever. Mr. Gilbert Hare cleverly replaces 
Mr. Sydney Brough as Dick, Mr. Allan Aynesworth 
is good as Percy, and Miss Mabel Terry Lewis made 
a pleasant and promising first appearance in the part 
of Lucy Lorimer. 



VI. 

"ALL'S WELL THAT ENTJS WELL." 

Pall Mall Budget, 31 st January. 

A PERFORMANCE of the Irving Amateur Dramatic 
Club at St. George's Hallf last week gave me an 
opportunity of seeing a play as yet unknown to me 
on the stage Airs Well that Ends Well. I never 
miss a chance of "bagging" a new Shakespeare, 
and adding its scalp, or, in plain language, its play- 
* January 17 March 9. t January 22 and 24. 



38 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

bill, to my collection. As I enjoy the proud privilege 
of being an Englishman (a pen pres\ and not a 
German, I shall certainly go to my grave without 
having seen anything like the full cycle of his 
playable plays. My ambition stops short of Troilus 
and Cressida, which was not intended for the stage, 
and of Titus Andronicus, which is absurd; but now 
that All's Well is bagged, there still remain The 
Tempest, Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, Richard II., 
the second part of Henry IV., the whole of Henry 
VI. (which, after all, is part of our great historical 
epos, and is so treated in Germany), the Comedy of 
Errors, and the Two Gentlemen of Verona* unacted 
in my time. Several of the others I have seen only 
once, presented by amateurs Love's Labour's Lost, 
Measure for Measute, 'and Henry IV., Part I. Mr. 
Beerbohm Tree once played King John, at the Crystal 
Palace, several years ago; Cymbeline I have seen 
only in the provinces; ax\& Julius Casar, perhaps the 
most magnificent acting play ever written, has been 
performed in London, and admirably performed, 
within the memory of man but by a German 
company. 

Far be it from me to maintain that all or any of 
these plays ought to be constantly represented; but is 
it utterly chimerical to dream of a theatre at which 

* These two comedies have since been produced, the one by 
amateurs (see Art. LI I. ), the other by Mr. Daly (see Art. XXXIV. ). 



"ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL." 39 

no year should pass without a revival for a few nights 
of one or two of the less-known Shakespearian plays, 
so that the whole repertory should be passed in 
review once in ten years or so ? The Germans 
possess such theatres; we poverty-stricken islanders 
cannot afford one. But I perceive I am trenching 
on the inflammatory topic of the Municipal or En- 
dowed Theatre, which causes angry passions to rise 
in many otherwise equanimous bosoms. I sheer off 
hastily with the confession that Airs Wei! that Ends 
Well, which forms the text of my discourse, is not in 
itself a very great loss to the theatre. Julius Ccesar, 
Coriolanus, Cymbeline, and the two parts of Henry IV. 
are plays which could really be made to live for a 
modern audience not so All's Well. Hazlitt calls 
it " one of the most pleasing of our author's comedies," 
but I think a " dis " has dropped out before " pleas- 
ing." Despite its extraordinary inequalities of style, 
indeed, it is pleasant enough reading, though I don't 
know but that I would rather read Boccaccio's story 
in his own words. In any case, a story may be 
delightful in "the golden pages of Boccaccio," and 
very much the reverse when expanded and realised 
on the stage. 

In a romance, a fairy-tale (and practically this is 
nothing else), we have a right to look for some 
resting-place for our sympathies; where are we to 
find it here? In plain latter-day English, Bertram 



40 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

is a snob, Helena an adventuress. I turn to one of 
the latest German commentators, Dr. Louis Lewes, 
author of The Women of Shakespeare, and I find that 
" Helena's love is passionate, spiritual, free from all 
egotism"! "Her position," Dr. Lewes proceeds, 
" is not only unhappy, it offends our taste, and yet 
her character rises in inward sincerity, touching 
nobility, and beauty, above the unworthiness of her 
condition." Character, in other words, is independent 
of conduct, and love which has recourse to tyranny 
and perfidy in order to gain its ends shall be held 
" free from all egotism " if only the young lady ex- 
presses herself nobly and poetically. If Bertram had 
promised Helena marriage, even if he had betrayed 
and deserted her, one must still have questioned her 
taste and dignity in carrying her breach of promise 
suit to the King's Bench in such a spirit of intrigue 
and chicanery. But there is no suggestion that 
Bertram ever breathed a word of love to Helena. 
She simply made up her sincere and noble mind to 
marry him willy-nilly, and she carried her point by 
methods which, if used by a man towards a woman, 
would brand him as a villain of the deepest dye, and 
earn him the execrations of every gallery in Christen- 
dom. The thing is a fairy-tale, and as a fairy-tale it 
pleases the imagination, on its sensual rather than its 
spiritual side. On the plane of real life, Shake- 
spearolatry alone can find the fable edifying or 



" AN ARTIST'S MODEL." 41 

attractive. The text had been so carefully bowd- 
lerised for the Irving Club that the story would 
scarcely have been comprehensible to any one who 
did not know it beforehand. Miss Olive Kennett 
played Helena with dignity and intelligence, Mrs. 
Herbert Morris made a charming Diana, and Miss 
Lena Heinekey a good Countess of Rousillon. The 
male performers were passable, but undistinguished. 



VII. 

"AN ARTIST'S MODEL." 

6tk February, 

WHEN you have in one company Miss Marie Tem- 
pest, and Miss Letty Lind, and Miss Lottie Venne 
(the "and" in the modern playbill is equivalent to 
the star type of bygone days), to say nothing of Mr. 
Hayden Coffin, Mr. Eric Lewis, Mr. W. Blakeley, and 
a host of other melodious and comical and generally 
"clever" people, it really matters very little what you 
give them to do. That ( seems to have been the 
principle which inspired Mr. George Edwardes in 
providing a successor to A Gaiety Girl, and I am 
far from saying that he was mistaken. Given these 
"clever people," with gay costumes and sparkling 
music, and the piece will practically make itself in 



42 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

the course of a few nights. Or, no, I am wrong- 
the piece will disappear, and the entertainment will 
make itself. Somewhere near the beginning of The 
Ring and the Book (the exact reference I cannot give, 
but I have good reason for believing that it must be 
near the beginning) Browning tells us how goldsmiths 
will sometimes mix their metal with alloy, to make 
it workable, eliminating the alloy by some chemical 
process when the ring or bracelet has been fashioned. 
The libretto of An Artisfs Model* I take it, serves 
the purpose of this alloy : it must be practically 
eliminated before the " comedy " can be said to 
have reached its definitive state. I only wish the 
chemical action had set in at the last rehearsals, 
instead of being left to the first performances. How- 
ever, in work of this class it's never too late to cut, 
and the Artisfs Model of a week hence will, no doubt, 
be a totally different thing from the Artisfs Model of 
Saturday evening. Mr. "Owen Hall," indeed, seems 
to have gone to work in a scientific spirit, and deter- 
mined to achieve a really popular entertainment on 
the principle of the survival of the fittest. "With 
the lavishness of Mother Nature herself," one fancies 
him saying, " I will send forth all the children of my 
teeming fantasy. The weaklings will inevitably go to 

* Daly's Theatre, February 2. Transferred to Lyric Theatre, 
May 28 September 6. Reproduced at Daly's ("Second 
Edition "), September 28 still running. 



"AN ARTIST'S MODEL." 43 

the wall, and those which emerge from the struggle 
for existence will prove themselves, by that very fact,, 
the best adapted to their conditions. Why should I 
trouble to polish and select ? I will pour at the feet 
of the audience all my wealth of invention and wit, 
and say to them, 'Ladies and gentlemen, you pays- 
your money, and you takes your choice ! ' ' Those 
of the first-night audience who had paid their money 
did indeed take their choice with considerable em- 
phasis. 

I have a very sincere liking for the class of enter- 
tainment to which An Artist's Model belongs. As it 
began with In Town, I presume we may assign to 
Mr. "Adrian Ross" the credit of its invention. 
These musical farces are certainly an immense im- 
provement on the old-fashioned burlesques and third- 
rate operettas which they have so largely supplanted. 
I believe there is a future before this admirably supple 
and adaptable art-form. Elaborate plot and nicely- 
jointed structure would obviously be out of place in 
it ; but we need not therefore conclude that it ought 
to be quite without form and void. That is Mr. 
" Owen Hall's " mistake. Emptiness and incoher- 
ence can never be to the advantage of any dramatic 
production. It is not that Mr. " Hall " has no storj- 
to tell. On the contrary, he has three or four; 
but they have no discoverable connection with one 
another, only one of them (the semi-sentimental story 



44 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

of Adele and Rudolf Blair) is comprehensible, and that 
one is mortally tedious. In process of time (and the 
sooner the better) all attempt to make the plot or plots 
comprehensible will, no doubt, be abandoned, and 
the piece will become a series of frankly incoherent 
musical and farcical scenes. It will then, I fancy, be 
very attractive, for Mr. Harry Greenbank's verses are 
bright and ingenious, and Mr. Sidney Jones's music 
is often very taking. But it would be a great pity, 
almost a disaster, if the success of so invertebrate a 
production were to be taken as establishing the prin- 
ciple that a musical farce means a mere stirabout of 
" turns." As for the so-called audacities of the 
dialogue, it would be merely playing into the hands 
of their inventor, or inventors, to make much of them. 
It is true there are one or two childishly silly lines, 
pieces of gross ill-manners, that make one marvel how 
adult human beings can think it worth while to devise 
them, or can be persuaded to speak them on the 
stage ; but it would be absurd to pretend that they 
do any particular harm. The rumour of them may 
keep some people away from the production ; I cannot 
imagine that it can possibly bring any one to see it. 
For instance, a schoolmistress, passing her pupils in 
review, bids one of them step forward, and says, 
"This young lady is leaving us; she has to go home ; 
her father and mother are going to be married." 
Charming, isn't it ? So ingenious ! So humorous ! 



"AN ARTIST'S MODEL." 45 

Think of the great, daring intellect that conceived it ! 
Well, if you like that sort of thing, there are one or 
two other coruscations of the same nature to delight 
you. The audience, somehow, did not take cordially 
to them, and they may possibly have flickered out ere 
now, the meteors of one glorious evening 

"Or like the lightning that doth cease to be 
Ere one can say ' It lightens ' ! " 

But invented they were, and spoken they were ; and, 
as aforesaid, if they pleased Mr. "Owen Hall," I 
don't see that they hurt any one, unless it were Mr. 
George Edwardes and his syndicate. In the first act, 
a girl who has run away from school, dressed as a 
boy, wanders into a studio where a number of artists 
are at work. " I believe she's a girl ! " whispers one 
of these gentlemen to his comrades, and then, turning 
to the pretended boy, he says, " Come, you shall sit 
to us for the Young Apollo ! " " In what way ? " she 
asks. " Like this ! " he replies, holding up a drawing 
of a nude figure. And thereupon the young gentle- 
men surround her, and make as though to take off 
her clothes, until she is driven to confess her sex. 
Since Mr. Pigott has officially vouched for this scene 
(and we all know how particular he is), no doubt it is 
all right ; but one cannot help wondering whether art 
students are really such unspeakable cads. 

Miss Marie Tempest, who plays the title-part, is 



46 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

the best singer we have heard for years in this class 
of work. Her song with the refrain " On y revient 
toujours " will probably become popular, and some of 
the sentimental music allotted to her and Mr. Hayden 
Coffin is very pretty. Miss Letty Lind is charming 
as the runaway schoolgirl in the first act, and dances 
a sort of glorified " cellar-flap " dance which brought 
the house down. Her song and dance in the second 
act ("A torn-tit lived in a tip-top tree") are also 
among the hits of the piece. Miss Lottie Venne is 
very bright in a not very brilliant part, and Miss 
Leonora Braham is quite thrown away upon a char- 
acter in which she has no opportunities either for 
singing or acting. Mr. Eric Lewis, too, plays a most 
ineffective part. In fact, the stage is so crowded 
with " clever people " that they cannot possibly find 
elbow-room for their cleverness. Mr. Blakeley con- 
trives to be droll in his own peculiar way as a studio 
attendant, and Mr. Yorke Stephens wanders aimlessly 
and amiably through the play in the character of an 
amateur painter. Mr. Maurice Farkoa, Mr. E. M. 
Robson, and Mr. Lawrence D'Orsay are all good in 
their way; and the ladies of the chorus are excellent 
in their way that is, in the way of good-looks. 



" A LEADER OF MEN." 47 

VIII. 
"A LEADER OF MEN." 



February. 

MR. COMYNS CARR has shown public spirit as well as 
managerial policy in producing A Leader of Men* the 
maiden effort of a new playwright. The penny-wise 
economists of stageland will no doubt suggest that I 
ought to have said "public spirit rather than man- 
agerial policy"; but I believe that, rightly understood, 
the two things are coincident. Even from the 
narrowest box-office point of view, what can be more 
important to a manager than to keep up a good supply 
of new plays ? He lives by vending plays ; if there 
are no vendible plays to be had, or if the supply is so 
scanty that he has to scramble with other managers 
in the struggle to secure them at any cost, his always 
aleatory calling becomes trebly precarious. But how 
is the supply of plays to be kept up (now that the 
export trade from France has almost ceased) unless 
new playwrights are from time to time discovered and 
encouraged? Dramatists do not drop ready-made 
from the skies. However great their diligence and 
devotion, they cannot even, like poets or painters, 
master their art within the four walls of their private 
workshop. It is only on the stage itself, in contact 

* Comedy Theatre, February 9 March 8. 



48 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

first with the actors and then with the audience, that 
they can learn the ultimate secrets of their mystery. 
For the opportunity of acquiring this knowledge they 
are dependent on managers ; and if the managers say, 
" You need not come to us until you are accomplished 
and recognised playwrights," how are they ever to 
achieve accomplishment and recognition? Make a 
law that no one is to enter the water until he can 
swim, and the art of swimming will very soon be 
extinct. "But the prentice playwright," you say, 
" can plash about at his ease in the shallow water of 
the matinee." Yes, if he has ^150 or 200 to spare 
for each plunge; but he will learn next to nothing 
from matinee actors and audiences, nor will managers 
and critics learn anything to the purpose about him 
and his talent. Take A Leader of Men, for example 
if it had been produced at a trial matinee, its author 
would have gained no experience worth the having, 
and would have been almost as far as ever from getting 
really into touch with managers, critics, and public. 
A matinee given by a manager, with the same 
actors whom he would have employed in an evening 
production, is of course a somewhat different affair. 
This enables us to see the play in its true perspective, 
and any little difference there may be in the composi- 
tion of the audience can easily be allowed for. If 
Mr. Comyns Carr had chosen, in the first instance, to 
put on A Leader of Men in the afternoon, he would 



" A LEADER OF MEN." 49 

certainly have done well ; but he did much better to 
submit it to the one really decisive test that of a 
regular evening production. He mounted it quite 
adequately, without ostentatious expense; and with- 
out scouring London for a "star combination," he 
filled every part sufficiently, and some admirably. 
Whether he will make any profit on this particular 
venture it is impossible to say. If he does not, I 
fancy no one will be less surprised than he. But he 
has given a young man of talent a chance, and thus 
helped to keep the ball rolling. If Mr. " Charles E. 
D. Ward " does not profit by the opportunity, the fault 
is not Mr. Carr's ; and, after all, there is no great 
harm done. If he does profit by it, and becomes an 
effective addition to our little group of playwrights, 
Mr. Carr will not only have rendered the stage a 
substantial service, but will have secured for himself 
a first claim upon the maturer work of the new man. 

Of course I do not ignore or under-estimate 
the risks which a manager runs in essaying untried 
talent, or the temptation he naturally feels to stick to 
big ventures with playwrights of established fame. 
The long-run system, with its attendant habit of 
luxurious mounting, necessarily makes managers chary 
of facing the loss, of prestige as well as of money, 
involved in a failure or even in what may be called 
a semi-success. Therefore I heartily agree with Mr. 
Bernard Shaw that if the managers were wise they 

4 



50 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

ought to combine to subsidise some sort of Indepen- 
dent Theatre as a nursery for dramatists, instead of 
turning a cold shoulder to every enterprise of the 
kind. But since such corporate spirit and insight 
into the essential facts of the situation are scarcely to 
be looked for at present, there is all the more reason 
to applaud the individual intelligence and liberality 
of Mr. Comyns Carr. 

The chances are about even, I should say, that his 
insight will be justified in the case of Mr. Ward, if so 
we must call him. He is clearly an able man ; it yet 
remains to be seen whether Nature has endowed him 
with the specific faculty of the dramatist. The only 
portion of that complex faculty which is unmistakably 
apparent in A Leader of Men is the gift of eloquence, 
of high-pitched rhetoric. The passages where the 
drama really stirred us were all declamatory; but 
this must be recorded to the author's credit the 
effect sometimes lay in a really dramatic contrast 
between the declamation and the answer to it. For 
instance, when Robert Llewelyn has delivered a long 
harangue in denunciation of Mrs. Dundas's supposed 
perfidy, she, having listened in absolute silence, 
replies, "Every word you say is music to me," or 
something to that effect, and makes a motion as 
though to kneel before him. . The very depth of his 
feeling, the very ardour of his resentment, has shown 
her that she was wrong in suspecting him of insincere 



"A LEADER OF MEN." 51 

Don Juanism; and the contrast between the intention 
of his diatribe and the effect it produces is not only 
pretty but essentially dramatic. The other telling 
passages in the play were Llewelyn's onslaught on 
his treacherous henchman, Mr. Stone; Mrs. Dundas's 
protest against the idea of returning to her husband ; 
Mrs. Ellis's address for the prosecution and Mrs. 
Dundas's plea for the defence, in the third act ; and 
Farquhar's appeal to Llewelyn not to leave his party 
in the lurch for the sake of a seemingly faithless 
woman all passages of copious, emphatic, balanced 
oratory, vigorously written, without offensive' high- 
falutin, but all somewhat lacking in the rapid give-and- 
take which denotes the handiwork of the dramatist as 
distinguished from the rhetorician. I am very far 
from denying that impassioned rhetoric is a legitimate 
weapon in the dramatist's armoury; but he should 
try to bring his quick-firing guns freely into play, and 
not keep pounding away all the time with his hundred- 
tonners. Mr. Ward's formula for a thrilling scene is 
to let some one take the stage and overwhelm some 
one else with such a torrent of denunciation or appeal 
that he can scarcely get a word in edgewise. In 
lighter, brighter, and subtler passages, his dialogue 
scarcely gets over the footlights. The exchange of 
sarcasms between Llewelyn and Mrs. Dundas over 
the afternoon tea-table is improbable and ineffective ; 
the light love-scenes between Barbara Deane and 



52 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Carnforth are conventional and trivial; and a good 
deal of the wit in what may be called the "connective" 
passages to use a physiological metaphor is not at 
all scenic in its quality. For example She : " You 
Radicals want so many hopeless changes." He: "No, 
we want to change the laws that make so many 
hopeless." This is not very brilliant at best, and it 
is mere waste of time to speak it on the stage. On 
the other hand, there are a good many really happy 
sayings, and none that are inept or vulgar. 

In all this I may seem to have been trifling round the 
outskirts of the play, instead of going straight for the 
essential questions of theme and structure. But in 
the work of a new writer, theme and structure are not, 
to my thinking, the essential matters. It would be 
nothing less than a miracle if he had entirely mastered 
his theme or put his play together with the deftness 
of an expert. The real question is, " Does he seem 
to possess the touch, the fingering, as it has been 
called, of the dramatist?" and that reveals itself 
rather in details, and especially in style, than in the 
general structure of the play. Coming now to the 
larger but not more important questions, one can only 
say that Mr. Ward has touched upon two excellent 
themes, without taking a very firm grasp of either. 
Theme No. i is the position of a woman legally 
bound to an unpardonably vicious and brutal hus- 
band, when a new love enters into her life. This 



"A LEADER OF MEN." 53 

is an old, old story, but there is no reason why it 
should not recur in drama so long as it recurs every 
day in life. Theme No. 2 is the position of a " leader 
of men," who is called upon to choose between his 
duty to his party, to his ideal, and his passion for a 
woman. This is a much more novel theme, taken, 
as we all know, direct from life, and full of dramatic 
possibilities. Behind it lies a third theme, in which 
there is a great play for the man who has the power 
to handle it the question whether, and how far, 
notorious irregularities of private conduct ought to 
disable a man from public service. This third theme 
Mr. Ward never approaches, either in intention or in 
fact. The second one he misses, because he does 
not show us that there is any absolute necessity for 
Llewelyn to choose between his love and his Bill. 
His determination to retire from public life is 
gratuitous, or at any rate premature. We are given 
to understand that the triumph or defeat of his Bill 
depends upon the question whether or not he goes 
down to the House to support it on a given evening, 
and there is nothing in his relation to Mrs. Dundas 
to prevent his doing so. Later on, no doubt, theme 
No. 3 might arise, and he might be forced to sacrifice 
his career to his entanglement. But this particular 
Bill is all that appears on the record, so to speak; it 
is in it that we are asked to interest ourselves, and 
we cannot of our own accord carry forward our 



54 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

interest to more or less remote contingencies. If he 
sacrifices this momentous measure because it is 
uncertain whether he, personally, will be able to reap 
the fruits of victory, he is a fool and a traitor, and we 
don't care a straw what becomes of him. All this 
merely implies that the author's skill has been insuffi- 
cient to give consistent dramatic form to the idea in 
his mind. Again, he lets theme No. i slip through 
his fingers at the crucial moment, by killing off the 
inconvenient husband. He has (to all appearance) 
claimed our sympathy for the wife's revolt throughout 
the first two acts; and then, in the last, he makes 
her abandon her whole position with a cry of horror 
the moment she hears that this brute of a husband 
(whom, pray observe, she never really loved) is 
seriously ill. This may be nay, it is eminently 
feminine; but it is also a trifle feminine on the 
author's part to solve a problem, fairly and squarely 
stated, by the help of an intervention of Providence 
and a nervous revulsion on the part of his heroine. 
For the rest, there is no real character or analysis in 
the play. The protagonists are ideal personages, and 
the rest are shadows. Instead of choosing one or 
other of his themes and working it out firmly and 
consistently, the author has jumbled them together 
and relied for his dramatic interest on a series of 
misunderstandings and explanations, all brought about 
by external, mechanical, and generally rather clumsy 



"A LEADER OF MEN." 55 

means. There is good reason to hope that Mr. 
Ward can do much better than this. In the mean- 
time, he has, at least, the fundamental faculty for 
keeping an audience interested and amused. 

Miss Marion Terry as Mrs. Dundas was charming 
throughout, and quite brought the house down in her 
great scenes. In one little passage she seemed to 
me rather to miss an opportunity the very pretty 
confession to the Archdeacon near the beginning of 
the second act. Miss Alma Murray played with 
great tact a part which might easily have been 
rendered odious; and Miss May Harvey was bright 
and pleasing in a character which gave her no great 
opportunities. The author's style offered some, but 
scarcely a sufficient, excuse for Mr. Fred Terry's 
outrageously declamatory performance of Llewelyn; 
and the same defect, in a minor degree, marred Mr. 
H. B. Irving's Farquhar. Mr. Irving should guard 
against an unnatural pitch of voice to which he is 
rather inclined. Mr. Wyes contributed a capital bit 
of character in Morton Stone, M.P., and Mr. Will 
Dennis, Mr. Sydney Brough, and Miss Le Thiere 
were all good. 

The revival of Mr. Harry Paulton's burlesque, 

entitled Babes* at the Strand Theatre, is noteworthy 

only because of the interpolated scene in which Mr. 

Edouin introduces the Heathen Chinee, who delighted 

* February 4 February 9 (?). 



55 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

us so much in Blue Beard at the Globe, I am afraid 
to think how many years ago. This is really a 
diverting impersonation. Mr. Edouin might do 
worse than get some sort of an extravaganza 
" written round it." 



IX. 



"THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST" 
" THOROUGH-BRED " " AN M.P.'s WIFE." 



February. 

THE dramatic critic is not only a philosopher, moralist, 
sesthetician, and stylist, but also a labourer working 
for his hire. In this last capacity he cares nothing 
for the classifications of Aristotle, Polonius, or any 
other theorist, but instinctively makes a fourfold 
division of the works which come within his ken. 
These are his categories: (i) Plays which are good 
to see. (2) Plays which are good to write about. 
(3) Plays which are both. (4) Plays which are neither. 
Class 4 is naturally the largest; Class 3 the smallest; 
and Classes i and 2 balance each other pretty evenly. 
Mr. Oscar Wilde's new comedy, The Importance of Being 
Earnest* belongs indubitably to the first class. It is 
* February 12 May 8. 



" IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST." 57 

delightful to see, it sends wave after wave of laughter 
curling and foaming round the theatre; but as a text 
for criticism it is barren and delusive. It is like a 
mirage-oasis in the desert, grateful and comforting to 
the weary eye but when you come close up to 
it, behold ! it is intangible, it eludes your grasp. 
What can a poor critic do with a play which raises 
no principle, whether of art or morals, creates its 
own canons and conventions, and is nothing but an 
absolutely wilful expression of an irrepressibly witty 
personality? Mr. Pater, I think (or is it some one 
else?), has an essay on the tendency of all art to 
verge towards, and merge in, the absolute art 
music. He might have found an example in The 
Importance of Being Earnest, which imitates nothing, 
represents nothing, means nothing, is nothing, except 
a sort of rondo caprictioso, in which the artist's fingers 
run with crisp irresponsibility up and down the key- 
board of life. Why attempt to analyse and class 
such a play ? Its theme, in other hands, would have 
made a capital farce; but "farce" is far too gross 
and commonplace a word to apply to such an irides- 
cent filament of fantasy. Incidents of the same 
nature as Algy Moncrieffe's " Bunburying " and John 
Worthing's invention and subsequent suppression of 
his scapegrace brother Ernest have done duty in \ 
many a French vaudeville and English adaptation; 
but Mr. Wilde's humour transmutes them into some- 



58 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

thing entirely new and individual. Amid so much 
that is negative, however, criticism may find one 
positive remark to make. Behind all Mr. Wilde's 
whim and even perversity, there lurks a very genuine 
science, or perhaps I should rather say instinct, of 
the theatre. In all his plays, and certainly not least 
in this one, the story is excellently told and illustrated 
with abundance of scenic detail. Monsieur Sarcey 
himself (if Mr. Wilde will forgive my saying so) 
would "chortle in his joy" over John Worthing's 
entrance in deep mourning (even down to his cane) 
to announce the death of his brother Ernest, when 
we know that Ernest in the flesh a false but un- 
deniable Ernest is at that moment in the house 
making love to Cecily. The audience does not 
instantly awaken to the meaning of his inky suit, but 
even as he marches solemnly down the stage, and 
before a word is spoken, you can feel the idea 
kindling from row to row, until a " sudden glory " 
of laughter fills the theatre. It is only the born 
playwright who can imagine and work up to such an 
effect. Not that the play is a masterpiece of con- 
struction. It seemed to me that the author's 
invention languished a little after the middle of the 
second act, and .that towards the close of that act 
there were even one or two brief patches of some- 
thing almost like tediousness. But I have often 
noticed that the more successful the play, the more a 



"IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST." 59 

first-night audience is apt to be troubled by inequali- 
ties of workmanship, of which subsequent audiences 
are barely conscious. The most happily -inspired 
scenes, coming to us with the gloss of novelty upon 
them, give us such keen pleasure, that passages 
which are only reasonably amusing are apt to seem, 
by contrast, positively dull. Later audiences, 
missing the shock of surprise which gave to the 
master-scenes their keenest zest, are also spared our 
sense of disappointment in the flatter passages, and 
enjoy the play more evenly all through. I myself, on 
seeing a play a second time, have often been greatly 
entertained by scenes which had gone near to boring 
me on the first night. When I see Mr. Wilde's play 
again, I shall no doubt relish the last half of the 
second act more than I did on Thursday evening; 
and even then I differed from some of my colleagues 
who found the third act tedious. Mr. Wilde is least 
fortunate where he drops into Mr. Gilbert's Palace-of- 
Truth mannerism, as he is apt to do in the characters 
of Gwendolen and Cecily. Strange what a fascina- 
tion this trick seems to possess for the comic play- 
wright ! Mr. Pinero, Mr. Shaw, and now Mr. Wilde, 
have all dabbled in it, never to their advantage. In 
the hands of its inventor it produces pretty effects 
enough ; 

But Gilbert's magic may not copied be ; 
Within that circle none should walk but he. 



60 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

The acting is as hard to write about as the play. 
It is all good; but there is no opportunity for any 
striking excellence. The performers who are most 
happily suited are clearly Mr. Allan Aynesworth and 
Miss Rose Leclercq, both of whom are delightful. 
Mr. Alexander gives his ambition a rest, and fills his 
somewhat empty part with spirit and elegance. Miss 
Irene Vanbrugh makes a charmingly sophisticated 
maiden of Mayfair, and Miss Evelyn Millard, if not 
absolutely in her element as the unsophisticated 
Cecily, is at least graceful- and pleasing. Mrs. 
Canninge and Mr. H. H. Vincent complete a very 
efficient cast. 

There are some genuinely amusing passages in 
the last act of Mr. Ralph Lumley's "comic play" 
Thorough-Bred* produced last week at Toole's 
Theatre. If you ask me why Mr. Toole, Mr. 
Fitzroy Morgan, and Mr. Shelton appear on the 
Ascot racecourse in the disguise of nigger minstrels, 
I really cannot tell you possibly because I did not 
follow the earlier acts with the attention demanded 
by their extreme intricacy of plot. But whatever the 

* February 14 March 23 ; after the first night or two, Mr. 
Toole was prevented by illness from appearing. The piece 
was reproduced on Easter Monday, April 15, and ran till 
June 8, Mr. Rutland Barrington taking Mr. Toole's original 
character during the greater part of the time. Mr. Toole 
himself reappeared in it September 3 September 28, when it 
was stated that his lease of the theatre expired. 



"AN M.P.'S WIFE." 6 1 

reason or no-reason, the scene is laughable, and so is 
Mr. Van Decker's wooing. The audience seemed 
to be pleased with the earlier acts as well, and the 
whole piece is at least quite harmless and unpre- 
tending. Mr. Toole was evidently suffering severe 
pain on the first night, but got through his part 
bravely; and Mr. C. M. Lowne gave a really clever and 
finished performance of a good-humoured American 
the best character and the best-acted in the play. 
Miss Henrietta Watson and Miss Cora Poole played 
with agreeable vivacity, and Messrs. Fitzroy Morgan 
and E. A. Coventry were now and then amusing. 

"I should have told him everything before we 
were married," says the lady who gives its title to 
An M.P.'s Wife* adapted from a novel by Mr. 
Thomas Terrell, and produced at the Opera Comique 
last Saturday. She is quite right, she certainly 
should; but, as things turned out, her omission to 
do so didn't in the least matter. The play, in short, 
is feebly conceived, clumsily constructed, and badly 
written. It does not rise above the most ordinary 
matinee level. Miss T. White played the heroine 
with more earnestness than skill; Mr. W. Herbert 
was solid and satisfactory as her husband; and Mr. 
Charles Glenney imported a certain originality into 
the part of her cast-off lover by playing a passionate 

* February 15 "for six nights only." Mr. Frederick de 
Lara's season. 



62 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

parting scene ("Ruth, perhaps to-night will be the 
last time we shall ever meet!" and so forth) with 
his left hand immovably in his pocket ! 



X. 

"GENTLEMAN JOE."* 

6th March. 

IT is odd how a trifling circumstance will sometimes 
break through the veils of Habit and enable one to 
see a familiar thing in its essence, as something quite 
new and strange. It happened on Saturday night 
that I arrived at the Prince of Wales's Theatre a little 
late; only a very little, and I had an end stall. The 
performance, at all events, was in full swing ; I had 
plunged straight out of the real world into the world 
of convention, with nothing to break the shock. The 
rest of the audience had waited some time in the 
garish theatre; the rhythms of the overture had got 
into their blood; they were strung up to concert pitch. 
I, on the other hand, coming in cold blood (literally 
as well as figuratively) from the greasy, grimy gloom 
of Coventry Street into this scene of glittering make- 
believe, saw it for the moment with unaccustomed 
eyes; and I cannot tell you how strange and melan- 

* March 2 still running. 



"GENTLEMAN JOE." 63 

choly, and above all how unspeakably senseless and 
vulgar, it seemed to me. You see, I was morbidly 
conscious of the glare, and had not, like the rest of 
the audience, fallen under the glamour. The scene, 
a villa garden with house and verandah in the back- 
ground, was crowded with people maidservants, 
menservants, policemen, soldiers, tradesmen all in 
everyday costume only a trifle more gaudy than 
usual. In front, a little lady, dressed like a house- 
maid on her day out, was singing in a shrill voice this 
refrain: 

" O my ! O my ! O my, my, my ! 
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry ! 
I'll never forget, if I try till I die, 
What I felt in that there wink of an eye ! " 

The refrain over, she at once began to caper about the 
stage, vigorously, and I have no doubt cleverly, but 
without the least pretence at grace, revealing billowy 
whirlpools of green skirt and stocking under her black 
gown. And, at a given moment, behold ! all the rest 
of the people on the stage began to caper too. They 
faced each other in pairs, and set to jigging it grown 
men and women not in figures, not in elaborate 
steps, not pretending to express any emotion or any 
dramatic idea, but simply bobbing up and down to 
the music, as though seized with an acute paroxysm 
of St. Vitus's dance. Of course I am not describing 
anything new. The scene is absolutely familiar to all 



64 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

of us, though perhaps the stage-management was in 
this case a little more epileptic than usual. It is a 
purely subjective phenomenon that I am recording : 
a mood in which the grotesqueness of the whole thing 
grown men and women capering like Bedlamites 
for the delectation of grown men and women 
suddenly came over me. I was for the nonce in the 
position of the traditional deaf man at a ball ; but 
the deaf man, if the dancing was good and he watched 
it carefully, would probably be able to divine some- 
thing of the rhythm of a waltz or mazurka, and to 
realise that the dancers were obeying a' certain law, 
and enjoying, pair by pair, a complex harmony in the 
movements of their bodies. Here there was no har- 
mony, scarcely any skill, less than no beauty. The 
whole thing was inspired by a mere conventional and 
insensate lust of movement for movement's sake. And 
when the song was encored, the chorus gravely 
trooped back to their stations, and at the proper 
moment set to jigging it anew, for all the world like 
the puppets in a clockwork raree-show when you put 
a penny in the slot. Of course we have all seen the 
same thing a hundred times; yet for the moment it 
could scarcely have seemed more odd and incredible 
to me if I had dropped straight from Mars. 

But presently the planetary mood wore off. Mr. 
Arthur Roberts came on the scene, and I fell under 
the witchery of his art. I could say with the poet : 



" GENTLEMAN JOE." 65 

\ 
" O my, my, my ! 

I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry ! 

I can never express, if I try till I die, 

What I think of the wink of that glittering eye ! " 

Seriously, he was irresistibly comic, and the produc- 
tion as a whole is by no means the worst of its class. 
Mr. Basil Hood writes spirited and clever rhymes 
not so witty, perhaps, as Mr. " Adrian Ross's " or 
even Mr. Harry Greenbank's, but infinitely better 
than the inane stuff that passed for verse in the 
Byron Reece and Farnie times. Mr. Walter Slaughter's 
music struck me as skilful and tuneful, and some of 
the singing was quite pleasant notably Mr. William 
Philp's and Miss Ai'da Jenoure's. Miss Kitty Loftus, 
as the pretty housemaid, made up in vivacity what 
she lacked in voice ; Miss Sadie Jerome, as the 
American heiress, carried everything before her in 
virtue of her commanding presence and impetuous 
style; Mr. W. H. Denny's talent was unfortunately 
wasted on an exceedingly ineffective part. Early in 
the evening, there occurred an incident which aptly 
illustrated the impossibility of any effectual censorship 
by an official who merely sees the written words of a 
play. The fascinating cabman, Gentleman Joe, who 
has been invited by the pretty housemaid to a 
servants' party, arrives at the house and inquires for 
Emma. "Hemma," replies the butler, "is getting 
ready to see you, and is taking off her things." As 

5 



66 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

she has just come in from a walk this is a perfectly 
natural remark, and any censor who should object to 
it might be suspected of almost insane prurience. 
But Mr. Arthur Roberts, by the artful intonation of 
his " Oh ! " helped out with a leer and a grimace, 
converts the innocent remark into an indecency as 
palpable as it is senseless. The censor who cannot 
keep the low comedian in order is of very little avail; 
and I know of only one censor who can. 



XL 

THE CENSORSHIP.* 

Pall Mall Budget, ^th March. 

IT is quite possible that before these lines are pub- 
lished " the miracle of miracles " may have happened, 
and some one who is to-day a person of no import- 
ance, rubbing shoulders with the rest of us on the 
common earth, may have been snatched up into the 
heaven of Court Officialdom, and endowed with abso- 
lute, irresponsible power over the destinies of the 
English drama. It is a strong testimony to the force 
of habit and especially to that ingrained Puritanism 
which leads us to regard the stage as a sort of pariah 

* Mr. E. F. S. Pigott died February 23. His successor was 
not yet appointed. 



THE CENSORSHIP. 6/ 

among institutions, incapable of natural or legal rights 
that the tragi-comic absurdity of this arrangement 
does not, as it were, strike us in the face. Here is 

Mr. A B , or Mr. C D , a minor 

journalist or literary man-of-all-work. To-day he is 
an ordinary fallible mortal ; his opinion on any 
literary or dramatic topic may fetch twopence or 
threepence a line in the open market, but is quite 
unsuspected of plenary inspiration; to-morrow, be- 
cause he knows some one who knows some one who 
is in the Lord Chamberlain's Department, that opinion 
sets an immovable limit to the growth of a whole 
branch of literature, and may block the career and 
ruin the fortunes of men far abler and no whit less 
honourable than he ! Was there ever a more fantastic 
anomaly ? 

The late Mr. Pigott I say this with absolute sin- 
cerity and after having looked into the matter pretty 
closely was probably the least ridiculous Censor we 
ever had. The history of his predecessors is farcical 
to a degree ; his record presents rather the pathos of 
a good man's struggles with adversity. He lived in 
difficult times ; troubles thickened around him as the 
years went on ; but he came through it all with a 
certain mute dignity which one could not but respect. 
Well might Mr. Pinero and Mr. H. A. Jones lay 
wreaths on his coffin ; they may esteem themselves 
fortunate if they find half such an accommodating 



68 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

autocrat in his successor. For Mr. Pigott's tact, which 
we are all unwearied in praising, was precisely the 
quality that served their turn. It was more than tact 
it was discretion in the Falstaffian sense of the 
term. Mr. Pigott was far too wise, and too sincerely 
convinced of the necessity of a Censorship, to make 
his office unpopular. The powerful playwright, the 
playwright with an actor-manager behind him, might 
do or say pretty much what he pleased. For the 
showman who approached our autocrat in the char- 
acter of managing-director of a wealthy syndicate, his 
bounties were infinite. Hence the possibility of The 
Second Mrs. Tanqueray, The Masqueraders, and 
The Case of Rebellious Susan on the one hand, The 
Gaiety Girl and Go-Bang on the other. It will be 
fortunate indeed for Mr. Pinero and Mr. Jones, for 
Mr. "Owen Hall" and Mr. "Adrian Ross," if his 
successor's " tact " should prove equally sensitive. 

It is sometimes supposed that my opposition to the 
Censorship springs from, or is embittered by, my 
championship of Ibsen. Mr. Pigott himself said as 
much before the Select Committee of 1892, and even 
hinted that I had a pecuniary interest in the matter. 
In that, I think, his tact failed him. It would not 
matter one penny piece to me though every line that 
Ibsen ever wrote were placed under the Censor's ban. 
I have not, and never have had, any pecuniary interest, 
definite or contingent, in any representation of a play 



THE CENSORSHIP. 69 

of Ibsen's, except one single afternoon performance 
which took place fifteen years ago, and to which the 
Censor offered no opposition. When this was pointed 
out to Mr. Pigott, he omitted to apologise or withdraw 
his inuendo, which you may read at large on p. 334 
of the report of the Committee of 1892. Perhaps 
apologies are contrary to the regulations of the Lord 
Chamberlain's Department. Moreover, all the argu- 
ments I have ever advanced against the Censorship 
are to be found in an article by me published in the 
Westminster Review in 1883 or 1884, at least five 
years before I had translated anything of Ibsen's (the 
one play aforesaid again excepted), and before I so 
much as dreamt that he would ever become famous 
in England or would need any "championing." One 
may surely, without suspicion of base or personal 
motives, oppose the system which places a great and 
beautiful art, absolutely and without appeal, in sub- 
jection to the "tact" of a Mr. Pigott. 

But in any case, no one can reasonably complain 
of Mr. Pigott's treatment of Ibsen. He vetoed one 
play Ghosts and he could not possibly do other- 
wise. To have licensed it would have been simply to 
abdicate his office. There is no getting away from 
the fact that the Censorship exists for the protection 
of certain institutions, which Ghosts roundly attacks. 
If we have a Censorship at all, it must clearly veto 
Ghosts ; just as, if we had a literary Censor, he could 



70 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

not possibly give his imprimatur to Mr. Grant Allen's 
Woman who Did, or to Miss Menie Muriel Dowie's 
Gallia. It would be futile to blame Mr. Pigott for 
recognising the most elementary obligation of his 
office ; the doubt is whether it be the business of good 
government to crush art and gag discussion, in order to 
protect from without institutions which ought to be able 
to defend themselves from within. If that be indeed 
the principle of good government, let us carry it out 
consistently, make the Archbishop of Canterbury the 
censor of literature, and have the Areopagitica burnt 
by the common hangman. The fact of his having 
risen to the Primacy at least guarantees in the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury a certain measure of exceptional 
ability; in the case of the Lord Chamberlain and his 
autocrat-underling, this guarantee is entirely lacking. 

To blame Mr. Pigott, then, for vetoing Ghosts 
would be tantamount to blaming him for not resign- 
ing his office. (By the way, Ghosts was never officially 
presented to him ; but he was approached on the sub- 
ject and was found to regard the play as hopelessly 
inadmissible.) All Ibsen's other plays that were 
submitted to him he licensed without a murmur. 
His reasons you will find set forth in the aforesaid 
blue-book. He thought that "all Ibsen's characters 
were morally deranged," but that the plays were " too 
absurd altogether to be injurious to public morals." 
Yet stay! I should not say that he licensed them 



THE CENSORSHIP. 71 

"without a murmur." When the MS. of Hedda 
Gabler was submitted to him, he wrote to the manage- 
ment to the effect that a formal licence would follow 
in due course, but that they must first send him the 
end of the play. "The manuscript submitted," he 
said (I quote from memory), " ends with the phrase, 
' People don't do such things ! ' which cannot be the 
real conclusion." Poor bewildered gentleman ! It 
would be curious to know what terrible impropriety 
he imagined that the grim old Giant of the North 
had kept lurking up his sleeve. I believe, too, that 
he advised, without insisting on, the suppression of a 
single line in The Pillars of Society; otherwise, he kept 
his " kindly blue pencil " entirely in abeyance, so far 
as Ibsen was concerned. This was a case in which 
his tact, his opportunism, was really beyond reproach. 
I earnestly recommend you to study Mr. Pigott's 
evidence in the 1892 Blue-Book, which may be bought 
of Messrs. Eyre & Spottiswoode for 43. io|d. He was 
evidently an amiable and simple-minded person. He 
began by protesting against the term "Censor," which 
to many minds, he said, "represents the Star Chamber 
and the Inquisition, and all manner of ancient insti- 
tutions; whereas my office is simply that of Examiner." 
He did not explain in what respect an Examiner who 
can secretly and silently suppress a play differs from a 
Censor. But this secrecy, you must know, was, in 
Mr. Pigott's eyes, the most beneficent characteristic 



72 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

of his Examinership. "The essence of my office," 
he said, " and its advantage to the art and professors 
of the stage, is that it is preventive, and, above all, 
secret; if authors whose plays are rejected choose to 
advertise themselves and their rejected plays in the 
hopes of getting other orders for similar pieces, that is 
their affair, not mine." What childish nonsense ! It 
is an " advantage " to an author to have a year's work 
annihilated without explanation or appeal ! And if 
he does not accept the decree in grateful silence, it 
can only be because he hopes to get an order for 
another play that shall merit similar annihilation ! 
Of course, Mr. Pigott was bound, ex, officio, to regard 
managers and authors as ribald rascals who would at 
once proceed to wallow in indecency if the check of 
the Censorship were withdrawn; but one does not 
quite understand why he should take them for rank 
lunatics. 

In the meantime, pending the "miracle of miracles," 
the theatres are getting on as best they may. Mr. 
Arthur Roberts appeared on Saturday night at the 
Prince of Wales's in a new musical farce entitled 
Gentleman Joe, which was received with salvoes of 
applause and yells of delight. The plot is quite 
inoffensive, but there are one or two passages in the 
dialogue which brought to my mind one of the late 
Mr. Pigott's charming sayings in the blue-book above 
cited. " The public," he remarked, " have sometimes 



THE CENSORSHIP. 73 

thought that the Examiner's indulgence was carried 
too far; but it has sometimes occurred to me that but 
for such occasional relaxations the public might 
imagine that any restraint was uncalled for, and, 
indeed, that there was nothing to restrain." Delight- 
ful, is it not? When we find a gross indecency in a 
play, we are to understand that the Censor has left it 
there of set purpose, as a proof of his vigilance, and a 
reminder of its necessity ! And yet Mr. Pigott, say 
his biographers, hailed from Somerset, not Ireland.* 

* " Mr. Pigott," said the Times of August i, 1874, in 
announcing his appointment to the office of Censor, "was 
educated at Eton and Balliol, and has been called to the Bar. 
Among his qualifications is that of being an excellent French 
scholar, and among his foreign friends may be enumerated the 
great comedian, M. Regnier, of the Comedie Fran9aise, the 
Due d'Aumale, and the late M. Van de Weyer." Here the list 
of his qualifications came to an abrupt end ; and it struck 
neither the Times nor any one else as at all incongruous that 
this estimable journalist, who knew French and a French actor, 
should be entrusted with absolute and irresponsible power over 
the destinies of the English drama and over the property and 
reputation of English dramatists. 



74 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

XII. 

" SOWING THE WIND." 



March. 

IN the revival of Mr. Sydney Grundy's Sowing the 
Wind at the Comedy Theatre,* the part of Rosamund 
was undertaken by Miss Evelyn Millard, who came 
very well out of the severe test of following Miss 
Winifred Emery at so brief an interval. Miss Millard 
has feeling, intelligence, and charm; what she lacks 
as yet is the art of indicating the processes of thought 
which lie behind her utterance. Her words seem to 
flow easily and evenly from the surface of her mind, 
not to force their way up, through devious and 
intricate channels, from the hidden springs of her 
character. She accompanies them with appropriate 
and graceful manifestations of emotion, but we feel it 
to be the emotion of a reciter touched by her theme 
rather than tnat of a woman living through a heart- 
rending experience. What we see is not Rosamund 
suffering, but Miss Millard sympathising with Rosa- 
mund's sufferings. I admit, however, that it is rather 
unfair to apply this supersubtle analysis to so charm- 
ing a performance. There are very few pieces of 
emotional acting to which the same objection might 
not plausibly apply; and, after all, the fault may lie 
. * March 9 April 6. 



" THE NOTORIOUS MRS. EBBSMITH." 75 

rather in the critic's momentary mood than in the 
art of the actress. Mr. H. B. Irving was scarcely 
convincing as Lord Petworth. The curl on his fore- 
head, by the way, gave him a curious resemblance 
to Lord Beaconsfield. Mr. Brandon Thomas, Mr. 
Cyril Maude, and Mr. Sydney Brough resumed their 
original parts, Mr. C. W. Garthorne replaced Mr. 
Edmund Maurice as the Tom-and-Jerry buck Sir 
Richard Cursitor, and Miss Kate Phillips took Miss 
Rose Leclercq's part of Mrs. Fretwell. The third 
act, an exceptionally brilliant piece of theatrical 
writing, was received, as it always is, with thunders 
of applause. 



XIII. 

" THE NOTORIOUS MRS. EBBSMITH." 

2oth March. 

THE St. James's Gazette, in an article headed " The 
Notorious Mr. Redford,"* argues that because Mr. 
Pinero's new play at the Garrick has been licensed, 
the Censorship is not practically repressive to dramatic 
literature. Ingenuous St. James's! Does it really 

* The appointment of Mr. George Redford, a gentleman in 
the employ of the London and South Western Bank, to the 
office of Examiner of Plays, was announced immediately after 
the production of 7'he Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith. 



76 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

imagine that if The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith* had 
been the work of an unknown writer, or, indeed, of 
any one but Mr. Pinero, it would have been licensed ? 
Not a bit of it. This admirable work, which even 
Mr. Clement Scott hails as " a tragedy which brings 
out in authorship and acting the very best that we 
have got in English art," would have been consigned 
to the limbo of still-born improprieties. As it is, we 
all know that Mrs. Ebbsmith escaped the veto by the 
skin of her " pretty white teeth." I speak simply 
from common report. I have no private information 
on the point, from Mr. Pinero or any one else. If I 
asked Mr. Pinero for the " true truth " of the matter, 
he would probably have to place me under a promise 
of secrecy; for it is one of the pleasing traditions of 
Stable Yard, St. James's, to consider as " confiden- 
tial" any communication it deigns to hold with its 
victims, and to put on airs of injury if its sayings or 
doings are allowed to leak out. I prefer, then, not 
to go to headquarters for information, but simply to 
challenge the Vehmgericht to deny that The Notorious 
Mrs. Ebbsmith was within an ace of being consigned 
to one of its oubliettes. Frankly, I could find it in 
my heart to wish that it had been. The time is 
pretty nearly ripe for the revolt that must come 

* March 13 May II. On May 15, Miss Olga Nethersole 
succeeded Mrs. Patrick Campbell in the title-part, and the run 
was continued until June 14. See p. 161. 



"THE NOTORIOUS MRS. EBBSMITH." 77 

sooner or later the storming of the secret, silent 
Bastille. But prudence eventually prevailed in Stable 
Yard, and the fight is postponed till further notice. 

The new play is in all essentials a great advance on 
The Second Mrs. Tanqueray. Those critics who take 
the opposite view are in reality hankering after the 
more commonplace and melodramatic elements in 
the earlier play. In it we had character precipitated 
by external coincidence; here we have character 
working itself out entirely from within. Moreover, 
Mr. Pinero has here chosen a much more vital theme. 
Most of us can afford to take a very abstract interest 
in the theory of marriage with a demirep. We know 
in advance that it is a hazardous experiment that 
the county people won't call, while the lady's former 
associates probably will. Thus The Second Mrs. 
Tanqueray is really little more than the portrait of 
Paula a brilliant piece of work, but isolated, almost 
irrelevant. In The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith, on the 
other hand, Mr. Pinero goes straight for the univer- 
sally relevant theme of marriage in general, and draws 
three characters in place of one. It is unfair to 
complain that his treatment of the theme is incon- 
clusive. If it had been " conclusive," on one side or 
other, those who dissented would have dubbed Mr. 
Pinero a " faddist " and complained of being preached 
at. What he has conclusively shown is that, as 
society is at present constituted, it takes exceptional 



78 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

characters on both sides to make a free union any 
more successful than a marriage. This is not a very 
difficult point to provej but as a contribution to the 
philosophy of the subject, it is at least as valid as Mr. 
Grant Allen's contention that two people of perfect 
character may form an ideal union " without benefit 
of clergy," especially if one of the parties will have 
the good taste to die of typhoid before time has 
tested the strength of the bond. 

The design of the play, then, is above reproach. 
It is technically by far the strongest thing our modern 
stage has to show. An expository character or two 
might perhaps be dispensed with, and an over-nicety 
of explanation as to the comings and goings of the 
personages might possibly have been avoided; but 
these are the veriest trivialities. The main fact is 
that we have, a drama consisting simply in the inter- 
action of two characters, developing itself through 
four acts, without situations, revelations, starts, sur- 
prises, or picture-poster attractions of any sort, yet 
from first to last enthralling the attention and stimu- 
lating the intelligence. Stimulating, I say, not always 
satisfying; for when we come to look into the 
characters, we cannot but doubt whether Mr. Pinero 
has quite achieved what he seems to have intended. 
Lucas Cleeve is admirable the man of facile 
enthusiasms and discouragements, "possessing ambi- 
tion without patience, self-esteem without confidence " 



"THE NOTORIOUS MRS. EBBSMITH." 79 

but Agnes Ebbsmith, however vividly and ably 
projected, can scarcely pass muster as a well-observed 
type. Mr. Pinero has not entered with sympathetic 
clairvoyance into the mental history and habit he 
has not even mastered the vocabulary, the jargon, 
if you will of the class of woman he sets out to 
portray. I suspect him of holding "views" as to 
feminine human nature in general; and "views," like 
knotty window-panes, are fatal to observation. In 
this he is by no means a4one. Nine-tenths of mascu- 
line woman-drawing is vitiated by " views " and, in 
these latter days, about nineteen-twentieths of feminine 
woman-drawing. You may think it a reckless para- 
dox, but Ibsen seems to me one of the few modern 
writers whose studies of feminine character are un- 
distorted by "views." He does not go to work 
syllogistically, saying to himself, " All women are this, 
that, and the other thing; my heroine is a woman; 
therefore she is this, that, and the other thing." He 
looks straight at and through women, and draws them 
in their infinite variety. Time was when he, too, 
held views, and then he drew his Agnes, and other 
characters of that order. They were beautiful in 
their time, but he has gone far beyond them. Ten 
years hence we may perhaps be saying the same of 
Mr. Pinero's Agnes. 

She is the daughter, so she says, of a revolutionary 
Socialist, atheist, and all the rest of it; yet her whole 



80 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

habit of mind is that of one who has been steeped 
from the outset in orthodoxy, and has embraced 
heterodoxy in fear and trembling, with a sense of 
strangeness and adventure. " In spite of father's 
unbelief and mother's indifference," she says, " I was 
in my heart as devout as any girl in a parsonage. 
. . . Whenever I could escape from our stifling rooms 
at home, the air blew away uncertainty and scepticism." 
We are told of no external influence that made her 
regard her father's ideas as "strange," and think of 
his paganism as " scepticism." Mr. Pinero seems to 
assume " devoutness " as a sort of universal instinct 
of the childish, or at any rate of the woman-childish, 
heart, and to conceive that this instinct alone would 
prevent the ideas of a much-loved father from " soak- 
ing into " his daughter. Now, as a matter of fact (I 
don't think Mr. Diggle himself would deny this), 
your ordinary child is instinctively an out-and-out 
pagan. The childish criticism of the universe is 
remorselessly rationalistic. It is religion, not irre- 
ligion, that a child requires to be taught. The father's 
agnosticism might not soak very deep into the 
child, and might be effectually counteracted by some 
other and more positive influence; but we hear of 
nothing of the sort. It is even possible that, by 
some freak of atavism, like that which makes the 
daughter of Mr. Grant Allen's Woman who Did an 
incurable little snob and numskull, the atheist father 



"THE NOTORIOUS MRS. EBBSMITH." Si 

and indifferent mother might produce a daughter 
with a constitutional bent towards mysticism, an innate 
genius for piety. But that is not Agnes's case. For 
fourteen years of her mature life she has been a 
pagan; for six of them she has been an active propa- 
gandist ; she conceives herself to be still a pagan at 
the very moment when, by talking of " uncertainty 
and scepticism," " hope and faith," she shows that 
she regards religious belief as the normal and funda- 
mental attitude of the human mind. Now, whether 
this be so or not, it is certainly the last thing that a 
woman like Agnes would admit or assume. Her 
spiritual history doe's not hang together. It is not 
probably constructed or possibly expressed. Mr. 
Pinero has failed to put himself in the position of 
what may be called a congenital pagan a woman 
who from childhood has taken in rationalism at the 
pores of her skin, as most children take in Chris- 
tianity. Yet that, for aught we can see or reasonably 
conjecture, is precisely Agnes's case. It seems to be 
Mr. Pinero's belief that "every woman is at heart a" 
saint. The Bible incident, I take it, at the end of 
the third act, symbolises his " view " that no woman 
is strong enough to go through life without some 
supernatural refuge to fly to in time of need; so that, 
even if she thinks she has cast her "hope and faith" 
into the fire, she will presently pluck them out again, 
though she sear her flesh in the attempt. Well, 



82 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

there are instances that favour that view, and I think 
there are instances against it. But though we may 
cite women who preach atheism to-day, and go to 
confession or to Thibet to-morrow, while they are 
secularists they stand at, and speak from, the secu- 
larist's point of view. Agnes Ebbsmith, on the other 
hand, even in expounding her heterodoxy, uncon- 
sciously adopts the standpoint and uses the language 
of orthodoxy. 

Equally unrealised are her sociological doctrines. 
John Thorold, for instance, must have been a very 
strange Socialist if his daughter ever heard him talking 
about "division of wealth, and the rest of it." That 
is the language of the gentleman who writes to the 
Times to point out that, if all property were equally 
divided to-day, there would be rich men and poor 
men to-morrow, millionaires and paupers the day 
after. This Socialist daughter of a Socialist does not. 
know the phraseology of her party. Again, her 
objections to marriage are curiously shall I say 
empirical? Because her father and mother and 
" most of our married friends " lived a cat-and-dog 
life, and because her own husband was a brute, she 
sets forth to preach Free Union as the panacea for a 
cantankerous world. It does not seem to enter her 
head that there are drawbacks to marriage even 
between people of reasonably good tempers, good 
hearts, and good manners. Of the economic, ethical, 



"THE NOTORIOUS MRS. EBBSMITH." 83 

and sentimental commonplaces of attack upon mar- 
riage, which a woman in her position would be 
bound to have at her fingers' ends, she appears to 
know nothing. It is especially noteworthy that she 
ignores the question of children, as affecting the rela- 
tion of the sexes. The world of her speculations is 
a childless world. A triangle, in her trigonometry, 
consists of two straight lines. Her struggle, too, 
against what she calls " passion," seems to me to 
show a misconception on Mr. Pinero's part of the 
type of woman with whom he is dealing or rather 
a confusion of two distinct types. He thinks vaguely 
of rebellion against the primary conditions of sex as 
a general characteristic of the "new" or advanced 
woman. Now there are or rather there have been, 
for the type is surely " going out " women constitu- 
tionally inaccessible to passion, who resent it as a 
degrading servitude, and would fain make their indi- 
vidual limitation a law, or an ideal, for their fellow- 
women. But such women would be the last to enter 
on a free union. Married they may be they may 
have taken on the yoke before they realised their 
own temperament, or they may have condescended 
to marriage for the sake of its social and economic 
advantages. But love, in the largest sense of the 
word, is as incomprehensible to them as passion. 
They do not want even the friendship or close com- 
panionship of a man. Their instinct is to make their 



84 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

own sex as nearly as possible self-sufficing. Why, 
then, should they incur all sorts of social disadvan- 
tages for the sake of a companionship which they do 
not require or desire? And, in any case, Agnes is 
clearly not a creature of this brood. She is not 
naturally a passionless woman. She loves Lucas, in 
the fullest sense of the word, with a love that survives 
even her fuller insight into his character. Her 
aspiration towards a " colder, more temperate, more 
impassive companionship," is a merely intellectual 
vagary, and I venture to think that it springs from 
a misconception on Mr. Pinero's part. Newspaper 
moralists have so persistently prefixed the stereotypes 
" sexless " and " unsexed " to the " new woman " that 
he has been betrayed into grafting an inconsistent 
attribute upon his heroine's character. The real, or, 
at any rate, the characteristic, " new woman " accepts 
with something more than equanimity the destinies 
of her sex, and would certainly not ignore the possi- 
bility of motherhood in her rearrangement of the 
scheme of things. One could understand Agnes's 
position if her previous experience of marriage had 
given her such a horror of "passion" that she had 
resolved from the very outset to maintain her com- 
panionship with Lucas on a supersexual basis. But 
we are told in so many words that this is not the 
case. Her rebellion against passion is an after- 
thought, and surely an improbable one. It might 



" THE NOTORIOUS MRS. EBBSMITH." 85 

pass as a whim of the moment, but such a whim 
should be the subject of a comedietta, not of a 
serious play. 

Perhaps you think that, if these criticisms are 
justified, there is very little of Agnes left. But when 
you see the play you will discover that they are more 
verbal than essential that in order to obviate them 
only a few changes of phraseology would be required, 
the main lines of the action, the fundamental pro- 
cesses of emotion, remaining unaltered. I, for my 
part, flatly dissent from that " view " of Mr. Pinero's, 
to which we owe the Bible incident and the pietistic 
end; but, after all, he has a perfect right to hold and 
illustrate this view. For the rest, The Notorious Mrs. 
Ebbsmith seems to me the work of a born and highly 
accomplished dramatist, who goes right essentially 
and by instinct, and wrong superficially, for lack of 
special knowledge. It should be quite possible to 
tell Agnes's story, up to the moment when she thrusts 
her hand into the fire, without altering a single inci- 
dent or emotion, yet in such a way as to obviate all 
the above objections, which are founded upon phrases 
rather than facts. But here I must break off a dis- 
cussion which has already exceeded all bounds. I 
hope to resume it in another article, and to say some- 
thing of the acting.' 



86 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

XIV. 

"MRS. EBBSMITH" AGAIN "A LOVING LEGACY "- 
"SALVE" "THE BLUE BOAR." 

27/7* March. 

AFTER pointing out, last week, what seem to me 
certain errors of observation in the character of Agnes 
Ebbsmith, I stated my belief that these errors are 
verbal rather than essential. It should be possible, I 
said, to tell Agnes's story, at any rate up to the end of 
the third act, without altering any incident or emotion, 
yet in such a way as to obviate all my criticisms. 
Let me now make the attempt; repeating, however, 
that my what shall I call it ? my exposition stops 
short at the Bible incident. To account for that, 
it would be necessary to introduce a new element 
into Agnes's previous history ; and that is against the 
rules of the game. 

Well then she is the daughter of a Socialist orator, 
has imbibed her father's religious and political ideas, 
and has seen, in her home life, the miseries of an 
ill-assorted marriage. Nevertheless, she marries early, 
to find herself her husband's sultana for one year and 
his servant for seven at the end of which period 
he dies. Confirmed, by her personal ill-hap, in her 
allegiance to her father's ideas, she becomes an active 



" MRS. EBBSMITH " AGAIN. 8/ 

propagandist of social democracy and female emanci- 
pation ; but losing her voice and being in the pinch 
of poverty, she takes to nursing as a means of liveli- 
hood, and in the course of her duties comes across 
Lucas Cleeve. All this is probable enough, and all 
this is precisely what Agnes relates of herself. It is 
not in the facts, but in her wording of them that the 
improbability comes in. She speaks of both free- 
thought and socialism, not as one to the manner born, 
but rather as one not yet acclimatised, and ignorant 
of technicalities and shibboleths. Lucas Cleeve (to 
return to the story) is in the hot fit of rebellion 
against marriage with a hard-natured worldly woman 
who despises him instead of bringing him the 
sympathy and appreciation for which his weak egoism 
craves. These qualities, together with a tender un- 
worldliness, he finds in Agnes. Illness and distance 
make his old life and its ambitions and interests 
seem infinitely aloof from him, and he is quite ready 
to be infected by the enthusiasms of this stately 
creature, the antithesis in every respect of the wife 
who has wounded him. He loves in her a " minister- 
ing angel," and she a convert in him. So they cast 
in their lots together, and we find them in Venice. 
But now, as Lucas regains strength, and as the 
decisive moment approaches when he must break 
once for all with his traditions and his career, the habits 
of his caste reassert themselves, and he finds his 



88 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

enthusiasm for free union in the abstract, and for 
social democracy in the concrete, rapidly cooling. 
He still loves Agnes, but not as she longs to be loved. 
He loves her in spite of, not in and for, her ideas. 
She gradually comes to feel that her aspirations 
towards "plain living and high thinking," towards 
labour, and if need be martyrdom, for social emanci- 
pation and justice, are in his eyes little better than 
eccentricities of which she must be gradually cured. 
He would have her put on the gowns and the 
prejudices of his caste. She sees, with deep humilia- 
tion, that she holds him by his senses, not by his 
intellect; that they are not fellow- workers in a great 
cause, not shining examples of a high ideal, but are 
simply living in vulgar vice, a rich young profligate 
and his mistress. On realising this, she tries to save 
her self-respect by raising their companionship to 
a purely intellectual and supersexual plane; so that 
even this recrudescence of the innate puritanism of 
the English middle-classes becomes comprehensible 
enough if we take it, not as a general characteristic of 
the type of woman Mr. Pinero is portraying, but 
as resulting from the special circumstances of Agnes's 
case. At this juncture the Duke of St. Olpherts 
comes on the scene, a living embodiment of all those 
forces in Lucas's nature against which Agnes is 
carrying on a despairing battle. She knows that 
what seemed eccentric in Lucas's own eyes will 



" MRS. EBBSMITH " AGAIN. 89 

appear grotesque and hateful when seen in the con- 
cave mirror of the Duke's scepticism. She seeks an 
encounter with the Duke so as to know and measure 
her adversary. To say that such a woman would not 
"Trafalgar Square" him in her own drawing-room is 
absurd. There is a great deal of human nature even 
in collectivists, and it would be a foolish affecta- 
tion on her part to treat the Duke as though they met 
on the neutral territory of ordinary social intercourse. 
The verbal form of her " Trafalgar Squaring " may 
be open to criticism; the fact is natural and even 
inevitable. Having gauged the Duke's strength, she 
sees that she must either give up the battle or fight 
him with his own weapons. To give it up would be 
not only to lose a convert and shatter a still fascinat- 
ing dream, but to submit to the soiling of her life 
with a futile and degrading episode. It is tolerable, 
it may even be piquant, not to be a man's first love; 
it is intolerably humiliating not to be his last. So she 
determines to fight the Duke the World, the Flesh, 
and the Devil incarnate with his own weapons. 
She has wit and beauty; she will use them ! She 
puts off the " dowdy demagogue " and puts on the 
bewitching woman ; and hey presto ! Faust is at her 
feet again and Mephistopheles is apparently routed. 
And now, to her own surprise, she finds herself, for 
a moment, thrilling with the joy of triumph and of 
surrender. " Her sex has found her out " ; she knows 



go THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

that it is no longer the convert she loves in Lucas, but 
the man; and beneath her sense of treachery to her 
ideals, she is conscious of a tremulous delight. t 
was in this phase of the character that Mrs. Patrick 
Campbell's otherwise brilliant performance seemed to 
me to fall a little short. It may be that I am refining 
too much upon Mr. Pinero's conception, but I can cer- 
tainly see nothing ^consistent with a reading more 
subtle and at the same time more human than Mrs. 
Campbell's. The actress seemed to feel only the irony 
in Agnes's thoughts, not the genuine underlying joy. 
There was nothing but bitterness in her realisation 
that her " woman's one hour " had come ; and that I 
cannot take to have been the author's meaning. It is 
true that Agnes had expected her hour to come in a 
very different shape; but her sentiment on finding 
that it has taken her by surprise is surely not one of 
mere disgust and discontent. Mrs Campbell seemed 
to me to ignore in effect, as she certainly delivered 
without conviction, that outburst of Agnes's in answer 
to the Duke's wish that Lucas were " a different sort 
of feller" "Nothing matters now not even that. 
He's mine. He would have died but for me. I 
gave him life. He is my child, my husband, my 
lover, my bread, my daylight all everything. Mine. 
Mine." Beautiful and fascinating as Mrs. Campbell 
undoubtedly was throughout, I could not but find a 
certain superficiality, hardness, almost shrewishness, 



"MRS. EBBSMITH" AGAIN. 91 

in her treatment of the third act. Agnes's " hour," 
at any rate, is a very brief one. Lucas has not sense 
enough to realise her sacrifice. Finding her, as he 
thinks, " gowned " and in her right mind, he must 
needs take the opportunity to insult and exult over 
the ideals and aspirations which were to have been 
the bond of union between them ; and she sees that 
at best she has to face a second cycle of passion and 
satiety, like that of her first marriage. Then, putting 
him to the test with death in her heart, she finds him 
prepared for, and even hankering after, a squalid 
compromise, in which she, instead of making her life 
a proud and open protest against the slavery of 
marriage, is to join the furtive horde of mercenary 
irregulars who smooth the way for the triumphant 
march of the hymeneal legion. At this her soul 
revolts; and leaving behind her the four words, 
" My hour is over," she departs from the palace of 
her day-dream, which has become in her eyes a house 
of shame. 

Have I kept my promise ? Frankly, I think so. 
I have told the story of a very true, very subtle, and 
very tragic play, a play which none but a master 
dramatist could have invented and composed; and it 
is simply Mr. Pinero's play up to the last five minutes 
of the third act, with nothing added, and nothing 
essential left out. It is the play you can see every 
night at the Garrick Theatre, somewhat, but very 



92 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

slightly, obscured by a few unrealised phrases placed 
in Agnes's mouth. Mr. Pinero, I take it, is much in 
the position of (say) a clergyman of great ability, 
insight, and literary power, who should undertake to 
write a novel of stage-life, having an actress for its 
heroine, with no more intimate knowledge of the 
stage, and its ways of thought and speech, than may be 
gained from a few casual visits to the Lyceum stalls. 
He might quite well draw a very true and fascinating 
woman, though an unconvincing actress ; and Agnes, 
in the same way, is a very true and fascinating woman', 
though an unconvincing Socialist and Secularist. I 
wish the play ended, as it might very well, at the 
point where my narrative leaves off. It is at this 
point that Mr. Pinero's preconceived " view " of femi- 
nine character intervenes, to my thinking, rather 
disastrously. I see no reason why Agnes should 
throw the Bible into the fire, no reason why she 
should pluck it out again. That seems to me the 
culmination ot another play, another character-study. 
As for the great scene of the last act the scene 
between Agnes and Sybil Cleeve it is a daring and 
scathing piece of satire, but somewhat of a superfluity 
none the less. Agnes's acquiescence in Sybil's pro- 
posal simply takes my breath away. I can trace it only 
to a queer survival of the heroic-self-sacrifice super- 
stition which inspired so many of the French senti- 
mental dramas of twenty years ago. One might 



" MRS. EBBSMITIi " AGAIN. 93 

almost say of it, as Dr. Johnson said of the Beggar's 
Opera; "There is in it such a labefaction of all 
principles as may be injurious to morality." 

Of Mrs. Patrick Campbell's performance I have 
already spoken. Mr. Hare's Duke of St. Olpherts is 
one of his most masterly studies. It has gained in 
firmness and precision since the first night, and is 
now a perfect impersonation. Both on the first night 
and when I saw the play again, Mr. Forbes Robertson 
seemed to me a little too much bent on showing that 
he saw through Lucas Cleeve. He "gave him away" 
too frankly, especially in the third act. I could 
imagine a more plausible rendering of the character, 
but scarcely one that would be more effective from 
the point of view of the average audience. 

And now, in conclusion, a word in Mr. Pinero's 
ear. He has written two profoundly interesting and 
admirable plays plays which deserve to take rank 
with the best French and German work of the day 
plays which those only can despise who make a virtue 
of despising the theatre as a whole. We are very 
grateful to him for what he has done, though he may 
perhaps think that some of us are tolerably successful 
in dissembling our gratitude. But when we put The 
Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith beside The Second Mrs. 
Tanqueray, and try to generalise their characteristics, 
the first that strikes us is a certain depressing nega- 
tiveness I had almost said aridity. They are studies 



94 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

in failure the failure of marriage, the failure of love, 
the failure of high idealisms, the failure of good 
intentions with no glimpse of compensation, no 
loophole for hope, no message, no stimulus, no sus- 
tenance. They do not even " purge the heart with 
pity and terror." They leave us dry-eyed and fevered 
rather than moved and heart -stricken. In a word, 
they put us on a distinctly "lowering" spiritual 
regimen. Mr. Pinero, I am sure, will not suspect 
me of clamouring for "comic," or even sentimental, 
" relief." I am not clamouring for anything or com- 
plaining of anything. Only I should be sorry if Mr. 
Pinero suffered this purely negative outlook upon the 
world to become habitual. I plead for a little more 
atmosphere in his work, and a more inspiring tone of 
thought. I am the last to make pessimism an artistic 
crime ; but when pessimism becomes mannerism, it is 
certainly an artistic weakness. 

Let me now briefly record a few productions which 
have been " elbowed aside by the imperious Mrs. 
Ebbsmith. Miss Hope Booth's second attempt to 
conquer the British public at the Royalty Theatre, 
with a variety play entitled That Terrible Girl* was 
even more feebly deplorable than the first, and might 
well be passed over in silence were it not that Mr. 
George Giddens's really clever performance of a 
German innkeeper deserves a word of mention. In 
* March 9 March 22. 



" A LOVING LEGACY." 95 

A Loving Legacy,* by Mr. Fred W. Sidney, at the 
Strand, the somewhat scabrous subject of Mario 
Uchard's Mon Onde Barbassou is treated without 
unnecessary indelicacy, but also with no unnecessary 
outlay of wit and invention. There was one scene in 
the second act which threw the audience into convul- 
sions of laughter a silent scene, in which three 
Englishmen put on Turkish attire and the rough 
humour of some other situations seemed to give a 
good deal of pleasure. The acting called for no par- 
ticular remark. The programme presented by the 
Independent Theatre at the Opera Comiquef was of a 
somewhat trivial character. A Man's Love, adapted 
from the Dutch of J. C. de Vos, seemed rather 
daring, I remember, when it was first produced; but 
its simplicity of action is not enough to compensate 
for its unsophisticated dialogue and its antiquated 
technical devices. Salve, by Mrs. Oscar Beringer, 
struck me, I am sorry to say, as the most gratuitously 
and intolerably painful play I ever witnessed an 
unexplained, unmotived horror. Knowing what was 
to be the catastrophe, I kept on thinking at every 
speech, "Now surely we are going to have some 
preparation for what is coming ! " But no ; not a 
word, not a hint, was vouchsafed us. The mildest, 

* March 12 April 10. Transferred to Opera Comique, 
April 15 April 20. 

t March 15 (evening) and March 16 (afternoon). 



96 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

sweetest, sanest of women suddenly took up the 
bread-knife at her own table and stuck it into her 
unoffending guest and that was all ! There is no 
art in this, any more than in writing a line with black 
ink, and then opening the other ink-bottle and 
dabbing a blot of red on the paper. The piece was 
well played by Mr. Haviland, Mr. Matthew Brodie, 
and Mrs. Theodore Wright. The Blue Boar* by 
Messrs. Louis N. Parker and Thornton Clark, pro- 
duced on Saturday night at Terry's Theatre, contains 
some amusing episodes and some clever writing, but 
is too trivial in idea and attenuated in humour to be 
really worthy of the authors of Gudgeons. It affords 
a "good part" for Mr. Terry, however, and very 
poor parts for Miss Fanny Brough and Miss Alexes 
Leighton ; and it gives Mr. Harcourt Beatty an 
opportunity to prove himself a capable comedian. 



XV. 

THEATRE AND MUSIC-HALL. 

Pall Mall Budget, 2%th March. 

WITH fear and trembling I approach a dangerous 

topic. It is true that, as a notorious and incorrigible 

devotee of that effete institution, the theatre, I have 

* March 23 April 20. 



THEATRE AND MUSIC-HALL. 97 

rather less than no character to lose ; but my deplor- 
able " habit and repute " will scarcely save me from 
the chastisement due to my temerity in calling in 
question the supremacy of the music-hall in the world 
of art. For such is my audacious intent. Not that 
I impugn the taste of those who prefer the music- 
hall to the theatre ; I merely wish to inquire why, in 
a world where tastes proverbially differ, this preference 
should pass for the mark of a high, enlightened, and 
truly modern soul, while the contrary preference 
stigmatises any one who confesses to it as a person 
quite beyond the pale of culture. Don't tell me, 
dear reader, that you are not aware of this fact. 
Your ignorance merely shows that you are a besotted 
playgoer, without even the grace to be conscious of 
the abject inferiority of your tastes. I shouldn't 
wonder, now, if you think Mr. Irving, with all his 
faults and limitations, an abler man and a finer 
artist than Mr. Charles Coborn? Possibly you even 
go the length of preferring Mr. Hare to Mr. Herbert 
Campbell, and Miss Winifred Emery to Miss Bessie 
Bellwood ? My dear sir, you are simply in outer 
darkness. So dense a lack of perception is unthink- 
able, or at least unmentionable, nowadays. People 
conceal such preferences as they would a deformity 
or a vice. Is it possible you don't know that the 
theatre is dead, quite dead, this many a year, and 
stinketh in the nostrils of the truly refined and 

7 



98 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Aesthetic; while art, real high-toned, all-alive, up-to- 
date Art, has taken up its abode in the Syndicate 
Halls? Perhaps you don't even know what are 
the Syndicate Halls ? " Garn ! " as the great artists 
say. 

It was Mr. George Moore, I remember, who years 
ago broke to me, in conversation, the intelligence 
that the theatre was hopelessly played out, and that 
living art was to be found in the music-hall alone. 
In my light-hearted way, I laughed ; I thought it was 
only his fun. But it was not long before I realised 
the gravity of the communication. Every week has 
added to the cloud of witnesses on Mr. Moore's side; 
every month has increased their confidence, one 
might almost say their truculence. The theatre ! 
Pah ! 'tis not to be named with patience ! Events 
which some of us mistook for signs of life, such as 
the production of The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, The 
Case of Rebellious Susan, or Becket, were merely 
nauseous symptoms of decomposition. To take the 
slightest pleasure or admit the faintest interest in 
these things was simply to write yourself down 
illiterate, if not imbecile. On the other hand, a new 
"turn "at the Empire or the Pavilion, Miss Marie 
Lloyd's or Mr. Dan Leno's latest song, a novel kick 
or wriggle by some short-skirted chanteuse excentrique^ 
became matters of national moment, to be gravely 
chronicled and learnedly discussed. The music- 



THEATRE AND MUSIC-HALL. 99 

hall critic is now quite as indispensable to any 
self-respecting paper as the musical or dramatic 
critic, and is indeed a vastly superior person. 
The average dramatic critic is of very common 
journalistic clay, and is apt to live a humdrum 
suburban and domestic life. Your typical music-hall 
chronicler is a young blood more or less fresh from 
the University, who probably has chambers in 
Piccadilly. 

Pray do not imagine that I am out of sympathy 
with the habit of mind which finds entertainment in 
the garish patch-work of the Palace of Varieties, and 
cannot endure the restraint and comparative monotony 
of all theatrical performances, the long-drawn preten- 
tiousness and ineptitude of some. I myself am 
frequently conscious of a music-hall mood, when I 
would much rather see a few turns at the Tivoli or 
Royal than sit out a dull drama or duller farce. This 
mood is not difficult of analysis, and one can easily 
understand that in some people, even of education 
and intelligence, it should become chronic. It is not 
the " music-hall habit " that I am criticising, but the 
fashion of elevating that habit into a virtue, and 
reinforcing it with an exaggerated and aggressive 
contempt for the stage. One gets a little tired, in the 
long run, of the cant yes, I repeat it, the cant 
about art in the music-halls. The "art" of the 
music-halls is like the " science " of pugilism a mere 



100 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 189$. 

figure of speech. There are scores of " clever people " 
on the music-hall stage, and some are much cleverer 
than others. But at the very best their cleverness is 
restricted, monotonous, and trivial, if not ignoble. 
Talk of the mannerisms of actors ! The music-hall 
"artiste" is an incarnate mannerism. His or her 
success lies in working-up to their highest potency 
a few tricks and mannerisms of vocalisation and 
expression, till their sheer grotesqueness becomes 
magnetic. When once these tricks are fully de- 
veloped, the " art " of the " artiste " is like that of the 
organette, into which you insert, from time to time, 
a fresh strip of perforated paper, and then turn the 
handle. 

To me, I own, by far the most satisfactory por- 
tion of the average variety-show is the tumbling, 
juggling, and wire-dancing, the feats of acrobats and 
of performing animals. These are always curious, 
often marvellous, sometimes very beautiful. Then 
there are a few vocalists whose diction and whose 
rhythmic sense do really bring them within the sphere 
of art. They possess a very limited power, too often 
applied to very despicable ends ; but being able to do 
well certain things which are not in themselves un- 
beautiful, they may in so far claim to rank not only 
as " artistes " but artists. For the rest, the art of the 
music-hall is the art of elaborate ugliness, blatant 
vulgarity, alcoholic humour, and rancid sentiment. 



THEATRE AND MUSIC-HALL. IOI 

It does not really mirror or interpret any side of life 
whatever. It exhibits the life of the rich as one long 
rowdy swagger, the life of the poor as a larky, beery, 
maudlin Bank Holiday. Oh, the appalling monotony 
of the topics treated by the music-hall poet! Oh, 
the narrowness of his vision, the insincerity of his 
pathos, his patriotism, his morality, even his im- 
morality ! It is a significant, not to say a terrible, 
fact that of the 50,000 songs (at a low estimate) which 
must have been written for the variety-shows during 
the half-century of their existence, not one song, not 
one verse, not one line, has passed into the common 
stock of the language ; or, if any exceptions can be 
cited, they are of American, not British, origin. This 
whole literature has vanished " into the Ewigkeit," 
leaving behind it a few isolated scraps of slang, 
probably not invented by the lyrists themselves, but 
fixed in the popular memory by the momentary vogue 
of the songs in which they occurred. Such, for 
instance, is the term "Jingo." The music-halls have 
produced no rhymer of the calibre of Mr. Gilbert or 
Mr. " Adrian Ross," much less a poet comparable to 
Burns or Beranger. They have given us no humorist 
like John Parry or the late Mr. Corney Grain. They 
have impressed no permanent character-type, like Mrs. 
Gamp, or Mulvaney, or even "Ally Sloper," on the 
popular imagination. Was there ever in the world 
such a gigantic mass of effort, in the direction of 



IO2 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

literature and art, so hopelessly ephemeral and 
negligible in its results ? 

The curious thing is that the educated fanatics of 
the variety-show admit all this readily enough,' when 
you catch them singly. They have a hearty contempt 
for the greater part of the music-hall entertainment ; 
indeed, they resort to the variety-shows for the very 
purpose of luxuriating in that emotion. It is precisely 
the vulgarity and inanity of the " comedians " and 
" serio-comics " and " song-and-dance artistes" that 
attracts them to these halls of dazzling light. Now, I 
am far from condemning or scoffing at this attitude of 
mind. It is perfectly natural and perfectly legitimate. 
The vulgarity of other people, besides being often 
amusing in itself, ministers to our sense of superiority. 
At the music-hall we can be both vulgar and refined 
at the same moment. We can enjoy what is low and 
despicable with an added zest of condescension. 
Which of us is not conscious, now and then, of this 
nostalgic de la boue ? Some are a little ashamed of it, 
others are not; with some it is intermittent, with 
others chronic. Personally, I have no more objection 
to it than to any other of the lower human instincts 
only I fail to see that it constitutes either a moral 
virtue or an intellectual distinction. Nor can I see 
why performances which are individually more or less 
despicable should become admirable artistic achieve- 
ments when regarded in bulk. The zealots of the 



THEATRE AND MUSIC-HALL. 1 03 

music-hall ought at least to apply the same principle 
to the stage, and, while contemning, from their exalted 
standpoint, individual authors and actors, ought to 
regard the theatre in general as the nursery of a 
great and vital art. 

The truth is, that we have all, play-lovers and 
" turn "-lovers alike, an irresistible tendency to make 
our tastes flatter our vanity. "We needs must love 
the highest when we see it ; " and it follows (does it 
not ?) that what we happen to love must be, by the 
eternal laws of the universe, the thing best worth 
loving. I am far from contending that we theatre- 
lovers are absolutely right and the fanatics of the 
variety-show absolutely wrong. Analyse their procli- 
vity and you find it quite rational and comprehensible 
more so, perhaps, than our mania for the theatre. 
All I suggest is, that they might live and let live, 
recognising that it is not a love of "art," in any 
rational sense of the term, but simply a love of physical 
comfort and mental idleness, that draws them to the 
music-hall. There is far more "art" a far more 
highly-skilled and intelligent adaptation of means to 
an end in acting of ordinary competence than in the 
cleverest performances the English music-hall stage 
can show. 



IO4 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

XVI. 
"L'CEUVRE." 

yd April. 

IT was not without misgiving shall I confess it? 
that I looked forward to the performances of the 
"Theatre de 1'CEuvre" at the Opera Comique.* 
Ibsen's tears did not inspire me with confidence. 
Tears are, after all, an ambiguous tribute from an 
author to his interpreters. It seemed to me quite 
possible that Ibsen might reverse the verbs in Byron's 
famous Byronism, saying: 

' ' And if I weep at any mortal thing, 
'Tis that I may not laugh." 

Besides, Ibsen was in such a case obviously the one 
critic from whom sincerity could not possibly be 
expected; so that even a tear-stained eulogy under 
his own hand and seal would scarcely have convinced 
me. Some Danish criticisms of the company which 
I had seen were unemotional to the point of frigidity; 
and being under the prevailing delusion that the 

performers were mainly amateurs In brief, I 

had my misgivings. The first act of Rosmersholm 
was sufficient to dissipate them. Not that I would 

* Eight performances in all : March 25 and 28, Rosmers- 
holm and L'Intnise ; March 26 and 29, Pelleas et Mt'lisande ; 
March 27 and 30, Solness le Constructeur. Matinees : March 
27, Rosmersholm and L ' Intrnse ; March 30, Solness. 



"L'CEUVRE." 105 

use this confession of scepticism as a spring-board 
from which to leap to the heights of panegyric. I 
cannot precisely mingle my tears with Ibsen's, but I 
can quite understand that it must have given him 
real pleasure to see his creations thus enthusiastically 
studied and intelligently interpreted by artists, not 
only of another nationality, but of alien and almost 
antagonistic race and temperament. The perform- 
ances of JKosmersholm and The Master Builder were 
altogether competent and sympathetic, full of ex- 
cellent intentions, and not without moments of highly 
successful realisation. They did not, I own, take 
hold of me very deeply. They interested, and often 
satisfied, my critical faculties; they did not stir my 
emotions or, if they did, it was indirectly, through 
the reminiscences they aroused. The action never 
gripped me and carried me away, as the most familiar 
play of Ibsen's scarcely ever fails to do. This was 
mainly, I believe, because of the language. Count 
Prozor's translations seemed to me very correct, and 
not infelicitous, except in a few passages of The 
Master Builder, that most difficult of all Ibsen's 
plays, which had proved even more intractable in 
French than in English. It was not, then, on the 
whole, that I felt the translations inadequate: it was 
simply that, with the familiar rhythms, whether of the 
English or the Norwegian, I felt that some of the 
spirit had departed. Other people, I find, were 



106 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

differently affected. In listening to Ibsen's dialogue 
in French they escaped that sense of strangeness 
which was apt to disturb them in English perform- 
ances. This was quite natural: strange things sound 
less strange in a strange language. But to me 
the things themselves were not strange at all; it 
was only the new language that brought with it 
incongruous associations. My mind was perpetually 
occupied in searching for the Teutonic equivalents, 
English or Norwegian, of the Latin phrases that fell 
upon my ear; consequently I could not quite yield 
myself up to the spell of the poet's invention. This 
was no fault, of course, either of the translator or of 
the actors; I am merely explaining why I cannot 
write of the performances with the enthusiasm which 
springs from spontaneous, irresistible enjoyment. 
Defects of mounting, too, could not but jar here and 
there, and, still more, defects of stage-management. 
It cannot be sufficiently impressed on every one who 
has to do with the staging of Ibsen's plays, that every 
departure from his minute and careful instructions is 
a departure for the worse. I have learned this by 
repeated experience. Ibsen knows the stage at 
any rate, his own stage as no one else does, and 
actors who cannot follow out his directions condemn 
their own art. In Rosmersholm especially the French 
actors, to my great surprise, carried to excess that 
tendency to "break up the scenes" by irrelevant 



" L'GEUVRE." 107 

wanderings about the stage which one has so often 
had to struggle against in English rehearsals. Finally, 
to complete the list of drawbacks to my perfect 
appreciation of the performances, it so happened that 
Rosmersholm and The Master Builder were precisely 
the plays in which, to my thinking, the essentially 
poetic talent of Miss Elizabeth Robins had achieved 
its finest successes. Mile. Mellot as Rebecca, and 
Mile. Despres as Hilda, were heavily handicapped 
in having to contend against reminiscences of Miss 
Robins's subtly imaginative rendering of the one part, 
her radiant creation of the other. Both actresses 
showed ability and accomplishment. Mile. Mellot's 
somewhat sultry beauty and commanding presence 
were combined with an excellent dramatic method, 
founded on, yet not slavishly copied from, that of 
Sarah Bernhardt. The writers who could take this 
lady for an amateur are curiously at the mercy of 
their preconceptions. Her rendering of Rebecca 
was straightforward, vigorous, intelligent. The out- 
lines were all there; and this bold, firm sketch in 
black and white has, it appears, thrown new light 
upon the character in the eyes of some critics. I am 
in the peculiar position of not requiring new light, 
and looking rather for half-tints, complexities, and, 
above all, an atmosphere of poetry. Mile. Despres 
had many qualifications for the part of Hilda youth, 
freshness, vivacity, and a perfect knowledge of the 



IOS THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

stage. She was Hilda translated into everyday prose 
the gamine Hilda of The Lady from the Sea rather 
than the Valkyrie Hilda of The Master Builder. 
M. Lugne-Poe, too, seemed to be at pains to prosaise 
the part of Solness. There was an idea, and an 
excellent idea, in his conception of the part: he 
rightly sought to emphasise the imperious will, the 
compulsive ' magnetism of the man; but why he 
should have gone out of his way to make him so 
ugly and common was more than I could understand. 
At many points, in the first act especially, he bore a 
grotesque resemblance to Got as M. Poirier. Since 
these actors have visited Norway, they ought to have 
unlearned their apparently fixed idea that a goatee 
beard is the only wear in those latitudes, and that the 
typical Norwegian is not to be distinguished from a 
Vermont Yankee. M. Poe, moreover, picked out his 
face with red in a way which suggested that the 
Master Builder had been seeking Dutch courage for 
his struggle with the younger generation. Neverthe- 
less, the impersonation was a remarkable one, and 
well worth study. Now and again, as the action 
proceeded, I caught an echo of those "harps in the 
air" which the poet has set thrilling through this 
strange emotional symphony; but I could not help 
feeling that the whole performance went far to excuse 
M. Sarcey's inability to make head or tail of the play. 
It was all too much on one level. I missed what 



"L'CEUVRE." 109 

may be called the due phrasing of the action the 
rhythm of its emotional development was not suffi- 
ciently accentuated. The performance .of Rosmers- 
holm was much better in this respect; and here 
M. Poe was fortunately not tempted to disguise the 
remarkable beauty and distinction of his face and 
bearing. He played the gentle, dreamy Rosmer very 
ably and sympathetically. 

The presentation of Maeterlinck's Pelleas et Meli- 
sande was even more interesting, because more novel, 
than the Ibsen experiments. (I pass over Ulntruse 
frankly, it ought to have been better done, or not 
at all.) M. Maeterlinck has invented, or at any rate 
perfected (for he calls M. Charles Van Lerberghe his 
master), a new and very beautiful method of dramatic 
expression. Perhaps "expression " is scarcely the 
word, for the peculiarity of the method is that 
nothing is fairly and squarely expressed. Language 
is in M. Maeterlinck's hands quite literally the veil 
of thought and emotion, revealing through conceal- 
ment; so that the film of gauze interposed, at the 
Opera Comique, between the audience and the stage 
had a symbolic as well as a picturesque value. Very 
seldom, except in passages of impersonal moralising, 
do his characters give direct utterance to what they 
are thinking and feeling. Often, indeed, they could 
not if they would, for they do not themselves realise 
what is passing in their hearts. The poet's art lies in 



IIO THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

so working on our imagination that, through their 
seemingly irrelevant and sometimes even trivial 
babble, we divine more than they could possibly 
tell us if they " unpacked their heart with words." 
We have all felt the charm of this method in reading 
La Princesse Maleine, Pelleas et Melisande, and La 
Mort de Tintagiles ; it remained to be seen whether 
the charm would be enhanced or impaired by stage 
presentation. That it is, or might be, enhanced, the 
performance of Pelleas et Alelisande left no doubt. 
The poet's exquisitely cadenced prose, recited, or 
rather intoned, by Mile. Mellot as Pelleas, Mile. 
Despres as Melisande, and M. Poe as Golaud, fell 
like music on the ear; and the subdued passion, the 
mysterious horror, of the more tragic scenes produced 
a poignant effect. I am old-fashioned enough to see 
no reason why the eye should not be gratified in 
such a performance as well as the ear and the mind. 
Dimness of atmosphere is all very well, but dinginess 
seems unnecessary; and M. Poe's taste in costume 
(for the dresses were of his own designing) appeared 
to me fearful and wonderful. But it would be no 
less unjust than ungrateful to quarrel with M. Poe 
because of the scantiness of the material means at 
his disposal. We owe to the Theatre de TCEuvre, 
and indirectly to our own indomitable Independent 
Theatre, a new artistic sensation. 

P.S. I learn on good authority that to the later 



THE MAETERLINCK WEEK. 1 1 I 

performances of Solness k Constructeur many of the 
above criticisms were no longer applicable. M. Poe, 
for example, had modified his make-up, and dispensed 
with the goatee and the lines of red about his face. 
He acted, too, with more distinction and more 
decision, being independent of the prompter, who 
was distractingly in evidence on Wednesday evening. 

XVII. 

THE MAETERLINCK WEEK. 

The New Budget, ^th April. 

LAST week, in the theatrico-literary world, deserves to 
be remembered as the Maeterlinck Week. It has set 
us all testing our early estimates of Maeterlinck, arid 
testing them I was going to say in the fierce light of 
the stage, but that stereotype is quite inapplicable to 
the case of Pelleas et Melisande as performed by the 
"Theatre de 1'CEuvre." In the mystic gloom of the 
theatre, then, we have, as Mr. Saintsbury would say, 
corrected our impressions of the Flemish poet's art ; 
and the corrections have been all to his advantage. 

" Those like him now who liked him not before, 
And those who loved him well now love him more." 

Many of us, too, have seen the poet in the flesh, and 
have found him no posing coterie-Colossus, but a 



112 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

simple, natural, melancholy mortal, who happens to 
have devised a singularly beautiful and poignantly 
dramatic form of expression for his overmastering 
sense of the strangeness and pathos of man's little 
life in the midst of the Immensities. To say that 
this is the burden of M. Maeterlinck's message is as 
much as to say that it is not for the vulgar ear. Least 
of all is it for the ear of the average theatrical audience, 
or of those writers who make themselves, by instinct 
and habit, the mouthpieces of that compact majority. 
Among those, on the other hand, who have been 
endowed with the poetic and metaphysic sense, there 
has been but one voice, not only as to the exquisite 
beauty of M. Maeterlinck's drama, but as to its 
essential fitness for stage presentation. On that 
point, however, I think there are some distinctions 
to be drawn. I even go the length of suspecting 
some of my most esteemed colleagues of a little 
amiable affectation in persuading themselves that 
they were quite satisfied with Pelleas et Melisande 
as presented by M. Lugne-Poe's company. 

Whether by chance or by design, the stage-arrange- 
ments of "L'CEuvre" were practically those of the 
Elizabethan theatre. Changes of scene were indi- 
cated by the drawing forwards or backwards of a 
pair of curtains hung about midway up the stage 
" traverses " they were called in Shakespeare's time. 
The whole stage, with the traverses opened, indicated 



THE MAETERLINCK WEEK. 113 

an "exterior"; the front stage, with the traverses 
closed, stood for an "interior." True, there was 
some attempt at painting both on the back-cloth and 
the traverses, but it was so indistinct in the dim light 
as to represent nothing at all, and to produce very 
much the effect of the arras hangings behind which 
Burbage-Hamlet killed Polonius. A sheet of green 
gauze was stretched across the proscenium-opening; 
the footlights were extinguished : what light there 
was upon the stage came from the wings. A few 
rough properties (again as in the Elizabethan times) 
were occasionally thrust upon the scene a big box 
or tank represented the two fountains which figure in 
the play, and a little canvas " flat," not unlike the 
front of a Punch-and-Judy show, did duty for the 
castle wall pierced by Melisande's window. The 
dresses such of them as were distinguishable 
"looked," says Mr. Walkley, "like the attempts of 
a child to imitate mediaeval costume with scraps of 
mamma's old gowns." Mdlle. Mellot, as Pe'lleas, 
wore a bunchy crimson blouse, chocolate-coloured 
trunks (at least so it seemed to me), and what looked 
like grey worsted tights. A more ungraceful and un- 
masculine figure could scarcely be conceived. Mdlle. 
Despres, as Melisande, wore a gown of clinging flesh- 
colour, with a broad selvage and train of maroon or 
dark purple. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, 

to give pleasure to the eye in the dingy spectacle. 

8 



114 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

But (I may be told) it is not a "spectacle" at all. 
It does not appeal to the 'eye, but to the ear and the 
imagination. Are the ear and the imagination, then, 
more effectually stimulated because the eye is starved 
and even offended ? Not a bit of it ! The ideal 
presentation should be one in which ear and eye 
should take consentaneous delight, each in its due 
degree. And M. Poe knows this as well as any one. 
He does appeal to the eye, and (details apart) in the 
right way, but with very inadequate means. The 
gauze film (which should, however, be woven without 
seams) is an excellent idea. The crepuscular and 
Rembrandtesque effects are entirely in the spirit of 
the poem if only they in any degree realised their 
intention. The fact simply is that a very poor and 
struggling artistic organisation has to attempt, with 
its meagre resources, a task which would tax the in- 
genuity of Professor Herkomer, even with Mr. Irving's 
cheque-book to back it. By all means let us admire 
and encourage the enthusiasm which inspires M. 
Poe's enterprise. Let us admit with gratitude that 
his appeal to the ear is entirely successful, and that it 
is a joy to hear Maeterlinck's "fragile word-music," 
as Mr. Shaw happily puts it, so delicately and sym- 
pathetically treated. But do not let us elevate into a 
principle, and pretend to admire for its own sake, that 
poverty, one might almost say that squalor, of scenic 
apparatus, which is not really due to the austerity of 



THE MAETERLINCK WEEK. 115 

M. Poe's taste, but to the slenderness of his purse. 
Better fine recitation and bad mounting than (what 
we are accustomed to on the English stage) splendid 
mounting and execrable recitation. Better dinginess, 
if you will, than vulgar and garish display. But best 
of all the harmonious art-work which ministers, in 
their fitting measure, to all the aesthetic faculties at 
once. 

" Maeterlinck," say Mr. Shaw, Mr. Walkley, and 
others, "is delightful on the stage. Representation 
throws into relief his poetic and dramatic qualities." 
On the other hand, M. Maeterlinck himself confesses 
that he takes no pleasure in performances of his 
works ; and Jules Lemaitre, in reviewing his Trois 
Petits Drames pour Marionettes, strongly deprecates 
all " indiscretes et forcement grossieres tentatives de 
representation par de miserables comediens en chair 
et en os." The Opera Comique performances leave 
me halting between the two opinions. They proved 
the possibility of truly delightful stage-renderings of 
these fascinating works ; but they scarcely realised 
the possibility. They set me pining to be a million- 
aire, tha.t I might, at my own private theatre, mount 
La Princesse Maleine and Pelleas et Melisande as they 
ought to be mounted. Give me a roomy stage, 
four or five thousand pounds, and the company of 
" L'CEuvre " slightly strengthened and amended, and 
I will put on these two plays (or perish in the attempt) 



Il6 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

in such a way as to make M. Maeterlinck realise and 
rejoice in his own stage-craft, and to wring from 
M. Jules Lemaitre a contrite apology to the "miserable 
flesh-and-blood actors." Can any one read Pell'eas et 
Melisande without longing for the ocular realisation 
of the exquisite series of pictures it contains? Of 
course, the methods of the Lyceum and the Theatre- 
Frangais are quite inapplicable. One would have 
practically to invent new methods of scene-painting 
and stage-lighting. But it is precisely the novelty of 
the attempt that should render it, as Hilda Wangel 
would say, "frightfully thrilling" or, in French, "tres- 
e"motionnant." 

We ought not to take too literally M. Maeterlinck's 
description of his pieces as puppet-plays. There is, 
to say the least of it, a dash of symbolism in the 
designation. It indicates the poet's extra-mundane 
point of view. Endowed in the very highest degree 
with what may be called cosmic imagination, he 
regards the life of man from an infinite aloofness, and 
sees how small a part is played by the vaunted human 
will in the drama of the planet. The tendency of all 
his thought is to minimise the operation of the will 
that is why some people, vaguely realising that morality 
rests on the hypothesis of free-will, call his work 
morbid and immoral. He sees mankind as a com- 
pany of puppets, dancing on an infinitesimal stage in 
an obscure corner of the universe, while Nature pipes 



THE MAETERLINCK WEEK. 117 

the music and Destiny pulls the strings. It is pri- 
marily in this sense that his pieces may be called 
"drames pour marionettes," or, as Lemaitre puts it, 
"de 1'Eschyle pour pupazzi malades." Now M. Poe 
has shown that this philosophical point of view may 
be illustrated just as well by flesh-and-blood actors as 
by marionettes. His company realised to perfection 
the idea of wilUess creatures moving through a dream. 
For a further analysis of M. Maeterlinck's talent I 
must refer the reader to an admirable essay in Jules 
Lemaitre's Impressions de Theatre, eighth series. On 
one point, however, M. Lemaitre has not quite grasped 
the poet's intention. He describes La Mart de Tinta- 
giks as "simply the story of the assassination of a 
young prince"; whereas M. Maeterlinck assures me 
that he designed it as an allegory of the death of 
a child, and that the iron door against which poor 
Ygraine hurls herself so ineffectually symbolises the 
portals of the tomb. It is with reference to this door 
that M. Lemaitre quotes Victor Hugo's saying that 
" there is nothing so interesting as a wall behind 
which we know that something is happening." "This 
tragic wall," M. Lemaitre continues, "appears in all 
M. Maeterlinck's poems ; or, if it is not a wall, it is a 
door; and if it is not a door, it is a curtained window." 
I think he might have carried the idea further, and 
shown that the greater part of M. Maeterlinck's 
dialogue possesses the fascination of " a wall behind 



Il8 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

which we know that something is happening." His 
characters very seldom give direct utterance to what 
is passing in their minds. They talk of everything 
else in the world, and, by the aid of an indefinable, 
elusive symbolism which is the poet's peculiar secret, 
we are enabled to divine more than they know them- 
selves of their innermost emotions. In this art of 
adumbration M. Maeterlinck possesses an astonishing 
mastery. 

And just in this (I intend no paradox) our sym- 
bolist is often more real than the realists. He knows, 
as the Old Man says in Interieur, that " it is in the 
soul that things happen," and that the most poignant 
dramas are not those which come to the surface in 
words. This is, on the whole, an inarticulate world. 
Comparatively few real-life dramas work themselves 
out in analytic scenes, like those of Rosmersholm, or 
The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith. We may not, indeed, 
talk of swans, and cypresses, and fountains, and 
forests, and nightingales; but we babble of the 
influenza and the Speakership, and the Boat-race, and 
bi-metallism, and the Yellow Book, while passion is 
seething in our veins or remorse gnawing at our heart- 
strings. It is true that in our small-talk we do not 
consciously symbolise our great emotions ; yet who 
knows but that a higher intelligence might be able to 
divine even in the chatter of an afternoon " at home " 
the inmost secrets of the assembled puppet-souls? 



"THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND ME." 119 

M. Maeterlinck, at any rate, knows how to make 
reticence voluble. He is the poet not only of will- 
lessness, but of wordlessness. His most character- 
istic scenes remind me of the refrain of a little song 
which occurs (I think) in James Albery's Apple 
Blossoms : 

" Nothing said, yet all was told, 
When the year was growing old." 

It seems to be always autumn in M. Maeterlinck's 
world. 



XVII 1. 
"THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND ME." 

17/7* April. 

"THE Girls they Took Around with Them" would 
have been an apter title for the new Adelphi drama 
than The Girl I Left Behind Me.* The U.S. Army, 
according to Messrs. Franklin Fyles and David 
Belasco, is the most amatory army on record I 
mean, of course, in a quite idyllic and virtuous -way. 
If our army had flirted as terribly in Flanders as did 
these gallant troops in Montana : you may accent 
the "gallant" in either way I fear " Malbrouk s'en 

* April 13 August 10. 



120 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

va-t-en guerre" would have had to be sung to a 
different tune. Post Kennion is as full of love and 
rumours of love as a young ladies' boarding-school. 
When one of the Lieutenants is engaged to the 
General's daughter, the whole regiment is paraded 
on congratulation-duty; and, after deputing the other 
Lieutenant to express their heartfelt sentiments, the 
brave fellows proceed to strew the lovers' path with 
flowers. Unfortunately the General's daughter (who 
is the General's General, and commands the fort) 
has engaged herself to the wrong Lieutenant, the 
villain and dastard, who has in bygone days seduced 
and deserted the Major's wife but that is practically 
another story. The right Lieutenant, the Bayard of 
the Backwoods, has a silent sorrow in his soul, for he 
loves the General's daughter. She, you may be sure, 
is far from insensible to his merits; but her troth is 
plighted, and there is nothing to be done. Then the 
right Lieutenant and the wrong 'un ride off together 
a-scouting; the villain commits an act of cowardice, 
of which he accuses the hero; and the General, like 
the ninny he is, believes him. Not so the General's 
daughter. In order to vindicate her hero's courage, 
she sends him on a forlorn hope, to bring succour to 
the beleaguered fort; and the situation is a good 
one after its kind, and deserved the tumultuous 
applause which greeted it. A forlorn hope, in mili- 
tary melodrama, is, of course, the safest of services; 



"THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND ME." 121 

and just as the stockade is being carried, and the 
General is preparing to shoot his daughter, to save 
her from the clutches of the redskins, the right Lieu- 
tenant rushes in at the head of the rescuing party, 
and all is well. It takes another act, or, rather, two 
minutes of another act, finally to baffle the villain 
the rest of the act being given up to the flirtations 
of the two pairs of comic lovers, all conducted with 
the strictest propriety, under the fatherly eye of the 
General. By way of showing that we are in a 
democratic country, the right Lieutenant's pretty 
sister makes love to a handsome private in her 
brother's company. In the stockade scene, when 
the danger is at its height, the General's daughter 
bids the handsome private keep watch over the 
slumbers of his lady-love. The wrong Lieutenant 
orders him to some other and less agreeable duty, 
and the private declines to obey, on the plea that he 
cannot desert the post assigned him by the heroine. 
The General intervenes in the dispute with delicate 
tact, suggests a compromise, and then gives the 
Lieutenant a mild reproof for wanting to tear a 
soldier away from his sleeping sweetheart. " Forty 
years in the army," says the doughty old warrior, 
" have taught me that a loyal lover is bound to be 
a good soldier." And that is the moral of the play. 
" It is a standing rule at the Admiralty," says Sir 
Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore, " that love levels 



122 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

all ranks." In the U.S. Army, it at any rate justifies 
a full private in disobeying his lieutenant's orders. 
But perhaps that is only if the lieutenant happens to 
be a villain. 

The play is short, crisp, and amusing. The comic 
scenes have evidently lost some of their savour in 
crossing the Atlantic; but the serious scenes are 
comic enough, in all conscience. For my part, I 
like the American national airs and the blue uniforms 
I can always pass a happy evening under the Star- 
Spangled Banner. But there is one point at which I 
wanted to hiss, and which I do hereby hiss very 
heartily. The Indian chiefs daughter, Fawn, of 
course loves the right Lieutenant with a dog-like 
devotion, and consequently sides with the pale-faces. 
She has done them several services, and at last steals 
into the stockade to tell them (what she fully believes 
to be true) that the Lieutenant has been killed. 
Would you believe that the good old General treats 
her as a hostage, and tells her father that he will 
shoot her if the attack on the fort be not dis- 
continued? Even if she were a prisoner of war, 
this would be a barbarous enough proceeding. But 
she is practically on the footing of a guest, and even 
of a benefactress. She has come of her own free 
will, to render a last service to her pale-face friends. 
" It is to save our own women," the General may 
say; but if the women were worth saving, they would 



"FANNY." 123 

insist on being tomahawked and all the rest of it, 
ten times over, rather than buy their safety by even 
the threat of so abominable a crime. Certainly this 
is a case in which the good old Adelphi maxim about 
the man who lays his hand upon a woman, save in 
the way of kindness, might with advantage be recalled 
to the memory of General Kennion of the U.S. 
Army. 

The hero, heroine, and villain are played as usual 
by Mr. Terriss, Miss Millward, and Mr. Abingdon. 
Mr. F. H. Macklin is good as the General, and Mr. 
Charles Fulton excellent as the Major. One pair 
of comic lovers is pleasantly played by Mr. G. W. 
Cockburn and Miss Hope Dudley, the other pair is 
less happily treated by Mr. E. W. Gardiner and Miss 
Marie Montrose. The reception of the play was 
most enthusiastic. 



XIX. 

"FANNY" "DELIA HARDING" " THE LADIES' 
IDOL" "THE SHOP-GIRL." 

z\th April. 

A RIDICULOUS rumour got abroad some time ago to 
the effect that a new Censor had been appointed in 
the room of the late Mr. Pigott. The details of the 



124 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

story were quite preposterous. No one had ever 
seen or heard of the alleged Mr. Radford or Romford 
I forget the exact name it was obviously borrowed 
from some novel of Anthony Trollope's or Mr. James 
Payn's. The details of his career which went the 
rounds of the papers were patently mythical the 
bald inventions of baffled reporters. I was sceptical 
from the first as to the existence of this impalpable 
personality, this "parvi nominis umbra"; and the 
portrait which was ultimately palmed off on some 
confiding editors as that of the new Censor redoubled 
my doubts. It had exactly the air of a composite 
photograph, the generalised type of, say, a hundred 
ordinary middle-class Englishmen. It was simply 
"Monsieur Tout -le- Monde," the quintessentiated 
Man-in-the-Street. However, I clearly discerned a 
politic design in this daring personification ; so I 
held my peace. The powers that be, I thought, 
realise the absurdity and futility of the office, but are 
prudently disinclined to incur the responsibility of 
formally abolishing it. Even the wisest and most 
necessary reform (they probably reflected) is always 
attended by a certain temporary disturbance in the 
even tenor of affairs. The open and definite sup- 
pression of the Censorship might lead to a spasmodic 
outbreak of licence on the one hand, of Puritanism 
on the other. Let us, then, simply leave the office 
in abeyance, appointing a Mrs. Harris, like the 



"FANNY." 125 

"Tulchan Bishops" of Scottish history, to draw the 
fees (for plays are luxuries, and it is bad political 
economy to remit a tax on luxuries), but practically 
leaving playwrights and managers to their own devices. 
Thus argued (I imagine) the authorities at St. James's; 
and though I am personally no lover of compromise, 
I did not feel it incumbent on me to cry, with Mrs. 
Prig, " I don't believe there's no sich person !" 

But the secret is a secret no longer, so why make 
a pretence of keeping it up? Messrs. George R. 
Sims and Cecil Raleigh, men of critical and pene- 
trating intelligence, were not to be deceived by the 
officially-promulgated myth. Like myself, they were 
at once convinced of the non-entity (I use the term, 
in its literal sense) of the alleged Censor; and I am 
sorry to have to reproach them with taking an unfair 
advantage of their superior insight. In order, no 
doubt, to explode the myth, they made all haste to 
write a farce, Fanny* which even the lamented Mr. 
Pigott, indulgent as he always was to frivolity, could 
not possibly have passed. It is very difficult to relate 
in printable terms the imbroglio of the second act, 
but I must make the attempt. A. and B. have just 
been married when A. learns that a former wife of 
his is not dead, so that his marriage is bigamous. C. 
and D. are not married at all, but are mistaken for 
man and wife by the mistress of the country house 
* Strand Theatre, April 15 June I. 



126 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

where the action passes, and, for reasons of their 
own, cannot undeceive her. The whole humour, 
then, of the latter half of the second act lies in the 
fact that these two couples, one unmarried and the 
other only nominally married, are each assigned a 
single sleeping-apartment; and the great effect upon 
which the authors (quite justly) relied is the bringing 
in of the two bedroom candles. The men (and this, 
I suppose, is what saves the " morality " of the farce) 
are not in the least inclined to take advantage of 
the position, and the "fun" consists chiefly of their 
excuses for sitting up all night. At last a supposed 
burglary provides them with the necessary pretext; 
and in the morning, when the bride innocently asks 
them whether it was quite necessary for them to 
keep guard all night, one of them replies, with a sly 
glance at the audience, "Oh, yes; it would never 
have done to go to bed under the circumstances." 
Now, I submit to Messrs. Sims and Raleigh that this 
is not playing quite fair. They should have taken 
some other way of proving the non-existence of the 
censorship. Though they, and I, and a few other 
discerning persons, may have seen through the official 
hocus-pocus, the general public still believes in the 
mythical "Examiner of Plays," and consequently 
feels itself exempt from all responsibility in respect 
to the morals of the stage. If the censorship had 
been openly and formally abolished, there would 



"FANNY." 127 

certainly have been some protest, from the better 
part of the audience, against such witless and vulgar 
tomfoolery. It is only because the propriety of this 
stuff is supposed to have been officially guaranteed 
by the chief officer of Her Majesty's household that 
it passes muster with decent people. Messrs. Sims 
and Raleigh, then, take advantage at once of the 
non-existence of the Censor and the non-existence of 
any public sense of responsibility a course of action 
which is not, I think, quite worthy of them. Fanny 
is not without a certain ingenuity, like that of a third- 
rate French vaudeville; and, being played with un- 
flagging spirit by Messrs. Shine, Day, and Harwood, 
Miss Alma Stanley, Miss May Whitty, and Miss 
Lydia Cowell, it succeeds in keeping the audience 
amused. But I wish the public-spirited authors had 
chosen some wittier method of demolishing the 
Censor legend. 

Some people, I find, profess themselves un- 
convinced, even by Fanny, that the censorship has 
been left in abeyance. They actually believe in the 
corporeal existence of a Mr. Redford that they 
declare to be his name. "Wait," they say, "until 
some one writes a serious play, with any sort of 
originality in it, and you'll soon see whether there's 
a Censor or not." Well, absolute negation is un- 
philosophical that I understand to be one of the 
main Foundations of Belief. There may be a Mr. 



128 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Redford at St. James's, and there may be Mahatmas 
in Tibet But I think all available evidence points 
in the opposite direction. 

If I were to say all I think about the conduct of 
M. Sardou in letting such a play as Delia Harding* 
go forth from his workshop, I should probably receive 
a polite invitation from two of his friends to step 
across to Ostend and make his personal acquaintance 
at the distance of ten paces. But it is really we who 
are insulted. M. Sardou evidently thinks that any- 
thing is good enough for England and America, and 
has given us the dregs of his invention. The puzzle 
is how Mr. Cornyns Carr ever came to produce such 
a play. Were it not for the remarkable and tasteful 
liberality of the setting he has given it, one might 
conclude that he had somehow bought a pig in a 
poke, and, relying on the name of Sardou, placed 
himself under contract to produce the piece before 
he had seen the manuscript. But if that were the 
case, if he did not himself believe in it, he would 
scarcely have cast it so well and mounted it so 
elaborately. The whole affair is a mystery how a 
playwright of reputation could sell such a play, and 
how a manager of tact and experience could buy it. 
Even in the 'seventies, at the height of the Sardou 
mania, Delia Harding could not have succeeded. 
To-day, it is simply an abortive anachronism. If a 
* Comedy Theatre, April 17 May 17. 



" DELIA HARDING." 1 29 

clever and somewhat malicious parodist had set 
himself to caricature the methods and mannerisms 
of the author of Les Pattes de Mouche and Dora, he 
could scarcely have produced a crueller travesty than 
this. It has every one of Sardou's weaknesses 
ready-made and bran-stuffed characters, false hero- 
isms, ridiculous reticences, an abuse of coincidence, 
incessant juggling with letters and telegrams and 
it has little or none of his characteristic ingenuity 
and deftness. The bare-faced audacity with which, 
having exhausted his original plot at the end of the 
second act, he tacked on a new and ridiculous 
poisoning-story to fill up the remaining half-hour, 
was the last straw which broke down the patience 
of the audience. Indeed, I was greatly struck 
throughout by the justness of perception displayed 
by the pit and gallery. Without being at all noisy 
or turbulent, they laid their finger, so to speak, on 
the weakest spots of M. Sardou's fable with unerring 
instinct. Surely the experience of that evening must 
have convinced Mr. Carr (if, indeed, he needed 
convincing) that the day for such mechanical and 
lifeless yarn-spinning is past. By far the best things 
in the play are some of Mr. Carr's own happily- 
turned sayings in the first act. Miss Marion Terry 
played her lifeless part with a great deal of charm; 
Miss Dorothy Dorr made all that was possible of a 
most impotent and ineffectual traitress; and Miss 

9 



I3O THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Rose Leclercq gave excellent point to the aforesaid 
witticisms of Mr. Carr's. Some of the audience 
seemed to have taken a sudden objection to Mr. 
Fred Terry, who played the hero precisely as he has 
played a score of other heroes. Mr. Cyril Maude 
was good as a conventional valetudinarian; and Mr. 
Mackintosh's highly-coloured portrait of the villain 
seemed to be founded on the patriotic assumption 
that all villains are necessarily foreigners. He left 
the gentleman's nationality vague, but an Englishman 
he certainly was not. 

With The Ladies? Idol* at the Vaudeville, Mr. 
Arthur Law takes his place among the playwrights 
who count. There is real humour in the conception 
and ingenuity in the execution of this little piece, to 
which the designation " farcical comedy " is, for once, 
appropriate. In point of workmanship, it is miles 
ahead of The New Boy or Charlie's Aunt, which 
consist merely in the more or less mechanical elabo- 
ration of one grotesque idea. Of course it is the 
sheer simplicity of their root-ideas that makes the 
fortune of these two popular absurdities; and it is 
quite possible that the greater complexity and sobriety 
of Mr. Law's new invention may render it less attrac- 
tive than its predecessor. It really belongs rather to 
the Pinero than to the Brandon Thomas school of 
farce. The conception of the drawing-room warbler, 
* April 1 8 June 15. 



"THE LADIES' IDOL." 131 

who exploits his romantic reputation in Mayfair in 
order to return with a good round sum at his bank to 
the more congenial joys of Brixton and domesticity, 
is not at all unworthy of Mr. Pinero himself; and the 
development of the theme, though uneven, abounds 
in happy touches. The first act is charming; the 
second is scrappy and flags from time to time; but 
the third seemed to me to pull together again and to 
end the play quite satisfactorily. Mr. Law may boast 
himself the one dramatist who has brought a baby 
into farce without making it offensive. The writing 
is bright throughout and occasionally witty. In the 
third act, Mr. Law got some capital effects out of 
a sort of counterpoint in dialogue, making two 
characters, each of whom is absorbed in his own 
train of thought, and almost entirely regardless of the 
other, carry on what purports to be a conversation, 
but is in reality a species of double soliloquy. Mr. 
Weedon Grossmith is delightful as^the Ladies' Idol; 
Miss May Palfrey plays Dora Vale with humour and 
tact; Miss Esme Beringer shows a real gift of comedy 
in the part of Lady Helen Frant; Mr. John Beau- 
champ, as Mr. Purley, proves his versatility by 
a very clever bit of eccentric character-acting; and 
Mr. C. P. Little is very amusing as Lord Finch 
Callowdale. 

Miss Ellaline Terriss, released from the Lyric, now 
lends the aid of her almost pathetic prettiness and 



132 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

charm to The Shop-Girl* at the Gaiety, playing the 
title-part. Miss Terriss is not only pretty, but bright 
and intelligent, and adds substantially to the attrac- 
tiveness of the entertainment. The piece, by the 
way, has been relieved of the foolishly offensive lines 
against which the first-night audience protested and 
the Censor didn't. 



XX. 

"VANITY FAIR" "THE PASSPORT." 

\st May. 

DURING his long period of silence, Mr. G. W. 
Godfrey has not suffered his wit to rust. Much of 
the dialogue of Vanity Fair\ is really clever, and all of 
it is bright and showy. Moreover, he has provided 
Mrs. John Wood with a brilliant part, which she plays 
in a perfect whirlwind of humour and enjoyment. 
In her own peculiar line of characters, no comic 
actress of this generation can approach Mrs. John 
Wood; and Mrs. Brabazon-Tegg, ci devant Mrs. James 
Crump, alias Daisy Douglas of the Halls, nee Jennie 
Watson of nowhere in particular, is certainly one of 

* See Theatrical World of 1894, p. 316. Miss Terriss 
appeared April 15. 

t April 27 July 24 ; September 23 November 2. 



"VANITY FAIR." 133 

the most effective parts that ever fell in her way. 
With wit and Mrs. John Wood, then, it would be a 
very difficult audience which could fail to pass a 
pleasant evening; and, as a matter of fact, Saturday 
evening at the Court passed pleasantly enough. 
Personally, indeed, I ought in strict consistency to 
have been enchanted, for the play came near to 
realising a favourite ideal or imagination of mine 
a dramatised Du Maurier.* The plot was of the 
meagrest, and was kept discreetly in the background, 
while the foreground was occupied with ever-shifting 
groups of Du Maurier or Greiffenhagen figures speak- 
ing dialogue which might quite well have been cut up 
into a series of " legends " for the drawings of these 
satirists. This is a style of comedy which I have 
long been advocating; and now that I have got it, 
why am I not happy ? Well, my rapture is tempered 
by a sense of something factitious and second-hand 
in Mr. Godfrey's satire. There is little or nothing 
newly or truly observed in it. Mr. Godfrey has 
simply made a mosaic of all the current topics of 
satirical allusion in the comic papers and on the 
stage. If we could accept Vanity fair as the work 
of an original observer and thinker, it would be a 
ferocious indictment of society; and I am far from 

* I was here thinking, of course, of Mr. Du Maurier the 
artist, not of the author of Trilby. Mr. Paul Potter's " drama- 
tised Du Maurier " was not yet looming on the horizon. 



134 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

saying that such an indictment might not be a " true 
bill." But this is not it. Mr. Godfrey has neither 
the outlook nor the insight of a Juvenal. He simply 
follows a satiric fashion, and caricatures (he calls his 
play a " caricature ") not life itself, but other people's 
caricatures of life. There is nothing easier than to 
be a little satirist, nothing more difficult than to be 
a great one; and such a sweeping indictment as Mr. 
Godfrey brings would have demanded a great satirist 
to support it. The invective is shrill and insincere 
and by "insincere" I do not, of course, mean hypo- 
critical, but unrealised, imitative. We miss the large 
philosophy of life which ought to lie behind it all. 
Mr. Godfrey shows no understanding of the essence 
of the situation, but merely depicts in crude colours 
some of its surface aspects, seen, as one cannot help 
suspecting, through other men's eyes. He has pro- 
duced a piece of brilliant stage-journalism, not of 
solid dramatic literature. 

The title, Vanity Fair, is a mistake. Classic titles 
cannot thus be annexed with impunity. If, hence- 
forth, in mentioning Vanity Fair we have always 
to say "Thackeray's" or "Godfrey's," as the case 
may be, we may justly resent having this inconveni- 
ence forced upon us. If, on the other hand, we feel 
no necessity for specifying the author, it can only 
mean that either one Vanity Fair or the other has 
sunk deep into oblivion, and well, Mr. Godfrey 



"THE PASSPORT." 135 

himself may forecast the probabilities. Mr. Arthur 
Cecil is good in an ineffective part; Mr. G. VV. Anson 
puts a great deal of colour and conviction into the 
villain; Miss Granville is charming as the sole female 
representative of common-sense and decency, but 
seemed to me now and then to miss the just 
emphasis of her lines. Other characters are well 
played by Mr. Sugden, Mr. Wyes, Miss Nancy 
Noel, and Miss Helena Dacre. The mounting is 
lavish, and here I am at the end of my notice with- 
out having so much as mentioned Mrs. Brabazon- 
Tegg's dream of her trial for bigamy, which is the 
great feature of the third act. It is an old device 
ingeniously applied to a new end a trick of melo- 
drama adapted to the purposes of satire. The idea 
is good, but somehow the effect struck me as scarcely 
commensurate with the effort. Mr. Godfrey seemed 
to fall between the two stools of realism and fantasy. 
His trial scene, though of course far enough from 
being true to fact, appeared to aim at truth, and was 
at any rate no more remote from it than the trials we 
are accustomed to see on the stage. I cannot help 
thinking that, in a dream, a little freer exercise of 
fantasy would have been permissible. 

There are some exceedingly funny scenes in 
The Passport* by Messrs. B. C. Stephenson and 

* April 25 ; transferred to Trafalgar Square Theatre, July 29 
August 24. 



136 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

W. Yardley, at Terry's Theatre. The first and third 
acts especially are full of comic material cleverly 
worked up. It is a farce of the purely mechanical 
order, innocent of character, observation, or satire, 
and relying throughout on a series of wild coincidences 
and extravagant misunderstandings; but on its own 
unpretending level it is a competent and effective 
piece of work. Not having read " Colonel Savage's 
celebrated novel My Official Wife" I do not know 
what may be the extent of the obligation which the 
authors confess to it. But in any case it seems to be 
confined to the first act, and the amazing complica- 
tions of the second and third acts are understood to 
be all their own. Miss Gertrude Kingston is quite 
admirable in the part of a lady with no memory, and 
Mr. George Giddens, Mr. Alfred Maltby, Mr. Yorke 
Stephens, Mr. J. L. Mackay, Miss Fanny Coleman, 
and Miss Cicely Richards all help to make the piece 
go with the requisite buoyancy and rapidity. 



"A STORY OF WATERLOO." 137 

XXI. 

"A STORY OF WATERLOO" "DON QUIXOTE" 
" JOHN-A-DREAMS." 

%th May. 

THERE was scarcely a dry eye in the Lyceum Theatre* 
when the curtain fell on A Story of Waterloo. 
Whether mine were among the few or the many, it 
consists not with the dignity of criticism to say ; but 
this I will say that at the end of Don Quixote it 
would have taken very little to make me weep, or 
indulge in some still more unprintable expression of 
feeling. Never was there such a disappointment as 
Mr. Irving's performance. Of course the fault was 
largely our own. Disappointment is correlative with 
expectation, and Mr. Irving is not responsible for the 
extravagance of our hopes. But the fact remains 
that we had hoped great things. We had all been 
proclaiming for years that Don Quixote was the one 
character of all others which Mr. Irving was born 
to incarnate (or should one say " inossify " ?), and that 

* A Story of Waterloo (see Theatrical World of 1894, p. 343) 
and Don Quixote, produced May 4, ran till June I. Between 
Whitsun Week (June 3) and the end of the season, July 27, 
these plays were occasionally repeated, and performances were 
given of Nance Oldfield, The Bells, The Merchant of Venice, 
Faust, Louis XI. , Becket, Much Ado about Nothing, Charles I. , 
The Lyons Mail, The Corsican Brothers, King Arthur, Macbeth, 
and Journeys End in Lovers Meeting (see Theatrical World of 
1894, p. 170). 



138 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

this creation would be the crown and glory of his 
career. Mr. Irving himself, it is clear, took a juster 
view of the matter, else he would not have been 
content with the single "chapter" of Mr. Wills's 
work presented on Saturday. He evidently felt no 
intellectual impulse towards the effort, but was partly 
goaded into it by our insistence, partly tempted by the 
convenience of filling up with it an odd corner of a 
temporary bill. He would have done far, far better 
to have let it alone, and played Jingle, or Macaire, or 
Jeremy Diddler, characters in which his peculiar cast 
of humour pleases many people and hurts no one, 
dead or alive. His Don Quixote, on the other hand, 
can please those only who neither know nor care 
about the Knight of the Rueful Visage, and must hurt, 
and that very sensibly, all who know and love him. It 
is strange that Mr. Irving's imagination should fail him 
so fatally in approaching what seemed so congenial a 
character. He plays him like a combination of 
Malvolio and Parolles Malvolio in his strut, Parolles 
in his insincerity. He " gives him away " from first 
to last by aid of farcical whimsies and sidelong glances 
at the audience. Where is it recorded that Don 
Quixote used his sword to turn over the pages of 
Amadis de Gaul, or tried to carry a ten-foot lance 
erect through a seven-foot doorway? Where does 
Mr. Irving find the catchword, " I say no more 
God knows what I mean " ? The phrase may doubt- 



"DON QUIXOTE." 139 

less occur in Cervantes, but a catchword it is not. 
What is the authority for the incident of the pump, 
certainly the most amazing I ever saw on any stage ? 
Don't tell me that these inventions are retained out 
of piety towards the manes of the late Mr. Wills. 
Mr. Irving is far above such superstitions; and, in any 
case, piety towards Mr. Wills would be a poor excuse 
for impiety towards Cervantes. When there are ten 
thousand genuine traits and incidents ready to hand 
if only time and space could be found for them, why 
take up precious space and time by the interpolation 
of spurious absurdities ? It is as though a jeweller, 
having all Golconda at command, and only a little 
ring to set it in, should fill up half the circlet with 
paste diamonds. But it is not in individual touches 
and incidents that this Don Quixote chiefly offends ; 
it is in the actor's total and radical misconception of 
the character. Mr. Irving pitches his Don Quixote 
throughout in the key of farce; whereas he ought 
clearly to be a figure of romance, grotesquely habited, 
and placed in farcical surroundings. His Don Quixote 
should have been essentially of the kindred of his 
Charles I. and King Arthur, not of his Jingle and 
Macaire. Where were the large and magnificent 
gestures ? Where was the high-flown, orotund utter- 
ance? Where was the magnanimity? Where the 
rodomontade? Mr. Irving never moved his arms 
from his side, except upon compulsion, and he spoke 



140 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

in a dry, hesitating, mincing, whimsical fashion, 
without an atom of sonority or conviction. Even in 
reading his romances, the Don seemed to be critically 
pondering them, instead of rolling forth their periods 
with gusto and revelling in great names and greater 
deeds. Though he had not a dozen sentences to 
speak, Mr. S. Johnson's Sancho contained far more 
of the spirit of Cervantes. 

This dolorous adventure, however, may not be 
without its uses. It proved that Don Quixote ought 
never to be attempted on the stage. One realised 
that even if Mr. Irving's performance had been 
masterly instead of mistaken, it would still have given 
more pain than pleasure to those who care anything 
for the hidalgo of La Mancha. It is not (as one had 
imagined) the physical difficulties of the theme the 
windmills, the sheep, and what Mr. Meredith would 
call the "thwackings" that must keep Don Quixote 
remote from the boards; it is the inherent moral 
cruelty of the fable. The better the Don was acted 
the more intolerable would the spectacle become. 
No doubt we have somewhat idealised (or sentimental- 
ised, if you like to put it so) Cervantes' idea. There 
are many things in the book itself that we wish he 
had not told, or had told otherwise. That is natural, 
inevitable. The Don is not of an age, but for all 
time. He is not one of the characters which we can 
regard from a merely historic standpoint. We cannot 



"DON QUIXOTE." 141 

we would not if we could throw ourselves back 
into a sixteenth-century attitude of mind in contem- 
plating his "faictes et gestes." An ingenious gentle- 
man has lately been enlarging (apropos of Hamlet] on 
the callousness with which our Elizabethan forefathers 
regarded insanity. The fact is certain, though it is 
not equally clear what it has to do with the feigned 
madness of Hamlet. On the other hand, it is strictly 
relevant to the question whether Don Quixote could 
ever be tolerable on the modern stage. Cervantes, 
or at any rate his contemporaries, found madness as 
a whole far more frankly ludicrous than we do 
they could laugh at it with an easier mind. And 
here we have no mere commonplace insanity, but the 
noblest and most lovable madness that can visit 
mortal brain. Who can bear to see it buffeted, 
flouted, besmirched, and befooled? We could as 
soon find amusement in seeing 

"From Marlborough's eyes the tears of dotage flow, 
And Swift expire, a driveller and a show." 

We can read the book with pleasure because (if I may 
put a foreword to an old proverb) reading is only 
imagining, seeing is believing. Here is precisely the 
case to apply the well-worn tag : 

" Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem 
Quam quse sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus ; " 

and one might even read "irritant" in the modern 



142 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

rather than the classical sense. We may regret, then, 
for Mr. Irving's sake, that he has made a false step 
in attempting Don Quixote ; we have not to lament, 
on our own behalf, that he has missed a great oppor- 
tunity. 

I pass with gladness, with enthusiasm, to A Story of 
Waterloo^ of which I said something in December 
last when Mr. Irving presented it at the Garrick. It 
bears very well the test of a second seeing. A trifle 
it is, no doubt j but a trifle well worth doing, both on 
the author's part and on the actor's. It must 
not be subjected, of course, to realistic or anti- 
idealistic criticism. It is a piece, of unblushing 
idealism a frank appeal to our most rudimentary 
emotions. Yet, if there were not a large infusion of 
truth in this Arms and the Man's Old Style, as it 
might be called perhaps quite as much of the 
essential truth as in Arms and the Man : New Style 
we may be sure it would appeal to our emotions in 
vain. Dr. Conan Doyle, in a word, has shown him- 
self a true humorist, and has provided Mr. Irving with 
his very best character-part, a genuine creation. It 
is, perhaps, unnecessarily ugly, especially n its vocal 
manifestations. The inarticulate moans and whines 
in which the actor indulges seem to me overdone 
not from the point of view of nature, but from that 
of art. In studying an essentially painful pheno- 
menon, such as senility, the artist should be not 



"JOHN-A-DREAMS." 143 

only permitted but enjoined to choose, out of many 
possible cases, one of the less repulsive rather than 
one of the more except when repulsiveness happens 
to be of the essence of the dramatic problem, as in 
this instance it is not. Corporal Gregory would 
certainly be none the less impressive for being a 
shade less grotesque ; but otherwise Mr. Irving's per- 
formance is altogether masterly in its high elaboration 
and admirably un-self-conscious humour and pathos. 
It is a piece of acting no one can afford to miss. 

Mr. Beerbohm Tree on his return from America, 
with the laurels of Boston yet green on his brow, has 
resumed the interrupted run of John-a-Dreams* that 
"owdacious" work (as Corporal Brewster would say) 
which frighted the Times from its propriety. Mrs. 
Tree now wears the frayed garment of Kate Cloud, 
in lieu of Mrs. Patrick Campbell, and wears it very 
prettily. She acts the part with sincerity and skill, 
if only she could get a little variety into the mono- 
tonous plaintiveness of her voice. For the rest, the 
cast remains almost unaltered, except that Miss Lily 
Hanbury now plays Mrs. Wanklyn intelligently and 
pleasantly, but without Miss Janette Steer's peculiar 
fitness for the part. I am sorry to note, by-the-by, 
that Mr. Herbert Ross now grossly overdoes his 
sketch of Percy de Coburn, which so delighted us 
on the first night. 

* May 2 May 22. 



144 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

XXII. 
"THE HOME SECRETARY." 

i$th May. 

HARD measure, as it seems to me, has been meted 
out to The Home Secretary* at the Criterion. It has 
not been accepted for what it is, but attacked for 
what it is not. Its unreality and improbability have 
been dwelt upon, as though it in any way pretended 
to be real or probable. Mr. Carton has chosen to 
write a romance, and, instead of asking ourselves 
whether it is spirited and entertaining, we ask him, 
with asperity, what he means by writing a romance 
at all. Why look for qualities which the author 
renounces in the very title of his play? If he had 
aimed at an effect of reality, had wanted to "take us 
in " for a single moment, he would never have chosen 
a notoriously non-existent hero, and presented a set 
of events which, if they had ever happened, must 
necessarily be familiar to all of us, at least in outline. 
We allow the privileges of romance to the novelist; 
why should we deny them to the playwright? Mr. 
Anthony Hope, for instance, wishing to amuse our 
idleness with a tale of mystery, intrigue, and heroism, 
invents a kingdom and a royal family, pedigree and 

* May 7 July 20. Reproduced at Shaftesbury Theatre, 
October 21 November 13. 



" THE HOME SECRETARY." 145 

all, with a profusion of picturesque scenery and pro- 
perties, and writes The Prisoner of Zenda. We know 
very well that there is no such region as Ruritania, 
no such family as the Elphbergs, Red or Black nay, 
that the thing has not even typical truth as repre- 
senting some class of Continental principalities and 
rulers. It is, and we know it to be, a pure figment 
of the imagination; yet we do not cry out upon its 
"unreality," and treat Mr. Hope as a shamelessly 
mendacious person. On the contrary, we willingly 
join him in the game of make-believe which procures 
us three or four hours' forgetfulness of both reality 
and realism. It seems to me that if we had 
approached it in the right spirit, Mr. Carton's play 
might have afforded us somewhat similar pastime. 
Just as we know that there is no room on the map 
of Europe for Ruritania, so also do we know that 
there is no room in political history for the Right 
Hon. Duncan Trendel, M.P., her Majesty's Secretary 
of State for the Home Department. He is not even 
generalised from a wide observation of holders of 
that or any other office he does not in the least 
represent the type " Home Secretary," or even the 
type " Minister." He and his happenings are 
invented, or perhaps one should say compiled, to no 
other end but our entertainment. Mr. Carton may 
say with the Attic amateurs, " My true intent is all 

for your delight ; " and we, forgetful of the rebuke of 

10 



146 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Theseus, churlishly refuse to be entertained or to 
take any delight in the matter ! 

I say " we " in an impersonal sense, for personally 
I was entertained; and I am convinced that other 
simple souls would agree with me if the critics gave 
them half a chance. If one were asked to name 
the two perennially effective and popular figures of 
theatrical romance, one would reply without a 
moment's hesitation, "John Mildmay and Captain 
Swift " in other words, the impassive, long-headed, 
much-enduring, still-and-deep hero, and the polished, 
daring, picturesque criminal who lounges in the 
gilded saloons of the very society which is implac- 
ably leagued to hunt him down. Now I say it was 
a happy idea of Mr. Carton's to bring John Mildmay 
and Captain Swift together in one play. By making 
Mildmay a Minister he was enabled to work in a 
great deal of light and agreeable political badinage, 
quite as good as we have any right to expect on a 
stage from which serious political criticism is ex- 
cluded. And by making Captain Swift a deliberate 
and not merely an instinctive anarchist, an " advance 
agent for the millennium," he secured an opening for 
some effective rhetoric about social idealisms, with- 
out prejudice to the indispensable opportunities for 
making Hawkshaw the Detective tap the Captain 
on the shoulder, and say, " I wish I were as near my 
man as I am to you now," with other " little ironies " 



" THE HOME SECRETARY." 147 

of a like nature. Moreover, between Mildmay and 
Swift he was enabled to place a third figure of 
romance, not quite so old-established as these, but 
no less popular. This is the goddess-heroine, 
divinely tall and divinely intransigeant on ethical 
questions, who seems' to have been created for, if 
not by, the art of Miss Julia Neilson and her relative, 
Miss Lily Hanbury. Miss Hanbury led the way 
(if I remember rightly) with Lady Windermere, and 
Lady Marchant in A Bunch of Violets; but Miss 
Neilson holds the longer record with the Puritan 
maiden in A Woman of no Importance, the oppres- 
sive wife of the Ideal Husband, and now Mr. Carton's 
heroine. It is characteristic of this imposing per- 
sonage always to get herself into some scrape which 
casts a momentary shadow upon her fair fame; there- 
fore there was nothing to stand in the way of the 
strongly emotional situation which Mr. Carton re- 
quired for his last act. In brief, then, here was a 
romance containing all the well-tried ingredients of 
popular success, seasoned with a very pretty wit and 
a good deal of that facile satire upon social corruption 
now so much in vogue and yet we must needs 
quarrel with it, because, forsooth, it was "improb- 
able"! Quite seriously, I deplore this sudden 
solemnity on the part of the critics. If dramatists 
are to be denied the right to tell a patently and 
avowedly cock-and-bull story, using it as a vehicle 



148 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

for bright dialogue and airy social satire, they are 
cut off from one of the most fertile corners of the 
" scanty plot of ground " allowed them on the English 
stage. To my thinking, we should welcome and 
foster the dramatic romance or satiric melodrama a 
restful half-way house between the farce and the so- 
called problem play. It is full of possibilities, and 
affords ample room for imagination, humour, and 
delicate workmanship. These qualities, if not in 
their highest development, are by no means absent 
from Mr. Carton's work. When I remember that 
The Bauble Shop was greeted with acclamation on 
the same stage only two years ago, I ask myself 
whether it is our judgment that has ripened in the 
interval, or our temper that has soured. 

True it is that Mr. Carton has not put his romance 
together so deftly as he might have. One does not 
see why the possession of the traitor's letter should 
be of such overwhelming importance to Lecaile- 
Uangerfield. He might like to have a glance at the 
handwriting with a view to vengeance in the present 
and safety in the future. But we are led to believe 
that his chance of escape from the toils that are 
closing round him somehow depends on his posses- 
sion of that scrap of paper; and I rack my brains in 
vain to think how that can be. If the document 
contained the plan for his capture, one could under- 
stand it better; though even in that case it would 



"THE HOME SECRETARY." 149 

seem that, the existence of such a plan once known, 
the details mattered little, since Dangerfield could 
always baffle it for the moment by simply not doing 
what he would otherwise have done, and what the 
traitor must have counted on his doing. Mr. Carton 
may have in his mind very convincing reasons why 
his apostle of anarchy should stake everything on the 
possession of the paper, but he has sedulously kept 
them to himself; the result being that the great 
situation of the last act has a lugged-in air which 
does much to mar its effect. Then, again, Mr. 
Carton does not sufficiently eschew that obviousness 
of incident which audiences (first-night audiences, 
at any rate) have of late taken to resenting rather 
fiercely. To use Morris Lecaile's own metaphor 
(somewhat perilous as he introduces it), Mr. Carton 
is too apt to show his trumps before their time. 
When we see an open French-window, the despatch- 
box containing the fateful document right opposite it, 
as though ready to walk away of its own accord, and 
a high-backed arm-chair discreetly averting its face on 
the other side of the room, we anticipate at a glance 
the burglarious entrance of Lancelot Lecaile, while 
his stainless Guinevere lies latent in the chair. When, 
at last, in the fulness of time, all this duly occurs, we 
have grown tired of waiting for it, and can scarcely 
repress an "Ah!" of sarcastic satisfaction as the lady 
snuggles into her ambush, and the long-looked-for 



150 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

marauder tiptoes in at the inviting casement. " The 
art of the theatre," as M. Sarcey is never tired of 
quoting from M. Dumas, "is the art of preparations"; 
but there are very clear limits to the validity of this 
axiom, and over-preparation is certainly the most 
fatal of errors. That (among other things) was what 
wrecked the last act of Delia Harding. The clumsiest 
thing a dramatist can possibly do is to lay a long and 
elaborate train for the ignition of a squib. We take 
pleasure in an event which surprises and yet convinces 
us which we feel we ought to have foreseen. We 
scoff at an occurrence which nothing but our know- 
ledge of the tricks of the stage could possibly lead us 
to expect, yet which, knowing these tricks, we have 
foreseen from afar, and resented in anticipation. 

Mr. Carton's style has been a good deal criticised, 
not, certainly, without reason. His dialogue is a 
bewildering maze of metaphors; his tropes do tread 
upon each other's heels, so fast they follow. His 
Anarchist talks of "a chaos of blind justice and 
stagnant law," and remarks that " science has given 
to revolutionists the key of death, and they have 
turned it in the lock while all Europe stood trembling 
on the threshold." The Home Secretary says to his 
wife, "The estrangement you have built up between 
us has received its coping stone," and she informs 
him that she has " turned the lens of truth upon her 
own heart." and that "when he first gave her his 



"THE HOME SECRETARY." 151 

name she hung round it her garland of wild flowers." 
There is also an astonishing passage in which two 
statesmen, over their after-dinner cigarettes, talk for 
an interminable time in a sort of medical jargon, like 
doctors holding a post-mortem on the body politic. 
But this tropical luxuriance of imagery ought to be 
considered, not as an unredeemed defect, but as the 
excess of a quality. Mr. Carton has wit and imagina- 
tion, if only he would keep them in check; he has a 
style of his own, though at present an unchastened 
one. A quality in excess may always be corrected; a 
quality absent can seldom be acquired. Mr. Pinero 
was at one time- not so very long ago addicted to 
a similar redundance of metaphor; now even his 
detractors admit the nervous sobriety of his serious 
dialogue. 

Mr. Charles Wyndham is admirable as the Right 
Hon. John Mildmay, and Mr. Lewis Waller is 
sombrely romantic as Captain Lecaile-Swift. As 
the ideally virtuous Mrs. Trendel, Miss Julia Neilson 
appears, or rather reappears, in a character she has 
made her own; while Miss Mary Moore is rapidly 
making her own the class of flighty and irresponsible 
women of the world to which Mrs. Thorpe-Didsbury 
belongs. Why Mr. Brookfield should make this 
lady's " Prince Rupert ; ' so aggressively ill-mannered 
I cannot guess, but he succeeds in amusing the 
audience. Mr. Sydney Brough and Miss Maude 



152 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Millett play the indispensable turtle-doves very plea- 
santly, and Mr. D. S. James and Mr. De Lange 
contribute quaint character sketches. 



XXIII. 

"THE TRIUMPH OF THE PHILISTINES" THE SECOND 
MRS. EBBSMITH. 

2 2nd May, 

MR. HENRY ARTHUR JONES, it appears to me, is 
developing a manner, or rather experimenting in a 
new convention, feeling his way towards a new 
formula. The critics who have set their heart on 
a revival of comedy, as distinct from farce on the one 
hand and drama on the other, ought to keep a sympa- 
thetic eye upon him and hearten him on, judiciously 
chastening his errors, no doubt, yet with affection 
rather than asperity, with rods, not with scorpions. 
Personally, I am rather a heretic on the subject of 
comedy. I think there are far fewer comedies in the 
world than is generally supposed, most of the plays 
which pass under that name being essentially either 
dramas or farces. Still, one can conceive a satirico- 
sentimental treatment of life, fantastic, yet keeping 
on the hither limit of farce, to which the name of 
"comedy" might conveniently be appropriated; and 



"TRIUMPH OF THE PHILISTINES." 153 

it is towards this that Mr. Jones appears to be feeling 
or groping? his way. Whether he himself will be 
the man to perfect and, as it were, to fix the formula, 
depends on several eventualities. Mainly, one foresees, 
it depends on the question whether he can succeed in 
capturing that indefinable, elusive, and yet indis- 
pensable quality, distinction distinction of thought, 
distinction of style. As yet he is far enough from it 
rather further, perhaps, in The Triumph of the Philis- 
tines* than in The Crusaders. But he is full of aspiration 
and experimental ardour. He has achieved a position 
which gives him a free hand, and he will certainly not 
rest satisfied with repeating himself. It has been the 
facile fashion in several quarters to flaunt an indis- 
criminating and insolent contempt for all Mr. Jones's 
works and ways. Some day, perhaps, he may rejoice 
the hopeful among us, and surprise the scornful, by 
producing a work of really ingenious idea and con- 
sistently delicate workmanship. In the meantime, he 
is casting off the trammels of convention and imita- 
tion, and developing, as I have said, a distinct manner 
of his own. 

If you insist on getting down to the bed-rock 
of criticism or should one rather say skimming the 
surface? by forcing on me the crude question, 
"Do you like The Triumph of the Philistines?" I 
fear I must answer in the negative. It is amusing in 
* St. James's, May n June 19. 



154 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

the superficial sense of the word rather than in that 
deeper sense on which Mr. Jones himself is so fond 
of insisting. There is a distinctly comic idea in the 
intrusion of not only frank but rank Paganism, 
personified in the French model, into the grimly 
respectable atmosphere of Market-Pewbury; and as 
Sally Lebrune is played with infinite spirit, gusto, and 
delicacy (though the word may seem out of place) by 
Miss Juliette Nesville, the scenes in which she is 
engaged and she pretty well permeates the play 
become highly entertaining. But a play one likes is 
a play that either satisfies one's judgment or else 
possesses such charm, in spite of imperfections, that 
one would willingly see it again and yet again. Now 
I shall have no difficulty in keeping my feet from stray- 
ing in the direction of the St. James's Theatre during 
the run of The Triumph of the Philistines ; it is 
certainly not a play round which my thoughts linger 
lovingly; and, if it satisfies my judgment at all, it is in 
an oddly inverted sense which, at the risk of seeming 
wantonly paradoxical, 1 shall try to explain. 

What pleases me, then, in The Triumph of the 
Philistines is that it is such a gloriously ill-made play. 
There is not a rule of orthodox construction, there is 
scarcely a canon of mere common-sense, that it does 
not openly outrage. Let us look first at the technical 
audacities. From the point of view of mere story- 
telling, no principle is more clearly justified, or more 



"TRIUMPH OF THE PHILISTINES." 155 

universally admitted, than that loose ends must not be 
left hanging about that a thread of interest, once 
distinctly inwoven in the fabric, must not be suddenly 
broken off without fulfilling any definite function. 
Now, in Mr. Jones's play we have at least two such futile 
threads of interest. When a gentleman, on the stage, 
commits a deliberate illegality, an act for which he 
could be indicted and severely punished, we reason- 
ably expect to hear something more of it. Mr. Jorgan 
deliberately destroys Willie Hesseltine's picture, 
valued at ^200; our attention is concentrated on 
the proceeding in virtue of its position at the end of 
an act; we are left speculating on what is to come 
of it; and, behold ! nothing comes of it at all. The 
thing is a mere character-trait, a symptom of Jorgan's 
madness, and as such it is not ill-conceived; but 
there is no doubt that the late Monsieur Scribe would 
have held Mr. Jones's method of dealing with the 
matter scarcely less criminal than Mr. Jorgan's. 
Then again, the genius, Willie Hesseltine, is carefully 
introduced, is assigned a love-scene in the first act, 
and is altogether treated with the consideration due to 
a leading character; but at the beginning of the 
second act he goes off to Rome, and is henceforth 
" out of the saga." His function is simply to do the 
artistic patter; and when Mr. Jones thinks we have 
had enough of that, he is dismissed in a turn of the 
hand. I am far from objecting; indeed, I think he is 



156 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

better out of the way; but he himself might complain, 
in the words of the baby's epitaph, 

" Since so quickly I was done for, 
I wonder what I was begun for ' 

and begun, too, on so large and handsome a scale. 
And not only are single strands thus arbitrarily 
broken off the whole yarn is left at a ragged end. 
The curtain falls on Mile. Lebrune "springing on 
Jorgan's neck," and crying, " Ah ! you are all I have 
in the world ! " to the horror and amazement of the 
assembled Philistines. Thus the plot, as it were, 
begins all over again, and the history of morals in 
Market-Pewbury is left half told. If we feel any 
interest at all in the matter, we want to know whether 
Mr. Jorgan did or did not continue to throw dust in 
the eyes of his fellow-townsmen, did or did not come 
forth from the Venusberg without a stain on his 
character. Mr. Jones does not even end with a note 
of interrogation, but rather with a " To be continued 
in our next." Furthermore, we are supposed to take 
a tender interest in a pair of lovers who have had 
never a love-scene to set our interest agoing. They 
are introduced to each other in the first act, and we 
shrewdly suspect (for in the theatre we are all in- 
veterate matchmakers) that they are 'going to fall in 
love; but we have not the smallest positive evidence 
of the fact before we find, in the second act, that 



"TRIUMPH OF THE PHILISTINES." 157 

misunderstandings have arisen, and the lady declines 
to look at the gentleman. Miss Elliott Page, who 
plays Mrs. Suleny, has been severely blamed for 
failing to enlist our sympathies in this romance; and 
indeed her performance, though charming at some 
points, seemed at others to be marred by a touch 
of self-consciousness. But the ineffectiveness of the 
character was not her fault, but the author's. No 
actress can make much of a love-part which, up to 
the very last moment, is all suspicion and jealousy. 
Fancy Romeo and Juliet with the love-scenes omitted, 
" by special request " ! Mr. Jones, it is true, does 
give us a love-scene in the first act but between the 
wrong couple. In short, he has lost no opportunity of 
flouting the P'rench theory of the well-made play as 
wantonly as his minx-heroine flouts the British theory 
of the well-made life. 

And if he snaps his fingers at technical maxims, to 
material probabilities he pays even less regard. It 
would be idle to dwell upon the absurdity of the 
whole action of the Market-Pewbury Witenagemot 
with reference to Willie Hesseltine's Bacchante. That, 
of course, is only Mr. Jones's fun that represents the 
element of fantasy, of wilful departure from, one 
might almost say allegorisation of, prosaic fact, which 
belongs, and rightly belongs, to the comedy-formula 
after which Mr. Jones is striving. I cannot think 
that, in this case, his fantasy has been happily 



158 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

inspired: his satire strikes me as ugly, shallow, and 
bitter; but I recognise the intention, while regretting 
the execution. It is very doubtful, on the other 
hand, whether the exceeding tenuity of the intrigue 
can be defended on the same grounds. The attempt 
to blackmail Sir Valentine and drive him out of 
Market-Pewbury is the wildest invention conceivable. 
There is not an atom of evidence to connect him 
with Mile. Lebrune and her frocks: and if there 
were, what on earth need a man in Sir Valentine's 
position care for the tittle-tattle of the market-town 
that happens to lie on or near his estate ? He can 
easily put himself right with the woman he loves (it 
was the feebleness of his attempt to do so that some- 
what strained the patience of the audience in the last 
act) ; and for the rest, he can let " public feeling in 
Market-Pewbury" run as high as it pleases without 
giving the matter a second thought. He is neither 
standing for Parliament nor ambitious of shining in 
Market-Pewbury society. Mr. Jones, if I mistake 
not, has more than once lamented Ibsen's preoccupa- 
tion with the " parochial " poiltics of petty Norwegian 
villages; but here we have him (unconsciously, no 
doubt) transplanting a Norwegian village to the 
English Midlands, where it simply does not exist. 
In one of the small coast-towns of Norway a scandal 
may very easily lead to the boycotting and practical 
ruin of a Consul Bernick or a Doctor Stockmann; 



"TRIUMPH OF THE PHILISTINES." 159 

but when was the moral indignation of the local 
tradesmen known to drive into exile an English 
squire with a rent-roll of ^15,000 a year? The 
thing is preposterous; it transcends the limits of 
legitimate fantasy, for it no longer bears even a 
fantastic relation to real life. And, if it did, I think 
Mr. Jones will find, when he has perfected his 
formula, that the fantastic element must not be 
allowed to intrude itself, at any rate as a determining 
factor, into the serious interest. 

Here, then, we have a play which, intentionally 
and unintentionally, transgresses all the rules, not 
only of convention but of reason, for arousing and 
holding the interest of an audience. Yet it does 
(except for a few moments in the last act) hold the 
interest of the audience very effectually. How is 
this to be explained? Well, I think and this is 
the "inverted sense" in which the play satisfies my 
judgment I think it interests people because its 
whole aim and effort is intellectual, not technical. 
Through all its audacities and perversities of form, 
we feel the workings of a mind which is striving to 
think and utter its thought, instead of simply to pass 
two hours and a half in the more or less skilful re- 
telling of some empty and purposeless old story. 
The play, in short, exists in and for its criticism 
of life generally a somewhat eager, shallow, and 
stridulous criticism, but now and then really vivacious 



l6-0 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895.. 

and penetrating. A good play it certainly is not; by 
strict rule it might even be set down as a singularly 
bad play. All the more clearly does it prove that 
even the British public has reached the point of 
preferring a bad play which means something, to 
an adroit play which means nothing. Therefore I 
welcome it. 

There are in reality only two acting-parts in the 
play the minx and the moral madman. Of Miss 
Nesville I have already spoken. Mr. Waring, as 
Jorgan, made a gallant struggle with what might 
have been, but was not, a great part. It was not 
Mr. Waring's fault that an essentially tragic character 
had to be for ever lapsing into the merely grotesque. 
Can anything be more truly and deeply tragic than 
the struggle between the senses and the conscience 
in a narrow and fanatical nature? "That way 
madness lies;" and Mr. Jones has half-recognised 
the fact in the picture-stabbing and several other 
touches. Perhaps he may yet draw at full length 
the Puritan Jack-the-Ripper of whom he has here 
given us only a hesitating sketch. The serious side 
of the figure is, of course, at variance with the comic 
intrigue, to which it is systematically sacrificed. 
Jorgan has not that first requisite of a credible 
character a consistent moral self-consciousness. 
Sometimes he is the self-deceiving hypocrite, more 
often the vulgar Tartuffe; so that Mr. Waring, even 



THE SECOND MRS. EBBSMITH. 



161 



if he had more thoroughly concealed his native 
refinement and assumed the grossness of the person- 
age, could not possibly have made a convincing 
character of him. Mr. Alexander, as Sir Valentine, 
plays with grace and ease what is little more than a 
walking-gentleman's part; Mr. Esmond is good in 
one of the fantastic characters which are becoming 
his speciality; Lady Monckton is admirable as 
the worldly-wise Lady Beauboys; and the Market- 
Pewbury grotesques are cleverly sketched by Mr. 
James Welch, Mr. E. M. Robson, and Mr. Ernest 
Hendrie. The episode of Miss Angela Soar, by the 
way, should be promptly eliminated. It is childishly 
cheap and conventional a piece of pre-Pickwickian 
caricature. 

Miss Olga Nethersole deserves all credit for a 
meritorious effort to think out and embody the 
character of Mrs. Ebbsmith.* But her effort is 
practically nullified in fairness to author and actress 
alike one is bound to speak frankly by an extreme 
staginess of method, entirely foreign to the character, 
and to every character of really subtle composition. 
A style of acting which may be suitable enough, and 
even indispensable, in "star" parts of the Sardou 
and early Dumas type, is flagrantly out of place in 
characters of an intellectual, rather than a specifically 
emotional, order. You cannot work a hundred-ton 

* See p. 76. 

II 



1 62 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

gun on board a torpedo-boat. In the first two acts, 
Miss Nethersole's comprehension of the part was 
clearer than Mrs. Patrick Campbell's. She showed 
a genuine artistic spirit in "lying low" for the great 
contrast when she appears, as the Duke of St. 
Olpherts might put it, " unclothed and in her right 
mind." Her masses of hair, bunched round her face 
like George Eliot's in the well-known portrait, her 
ungainly gowns, the stern gracelessness of her move- 
ments and occupations, all denoted a sincere effort to 
realise the author's intention, and impress us with the 
eccentricities of " Mad Agnes." In the scene with 
the Duke she really and rightly lapsed into her 
platform manner, and " Trafalgar-squared " him to 
some purpose. Mrs. Campbell had very obviously 
never been on a platform in her life. Moreover, 
Mrs. Campbell, by her comparative coolness, kept 
herself entirely on the adversary's level, and fenced 
with him as equal with equal, so that we felt it to be 
a drawn battle. Miss Nethersole, by losing her self- 
control, practically gave him the victory, and we 
realised that she must feel the necessity of calling 
up her reserve forces if she was, after all, to hold her 
own. Thus the transformation-scene was much more 
clearly motived, and in itself much more effective. 
Miss Nethersole did actually put off the "dowdy 
demagogue " and put on the beautiful woman. Mrs. 
Campbell never put off the beautiful woman, and 



THE SECOND MRS. EBBSMITH. 163 

when the time for the transformation came, suc- 
ceeded only in putting on a less becoming gown. 
Briefly, then, in the first two acts Miss Nethersole 
seemed to me to interpret the author's intention 
more clearly than her predecessor, though already 
one regretted her artificiality of method. In the 
third act, unfortunately, staginess took the upper 
hand, to the total destruction of the character. The 
Bible scene seemed to me one of the most painful 
pieces of over-acting I ever witnessed, grotesquely 
disproportionate to the matter in hand, and radically 
inartistic whatever the matter might have been. I 
am bound to add, however, that it was much ap- 
plauded. Mr. Hare, a consummate artist, is better 
than ever as the Duke of St. Olpherts; but Mr. 
Forbes Robertson seems to have lost all interest in 
Lucas Cleeve. It is true that the part is not really 
in his line; but that is a poor reason for carica- 
turing it. 



164 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

XXIV. 
THE DEFEAT OF THE PURITANS. 

The New Budget, 2yd May. 

THE title of Mr. Henry Arthur Jones's new comedy, 
The Triumph of the Philistines, has, I think, been 
misunderstood. It has been hastily assumed that 
Messrs. Jorgan, Pote, Blagg, Modlin, Skewett, Wapes, 
and Corby, the civic fathers of Market-Pewbury, are 
the persons indicated by the nickname; whereupon it 
is acutely objected that they are not Philistines, and 
that they do not triumph. Of course not; they are 
Puritans, not Philistines, and they are "scored off" 
every time, as Puritanism is apt to be in this much- 
maligned country of ours. That is where Mr. Jones 
shows his superior insight. He knows that, except 
in one or two age-old strongholds, such as Sabba- 
tarianism, th^ Puritans are getting the worst of it all 
along the line, and the Philistines are riding rough- 
shod over them. Who, then, are the Philistines in 
this instance? Why, clearly Sir Valentine Fellowes, 
Lady Beauboys, Mrs. Suleny, and Willie Hesseltine. 
Mr. Jones is not the dupe of that blundering antithesis 
between "artist" and "Philistine." He knows that 
the artist-Philistine is the deadliest of his tribe 
unless it be the art-patron-Philistine, with his " com- 
fortable little fifteen thousand a year," as that arrant 



THE DEFEAT OF THE PURITANS. 165 

snob, Sir Valentine, smugly phrases it. How Mr. 
Jones must marvel at our density ! He re-tells the 
story of Samson and Delilah, and we must needs go 
and set down Samson-Jorgan as the Philistine, and 
Delilah-Lebrune as one of the Chosen People ! 
Heavens and earth ! where are our Bibles ? I am 
sure the pagan Mrs. Ebbsmith, even before she 
plucked the Bible out of the stove, could have 
told us that Delilah was the Philistine, and not 
Samson. 

What a Philistine idea, for instance, to think of 
painting a Bacchante from a pert little French gutter- 
snipe, or, as Charles Lamb puts it, " one of those 
little tawdry things that flirt at the tails of choruses"! 
" I won't change a rag, or a ribbon, or a button of 
her," cries the Philistine in velveteen, "to save an 
empire from perdition !" What on earth has a 
Bacchante to do with ribbons and buttons? Are 
her hooks-and-eyes and safety-pins equally sacred 
from change? No wonder Mr. Jones prefers to 
leave to our imagination this Bacchante of the 
Moulin Rouge. In what clear and masterly strokes, 
too, is the Philistinism of Sir Valentine and Lady 
Beauboys indicated. " Let every man do exactly as 
he pleases," says Sir Valentine, ." because when he's 
doing what he pleases he's doing what Nature tells 
him to do, and that must be right. Why should I 
set myself up to be wiser than Nature?" And, again, 



1 66 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

" I've never been ashamed of being a man, or wanted 
Nature to alter the whole course of her physiological 
economy to suit my convenience." Could anything 
be plainer than this ? It completes the picture to a 
nicety, balancing against the Philistine who prates 
about Art with a big A, the still more intolerable 
Philistine who rants about Nature with a big N. 
And this shallow, optimistic Anarchism, this com- 
placent double-shuffle with three or four different 
meanings of the word "nature," some of us have 
actually taken for Mr. Jones's personal philosophy! 
Truly, I think he has reason to complain of us. 
Why should we accuse him of wantonly playing with 
the flint and steel of sophistry in the powder-vaults 
that underlie civilisation ? 

Mark, now, the enlightened sympathy with which 
he treats his Puritans, so foolishly mistaken for 
Philistines. He does not dissemble their ridiculous- 
ness, for Puritanism is ridiculous, and Mr. Jones is 
nothing if not candid. He even goes out of his way 
to show how cruelly they have been handicapped by 
Sir Valentine's friend, Nature. Jorgan has a " drab 
complexion, with black speckles, and stubby reddish- 
brown hair." Skewett is " a little, sniffing, rasping 
man, with mean, irregular features badly arranged 
round a formidable, bent, broken, red beak of a 
nose." Wapes is "a large, flabby, sleepy man, with 
a rolling walk, bandy legs, no neck to speak of ... 



THE DEFEAT OF THE PURITANS. l6/ 

and a very weak, wheezy, crackling voice." Corby 
has "ginger whiskers, bright red hair, and a little 
snub nose." Pote is a "mangy, smirking little man" 
with "weak, watery eyes." Men so hideously mal- 
treated by Nature may very naturally resent the yoke 
of the flesh; but, in spite of all their disadvantages, 
what fine, courageous, disinterested fellows Mr. Jones 
shows them to be ! Here it is that the broad 
humanity of the true artist makes itself felt. In 
this respect, Shakespeare himself might take a lesson 
from Mr. Jones. Shakespeare, the Stratford parvenu, 
has nothing but contempt for the "greasy citizen," 
malodorous, cowardly, fickle, sycophantic. To Shake- 
speare that one thing human was alien, perhaps 
because he was in reality so closely akin to it. Mr. " 
Jones is subject to no such limitation. He can do 
justice to the dignity and heroism even of the lower- 
middle-class Puritan. 

Yes, they are noble fellows, these shopkeepers of 
Market-Pewbury. Their little town is overshadowed 
by a local magnate, Sir Valentine Fellowes, Bart., with 
his comfortable little ;i 5,000 a year. He is, we are 
told, "the chief owner of property in the town" ; he 
chuckles over the prospect of raising the rent of a lady 
with whose opinions he disagrees ; in short, one would 
fancy that a visitor to Market-Pewbury might find 
occasion to alter a single word in Burns's " Epigram 
on a Visit to Inverary," and say : 



1 68 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

" Whoe'er he be that sojourns here 

I pity much his case, 
Unless he crawl to wait upon 
The Lord their God, his Grace." 

But do these tradesmen cringe and crawl to their 
landlord, the owner of the local "great house"? 
Not a bit of it ! They are sturdily independent and 
conscientiously offensive to him. They care not a 
straw though he withdraws his custom and deals at 
the Stores. They tell him that " the more he knows 
them, the less he'll like them." They inform him, not 
without a sneer, that they "expect him to set them 
a pattern of moral respectability." Seeing him give 
a ;io note to a young woman in whom they neither 
have, nor pretend to have, the slightest interest, they 
fiercely demand "an explanation." The butcher 
habitually treats the baronet " very aggressively," the 
upholsterer takes not the slightest trouble to upholster 
his manners towards him. In short, they are models 
of the free and independent Briton, and utterly 
regardless of their worldly interests where principle is 
at stake. They are " village Hampdens " to a man. 

Note, now, their enthusiasm for the cause of 
purity. They hear that in a private house there exists 
a picture which led the butcher's boy, on witnessing it, 
to exclaim, " Oh crikey and Jeeroosalem, ain't she a 
stunner J" Thereupon they instantly "demand" to 
see it, and having been permitted to do so, they 



THE DEFEAT OF THE PURITANS. 169 

express their intention of holding a public meeting 
" to demand its instant destruction." Is not this 
admirable ! They have not a shred of law or reason 
on their side; they may "demand" till they are not 
only "speckled" but black in the face, and no one 
need pay the smallest attention to them; but they are 
inflexible in the performance of what they think their 
duty, though it cannot have the slightest effect beyond 
the further exasperation of the lord of the manor, who 
is a friend of the painter, and has, indeed, bought the 
picture. Finally, one of them, the intrepid Jorgan, 
actually risks incurring heavy damages, if not a turn of 
the treadmill, in order to sweep the abomination from 
the face of the earth. Whatever may be the cause, I 
say that such heroic self-devotion ennobles it. We 
may be a nation of shopkeepers; but Mr. Jones has 
shown that even in Market-Pewbury the claims of the 
till are sternly subordinated to those of the ideal. 

And they are splendidly charitable, these narrow- 
minded but large-hearted Britons. They are found- 
ing a truly palatial home for the orphans of workers in 
the leading industry of the town the Boot and Shoe 
and Closed Uppers trade. Mr. Jorgan is himself, it 
would seem, a leading employer in this industry 
how grandly he recognises the duties of his position ! 
How different from the Gradgrind and Bounderby of 
mid-century lampoons ! How he shames that arch- 
Philistine Sir Valentine, who swaggers about his 



170 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

^15,000 a year, and assaults a man of half his weight 
who asks for a subscription to the Orphanage ! Mr. 
Jones has perhaps carried his satire a little too far at 
this point. Sir Valentine, in real life, would probably 
salve his conscience by giving back to the Orphans 
some trifle of what he has ground out of their parents 
for the privilege of existing on his domain. He must 
recognise, too, that Nature prompts the Orphans to 
eat bread and treacle, and what Nature tells an 
Orphan to do must be right. Of course he may reply 
that, without prejudice to the Orphans' right to eat 
bread and treacle if they can get it, his Nature prompts 
him to consume other and more costly delicacies, to 
which end he keeps his money in his pocket. Where- 
upon it must be pointed out to him that their Nature 
may one day impel the Orphans, who, after all, are in 
an increasing majority, to rebel against even Mr. Jorgan's 
dole of bread and treacle, and help themselves to Sir 
Valentine's tit-bits. Thus society would be comfort- 
ably reduced to the state of primitive savagery to 
which Sir Valentine's ethical system must "naturally" 
conduct us. 

But after all such is the bitter worldly-wisdom of 
Mr. Jones's tragi-comedy it is the Philistines that 
triumph, and Puritanism, in the person of its foremost 
champion, that is put to public shame. You know 
the story it is as old as Samson, as old as Adam. It 
is so painful and humiliating that Mr. Jones, who 



THE DEFEAT OF THE PURITANS. I?[ 

loves not to look into "the dark places of the soul," 
prefers to treat it symbolically. He shows us no 
temptation-scene, no gradual lapse from righteousness. 
He symbolises all the seductions of Eve-Delilah in a 
minx's wink ! " The female winked at me, and I fell " 
in these eight words Mr. Jorgan might sum up his 
tragedy. But if Mr. Jones spares us the details of his 
fall, he is ruthless in depicting the moral and even 
intellectual ruin that ensues from it. Apart from its 
turpitude, did ever crazier notion enter the mind of 
man than the scheme of the fallen Jorgan for passing 
off his temptress upon Sir Valentine ! It is a conspiracy 
to blackmail, which has not the remotest chance of 
success, since there is not a particle of evidence to 
support it. A Philistine Sir Valentine is, and a very 
flimsy philosopher, but an imbecile he is not; and in 
making Mr. Jorgan assume him to be one, Mr. Jones 
subtly indicates the total degeneration of mental fibre 
produced even in a noble nature by the virus of 
passion. Of course the Philistine triumphs, without 
turning a hair, over such a weak invention of the 
enemy; and the curtain falls upon "Jorgan's face, 
ghastly with terror, seen above Sally's arms, which 
are tightly clasped round his neck." 

" C'est Venus toute entiere a sa proie attachee." 

A profoundly melancholy, infinitely suggestive drama, 
filling us with an awe-stricken sense of the mystery 



172 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

that enwraps the moral government of the universe. 
The lips smile, but the heart is stirred to its depths. 



XXV. 

" FEDORA." 

2gtk May. 

Ax last we are in a position to form something like a 
reasoned appreciation of the talent of Mrs. Patrick 
Campbell. Hitherto, since her leap into fame, she 
has appeared either in parts which obviously interested 
her very little Dulcie Larondie and Kate Cloud 
or in Mr. Pinero's undemonstrative and analytic 
characters, which she created in close co-operation 
with the author, making herself, as it were, a delicate 
instrument under his touch. In these parts we had 
no standard by which to judge her, not only because 
she was the first to perform them, but because the 
order of effects attainable in them was in great 
measure new and unfamiliar. All we could say with 
certainty was that in this peculiar style of part she 
displayed a peculiar and fascinating personality. Now, 
in Fedora* she has grappled with a great "acting 
part " of the ordinary emotional type. We know quite 
well what effects the author intended and by what 

* Haymarket, May 25 July 20. Towards the end of the 
run ill-health compelled Mrs. Campbell to relinquish the part, 
and it was played by Mrs. Beerbohm Tree. 



" FEDORA." 173 

methods they are to be attained. No novelty of 
subject, no intellectual interest, distracts attention 
from what may be called the sheer mimetics of 
the performance the realisation and expression of 
Fe'dora's states of feeling. Some of us, no doubt, can 
actually compare Mrs. Campbell, point by point, with 
her predecessors in the character Sarah Bernhardt, 
Mrs. Bernard Beere, and Eleonora Duse. This I 
cannot do. I have a deplorably bad memory for 
details of acting positions, business, intonations, and 
so forth. Beyond the general impression produced 
by these actresses, I remember nothing at all of their 
performances ; and for once this obliviousness is 
almost an advantage, since it assures me that, where I 
dissent from Mrs. Campbell's reading of the part, I 
am not simply quarrelling with her originality. 

Of her great popular success there can be no doubt. 
The majority of the audience was genuinely delighted, 
and even the minority was conquered by her wonder- 
ful physical charm. This is the first time that Mrs. 
Campbell has appeared in one of those cosmopolitan 
parts in which great sumptuousness of costume is 
permissible. Neither Paula Tanqueray nor even the 
new-gowned Agnes Ebbsmith can possibly dress like 
Sarah Bernhardt in all her glory; the Princess Fedora 
Romazoff can and must. From the moment of Mrs. 
Campbell's first entrance it was clear that Sarah 
Bernhardt had found a rival in the art of wearing 



174 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

clothes. It would be difficult to imagine a more 
superb picture than the Fedora of the opening scene, 
her tall willowy figure divined amid the ample folds 
of a flowing white garment, indescribable in my poor 
masculine vocabulary. It is whispered to me that 
Mrs. Campbell's gowns are by no means irreproach- 
able from the expert that is to say, the feminine 
point of view ; but if the art of feminine attire be 
to charm the masculine sense, I can only offer my 
unqualified homage to Mrs. Campbell's dressmakers. 
Throughout the play, her figure, when at rest, is a 
delight to the eye. Her walk, on the other hand, 
cannot be called graceful; she patters rather than 
sails along ; but the little suggestion of helplessness 
in the movement is far from unpleasing. There is a 
certain helplessness, too, a childishness, in her diction, 
which, though it harmonised better with the petulance 
of Paula Tanqueray than with Fedora's masculine 
decision, is by no means without its charm. Mrs. 
Campbell's method of voice production is defective ; 
it costs her an effort to make herself audible through- 
out the theatre; but her enunciation, her articu- 
lation, is curiously precise and beautiful. She speaks 
English almost like a highly accomplished foreigner, 
perfectly familiar with the language, yet afraid to take 
the slightest liberties with it. She seldom permits 
herself an elision. " I'm," " it's," " you're," she will 
hardly ever say; always "I am," ''it is," "you are." 






FEDORA. 175 

She gives to every syllable its value and more than 
its value, with a tendency to make short vowels long, 
and long vowels longer. Short "i," especially, she 
pronounces almost like a Frenchwoman. "I do not 
shreenk from heem ; " " My hand would have drawn 
eetself away had he been geeltee of Vladimir's death." 
One imagines that Mrs. Campbell must have had to 
fight against defective articulation at the outset of her 
career, and so acquired an almost laboured nicety of 
utterance. The effect is not sufficiently marked to 
be really foreign ; I should rather call it pleasantly 
exotic. Peculiar and pretty it certainly is. 

The new Fedora, then, brings to her task all possible 
charms for the eye and the ear. Does she bring the 
imagination which realises, and the art which ex- 
presses, the intensities and complexities of emotion 
through which this woman passes? The answer, it 
seems to me, must, on the whole, be in the negative. 
As yet one must not speak as though the possibilities 
of Mrs. Campbell's art were defined and exhausted 
as yet she possesses a very limited impersonative 
power. So much of Fe'dora as she finds in herself 
she does not fail to express; but she cannot enlarge 
or transform herself. She speaks the words of the 
part without a complete realisation of their emotional 
groundwork, or of their theatrical possibilities. Her 
intonations are never inspired by a deep identification 
of herself with the character. She is always endea- 



1/6 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

vouring to act Fedora; never, except perhaps in the 
last scene, does she succeed in letting Fedora act 
her, enter into, possess, and govern her. Even where 
she finds adequate expression for the surface emotion 
of a particular speech or passage, she has no power 
of realising, or making us realise, the larger under- 
current of emotion which is almost always present in 
this character. In the first act, for example, it is 
only when anxiety is the dominant feeling of the 
moment that she is anxious at all. The fever of 
suspense which should underlie the whole scene, and 
for which the investigation of the crime serves as a 
mere safety-valve, is very insufficiently indicated, or 
not at all. This act, indeed, seemed to me the most 
imperfectly realised of the four. Even in the opening 
scene with Desire, one missed the Princess in Fedora. 
She conversed with the French valet almost as with 
an equal. After the dying Vladimir has been brought 
home, speech after speech fell unreal and unconvincing 
on the ear. "Ah, help, help! Bring me linen 
water!" "Well, doctor, tell me!" "Where is the 
murderer?" "No, there is nothing there" (as she 
searches the drawer) in none of these phrases did 
Mrs. Campbell seem to me to catch the right accent, 
to speak with the true note of overmastering agitation. 
Even her rage had a touch of pettiness, of scolding, 
in it. The mere theatrical opportunities, too, she 
missed. There is a passage where, after a vehement 



" FEDORA." 



177 



declamation, she turns to the boy Dmitri with an 
eager question, "Yes, yes his name?" Here she 
entirely slurred the effect of sudden transition which 
the author evidently designed. Fedora's long speech 
at the window became, in Mrs. Campbell's hands, 
a mere interruption to the dramatic action, a sort of 
elocutionary set-piece, instead of a carrying-forward 
of the tense emotion of the scene. In short I speak 
for myself alone there was not a single point in the 
whole act where Mrs. Campbell succeeded in making 
the character and the situation real and present to me. 
The second act was better, because, up to the close, 
the emotions are neither so vehement nor so complex. 
Some phrases Mrs. Campbell spoke admirably, such 
as "That is myself," where she is telling Siriex of 
Ipanoff s devotion to her. Her by-play on the sofa, 
when she is waiting for Ipanoff to begin his confession, 
is excellently imagined, and there are many clever 
touches throughout the act. On the other hand, she 
made nothing at all of the passage in which Siriex 
questions her as to whether she wishes to find Ipanoff 
guilty, and very little of the pretty speech, "And then 
comes reason to say ' Who knows ? ' and love to say 
1 What matter ? ' " by which she explains away her 
outburst of horror when Loris confesses to having 
killed Vladimir. In the third act, the reading of the 
letters was totally unrealised and commonplace ; the 
outburst, "Am I listening to the most ill-starred or 

12 



1/8 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

most infamous of men ? " had an air of sheer ill- 
temper rather than of agonised bewilderment; and 
in the phrase " Kill him, and her too ! " Mrs. Camp- 
bell for once (and once only, I hasten to add) touched 
the confines of the ludicrous. The flatness of the 
great scene at the end of the third act was probably 
not altogether Mrs. Campbell's fault. Mr. Tree is 
a notoriously uncertain first-night actor, and I fancy 
(though I do not absolutely know) that some slight 
failure of memory on his part led to unintentional 
pauses and repetitions. Whatever the reason, at all 
events, the scene flagged and faltered terribly, instead 
of working up to a very whirlwind of apprehension 
and passion. Mrs. Campbell's fourth act was by far 
her best. Her change of countenance while Siriex 
was telling of the death of Valerian Ipanoff was 
singularly fine, and throughout the act her facial 
expression was excellent. This act, too,, is largely 
a silent act for Fedora. She has only one very simple 
emotion to portray a set and passive despair. Even 
in her appeals to Loris at the close her hypothetical 
excuses for the unknown traitress there is no need 
for vehemence or conviction, for hope is dead in her. 
Tigerish passion and imperious will are here replaced 
by a broken, clinging, almost voiceless, desperation, 
which is well within Mrs. Campbell's range. Her 
death-scene, too, was handled with excellent tact, and 
was highly effective. 



" FEDORA." 



1/9 



Taking the performance all round, then, I should 
say that Mrs. Campbell has not as yet either the 
imagination or the executive power of an actress 
of the first order. She neither lived the character 
as Duse (mistakenly to my mind) attempted to do, 
nor did she, like Sarah Bernhardt and Mrs. Bernard 
Beere, act it "for all it was worth." She had the 
discretion to attempt too little rather than too 
much, and went through the play gracefully and 
agreeably, now and then hitting on a just intonation, 
but, as a rule, neither realising for herself nor con- 
veying to us anything like the full depth and strength 
of Fedora's emotions. It was the hind trying to play 
the panther. The applause, it seems to me, was 
due partly to the inherent strength of the situations, 
mainly to the extraordinary beauty and elegance of 
the actress's personality. 

Mr. Tree was vivid and effective as Ipanoff (his 
first entrance was admirably managed), and Mr. 
Nutcombe Gould played Jean de Siriex with ease and 
grace. Mrs. Bancroft's Countess Soukareff was as 
delightful as ever, and was welcomed by the audience 
with the enthusiasm of affection. 



ISO THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

XXVI. 

V 

SIR HENRY IRVING. 

The New Budget^ $oth May. 

WE may congratulate ourselves rather than Sir Henry 
Irving on his having at last won for his profession 
that official honour which carries such weight in the 
estimation of the British public. I remarked last 
week, not altogether in earnest, and yet not wholly 
in jest, that Puritanism is being beaten all along the 
line. What I then said in my haste, we may now, it 
appears, repeat at our leisure. Certainly Puritanism 
has received no more decisive facer for many a day 
than this public recognition of the worthiness and 
utility of the actor's calling. In a sense, of course, it 
is a personal triumph for Mr. Irving. There is about 
his whole individuality a certain native distinction to 
which many great actors of the past could lay no 
claim. He has long been recognised as a man of 
such essential and, so to speak, inward dignity that 
no outward dignity could possibly misbecome him. 
But we may be sure that Mr. Irving himself values 
more than his personal triumph the victory gained for 
his profession. It is not as an individual exception, 
but simply as the foremost representative of a great 
art, that he will wear for many a year (we may trust) 
his well-won knighthood. 



"THE PRUDE'S PROGRESS." 181 

XXVII. 

"THE PRUDE'S PROGRESS'' "GISMONDA." 



une. 

THERE are plays which matter and plays which don't; 
and Messrs. Jerome and Philpott's new comedy, The 
Prude's Progress* belongs conspicuously to the latter 
class. To say so is not to condemn but simply to 
classify it. There are bad plays that matter, and 
good, or at any rate amusing, plays that don't it is 
a question, not of absolute merit, but of relation to 
the tendencies of theatrical life. Now Mr. Jerome's 
play stands in no relation whatever to theatrical life, 
and in no very definite relation to any other sort of 
life. It is neither realistic nor fantastic, neither 
simple nor complicated, neither old nor new. Pro- 
gressive it certainly is not, nor is it precisely reaction- 
ary; perhaps "moderate" would be about the word 
for it. It is satirical and yet irrelevant, "up to date" 
and yet an anachronism. It is comparatively enter- 
taining and superlatively insignificant. 

The authors tell three distinct stories two senti- 
mental and one comic. Nelly Morris loves Jack 
Medbury, but for the sake of her poverty-stricken 
brother engages herself to the middle-aged and well- 

* Comedy Theatre, May 23. Transferred to Terry's, July 29 
September 14. 



1 82 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

to-do Adam Cherry. But the middle-aged Adam 
finds out before it is too late that she does not love 
him, and nobly hands her over to his rival. That 
is Story No. i. Ted Morris, the impecunious brother" 
of the self-sacrificing Nelly, loves Primrose Deane 
(there's a name for you ! how fragrant ! how idyllic! 
how vernal !). But Primrose Deane is an heiress, so 
the high-minded Ted cannot think of proposing to 
her. She pretends she has lost all her money: he 
falls into the trap and proposes; and, finding that he 
has been duped, reluctantly consents to pocket his 
pride and her fortune. That is Story No. 2. Ben 
Dixon is a County Councillor and member of the 
Vigilance Association which means that, from the 
Jerome point of view, he is a hypocrite and scoundrel. 
A philanthropic financier, he fleeces every one he 
comes across : a Puritan of the straitest sect, he goes 
to the Aquarium, gets drunk, and insults one of 
the performers; a shining light of moral reform, he 
deserts a poor wife and bigamously marries a rich 
one. Being finally shown up and forced to abscond, 
he is permitted by his victims to carry off the bulk of 
his spoils, if only he will refund a sum of ^4000, 
filched from Ted and Nelly Morris, and thereby 
enable the two pairs of lovers to get married in 
comfort and dignity. That is Story No. 3. If you 
like this order of sentiment, this strain of satire, the 
play will certainly entertain you; for the dialogue 



"THE PRUDE'S PROGRESS." 183 

abounds in clever touches of quasi-American humour, 
and the acting is capital of its kind. Mr. Cyril 
Maude's portrait of Ben Dixon is a genuine piece of 
comedy; in the second Mrs. Dixon, Miss Fanny 
Brough finds one of those ebullient staccato characters 
in which she most rejoices; Mr. Righton makes of 
Adam Cherry a pleasant Dickensish grotesque; and 
the juvenile interest is fairly sustained by Miss Lena 
Ashwell, Miss Ettie Williams, Mr. Arthur Playfair, 
Mr. Ernest Leicester, and Mr. W. T. Lovell. At an 
early stage in the proceedings, by the way, the two 
last-named gentlemen make a compact of brother- 
hooda Bloomsbury, not an Oxford, compact. " 1 
think this occasion demands a drink," says one of 
them, and they pledge their fraternity in methylated 
spirit. Now, are these oaths of brotherhood really 
sworn in this country and century ? I have heard a 
good many oaths in my time, but never that one. 
The practice is vouched for by two eminent drama- 
tists, and yet I am sceptical. If Mr. Jerome wants 
to make the incident plausible, I think he should 
make his heroes drink the methylated spirit first, and 
in considerable quantities. But, on second thoughts, 
why should the authors want to make this incident 
plausible? It would be quite out of keeping with 
the rest of the play. 

When Mr. Silas Wegg was requested to explain 
the difference between the Roman Empire and the 



184 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Rooshan Empire, his answer was, "That question, 
sir, we will discuss when Mrs. Boffin is not present." 
If you ask me wherein Gismonda, Duchess of Athens, 
differs from Theodora, Empress of Constantinople, 
and indeed from Fedora Romazoff or Floria Tosca, 
or any other heroine of the Sardou-Sarah repertory, 
I am greatly disposed to take refuge in the like 
delicate evasion. The elements of all these per- 
sonages (characters they cannot be called) are pre- 
cisely the same languor, lust, ferocity but they 
are mixed in slightly differing proportions.* It would 
not be very edifying, and still less entertaining, to 
determine the precise admixture of the courtesan and 
the virago in the Empress and the Duchess respec- 
tively. " Caesar and Pompey berry much alike," says 
the burnt-cork humorist "'specially Pompey." So 

* There is no escaping from Sardou he meets us at every 
turn. It cannot be said that he " comes up smiling," but 
vivacious and loquacious he is beyond a doubt. He has always 
an anecdote to j elate an anecdote in four or five acts. Last 
week it was one of his best anecdotes Fedora old, but always 
entertaining. This week it is Gismonda new, so far as the 
names and costumes are concerned, but distinctly one of the 
poorer sort. But, good, bad, or indifferent, they are all gory, 
these splendid efforts of the Gallic genius. The drip of blood 
runs through them all. Some one to cajole and some one to 
murder are the two necessities of artistic existence for Madame 
Sarah Bernhardt ; and the Eminent Academician is her most 
active purveyor of victims. Here is a little tabular statement of 
the amours and homicides in which Sardou has made himself 
her accomplice. It will be noticed that in Fedora, the first of 
the series, the bloodshed does not actually take place on the 



"GISMONDA." 185 

one might say, "Theodora and Gismonda are very 
much alike especially Gismonda." So far as I 
remember, there is nothing in Theodora quite so 
brutal and abominable as Gismonda's triumph over 
the dying Zaccaria, or quite so flagrantly sensual as 
her surrender to Almerio at the end of the previous 
scene. (Here, by the way, Sardou Ibsenises rather 
comically: the same absolute renunciation of all legal 
claim which Ellida, in The Lady from the Sea, makes 
the basis of a true marriage, Gismonda demands as 
the condition precedent to well, to a briefer con- 
tract.) But it is really of no importance to determine 
the precise potency of the ingredients; the brew 
in both cases is practically the same. " Here we 
have all the ancient statues in their well-known 

stage. Sardou had not then recognised the importance of 
getting the scent of carnage over the footlights : 

TITLE-PART. LOVER. VICTIM. INSTRUMENT. FINALE. 

Fedora. Loris. Valerian. Letters. Suicide by 

poison. 

Theodora. Andreas. Marcello. Hairpin. Execution by 

bowstring. 

La Tosca. Mario. Scarpia. Bread-knife. Leap from 

battlements. 
Gismonda. Almerio. Zaccaria. Hatchet. 

Other dramatists, too, realise the necessity of providing Madame 
Bernhardt with something to kill, and in Izeyl, Les Rois, and 
Pauline Blanchard this insatiate scalp-huntress duly adds to her 
collection. As a rule, you observe, "these violent delights have 
violent ends"; but Gismonda, by a pleasing exception, actually 
survives the fall of the curtain. The A T cw Budget, 6th June. 



1 86 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

attitudes," says the book-agent in Miss Herford's 
sketch ; and to put Madame Bernhardt through her 
well-known attitudes is the sole aim of Sardou's art. 
The Indiscretion of the Duchess (so- the play might be 
called, with apologies to Mr. Anthony Hope) fulfils 
this function as well as any of its predecessors. 
Indeed, it seems to me that not since La Tosca was 
in its first flush of novelty have we seen Madame 
Bernhardt acting with such genuine gusto and self- 
abandonment as in the very passage last mentioned 
her conquest of, and surrender to, her low-born 
lover. The tomahawking scene, on the other hand, 
produced no effect except one of disgust, which 
seemed on the point of finding expression when the 
curtain fell. But the magnificence of Madame Bern- 
hardt's appearance in the last act, and the spectacular 
novelty and splendour of the scene, restored the com- 
placency of the audience, even at fifteen minutes 
after midnight; so that enthusiasm may fairly be 
said to have reigned throughout the evening.* 

Monsieur Sardou's drama, in fact, stands shoulder 
to shoulder with Mr. Jerome's comedy among the 
plays which don't matter. It is much cleverer and 

* In a season of four weeks (May 27 June 22) at Daly's 
Theatre, Sarah Bernhardt gave thirty-one performances. 
Gisinonda, produced May 27, was performed fifteen times ; 
Magda, produced June 10, was performed four times ; La 
Princesse Lointaine, produced June 17, was performed four 
times; La Tosca five times; and La Dame aux Camelias thrice. 



"GISMONDA." 187 

more adroit, of course; but at the same time it is 
much more pretentiously and pedantically insignifi- 
cant. The story is not a bad one of its kind. It is 
like a second-rate novel of Boccaccio. One can 
almost see the "argument" something to this effect: 
Gismonda, Duchessa d'Atene, da un suo pallafrenier 
amata, lungamenfe si difende ; ma, dalla sua mag- 
nanimita vinta, ultimamente moglie di lui diviene. 
But the Boccaccian text unfortunately meanders like 
a rivulet through wide meadows of marginal com- 
mentary of the most tedious kind, so that half the 
play seems to be given over to exposition and dis- 
quisition. - Imagine a novel from the Decameron, 
elaborately " Granger ised " with fashion-plates of the 
period, and padded out with paste-and-scissor extracts 
from the footnotes to Gibbon ! I confess to a grow- 
ing distaste for this bogus history and Brummagem 
archaeology of Monsieur Sardou's. There are just 
three characters in the drama (or four, counting the 
child), and just thirty on the playbill; and the odd 
six-and-twenty are always strolling to the front, arrayed 
regardless of expense, to talk in conventional phrases 
about something that does not in the least interest 
us. There is some excuse for a one-part play, when 
the one part is acted by Sarah Bernhardt; but why 
make a one-part play a thirty-part play? I can think 
of few more unsophisticated pieces of stagecraft than 
the reappearance in every scene of those four superbly- 



1 88 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

arrayed suitors of the Duchess, who have nothing 
whatever to do, but must needs "move all together 
if they move at all." The costumes, however, are 
really picturesque and striking, and the piece is 
with the possible exception of Madame Sans-Gene 
the most magnificently mounted French play we 
have yet seen in London. 

With new dances and songs, and a new comedian 
in the person of Mr. John Le Hay, The Artisfs 
Model has taken a new lease of life at the Lyric 
Theatre.* It is not a piece that excites my personal 
enthusiasm, but the public have taken to it, as I 
foresaw that they would, and it has certainly the 
merit of providing Miss Letty Lind with an effective 
part. 

XXVIII. 

ELEONORA DUSE. 

\ 2th June. 

MANY of us must have gone with a certain sinking of 
spirit to Drury Lane on Wednesday last,t wondering 

* See Note, p. 42. 

t Eleonora Duse gave eight performances at Drury Lane : 
La Dame aux Cornelias, June 3, 8 (afternoon), and 14 ; La 
Feinme de Claude, June 5 and 10 ; Cavalleria Rusticana and 
La Locandiera, June 7 and 15 (afternoon) ; and Magda, June 12. 
At the Savoy she gave ten performances : Magda, June 27, July 
i, 6 (afternoon), 10, and 13; Cavalleria Rusticana and La 
Locandiera, June 29 (afternoon), July 5 and 12 ; La Dame aux 
Cam-Mas, July 3 and 8. 



KLEONORA DUSE. 189 

why Eleonora Duse should care to approach such a 
character as Dumas' modern Messalina, La Femme 
de Claude. Defect of faculty was not for a moment 
to be anticipated, but rather defect of volition. This 
great artist can do whatever she will, but she some- 
times will not do all that she can. One does not 
understand why, at the two poles of art, she should 
ever essay Shakespeare's Cleopatra and Sardou's 
Fe'dora, since she seems deliberately to ignore and go 
aside from the particular order of effects appropriate 
to each. One could not but imagine beforehand that 
Dumas' Cesarine would fall into the same category 
of parts foreign to her temperament, or baffling to her 
intelligence, or intolerable to her moral instincts, and 
therefore incapable of stimulating and inspiring her to 
the height of her genius. But it is impossible to pre- 
dict an artist's phases of feeling, and in this case the 
actress had in store for us a magnificent confutation 
of all our reasonings. Something there is in the part 
of Cesarine that kindles her imagination, and she 
plays it with all her body and soul. What that some- 
thing can be, it is hard to say. The character is not 
very human, and it is not very clear. By the author's 
own confession it is "an incarnation, an essential 
being, an entity." It incarnates the evil and de- 
structive elements in Sex. " L'homme est faible," says 
Cesarine as she spreads her toils for Antonin, " Le 
paradis est toujours a perdre." There is nothing of 



190 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

the New Woman in her she is not an enlightened 
champion, nor even a blind avenger, of her sex. Her 
maleficence is not a reaction against wrongs done 
either to womanhood in general or to herself in par- 
ticular. She is wicked because she is wicked, because 
she is a symbol of evil. "Elle deshonore ou elle tue, 
entre deux sourires ; c'est une colere de Dieu." She 
has not even the intellectual distinction, the snobbery, 
as some critics have called it, of a Hedda Gabler. 
She has a certain cleverness, but just enough to give 
effect to the base cunning of sex. Why, then, should 
this character come home so strongly to Eleonora 
Duse, who shrinks alike from the sensuality of Cleo- 
patra and from the vulgarity of Cyprienne ? Perhaps 
she feels it redeemed by its symbolic quality, by its 
thorough-paced and, as it were, impersonal turpitude. 
As a matter of fact, Cesarine is not vulgar; evil, in 
her case, has something of the dignity of a natural 
force. Perhaps, too, the great actress simply recog- 
nises in the part an irresistible opportunity for pure 
acting. Cesarine is acting throughout ; there is no 
truth, no sincerity, no reality in her. For a moment, 
perhaps, in her scene with Claude in the second act, 
she may work herself up into something approaching 
sincerity. Dumas has not made it quite clear whether 
she does or does not really hope to turn over a new 
leaf, and defeat Cantagnac by obtaining the full 
pardon (even though pardon in this case would mean 



ELEONORA DUSE. 19 I 

complicity) of Claude. But one hardly sees how this 
is possible. We are rather to suppose, I fancy, that 
her husband's celebrity is what brings her back to 
him. " L'impossible me tente," she says to Edmee ; 
and it would afford the keenest satisfaction to her 
vanity to overleap the mountainous barrier of her 
past and conquer a share in her husband's brilliant 
future. With that purpose she comes home, and the 
intervention of Cantagnac goads her on to the effort. 
She probably does not trouble herself to determine 
whether, in case of success, she will make use of her 
victory to save or to betray Claude. She is through- 
out playing a game, and playing it with all the 
resources of her nature. It is in this light, I think, 
that Eleonora Duse reads the character; and never, 
surely, did woman play a more brilliant game. She 
is seduction, sophistry, and devouring egoism incar- 
nate. Her second act, of course, contains her most 
effective scenes, and was the most applauded ; but it 
would be a mistake to suppose that the first was in 
any way inferior to it. Touch by touch, she builds 
up for us the strange, malign, enigmatic figure. That 
she is physically the type of woman imagined by 
Dumas we can scarcely suppose ; but she had made 
for herself a sort of sultry beauty, which fell away in 
moments of dejection and defeat, and left her haggard 
and sere. There was irresistible witchery in her 
seduction of Antonin at the beginning of the second 



IQ2 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

act no mere languishing hypocrisy, but an affec- 
tionate candour, a melancholy and caressing playful- 
ness, which might have vanquished not only St. 
Antonin but St. Antony himself. As for the great 
scene with Claude in this act, it will always dwell in 
my mind as one of the most marvellous pieces of 
acting I ever saw. Its strength was only equalled by 
its subtlety. The actress kept herself all the time 
under perfect control ; there was never a touch of 
strain, of rant ; yet the sheer energy of the scene 
would probably have seemed extravagant in a play 
that purported to present a picture of real life. We 
felt, however, that in this apocalyptic drama there was 
no question of preserving the tone of ordinary drawing- 
room emotion. It was Dumas' aim (whether he suc- 
ceeded or not) to display and anatomise the Scarlet 
Woman at her highest potentiality; and it was clearly 
his interpreter's business to find for this incarnate Evil 
not commonplace and measured, but heroic and over- 
whelming, expression. This Duse achieved with in- 
comparable skill. She showed herself absolute mistress 
alike of the rhetoric of speech and of the rhetoric of 
sex. She carried the art of dramatic utterance to its 
highest pitch to unrestricted perfectipn. 

Of her other performances what need to speak? 
The second, third, and fifth acts of her Marguerite 
Gautier, and her Mirandolina from first to last, are 
things to cure us of all foolish regrets for the past and 



" HEIMAT." 193 

its fabled glories. There can at no time have been 
greater acting than this. It is consummate art achiev- 
ing the illusion of absolute nature. I have heard of a 
sapient critic who complained that there was "no 
atmosphere" about Duse. If "atmosphere" means 
affectation, mannerism, trickery, he was perfectly 
right. Her Mirandolina, says Mr. Walkley, "repre- 
sents for me the high-water mark of theatrical enjoy- 
ment." I can say no more, and no less. 

With the exception of that sterling character-actor 
Signer Ettore Mazzanti, whose Marchese in La Locan- 
diera we have come to value as an old friend, this 
year's company is distinctly inferior to its predecessors. 
Painfully insignificant as Armand Duval, Signer 
Alfredo de Sanctis was at least passable as the god- 
like Claude. Signor Dante Capelli made nothing at 
all of the delightful Cavaliere di Ripafratta. 

XXIX. 

" HEIMAT." 

1 9 th June. 

SUDERMANN has been long in reaching us, but he 
has come at last, and with a rush. He has achieved 
a sort of triumphal entry, the two great actresses of 
the time making what we used to call a "Queen's 
Cushion" "Queens' Cushion" would be a more 

'3 



IQ4 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

appropriate reading in this context to carry him 
forward into notoriety. Such a triple alliance 
Germany borne aloft by France and Italy is un- 
precedented in the history of the drama. Clearly 
there must be something far out of the common in 
the talent which can command the interest of two 
such artists, one of whom has so openly flaunted her 
patriotic hatred of the author's nationality. It is time 
we should try to estimate and "place," provisionally 
at least, the dramatist whom so rare a fortune has 
befallen. There will be plenty of opportunity, later 
on, to reconsider our impressions. In my case, they 
are not precisely "first impressions," for I read both 
Die Ehre and Sodoms Ende years ago ; but last 
week's performances of Heimat (rechristened Magdd] 
were my first introduction to Sudermann on the 
stage. 

It is a curious, though not altogether desirable, 
homage to the genius of Ibsen, that the moment any 
younger dramatist displays the slightest originality or 
power, the critics should at once class him as a 
disciple of the Norwegian master. Not English 
critics alone, but European criticism as a whole. 
Whenever a play is produced in Paris of which 
Monsieur Sarcey does not understand a "traitre 
mot " and that is by no means an infrequent occur- 
rence he at once bewails the Scandinavian darkness 
which has descended on the stage erst illumined by 



"HEIMAT." 195 

the sunny genius of Scribe. No sooner had Mr. 
Pinero broken away from farce, fantastic and senti- 
mental, than he was accused of Ibsenising; though in 
Mrs. Tanqtieray there was no likeness at all to 
Ibsen, and in Mrs. Ebbsmith only a few external 
resemblances which he would probably have made 
haste to remove had he himself been aware of them. 
And now Sudermann, both in Germany and here, is 
treated as an imitator of Ibsen, for no better reason, 
that I can discover, than that he does not write 
farces and does not imitate Dumas or Sardou. Far 
be it from me to deny that Ibsen has given an 
impulse to serious dramatic writing all the world 
over. He has proved (what so much French theory 
and practice had almost led us to forget) that a play 
need not be a plaything, but may go to the very 
depths of human character and destiny. He has 
stimulated many writers, and Sudermann among the 
rest; but just because his influence is so general, it is 
superfluous and even misleading to dwell upon it in 
particular instances. We may safely assume that no 
serious dramatist who has come to the front during 
the past ten years is quite unconscious of, and un- 
affected by, Ibsen. He is one of the intellectual 
forces of the time, an all-pervasive element in the 
theatrical atmosphere. But I can find no more 
evidence of imitation in Sudermann's work than in 
Mr. Pinero's. On the contrary, the points of similarity 



196 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

are trifling and inessential; the points of dissimilarity 
are fundamental. 

Sudermann, in the first place, is a steady-going 
prose-writer, Ibsen is before everything a poet. 
Sudermann never, Ibsen always, " has vine-leaves in 
his hair." Sudermann, like Dumas, is a social satirist; 
Ibsen has long ceased to concern himself with society, 
and has risen to the higher ground of abstract or 
universal psychology and ethics. Perhaps you think 
this a paradox; it is a simple statement of fact. Half 
the misconception and misrepresentation to which 
Ibsen is subjected arises from our inveterate habit of 
regarding him as a painter of society. We are told 
that he is "suburban," that he depicts the life of 
" Norwegian villages." He does nothing of the sort; 
he depicts and dissects human souls, and he clothes 
them in the bodies and costumes which happen to 
lie readiest to his hand. Compare Helmut, for 
example, with any play of Ibsen's, from A DolFs 
House onwards: which is the more local, the more 
closely bound down to a given place and time ? In 
Ghosts, and again in Little Eyolf, Ibsen has treated 
the relation of parent and child, on the plane of the 
universal. When Oswald cries to his mother, " I 
never asked you for life. And what sort of life have 
you given me ? I won't have it. You shall take it 
back again" it is not a Norwegian or a German, not 
a Teuton or a Celt, that is speaking, but stricken 



"H El MAT." 197 

humanity protesting against the superstition that life, 
under any and all conditions, is a boon to be accepted 
with inexhaustible and submissive gratitude. When 
Rita, in Little Eyolf, says, " I was fitted to become the 
child's mother, but not to be a mother to him," she 
speaks from the very heart, not, certainly of universal 
womanhood, but of a particular type of womanhood 
by no means peculiar to any nation or race. In 
Heimat, on the other hand, we have simply a study 
of the patria potestas as it is understood (if Herr 
Sudermann is to be believed) in some obscure corners 
of German society, where the joy of life is ground 
" exceeding small " between the upper and the nether 
millstones of puritanism and militarism. Such a local 
and temporary phenomenon would have little interest 
for Ibsen. He is neither a satirist of manners nor a 
reformer of abuses. The paternal authority of Herr 
Oberstlieutenant Schwartze is in his eyes a historic 
curiosity, like the Inquisition or the Bastille. Time 
may be trusted to sweep such stupid barbarisms into 
the limbo of the thumbscrew and the slave-whip. 
But there are other and subtler tyrannies, not local 
or temporary, but inherent in human nature; and it 
is in these that Ibsen finds the motives for his art. 
There is the tyranny of passion (Little Eyolf), the 
tyranny of conscience (Rosmersholm and The Master 
Builder), the tyranny of egoism (Hedda Gabler\ the 
tyranny of the ideal (The Wild Duck}. Far from 



198 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

being the small-beer chronicler of a Norwegian parish, 
Ibsen is of all modern artists the one who goes 
deepest into the essence of life and is least hampered 
by its accidents. Which of his leading characters 
can be called, like Sudermann's Magda, a study of 
a professional type? Magda is the Bohemian, the 
artist, the stage queen, 

" her nature all subdued 
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand.'' 

She is vividly and vigorously drawn, and, by reason 
of her very obviousness, a most effective stage figure; 
but she is a creature of social conditions, of accidental 
environment, differing not in degree but in kind from 
those essential, elemental beings whom Ibsen conjures 
up from the deeps of his brooding genius. So little 
is Ibsen concerned with the study of social or pro- 
fessional conditions, that he is probably the one 
living dramatist who has never put upon the stage 
a member of " the oldest profession in the world." 
Sudermann's technique, again, is as different as pos- 
sible from Ibsen's. He gets his action well within 
the frame of his picture, and he writes a good, 
straightforward, colloquio -rhetorical style, a little 
diffuse, but not without trenchant turns of phrase 
and effective pieces of cut-and-thrust dialectic. The 
distinctive marks of Ibsen's manner the elaborate 
retrospections, and the minutely -adjusted mosaic 



"HEIMAT." 199 

dialogue are entirely absent. There is only one 
passage in the play that really does bring with it a 
specific suggestion of Ibsen. It is Magda's answer 
when the Pastor expresses regret for what he might 
have been if joy had entered into his life at the right 
time : " And one thing more, my friend guilt. It 
is through our errors that we grow. To rise superior 
to our sins is worth more than the purity you preach." 
That is like a speech from one of Ibsen's early plays 
The Pretenders, for example. 

It is probably to the intense localism of its atmo- 
sphere that we must ascribe Mr. Alexander's long 
hesitation about producing Heimat. An English 
audience would find it exceedingly hard to understand 
or tolerate that unspeakable puritan martinet, the 
Oberstlieutenant Schwartze. It is all very well to 
give a fair statement of both sides of a case, but it 
seems to me that Sudermann treats this wooden- 
headed and wooden-hearted old snob and tyrant with 
far too much consideration. Does the author quite 
realise, I wonder, the abject meanness of the gallant 
Colonel's position when he wrings the hand of his 
daughter's seducer, who has (after seven years) been 
coerced into offering her marriage, and says, " My 
young friend, you have caused me great pain great 
pain; but you have made prompt and manly repara- 
tion. Give me your other hand as well"? And 
when his " young friend " makes it a condition of the 



200 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

marriage that their child shall be disowned and 
kept at a distance, this charming Christian soldier 
threatens to shoot his daughter because she ventures 
to object ! As illustrations of domestic Bismarckism 
these things may be very interesting ; but the 
Colonel's Christianity is too clearly " made in Ger- 
many" to come home to the sympathies of the 
English public, even in the modified degree designed 
by the author. N"or can I think that Herr Suder- 
mann has been quite successful in adjusting the 
character of Magda to the requirements of his action. 
The collapse of her free-will is so instantaneous as to 
be incredible. What Rebecca West would call " the 
Rosmersholm view of life " seems to hypnotise her all 
in a moment. It is true that, in both the French and 
the Italian versions, a scene which partly accounts 
for this is omitted the scene at the beginning of the 
fourth act, where the Colonel tells Magda that her 
obduracy will make her sister's marriage impossible. 
But even then one feels that the Magda of the other 
acts would reply, "It is not my fault if you make 
any scandal at all; and if my sister's lover is such a 
coward as to wreak my misdeeds on her, I say she 
is well quit of him." Finally, the seraphic Pastor 
Hefferdingk is unconvincing in the highest degree. 
His whole character and function are redolent of 
conventional sentimentality. 

The play was well mounted and well acted all 



"HEIMAT." 201 

round by the French company at Daly's Theatre :* 
miserably mounted and, as regards the subordinate 
parts, very poorly acted by the Italian company at 
Drury Lane.f But in Magda the genius of Eleonora 
Duse rose to its very highest altitude, so that nothing 
else mattered in the least. She illumined, trans- 
figured, re-created the play. I had read it carefully 
a day or two before, and I had seen Sarah Bernhardt 
perform it; but I had not the remotest conception of 
its possibilities until Duse threw into it the heat of 
her creative imagination and the light of her incom- 
parable executive power. I doubt if Sudermann 
himself knows what he has written unless he has 
seen Duse as Magda. It is no figure of speech, but 
a literal truth, when I say that she has wiped the very 
remembrance of Sarah Bernhardt out of my mind. 
Yet I rejoiced to see Sarah in a human character 
instead of a mere Parisian confection, and thought 
her very good in her way. At two points, indeed, 
she had the advantage of her rival: she made the 
scene with the lady visitors more plausible, and she 
realised the author's intention in Magda's first scene 
with the Pastor, by bursting into a loud and ringing 
laugh. Duse made a mistake in nipping her laugh in- 
the bud. It is the actual echo of her merriment in 
that severe abode that awakens Magda's sense of 
incongruity. For the rest, I remember nothing of 
* See Note, p. 186. t See Note, p. 188. 



2O2 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Sarah Bernhardt's performance. It has faded from 
my memory like the moon at sunrise. Yes, one thing 
more I do remember the way in which she worked- 
in her favourite clenched-teeth tiger-growl of fury as 
she turned the recreant Keller out of doors. But 
how much simpler, vivider, and more telling was the 
lightning-flash of unutterable scorn with which Duse 
accompanied the single exclamation "Va-te-ne!" 
One almost wondered that the unfortunate Regier- 
ungsrath did not physically wither and wilt before it. 
The performance was from first to last a magnificent 
triumph. I have seldom seen an English audience 
so thoroughly carried away as was the Drury Lane 
public at the end of the third act. If there was any- \ 
thing that criticism could fasten upon, it was a slight 
tendency to overdo the pauses and protract what may 
be called the inarticulate effects. But it would be 
mere pedantry to introduce any jarring note into the 
expression of gratitude for so high and rare an artistic 
delight. 

XXX. 

THE RIVAL QUEENS. 

The New Budget, zoth June. 

THE Bernhardt-Duse controversy promises to become 
a hardy annual. We cannot help ourselves we 
must take sides. In the very act of refraining from 



THE RIVAL QUEENS. 203 

comparison, we are all the time comparing. Duse, 
for example, plays Cesarine in La Femme de Claude. 
It is quite possible to write about her performance 
without mentioning the fact that Sarah played the 
same part only last year ; but who does not see that 
this sedulous silence is in reality eloquent ? If we 
could praise them equally, or mingle praise and blame 
in tolerably equal proportions, we should certainly 
hasten to do so. Therefore, if we praise the second 
Cesarine and make no mention of the first, we clearly 
imply the strength of our preference, while letting it 
appear as though we could not express it with reason- 
able civility. Perhaps it is better, then, to accept the 
situation frankly, and range ourselves without disguise 
under the banner of France or of Italy. 

A gentleman in the Pall Mall Gazette has " opted " 
for France with no uncertain voice. The performance 
of Izeyl at Daly's Theatre inspires him to declare, as 
a thing beyond dispute, that Sarah possesses Genius, 
while Duse and Mrs. Patrick Campbell (happily- 
assorted pair !) have nothing but Talent to bless 
themselves with. Why Mrs. Campbell is dragged in I 
do not know, unless on the alphabetical principle 
that C comes between B and D. It is unkind of the 
Pall Mall gentleman to make the duel a triangular 
one. Let us cancel the C, then, and inquire on what 
principle " genius " can be claimed for B and denied 
to D. 



204 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Pray do not suppose that I am seeking to turn the 
tables and strip Sarah of genius to deck her rival 
withal. Sarah Bernhardt is a woman of genius if 
ever there was one. She used to possess, and still 
possesses in a certain measure, qualities to which 
Duse can lay no claim. Beauty of feature is a matter 
of taste; but stature, presence, can be measured in 
inches, and here Sarah has a great advantage. The 
willowy suppleness of her youth of her Fil'e de 
Roland, her Berthe in Le Sphinx, and her Mistress 
Clarkson in UEtrangere has given place to a queenly 
dignity which makes even her Gismonda memorable 
from a pictorial point of view. Duse, on the other 
hand, is insignificant in figure and not naturally 
graceful In such a character as Mirandolina she 
assumes an exquisite Dresden-china elegance ; but it 
is part of her impersonative effort, not of her funda- 
mental endowment. Sarah, again, has a more evenly 
beautiful voice than Duse. It was never strong 
enough to carry her to the heights of tragic passion. 
There were always passages in Phedre, for example, in 
which she simply ranted. But within its peculiar 
range, it amply merited, and still merits, the conven- 
tional epithet of "golden." Then she had, and has, 
an incomparable art of poetic diction. In the 
aforesaid Phedre, where she does not overstrain her- 
self, she speaks Racine's alexandrines with a caressing, 
languorous melody that is quite indescribable, and, 



THE RIVAL QUEENS. 2O5 

within my experience, unique. How Duse treats 
verse we have had no opportunity of judging; but 
certain it is that she has not anything like Sarah's 
sustained mellifluousness of delivery! There are 
sharp and almost harsh notes in her voice, though 
she can on occasion modulate it to the most 
penetrating tenderness. On the whole, however, the 
physical and vocal advantages are all on Sarah's side. 
But how has she used them ? Without taste and 
without conscience. She has fashioned her genius 
into a money-making machine. She has got together 
a repertory of showy, violent, and sanguinary parts, 
and has played them eight times a week, till all true 
vitality and sincerity has been ground out of her 
acting. Her very voice has become a manufactured 
product, unreal, unconvincing. There is not a note 
in it which thrills from the heart to the heart. Her 
subtle smile, her languid carriage, her nervous fevers, 
her amorous transports, her frenzies of ferocity we 
know them all, as her countrymen say, " like the 
inside of our pocket." Her whole art has become a 
marvellous, monotonous, and often vulgar virtuosity. 
She is mannerism incarnate and carried to its highest 
pitch. Not for ten years or more has she added a 
single new effect to her arsenal of airs and graces, 
tremors and tantrums. She does not dream of taking 
a great piece of literature and bending her genius to 
its interpretation. It is the playwright's business to 



206 THEATRICAL WORLD OF- 1895. 

interpret her to provide her with a new name and 
new costumes in which to go through the old round 
of poses and paroxysms. This is what her world-wide 
public wants and can understand. Even if she had 
time for such trifles as delicacy of thought and 
sincerity of feeling, do you suppose they would count 
for anything in "Jerusalem and Madagascar and 
North and South Ameriky"? She is no longer an 
artist, but an international institution. The gold of 
her genius has been transmuted, by a malign alchemy, 
into cast-iron. 

To the great public she is still wonderful and 
fascinating, and quite justly so. The marvel is, 
indeed, considering how she has squandered her 
gifts, that so many of them should remain, and in 
such passable preservation. She has flogged and 
sweated her talent to the very death ; yet it still 
answers to her call. Such staying-power is unique in 
theatrical history. It is worthy of scientific study and 
record, as proving the indefinite adaptability of the 
human frame to the conditions imposed upon it. I 
do not grudge Sarah one salvo of the applause which 
follows her round the world, any more than I grudge 
Mr. W. G. Grace one shilling of his gallantly-earned 
testimonial. They are cognate "phenomena," these 
two popular characters miracles of skill, pluck, and 
endurance. But to those who do not seek in the 
theatre for "phenomena," infant or otherwise, there is 



THE RIVAL QUEENS. 2O? 

something unsatisfactory, something almost depressing, 
in the Sarah of to-day. The more one admires her 
genius, the more must one deplore its induration, not 
to say vulgarisation. She still interests, amazes, even 
thrills us ; but, for my part, I confess that Phedre is 
the only character in which, for many years past, she 
has given me real pleasure. 

To Eleonora Duse, on the other hand the Pall 
Mall's woman of talent as opposed to genius I owe 
some of the very keenest delights that the theatre can 
possibly afford. The past week has raised her higher 
than ever in my estimation, by proving, in La Femme 
de C/aude, that her art is not restricted by her 
sympathies. She is quite as much at home in this 
embodiment of perversity and maleficence as in the 
sentimental Marguerite Gautier or the roguish Miran- 
dolina. In the second act, too, she played with a 
variety and vehemence of emotional expression that 
touched the confines of the sublime. To an audience 
most of whom did not understand her language, and 
had no books to assist them, she made an essentially 
dull and pedantic play not only interesting but thrill- 
ing, by the sheer force and magnetism of her genius. 
Pardon! The word slipped out "promiscuous-like"; 
but now that it is on the paper, I say with Pilate, 
"What I have written, I have written." Yes; if 
high inspiration, wide versatility, and consummate 
accomplishment are the constituents of genius, 



2O8 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Eleonora Duse is a genius indeed. The limitations 
of her physical gifts only enhance the splendour of her 
spiritual endowment. " A plain little woman " I have 
heard her called ; and though no one who has seen 
her sparkling Mirandolina can accept the former 
epithet without reservation, the phrase may be taken 
as representing the impression she produces on a 
casual observer. " Mr. Murphy, sir," said Rogers, 
"you knew Mr. Garrick. What did you think of 
him?" "Well, sir, ^the stage he was a mean little 
fellow; but on the stage" throwing up his hands 
and eyes "oh, my great God!" Off the stage, in 
the same way, Duse may be a plain little woman ; 
let those who have seen her decide. On the stage 
she is not plain, but exquisite ; not little, but great. 

" Fortunam reverenter habet" said Johnson of his 
" little Davy " ; and so we may say of Duse, Ingenium 
reverenter habet. She treats her genius, not as a 
freehold to be marred and wasted at pleasure, but 
as a trust estate, to be assiduously and reverently 
tended. She does not act merely with a set of surface 
nerves which long habit has dissociated, or, so to 
speak, insulated, from the real centres of sensation. 
She throws her very being into her task, and while 
her intelligence keeps vigilant control of every gesture 
and accent, her whole physical organism responds 
with sensitive alertness to the touch of her 
imagination. She is more completely alive on the 



"LA PRINCESSE LOINTAINE." 209 

stage than any one else I remember to have seen. 
Even to the very finger-tips, she lives the life of the 
character. Compare her Santuzza in Cavalleria 
Rnsticana with her Mirandolina, and you will find 
that she has not only changed her costume, her 
voice and her accent, but her very temperament. 
This is acting, this is great art ; and what a delight 
it is to see and recognise it ! Drury Lane is not the 
theatre in which such an actress can be seen to the 
best advantage ; yet it is pleasant to imagine how the 
greatest of the great artists who have acted within 
these walls, or on that site, would hasten to claim her 
as their peer. 

xxxr. 

"L.\ PRINCESSE LOINTAINE" "DiE EHRE." 

26M June. 

WITH such a beautiful title as La Princesse Lointaine* 
it would need a very bad poem indeed to displease me; 
and M. Edmond Rostand's poem seems to me, not 
bad, but good a thing of fine imagination and deli- 
cate, fantastic expression. Stevenson has somewhere 
a memorable passage upon the poetry of names ; it is 
apropos of the States and Territories of America, 
'" which form," he says, "a chorus of sweet and most 
romantic vocables." Indeed, there is nothing so 
* See Note, p. 186. 



210 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

lovely as a lovely name ; and M. Rostand has added 
one to literature. Or did he come across it ready- 
made in the Provengal treasure-house where, doubt- 
less, he found the germ of his story ? It does not 
matter ; he printed it on a playbill, this " sweet and 
most romantic" title, and made it the world's property. 
It is evident from Browning's poem, " Rudel to the 
Lady of Tripoli " (there is another beautiful name for 
you !), that M. Rostand did not invent the Troubadour 
Prince languishing for love of a " Princesse Lointaine," 
of whom he has heard through the reports of pilgrims. 
The voyage, too, with hope at the prow and passion 
at the helm, may very likely be writ in the story- 
books;* but the second and third acts, with the 
struggle of desire against pity and remorse, are almost 
certainly of the poet's own devising. Very ingenious, 
delicate, and moving is the drama of these acts ; the 
stuff of a spiritual tragedy is thinly disguised beneath 
the whimsical bizarreries of a fairy-tale. For my part, 
I find the combination singularly piquant. I suppose 
there must be something defective in the style of 
M. Rostand's work to account for the coolness with 
which the French critics received it. 

* M. Rostand writes to me : " The title is entirely of my 
own invention. It does not exist in the old books. So, too, 
with the details of the first act the voyage with its alternations 
of hope and despair, etc. nothing of the kind is to be found in 
the Proven9ale legend which I read in Nostradamus, and which, 
for the rest, consists of only a few lines." 



"LA PRINCESSE LOINTAINE." 211 

No ! there is another and much simpler explanation 
of M. Sarcey's treatment of the play an explanation 
which, after stating the facts, I shall leave the reader 
to divine. The dying Joffroy Rudel, arrived at last at 
Tripoli, but too weak to be carried ashore, sends his 
sworn friend Bertrand d'Allamanon, also a troubadour, 
as ambassador to his unseen lady-love, begging her to 
come to him. Bertrand lands, fights his way through 
the guards of the Princess's palace, kills in single com- 
bat the gigantic Chevalier aux Armes Vertes, who has 
been set by the Emperor to keep watch and ward 
over her, and bursts, wounded and blood-stained, into 
her presence. " Messire," she cries, "Ah! Qu'avez 
vous a me dire ? " " Des vers !" he replies, and pours 
forth the love-song of Rudel, of which here are two of 
the quaint stanzas 

" Car c'est chose supreme 
D'aimer sans qu'on vous aime, 
D'aimer toujours, quand meme, 

Sans cesse, 

D'une amour incertaine, 
Plus noble d'etre vaine . . . 
Et j'aime la lointaine 

Princesse. 

" Car c'est chose divine 
D'aimer quand on devine, 
Reve, invente, imagine 

A peine. . . . 
Le seul reve interesse, 
Vivre sans reve, qu'est-ce? 
Et j'aime la Princesse 

Lointaine." 



212 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Up to this 'point, according to M. Sarcey, the thing 
is clear enough ; " but from this moment onwards the 
author plunges deeper and deeper into a psychology 
so refined and subtle that it is impossible, I will not 
say to understand anything, but to find our way about 
with ease. . . . Oh, how fatiguing and painful it is ! " 
The facts are these : Bertrand faints from loss of 
blood, and is revived by the Princess, who, taking 
him for Rudel, the unseen lover whose romantic 
passion has touched her imagination, finds time to 
fall in love with him while he lies senseless in her 
arms. When he comes to himself he declares his 
mission. "You are not Rudel?" she says in effect. 
"Who, then, are you?" "I am his bosom friend," 
replies Bertrand; "come to him quickly come!" 
And the Princess answers " No ! " as the curtain falls 
on the second act. Is there anything in this over- 
refined and supersubtle? It seems to me as clear as 
daylight, and admirably dramatic. At the beginning 
of the third act, the Princess asks her lady-in-waiting 
what can have been the reason of this perverse refusal. 
"I know," replies the sagacious Sorismonde, smiling; 
"you had dreamed so long of this unseen lover that 
you shrank from subjecting your dream to the test of 
reality." " Yes, that must have been the reason, the 
only reason," says the Princess, delighted ; " and 
perhaps if Bertrand pleads the cause of his friend he 
may overcome my selfishness." Are you lost in the 



"LA PRINCESSE LOINTAINE." 213 

mazes of this psychology ? It is not the first time, 
surely, that we have heard of self-deception in love. 
Bertrand, recalled, tells the story of his friend's devo- 
tion, but Melissinde has no ears save for what con- 
cerns himself. They are evidently falling deeper in 
love every moment; nevertheless, Me'lissinde consents 
to go to the dying Rudel, and sends Bertrand to see 
if her galley is ready. When he is gone she realises 
that the temptation is not to be resisted the tempta- 
tion of seducing this man from his loyalty, and making 
him prove the strength of his passion by sacrificing to 
it the friend of his heart. " What woman is there," 
she asks, "who would not be 

" Heureuse de tenir en ses bras un Oreste 
Dont le Pylade nieurt, qui le sail et qui reste ! " 

When Bertrand returns, she tells him she cannot go 
to Rudel, for she loves another; and she has no 
difficulty in making Bertrand realise who that other is. 
"I am a disloyal knight!" he cries. "Your honour," 
she answers, "is safe." "No for I felt a thrill of 
happiness ! " It is the old story of Lancelot loved 
instead of Arthur, Tristram instead of Mark ; but here 
the treachery is deeper, inasmuch as Rudel is languish- 
ing to death for this Guinevere-Isolde. His death is 
to be announced by the hoisting of a black sail on his 
galley in the roadstead ; and Bertrand is haunted by 
the dread of seeing that sail. In vain the Princess 



214 THEATRICAL WORLD OV 1895. 

closes the stained-glass window to shut out the view 
of the harbour : they can think and talk of nothing 
else than the black sail ; and presently a gust of wind 
blows the casement open again. " What matter ! " 
cries Melissinde. "Let us bury ourselves in the 
depths of our love. No one can be happy in this 
world who cannot blind himself to the open Window. 
There is always on the sea the barque of some 
dolorous duty, or, obstinately blotting the sunlight, 
the black sail of a remorse." Yes ! they will look only 
in each other's eyes, and what can they know then of 
any black sail in the offing ? But through the open 
casement comes the sound of voices. One fisherman 
on the shore cries to another, " Look ! they have 
hoisted the black sail ! " and the horror of their 
cruelty has them in its grip. Now, frankly, is this 
symbolism so very recondite and incomprehensible? 
To me it seems no less simple and perspicuous than 
dramatic. But M. Sarcey will have none of it because 
you will scarcely guess the reason because we do 
not see the black sail with the eye of the flesh ! It 
would have been all right, he says, "if the sudden 
opening of the window had revealed to the eyes of the 
public some object which, by its mere appearance, 
altered the face of the situation. But all these 
changes take place in the souls of the two personages " 
and changes in the soul have, apparently, no interest 
for M. Sarcey. Such criticism fills one with some- 



"LA PRINCESSE LOINTAINE." 215 

thing like terror. We are all fated, no doubt, to talk 
a certain amount of nonsense in the course of the 
day's work ; but does one often (horrible thought !) 
serve it out undiluted in this wholesale fashion ? To 
finish off the story, it appears that the black sail seen 
by the fisherman was that of the vessel conveying to 
Byzantium the defunct Chevalier aux Armes Vertes. 
The fatal sign has not yet appeared on Rudel's galley, 
and in a transport of compunction the Princess hurries 
to his side. She soothes his dying moments, scatters 
among his devoted crew the wealth which has oppressed 
her, sends them off, with Bertrand at their head, to 
fight for the Cross, and herself " takes the path which 
leads to Mount Carmel." 

Does all this seem to you very childish? For my 
part, I hope I may never be sufficiently grown-up to 
lose my relish for such puerilities. While M. Sarcey 
declares himself baffled by the subtleties of M. 
Rostand's psychology, another eminent authority, 
nearer home, is outraged because the author does 
not burlesque his theme, and make the Princess 
"eat something, swear, or even smoke a cigarette." 
Of course you know who this authority is? No, you 
are wrong; it is not Mr. J. K. Jerome, but Mr. 
Bernard Shaw. What I admire about his criticism 
is its sublime disinterestedness. If dramatists were 
to follow Mr. Shaw's advice and invariably burlesque 
their ideals, his own occupation as a playwright would 



2l6 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

be gone. Having invented the heroine who boxes 
her housemaid's ears, he makes no attempt to take 
.out a patent for her and keep her to himself, but tries 
to force her upon the whole, body of playwrights, 
saying, "all may grow the flower now, for all have 
got the seed." This is admirably consistent socialism, 
but somewhat narrow criticism. No doubt it would 
be capital sport to see the Princesse Lointaine played 
by Mr. Herbert Campbell in "rational dress" and 
with whisky in his smelling-bottle. But M. Rostand 
happened to be writing for Sarah Bernhardt; and, 
moreover, what pleased his imagination in the theme 
was precisely that the beautiful Princess should be 
beautiful. He has not, as we have seen, made her 
inhumanly good; there is a sufficient strain of per- 
versity in her nature, and I fancy she is even capable 
of boxing her waiting-maid's ears if there were any 
occasion for it. But what seems totally to have 
escaped Mr. Shaw's observation is the fact that M. 
Rostand does treat his theme throughout with a 
delicate, playful irony. He smiles at his "silly 
Argonauts," though he does not flout and befool 
them; for he knows that the nympholepts of beauty 
are not wholly ridiculous, even if they should never 
see their " Princesse Lointaine," or only the hem of 
her garment. A genial humour plays round the 
whole poem, and if Mr. Shaw will look a little more 
closely into it, he will see that the author deliberately 






"LA PRINCESSE.LOINTAINE." 2 I/ 

bids for the laughter which seemed to his critic to 
threaten the- very existence of the play. Can Mr. 
Shaw possibly fail to perceive that Sorismonde's 
"II va mieux" and "II va mieux, je vous dis," are 
intentionally comic points? I begin to wonder 
whether Mr. Shaw and I were not changed at birth. 
It seems to me that in relation to this piece of 
essentially Celtic humour and fantasy, I am the 
Irishman and he the Scot. 

Madame Bernhardt chanted, or rather crooned, the 
part of Melissinde to perfection. She was, in fact, 
playing her own character; for what is she but the 
Princess of a fairy-tale? An ordinary human being 
she no longer is or can be, but just such a creature of 
exquisite artifice as this Lady of Tripoli, clothed in 
jewels and exhaling rhymes. She spared us her 
utmost violences, relying chiefly- on her languors; 
and her diction, her golden voice, gave just the right 
value to the tintinnabulations of M. Rostand's verse. 
Without pretending to share the delight which French- 
men evidently feel in rhyme for rhyme's sake, I find 
it excusable, and even enjoyable, in fastasies such as 
this. M. Guitry as Bertrand looked more of a pirate 
than a troubadour, but spoke his lines with conviction 
and effect; and M. de Max as Rudel, the moment he 
got hold of a good tirade to deliver, proved himself a 
singularly robust invalid. 

I have no space left in which to deal adequately 



2l8 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

with Die Ehre, performed last week at Drury Lane 
by the Ducal Company of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.* 
Next week, after having seen Heimat in German, I 
may have something to say of Sudermann in general 
and these two plays in particular. In the meantime, 
let me bear testimony to the solid sufficiency, rising 
here and there to excellence, of the Coburg company. 
The Alma of Fraulein Linden was more than ade- 
quate; Herr Heimhofs Robert was forcible and 
sincere, if a little heavier than was strictly necessary; 
and Herr Weiss and Frau Woisch as the Father and 
Mother proved themselves genuine comedians. The 
star of the evening, Herr Adolf Klein, from Berlin, 
played the romantic Graf Trast a character ridiculous 
in itself, but so effective from the merely theatrical 
point of view that it affords no test of an actor's 
powers. Herr Klein has a commanding figure, a self- 
possessed manner, and knows how to make simple 
points with the requisite effect more it is impossible 
to say from this single performance. 

In The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, revived at the St. 
James's,! Miss Evelyn Millard succeeds Mrs. Patrick 

* This company opened at Drury Lane, June 17, in Der 
Vogelhcindler. Die Ehre was produced on the iSth, and 
Heimat on the 25th. The repertory was chiefly operatic. 
The dramatic portion of the company was subsequently trans- 
ferred to the Savoy and gave a few performances, alternating 
with those of Eleonora Duse. 
t June 20 July 3. 



THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE SOCIETY. 219 

Campbell as Paula. Miss Millard's first act was 
singularly unsuccessful like Mrs. Campbell's on 
the memorable first night of the play. Both ladies, 
no doubt, were paralysed by nervousness. As the 
piece went on, Miss Millard took firmer hold of the 
character. She put some genuine feeling into it, 
and she did not " play for the laugh " as both Mrs. 
Campbell and Mrs. Kendal insisted on doing. But, 
on the other hand, she forced the note a good deal at 
many points, and was sometimes even stagey. On 
the whole, it cannot be said that she made the 
character anything like so consistent and credible as 
did her predecessor. 



XXXII. 

THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE SOCIETY. 

The New Budget, 27 'th June. 

MAY I submit a verbal criticism to the consideration 
of the Elizabethan Stage Society, which gave a per- 
formance (its first, I understand) at the Burlington 
Hall, on Friday* last? The playbill set forth that 
" Shakspere's Comedy, Twelfth Night; or, What 
You Will" was to be " Acted after the manner of 
the Sixteenth Century." Now, this is obviously 
inexact. The announcement ought to have read: 

* June 21. 



220 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

" Staged (more or less) after the manner of the 
Sixteenth Century; acted after the manner of the 
Nineteenth Century Amateur." Do not think that 
I am quibbling and pettifogging. The distinction 
is vital, though the Elizabethan Stage Society 
apparently ignores it. Perhaps you never heard of 
the E. S. S. ? Permit me, then, to bring you 
acquainted with it. "The E. S. S.," says its pros- 
pectus, " is founded to give practical effect to the 
principle that Shakspere should be accorded the 
build of stage for which he designed his plays. In 
Shakspere's day," this document continues, " the best 
work of the best men was given to the drama, showing 
that the conditions which then obtained at the theatre 
were peculiarly adapted to the requirements of the 
dramatist. At no other period of English literature 
has this been the case. A theatre specially built on 
the plan of the Sixteenth Century would not be an 
expensive building; besides, with no scenery, and 
with no necessity to renew the costumes for every 
play, the bill can be changed at little cost. A sub- 
scription of one guinea constitutes membership for 
the year, which dates from the foundation of the 
Society to October i, 1896, and then to each follow- 
ing first day of October. All interested in the work 
are invited to become members." 

If you are anxious "to give practical effect to the 
principle" that Shakespeare should be played on 



Till-: ELIZABETHAN STAGE SOCIETY. 221 

an arras-hung platform, with no scenery, and with 
Elizabethan costumes, make haste to send your 
guineas to the Hon. Sec., Mr. Arthur Dillon, 
52 Talgarth Road, West Kensington. Far be it 
from me to discourage you. Elizabethanism is a 
very innocent game to play at, and, as the pros- 
pectus justly observes, comparatively inexpensive. 
But do not flatter yourself that you are doing any 
great service to Shakespeare in "according him the 
build of stage" for which he wrote. Until we can 
recover the build of actor he had in his mind, we are 
very little advanced; and even if that were possible, 
we should still be face to face with the stark im- 
possibility of resuscitating the build of audience which 
was accustomed to " piece out with its thoughts " the 
imperfections of the naked platform whereon these 
actors strutted their hour. The true end to be 
aimed at is to make Shakespeare, and some dozen 
or fifteen plays of his contemporaries, really live for 
the modern playgoer; and this end can never be 
attained by a form of representation which appeals 
only to the dilettante and the enthusiast. The move- 
ment is really an outcome of the spirit which regards 
Shakespeare as a subject to be "worked at" rather 
than a poet to be enjoyed. Let us work at him by all 
means ; but, so far as the stage is concerned, at any 
rate, let the whole bent of our work be towards un- 
forced, unaffected, rational and national enjoyment. 



222 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

With the negative tenets of the E. S. S. I heartily 
agree. Shakespeare is horribly maltreated on the 
modern commercial stage. We have seen, here and 
there, an isolated performance of great ability, but 
scarcely a single production in which expense did not 
predominate over intelligence, while the reasonable 
integrity and consecutiveness of the text had to yield 
to the convenience of the scene-painter and the 
machinist. But the mediaeval schoolmen themselves 
recognised the fallacy in arguing from abuse to dis- 
use. Because scenery is stupidly overdone, because 
archaeology in costumes, arms, etc., is apt to run to 
pedantry and ostentation, we are forcibly to put back 
the clock, and, instead of refining a living art, make 
hopeless efforts to revive a dead one ! For it is very 
dead indeed, the art of declamation that belonged to 
the rush-strewn boards of the noisy playhouses (many 
of them "public" or roofless) of Shakespeare's time. 
Even if we could revive it in the letter, it would 
remain dead in spirit; for it would not be to our ears 
what it was to the ears of the Elizabethan public. 
Nothing, we may be sure, could be more unlike it 
than the mild and self-conscious recitation of the 
amateurs who rally to the standard of the E. S. S. 
All things, of course, must have a beginning, and the 
Society may hope in time to convert its amateurs into 
actors. Sanguine Society ! Little does it realise the 
severity of the apprenticeship that is necessary to 






THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE SOCIETY. 22J 

that end. But even supposing that here and there 
an exceptional talent, combined with exceptional 
diligence, attained something like real accomplish- 
ment, does the Society imagine that the rare bird 
would continue to twitter on its naked perch ? No ! 
the real actor would take to the real theatre like a duck 
to water. What artist can satisfy his soul with the 
meagre and factitious delights of dilettantism ? 

Let me not seem ungrateful or ungracious to the 
ladies and gentlemen (unnamed in the playbill) who 
went through Twelfth Night on the more or less 
sixteenth-century stage. The Viola was intelligent 
and pleasant, the Olivia had a handsome and expres- 
sive stage-face, the Maria was sprightly, the Antonio 
spoke well, and the Aguecheek was really excellent. 
I was particularly interested in timing the perform- 
ance, to see whether they got it into the two hours so 
often mentioned by Elizabethan writers. They did, 
to a second. The first two acts took sixty-four 
minutes, the last three fifty-six. But I must observe 
that the Society did not act up to its principle of 
speaking the whole text. Though Tivelfth Night is 
one of the shorter plays, they omitted some 250 out 
of its 2692 lines. Thirty or forty lines, perhaps, 
were cut as being objectionable to modern taste; the 
remainder for precisely the same reason for which Sir 
Henry Irving or Mr. Daly would cut them because 
they seemed unnecessary and tedious. In this re- 



224 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

spect, I am more of a purist than the E. S. S. In 
staging such a play as 7*welfth Night, I would delete 
obscenities and a few comic passages which have lost 
all meaning for modern audiences, but I would not 
omit a single hemistich of Shakespeare's verse. If my 
actors could not speak it so as to make it interesting, 
I would e'en find other actors who could. The 
Society's whole reason for existence vanishes when it 
begins to flourish the blue pencil. 

Here is the question in a nut-shell: Do appro- 
priate scenery and costume help and stimulate the 
imagination of a theatrical audience ? Emphatically, 
yes ; and, on the other hand, glaring anachronism 
of costume, and the absence of any sort of pictorial 
background, tend to disconcert and hamper the 
imagination, and to distract attention from the matter 
of the play. That is my experience, and I believe 
it to be the experience of every one who takes his 
theatrical pleasures unaffectedly, and does not labori- 
ously cultivate an aesthetic pose. Tivzlfth Night, it 
must be remembered, is not a fair test case. Being 
fantastic in scene and period, it may as well be acted 
in Elizabethan costume as in any other; and it is one 
of the plays which are least dependent on scenery. 
Let the E. S. S act Julius Ccesar in Elizabethan 
dress, and tell me that the effect is not ludicrous ! 
Let them put As You Like It on their arras-hung 
platform, and tell me that the lack of the woodland 



THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE SOCIETY. 22$ 

setting matters nothing ! Even in the fantastic plays, 
I see no reason why, without archaeological pedantry, 
a pleasant variety of costume should not be aimed at. 
And as for scenery, it is quite a mistake to suppose 
that the mechanism of the modern stage necessitates 
a high-handed re-arrangement of the text. It is as 
easy to change a scene as to draw a "traverse." 
Because some managers make foolish sacrifices for 
the sake of built-up " sets," I do not see that we need 
abjure all pictorial pleasure to the eye and assistance 
to the imagination. 

The long run is at the bottom of the whole mischief. 
Let the Elizabethan Stage Society subscribe, agitate, 
and toil for a repertory theatre, neither managed by 
an actor nor " backed " by a profit-seeking capitalist, 
and I am with it, heart and soul. It is because I 
think they are diverting valuable energy into a mis- 
taken channel that I take up an almost hostile attitude 
towards experiments which, in themselves, are harm- 
less and interesting. When we have a theatre with a 
constitution and an ideal, where Shakespeare's master- 
pieces, comic and tragic, are on the standing repertory, 
and even his less vital works are passed in review 
from time to time then we may build alongside of 
it a small Elizabethan Playhouse for purposes of 
rehearsal and experiment. But an Elizabethan Play- 
house, by itself, can never be the popular institution 
we want, and may quite well attain if we go the right 

15 



226 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

way about it. Bare-back riding is excellent, perhaps 
indispensable, practice; but it is in the saddle that 
the accomplished rider " witches the world with noble 
horsemanship." 



XXXIII. 

SUDERMANN " MlSS BROWN" "THE RAILROAD 
OF LOVE." 

yd July. 

WHAT I said about Sudermann a week or two ago 
was, I am aware, a trifle negative. To explain wherein 
a writer differs from Ibsen is not to get quite at the 
heart of his mystery. A demonstration, however 
conclusive, that Monmouth is not Macedon, would 
scarcely serve as a guide-book to Monmouth. Putting 
Ibsen out of the question he really has very little to 
do in this galley we want to know where the author 
of Die Ehre and Heimat stands in the ordinary 
dramatic movement of the day. We want to " place" 
him in relation to Dumas and Sardou, to Pinero and 
Jones, to his own compatriot Hauptmann in brief, 
to the men who keep the theatrical ball rolling here 
and elsewhere. For my part, I find it curiously 
difficult to get the bearings of his talent. I feel 
that I ought to admire him a great deal more than I 
do. Again and again, when some instance of his 



SUDERMANN. 

cleverness compels intellectual recognition, I take 
the temperature of my feeling towards him; but the 
mercury obstinately declines to register anything like 
fever-heat. 

Strength he has beyond a doubt, else not even 
Duse could achieve such tremendous effects in his 
work; and he is by no means devoid of insight and 
subtlety. He has the knack, an invaluable one, of 
seizing upon themes of large significance. In Die 
Ehre he shows how, under existing social conditions, 
"honour" is a luxury for the rich, and, as commonly 
understood, a deleterious luxury to boot. He might 
have found a motto for his play in Boswell's Johnson, 
under the date September 22nd, 1777, when Boswell 
and his hero were together at Ashbourne : " A gentle- 
man farmer said, ' A poor man has as much honour 
as a rich man.' Johnson exclaimed, ' A poor man 
has no honour!'" Robert and Graf Trast in the 
play exactly reproduce this passage; it is the corner- 
stone of the dramatic structure. The theme of 
Sodoms Ende is artist-worship, the doctrine that 
genius is a law unto itself, and the noxious Byronism 
which is apt to result from such a doctrine. The 
satire is more relevant, perhaps, in Germany than 
here. Our national temperament ensures us against 
wild orgies of idealism; our very language affords no 
adequate equivalent for the German Schwarmerei. 
Still, the subject is a good one, taken straight from 



228 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

life, not from the common theatrical storehouse. In 
Heimat, again, one of the great, ever-recurrent conflicts 
of life is treated with a fine directness the conflict 
of the old with the new, of authority with individuality, 
of the parent with the child. There is no doubt, 
then, that this man has the root of the matter in him. 
He shows the very age and body of the time, its form 
and pressure. His range of vision is more compre- 
hensive than that of Dumas, for instance, or of Mr. 
Pinero, so far as he has yet gone in serious drama. 
He does not keep his studies all on one plane that 
of upper middle-class life but sinks a shaft through 
several social strata. In these three plays he has 
painted in some detail five different "environments": 
in Die Ehre, the plutocracy and the proletariat of a 
great commercial centre; in Sodorns Ende, wealthy 
Bohemianism and poverty-stricken respectability; in 
Heimat, the official and military middle-class Puritan- 
ism of a provincial town. More than any, perhaps, 
of his French or English contemporaries, he has the 
art of setting his ethical problems in pictures drawn 
direct from life. And in his execution there is a 
great deal that is admirable. The low-life scenes of 
Die Ehre are probably the best things he has yet 
done. They combine the irony of Maupassant with 
the humanity of Dickens. There is nothing quite so 
original in his later work; but everywhere he shows 
a striking gift of dramatic rhetoric of keeping his 



SUDERMANN. 22Q 

dialogue true to life, yet so manipulating it as to 
bring all the facets of his theme, one after another, 
into sudden and brilliant prominence. Furthermore, 
without exceeding reasonable limits of length, he has 
the knack of getting a great deal of matter into his 
plays. They are no mere dramatic skeletons, but 
have plenty of flesh and blood on their bones. They 
give one no sense of undue or artificial compres- 
sion. Sudermann has succeeded in making himself 
a dramatist without entirely renouncing the rights 
and immunities of the novelist. 

Why, then, does a writer of such power and 
originality fail to stir one to anything like enthu- 
siasm? Why does he not take a foremost place 
among the interests and influences of theatrical life ? 
It is four years since I read his first two plays why 
(I ask myself) have I felt no inclination to say any- 
thing about him, until the polyglot performances of 
He:mat forced the subject upon me? Why am I 
content to remain in total ignorance of his last play, 
The Battle of the Butterflies, or something to that 
effect ? Why does he leave me so incurious ? Some- 
thing there must be lacking in him (I prefer to assume 
that the want is on his side); and that something, I 
am inclined to think, is distinction. Perhaps his 
language is partly at fault. German is a noble 
language for poetry, but German colloquial prose, 
compared with French or English, is as sackcloth to 



230 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

silk. This, however, is a mere expression of pre- 
judice; if Sudermann's lack of distinction lay only in 
his idiom, it would be mere impertinence to reproach 
him with it. But I seem to find a certain common- 
ness of texture in his whole method. He is obstinately 
prosaic; there is no grace, no elevation, no inspiration 
(if I may put it so) in his character-drawing; and, 
behind his satire, one more than suspects a strain of 
commonplace idealism. His technique, though in 
some ways it has greatly improved since he wrote 
Die Ehre, remains exceedingly obvious. In each of 
his plays he has a "reasoner," whose business it is to 
" moralise the spectacle " the egregious Graf Trast' 
in Die Ehre y Riemann in Sodoms Ende, Pastor Heffer- 
dingk in Heimat. He disguises his " reasoner " better 
as time goes on ; at first sight, indeed, Pastor Hefifer- 
dingk looks almost like an integral part of the play; 
but, if you look into it, you will find that he is only 
a piece of rather clumsy mechanism for bringing 
about the requisite changes in Magda's frame of 
mind changes which, after all, remain very un- 
convincing. I am not sure that I do not really 
prefer the splendidly sententious Trast to the smug 
and seraphic Hefferdingk. The Count was a sin of 
youth, the Pastor is a crime of maturity. There is 
something specious about him which cleverly disguises 
the essential commonness of the conception but 
common it is, both from the intellectual and the 



SUDERMANN. 231 

technical point of view. No ! up to the date of Heimat, 
Sudermann was not an artist of the first order. 

He is exceedingly fortunate in his interpreters. 
You may now see almost every part in Heimat played 
to perfection at the Savoy Theatre; but, unfortu- 
nately, you will have to go twice. If you must choose 
between the German and the Italian versions, by all 
means select the latter; for Duse's Magda is a thing 
unique and unapproachable, a thing you may not see 
again in a lifetime. I think she is a little too loud 
in the scene with Schwartze in the last act; she 
would get a truer effect, and, I believe, a stronger 
one as well, with less expenditure of physical energy. 
The fact is, she succumbs to the temptation of the 
star, and takes the whole scene to herself, reducing 
Schwartze's share in it to a minimum, and thus 
destroying the balance and verisimilitude of the 
thing. But even where she is wrong she is superbly 
wrong, and where she is right she is incomparably 
right and beautiful. In La Femme de Claude and 
Heimat, even more than in her other performances, 
Duse has once for all enlarged my conception of the 
possibilities of dramatic expression. But if you can 
possibly manage it, do not fail to see the German 
JJeimat as well, for Herr Adolf Klein's performance 
of Schwartze is as masterly in its way as Duse's 
Magda. It is a really luminous piece of acting; it 
throws a new light on the character and the whole 



232 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

play. Herr Klein emphasises and renders convincing 
what the French and Italian actors slurred the 
physical infirmity of the old martinet. I never saw 
on the stage a more minute and faithful pathological 
study. The tremor of paralysis any one can imitate; 
but this actor had seized and reproduced to perfection 
the pained expression of face, the accesses of mental 
confusion, when ideas and words seem to slip hope- 
lessly away, the struggle to recover them, and the 
resultant irritability and restlessness. And this senil- 
ity went far to explain and excuse the character. 
It explained, at any rate, the total lack of tact and 
common sense in the old man's behaviour towards 
his daughter; and it accounted in some degree, 
though certainly not adequately, for the extraordinary 
submissiveness with which she consented to renounce 
her liberty and pass under the yoke. It was not his 
strength but his weakness that cowed her not the 
power, but the pathos, of his behests. One felt that 
it was immoral on Magda's part, but not quite un- 
natural, to succumb to this tyranny of second child- 
hood. Such acting is truly creative art. The actor 
becomes the collaborator of the author and in the 
truest sense his interpreter. The German Magda, 
Frl. Wienrich, is unfortunately very inadequate; but 
Frl. Linden makes a charming Marie, Herr Heimhoff 
is good as Von Keller, and the minor parts are quite 
competently filled. 



"THE RAILROAD OF LOVE." 233 

The Strange Adventures of Miss Broivn, a farce 
by Messrs. Robert Buchanan and Charles Marlowe, 
produced at the Vaudeville last week,* amused the 
audience hugely, and in so far fulfilled its purposes. 
It is an ingenuous attempt to run Charlie's Aunt 
and The New Boy into one; but it is not nearly 
so clever as either of these farces, and quite as 
vulgar as both of them together. Still, as aforesaid, 
it went merrily enough, thanks to the bright acting 
of Miss May Palfrey and Miss Esme Beringer, and 
the red wig of Mr. Frederick Kerr. Mr. Kerr's 
character called for no art whatever, except that of 
looking foolish a task in which he succeeded to 
admiration. Mr. Lionel Brough, Mr. John Beau- 
champ, and Miss Gladys Homfrey also contributed 
to the success of the production. 

A perfectly empty, exceedingly pleasant play is The 
Railroad of Love^ with which " Augustin Daly's Com- 
pany of Comedians " (as the playbill hath it) opened 
their eighth season in London. An imbroglio that 
would make a trivial enough single act is spun out 
over four; yet so good-humoured is the whole thing, 
and so clever the acting, that one does not tire of it 
much. When it was acted before, at the Gaiety, I 
remember speaking of Miss Rehan's "swan-like 
Valentine Osprey." "Swan-like" is now scarcely 

* June 20. Transferred to Terry's, October 7 still running, 
t Daly's Theatre, June 25 July I. 



234 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

the word; but Cousin Val is none the less charming 
for being a little more opulent in her contours. Miss 
Rehan seems to be in excellent form, and one looks 
forward with lively anticipation to her Julia and her 
Helena. Mr. Frank Worthing, though handicapped 
by our reminiscences of his predecessor in the part, 
makes a passable Lieutenant Everett, and Mr. James 
Lewis and Mrs. Gilbert are as amiable and delightful 
as ever. I don't mind confessing that I lost my 
heart to Mrs. Gilbert eleven years ago, and have 
never wavered in my devotion. 



XXXIV. 

"THE Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA" "MA 

COUSINE." 

lothfuly. 

THE Elizabethan Stage Society should appoint Mr. 
Augustin Daly its Honorary President, or confer on 
him whatever most signal distinction lies in its power; 
for he is unwearied in giving object-lessons in support 
of its tenets. This confraternity (need I explain ?) is 
of opinion that Shakespeare ought to be recited word 
for word and scene for scene on a bare platform, 
reproducing as nearly as possible the arras-hung stage 
of the sixteenth century. Mr. Daly is apparently 



"THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA." 235 

of the same opinion, for he does all he can to 
reduce to absurdity the opposite doctrine, which 
would treat the classic drama as a mere pretext for 
scenery and spectacle. He revives Shakespeare as 
Medea revived ^son by cutting him up and boiling 
him down. Now, I am not going to pretend that 
in The Two Gentlemen of Verona* this matters very 
much. The play is not an immortal masterpiece 
which it is sacrilege to dismember and bedevil. One 
can more easily forgive Mr. Daly all his hacking 
about of The Two Gentlemen than the single enormity 
(in which Sir Henry Irving preceded him) of opening 
Twelfth Night with any other line than that which 
strikes the keynote of the comedy : " If music be the 
food of love, play on." But to forgive is one thing, 
to approve another; the principle is radically false. 
In itself, the earlier play suffers quite as much as the 
later and greater, though, holding it in less affection, 
we less keenly resent its maltreatment. Indeed, Mr. 
Daly has jumbled up the scenes even more wantonly 
than usual, hoping, perhaps, that we purists (how he 
must despise us !) would be less on the alert in this 
case than in some others. Let me give one or two 
instances of the superiority of Mr. Daly's construction 
to Shakespeare's. 

Nothing could be simpler than the three scenes of 
Shakespeare's first act, or easier to put on the stage 
* Daly's, July 2 July 8. 



236 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

intact. First we have a front scene, a street in 
Verona, for the parting of Valentine and Proteus; it 
opens and reveals a garden for the scene between 
Julia and Lucetta; then the front scene closes again 
(either the same exterior as before, or an interior 
the localities are not defined in the Folio) for 
Antonio's resolution to send his son abroad; and 
Proteus's reception of his command. Note that the 
garden-scene might be as elaborate as Mr. Daly's 
heart could desire, and that he need by no means 
stint himself of the irrelevant but gorgeously-attired 
ladies whom he justly considers so decorative. One 
might almost fancy that Shakespeare, in this case, 
had anticipated every reasonable requirement of the 
modern manager. Not a bit of it ! What did poor 
dear Shakespeare know of an effective "curtain"? 
It would never do to bring down your act-drop on a 
carpenter-scene, and let your leading man instead of 
your leading lady have the last word. Miss Rehan 
must end the act, that's positive; so the three scenes 
are reduced to two, the first half of Shakespeare's 
Scene 3 being tagged on to Scene i, with the result 
that five minutes after Valentine has taken leave of 
Proteus on that very spot, Panthino speaks of him as 
already at the Emperor's Court. There is also the 
further happy result that the curtain falls upon Miss 
Rehan speaking the conclusion of Julia's soliloquy, 
with lavish gestures, straight over the footlights, as 



"THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA." 237 

though the line, " Now kiss, embrace, contend, do 
what you will," were not addressed to the fragments 
of the torn letter, but were a direct exhortation to the 
audience. If Shakespeare had known his business 
well enough to bring down his curtain at this point, 
he would also have seen the necessity of giving Julia 
a good speech to fling at the audience; therefore 
(Mr. Daly no doubt argues) the actress is fully justified 
in disregarding the plain sense of the passage and 
converting it into meaningless claptrap. Then, the 
latter half of Shakespeare's Act I., Scene 3, becomes 
the beginning of Mr. Daly's Act II., Scene i, Shake- 
speare's Act II., Scene 2 being added to it, so that 
the parting of Proteus and Julia follows immediately 
on the receipt by Proteus of his marching orders. 
Here the last words of Proteus are transferred to 
Julia, it being Mr. Daly's principle that Shakespeare 
may think himself lucky if he gets his words spoken 
at all, and must not be too particular as to who 
happens to speak them. Next we have Shakespeare's 
Act II., Scene i and Scene 4, run together, so that 
Silvia must needs make her entrance attended by 
three ladies and Thurio, who stand listening in silence 
to the pretty passage between Valentine and Silvia 
beginning " Madam and mistress, a thousand good- 
morrows." Shakespeare, poor fellow, intended the 
lovers to be alone (save for Speed, overhearing) 
when the lady makes her ingeniously-veiled declara- 



238 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

tion; but Mr. Daly sees no reason why she should 
not make it under the very nose of her other suitor. 
When he mounts Romeo and Juliet he will no doubt 
bring on the Nurse and the County Paris in the 
balcony scene, just in case the lovers should feel 
lonely. But why protract the catalogue of Mr. Daly's 
achievements ? He cannot even let the play leave 
off when it is finished, but must rush to the other 
end of Shakespeare's career, seize upon the epilogue 
to Henry VIII., and foist it on to the Two Gentle- 
men ! Beside such high-handed rearrangements, mere 
excisions sink into insignificance; but Mr. Daly has 
certainly not been sparing in his slashes. Many a 
pretty and effective passage must go by the board in 
order to make room for songs, dances, barges gliding 
over moonlit waters, and other delights of that order. 
In short, I must say again, as I have said before, that 
Mr. Daly goes on precisely the wrong principle, in 
trying how much instead of how little he can alter 
the 'text of Shakespeare. 

It was not to be expected that such a representa- 
tion, or indeed any representation, should throw 
much new light on the inherent qualities of the play. 
Of all Shakespeare's works, it is perhaps the most 
trivial and experimental. It exemplifies his manner 
apart from his substance, and contains the rough 
drafts of several scenes and characters which he 
subsequently developed with great effect. Its charm 



! 



"THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA." 239 

lies not in its "two gentlemen," but in its two ladies. 
In Julia and Silvia there is really a foretaste of Shake- 
speare's later, subtler, and nobler women. Valentine 
and Proteus are the merest outlines, marred by reck- 
less psychological inconsequences; and the wit of 
the serving-men is schoolboyish beyond belief, and 
often beyond understanding. In cutting witticisms 
which were never witty, and which now require a 
page of commentary to render them barely compre- 
hensible, Mr. Daly has my fullest sympathy. Miss 
Rehan's Julia is a charming performance, which 
would have been more charming still had she had 
Shakespeare's character instead of Mr. Daly's to study 
and realise. Miss Rehan is coming more and more 
to abound in her own sense, or, in other words, is 
lapsing into a sort of peculiar and seductive staginess. 
This is no doubt inevitable in an actress of her 
personality and temperament. I record the fact; I 
do not reproach her with it. She speaks her verse, 
for the most part, delightfully, though she now and 
then baffles the ear with inarticulate interjections, 
and her phrasing is not always perfect. For instance, 
she introduces a heavy monotony into the spirited 
and beautiful line, "Unto a ragged, fearful-hanging 
rock," by the simple process of speaking the com- 
pound epithet "fearful-hanging" as though it were 
two separate adjectives "fearful, hanging." At the 
end of her eavesdropping scene in the fourth act, I 



240 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

was astonished to hear Julia say (unless my ears 
grossly deceived me), 

" it hath been the longest night 
That e'er I watched, and most the heaviest." 

"What!" I thought, "is the American 'most/ in 
the sense of 'almost,' another survival from Eliza- 
bethan English? Was it, too, imported in the 
Mnyflower, along with so many other reputed 
Americanisms ? " Alas ! on turning to the text I 
found that what Shakespeare wrote was not " most 
the heaviest," but "the most heaviest." Mr. Frank 
Worthing is rather a saturnine and declamatory 
Proteus, Mr. John Craig, as Valentine, having much 
more of the spirit of comedy in him. Mr. James 
Lewis makes a quaint Launce, and Mr. Herbert 
Gresham a rather monotonous Speed. Mr. Gresham's 
whole art of comic expression seems to lie in opening 
his eyes very wide perhaps in the effort to see the 
point of Speed's jokes. Miss Maxine Elliot made 
a handsome Silvia, and Miss Sibyl Carlisle a pleasant 
Lucetta. 

Various reasons are given to account for the lack 
of enthusiasm with which Ma Cousine was received 
on its first night at the Garrick.* It is said that 
Madame Rejane had not recovered from the fatigues 

* July I. Madame Rejane performed Ma Cousine eight 
times (six nights and two. matinees), and Madame Sans-GHne 
the same number of times. 



"MA COUSINE." 241 

of her journey, and that she was disconcerted by 
modifications of Meilhac's text demanded at the last 
moment by the ever-vigilant Mr. Redford. What 
they can have been I am at a loss to guess. The 
leopard did not seem to me to have changed his 
spots at the omnipotent behest. Mr. Redford may 
no doubt have whitewashed one or two of them, but 
the effect was not perceptible to the naked eye; nor 
can I believe that our national morals were rescued 
from sudden ruin by these poor little dabs of size. 
However, Mr. Redford no doubt felt it incumbent 
upon him to give some sign of life, and he seems to 
have done his spiriting very gently. I wonder if he 
demanded a special rehearsal in order to restrain 
Riquette's chahut (or whatever is the technical term) 
within the limits of propriety? Be this as it may, I 
do not believe that either Mr. Redford or the Atlantic 
Ocean was responsible for the lukewarmness of the 
public, but simply the fact that they did not under- 
stand a good deal of Ma Cousine, and what they did 
understand they did not much care about. To tell 
the truth, I see no particular reason why we should 
go into raptures over such trivial caricatures of 
Parisian manners. To do so would be to take 
up a curiously provincial attitude towards the " ville 
lumiere." There is no ingenuity of invention in 
Meilhac's play, and in the character-drawing there 

is as little as may be of general humanity. The 

16 



242 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

thing is a satiric sketch of manners and customs 
which are absolutely peculiar to a certain very limited 
district in the Department of the Seine. This is 
parochial art if you like; and the parish concerned 
does not happen to be our parish. We have, indeed, 
a certain knowledge of, and relish for, its peculiar 
habits of thought and speech, and we affect a good 
deal more than we really have ; but both the know- 
ledge and the affectation are the result of a sort of 
provincial dependency which one would like to feel 
that we are outgrowing. Frenchmen do not, and we 
do not expect them to, devour our Anthony Hope 
or Anstey. Why should we profess an inexhaustible 
relish for their Meilhac, when he is content to be 
merely the small-beer chronicler of corners of 
Parisian society? I have no doubt that, despite 
these John Bullish sentiments, I should read Ma 
Cousine with a great deal of pleasure; for wit is wit, 
be it never so Parisian. But there were no books of 
the play available, and I am bound to own (speaking 
simply for myself) that many of the more delicate 
or indelicate points in the dialogue escaped me. 
As for Madame Re'jane's performance, it seemed to 
me a piece of accomplished comedy, with touches of 
exaggeration here and there, but otherwise quite 
admirable. At the same time, there was nothing in 
the creation to impress itself very deeply on the 
memory, or to place the actress quite on the pinnacle 



" A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM." 243 

which some critics claim for her. We must see her 
in a character of greater solidity than either Riquette 
or Madame Sans-Gene in Porto-Riche's Amoureuse 
or Ibsen's Nora before we can really estimate the 
range of her talent. 



XXXV. 

"A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM." 



PLEASURE first, duty afterwards; it is a pleasure to 
thank Mr. Daly for what he has done, before 
remonstrating with him for what he has left undone. 
There is much very much to enjoy in his revival 
of A Midsummer Night's Dream* I have seen it 
twice, and I enjoyed it more the second time than 
the first probably because I was prepared in advance 
for the inadequacies and stupidities of the perform- 
ance, and was therefore able to concentrate my 
attention on its beauties. No doubt, too, the delight 
of my companion on the second occasion a boy of 
ten was in some degree contagious. It was better 
than a pantomime to him ; and this I say without 
any sort of sneer. It was better because it was 

* July 9 J u ty 2 7- Nancy & Co. was presented on July 29 
and 30, and the season closed on July 31 with The TTJO Gentle- 
men of Verona. 



244 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

fundamentally beautiful. Had the poem been simply 
vulgarised, I should have been very careful not to 
let him see it. He clearly felt, though he could not 
have explained, the difference between this har- 
moniously-developed fable and the travestied nursery- 
tales of Christmastide, between these exquisite verses 
(some of them beautifully spoken) and the doggerel 
patter of the pantomime librettist. What was vulgar 
and pantomimic in the production pleased him less 
than the rest, or not at all. Mr. Clarke's Theseus 
he could not away with ; the pantomime mask which 
Mr. Daly has substituted for the elfin Mustard-seed 
simply puzzled him in its incongruity; and his remark 
on the famous "panoramic illusion" was, "It only 
makes you dizzy." Now the public, I take it, is in 
these matters simply a child of larger growth : it feels 
a. great deal that it cannot explain or express, even 
to itself. Mr. Daly regards us critics as a set of 
visionary, if not malicious, pedants, because we 
worry over his cuts and transpositions, and are careful 
and cumbered about syllables and accents. "What 
does the public know or care about these things?" 
he asks. " If I cut half-a-dozen lines here and there, 
who misses them? Not one person in a hundred. 
And if a syllable or two is omitted or inserted in a 
blank verse line, do you suppose that the public 
notices it ? " In these cases, it is true, only a small 
percentage of any given audience knows what is 



"A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM." 245 

wrong, or is even clearly conscious that there is 
anything wrong at all ; but it does not therefore 
follow that, even from the practical, managerial, 
dollars-and-cents point of view, the errors are not 
worth putting right. The manager's aim is, and 
must be, to give the largest possible sum of pleasure 
to his audience; and if he cuts or maltreats a 
beautiful passage which would have given pleasure, 
he in so far diminishes that sum, even though not 
one of his audience may distinctly realise the loss. 
The resultant impression of such a performance is 
made up of an innumerable host of small sensations. 
Every line, to carry the analysis no further, may, or 
rather must, produce in the hearer one of three 
conditions : satisfaction, indifference, or dissatisfaction. 
Now, Mr. Daly will surely admit that a line spoken 
as Shakespeare wrote it has a better chance of 
making the needle veer towards u Satisfaction " than 
one stupidly or carelessly misspoken. If it be 
delivered with grace and feeling, it will send the 
mental indicator of those who are sensitive to these 
things flying to the extreme of " Satisfaction " to 
delight and it will give a vague pleasure even to 
the unskilful. Misspoken, on the other hand, it will 
at best leave the indicator at " Indifference " in the 
unskilful, while in those who know (and, after all, 
there are some people with an ear for verse in every 
audience) it will deflect the needle more or less 



246 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

violently on the side of " Dissatisfaction," not to say 
disgust. This is not a matter in which, by pleasing 
the few, you run the risk of displeasing the many. 
No one actively prefers a bad line to a good, though 
many may not see the difference or may be unable 
to explain it. For instance, when Mr. Daly suffers 
Mr. George Clarke to say, "The poet's eye, in fine 
frenzy rolling," not a soul in the audience is pleased, 
while many are tortured, by the omission of the single 
letter "a." For my part, it makes my hand steal 
towards my pistol-pocket ; for I feel that, unlike the 
musician at whom the Western audience was requested 
not to shoot, the actor is not " doing his best." If 
he does not know the difference between verse 
and prose, he might at least mechanically memorise 
the plain words of his part. And let not Mr. Daly 
think this a trifling matter. That single inexcusable 
blunder might quite well prove the last straw to a 
sensitive playgoer, and send him away with a general 
impression of dissatisfaction which, spreading among 
his friends and acquaintances, would keep out of the 
treasury an indefinite number of half-crowns and half- 
sovereigns. 

On the whole, Mr. Daly has dealt not ungently 
with A Midsummer Nighfs Dream. His trans- 
positions are inessential, and his excisions are not so 
inhuman as they are apt to be. In the main, he lets 
Shakespeare tell his story in his own way ; and that 



"A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM." 247 

is all we ask. But though Mr. Daly has not been so 
truculent in his slashing as he sometimes is, many 
priceless lines and passages have fallen before his 
blue pencil. There is much in a name, and Daly is 
fatally suggestive of Dele. How could he find it in 
his heart, for instance, to mutilate this passage : 

Lysander. Ah, me ! for ought that ever I could read, 
Could ever hear by tale or history, 
The course of true love never did run smooth : 
But, either it was different in blood ; 

Hcnnia. O cross ! too high to be enthrall'd to low ! 

Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years ; 

Her. O spite ! too old to be engag'd to young ! 

Lys. ' Or else it stood upon the choice of friends : 

Her. ' O hell ! to choose love by another's eye ! 

Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, 

War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it. 

Will it be believed that Mr. Daly cuts all these 
silver-sweet antiphonies, making Lysander say, 
"The course of true love never did run smooth. 
For, if there were a sympathy in choice," etc. ? A 
little further on Hermia is robbed of the lines printed 
in inverted commas : 

I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow ; 

' By his best arrow with the golden head ; 

' By the simplicity of Venus' doves ; ' 

By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves ; 

' And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen, 

' When the false Troyan under sail was seen. ' 



248 ' THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

I presume it is from motives of delicacy that this 
speech of Oberon's is docked of its last four lines, the 
most magnificent in the whole play-: 

"How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania, 
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta, 
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus ? 
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night 
From Perigenia, whom he ravished ? 
And make him with fair ALgle break his faith, 
With Ariadne, and Antiopa ? " 

Immediately after, the whole of Titania's description 
of the rains and floods disappears without a trace 
an excrescence on the play, no doubt, but a curious 
and beautiful one. True, it would have needed an 
actress to speak it. There is more justification for 
some (but not for all) of the deletions in the lovers' 
quarrelling scenes. Passages so " conceited " in style 
as to baffle the comprehension of a modern audience 
may fairly be omitted ; but this principle does not 
apply to Helena's 

"We, Hermia, like to artificial gods, 
Have with our neelds created both one flower, 
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion," etc. 

At a low estimate, I should say that two-thirds of 
Mr. Daly's cuts are quite unnecessary, while of these, 
again, a full third is positively detrimental. In several 
briefer passages, he makes unaccountable havoc of 
the text. For instance, where Shakespeare wrote : 



"A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM." " 249 

"Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, 
The rest I'd give to be to you translated," 

Mr. Daly makes Miss Rehan say : 

" Were the world mine, it would I give 
To be to you transformed." 

Where the original texts mar the metre, Mr. Daly at 
once becomes a purist. He will have Oberon say, 
"Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine," reject- 
ing Theobald's obvious and beautiful conjecture of 
lush. Countless are the places in which he suffers 
his actors to ignore the accentuation obviously 
demanded by the measure. For instance: Hermia. 
" It stands as an edict in destiny " (it should, of 
course, be "edict"). Puck. "She never had so sweet 
a chanjling" (instead of the trisyllable, "changeling"). 
Hermia. " Lysander ! What ! removed ! Lysander ! 
Lord!" (instead of "remov'd"---as, indeed, it is 
printed in the Folio). In both places where the 
name of Philostrate occurs, the metre makes it 
abundantly evident that Shakespeare pronounced it 
Philostrait ; in both places Mr. Daly must needs 
have it Philbstratee. Lysander says to Helena, 
"Farewell, sweet playfellow; pray thou for us," thus 
ruining the line and disguising the rhyme with the 
following line, " And good luck grant thee thy 
Demetrius." Even in the "tedious brief scene" 
of Pyramus and Thisbe it would surely be worth 



250 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

while to let Wall say, what Shakespeare indisputably 
intended : 

" And this the cranny is, right and sinister, 
Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper," 

instead of accenting "sinister" on the first syllable, 
according to modern usage. These, to be sure, are 
small matters; but it is as easy to be right as wrong, 
and every wrong accentuation, while it gives no satis- 
faction to any one, inflicts on many a very appreciable 
dissatisfaction. And in no case, observe, have I 
noted a mere momentary slip of the tongue on the 
actor's part. These are all, so to speak, rehearsed 
errors, for which Mr. Daly is responsible. I am 
willing to believe that it was by a slip of the tongue 
that Mr. Clarke, the other night, said, "The lover, 
the lunatic, and the poet," instead of "The lunatic, 
the lover," etc.; but such slips would be impossible 
to any one with the slightest ear for verse. 

With the exception of the "panoramic illusion of 
the passage of the Barge of Theseus to Athens," the 
mounting was passable. The Pompeiian interior of 
the first act was a trifle garish, and the caryatids of 
the last act seemed somewhat elephantine; but the 
forest scene was really pretty and tasteful. The 
"panoramic illusion " was justly jeered at by the first- 
night gallery. An ambidextrous barge (propelled, 
that is to say, by a motionless steering-oar at bow and 
stern alike) was seen threading its way, obviously on 



"A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM." 251 

dry land, through an epileptic forest, jerked spas- 
modically along like a freight-train in the act of 
shunting. And for the sake of this childish and 
contemptible effect, Theseus and Hippolyta were 
made to perform a sort of egg-dance among the 
sleeping lovers, pretending not to see them until the 
cue came for recovering their eyesight. Mr. Daly is 
the only person illuded by this "panoramic illusion." 
In the fairy-scenes, again, the disorderly and meaning- 
less flashing and fading of the electric lamps in the 
fairies' wands and hair seemed to me far more dis- 
turbing than pretty. Surely these scintillations should 
be subjected to some rule, however fantastic or con- 
ventional. We instinctively look for some " natural 
law in the spiritual world." Beings who have this 
faculty of luminance must be conceived to employ 
it to some end, probably of emotional expression. 
Either the jewels should glow continuously, or, if 
they flash and fade, they should do so, not higgledy- 
piggledy, but with meaning and appropriateness 
pulsing, not merely fluttering. As it is, when Oberon 
says, "I am invisible," he seizes the opportunity to 
blaze forth like the Eddystone light. If the trick had 
been reversed if the Faery King had been radiant 
throughout the scene, and then suddenly eclipsed his 
fires one could have applauded Mr. Daly's ingenuity. 
At the very least, when the fairies are singing Titania's 
lullaby, their phosphorescence might surely follow the 



252 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

rhythm of the song instead of flitting and flickering in 
chaotic discordance. 

Where Mr. Daly gives her unmutilated lines to 
speak, Miss Rehan, as Helena, croons her verses 
very beautifully. She makes a noble and memorable 
figure. The one thing I regret in her performance is 
a sudden lapse into schoolgirl Americanism at the 
line, " Nor longer stay in your curst company." Miss 
Maxine Elliott, too, as Hermia, looks singularly hand- 
some, and speaks with intelligence and feeling. Mr. 
Frank Worthing and Mr. John Craig play Demetrius 
and Lysander quite creditably, though Mr. Worthing 
is a little careless of his words. It is really cruel of 
Mr. Daly to cast Mr. George Clarke for Theseus. 
He was ludicrous enough as Richard Coeur de Lion; 
under the huge helmet and in the cherry-coloured 
cloak of Theseus he is simply grotesque. Of his 
treatment of the text I have already given some 
specimens. Mr. Tyrone Power is good as Egeus, 
in spite of his Father-Christmas-like make-up. Miss 
Sibyl Carlisle makes a graceful and fairly intelligent 
Oberon; but Titania and Hippolyta simply cease to 
exist in the hands of Miss Percy Haswell and Miss 
Leontine. Miss Lillian Swain, as Puck, is con- 
ventional and nothing more. The clowning of the 
Athenian amateurs has at least the merit of being 
irresistibly funny. Mr. James Lewis as Bottom is 
mercurial rather than stolid; but, after all, there is 



"ALL ABROAD." 253 

nothing in the text to exclude this reading of the 
character. Nevertheless, I cannot think him so con- 
summate in this part as he was in Sir Toby Belch. 



XXXVI. 

"ALL ABROAD" " QWONG Hi." 

14 th August. 

FOUR persons, according to the playbill, are impli- 
cated in the confection of All Abroad, successfully 
produced at the Criterion last Thursday.* The piece 
is "by Owen Hall and James T. Tanner"; and under- 
neath we read, in much smaller letters, " Music by 
Fredk. Rosse. Lyrics by W. H. Risque." In the 
theatrical world, credit and cash are commonly appor- 
tioned in accordance with the size of type in which a 
man's name appears in the bills, so that Messrs. Owen 
Hall and James T. Tanner probably carry off not 
only the laurels but the lion's share of the emolu- 
ments arising from All Abroad. If this be so, they 
profit by an inveterate superstition, or rather by a 
false classification. The piece is called a " musical 
farce," and because "farce" is the substantive, 
" musical " the adjective, it is assumed that the plot 

* August 7 November 2. Revived at Court Theatre, Jan- 
uary 2, 1896. 



254 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

and dialogue form the substance of the show, the 
songs being a mere embellishment. Reverse the 
parts of speech and with them the emphasis, call the 
piece a " farcical operetta," and at once the haughty 
and majuscular "authors" would sink into the humble 
and small-typed "librettists" and librettists, more- 
over, who do not write their own rhymes. This is 
the true proportion in the division of labour. The 
success of the production lies entirely in the rhymes 
and jingles "music" is too large a word for this 
context in the pretty faces of the ladies, and the 
clowning of the comedians. The "authors," in the 
present instance, have furnished the title and the 
tedium, and very little more. "What !" they will no 
doubt protest, "have we not invented the melo- 
maniac solicitor, and the ward in Chancery, and the 
cafe-chant ant divette who turns out to be her long-lost 
sister, and the tuneful tar who marries the ward in 
Chancery, and the effervescent champagne-brewer, 
and the dwarf office-boy whose antics the audience 
found so agreeable ? Have we not, in the course of 
arduous literary researches, exhumed from a forgotten 
romance of antiquity the idea of the amorous attorney 
who dyes his hair green ? Have we not lavishly be- 
gemmed the dialogue with such sparkling facetia; as 
these: ' She has gone for a ride on a bicycle.' 'On 
a what, sir?' 'No, not on a whatsir, on a bicycle. 
It is india-rubber tyred.' ' I don't care how tired it 



"ALL ABROAD." 255 

is'? All this, and more besides, we have done; and 
yet you tell us we have furnished only the title and 
the tedium !" Precisely; I said the tedium. And, 
mark you, not for me alone, but for the audience at 
large. No human soul takes the slightest interest 
in the plot, the characters, or the situations of All 
Abroad, Why, the authors themselves (and small 
blame to them !) are perpetually losing the thread of 
the story and picking it up again the same thread 
or another, it matters not after twenty minutes or so 
of sheer irrelevance. The so-called play is only the 
rough canvas on which the really attractive features of 
the entertainment are elaborately embroidered, by the 
song-writer, composer, costumier, stage-manager, and 
comedians. This canvas any one could provide 
any one, that is to say, who could sufficiently divest 
his mind of all misplaced hankerings after wit, 
coherence, or comic originality. 

A curious fatality besets the modern English stage. 
Every now and then, a more or less novel and 
interesting style of play is evolved, imperfect and 
tentative enough, yet seeming to contain the possi- 
bilities, and even the promise, of better things. We 
hail such appearances with delight, and look eagerly 
for the development of the new art-form. Alas ! it 
invariably makes haste to develop backwards ; it 
withers before it has bloomed; it shows a marvellous 
alacrity in sinking. Planche started a gay and grace- 



256 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

ful form of extravaganza; it degenerated the moment 
it left his hands, to end ingloriously in three-act 
Gaiety burlesque and the vulgarities of spectacular 
pantomime. Robertsonian comedy- was an invention 
in its way; but as M. Auguste Filon has just been 
reminding us in his singularly well-informed articles 
in the Revue des Deux Mondes it culminated during 
Robertson's own brief day of success, and then 
dwindled into puerility and ineptitude. Some twelve 
or fifteen years ago, Mr. Sims and Mr. Jones seemed 
for a moment to have put new life into popular 
drama. If they, or other writers, had gradually 
dropped the mechanical and conventional parts of 
The Lights d* London and The Silver King, and 
worked steadily along the line of observation, humour 
and character-study, they would have arrived in time 
at the unpretending but really artistic "folk-play" 
which is the most popular form of drama in Germany 
and, I believe, in America. Mr. Jones did, indeed, 
make one or two efforts in that direction (for ex- 
ample, The Middleman}, but presently devoted 
himself entirely to society drama; while Mr. Sims 
lost no time in joining hands with the practitioners 
of East-end melodrama, and glissading down into 
the depths of mechanical stage-carpentry. Then, 
again, the Gilbert and Sullivan movement has ended 
(for the present) where it began in Gilbert and 
Sullivan. They have had plenty of inferior imitators, 



"ALL ABROAD." 257 

but neither they themselves nor other writers have 
made Pinafore and Patience the stepping-stones to 
higher things. And finally, to return to the immediate 
matter in hand, the " musical comedy " form which 
began with In Town, and seemed to offer such 
illimitable opportunities for fantasy, satire and sportive 
criticism of life, has gone steadily downwards instead 
of upwards, until it has sunk into the meaningless 
tomfoolery of All Abroad. What is the malign force 
that checks every fresh impetus in English theatrical 
life, drags down every aspiration, and, when the time 
is ripe for an Aristophanes, gives us instead a James 
T. Tanner and Owen Hall? What have we done 
that we should be smitten with intellectual barren- 
ness ? It was not always thus. The Elizabethan 
drama did not rush helter-skelter downhill from Mar- 
lowe, the Restoration comedy did not sullenly decline 
from Etherege. The impetus given in Tamburlaine 
culminated in Lear, and died away gloriously in The 
Duchess of Malfy and The Broken Heart. Love in a 
Tub was only the precursor of Love for Love and The 
beaux' Stratagem. What is it that in these days seems 
to paralyse at the outset every stirring of new life ? Or is 
it only our impatience that leads us to take momentary 
deflections for permanent aberrations, and blinds us to 
the true curve of development ? That is just the ques- 
tion. If we could answer it, we should know whether 
there is really any artistic future for the English stage. 



258 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

In one respect, however, the Gilbert impulse has 
not been entirely resultless: it has permanently raised 
the standard of stage versification. No one nowadays 
dares to come forward with the unspeakable balder- 
dash which passed for verse during the Byron- 
Reece-Farnie period. I shall never forget Mr. Lionel 
Brough in Bhie Beard (an amusing burlesque in 
its day) singing a song which ended with this lovely 
quatrain : 

" For it is just as poets sing, 
You can't have too much of a good thing ; 
And they do say it is good to wed 
So now no more at present on that head." 

This is a perfectly fair specimen of the wit and metre 
that passed current twenty years ago, when (it must 
be said in extenuation) librettists had very often to 
fit their words to pre-existent French airs, utterly 
irreconcilable with English rhythms. Mr. Gilbert has 
changed all that. The English librettist now writes 
stanzas of regular and sometimes very ingenious form, 
which he hands to the composer for musical treat- 
ment. This is the rational order of things, and we 
have already quite a little group, headed by Mr. 
Gilbert himself and Mr. "Adrian Ross," of clever, 
and sometimes brilliant, verse-writers for the stage. 
Mr. W. H. Risque, the poet of All Abroad, is not 
brilliant but decidedly clever. With a better book to 
inspire him, he would no doubt do better work; as it 



"QWONG HI." 259 

is, his lyrics are gay and tripping enough, though here 
and there rather too music-hally in tone. Mr. F. 
Rosse's music seemed to me even thinner than usual in 
such productions, but there was a certain swing about 
several numbers that caught the fancy of the audience. 
The company was not vocally strong, though Mr. 
John Coates, as the sailor lover, sang with ease and 
effect. Miss Ada Reeve and Miss Kate Cutler played 
the sister heroines very pleasantly. Miss Reeve has 
a curious wire-thread of a voice one can scarcely 
call it gold or even silver wire but uses it with such 
vivacity that the audience does not trouble about its 
tone. Mr. Charles E. Stevens and Mr. Horace Mills, 
as the two idiot solicitors, prove themselves capable 
low-comedians; and Mr. De Lange manages to intro- 
duce one or two clever touches into the part of the 
champagne-manufacturer. 

The most amusing figure in the old burlesque of 
Blue Beard above alluded to was the Heathen 
Chinee of Mr. Willie Edouin. It has often been 
suggested that, though the burlesque is dead beyond 
possibility of revival, Ah Sin might be revived in 
another play. Mr. Fenton Mackay has acted upon 
this suggestion, and made the Heathen Chinee, re- 
christened Qwong Hi, the central figure of a farce of 
that name.* The farce, unfortunately, is in itself 
utterly vapid, and there is very little humour or 
* Avenue Theatre, July 27 August 17. 



260 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

ingenuity in the situations in which Qwong Hi is 
involved. Nevertheless, the quaintness of Mr. 
Edouin's performance keeps the audience fairly 
amused. The " Hong Kong heiress," to whom 
Qwong Hi acts as nurse, is played by Miss May 
Edouin, a vivacious young lady, whose bent would 
seem to be towards the music-hall rather than the 
stage. 

XXXVII. 

"A YOUNGSTER'S ADVENTURE" "NEW YORK 
DIVORCE." 

28/7* August. 

THE interim management at the Strand Theatre 
may boast of having established two " records " the 
record of ineptitude in comedietta and of vulgarity in 
farce.* The author of A Youngster's Adventure, Mr. 
John S. Clarke, is a popular comedian and, I presume, 
a successful manager; with these distinctions he ought 
to be content. He writes like a sentimental school- 
boy, and a schoolboy who has not even the instinct 
to choose good models for imitation. The farce, 
entitled New York Divorce, is "based on the French," 
by an anonymous author. It seems to be a farrago 
of three or four French vaudevilles so jumbled up as 
* August 19 September n. 



"THE SWORDSMAN'S DAUGHTER." 261 

to make the story totally incomprehensible which is, 
indeed, an extenuating circumstance. It belongs to 
the lowest order of dramatic entertainment; but the 
first-night audience laughed at it, and critics, I under- 
stand, have been found to praise it. The acting was, 
fortunately, better than the play. Mr. Wilfred Clarke 
showed a good deal of comic energy and conviction, 
Miss Marie Hudspeth was very bright, and Mr. 
Oswald Yorke played with ease and intelligence. 



XXXVIII. 

"THE SWORDSMAN'S DAUGHTER." 

4fth September. 

WHEN Le Mattre d 1 Amies, by MM. Jules Mary and 
Georges Grisier, was produced in Paris in October 
1892, Francisque Sarcey took the authors gravely to 
task in the name of " Aristotle and common-sense." 
What Aristotle had to do in that galley (or common- 
sense either, for the matter of that) is not very 
apparent; but M. Sarcey's objection to the play is 
sufficiently curious to merit a little examination. He 
found in it an example of the modern and reprehen- 
sible tendency to present " slices of life " rather than 
constructed and developed dramas; and especially he 
reproached the authors with deliberately omitting the 
scene afaire. A young lady is seduced, he says, and, 



262 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

for the sake of her child, implores her betrayer to 
keep his promise of marriage. He renews the promise, 
without the slightest intention of fulfilling it, and goes 
on board his yacht in order to make his escape. She 
discovers his purpose, and follows him on board the 
yacht. "What is the scene," asks M. Sarcey and 
here I translate literally "which you expect, you, 
the public ? It is the scene between the abandoned 
fair one and her seducer. The author may make it 
in a hundred ways, but make it he must !" Instead 
of which, the critic proceeds, we are fobbed off with 
a storm-scene, a rescue, and other sensational inci- 
dents, and hear no word of what passes between 
the villain and his victim. 

All this remains practically unaltered in The 
Swordsman's .Daughter, by Messrs. Brandon Thomas 
and Clement Scott, produced last Saturday at the 
Adelphi;* so that we can give a direct answer to 
M. Sarcey's appeal to the public. It is not at all the 
answer which M. Sarcey puts in our mouths. Words 
cannot express our unconcern as to what passes 
between the heroine and the villain on board the 
yacht nay, more, our gratitude for being spared that 
painful and threadbare scene of recrimination. We 
know it all beforehand; we have heard it a hundred 
times ; and we warmly applaud the discretion which 
compresses all that is needful for the purposes of the 
* August 31 November 30. 



"THE SWORDSMAN'S DAUGHTER." 263 

story into a few hurried words in the second act. 
The plot demands, observe, that the villain shall not 
relent. We know quite well that he cannot, for if he 
did the play would fall to pieces. Why, then, should 
we " expect " or demand a sordid squabble which can 
lead to nothing? The storm-scene may or may not 
be a " slice of life," but it is fifty times more interest- 
ing than the scene for which M. Sarcey yearns. It, 
too, leads to nothing; if it were to be casually 
omitted one evening no one would miss it; and on 
that account (among others) Aristotle would scarcely 
approve of The Swordsman's Daughter. Its plot is 
of the "episodic" order which he expressly condemns. 
But I doubt whether Aristotle would have liked the 
play much better if M. Sarcey had had his way, and 
I am sure the Adelphi audience would have liked it a 
great deal worse. The moral, therefore, seems to be 
that in this class of play the drama, if one may call 
it so, of foregone character the scene a faire is pre- 
cisely the scene to be avoided. It is so obvious, and 
has been done so often before, that even the least 
sophisticated audience is heartily sick of it. In the 
present instance, indeed, I think M. Sarcey is mis- 
taken in the application of his own principles. I 
doubt whether the scene he clamours for is in even 
the most conventional sense the scene a faire. But if 
it clearly and unmistakably fulfilled M. Sarcey's defini- 
tion, we should none the less beg to be spared it. 



264 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

The interest of a really dramatic scene lies in the 
unfolding of character, or the ingenious and unfore- 
seen development of a situation. Now, in plays of 
this class there is no character to be unfolded, and it 
is almost impossible to hit on an ingenious and un- 
foreseen development of situation within the narrow 
limits prescribed by the tastes and prejudices of a 
"popular" audience. Therefore, the purveyors of 
this form of entertainment are well-advised, it seems 
to me, when they concentrate their attention on 
spectacular or sensational episodes, and reduce to a 
minimum what M. Sarcey would call (justly enough) 
the dramatic element of the production when, in a 
word, they " cut the cackle and come to the 'osses." 
The " well-made " melodramas have all been written, 
the " scenes to be done " have all been done over and 
over again till we know them by heart. We and by 
" we " I mean the public to which such plays appeal 
have but little appetite for copious re-hashes of 
such very cold mutton as the appeals of the penitent 
heroine to the recalcitrant villain. We are ready and 
even eager to accept the most summary indications 
of these familiar passages, and get on to the duels, 
and shipwrecks, and railway accidents, and zarebas, 
and laagers, and Derby Days, and polo-matches, 
and explosions, and conflagrations, which M. Sarcey 
accepts, half ironically, half naively, as " slices of life." 
Illustration, as some one pointed out the other day, 



"THE SWORDSMAN'S DAUGHTER." 265 

has of late become enormously popular. The demand 
for picture-books and picture-papers seems to increase 
every day; and a similar tendency, I believe, is 
apparent in the melodramatic theatres. People do 
not care how slight a setting of text is provided, 
so long as the "plates" are numerous and highly 
coloured. To this demand The Swordsman's Daughter 
conforms. The fencing-school scenes are novel and 
animated, the duel is extremely picturesque and con- 
vincing, and the storm is a highly effective piece of 
musical meteorology. Not a soul in the audience, I 
am absolutely certain, missed M. Sarcey's scene a 
faire. Some of us, indeed, would gladly have dis- 
pensed with one or two of the scenes faites that, for 
instance, in which the paralytic father forces his 
daughter to confess her misfortune in the presence of 
the man she loves. 

There is one genuine touch of nature in the play, 
quite inadvertent on the authors' part, no doubt, but 
none the less typical. When the excellent Vibrac 
believes that it is The'rese who has found too late 
that men betray, he treats her with the most sym- 
pathetic humanity; when he learns that it is his own 
daughter who has made the false step, he behaves 
to her like a brute. He thus illustrates the great 
principle that charity, liberality, tolerance are apt to 
begin anywhere else than at home. For the rest, 
there is no gleam of originality either in the concep- 



266 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

tion or in the writing of the play. The episode of 
the sailor's death and his wife's suicide might have 
been effective but for three trifling circumstances. In 
the first place, the authors (or adaptors) had made him 
a bibulous buffoon, in whose fate no one can take the 
slightest interest. In the second place, the despairing 
widow (probably translating the word bete too literally) 
apostrophises the ocean as "You beast !" and thereby 
turns the situation to burlesque. In the third place, 
the miracle which is apparently intended to prove 
that the Everlasting has fixed his canon 'gainst self- 
slaughter somehow did not come off. " L'artillerie 
du ciel" (as the elder Dumas translated Hamlet's 
" canon ") was not rightly " fixed," or else missed fire. 
The two latter drawbacks to the success of the scene 
have no doubt been remedied by this time. The 
idiotic and offensive character of the sailor ought also 
to be remodelled, for even if it did not take all the 
interest out of this scene, it would still be no less 
tedious than senseless. The audience was quite as 
much puzzled as the Baron de Chantoisel to find any 
humour in the catchword "Man overboard!" The 
abject poverty of the comic scenes in general is the 
only thing that renders the success of the play at all 
doubtful. Popular audiences demand not only good 
"coloured plates," but spirited "comic cuts" as well. 
These, and not the scenes a faire, are the essential 
ingredients of modern melodrama. 



"ALABAMA." 267 

Mr. Terriss looked noble as the grey-haired swords- 
man, and played the part with due dignity and 
emphasis. His frock-coat, with the order at the 
button-hole, was an incomparable masterpiece. He 
did not take the paralysis scenes very seriously, and 
in that he was well-advised. Miss Millward made 
a pleasant heroine, Mr. Abingdon an unmistakable 
villain, and Mr. Charles Fulton a manly and spirited 
hero. Other parts were well played by Mrs. E. H. 
Brooke, Miss Marriott, and Miss Vane Featherston. 
It was not Mr. Harry Nicholls's fault that the Baron 
de Chantoisel seemed a very dull dog. 

XXXIX. 

" ALABAMA." 

u//z September. 

"I STILL recollect," says Carlyle of Coleridge, "his 
'object' and 'subject,' terms of continual recurrence 
in the Kantean province ; and how he sang and 
snuffled them into ' om-m-mject ' and 'sum-m-mject,' 
with a kind of solemn shake or quaver, as he rolled 
along." Everybody, nowadays, can sing or snuffle 
about "object" and "subject." They are terms one 
tries to avoid, as belonging to the stock-in-trade of 
pedantry, and cheap pedantry to boot. Yet there 
are times when it becomes the first duty of criticism 



268 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

to distinguish between the " om-m-mject " and the 
" sum-m-mject," as Coleridge would have said to 
state the tangible and demonstrable facts about a 
work of art, before recording the personal sensations 
and judgments to which it gives rise. Criticism, to 
be sure, cannot get very far before the " sum-m-mject " 
intrudes itself; but, for practical purposes, any quality 
or characteristic which is either self-evident or capable 
of demonstration to all persons of normal perceptivity, 
may be classed as inherent in the object. When I 
say, for example, that Mr. Arthur Roberts is jocose, 
I record an objective fact; if I add that he is 
amusing, I commit myself to a subjective criticism. 

Let me try, then, to look at Alabama* objectively, 
before passing on to inquire why it delighted me and 
the great majority of the Garrick audience, while it 
bored a minority, both in the gallery and the stalls. 
Its chief characteristics are three : simplicity, amia- 
bility, reticence. Nothing could be simpler than its 
action, its characters, its emotions. It is a little 
nosegay, so to speak, of homely love-stories a 
network of what Miss Wilkins would call "humble 
romances." Sentimental it is, sentimental and 
unashamed; but the sentiment finds sober, un- 
rhetorical, often even wordless expression, and 
humour always treads close upon its heels, or rather 
goes hand-in-hand with it. As for character-study, 
* September 2 October 12. 



"ALABAMA." 269 

if we confine that term to the ransacking of dark 
tortuosities of the soul, the analysis of egoisms and 
vanities, the diagnosis of disease, why, then there is 
no character-study in the piece, any more than in 
The Vicar of Wakefield or Pickwick. So far as we can 
judge from this single play, Mr. Augustus Thomas 
seems to have an eye for superficial quaintnesses of 
character, rather than for "psycho-physiological 
enigmas." He is a delineator, not an analyst. To 
compare him with any of the great creators of fiction 
or the drama with Tolstoi or Ibsen, to name only 
living examples would be like comparing Randolph 
Caldecott with Velasquez. But there is a time for 
Caldecott, and a time for Velasquez; nay more, there 
are phases of character which belong to the sympa- 
thetic humorist, rather than to the soul-searcher or 
the seer. Simple characters relatively simple, that 
is to say have a real existence, no less than the 
complex characters begotten by civilisation and 
sophistication. They exist, indeed, in immensely 
greater numbers; and the artist has a perfect right 
to take us into primitive regions, geographical or 
merely social, where no one has dreamt of disinte- 
grating or reconstructing the old ideals, and where 
the conceptions, or prejudices if you will, of man- 
hood, womanhood, love, honour, duty, patriotism, 
religion, property, marriage, have been handed down 
unaltered from time immemorial. It is into such a 



2/0 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

" bayou " or backwater of American life that Mr. 
Thomas asks us to follow him. He asks us, further- 
more, to take a sympathetic interest in such legendary 
phenomena as paternal and filial affection, strong 
after years of estrangement, the old love of a man 
for a woman, the young love of a youth for a maid, 
and the simple, stupid chivalry which will, as a mere 
matter of course, face death for the honour of a 
woman who denies it all reward. The author's 
observation, it is clear, has a distinct bias towards 
the amiable. Everybody is delightful except the 
villain, and he, from first to last, has "no show." 
But in this Mr. Thomas is simply carrying out one 
of the clearest precepts of Aristotle. (I have been 
reading Professor Butcher's excellent edition of the 
Poetics, so that, for the moment, Aristotle and I are 
on the most cordial terms.) "In respect of character," 
he remarks (Poetics, cap. xv. i), "there are four things 
to be observed. First, and most important, it must 
be good. . . . This rule applies to persons of every 
class. Even a woman may be good, and also a slave; 
though the woman may be said to be an inferior 
being, and the slave is absolutely bad." Inferior or 
not, Mr. Thomas's women are all good, and so is his 
slave; though the fact is perhaps rather an index to 
the author's temperament than a proof of his reverent 
familiarity with Aristotle. Seriously, he averts his 
gaze from the night side of life, and paints in bright, 



"ALABAMA." 2/1 

and tender, and transparent washes. The form of 
drama to which his work most nearly approximates 
is our own cup-and-saucer comedy. But his mechan- 
ism is even simpler than that of Robertson and Albery, 
and his style is much more sober. He does not stray 
into caricature, into rhetoric, or into artificial wit. 
He does not, like Albery, or Mr. Pinero in his earlier 
plays, seize upon a metaphor, and work it up into a 
sort of fugue of fantasy. He keeps well within the 
limits of possible conversation; yet, by nicely choosing 
his words, he achieves a certain distinction of style. 
I wish Alabama were printed. There are passages in 
it that I would gladly quote; for quotation is, after 
all, the best way of presenting the "om-m-mject " 

A certain subjectivity, I fear, has crept into the 
foregoing paragraph; but I don't think even the 
critics who pooh-poohed the play will, on the whole, 
object to my description of it. "We admit all this," 
they will say; "Alabama may be as simple, amiable, 
and reticent as you please; but the fact remains that 
its simplicity seemed to us childish, its amiability 
mawkish, and its reticence ineffective. In a word, it 
bored us." So far was it from boring me, that I 
would willingly have gone the next evening and seen 
it all over again. Here, then, we face the subjective 
problem: Whence arises this diametrical difference 
of impression ? 

It would be a cheap, and not over-polite, solution of 



2/2 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

the difficulty to hint that the despisers of the play are 
insensitive to refinement of theatrical workmanship, 
or else such stern and stony realists that they cannot 
even permit themselves the momentary relaxation of 
a little sentimental idealism, however delicate and 
graceful. I prefer to consider whether there is any 
idiosyncrasy in myself, which renders me more than 
ordinarily accessible, or supersensitive as it were, to 
the appeal of Alabama. And here the question of 
local colour at once presents itself. The play pro- 
claims its localism in its very title; it is as clearly a 
picture of local manners as UArl'esienne or Cavalleria 
Rusticana. Now these local manners have for me, I 
confess, a quite peculiar interest and charm ; so that 
what may detract from the enjoyment of some people 
notably enhances mine. These English-speaking 
foreigners, so unlike us in manners and habits of 
thought, and yet so instantly and intimately compre- 
hensible, are an unfailing delight to me. I will even 
go further, and say that in some obscure, irrational 
way they minister to my vanity. I am proud of 
America; of its history and its literature; of its diver- 
sities of climate, nature, character, manners, speech. 
They are a precious part of my birthright. Like 
Whitman, " I loaf and invite my soul " through all 
these strange and foreign regions, where yet my 
language and my race-traditions make me so curiously 
at home. "A new language," says some one, "is a 



" ALABAMA." 273 

new sense;" but this English language of ours enables 
us to multiply our senses that is, to envisage the 
world in new ways without the labour of acquiring 
new word-stores or constructive forms. Every pro- 
vince of the Anglo-Saxon world (not in America 
alone) is now finding expression, and often fine and 
original expression, in literature. This decentralisa- 
tion of fiction, this return to the soil, has been one of 
the chief literary movements of the past twenty years, 
and has produced more than one masterpiece". If I 
were asked to name an English book of that period 
which seemed clearly destined to immortality, I 
believe I should pitch upon that boy-Odyssey of the 
Mississippi, Mark Twain's Hiukleberry Finn, We 
" sin our mercies " or waste our privileges if we do 
not go out to welcome these fresh and genial self- 
interpretations of our alien compatriots. For me, 
at any rate, it is a delight, not an effort, to live in 
imagination under the infinite variety of conditions 
to which the language of Chaucer and Kipling gives 
me free and familiar access. The American War, 
too, out of which the action of Alabama springs, 
seems to me the one war of recent history in which 
it is possible to take a human, as opposed to a merely 
spectacular, interest. It possessed genuine elements 
of heroism. It was a war of freemen, not of automata : 
of ideals, not of personal ambitions or race-hatreds. 

For all these reasons, then as a picture of Greater- 

18 



2/4 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

British life and character, and an extension to the 
stage of a large and vital literary movement Alabama 
came straight home to my sympathies. The foreign- 
ness of scene, customs, and dialect, which annoyed 
some critics, added appreciably to my enjoyment of 
Mr. Thomas's humour, sentiment, and scenic skill. 
In such a matter of personal idiosyncrasy, it would 
be ridiculous to assert the " Tightness" or "wrong- 
ness " of either way of feeling. But my way of feeling 
which seemed to be shared by the great majority 
of the audience has at least the advantage of 
widening the range of my pleasures. 

It remains to be said that the acting, though good 
on the whole, was not altogether judicious or fortunate. 
In a play which contains a good deal of dialect, the 
greatest care should be taken to get every syllable 
over the footlights; and in a play of character rather 
than incident, the performance should never be 
suffered to drag. On the first night of Alabama, 
several of the actors were so much taken up with 
reproducing the Southern drawl that they frequently 
became inaudible, while Miss Marion Terry's nervous- 
ness made her very uncertain of her words, and of 
course communicated itself, in some degree, to her 
comrades. By this time, no doubt, the piece is 
played with greater crispness and decision. Mr. 
Fernandez and Mr. Willard were admirable as the 
long-estranged father and son. The recognition- 



"BOGEY." 275 

scene at the close, most ingeniously brought about, 
is singularly pathetic so much so that the sub- 
ordinate actors on the stage, not personally con- 
cerned in the situation, were visibly moved by it. 
Mr. John Mason was delightful as the chivalrous 
Colonel Moberley, and Mr. F. H. Tyler, though a 
little too slow, was good as Squire Tucker. Mr. 
W. T. Lovell and Miss Agnes Miller made a 
pleasant pair of lovers, and the minor parts were 
well filled. Whatever the fate of the play, Mr. 
Willard has shown true artistic instinct in producing 
it, and deserves the thanks of all who care for 
delicacy and refinement in theatrical art. 

XL. 

"BOGEY" "THE CHILI WIDOW." 



September. 

MR. H. V. ESMOND'S three-act play, Bogey* professes 
to give "some account of the curious behaviour of 
Disembodied Bates." What it really does is to allege 
a crazy incoherence in the order of things, abhorrent 
to the reason, and neither pleasant nor profitable 
to the imagination. We may not have the right to 
ask of a work of art, "What does it prove?" but 
a miracle must certainly abide this challenge. A 
* St. James's, September 10 September 21. 



2/6 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

meaningless miracle is a sort of insanity in the 
universal mind, which the particular mind shrinks 
from conceiving. It is true that, as the family ghost 
explained to Mr. Andrew Lang, the spiritual world 
seems generally to be afflicted with aphasia. The 
sufferer from this disease says that his tea is blue 
when he means that it is sweet, and when he wants 
an umbrella is as likely as not to ask for a bathing- 
machine. Thus, when Mr. Lang's ghostly visitant 
wished to convey to his living descendants that the 
drainage of Castle Perilous was out of order, the 
nearest he could get to that statement was to drive 
round and round the castle in the form of a hearse 
and six. This is certainly not a luminous method 
of expression; but the proceedings of the umquhile 
Master of Perilous were rational and coherent in 
comparison with the "behaviour of Disembodied 
Bates." A family ghost has, so to speak, an insurable 
interest in the welfare of his descendants, and the 
hearse and six, if not absolutely perspicuous, was 
at least a picturesque adumbration of typhoid and 
diphtheria. The deceased Bates, on the other hand, 
forger and dipsomaniac, had nothing whatever to 
do with Archibald Buttanshaw, into whom his spirit 
entered with disastrous results. It does not appear 
that Bates was an ancestor of Buttanshaw's, else the 
play might pass for an allegory of atavism. It does 
not appear that Bates, while in the flesh, was at 



" BOGEY." 277 

enmity with Buttanshaw or any of his ancestors. A 
vendetta prolonged beyond the grave is an accepted 
motive in ghost-psychology, and, for the sake of the 
thrill, we do not mind pretending to believe in it; 
but here there is no hint of anything of the kind. 
Finally, it is through no flaw in Mr. Buttanshaw's 
own character that the spirit of Bates obtains such 
easy entrance into his organism. The Strange Case 
of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde symbolised not for 
the first time in literature that moral dualism which 
exists, perhaps, in all of us, arid is very marked in 
some. Hyde was, from the first, implicit in Jekyll; 
all the potion did was to turn outward the seamy side 
of his soul. But in Mr. Esmond's play there is no 
mention of any secret affinity, any long-dissembled 
bias, which might be supposed to render Buttanshaw 
peculiarly susceptible to the influence of a demon on 
the prowl. Uncle Archie is the best of men. For 
aught that we can see, his youth has been as virtuous 
as his age is benignant. Mr. Esmond, then, has not 
taken any of the three courses open to him: the 
biological, the moral, or the simply sensational. He 
has not made the " possession " of his hero a re- 
crudescence of ancestral vices, nor an outbreak of 
personal vices once indulged and long festering 
in repression; nor has he simply extended to the 
spirit world the passions and rancours of the flesh, 
making Disembodied Bates persecute his victim from 



2/8 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

motives which arose (in relation to Buttanshaw himself 
or his forbears) while Bates was still embodied. He 
has not even, as in the common ghost-story, made the 
spirit resent an intrusion into the messuage or tene- 
ment of which he, the said spirit, believed himself to 
be lawfully seised and possessed. In none of these 
forms has he made the slightest attempt to give 
meaning and consistency to his miracle; he has left 
it utterly motiveless and fortuitous. " But why," he 
may perhaps ask, " should I be expected to rationalise 
the irrational, to naturalise the preternatural? If 
you swallow the camel of spiritual ' possession,' why 
strain at the gnat of the particular form it happens 
to assume?" Pardon! we do not "swallow the 
camel." We are quite prepared to do so if you 
hold out adequate temptation in the shape of beauty, 
terror, intellectual ingenuity, moral or spiritual fitness 
and relevancy; but as it is, we never for a moment 
believe in your fable because you do not make us 
wish to believe in it. The artist is greatly mistaken 
who imagines that by plunging into the supernatural 
he can simply shake off all logical and psychological 
trammels, and fantasticate at random. The human 
mind cannot picture to itself a world devoid of law 
and order. You are at liberty, indeed, to establish 
what laws or conventions you please in the preter- 
natural sphere, but, once established, they must not 
be arbitrarily overridden. And, especially in what 



" BOGEY." 279 

relates to the mind, your laws must not diverge too 
widely from those of the real world, or we shall 
presently lose interest in their operation. Your 
spirits may put a girdle round the earth in forty 
minutes, but they must love and hate, think and 
feel, pretty much as we ourselves do, or they will 
merely bewilder and irritate us. The "behaviour 
of Disembodied Bates" is like that of a man who 
should suddenly raise his walking-stick and inflict a 
severe thrashing on an inoffensive passer-by whom he 
had never seen before. When such cases occur we 
do not write plays about them, but put the aggressor 
in a strait-waistcoat. And if the "curious behaviour" 
of a live lunatic does not interest us in the theatre, 
why expect us to be thrilled by the proceedings of a 
dead one ? 

If Mr. Esmond had intended his play as a satire 
upon "spiritualism," one could have seen the meaning 
of it, though not his reason for devoting three acts 
to such a purpose. The behaviour of Disembodied 
Bates is not a whit more pointless and futile than the 
majority of the actions and " manifestations " of the 
mighty dead, according to the believers in this dismal 
doctrine. But satire is far from Mr. Esmond's inten- 
tion. If spirits exist, indeed, and behave as the 
spiritualists allege, it is quite useless to satirise them; 
we can only mourn our lot in being born into so 
foolish a universe. Satire must be levelled at Mr. 



280 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Sludge, not at his "controls"; whereas Mr. Esmond 
treats Sludge (under the alias of Noah Em ens) with 
all possible respect. The fact seems to be that Mr. 
Esmond enjoys his fantasy, and expects us to enjoy 
it, simply for its own sake. The, mere imagination of 
these incidents, apart from all questions of construc- 
tive ingenuity or philosophical significance, gives him 
pleasure in and for itself. The first-night audience 
seemed to share that pleasure, and I hope other 
audiences may be as easily satisfied; for, after all, the 
play is quite harmless, and there is a good deal of 
really clever writing in it, reminding one now of 
Dickens and again of Mr. Pinero. But Mr. Esmond 
may rest assured that no work of permanent value 
can be produced without a much more strenuous 
effort of invention than he has devoted to Bogey. 
His fantasy is altogether too arbitrary and facile. 
The spirit of Bates enters into Buttanshaw for no 
reason and departs out of him for no reason. If the 
drama even consisted of a struggle between the evil 
principle embodied (or disembodied) in Bates and 
the good principle embodied in Fairy Buttanshaw, 
one could recognise a sort of rudimentary ethical 
significance and dramatic coherence in it. As it is, 
there is no sign of any such struggle. The spirit, 
indeed, retreats from the presence of the little girl, 
and returns in her absence; but it does not appear 
that she has anything to do with finally exorcising it. 



"THE CHILI WIDOW." 28 1 

The whole thing is unconditioned and irrelevant, a 
tangle, not a fabric. "It is not so, nor 'twas not so; 
but, indeed, God forbid it should be so." 

Mr. Esmond's rather thin and sharp-edged voice 
an excellent voice for a wide range of character-parts 
is scarcely suited to the dual personage of Bates- 
Buttanshaw. It has not enough flexibility and 
variety. His performance of Buttanshaw was clever 
and amiable, but for the thrill of horror (if any) 
produced by his Bates, he was mainly indebted to a 
green limelight. Miss Eva Moore was charming as 
Fairy Buttanshaw, and Mr. F. Everill was good as 
the stony man of business who at ten o'clock every 
evening becomes a genial man of feeling. Miss 
Pattie Bell played the middle-aged heroine very 
pleasantly, and Mr. Elliot, Mr. Philip Cuningham, 
and Miss Ethel Matthews did all that could reason- 
ably be expected with a trio of comic lovers whose 
proceedings were undeniably ludicrous, but scarcely 
amusing. 

M. Sarcey's favourite theory that even in the 
wildest extravagance of farce we demand a certain 
germ of truth, a "grain of observation," as he loves 
to call it, is flatly contradicted, so far as England is 
concerned, by the success of The Chili Widow at 
the Royalty.* In Bisson and Carrd's Monsieur le 
Directeur there may have been this grain of observa- 
* September 7 still running. 



282 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

tion; but in the Anglicised version it has utterly and 
inevitably vanished. Every character and incident is 
obtrusively un-English. We have to replace the play 
in France before we can find its action conceivable, 
even on the plane of farce. It is possible that prefer- 
ment in Downing Street does not always go strictly 
by merit, and its dispensers are perhaps not steeled 
at all points against the blandishments of lovely 
woman; but these blandishments are certainly not 
brought to bear after the fashion here represented. 
And all other details are equally devoid of verisimili- 
tude, whether literal or typical. The farce amuses 
us, not because we recognise it as representing or 
interpreting anything under the sun, but simply, like 
a thousand other French farces, because of the in- 
herent ludicrousness of the situations. This is 
indeed, the most universally popular of all forms of 
humour. The act of comparison and recognition 
involves more or less intellectual effort, and the 
multitude naturally prefers laughter without labour 
absurdities which take the muscles, as it were, by 
storm, and compel a laugh almost as mechanically 
as a pinch of snuff compels a sneeze. At the 
same time, those who prefer a little exercise of the 
intellect in their amusements may, if they please, 
study and admire the ingenuity with which MM. 
Bisson and Carre have manipulated their theme, so 
as to extract from it all its comic possibilities, and 



"THE CHILI WIDOW." 283 

keep the fun unflaggingly alive. What I, for my 
part, cannot admire is the way in which the English 
adapters have either retained from the original, or 
invented on their own account, numerous speeches 
whose sole attraction lies in their smack of impro- 
priety. In the scene between the mother-in-law and 
the cook, for example, there are one or two expres- 
sions which might come naturally enough to a French 
servant, but would be quite impossible to an English 
girl of the same class. Again, when the mother-in- 
law comes to urge her son-in-law's claims upon the 
head of his department, there is legitimate comedy in 
her sense of the risk she is running in venturing into 
the den of this notorious Don Juan. Instead of 
delicately indicating her qualms and tremors, the 
authors, or adapters, are content to expound the 
comedy of the situation in one crude aside, and then 
make no more of it. " Here is the man," they make 
her say, " who can grant me everything, but who may 
ask a great deal in return." This is dotting the " i " 
with a vengeance, and is as undramatic as it is un- 
pleasing. Finally, the classic situation in which A. 
urges B. to make love to a lady whom B. believes to 
be Mrs. A., is developed and elaborated to the point 
of nauseousness. The farce would be every bit as 
funny if these things were touched with a discreeter 
hand. It is brightly and cleverly acted all round. 
Mr. Bourchier's Sir Reginald is by far the best thing 



284 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

he has done. Miss Violet and Miss Irene Vanbrugh, 
appropriately cast as two sisters, play with no less 
intelligence than charm; and Mr. Blakeley, Mr. 
Welton Dale, Mr. Mark Kinghorne, Miss Sophie 
Larkin, and Miss Kate Phillips are all excellent. 

XLI. 

" ROMEO AND JULIET." 

2$th September. 

SHAKESPEARE'S tragedy of Romeo and Juliet* was 
mounted, costumed, recited, and applauded at the 
Lyceum on Saturday evening; acted and enjoyed it 
was not. Many people, no doubt, will contradict this 
from their own experience, saying, "/enjoyed it 
And I ! And I ! " They must allow me, in that case, 
to assure them that they do not begin to realise the 
sort of pleasure which Romeo and Juliet can, and 
ought to, give them. No doubt they enjoyed the 
pretty stage pictures, and the gallant bearing of Mr. 
Forbes Robertson, and the graceful, gazelle-eyed 
helplessness of Mrs. Patrick Campbell; while here 
and there, perhaps, a familiar line of Shakespeare fell 
pleasantly on their ear. Their sum of agreeable sensa- 
tions may have been considerable; but it certainly did 
not include the thrill of pity and terror, the quicken- 
ing of the pulses, the exaltation, the delight which 
* September 21 December 21. 



" ROMEO AND JULIET." 285 

belong to a true revival of this loveliest lyric and 
swiftest, vividest drama in our language or in any 
other. For my part, I have to wipe the performance 
from my memory, to re-think the play, to re-act it 
in imagination, before I can recover any intimate 
sense of its poetry, passion, and pathos. If you have 
never realised these qualities, and do not look or care 
for them, you escape disappointment, and may take 
a good deal of pleasure in the pretty spectacle, pretty 
speeches, and pretty people presented to you; but 
you have not seen, you have not felf, the great love- 
tragedy of the world. 

The reader may think that I am simply re-wording 
Lamb's famous paradox, or rather blaming Mr. Forbes 
Robertson and his comrades, unjustly and unreason- 
ably, for the fact that the representation of one of 
Shakespeare's masterpieces must necessarily, in some 
respects, fall short of the imagination of it. But my 
ground of argument is quite different from Lamb's. 
His contention was that the best conceivable perform- 
ance, under the physical conditions of the stage, 
inevitably materialises and vulgarises the poet's con- 
ception. " The love-dialogues of Romeo and Juliet" 
he wrote, " those silver-sweet sounds of lovers' tongues 
by night . . . how are they sullied and turned from 
their very nature by being exposed to a large assembly!" 
He tacitly assumes, you see, that the best that 
art can do for them is done, and declares that 



286 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

even then they are profaned by stage-presentation. 
The Lyceum performance relieves us of all necessity 
for discussing this position, since at no point does it 
do the best that art can and ought to do. When we 
have a reasonably perfect performance, we can argue 
with Lamb at our leisure; in the meantime, we have 
no material before us for testing his theory. When 
no character is represented with anything like dis- 
tinguished excellence, and when two of the most 
important Juliet and Mercutio are glaringly misre- 
presented, we do not get within measurable distance 
of Lamb's point of view. 

Mr. Forbes Robertson and Mrs. Patrick Campbell, 
in the parts of Romeo and Juliet, suffer from 
opposite defects: the one has skill without tempera- 
ment, the other temperament without skill. Mr. 
Robertson can act Romeo, but cannot look or feel 
the part; Mrs. Campbell could be Juliet if only she 
knew how to act it. Handsome and picturesque Mr. 
Forbes Robertson must always look when his costume 
gives him the opportunity. In this part he has the 
air of a figure from Sir Frederick Leighton's illustra- 
tions to Romola. But even if he could put on youth 
with his berretta, he could not put off the keen and 
ascetic facial contours which are so foreign to the 
very idea of Romeo. He is essentially a creature of 
reflection. He can but faintly suggest that heyday 
of the blood, that sudden springtide of world-trans- 



"ROMEO AND JULIET." 287 

figuring sense, that unreflecting absorption in the 
instinct of the moment, which are the very essence of 
Romeo's being. Even his voice, in itself his most 
precious gift, is not the fresh young voice of Romeo. 
He played throughout with intelligence and discre- 
tion ; but the latter quality, at any rate, is precisely the 
one with which Romeo could, at a pinch, dispense. 
There were one or two trifling matters of emphasis 
and phrasing on which I was inclined to differ from 
him. For example, in the line, "And what love can 
do that dares love attempt," I should certainly follow 
the metre and emphasise the " can." The sense is, 
surely, " Love will shrink from nothing that is 
physically possible. Your kinsman's swords make it 
dangerous, but not physically impossible, for me to be 
here so here I am ! " Again, Mr. Robertson spoke 
the words, "O, mischief! thou art swift To enter in 
the thoughts of desperate men," as though they were 
a general reflection preceding the recollection of the 
Apothecary ; t whereas they surely indicate that the 
plan for procuring the poison has instantaneously 
flashed into his mind. Mr. Robertson seems to 
understand by them, " I am sure I shall easily hit 
upon means ; " to my thinking they rather imply, 
" Ha ! I already see my way clearly." These are trifling 
matters, and no doubt Mr. Robertson could defend 
his readings. It is neither thought nor understanding 
that is lacking in his performance, but that lyric 



288 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

rapture, that throb and flush of youth, which no 
intensity of thought can compass. Significantly 
enough, the one moment of the whole evening when 
the poetry really gripped me was that in which the 
world-weary Romeo bids Juliet his last farewell. Mr. 
Robertson's voice had just the right sombreness for 
those incomparably beautiful verses, and the passage 
moved me so that I had no heart to quarrel with 
a stage-arrangement which falsified the words, "Thus 
with a kiss I die." My conservative instinct rebelled 
at first against the reversal of the established scene- 
plot, the front of the stage being made the interior of 
the vault, and the back, seen through an open grating, 
the exterior. The method of sepulture, indeed, is 
quite inconceivable; but that disadvantage apart, I 
am bound to admit that the new arrangement proved 
highly effective. 

People said in the lobbies that Mrs. Patrick Camp- 
bell looked too old for Juliet ; but there I emphatically 
dissent. True, she looked more than fourteen, but it 
would have shocked all our instincts if she had not. 
Shakespeare made Juliet fourteen because he wrote 
the part for a boy who, no doubt, could scarcely look 
older; and the public of his day was not shocked, 
because the marriageable age was then, by custom, 
placed lower than it is with us. It would be the 
veriest pedantry to ignore this alteration in manners. 
Were I in Mr. Forbes Robertson's place, I should 



" ROMEO AND JULIET." 289 

frankly substitute "eighteen" for "fourteen" in the 
text, nothing doubting of Shakespeare's forgiveness. 
In appearance, Mrs. Campbell seemed to me the ideal 
Juliet beautiful, with a Southern type of beauty, yet 
slim, girlish, and lissome in her movements. She 
played the opening scenes prettily enough ; there is 
no great effect to be made or marred in them. In 
the balcony-scene she spoke her lines correctly, and, 
to use an old-fashioned term, elegantly, with that 
curious half-foreign nicety of articulation which is at 
once a merit and a defect in her delivery. She added 
nothing to the beauty of the lines, no new delicacy 
of phrasing or subtlety of intonation; but her only 
positive fault was a certain monotony. She was 
reciting a part, but reciting it with feeling and charm; 
and, as she made a delightful picture, we had every 
reason to be satisfied. Up to this point, recitation, 
though not all that is possible, is all that is essential 
to Juliet. A schoolgirl, with a little practice in elocu- 
tion, could get through the ballroom and balcony 
scenes with credit. Acting, as distinguished from 
recitation, sets in with the scene of cajolery between 
Juliet and the Nurse; and here Mrs. Campbell at once 
fell short. She showed no intensity and no variety 
in her expression of eagerness, expectation, disappoint- 
ment, anger, affection, rapture, but played all on one 
level of prettiness. This scene of two pages is one of 
the most skilful and actable ever written by playwright 



2QO THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

for actress; I do not remember ever to have seen it 
pass, as it did on Saturday night, without the faintest 
applause. The audience, though all intent on appre- 
ciation, simply thought it one of Shakespeare's dull 
moments. Mrs. Campbell, by the way, takes com- 
mendable pains to speak the verse correctly, so it 
may be worth while to point out that in the line 
" From nine till twelve Is three long hours, yet he is 
not come," the word " hours" should be treated as a 
dissyllable (" how-ers "). Like " fire," it was evidently 
so pronounced in Shakespeare's time. I confess with 
regret that I did not hear Mrs. Campbell's delivery of 
"Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds," placed in 
the Lyceum arrangement at the beginning of the 
third act* In the scene with the Nurse which follows, 
she was monotonous and flat. For instance, a marked 
transition of tone is very clearly indicated between the 
line "All this is comfort; wherefore weep I then?" 
and the following passage : " Some word there was, 
worser than Tybalt's death, That murder'd me," etc. 
Mrs. Campbell attempts no change of tone, marks no 
transition of thought. It is all empty rhetoric to her; 
she does not feel, or try to make us feel, that Juliet is 
really searching in the background of her mind for the 
word of -ill-omen which she knows to be lurking there, 

* In the Lyceum acting edition, a footnote states that this 
scene is " sometimes omitted," and I am informed that Mrs. 
Campbell dropped it very early in the run. 



"ROMEO AND JULIET." 2QI 

though in her bewilderment she has scarcely grasped 
its purport. This scene, again, fell quite dead and 
passed with no sign of applause. In the parting from 
Romeo, Mrs. Campbell displayed a childlike pretti- 
ness, without lyrical impulse or ground-swell of 
passion. The clinging kiss in which she lets Romeo 
almost draw her after him through the window was by 
far the best thing in the scene. Where Mrs. Camp- 
bell was really excellent was in the little outburst of 
temper after her mother has proposed the marriage 
with Paris (" Now by St. Peter's Church, and Peter 
too," etc.). Petulance is the emotion of all others 
which comes best within her range a fact which is 
no doubt partly the cause and partly the effect of her 
success in Mrs. Tanqueray. It accounts, too, for the 
way in which she scolds the Friar in the speech, 
" Oh ! bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, From off 
the battlements of yonder tower;" but this is an 
error into which many actresses have fallen. Much 
more surprising is the absolute lack of expression 
with which she listens to the Friar's speech about the 
potion. In the course of these thirty-two lines, Juliet 
must run the whole gamut of emotion, from curiosity 
to wonder, terror, rapture, and resolve; Mrs. Campbell 
does not move a muscle to indicate any one of them. 
With the same apathy she returns to her father's 
house, flatly contradicting the Nurse's speech, " See 
where she comes from shrift with merry look." As 



292 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

for the potion-scene, it simply does not exist in Mrs. 
Campbell's performance. Words cannot describe its 
flat, monotonous insufficiency. At two points it was 
absolutely comic: where, at the thought that the 
Friar may have " subtly ministered " a poison to her, 
she uncorks the phial and smells it to reassure herself 
a little touch of exquisitely misplaced realism and 
then where she stares over the footlights to descry the 
ghost of Tybalt somewhere in the dress-circle. Finally, 
in her death-scene, she seems to have lost all interest 
in the little adventure in which she has been engaged. 
Her stoicism is worthy of Cato's daughter, Brutus' 
Portia. When the Friar points to Romeo's dead body, 
she expresses neither surprise nor emotion, but takes it 
quite as a matter of course. She speaks the prescribed 
words and goes through the appropriate motions be- 
cause she feels that it is expected of her; but she has, 
apparently, no personal concern in the matter. The 
whole passage is absolutely tame and unrealised. 

"But both the potion-scene and the death-scene 
were loudly applauded and eminently successful ! " 
Yes ; that is why I have spoken my mind about them 
so frankly. The explanation is simple enough. The 
audience, even the picked first-night audience, has no 
means of knowing what are the stage-possibilities of 
Romeo and Juliet. Many of them have never seen the 
play before; most have seen it only once or twice, 
many years ago; none but a few experts have closely 



"ROMEO AND JULIET." 293 

studied its theatrical qualities. On the other hand, 
every one is eager to see a beautiful and very popular 
actress in a character of traditional renown, and every 
one is (quite literally) eager to applaud her. Half the 
pleasure of the occasion lies in the act of applauding, 
and the playgoer is not easily to be baulked of that 
enjoyment. The earlier scenes genuinely please him, 
and he applauds freely. The two great scenes with 
the Nurse produce in him no emotion, and he does 
not guess what "effects really lurk in them. It never 
occurs to him that any applause is called for, and he 
reniains silent. But the potion-scene is famous, and 
there is an obvious effort after effect. Here is un- 
doubtedly an occasion for applause, and he rises to 
the occasion. Not to do so would be not only hard- 
hearted, but an act of positive self-denial. The scene 
affects him very mildly, but he has no criterion of 
how it ought to affect him ; he is very good-natured, 
and the actress very charming. Still more evidently 
are plaudits demanded at the end of the play, and he 
is not going to be such a churl as to withhold them. 
So "enthusiasm is the order of the evening," the 
manager congratulates himself and the world at large, 
and the critics record with reverence the "verdict" of 
the first-night audience.* Why, then, should I play 

* It has been said, and reiterated, that in these remarks I 
perform an " exploit in self-contradiction." I reprint them ex- 
actly as they originally appeared, and leave the reader to judge. 



294 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

spoil-sport at the feast? Simply because if Mrs. 
Campbell's Juliet passes muster as a good, not to say 
a great, performance, there is an end of an art that I 
am old-fashioned enough to love the art of Shake- 
spearian acting. Its tradition will be lost more hope- 
lessly than ever, and no one will believe that there are 
really great and vivid and poignant emotions to be 
got out of Shakespeare on the stage. I have very 
little doubt that Mrs. Campbell has other than the 
merely physical qualifications for the character, and 
might be a fine Juliet if she would be at the pains of 
mastering this noblest branch of her art. As it is, she 
does not even suspect its possibilities. She has some- 
where said, if I am not mistaken, that she has never 
seen another Juliet and knows nothing of the tradi- 
tions of the part. The more's the pity ! It would 
need a genius comparable with Shakespeare's own to 
discern unaided all the delicate lights and shades of 
his conception, and to recognise (to say nothing of 
grappling with and solving) all the technical problems 
which he presents to his interpreter. Let it not be 
said that I am clamouring for a stagey, conventional 
Juliet. I do not erect tradition into a law, but simply 
assert its uses as a guide. If it does no more, it 
concentrates attention upon details, and reveals the 
existence of difficulties and opportunities which Mrs. 
Campbell passes gaily by, in total unconsciousness of 
their existence. If she will consent to regard Satur- 



"ROMEO AND JULIET" AGAIN. 2Q5 

day's performance as a very slight first sketch for a 
portrait to be studiously retouched and elaborated, 
she may one day be the Juliet she looks and I can 
wish her nothing better. 

XLII. 

" ROMEO AND JULIET" AGAIN "CHEER, BOYS, 
CHEER" " IN A LOCKET." 

2nd October. 

MY last week's article on Romeo and Juliet, after 
exceeding all permissible limits, broke short off with- 
out giving any account of the minor characters. I 
seize this excuse for returning to a subject which is 
not only the topic of the moment, but one of far 
more than momentary significance. My article was 
written before I had seen other criticisms, and with- 
out any foresight of the extraordinary divergence of 
opinion to which Mrs. Patrick Campbell's Juliet has 
given rise. It was easy enough to foresee that some 
critics would be readier than others to accept her 
beauty and charm as compensations for the evident 
lack of power, and apparent lack of understanding 
and feeling, with which she treated the intenser 
passages of the play. But it did not for a moment 
cross my mind that any one who had ever seen a 
great Shakespearian performance, or a great per- 



296 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

formance of any sort, would call this a really adequate 
and competent, much less a poetic and perfect, 
Juliet. What was my astonishment to find that the 
majority of critics went into unmeasured and evidently 
heartfelt raptures* over an impersonation in which, 
after the balcony-scene, I had been unable to discover 
a single luminous trait or thrilling moment ! We 
have here no ordinary difference of opinion over 
which one can only shrug one's shoulders, and 
say, " There's no accounting for tastes ! " The direct 
imitation involved in the modern prose-drama in 
great measure eludes analysis. It is generally impos- 
sible to say, " This is rightly, that wrongly, done," 
and give our reasons. We can but record our impres- 
sions, and where other people's impressions differ, 
argument is futile. It is like discussing colours with 
the colour-blind, only that here we have no means of 

* I am given to understand that this is not true of the 
"majority" of critics. No doubt I jumped too hastily at a 
conclusion from the fact that all the papers which I chanced 
to see, without a single exception, were unmeasured in their 
praises. Mr. Walkley, usually so cool and sceptical, became, 
for the nonce, ecstatic. A leading article in the Daily 
Chronicle proclaimed that "the most beautiful of all love 
poems, the most pathetic of all tragedies, was presented by 
interpreters able to rise to the high level of their theme," and 
described Mrs. Campbell as "a Juliet to satisfy the eye, the 
mind, and the heart." The Pall Mall Gazette said : " To do 
justice to the new Romeo and Juliet one would have to go over 
the performance step by step, with a steady crescendo of praise. 
. . . Never was it given to us to watch a performance as 



"ROMEO AND JULIET" AGAIN. 297 

proving on which side the colour-blindness lies. But 
when we come to Shakespearian drama the case is 
different. We have not only traditional standards, 
but the clearest internal evidence as to the order of 
effects at which Shakespeare aimed ; and when these 
effects are not attained, are not even attempted, we 
have a right to say not only "This performer im- 
presses us thus and thus," but "This performer does 
not know the rudiments of the complex and difficult 
art he or she is essaying." Remember that by "art" 
I do not here mean acting in general, but the special 
art of poetic, rhetorical, Shakespearian acting. The 
question, then, which Mrs. Campbell's Juliet has, as it 
were, brought to a head, is whether this art is to survive 
or to become extinct. Many influences have recently 
been making for its extinction. The system of long 
runs, in particular, minimises our opportunities of 

matchless in execution, so big in conception, and so perfectly 
tuned, as that of Mrs. Patrick Campbell and Mr. Forbes 
Robertson. . . . Personal, beautifully chiselled, free from the 
fetters of tradition, a work of art indeed, is the Juliet of Mrs. 
Patrick Campbell." "T. P.," in the Sun, wrote: "There 
was splendid intensity complete absorption in the part and a 
conception of the character that was thoroughly consistent from 
the first moment to the last. And the beautiful, rich, and 
skilfully-modulated voice never failed to produce the true note. 
Whatever differences there may be about details, Mrs. Patrick 
Campbell's Juliet will remain one of the historic representa- 
tions of the part." These four critics are not, indeed, "the 
majority"; but I accepted them, rightly or wrongly, as repre- 
senting the main body. 



298 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

seeing Shakespeare on the stage, and has thus led 
both critics and public to lose hold of all reasonable 
standards. During the great period of Shakespearian 
acting say from Garrick to Macready, from 1750 to 
1850 no season passed in which a score or so of 
Shakespeare's plays were not performed at Drury 
Lane and Covent Garden ; nowadays we see one, 
two, or at most three revivals in a year. The result 
is that we literally forget our Shakespeare. Every 
audience of those days contained a fair sprinkling of 
connoisseurs playgoers who knew the plays by heart, 
were critical of readings and "business," and hun- 
gered for the particular sensations produced by great 
and imaginative acting in the masterpieces of poetic 
drama. To-day, we have forgotten such sensations 
and the means of producing them. Give us pretty 
costumes, a soft Italian atmosphere (the work of the 
scene-painter and the limelight-man), and a charming 
actress reciting the words of her part like a school- 
girl, and -we go away enraptured, under the impression 
that we have seen Romeo and Juliet! May I be per- 
mitted to quote some words of my own, dated January 
2nd, 1894, which are curiously prophetic of the 
present situation ? They occur in a Dedicatory 
Epistle * addressed to an old friend and comrade in 
criticism : " We," I said, " belong to the Old School, 
the school for which rhetoric was rhetoric and verse 
* Prefixed to The Theatrical World 0/1893. 



"ROMEO AND JULIET" AGAIN. 299 

was verse. In these days, the critic thinks his duty 
amply fulfilled when he has given a picturesque 
account of the general impression produced by this 
or that sumptuous revival, without condescending 
upon a single detail of any sort." 

The case of Mr. Coghlan illustrates my point even 
more clearly than that of Mrs. Campbell. Mr. 
Coghlan's Mercutio was much applauded on the first 
night, and has been warmly praised by many critics. 
Now if ever actor was obviously disqualified by 
illness, nervousness, or both, from doing himself and 
his character justice, that actor was Mr. Coghlan on 
the evening of September 2ist. He struggled bravely 
but painfully against indisposition. He was melan- 
choly, languid, indistinct, torturingly slow everything 
that the gay and gallant Mercutio ought not to be. 
Again and again he so mumbled his words behind 
the overhanging peak of his cap that, although I am 
tolerably familiar with the text, I could not make out 
what he was saying. Like the Scotch editor, "he 
jocked wi' deeficulty." It took him an interminable 
time to articulate such a phrase as " Oh flesh, flesh, 
how art thou fishified ! " For my part, I sat on 
thorns, fearing at every moment that he would 
utterly break down. Yet the audience and many of 
the critics, innocent of all idea as to how Mercutio 
ought to be played, saw an actor of established 
reputation going through a prominent part at the 



3OO THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Lyceum Theatre, and felt it blasphemy to imagine 
that he could be anything else than excellent. Who, 
again, discovered, what should be patent to any one 
who has merely read the text, that Mr. George Warde 
was quite misplaced in the part of Capulet ? Mr. 
Warde, a sound elocutionary performer, would have 
been excellent as the Prince of Verona. He was 
slow, bland, and dignified miles away from the testy, 
choleric, headstrong Capulet. Miss Dolores Drum- 
mond was a correct and passable, but quite colourless, 
Nurse; Mr. Frank Gillmore a bright and effective 
Benvolio ; Mr. Ian Robertson a picturesque Apothe- 
cary; and Mr. W. Dennis a fiery Tybalt with the fire 
put out. As I left the theatre on the first night I 
met an old playgoer, not a journalist, and asked him 
what he thought of the revival. " Well," he said with 
much deliberation, " I thought Nutcombe Gould was 
a capital Friar Lawrence" and he said no more. 
That was precisely my own opinion. 

No one knows better or detests more heartily than 
I the vices and absurdities, the mouthing, ranting, 
and intolerable conventionalism, of bad actors of the 
old school. But because a method is liable to abuse, 
do not let us abandon all method whatsoever. It is 
the central problem of the actor's art, as Shakespeare 
himself well knew, to preserve a temperance in the 
whirlwind of passion, and to reconcile vehemence 
with grace. If we dislike the lyric fervour, the variety 



"CHEER, BOYS, CHEER!" 3OI 

and intensity of expression, with which Shakespeare 
unmistakably intended his lines to be spoken, his 
scenes to be acted, why then let us leave Shakespeare 
alone, and apply our exquisite new art to material de- 
signed and adapted for it. But this is not the case; we 
do not dislike these things; we have only forgotten all 
about them. We are like people who, hearing Tristan 
und Isolde neatly touched on the pianoforte, should 
go away and declare this infinitely preferable to the 
coarse polyphonies and vocal gymnastics intended by 
Wagner. I shall begin, not to believe in this theory, 
but to consider it seriously, when I see an actress 
who, having proved that she possesses the power and 
passion to play Juliet in Shakespeare's way, shall 
deliberately, and out of pure artistic conviction, 
forswear these crude thrills and ecstasies, and re-study 
the part after the fashion of Mrs. Campbell. In the 
meantime, I can only marvel to see lack of force, 
lack of skill, and lack of understanding, accepted as 
the revelation of a new art. 

Shakespeare has in -these days unjustly . elbowed 
aside some other deserving dramatists. Sir Augustus 
Harris, Mr. Cecil Raleigh, and Mr. Henry Hamilton 
have produced at Drury Lane a pictorial melodrama 
named Cheer, Boys^ Cheer ! * which fully sustains the 
reputation of the energetic triumvirate. The first act 

* September 19 December 14. Reproduced at Olympic, 
December 19 still running. 



302 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

is quite amusing. There is a modern Macaire in it 
who really delighted me, and as a piece of melo- 
dramatic farce the whole scene was far from despi- 
cable. Some of its dialogue -rose distinctly above 
the ordinary Drury Lane level. When the scenic 
marvels set in, my interest languished, but not that 
of the audience. Polo at Hurlingham, Rotten 
Row in the season, a fight in Matabeleland, and a 
reception in a great West-end mansion these are the 
principal courses in Sir Augustus Harris's only too 
lavish bill of fare; and the public worked through 
them with unsated appetite. All the scenes are 
bright and effective in their way, and it is said that 
" The Last Stand" accurately reproduces a recent 
episode in South African history. . There was cer- 
tainly plenty of that bluster-cum-blubber which in- 
variably accompanies the operations of her Majesty's 
forces in melodrama. The piece was well played, 
especially by the villains Mr. Charles Dalton and 
Mrs. Raleigh and the comic personages, Mr. 
Giddens, Mr. Lionel Rignold, Miss Fanny Brough, 
and Miss Pattie Browne. Mr. Henry Neville, as the 
noble hero, comported himself with a truly impressive 
dignity, and Miss Eleanor Calhoun played the thank- 
less part of the heroine with a good deal of feeling. 

An indescribably extravagant and intricate ab- 
surdity, entitled In a Locket* by Messrs. Harry and 
* September 16 October 30. 



" HER ADVOCATE." 303 

Edward A. Paulton, was received with great laughter 
by the first-night audience at the Strand Theatre. 
It does not, perhaps, stand quite on the lowest level 
of farce ; here and there one may trace a touch of 
ingenuity in the complications; but its merits, such 
as they be, are distinctly unpretending. Mr. Harry 
Paulton's own part is largely made up of a sort of 
patter bearing no resemblance to conceivable human 
speech; but his stolid humour is now and then 
amusing enough. 

XLIII. 

" HER ADVOCATE." 

9//fc October. 

ONE need have no hesitation in declaring Her 
Advocate* at the Duke of York's Theatre,! the best 
play Mr. Walter Frith has produced; but that it 
could easily be without touching the summits of 
dramatic literature. There is a capital idea in it 
an idea of which I remember making a mental note 
when I came across it, some twenty years ago, in 
Grenville Murray's French Pictures in English Chalk. 
In those blithesome and innocent days, I used to 
dream of writing plays myself, and might very likely 
have tackled this subject, but that I shrank from the 

* September 26 November 30. 

t Formerly the Trafalgar Square Theatre, 



304 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

difficulty of bringing a lad) 7 , accused of murder, into 
personal and private consultation with an English 
barrister at the very outset of her case. This diffi- 
culty has had no terrors for Mr. Frith, and experts 
declare that he has got over it plausibly enough. 
The fact, that is to say, of Mrs. Field's appearance in 
George Abinger's chambers, does not cry out against 
etiquette and probability; but that does not prove 
the ensuing consultation to be either plausible or 
dramatic. The inherent strength of the situation 
carried it down on the first night; but Mr. Frith 
has in reality handled it very feebly. Mrs. Field's 
hysterical collapse immediately on her entrance is a 
glaring technical error. We know nothing about her 
as yet, so her tears do not move us; and the long 
pause of uninteresting and commonplace " business " 
merely serves to relax the tension of interest. Then 
her story is clumsily told, with no ingenuity of 
development, while Abinger's comments are quite 
obvious, and reveal none of that acumen which we 
expect, and have a right to expect, in judicial drama. 
Mr. Frith may object that a Q.C. is not a detective; 
I reply that, for the nonce, he is that the structure, 
nay, the idea, of the play forces him to combine the 
detective with the advocate and that there is no fun 
in the thing unless he makes some little show of 
abnormal sagacity. After Dr. Marshall's entrance, 
indeed, Mr. Frith flies to the other extreme, and 



" HER ADVOCATE." 305 

makes Abinger act as though he had the whole case 
at his fingers' ends. For instance, he has not the 
remotest ground for threatening Marshall with an 
exposure of " his own gross negligence as a medical 
man " ; that is a flash of miraculous intuition. 
Marshall's conduct, too, is no less incredible than 
Abinger's attitude in meeting it. The whole scene is 
neither conceivable as a piece of life nor convincing 
as a piece of drama; and it has the further dis- 
advantage of making Marshall's appearance at the 
trial an act of sheer madness. 

The second act is brightened by the character of 
the bibulous Irish barrister, who has nothing to do 
with the play, but, as acted by Mr. J. H. Barnes, is 
the best thing in it. Here, on the other hand, the 
hero develops a fondness for flowery and melo- 
dramatic magniloquence not at all of the forensic 
order which destroys our last shred of belief in 
him. The scene in the prison raises a curious 
technical question. You know the idea the Q.C. 
has fallen madly in love with his client, and, believing 
passionately in her innocence, and never doubting 
that she loves him in return, is determined to secure 
for her a triumphant acquittal. Just at the crucial 
moment, however, he learns that she loves another 
man, and, overwhelmed by this disillusion, has still 
to face the ordeal and plead her cause. The con- 
juncture would be still more dramatic if the revelation 



306 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

of this love were to put a different complexion on 
the murder, and, by introducing a new motive, 
shake the advocate's faith in his client's innocence. 
I forget whether this is the case in Grenville 
Murray's story; it is an obvious, development, at 
any rate, which Mr. Frith neglects. And now comes 
the technical point: Ought the author to have let 
the audience into the secret of Mrs. Field's love for 
another man ? or did he act wisely in keeping us as 
much in the dark as Abinger himself? I am no 
bigoted believer in the maxim that a secret must 
never be kept from the audience; yet I think Mr. 
Frith would have done better to have given us an 
early inkling of the true state of affairs. To keep 
the secret, in this case, is not merely to leave the 
audience in doubt, but to place them upon a false 
scent, which is always a mistake. And, besides, the 
revelation would certainly have been more effective 
had we been led, however vaguely, to anticipate it. 
As it was, the thing came upon us with a short sharp 
shock of surprise, and was over and done with before 
we had time to grasp the situation or work up any 
emotion about it. 

The third act consists of a trial-scene, neither 
better nor worse than many other stage trial-scenes 
of recent days. It, again, is written without the 
true "fingering of the dramatist" with all his 
praiseworthy industry and enthusiasm, that is what 



" HER ADVOCATE." 307 

Mr. Frith lacks. The effect of Dr. Marshall's appear- 
ance in the witness-box was discounted by the fact 
that, after the way he had displayed his cards at the 
end of the first act, it was sheer lunacy for him to 
show face at all. Mr. Somerset played the harassed 
and haunted criminal very ably, but the ablest acting, 
in such a scene, will not supply the place of a sound 
logical foundation. A very similar incident in the 
last act of Dark Days, at the Haymarket, was much 
better led up to, and consequently more effective. 
The quaint behaviour of the judge was, I presume, 
founded on fact, or at any rate on anecdote. If so, 
it afforded a good instance of a "human document" 
cited out of season, for it certainly impaired the 
verisimilitude of the scene. 

Pray observe that I have endeavoured to deal with 
Mr. Frith's play on its own level, without complaining 
that it does not rise to other altitudes. It is simply 
a story-play, in which we need not look for any higher 
quality than dexterity in the telling of the story. It 
is of the lack of this quality that I complain not 
of the lack of serious character-study, philosophy, 
passion, or style, which are not to be expected in this 
class of work. Sardou, not Dumas, is Mr. Frith's 
model; when he comes anywhere near the model he 
has chosen, it will be time enough to inquire whether 
he might not have chosen a higher one. 

Mr. Cartwright plays the Q.C. with that veiled 



308 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

intensity which is the note of his manner. If Miss 
Gertrude Kingston made little of the heroine, it was 
in nowise her fault the author had given her no 
real opportunity. Miss Lena Ashwell showed grace 
and sincerity in the undesirable part of a deserted 
damsel who is not content to wear the willow quietly, 
but must needs flaunt it in the eyes of the world. 
Mr. Oswald Yorke and Miss Henrietta Watson played 
minor parts with ease and intelligence. 



XLIV. 
"POOR MR. POTION." 

1 6th October, 

SINCE the failure, or comparative failure, of The 
Ladies' Idol, and the success, or apparent success, 
of The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown, I have 
had to renounce one of my most cherished illusions. 
I plumed myself on being a man of the people, a 
typical representative of the British Public, in my 
tastes and distastes with regard to farce. On other 
subjects the British Public and I might occasionally 
differ, but on this one topic, at least, I was proud 
to believe that we were unanimous. Farces which 
amused me succeeded, farces which bored me failed, 
until at the Vaudeville and Terry's I had come to 
revel in a sense of restful solidarity with the kindly 



" POOR MR. POTTON." 309 

race of men. But, alas ! within the past few months 
the British Public and I seem to have got out of 
tune; our minds have no longer a single thought, 
our hearts have ceased to beat as one. When the 
cleverest farce of the season (bar one) fails, and the 
stupidest farce (bar none) succeeds, one's sense of 
solidarity begins to waver, and the kindly race of men 
seems almost as incomprehensible at the Vaudeville 
as at the Adelphi, at Terry's as at Drury Lane. I 
shall venture on no forecast, then, as to the chances 
of Poor Mr. Polton* by Messrs. Clarence Hamlyn 
and H. M. PaulL It seemed to me to stand, in point 
of merit, about half-way between its two predecessors 
on the Vaudeville stage rather nearer, perhaps, to 
The Ladies' Idol than to Miss Brown. The authors 
have a pretty knack of humorous dialogue: and 
humour, in farce, goes further than wit Every here 
and there a fantastic repartee or unforeseen turn of 
phrase would send round the theatre one of those 
sudden little shocks of laughter, for the sake of which 
much may be forgiven. And there was a good deal 
to forgive, especially in the later acts. In the first, 
we had a really comic situation in poor Mr. Potion's 
well-meant attempt to ingratiate himself with Mrs. 
Dashwood's " chicks" by means of presents of toys 
the said " chicks 1 ' being two full-grown young ladies 
and a muscular medical student Amusing, too, if a 
* October 10 December 2. 



310 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

little overdone, is the welcome accorded by the 
"chicks" to their prospective stepfather. But already 
at the end of the first act we feel that the authors 
have neglected to carry forward our interest. They 
have diverted us with a succession of comic scenes 
and quaint sayings, but they have not aroused our 
curiosity, and still less awakened our expectation, as 
to what is to follow. If Messrs. Hamlyn and Paull 
will look at, say, any one of Mr. Pinero's successful 
farces, they will find that at the end of the first act 
the matter of the second act is clearly foreshadowed, 
and our interest is vividly excited. When the curtain 
falls on the first act of The Magistrate, we foresee the 
meeting of all the characters at the Hotel des Princes, 
and are eager to know what comes of it. In The 
Schoolmistress, we would not for worlds miss Peggy 
Hesseltine's party, which we know awaits us in Act 
II. In Poor Mr. Potion, on the other hand, we 
neither know nor care what is coming. We guess, of 
course, that Potton will somehow wriggle out of Mrs. 
Dashwood's toils, but how, when, or where, we have 
not the slightest idea. In Mr. Pinero's farces, and in 
the best French work, such as The Pink Dominoes or 
The Candidate, there is always an adventure afoot, 
and we want to see its progress and issue. Here 
there is nothing of the sort. The action might go on 
for ever, or end at any moment. As a matter of fact, 
it starts off on a new line in the second act, the 



"POOR MR. POTTON." 31! 

"chicks" being now as anxious to promote their 
mother's marriage as they formerly were to prevent it. 
This second act, though amusing at points, is really 
purposeless and empty. It could be omitted without 
leaving a sensible gap in the story. If you pay micro- 
scopic attention to it, indeed (as we critics of course 
must), you will prick up your ears at the statement 
that Potton's grandfather married an actress, and 
wonder what is going to come of it. I did not fail 
to wonder, but I entirely failed to foresee or con- 
jecture the device by which the authors get their 
hero out of his hobble. It may have been my obtuse- 
ness that was at fault; but I wonder how many 
people in the audience had even the vaguest suspicion 
of the true state of affairs ? The device, when at last 
revealed, is an ingeniously fantastic one ; but I 
cannot think that the authors have worked up to it 
with any skill There are many amusing speeches 
scattered here and there amid the boisterous horse- 
play of the last act ; and the horse-play itself seemed 
to delight the audience. One final word, though, to 
Messrs. Hamlyn and Paull. It seems to me that 
their farce would have been more attractive if they 
had made it a little less sordid. There is not a 
single sympathetic touch in the whole play. The 
motives of the characters fluctuate between light- 
hearted selfishness and utter baseness. Cynicism has 
its artistic justification : it is, after all, a method of 



312 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

interpreting life ; but this casual grimness, due simply 
to the exigencies of the comic intrigue, became a 
little tedious. I wonder whether the inexhaustible 
vogue of Charlies Aunt may not be due in part to the 
fact that it is an amiable and not at all inhuman piece 
of absurdity. 

The acting is capital. Mr. Weedon Grossmith is 
always a delight to me, and the authors have in this 
case given him a fairly effective part. Miss May 
Palfrey is bright and pleasant as one of the " chicks," 
and Miss Gladys Homfrey plays their much -married 
mother a part which might easily be made offensive 
with no less discretion than humour. Miss F. 
Haydon, too, is excellent as old Mrs. Potton; and 
Miss Alice Beet is a delightful slavey. Mr. Beau- 
champ did his best with a rather primitive part, but 
he should note that the first diphthong in "Fraulein" 
is pronounced "oy" not "aw." Mr. Tom Terriss 
proves to be the living image of his father only more 
so. Mr. F. Saker must surely have misinterpreted 
the part of the solicitor's clerk; at least, I could dis- 
cover no meaning in it as he played it. 



"THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT." 313 

XLV. 

" THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT." 

2yd October. 

GENIUS, said some one or other, is an infinite capacity 
for taking pains; and if it is to seek utterance on the 
English stage, he might have added, it must be 
accompanied by an infinite capacity for ignoring 
insult. Since he produced The Second Mrs. Tan- 
queray two years and a half ago, Mr. Pinero's position 
has been a peculiar one. He has drawn down on 
himself the wrath yes, the contemptuous and vindic- 
tive wrath of two classes of critics: those for whom 
the drama died with Congreve, and those for whom 
it only began to live in Ibsen. The former class 
hated the theatre simply as the theatre, and fiercely 
resented the suggestion that anything worth a 
moment's notice could come out of it. They felt 
it tactless on Mr. Pinero's part to exist at all, and 
they repaid the impertinence in kind. The latter class 
made Ibsen's technique and their own temperament 
the measure of all dramatic excellence, and would put 
up with nothing short of excellence according to these 
standards. Because Mr. Pinero looked at life from 
his own angle, and treated it by his own methods, 
they had no recognition for him, no encouragement, 
not even helpful remonstrance nothing but im- 



314 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

patient and intolerant scorn. At most they grudgingly 
allowed that if he would keep to farce he might rank 
in their esteem not much below the authors of The 
Strange Adventures of Miss Broivn. The position of 
the nihilists (if I may call them so) is much more 
rational than that of our haughty idealists. Hating 
the stage, the nihilists naturally did their best to 
stamp out any spark of vitality they could discern 
in that quarter. But the idealists professed to love 
the stage, and to be working, both by precept and 
example, for a free, thoughtful, and virile drama, in 
the near future. It has always seemed to me to 
show ^he densest ingratitude on their part that they 
should have had nothing but sneers and disparage- 
ment for the man who was gallantly fighting their 
own battles, though perhaps with other weapons than 
theirs. Mr. Pinero, fortunately, heeded neither the 
one set of detractors nor the other, but kept steadily 
on his way. The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith, despite 
its errors of detail, was a distinct advance on The 
Second Mrs. Tanqueray. It was larger in aim and 
subtler in method. It revealed, to my thinking (and 
I did not gloze the matter), a certain inadequacy in 
Mr. Pinero's philosophical equipment; but it showed 
nothing but progress in artistic power and sincerity. 
At any rate, it did even more than its predecessor to 
widen the domain open to the English dramatist. If, 
after Mrs. Ebbsmith, Mr. Pinero had chosen to rest 



"THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT." 315 

on his oars if he had returned, for the nonce, to 
sentimental or fantastic comedy, and given us another 
Sweet Lavender or Dandy Dick I, for my part, 
should neither have wondered nor complained. It 
was with some vague expectation of the sort, indeed, 
that I came to the theatre last Wednesday night. 
All the keener was my pleasure on recognising, as the 
so-called comedy unfolded itself, no reversion to older 
themes or methods, but another, and this time 
a quite unmistakable, movement in advance. The 
Benefit of the Doubt* is the truest, firmest, finest thing 
Mr. Pinero has yet done. The first two acts are 
masterly; there are, I think, technical errors, defects 
of manipulation, in the last act, but it, too, is essen- 
tially right. The play not only confirms our belief in 
Mr. Pinero's talent it heightens our hopes of his 
future. 

It is a sufficiently shady circle into which the 
dramatist introduces us a shallow-souled, frivolous, 
unidea'd set. There is more of Hogarth than of Du 
Maurier in his social picture. But in what direct, 
sober, significant touches it is drawn ! With what 
economy of "means and breadth of effect! And 
sharp as is the satire, it is not inhuman. This vulgar, 
worldly-minded family, hovering on the outskirts of 
vice, and restrained from it rather by absence of 
passion than by presence of principle; is yet by no 
* Comedy Theatre, October 16 December 27. 



316 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

means devoid of redeeming traits. The feeble and 
flighty mother, the cynical and slangy elder daughter, 
the nincompoop son, and the pompous, egotistical 
busybody of an uncle, are yet a kindly and not ill- 
meaning crew, held together by very genuine family 
affection. The aunt, Mrs. Cloys, is a fine creature in 
her narrow-minded way, and is drawn with delightful 
humour. Her little outburst at the end of the first 
act is a true touch of genius, human and dramatic. 
As for Theophila, she really lights up the picture for 
me. There is excellent stuff in that little woman, 
and I wish her lines had fallen in pleasanter places 
than between a stick of a Scotch laird and a slip of a 
horsey squireen. She is worth twenty of her impla- 
cable adversary, the fierce and narrow egoist, Olive 
Allingham, who is, however, the strongest character- 
study in the play as good in its way as Mrs. 
Tanqueray. If there were nothing else in The 
Benefit of the Doubt, it would be no small achieve- 
ment for any author to have drawn, within the limits 
of a three-act play, two such rounded characters as 
Theo and Olive. And with all her ungoverned 
perversity of nature, even Olive is not odious; where- 
fore I say that Mr. Pinero has succeeded in keeping 
his satire well on the hither side of cynicism and 
brutality. The play is certainly not an agreeable 
one. It presents two pairs of commonplace, prosaic, 
irreflective characters, placed practically at a dead- 



"THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT." 317 

lock. There is no even moderately satisfactory issue 
from the tangle. Divorce, for instance, would not 
help them. The mischief lies in the characters 
themselves, not in their circumstances. Thus the 
" comedy " is in reality a somewhat sordid character- 
tragedy; but it seems to me that Mr. Pinero has 
refrained, with true artistic instinct, from making his 
picture intolerably grimy and repellent. 

So much for the substance of the play; now for 
its form and composition. The theme is admirably 
chosen, and its everyday elements are woven without 
the slightest strain into highly dramatic conjunctions. 
Technically, nothing could be better than the first 
act. We are in the thick of the action at once, or at 
least in the thick of the interest, so that the exposi- 
tion, instead of being, so to speak, a mere platform 
from which the train is presently to start, becomes an 
inseparable part of the movement. The sense of 
dramatic irony is strongly and yet delicately sug- 
gested. We foresee a " peripety " apparent pros- 
perity suddenly crumbling into disaster within the 
act itself; and, when it comes, it awakens our sympathy 
and redoubles our interest. Mr. Pinero here displays 
to perfection that art to which I alluded last week, of 
arousing at the end of one act vivid and eager antici- 
pation of what is to follow in the next. We feel 
much more than mere curiosity we feel active con- 
cern, almost anxiety, as though our own personal 



3l8 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

interests were involved in the matter. And the 
second act has not proceeded five minutes before our 
anticipation becomes positively breathless. As soon 
as Mrs. Allingham is installed in her husband's house, 
we foresee the delightfully tragi-comic conjuncture 
brought about by the arrival of the Cloys-Portwood 
embassage, and on the top of that the dire complica- 
tion of Theophila's appearance. It is all quite prob- 
able, natural, and yet intensely, thrillingly dramatic. 
And how excellently it is written ! Avoiding artificial 
wit or rhetoric, Mr. Pinero again and again, and yet 
again, hits on precisely the word of the situation the 
one phrase which can reveal in a flash its full dramatic 
potency. We shall have some critics, I dare say, 
objecting to the " overhearing " as a piece of stage 
conventionalism. But the distinction is obvious 
between your ordinary, casual overhearing, which 
occurs simply because it is convenient that some one 
should find out something he is not intended to 
know, and a deliberately planned test or ordeal 
which is the essence of the drama. The scene 
between Allingham and Theo, with Olive in the 
library, is as legitimate as that between Hamlet and 
Ophelia, with the King and Polonius in the alcove. 
As for poor Theophila's breakdown at the close, it is 
painful, no doubt, and well-nigh squalid to the con- 
ception; but it is so lifelike, so inevitable, one feels 
not only that Mr. Pinero's daring is justifiable, but 



"THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT." 319 

that not to have dared would almost have been a 
treachery to truth. The scene is one of Fate's grim 
pleasantries. I find only two things to cavil at in 
this masterly act. There is a little too much ingenuity 
of pre-arrangement for the final scene, too much 
insistence on the acoustic relations between the hall 
and the library; and the scene of embarrassment 
which follows the entrance of the Cloys-Portwood 
trio is a little too protracted. A woman like Mrs. 
Cloys would certainly have taken any means to cut it 
short at an earlier point. 

The third act is technically much less excellent. I 
wish Mr. Pinero had seen his way to wind the thing 
up briefly in three or four strong, clear-cut scenes 
between the four principal characters or five, in- 
cluding Mrs. Cloys as dea ex machina. The Sittings 
in and out of the whole troop of relations are im- 
probable and distracting, and Sir Fletcher Portwood 
in particular becomes positively tedious. I suppose 
Mr. Pinero felt that for the Comedy Theatre he must 
produce a comedy; but we nowadays care little for 
labels, if only we are given a work of art. And there 
is a more radical defect in this act the author fails 
to afford us any inkling of the end towards which he 
is working. Through scene after scene we appear to 
be making no progress, but going round and round 
in a depressing circle. There were moments, and 
even minutes, when the patience of the audience was 



320 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

visibly strained almost to snapping partly, no doubt, 
because of defects in the acting, but mainly on account 
of the author's omission to provide us with any point 
of issue on which to fix our expectations. Yet the 
essentials of the act were, to my thinking, right 
enough it was the superfluities that jarred, and the 
sense of hopeless deadlock that oppressed us. It is 
difficult, no doubt, in a picture-play as opposed to a 
problem-play, to forecast any definite issue. There is 
here no problem which can be formally solved, and 
of which we may be supposed to foresee and desire 
the solution. That is, from one point of view, the 
great advantage of the theme ; that is what makes the 
general effect of the play so lifelike. Mr. Pinero is 
not constructing a pattern, or following out a pre- 
determined curve which must pass through certain 
points to a given end. He is painting a picture, 
largely, leisurely. We do not feel that every word is 
strictly conditioned by its relation to a hard-and-fast 
scheme. We are conscious throughout of space for 
a little marginal illustration. The dialogue is not a 
cemented mosaic, but reproduces, within limits set 
by a fine artistic instinct, the fluidity of life, the ebb 
and flow of emotion. But I take it to be essential 
that the margin should narrow as the story goes on ; 
whereas in this case, it is, if anything, wider in the 
third act than in the first. And, though there was no 
absolute solution to be arrived at, Mr. Pinero might 



"THE RISE OF DICK HALWARD." 321 

have allowed us dimly to divine a possible " way 
out." 

The acting was not, on the whole, fortunate, though 
Miss Winifred Emery and Miss Rose Leclercq were 
admirable and invaluable as Theophila and Mrs. 
Cloys. Miss Lily Hanbury, Mr. Leonard Boyne, 
and Mr. J. G. Grahame, on the other hand, were all 
more or less inadequate to the problems set them; 
and even Mr. Cyril Maude, clever actor as he is, did 
not seem quite the man for Sir Fletcher Portwood. 

A play, according to Auguste Vitu, should contain 
a painting, a judgment, and an ideal. Mr. Pinero 
has given us the painting; the judgment we need 
not insist on, for judgments are generally wrong; 
but it would do no harm if, in subsequent works, he 
could manage to throw in a touch of the ideal. 



XLVI. 

" THE RISE OF DICK HALWARD." 

October. 



SUPERLATIVES are always to be handled with caution, 
so I will not say that The Rise of Dick Halward, at 
the Garrick,* is the most childish play I ever saw. 
But this I will say, that I can remember no play 

* October 19 November 9 (with occasional performances of 
The Professor's Love-Story interposed). 

21 



322 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

produced at an evening performance at a West-End 
theatre so absolutely devoid of intelligence in con- 
ception and skill in execution. Its one merit is a 
certain rough-and-tumble, harum-scarum humour in 
the opening scenes. Mr. Jerome has an eye for the 
small absurdities of lodging-house life, and a relish 
for the good-fellowship and animal spirits of bachelor 
Bohemianism. But as soon as the ladies come on 
the scene, the humour sinks into vulgarity, and the 
play becomes as unpleasant as it is preposterous. 

Dick Halward, son of a country doctor (you will 
see presently why a surgery is indispensable), has 
been in Mexico, but has come home and gone to the 
Bar. This step he regrets, because, as he puts it 
epigrammatically, " It's easier to get silver out of 
the ground than out of men's pockets." As he is 
soliloquising to this effect (he out-Hamlets Hamlet 
in soliloquacity), enter a letter from Mexico. An 
old comrade of his has bequeathed to him, with his 
dying ink-drops, a fortune of half a million dollars, 
in trust to deliver it over to his (the old comrade's) 
long-lost son, who is nineteen, and probably goes by 
the name of Englehart that is the sole clue afforded 
for his discovery. All this the dying miner states 
in a letter; the will itself, on the face of it, leaves 
the property absolutely to Halward. Sagacious old 
miner ! he knew that clues would be superfluous, for 
the long-lost son would inevitably be just at Dick's 



"THE RISE OF DICK HALWARD." 323 

elbow. It is the nature of long-lost sons (as the 
author of Stageland has, or ought to have, pointed 
out) always to be hanging around precisely where 
they are wanted or not wanted. But Dick, being 
comparatively unused to the ways of the world, does 
not realise this, and little dreams that the youngster 
who shares his chambers with him is the very man. 
He is called, not Englehart, but Reggie Philbrick 
(don't ask me why !), and there is no reason to 
believe that he is a long-lost son at all. But such 
trifles would not baffle Dick if he had any knowledge 
of the workings of Providence, as revealed in the 
British Drama. Presently two ladies come to tea 
with Dick and Reggie; their "young women" I 
suppose one ought to call them. Noticing the tidi- 
ness of the room (or something of that sort), Dick's 
young woman observes to Reggie's, " What capital 
husbands they'd make if we ever wanted such things!" 
Then, when some piece of masculine make-shift comes 
to the surface, the same young woman remarks to 
Dick, "I won't have you about a house of mine;" 
and again, when she sits down to toast the muffins, 
" How delightful it is for you to see me playing 
housewife at your fireside !" After a few such airy 
railleries, it would not surprise us if these damsels 
exchanged hats with their swains, and the whole 
quartette departed for a happy afternoon on Hamp- 
stead Heath. On the other hand, words cannot 



324 THEATRICAL ^YORLD OF 1895. 

picture our astonishment when Dick's young woman 
informs him that she cannot marry him because he is 
" poor, as the nicest fellows usually are," whereas she 
cannot exist on less than ^5000 a year ! She has 
a soul above muffins. " I must," she says, " have 
choice wines and dainty foods. I must see rich jewels 
sparkling on my oivn white arm." (The expressions 
in italics are her very words; the context I supply 
from memory.) Therewithal the two heroines take 
themselves off, or are taken off by a haughty mamma; 
and we realise with amazement that they are not 
young persons released from their duties by the 
Thursday early-closing movement, but represent Mr. 
Jerome's conception of what he would no doubt call 
Society ladies. Dick Halward, crushed by Madge's 
mercenariness, exhales his woe in another long 
soliloquy, offering to sell his soul to Satan for 
^5000 a year; and at that word he lays his hand, 
quite promiscuous-like, on what? you will never 
guess why, on his Mexican friend's will ! Half a 
million dollars at five per cent. ^5000 a year to a 
fraction ! Such is the scrupulous accuracy of the 
Devil's arithmetic. After some wrestlings of con- 
science, all in soliloquy, Dick burns the letter, and 
prepares to take out probate of the will for his own 
behoof and benefit. 

Now, if Mr. Jerome had even the skill to get its 
little modicum of dramatic effect out of this theme,. 



" THE RISE OF DICK HALWARD." 325 

he would show us Dick Halward apparently prosper- 
ing for some time on his ill-gotten wealth. But not 
a bit of it ! In the very first scene of the second 
act we find the game is up. The deceased miner, 
Reggie's father, wrote his letter to Dick seated in the 
doorway of a hut; a chance photographer took a 
snap-shot at him; and on returning to England the 
chance photographer has nothing more pressing to 
do than to chance upon the one man who knows 
Reggie's history, and to show him the photo of the 
dying miner, whom he at once recognises. By aid 
of a microscope, the letter he is writing can be 
deciphered; and thus Dick's fraud is discovered, 
though as yet it is not known that he is the criminal. 
Mr. Jerome avers that this incident is quite possible, 
for he has tested it. The part played by the camera 
and the microscope may be possible enough; but 
that does not diminish the puerility of the conception, 
or strike off a single link from the monstrous con- 
catenation of chances involved in it. The thing 
simply insults the intelligence. " But soft ! " you 
say. " Perhaps Mr. Jerome justifies or palliates the 
absurdity by extracting from it a powerful situation. 
One can foresee a capital scene when Dick Halward 
is confronted, as if by magic, with the very words of 
the letter which he has so carefully destroyed." Yes, 
any one can foresee it except Mr. Jerome. No such 
cheap and obvious effects for him ! He is careful to 



326 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

make the man who hands Dick the copy of the letter 
explain beforehand how it has been obtained, so that 
Dick, though doubtless surprised and disgusted, is 
not in the least thunderstruck, and manifests no 
emotion. Thus we approach one solitary dramatic 
moment only to sheer off from it; and the action 
shambles along as best it may. 

Dick's young woman, you must know, agrees to 
marry him now that he has ^5000 a year; but 
though she has no reason to suspect that the stipu- 
lated sum is dishonestly come by, she now hates 
him and overwhelms him with contempt. I presume 
this is psychological subtlety on Mr. Jerome's part. 
Indeed, I think I can vaguely divine the idea that 
must have been in his mind; but, as he has never for 
a moment made Madge credible to us, her revulsion 
of self-contempt interests us not a whit. In spite of 
the extraordinary density of all concerned, suspicion 
bsgins to centre upon Dick. He manages to avert it 
for a time; but in order to do so he has to tell a lie 
indeed, several lies. This his proud nature cannot 
brook. Robbery, yes, at a pinch; but fibbing, never! 
He abstracts a dose of prussic acid from his father's 
medicine shelf now you see why his dear old dad 
is a doctor and, calling all his friends around him, 
he confesses his villainy. They go off in silent 
amazement, Madge last, and he seizes the poisoned 
chalice. But mark, now, how his habit of solilo- 



"THE RISE OF DICK HALWARD." 327 

quising stands him in good stead. If he drank the 
potion sans phrase, there would be an end of Dick 
Halward. But of course he must have his usual 
soliloquy, must tell himself how he once saw a dog die 
of prussic acid, and so forth; and this gives Madge 
time to search her soul, and discover that, now that 
he is a pauper and a criminal, she loves him with all 
the devotion of her passionate nature. She returns 
to the surgery just in time to stay his hand as he 
raises the goblet to his lips, and they determine, in 
the orthodox fashion, to begin a new life in a new 
land. 

One would pity Mr. Willard in the part of Dick 
were it not that he presumably chose it for himself. 
To Miss Marion Terry, on the other hand, who 
struggled gallantly with the young lady of the white 
arms and the dainty foods, I offer my respectful 
sympathy. Mr. Esmond and Miss Annie Hughes 
were bright enough as the comic lovers, and Miss 
Winifred Fraser was excellent in the small part of a 
slavey. Mr. Jerome seemed at one time to promise 
well as a farce-writer, but he appears to have no 
talent whatever for serious drama. Dick Halward 
has, I understand, been successful in America; and 
if criticism can make the fortune of a play, it ought 
to succeed here as well. Such inexplicable chances 
do occur in the theatrical world, but they are rare 
exceptions. I am sure Mr. Jerome is only laying up 



328 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

disappointment for himself if he lets his good luck in 
the present instance persuade him to go on working 
the same vein. 

Messrs. Lewis Waller and H. H. Morell have re- 
produced Mr. Carton's entertaining romance, The 
Home Secretary, at the Shaftesbury Theatre.* If 
poetry consisted in abundance of metaphor, The 
Home Secretary would be one of the most poetical 
plays in the language. There are passages in it for 
instance, the after-dinner chat of the Home Secretary 
and the Solicitor-General as gorgeous with imagery 
as any prismatic patch in Troilus and Cressida. 
Apart from this mannerism (which is preferable, after 
all, to mere vapid vulgarity of talk) the play is quite 
amusing, and lets itself be seen with pleasure. Mr. 
Lewis Waller, Miss Neilson, Miss Maude Millet, and 
Mr. Sydney Brough resume their original parts, while 
Mr. Fred Terry replaces Mr. Wyndham and Miss 
Lottie Venne Miss Mary Moore. 

XLVII. 

"TRILBY" "THE LORD MAYOR" "MRS. 
PONDERBURY'S PAST." 

bth November. 

A DRAMATIC romance named Trilby was produced 

at the Haymarket Theatre! last Wednesday. It is 

* See p. 144. t October 30 still running. 



" TRILBY." 329 

written by an American playwright, Mr. Paul M. 
Potter, and is stated to be "dramatised from George 
Du Maurier's novel." I fancy I have heard of this 
work, and several people in the audience seemed to 
have read it. A play, however, must stand or fall on 
its own merits, and I have not thought it necessary 
to acquaint myself with Mr. Potter's alleged original. 
Not that I have any prejudice against the dramatisa- 
tion of novels. So far as I am concerned, the 
dramatist may take his material wherever he finds 
it ; my business is with the use he makes of it But 
it is my right, and my duty, to place myself in the 
position of the man who knows nothing beforehand 
of the plot and characters an end which I can most 
securely attain by actually being that man. 

Without hesitation, then, I can declare that Mr. 
Potter has told his story clearly enough within the 
limits of his four acts. This was all the easier as he 
had very little story to tell. Let me briefly set down 
what I make of it, that those who know the book 
may judge for themselves how much or how little of 
its effect Mr. Potter has got over the footlights. 
Trilby O'Ferrall, the daughter of a drunken Irish 
Bohemian, is cast adrift at an early age in the 
students' quarter of Paris. She has a nature of gold, 
and passes unsullied through the trials and tempta- 
tions of a model's existence. Three more or less 
English artists, nicknamed Taffy, The Laird, and 



330 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Little Billee, fall in love with her, and she loves 
Little Billee, who is determined to marry her in 
spite of his mother's opposition. But a Franco- 
German-Jewish musician named Svengali sees in her 
an opportunity for making his fortune. She has a 
splendid voice, inherited from her father, but no ear 
for music, so that she cannot sing a note in tune. 
No matter ! Svengali will hypnotise her, and inspire 
her with his own genius. In a state of hypnotic 
trance, she leaves Paris with him on the day before 
she was to have married Little Billee, and is not 
heard of for five years. Then, one evening, the 
three artists and all their friends happen to meet at a 
sort of Parisian Alhambra, where a new star, Madame 
Svengali, is to appear. They at once recognise her 
as Trilby; but she does not know them, for she has 
been all this time under the hypnotic spell of the 
wicked enchanter Svengali, who has beaten and ill- 
used her in order to make her sing. The incessant 
strain of hypnotising and being hypnotised has mean- 
while almost exhausted both his and her vitality, so 
that they are both at death's door. She sings one 
song, "Ben Bolt," with enormous applause; but in 
the interval between her two " turns " Svengali 
encounters the three artists, quarrels with them, and 
dies of heart disease. She, not knowing of his death, 
attempts to sing her second song, but makes only 
hideous noises, and is hissed off the stage. Then 



"TRILBY." 331 

she has a fever, and, recovering, is once more about 
to marry Little Billee; but the malignant wizard, 
from his grave, sends her his portrait for a marriage 
present, and the shock of seeing his face kills 
her. 

We have here, then, a fantastic fairy-tale a mixture 
of Miirger and Hoffmann. It appeals throughout to 
the imagination, not to the intelligence. I had almost 
said that it addresses itself to the child in us, not to 
the man; but children have a habit of asking, " Is it 
true?" and that we deliberately refrain from doing. 
These things are told us, and we listen to them, not 
because they pretend to be actually or symbolically 
true, but because they somehow or other tickle the 
fancy. The lighter side of the picture charms us by 
its very familiarity. The "primrose by the gutter's 
brim," spotless and virginal in the midst of corruption, 
is always gratifying to our passion for antithesis. (I 
am told that in the book she is not immaculate; but 
American chivalry has expunged her past.) Familiar, 
too, are the three sworn friends, all in love with 
the same woman, two of whom remain her trusty 
champions after she has given her love to the third. 
These legendary figures are always agreeable to the 
imagination, and they are here presented with a good- 
humoured quaintness which lends them an air of 
novelty. As for the dark side of the picture, its 
charm is simply the sempiternal fascination of 



332 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

diablerie. Not for nothing does Svengali wear the 
features of a gargoyle from some medipeval minster. 
He is lineally descended from the Devil of the 
Miracle Plays, own brother to Mephistopheles, and 
first cousin to the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and a 
whole tribe of demon musicians. Why this grotesque 
hocus-pocus should enchant us I really do not know, 
but, for my own part, I am not at all exempt from its 
influence. Our Gothic ancestors no doubt revive in 
us, and the terrors which made them what Stevenson 
calls "midnight twitterers," coming down to us attenu- 
ated by scepticism, are found readily available as 
aesthetic motives. The Goth is not the highest 
element in our composition. He lives in our nerves, 
whereas the Greek lives in our intellect. But since 
the nerves respond automatically to the stimulus of 
theatrical effect, whereas the intellect responds only 
through a voluntary effort, when Goth meets Greek 
in the theatre there is practically no tug of war the 
Goth holds the field. That is why Sir Henry Irving's 
Faust a vulgar piece of diablerie outstripped in 
popularity his most distinguished and beautiful pro- 
ductions. That is why Mr. Tree's Svengali a per- 
formance not vulgar, indeed, but superficial and facile 
will very likely prove the great success of his life, 
and become as closely associated with his name as 
Dundreary with Sothern's or Rip Van Winkle with 
Jefferson's. When I add that the heroine of the 



"TRILBY." 333 

nursery-tale the Beauty of this Beast is a beauty 
indeed, with precisely the right quality of fresh and 
childlike loveliness, you will readily understand how 
wide, how universal, is its appeal. Its atmosphere 
of painting and music is also greatly in its favour. 
Three acts out of the four pass in a studio, than 
which there can be no more attractive scene unless 
it be the foyer of a theatre, in which the remaining 
act is placed. Svengali's quality as a musician, too, 
makes "slow music" an essential element in the 
action, and quite naturally converts a great part of 
the play into what the Germans call " melodrame "- 
dialogue spoken through music. Thus all possible 
ingredients of popularity have, by chance or skill, 
been assembled in this play. Why, the very title, 
Trilby, with its bird-like quaver, acts as a lure to 
draw people together. 

Let me define my meaning with respect to Mr. 
Tree's Svengali. It is by no means a bad piece of 
acting on the contrary, it is quite as good as the 
play requires or permits. But it stands on a low 
plane of art, because it is not an effort of observation 
or composition, but of sheer untrammelled fantasy. 
Mr. Tree is simply doing what comes easiest to 
him, luxuriating in obvious and violent gestures and 
grimaces, expending no more thought on the matter 
than is involved in the adroit use of his personal 
advantages and the mechanical resources of stage 



334 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

effect. Please note that I say this without reproach; 
Mr. Tree gives the character all the thought that it 
requires or admits of. He makes the most of his 
material; but his material is second-rate at best. 
When I was an idle schoolboy, I remember achieving 
a great reputation among my classmates by a knack 
of drawing just such figures as Svengali spidery 
monstrosities, with flagrant hair and tentacle-limbs 
contorted in all sorts of extravagant postures. I 
had not the remotest talent for drawing, and never 
attempted to represent a man in natural proportions 
or conceivable attitudes; but by sheer unbridled 
whimsicality, I somehow managed to impress the 
schoolboy imagination and sense of humour. Mr. 
Tree's Svengali carries this art to its highest pitch; 
but its highest pitch is low as compared with the 
summits either of poetical acting, or of such true 
character-acting as Mr. Tree himself has sometimes 
given us. To revert to a former illustration, the 
carvers of the Gothic gargoyles were artists in their 
way, but we do not class them with Michael Angelo, 
or even with Houdon. Miss Dorothea Baird, as 
Trilby, is not only beautiful, but intelligent and un- 
affected. She is not yet an accomplished actress; 
there were points, notably in the third act, where one 
felt that a touch of real inspiration would have trans- 
muted the fairy-tale into tragedy, and thrilled us with 
terror and pity; but, on the fairy-tale level, Miss 



"THE LORD MAYOR." 335 

Baird made an absolutely ideal Trilby. Miss Rosina 
Filippi was an admirable Madame Vinard. Her 
recognition of the three artists in the third act was 
the most genuine piece of acting of the whole 
evening. The other parts were fairly well played, 
but the interest of the piece would certainly be 
heightened by a less insignificant Little Billee than 
Mr. Patrick Evans.* Let me add I don't know 
whether it is a confession or a boast that so 
thoroughly did I enter into the innocent playfulness 
of the production that I can scarcely help laughing as 
I write at the recollection of the Laird's false nose. 

The remaining productions of the week need not, 
unfortunately, detain us long. The Lord May or, \ by 
Messrs. W. E. Bradley and H. and E. Paulton, at 
the Strand, is a hash-up of Vice- Versa and Mr. 
Jones's Judah, with a flavour of Trilby thrown in. 
I am not impugning the author's originality, but 
merely taking the briefest way of indicating the com- 
ponents of the " What-you-Will " for the authors 
not unreasonably shrink from taking in vain the 
sacred name of "farce." Something might have 
been made, no doubt, of the notion of a temporary 
rejuvenescence, though I fancy the vein of super- 
natural farce is pretty nearly worked out. The 

* This gentleman was presently replaced by Mr. H. V. 
Esmond. 

t October 31 November 5. 



336 THEATRICAL \\ORLD OF 1895. 

authors, in any case, have placed the idea in an 
utterly foolish and unattractive setting, and have 
overlaid it, by way of dialogue, with dense masses 
of inconceivable patter. The result is hopeless 
tedium, scarcely enlivened by an occasional flicker 
of Mr. Harry Paulton's peculiar quaintness. At the 
Avenue, on the other hand, excellent acting of its 
kind is thrown away upon the emptiest of French 
farces, a thing we have seen better done twenty times 
before. We have really no use, in these days, for 
work of the calibre of Madame Moxgodin, by MM. 
Blum and Toche, Englished by Mr. Burnand under 
the title of Mrs. Ponderburys Past* The one origin- 
ality of the idea is negative we are spared the 
usual mother-in-law, all possible odiousness, and 
more, being concentrated in the wife. There is no 
approach to common sense in her conduct, or in that 
of the mutton-like husband, who alleges sleep-walking 
as an excuse for his delinquencies. Mr. Burnand 
has done his work neatly enough, and has been 
marvellously sparing of puns; but the whole humour 
of the production really consists in not calling things 
by their names, and in our instinctive retranslation 
of meaningless English into cynical French. Mr. 
Charles Hawtrey, though not so amusing as he some- 
times is, for the part is a miserable one, seemed to 
me to show even more than his usual cleverness in 
* November 2 still running. 



" THE SQUIRE OF DAMES." 337 

differentiating this particular liar from all the other 
liars of his repertory. Miss Alma Stanley made of 
Mrs. Ponderbury a sort of suburban Semiramis, and 
Miss Lottie Venne did wonders with an irksomely 
inevitable music-hall divette. 



XLVIII. 

"THE SQUIRE OF DAMES" "A TRILBY TRIFLET." 

November. 



IT is humiliating to find that, for all our talk about 
the Renascence of the Drama, the reconciliation 
between culture and the stage, etc., etc., it is 
still possible for a manager to produce, and an 
audience to accept, not only without protest but 
with enthusiasm, such vapid Anglo-Gallicisms as 
The Squire of Dames* One had hoped that the 
day was past for this sort of thing, and that 
we no longer lived on crumbs and in this case 
stale crumbs from our neighbours' table. By what 
sorcery does Mr. Wyndham suppose that a bad old 
French play can be transformed into a good new 
English play? His experiment with Le Demi-Monde 
(and that was three years and a half ago) surely did 

* November 5 still running. 



338 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

not result very brilliantly.* Yet Le Demi-Monde was 
in itself a better play than L 'Ami des Femmes. The 
fact is, Mr. Wyndham does not care whether a play 
is good or bad, French or English, antiquated or 
modern ; he simply looks for a showy part, and takes 
it wherever he finds it. And the audience, with 
bland docilit) 7 , makes itself his accomplice. So long 
as 'Mr. Wyndham is on the stage, saying more or 
less witty things in his incomparably airy or aerated 
fashion, they do not care a jot whether the character, 
trie philosophy, the action as a whole, bears any 
conceivable relation to life as they know it. This 
accommodating frame of mind is a survival from the 
days when Matthew Arnold could write without fear 
of contradiction : " We in England have no modern 
drama at all. We have our Elizabethan drama. We 
have a drama of the last century, and of the latter 
part of the century preceding. . . . We have appari- 
tions of poetic and romantic drama. . . . But we 
have no modern drama." This was written in 1879. 

* Mr. Wyndham finds in this phrase an implication that The 
Fringe of Society was a financial failure, and assures me, 
"without giving me permission to publish the figures," that 

the play ran weeks, and that the profit amounted to , 

naming in each case a highly satisfactory total. I have assured 
Mr. Wyndham, in return, that I was not thinking of the 
financial, but of the artistic, result of his experiment with 
Le Demi-Monde. The expression, however, is no doubt am- 
biguous, and I regret that it should have caused Mr. Wyndham 
annoyance. 



"THE SQUIRE OF DAMES." 339 

Sixteen years have passed, and to-day we have a 
modern drama, or the beginnings of one; but unless 
it is to end ere it is well begun, we must make a 
firm stand against the indolent and unintelligent 
managerial methods of the dismal old adaptive days. 
It is scant encouragement to Mr. Pinero, Mr. Jones, 
Mr. Grundy, Mr. Carton himself, to find that we are 
incapable of distinguishing between English manners 
of to-day and French manners of thirty years ago, or, 
at any rate, that we are quite content to see per- 
sonages who bear English names, and are dressed 
in the fashions of the hour, thinking the thoughts, 
speaking the words, animated by the ideals and pre- 
judices, of Parisians under 'the Second Empire. (The 
Parisians, it is true, did not recognise themselves in 
the mirror held up by Dumas; but it will scarcely be 
pretended that this was because his mirror was a 
magic one, prophetically foreshadowing the London 
of '95.) The argument that human nature is much 
the same everywhere and at all times has nothing to 
do with the present case. There is doubtless an 
unalterable residuum which constitutes the immortal 
element in the ideal drama in the Antigone, in 
Hamlet, in Faust. But L'Ami des Femmes is a play 
of local and temporary manners if ever there was 
one. If it was true then and there, it is false here 
and now; if it was untrue at the Gymnase, it can 
only be still more untrue at the Criterion. " We 



340 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

have no modern drama," said Matthew Arnold (to 
resume where we broke off), "but we have numberless 
imitations and adaptations from the French. All of 
these are at the bottom fantastic. We may truly say 
of them that 'truth and sense and liberty are flown.' 
And the reason is evident. They are pages out of a 
life which the ideal of the homme sensuel moyen rules, 
transferred to a life where this ideal does not reign. 
For the attentive observer the result is a sense of 
incurable falsity in the piece as adapted." Matthew 
Arnold's "attentive observer" was evidently in a 
vanishing minority among the Criterion audience; 
yet it was practically the same audience which, a few 
nights before, applauded The Benefit of the Doubt 
a piece which only attentive observers can really 
appreciate. Are we to conclude that in both cases 
it is the mere situations that the mass of the audience 
applauds, heedless of their relevance or irrelevance, 
truth or falsity ? I fear the conclusion would not be 
unjust, so far as the mass of the audience is con- 
cerned. All the more strongly must criticism insist 
that observation and art are not entirely thrown 
away, and that there is always a " remnant " which 
knows the difference between a fine English play and 
a tawdry international nondescript. 

Dumas himself (differing from Mr. Wyndham) has 
admitted that E Ami des Femmes is not one of his 
good plays. " L'action etait en dedans," he says. 



"THE SQUIRE OF DAMES." 341 

"et les theories etaient en dehors, faute capitale au 
theatre." That was perhaps the capital fault in 1864; 
to-day we do not trouble to inquire whether the 
action is internal or external, it is enough that we 
know it to be ludicrously old-fashioned and tricky. 
The construction is not really characteristic of Dumas 
fils ; it rather suggests Scribe, with touches, now and 
then, of Dumas pere. How puerile is the miraculous 
astuteness of De Ryons, with his prophecies which 
are always fulfilled by pure chance ! He is a creature 
of cheap romance a sort of charlatan Sherlock 
Holmes, whose premises always prove to be wrong 
or insufficient, while his conclusions, owing to circum- 
stances which he did not and could not foresee, 
invariably come right. Could anything be clumsier 
or more far-fetched than the business of the vinai- 
grette in the second act? And has Scribe himself a 
more wire-drawn piece of ingenuity than the recon- 
ciliation with the husband effected by means of a 
letter originally intended for the lover? an incident, 
by the way, which is coolly annexed in the last act 
of An Ideal Husband. And then the fatuous self- 
complacency of the ineffable De Ryons! and his 
intrusiveness ! and his impertinence ! No, truly, 
L Ami des Femmes is not one of the happier in- 
spirations of the author of Monsieur Alphonse and 
frandllon. 

But the French play, after all, is a document in 



342 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

literary history. Its very faults belong to its epoch, 
and interest us like the euphuism of Shakespeare 
or the cynicism of Congreve. De Ryons, too, is 
undeniably witty. He develops his theories with all 
Dumas' vivacity of phrase and fertility of illustration. 
The piece entertained me vastly, I remember, when a 
certain M. Valbel played De Ryons at the St. James's 
Theatre, some years ago, before an audience of about 
twenty, all told. But when it is lifted from its literary 
context, its sociological basis, and sent a-masquerading 
in latter-day English dress, it becomes indescribably 
phantasmal. The fault is not Mr. Carton's. He has 
done his work with skill and ingenuity. Of course, 
he has had to eliminate the central idea of his 
original, and to account for the separation of Mrs. 
Dennant from her husband on the conventional lines 
of The Profligate or The Heavenly Twins. Mrs. 
Dennant is not, like Jane de Simerose, a would-be 
rebel against sex, but simply a lady of high moral 
principle, who has learnt, on her wedding-day, that 
her husband has been living with another woman. 
Good and well; the particular case of Jane de 
Simerose is not very interesting to us on this side of 
the Channel; but since Mrs. Dennant is only a moral 
protester, not a physical rebel since her position 
would, or at least might, have been just the same had 
she discovered her husband's delinquency months 
after marriage, instead of on the marriage day the 






" THE SQUIRE OF DAMES." 343 

insistence on the exact circumstances of their separa- 
tion becomes irrelevant and absurd. I cannot, for 
obvious reasons, be quite explicit on this point; 
suffice it to say that, at the end of Mr. Carton's 
third act, the "On vous sauvera, Mademoiselle!" 
addressed by De Ryons - to Madame de Simerose 
is faithfully reproduced; while the stage direction, 
" Elle cache ses yeux dans sa main, en rougissant de 
ce dernier mot," is at least indicated, if not em- 
phasised. Most of the audience did not catch the 
implication, which had, doubtless, eluded the innocent 
Mr. Redford as well. For myself, I have no objection 
to it, except that in the English play it had become 
meaningless. And this is merely typical of the whole 
production. Its atmosphere is French, not English. 
The postulates and conventions of this society are all 
foreign to us. The French drama, especially of the 
Second Empire, assumes the existence of an idle and 
wealthy class in which love is the sole and avowed 
preoccupation of men and women alike. It is an 
openly polygamous and polyandrous world, the 
difference between men and women being simply 
that " tandis que don Juan ajoute tant qu'il peut a 
sa liste, la femme efface tant qu'elle peut de la sienne." 
In such a society, an "ami des femmes" of the type 
here portrayed may possibly find exercise for his 
curious talent. His business, as he himself says, is 
to occupy in a woman's heart the interspace between 



344 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

two passions, and occasionally (but this, it would 
seem, is a rare and heroic effort) to "save" some one 
who, from sheer force of fashion, is in danger of 
throwing herself away upon a lover she does not love. 
But no such society exists in England. The surface 
preoccupations of our idle rich are quite other than 
amatory. If we are not more monogamous than the 
monde of the French drama (which may or may not 
be a true representation of French society), we are at 
least more hypocritical in our polygamy. The funda- 
mental postulate of the society we meet in Dumas is 
that intrigue is the rule, and marital or conjugal 
fidelity the rare exception. Now, the postulate of 
English society is quite the reverse; and the postulate 
probably represents the fact with tolerable accuracy. 
An English De Ryons, therefore, is impossible in two 
senses. The intrigues on which he battens are with 
us sporadic, not endemic; and even if he found some 
fringe of society where, within the compass of one 
man's circle of acquaintance, any considerable number 
of w r omen required his friendly offices, the tone of his 
comments and generalisations would still be inadmis- 
sible. Without the text before me I cannot give 
instances. The French text is no guide, for of 
course the greater part of De Ryons's philosophisings, 
which give the original play its meaning, have dis- 
appeared from Mr. Carton's version. Quotation, 
indeed unless of whole scenes would convey no 






" THE SQUIRE OF DAMES." 345 

adequate idea of the all-pervading unreality of thought 
and expression. Everything is foreign, down to the 
mere externals of manner, the method of receiving 
and dismissing guests, for example. Why, the very 
bore amusingly played by Mr. De Lange is a 
French bore, not an English. Yet Heaven knows 
we need not go abroad for the article ! 

As a piece of abstract acting, Mr. Wyndham's per- 
formance was excellent, erring only, I thought, in 
being a little more underbred than the part absolutely 
demanded. Mr. Kilroy's way of holding his face 
close up to that of the woman he is talking to is 
surely not essential, even to a Squire of Dames. 
Miss Mary Moore was pleasant enough in the part of 
Mrs. Dennant; Mr. Frank Fenton made a marked 
impression as her husband; Mr. Bernard Gould was 
irrepressibly cheerful in the part of the gloomy and 
suspicious lover; Mr. Alfred Bishop was good as an 
absent-minded scientist; and Miss Fay Davis showed 
cleverness and charm in the part of an American 
millionairess. Such a name, by-the-bye, as "Zoe 
Nuggetson " is, like the rest of the production, gro- 
tesquely out of date an anachronism within an 
anachronism. The Squire of Dames, indeed, is a 
character we all know, but we do not recognise 
him in this Ami des Femmes. Why could not Mr. 
Wyndham have commissioned Mr. Carton to study 
the English variety of the type in an English play ? 



346 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

The burlesque of Trilby* introduced into Gentleman 
Joe ought to be either worked up, or cut down, or 
both. On the first night it was desperately dull. 
Mr. Arthur Roberts has caught one or two of Mr. 
Tree's attitudes, and his mask, of course, it was 
easy to reproduce; but in the essential element of 
successful mimicry the voice Mr. Roberts was all 
astray. Miss Kitty Loftus has apparently no turn for 
imitation. On the other hand, Mr. Eric Thorne 
reproduced Mr. Hallard's Gecko with a faithfulness 
too literal to be amusing. 

XLIX. 

"THE RIVALS" "NANNIE" "A MODEL TRILBY" 
" MERRIFIELD'S GHOST." 

2o// November. 

THE Old Playgoer is a justly unpopular character. 
He is a nuisance to himself and every one else. At an 
old comedy in particular, he ought to be compelled to 
leave his memory in the cloak-room, and not bring it, 
like a wet blanket, into the stalls. A performance 
should be judged on its own merits, not crushed by 
comparisons necessarily unverifiable with an ideal 
representation which never really occurred, but is 
made up of select reminiscences from a dozen different 
* November 7 still running. 



" THE RIVALS." 347 

revivals scattered over twice or thrice as many years. 
I am, alas ! an Old Playgoer, and though I have not 
what Mrs. Malaprop calls a "violent memory," I 
cannot quite " illiterate " from its records certain 
performances of The Rivals which but no ! " we 
will not anticipate the past; our retrospections shall 
be all to the present." The revival at the Court 
Theatre* has at least the merit of being amusing. 
There is life and spirit in the performance, and, out 
of eleven characters of importance, eight are com- 
petently, if not excellently, acted. Mrs. John Wood's 
Mrs. Malaprop is irresistibly funny and must be quite 
convincing to" any one but the Old Playgoer. He 
curmudgeon that he is may possibly fancy her a 
little too eager and emphatic, not quite possessed of 
the large self-complacency with which Mrs. Malaprop 
ought to savour the elegancies of her diction. This, 
however, is really a criticism of perfection. Mrs. 
Wood cannot remake her temperament, but she plays 
the part like the accomplished comedian she is. Mr. 
Farren is the established Sir Anthony of the day, and 
one would certainly be puzzled to find a better on the 
present acting list. To my thinking, he does not 
live the character, but simply plays it for its points. 
These, however, he makes with real mastery, rising in 
several passages to a high pitch of virtuosity, at what- 
ever sacrifice of verisimilitude. Mr. Sydney Brough 
* November II December 21. 



348 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

is a gay, pleasant, unaffected Jack Absolute, a little 
lacking in air and manner, or, in other words, a trifle 
modern; but as that is not a fault he can well be 
expected to correct, it is useless to dwell upon it. 
Mr. Brandon Thomas is a slow and stolid but 
sufficiently amusing Sir Lucius; Mr. Sugden is a 
passable Faulkland; and the servants are capitally 
played by Mr. H. Nye Chart (Fag), Mr. W. Cheesman 
(David), and Miss Marie Hudspeth (Lucy). 

With every disposition to keep the Old Playgoer 
in check, I cannot persuade myself that the three 
remaining characters, Lydia, Julia, and Acres, are at 
all adequately treated. Inadequate is precisely the 
word for Miss Nancy Noel's Lydia Languish; it is 
much too mild a term for Miss Violet Raye's 
Julia, in which a great deal of pathetically earnest 
effort is thrown away for lack of the most ele- 
mentary skill. Acting, in Miss Raye's eyes, is 
synonymous with affectation; she is as yet totally 
innocent of the art which conceals art. This is all 
the more regrettable as Julia is really a part worth 
playing. She and Faulkland are the only characters 
in which Sheridan makes any approach to serious 
psychology. Faulkland is an admirable study who 
does not know the type? and Julia, if we make 
reasonable allowance for differences of phraseology, 
is really a charming woman. They strike us as dull, 
partly because they are figures of sober comedy who 



" THE RIVALS." 349 

have somehow strayed into a rattling farce (for so. we 
should class The Rivals if Mr. Grundy or Mr. Carton 
had written it), partly because they are almost always 
carelessly played by actors who curse their fate in 
having to condescend to such parts. Mr. Brander 
Matthews tells us that when Jefferson revived the 
play in New York, Julia was suppressed altogether ! 
On the other hand, when Mr. Bancroft and Mrs. 
Bernard Beere played Faulkland and Julia at the 
Haymarket, their scenes sprang to life, as it were, and 
became at least as interesting as any in the play. 
Miss Raye, to do her justice, showed no sense of 
condescension in approaching Julia. She threw her 
whole heart into the character; but unfortunately her 
energies were wholly misdirected. Both she and Miss 
Noel seemed possessed, among other errors, with the 
idea that declamation was essential to old comedy; 
whereas the very art of the thing lies in speaking the 
formal phrases of the period in such a way as to make 
them seem, for the moment, graceful and natural. 

Mr. Arthur Williams was hopelessly out of place as 
Acres. His rusticity was cockneyism; it was the 
mud of Whitechapel, not of Devonshire, that clung to 
his top-boots. If Acres must needs be vulgar (and I 
don't see the necessity), at least it should not be with 
the vulgarity of the music-hall. George Henry Lewes 
says of the elder Farren (the father of the present Sir 
Anthony) : " He was an actor whose fineness of 



350 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

observation gave an air of intellectual superiority even 
to his fools. I do not mean that he represented the 
fools as intellectual ; but that his manner of repre- 
senting them was such as to impress spectators with a 
high sense of his intellectual finesse." Now, just as 
there may be an intellectual foolishness, so there may 
be, and ought to be, a refined vulgarity. And, in any 
case, the vulgarity of Acres is not inherent in the 
part, but the result of a fungoid growth of gags and 
traditions. The keynote of the character, as your 
latter-day comedian conceives it, is to be found in the 
letter-scene, which is one mass of idiotic gags. To 
the same traditional misreading of the part belong 
the ridiculous and offensive imitations of Julia's 
singing, dancing, and so forth, in which Acres in- 
dulges in his first scene. In these Mr. Williams 
simply wallowed, until one felt that Faulkland, so far 
from being a supersensitive and testy lover, was a 
miracle of patience. On the other hand, he omitted 
a really clever and effective gag in the last act, where 
Acres, seeing the supposed Beverley and his second 
approaching, says to Sir Lucius, " We we we 

won't run will we ? " The " Will we ? " is not in 

Sheridan ; but spoken with a thin tremulous quaver 
of hope, and an appealing look into the fire-eater's 
eyes, it is irresistibly comic, and at the same time 
quite in character. I profess no puritanical rever- 
ence for Sheridan's text. Several of Mrs. Malaprop's 



"NANNIE." 351 

traditional gags are quite as good as anything 
Sheridan gave her to say; and I would not for worlds 
sacrifice David's transmutation of Sir Lucius O'Trigger 
into Sir Lucifer O'Tiger. But I think the Mrs. 
Malaprops of the future might well take the part as 
they find it, and not try to out-Malaprop it from their 
own fantasy; and I see no reason why we should 
cherish with superstitious tenderness the silly and 
vulgar traditions that deform the part of Acres. 

Saturday evening at the Opera Comique was one 
of marked vicissitudes. The audience, unruly at the 
outset, became almost brutally hostile at the end of 
the first play, and hysterically enthusiastic at the 
end of the second. I do not know at this moment 
whether Mr. T. G. Warren's two-act comedy, Nannie* 
was played to its predestined close, or was ruthlessly 
cut short in the flower of its youth. It seemed to me 
that some one, bewildered by the tumult, casually 
dropped the curtain about five minutes before its 
time, and that the actors did not think it worth 
while to have it up again and go on. They were 
quite right. The play was an old-fashioned and 
tedious " comedy-drama," in which it was impossible 
to take any interest. Miss Farren will have to 
strengthen this part of her programme. A Model 
Trilby ; or a Day or fivo after Du Maurier^ (do you 

* November 6 December 2. 

t November 16 February I, 1896. 



352 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

see the joke in the sub-title ?) is a more or less good- 
humoured travesty of the popular novel and play, 
written by Messrs. Brookneld and Yardley in rhymes 
of more or less felicity, and provided by Mr. Meyer 
Lutz with more or less sparkling music. There is no 
general idea or consistent scheme in the travesty, but 
many of the details are quite happily conceived, and 
after the first five minutes the fun was seldom allowed 
to flag. Miss Kate Cutler played Trilby gracefully 
and pleasantly, though she soon dropped all attempt 
to imitate Miss Baird, and looked, on the whole, 
more like a reduced copy of Mrs. Langtry. Mr. 
Robb Harwood, as Svengali, imitated Mr. Tree 
faithfully enough, but, as it seemed to me, with 
deficient spirit and fantasy. The Three Musketeers 
were cleverly played by Mr. Farren Soutar, Mr. C. P. 
Little, and Mr. George Antley; and Mr. Eric Lewis 
showed humour and tact in the character of the 
"Artist- Author." One of the great attractions of the 
piece will undoubtedly be the Trilby Dance, devised 
by Mr. VV. Ward, and very prettily danced by seven 
very pretty girls. Miss Farren's appearance at the 
close, and the storm of cheering which it evoked, 
formed a rather pathetic close to what had been, on 
the whole, a merry evening. 

Mr. H. M. Paull's comedietta MerrifielcFs Ghost* 

* November 13 January n, 1896; preceding The New Boy 
after the withdrawal of Poor Mr. Potion. 



"THE DIVIDED WAY." 353 

which now precedes Poor Mr. Potion at the Vaude- 
ville, is a well-conceived, neatly-written little piece, 
though the dialogue is perhaps somewhat lacking in 
dramatic fibre. It ought to have been better played, 
and especially better stage-managed. One of the 
lines struck me as really memorable. "He has no 
talent ! " says Will Gordon of Merrifield, the famous 
architect. " Ah," replies " Merrifield's Ghost " sadly, 
"he has a great talent for doing without talent!" 
There is plenty of that talent abroad in the world. 



L. 
"THE DIVIDED WAY." 

27 th November. 

THE critics who saw promise in Bogey were evidently 
right I am not quite sure whether I was one of 
them. Mr. H. V. Esmond is a born playwright, and 
a man to be reckoned with. The Divided Way* 
appears fitly on the boards of the St. James's Theatre, 
which for the past fifteen years (by what we thought- 
lessly term a coincidence, though the reasons for it 
stare us in the face) has been the nursery and forcing- 
house of the modern English drama. The only 
"coincidence" in the matter is that Messrs. Hare 
* November 23 December 14. 

23 



354 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

and Kendal, who had the luck and the discernment 
to take Mr. Pinero by the hand at the outset of his 
career, should have been followed by Mr. George 
Alexander, who is by far the most courageous and 
progressive of our younger managers. I am not at 
all sure that Mr. Alexander did better service in 
giving us The Second Mrs. Tanqueray than in pro- 
ducing The Divided Way. Of course there is no 
comparison between the two pieces. Bogey and The 
Divided Way are Mr. Esmond's Money-Spinner and 
Squire ; his Mrs. Tanqueray is yet to come, and we 
must not be in too great a hurry for it. But, after 
all, in producing Mrs. Tanqueray Mr. Alexander was 
only giving loyal and able support to an acknowledged 
master of the stage. It was a good thing to do, and 
we are not ungrateful; but it is a still better thing to 
give an untried man his first chance (for The Divided 
Way was announced before the production of Bogey), 
and to back your opinion of his talent as emphatically 
as though he brought with him the prestige of a score 
of successes. If Mrs. Tanqueray had failed, Mr. 
Pinero would have had to bear the brunt of the 
disaster; the experiment would in any case have been 
a feather in Mr. Alexander's cap. But the failure of 
The Divided Way would have fallen equally upon 
manager and author; so that in producing the play 
Mr. Alexander was running a great risk for a smaller 
(immediate) reward. His insight and enterprise have 



"THE DIVIDED WAY." 355 

once more justified themselves; and this I say without 
the least concern as to the state of the booking-sheet. 
The play ought to be a financial success, and I trust 
it will be; but the credit due to Mr. Alexander in no 
way depends upon the length of its run. He has 
done the right thing in producing it, and confirmed 
his position as the manager whose career we all watch 
with the keenest and most sympathetic interest and 
expectancy. 

There are immaturities of conception and crudities 
of style in The Divided Way things which one 
imagines Mr. Esmond looking back upon ten years 
hence, and wondering, "How could I write that!" 
But there are also things, not a few, on which he may 
look back and say, "By Jove, that was plucky for a 
beginner and it was right, too ! I was on the spot 
that time !" He has gone straight to a simple, tragic 
theme, and he has created a man and woman with 
blood in their bodies and will in their brains. They 
are not representatives of ideas or classes, still less 
are they puppets acting out a preconceived intrigue. 
There are times when they seem even to break away 
from the author's control, to assume an independent 
life, and to speak and act from individual instinct 
and volition. In other words, Mr. Esmond has a 
rare gift of character-projection, of detaching his 
creations from himself. In analysis he is as yet 
weak, or rather his bent is not as yet in that direction. 



356 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

His play will, no doubt, be sneered at as sentimental, 
because, without criticism, irony, or hesitancy of any 
sort, he accepts passion as the central fact and force 
of life. For my part, I welcome a return to that 
antique point of view, and I rejoice in the youthful 
sincerity which prevents Mr. Esmond from posing as 
a disillusioned man of the world. His play is really 
a renaissance tragedy in modern dress. Middleton 
or Heywood might have treated the subject essen- 
tially in the same spirit. Of modern masters, Mr. 
Esmond takes after Echegaray rather than Ibsen. 
Not that he imitates the Spanish playwright; indeed, 
there is nothing to show that he has ever read a line 
of him; I merely mean that the mainspring of his art 
is will, not conscience, impulse, not reflection. And 
the conjuncture he has chosen is tragic in the fullest 
sense of the word, since, for these people, there is no 
way out of it with honour and with life. Lois is 
certainly the reverse of an admirable character; she 
is what the French call an "instinctive," for whom 
the terms "right" and "wrong" have no meaning; 
but we feel that the instinct which renders the old 
life impossible to her, which makes her shrink with 
loathing from the hypocrisy of love, is anything but a 
base one. She is reckless and ruthless, but she is 
not ignoble; and the one point where she becomes 
ignoble where she takes the vulgarest means to 
wheedle a secret, and an inessential one to boot, 



"THE DIVIDED WAY." 357 

out of her husband is, I think, the chief of Mr. 
Esmond's mistakes. Things as they are, then, are 
impossible, and rightly impossible, to the "instinctive" 
Lois; while to the idealist Gaunt a happiness founded 
on the misery of others is more impossible still. In 
the clash of these two impulses, the egoistic and the 
social or altruistic, we have the primal and eternal 
tragedy. Why Mr. Esmond should have chosen such 
a title as The Divided Way I cannot conjecture. 
The beauty of the theme, to my mind, is that there 
is no division, no choice, of ways. The Blind Alley 
would have been a less romantic title, but more 
appropriate. These three people are indeed in a 
blind alley, hemmed in between character on this 
side and circumstance on that; and little by little the 
pathway narrows, till it suddenly ends in a grave. 

Let us now run rapidly through the play, and try to 
distinguish its stronger from its weaker elements. 
The influence of Dickens, so marked in Bogey, 
reappears at the very outset in the names of the 
characters. "General Humeden," "Gaunt Hume- 
den," "Jay Grist" they are not precisely Dickens 
names, but they are chosen with a Dickensish strain 
after singularity. Dickensish, too, is much of the 
comic relief (which is flagrantly unrelated to the 
action), as well as the external and Christmassy 
picturesqueness of the scenic effects. Peculiarly and 
irritatingly Dickensish is the character of Mr. Swendal, 



358 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

a first-cousin of Miss Mowcher and other grotesques. 
But these are foibles which Mr. Esmond will outgrow, 
as Mr. Pinero has outgrown them in serious work. 
Here and there in the dialogue (but not very often) 
we find touches of that metaphor-hunting which used 
to be Mr. Pinero's besetting sin, and is still Mr. 
Carton's. For instance, there is a passage at the 
beginning of the second act where Gaunt and Lois 
play battledore and shuttlecock, through a whole 
series of speeches, with a metaphor about the Children 
in the Wood not a very good one to begin with. 
Moreover, there are one or two lapses into con- 
ventional sentimentality, especially in the last act; 
but the serious scenes as a whole are marked by a 
sobriety, and even distinction, of style which is of 
good omen for Mr. Esmond's future. 

Just at the beginning, there is an unnecessary 
artificiality of exposition; but that once over, the 
story is skilfully told. We are a little taken aback 
at first when Lois selects her father-in-law as the 
confidant of her passion. But here Mr. Esmond is 
rightly daring. This unflinching openness belongs 
to, and partly redeems, her character. The manner 
of Jay Grist's arrival in the first act is conventional 
enough, but the scene in which he blurts out his 
friend's secret is ingenious, dramatic, masterly. For 
a moment we think, " Why doesn't she stop him ? " 
and then realise with a little thrill that this is what 



"THE DIVIDED WAY." 359 

her soul is thirsting for, and that she would not stop 
him for worlds. Strong and original, though perhaps 
unnecessarily crude, is the scene between Gaunt and 
Lois in the second act; and, but for one slip of the 
tongue, as it were, Gaunt's outburst of irrepressible 
joy in confessing their love, even to his father, would 
be the finest thing in the play. It was just beginning 
to grip and move me deeply when one luckless little 
word suddenly struck me cold again. " My bonny 
girl! my bonny girl!" cried Gaunt; and the word 
"bonny" seemed to my ear an intolerably false note. 
The second half of the second act is distinctly the 
weakest part of the play. Gaunt's hypothetical appeal 
to his brother is conventional, improbable, and ex- 
ceedingly dangerous; and the wheedling scene between 
Lois and Jack is not only out of character, but in- 
sufficiently motived. The third act suffers from a 
curious redundancy of dialogue. Gaunt and Lois 
keep repeating, " I am going alone," " I am coming 
with you," until we wonder whether the antiphony is 
to be continued for ever, like a recurring decimal. 
But when once they shake off this spell, the scene 
becomes nobly and profoundly tragic. The process 
of emotion is absolutely convincing in its seeming 
inconsequence, and there is insight as well as 
originality in the conception of the woman who has 
not the courage to accept death deliberately along 
with her lover, yet can snatch at it alone, five minutes 



360 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

afterwards, to escape the "forgiveness" of her husband. 
Mr. Esmond has given Lois two unpretending little 
speeches of exquisite beauty and fitness. " I was 
afraid," she says, "just like a common woman;" and 
when Gaunt cries, " Don't you see that I am dying in 
order to escape from you?" she answers, "Oh! that 
sounds cruel, but it isn't." This is dramatic poetry- 
not quotations from Tennyson or rhapsodies about 
the stars. 

Mr. Alexander plays Gaunt with sincerity and force, 
and Miss Millard, who looks the part of Lois to 
admiration, acts it conventionally, but not ineffectively. 
It is rather odd that Mr. Esmond, an actor himself, 
should have turned out two such ludicrously " bad 
parts" as General Humeden and his younger son. 
The General scarcely gets a word in edgewise; he 
has nothing to do but to look shocked, and that Mr. 
Vernon does with dignity and discretion. As for 
Jack, the balance of the play certainly loses by his 
being an utter nonentity; and, in any case, one sees 
no reason why such a thoroughly uncongenial part 
should have been assigned to Mr. Allan Aynesworth. 
Mr. Vincent was good as Dr. Macgrath, and Miss 
Violet Lyster played Phyllis brightly enough, but 
rather inaudibly at times. Mr. Herbert Waring was 
excellent, and indeed invaluable, in the part of Jay 
Grist. His periodical appearances and disappearances 
in the last act are technically indefensible, and might 



" THE MANXMAN." 361 

have proved dangerous in the hands of a less skilful 
actor. 



LI. 



"THE MANXMAN " " THE MISOGYNIST" "AN 
OLD GARDEN." 

tfh December. 

THE playbill does not tell us who is responsible for 
the adaptation of The Manxman* produced at the 
Shaftesbury Theatre; but from Mr. Lewis Waller's 
speech at the close, it would seem that this version, as 
well as the earlier version which I saw on its first 
night at Leeds, is the work of Mr. Wilson Barrett. 
Be this as it may, the second state of the play is worse 
than the first, and for a very apparent reason. Pete 
was the central figure of the country version, for Mr. 
Barrett himself played Pete; in town, Mr. Lewis 
Waller plays Philip, who is accordingly thrust into the 
leading place. Now, for theatrical purposes, Pete is 
and must be the protagonist. If you are to have a 
Pete at all, he must take the centre of the stage. He 
is a ready-made character, appealing to ready-made 
idealisms; and those whose chief pleasure in the 
theatre lies in the indulgence of idealistic sympathy 
are merely bored by complexities of motive and 

* November 18 November 30. 



362 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

ethical half-tints. On the other hand, those who are 
capable of taking an interest in the self-torturing 
irresolution of a man like Philip regard the magnani- 
mous mariner as a childish personage, belonging to 
the infancy of dramatic art. Thus the play in its 
present form falls between two stools. In the country 
version it was a sound and simple domestic drama, 
rising above the level of Princess's and Adelphi 
melodrama only in so far as its action was carried on 
without the aid of coincidences, physical accidents, or 
even deliberate villainy. In the town version a lame 
attempt is made to intrude a psychological study into 
the domestic drama. The author robs Pete to enrich 
Philip, and dissatisfies one section of the public with- 
out satisfying any other. The interest cannot be 
evenly divided between two such personages. If 
Philip is to be the centre of the composition, like 
Arthur Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter, then Pete 
must be painted out of the picture and designed 
afresh. As it is, this crudely, aggressively sympa- 
thetic figure, for ever thumping the big drum before 
the booth of sentiment, fascinates and absorbs those 
whom it does not bore and annoy. If we give him 
an inch of space, he inevitably takes an ell. The 
attempt to transfer the interest to Philip simply 
displaces the centre of gravity and makes the play 
heel over like a ship when its cargo has shifted. 
This would hold good even if the author had been 



"THE MANXMAN." 363 

successful in portraying the soul-struggles of Philip. 
As a matter of fact, the methods of melodrama prove 
hopelessly inapplicable to analytic purposes. Philip 
is no clearer or more interesting in this play than in 
the former one; to expand a part is not always to 
illuminate a character. Moreover, the greater pro- 
minence given to Manx customs and ceremonials in 
the new version only heightens its unreality. Worst 
of all, the adapter has apparently conceived the luck- 
less idea of trying to make Philip sympathetic at the 
expense of Kate, with the result that the first act, in 
Sulby Glen, becomes an outrageously and incredibly 
vulgar seduction-scene, in which the woman is the 
wooer. So far from rendering Philip sympathetic, 
it makes him ridiculous and contemptible. We feel 
that a man with any sense of decency would have 
turned away in pitying disgust from this hysterical 
hoyden. Miss Florence West, let me hasten to say, 
was in nowise to blame. She simply acted the 
part set down for her, neither refining nor vulgarising 
it. She could not escape from the plain words put 
in. her mouth; for instance, this soliloquy: "Oh, I 

must keep him even if I ! (Covers her face 

with her hands. Presently she looks up again. ) And 
yet, why not ? He would never leave me then ! Oh, 
I must find Philip ! " and she does. I am not quite 
certain of the first phrase, " I must keep him " ; it 
was to that effect, but the words may have been 



364 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

different ; the rest of the speech I took down, word 
for word, at the moment. 

Miss West was rather overweighted in Kate's later 
scenes; Mr. Lewis Waller did all that could be done 
with the essentially ungrateful part of Philip; Mr. 
G. W. Cockburn made an excellent Pete; Mr. 
Fernandez was effective as usual in the part of Caesar 
Cregeen ; and Miss Kate Phillips played Nancy very 
brightly. 

The St. James's Theatre has been, as I said last 
week, the nursery of the modern drama; but it is not 
to the nursery of the drama that one looks for the 
drama of the nursery. There is really no other term 
for The Misogynist* by Mr. G. W. Godfrey, which 
ushers in The Divided Way. Here and there a happy 
turn of dialogue reminds us that Mr. Godfrey is 
capable of better things; but otherwise the play is 
feeble and conventional beyond expression. From 
the moment Mr. Corquodale, the old woman-hater, 
looked at his nephew's wife, and mumbled to himself 
that there was something strangely familiar in her face, 
was there a soul in the audience who did not know 
exactly what was coming? We knew that the woman- 
hater had been jilted in his youth; we knew that the 
lady had married a rich man, without vouchsafing any 
explanation; we knew that the nephew's wife was her 
daughter. Nay, more we knew exactly why the 
* November 23 December 14. 



" THE MISOGYNIST." 365 

faithless fair had thrown Corquodale over: it could 
only be to save her father from ruin and disgrace, by 
marrying the man whose name he had forged, or who 
held the mortgages on his ancestral estate. On the 
other hand, we did not know we now can never 
learn why she did not explain this to her disconsolate 
lover. Most of the novelists and playwrights who 
have told the story have represented that she thought 
he would feel her desertion less if he were left to 
despise her as a heartless and mercenary minx; but 
Mr. Godfrey (and this is his sole originality) does not 
even condescend to this explanation. For the rest, 
he sticks to the orthodox lines of the story without 
the smallest variation. I could see the conductor of 
the orchestra waiting eagerly for the word " mother " 
the cue for the slow music and I was, oh ! so 
thankful when it came, bringing with it the wind- 
ing-up of the foolish and frowsy old anecdote. Nor 
did the acting redeem it. Mr. Alexander's notion of 
senility is founded, not on Nature, but on Sir Henry 
Irving, whose method of depicting old age he repro- 
duced (no doubt unconsciously) with a faithfulness 
that would have done credit to a professional mimic. 
I have never seen a more curious example of the way 
in which Sir Henry Irving's personality imposes itself 
on all who pass through his school. Mr. Allan 
Aynesworth and Miss Ellis Jeffreys, as the nephew 
and niece, played their trivial parts pleasantly enough ; 



366 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

and Mr. Vincent, made up like the late Ernest Renan, 
was conventionally clever as the indispensable old 
servant. 

Compared with Mr. Godfrey's musty sentimentalism, 
An Old Garden* by Mr. Hill Davies, which now 
precedes Miss Broivn at Terry's Theatre, seems posi- 
tively fresh and original. It is, indeed, an agreeable 
trifle, not particularly novel either in subject or treat- 
ment, yet by no means such a foregone futility as The 
Misogynist. The theme is essentially that of Mr. 
Gilbert's Siveethearts, but it is handled in a totally 
different fashion. If Mr. Hill Uavies intends to follow 
up this first little success in dramatic authorship, he 
ought to beware of the soliloquy, a clumsy and out- 
worn device, and especially of the overheard soliloquy, 
which is totally indefensible. Miss Mona Oram, 
who plays the heroine, has a pleasant appearance 
and manner, and shows a good deal of quiet 
intelligence. 



LII. 

" THE COMEDY OF ERRORS." 

WE have to thank the Benchers of Gray's Inn and 

the Elizabethan Stage Society (not forgetting Mr. 

Arnold Dolmetsch) for a very interesting and pleasant 

* November 12 February 8, 1896. 



" THE COMEDY OF ERRORS." 367 

evening. There are two extant buildings in London 
in which we know that plays of Shakespeare's were 
acted during his lifetime. On Innocents' Day, 
December 28th, 1594, as we learn from the Gesia 
Grayorum, "a Comedy of Errors, like to Plautus his 
Menechmus, was played by the players" in Gray's 
Inn Hall, which was even then a quarter of a century 
old. It is believed (but this is only a probable con- 
jecture) that the players were the Lord Chamberlain's 
Company, to which Shakespeare belonged. What is 
certain is that the Lord Chamberlain's men had on 
that very day performed before Queen Elizabeth at 
Greenwich; so we may, if we please, imagine Shake- 
speare and his fellows acting The Comedy of Errors 
after the Queen's midday dinner, and then coming 
up to town (they would have ample time, for the 
Christmas revellers kept late hours) to repeat the same 
piece at Gray's Inn. The second of the two buildings 
is the still nobler hall of the Middle Temple (pardon 
the patriotism of a truant but not unmindful Templar), 
where a nobler comedy, Twelfth Night to wit, was 
performed on February 2nd, 1602. Manningham, 
whose diary records the fact, mentions the resem- 
blance between this play and "the Commedy of 
Errores;" whence we may conjecture that it was 
the popularity of the earlier and cruder play that 
induced Shakespeare to rehandle the theme in this 
glorified form. Some years ago Miss Elizabeth 



368 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Robins and Miss Marion Lea were anxious to re- 
produce Tivelfth Night, after the fashion of the 
Elizabethan stage, in the Middle Temple Hall; but 
the consent of the authorities could not be obtained. 
The Benchers of Gray's Inn have shown a more 
liberal and artistic spirit in acceding to the request 
of the Elizabethan Stage Society, and the event of 
Saturday night ought to be set down to their credit 
in a modern Gesta Grayorum. The E.S.S., it is 
true, had allowed the tercentenary of the recorded 
performance to pass, by nearly a year; but why 
should we be slaves to anniversaries? Had they 
determined to wait for the fourth centenary, I fear 
some of us would have missed a curious and memor- 
able experience. Regarded in the dry light of reason, 
indeed, such a performance seems a pathetically im- 
potent protest against the ineluctable tyranny of 
Time. In vain we repeated to ourselves that these 
very rafters and that very screen had probably echoed 
the very voice of Shakespeare, speaking some of the 
words we were now listening to (one fancies he would 
play either the Duke or ^Egeon). The effort to 
realise this fact, not only intellectually but imagina- 
tively, seemed to make the past more phantasmal, 
more irrecoverable, than ever. It is a self-defeating 
sentiment that leads us to linger around inanimate 
objects which have merely stood in casual propin- 
quity to the great spirits that are gone which have 



"THE COMEDY OF ERRORS." 369 

neither impressed them nor received from them any 
abiding impression. Stratford made Shakespeare, 
Scott made Abbotsford. The Warwickshire town, 
in its soft Midland landscape, was an essential factor 
in the poet's psychology, while the pseudo-baronial 
mansion by the Tweed is an expression of the 
romancer's spirit, a melancholy monument of its 
greatness and its weakness. But Gray's Inn Hall 
did nothing for Shakespeare, received nothing from 
him. The. permanence of its wood and stone, so far 
from really bringing us nearer to him, serves rather 
as a sardonic memento of the evanescence of humanity. 
Some one has preserved a window-pane from Carlyle's 
Edinburgh lodging, and the relic, duly attested, is 
offered to the reverence of hero-worshippers. Sup- 
pose it true that Carlyle did once breathe upon it 
can it do more than remind us that he has vanished 
like that breath-mist ? Not less transient and fugitive 
was Shakespeare's connection with Gray's Inn Hall; 
and the attempt to replace his figure against that 
background merely tantalises the imagination. No 
vibration of his voice lingers in unremembering joist 
or wainscot. These mute survivors merely tell us 
that he is dead. We have to send our imagination 
abroad through the English-speaking, or rather the 
Teutonic, world, from the crowded theatres of un- 
numbered cities to the miner's hut and the frontier- 
man's cabin, before we can give their stolid sophistry 

24 



3/0 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

the lie, and tell them that he lives, and will live when 
they have mouldered to dust. 

But the Hall undoubtedly serves the purpose of 
the Elizabethan Stage Society in helping us to realise 
the conditions of a sixteenth-century representation. 
And, as good luck will have it, The Comedy of Errors* 
is of all Shakespeare's works that which loses least 
and gains most in modern eyes by absence of scenery 
and conventionality of costume. The play is a 
classical farce recklessly romanticised; but it pre- 
serves so much of its classic character that the scene 
remains indefinite simply "Ephesus: a public place." 
Then, again, the plot is so unblushingly extravagant 
that anything like illusion is from the outset impos- 
sible. To attempt it could only be to force upon us 
the consciousness of disillusion. The intrigue is 
a sort of dramatic diagram, an essay in the pure 
mathematics of situation. The poet seems to say, 
"Admitting such-and-such inadmissible postulates, 
let us work out the resultant series of impossible 
possibilities." Plautus is content with one pair of 
twins, and takes the trouble to explain at some length 
how the two Menaechmi came to be called by the 
same name. Shakespeare gives us the square of the 
coincidence, so to speak, by attaching indistinguish- 
able slaves to the indistinguishable masters, and 
airily omits to explain why both masters are called 
* Performed three times December 6, 7, and 9. 






"THE COMEDY OF ERRORS." 3/1 

Antipholus and both lackeys Dromio. Observe that 
we have here no real analogy with the case of 
the Aniphitruo, in which Jupiter and Mercury 
miraculously assume the forms, and deliberately take 
the names, of Amphitryon and Sosia. There is all 
the difference in the world between a miracle and a 
coincidence. Then Shakespeare piles coincidence 
upon coincidence in the arrival of the father (who 
replaces the Prologue of the Latin comedy) and 
the recognition of the mother a singularly frigid 
invention, and quite ineffective because quite un- 
prepared. Thus the whole fable is so remote from 
even imaginable reality that we willingly dispense 
with all realism of presentation, and regard the stage 
as a sort of chess-board on which pieces and pawns 
(and the pieces, as in chess, are mostly in pairs) work 
out a certain problem in a given number of moves. 
If all Shakespeare's works were like The Comedy of 
Errors, I should willingly assent to the doctrine of 
the E.S.S. that we ought to get rid of scenic apparatus 
and revert to the bare platform of the Globe or the 
Blackfriars. Unfortunately for the E.S.S., but fortu- 
nately for the world at large, The Comedy of Errors 
stands alone in the abstractness, if I may call it so 
of its scene and matter. 

Far be it from me, however, to throw cold water 
on the enthusiasm of the E.S.S. Though I cannot 
accept their principle as applied to Shakespearian 



3/2 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

productions at large, I heartily approve their practice, 
and hope that they will continue their interesting 
revivals of the more neglected plays. The costuming 
of The Comedy of Errors was excellent and really 
instructive, and the acting was, for amateurs, most 
creditable. One of the Dromios (I quite forget 
which) was a real comedian. It interested me to 
note that whereas I had always conceived it next 
door to impossible to find or make two pairs of 
actors even passably alike, as a matter of fact the two 
Antipholuses and the two Dromios were to me, at no 
great distance from the scene, actually indistinguish- 
able. Of course, I was vaguely conscious of certain 
differences between them; but it would have needed 
a special effort of attention (from which I carefully 
abstained) to fix the differences in my mind so as to 
enable me to tell, when one of them entered, whether 
he was of Ephesus or of Syracuse. I was effectually 
enveloped in the " general mist of error." To this 
end the broad brims of the Antipholuses' hats con- 
tributed most ingeniously. The stage management 
might have been better in the opening scene it was 
quite ridiculous and it is hard to see why the E.S.S. 
should deliberately desert its strongest position in 
making huge and quite unnecessary cuts in the last 
act. On the whole, then, I remain unconverted to 
the general theory that scenery and accurate costume 
are hindrances to the proper enjoyment of Shake- 



" THE COMEDY OF ERRORS." 373 

speare, and that amateurs act better than actors. 
Strictly speaking, the comedy was not acted at all, 
but only more or less intelligently recited. But the 
effect was so picturesque and interesting that I beg to 
repeat in earnest a proposal which was freely mooted 
in jest to wit, that the picture should be completed 
by the audience, too, appearing in ruffs and farthin- 
gales. The black coats and white neckties were 
deplorably discordant. If the Benchers of Gray's 
Inn should be minded to give another gaudy-night 
of the kind, I do not see why they should not write 
Elizabethan Costume on the cards of invitation. I 
am not much of a masquerader myself " parcus 
ludorum cultor et infrequens " but for such a 
solemnity I would don doublet and hose as cheerfully 
as that redoubtable brigand, Mr. Tupman, squeezed 
himself into his green velvet jacket with a two-inch tail. 
An ingenious and humorous comedietta by Mr. 
W. D. Howells now precedes Mrs. Ponderbury's Past 
at the Avenue. It is entitled A Dangerous Ruffian* 
and deals with the exploit of an absent-minded pro- 
fessor who knocks down and robs an inoffensive old 
gentleman, under the impression that he is recovering 
his watch from a daring pickpocket. The principal 
character, however, is not the Professor, but his 
hysterically adoring spouse, who is cleverly played by 
Miss Florence Harrington. 

* November 30 January 2, 1896. 



374 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 



LIII. 

"THE GREATEST OF THESE "MADAME" 
" KITTY CLIVE." 

i8//$ December. 

AT Brighton on Saturday last, I had the pleasure of 
seeing Mr. and Mrs. Kendal in a four-act play by 
Mr. Sydney Grundy entitled The Greatest of These 
(please observe that the dash is an essential part of 
the title). The Kendals are doing good service in 
taking round the country so serious and so humane a 
piece of work. It is worth a mint of Queen's Shillings 
and a snowstorm of Scraps of Paper. Sooner or later 
it is certain to be seen in town, and it will be time 
enough then to consider it in detail. Meanwhile, let 
me simply say that the character of Mr. Armitage, 
J.P., is to my mind the strongest thing Mr. Grundy 
has ever done. No more vigorous and penetrating 
study of the honest, well-meaning, " liberal " and yet 
destructive Pharisee has been seen on our stage. I am 
sure Mr. Grundy will not think that I am impugning 
his originality if I call Mr. Armitage the English 
variant of Ibsen's Consul Bernick. The resemblance 
has very likely never occurred to him, but it exists 
none the less, not only in the general conception of 
the character, but even in details. For instance, 



"THE GREATEST OF THESE 3/5 

Armitage's belief in the superior virtue and intelligence 
of the provinces, as compared with London, is an 
exact parallel to Bernick's belief in Norway's moral 
exaltation over the " great communities " ; and when 
Mrs. Armitage says to him in the last act, "You have 
never known your son, and he has not known you. 
. . . You haven't lost but found him," she is using 
almost the very words applied in the last act of The 
Pillars of Society to the relation between Bernick and 
Olaf. I regret to add that Armitage's conversion is 
almost not quite as sudden as Bernick's. The 
title sufficiently indicates the bent of the piece. It is 
a strong and even a daring attack upon the inhuman 
egoism of respectability an attack so forcible in its 
outspokenness that it fairly carried the sympathies 
even of a chilly afternoon audience. It well deserved 
the applause which greeted it ; and yet (now for the 
inevitable grumble !) I think it would be a better play 
if Mr. Grundy, like a good fairy, would or could grant 
me three wishes. I wish in the first place that he 
could have got on without the forgery business ; it is 
conventional and far from convincing. In the second 
place, I could wish for a little more clearness of 
definition in his theology or metaphysics. He uses 
" God " and " Nature " as practically interchangeable 
terms, which I take to be begging the question. The 
very point on which Mr. and Mrs. Armitage differ is 
how far the dictates of God coincide with those of 



376 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Nature. Thirdly, and most especially, I wish his 
characters were a little less rhetorical in their methods 
of expression. One and all, they "talk like a book," 
though in Laurence's case the book happens to be a 
slang dictionary. Mrs. Armitage in particular rejoices 
in a quite Ciceronian gift of antithesis, and employs 
all the elisions and inversions of the accomplished 
orator. For instance, " Your children, your respecta- 
bility, your position I was forgiven for these ! " 
And again, " Can I make myself a new being, with a 
new heart in my body and a new brain in my head ? 
Morality says Yes; Religion, Yes; but Nature NO! " 
And yet again, "I might urge some frail words, not 
in my own excuse words I have never spoken, words 
I do not wish to speak." In real life people do not 
" urge " words at all ; that only occurs in provincial 
leading articles; and it is mere affectation of Mrs. 
Armitage to call her words "frail" they are from 
first to last singularly robust. In one or two places 
she even drops into poetry : 

" Where are the brave ideals of old days ? 

Where are the dreams that once we dreamed together ? " 

I declare these lines have such a swing about them 
that it is quite a disappointment to the ear when she 
omits to complete the stanza, somewhat in this fashion : 

"Why do those brows, that should be wreathed with bays, 
Show, in their stead, the recreant white feather ? " 



" MADAME." 377 

And Mr. Armitage is not much behind his wife in 
his command of the graces of style. It is distinctly 
unusual to hear a provincial banker speak of 
"Laurence, to whom all forms of sin and evil are 
as unreal as the phantoms of mythology ; " and it 
is nothing less than amazing to find this worthy 
chapel-goer steeped to the lips in Tennyson, quoting 
him to his pastor as though the Idylls were Holy Writ, 
and bursting out, when he realises his own Pharisaism, 
" / am the curse, not Lancelot nor another ! " I beg 
Mr. Grundy to believe that I recognise and value the 
vigour and eloquence of his dialogue in the chief 
scenes of this play; but oratorical eloquence is one 
thing, dramatic eloquence another, and I cannot but 
think that he is apt to overlook the distinction. 

Miss Farren's management at the Opera Comique 
takes us back to the palmy days of the Gaiety. Mr. 
James T. Tanner's three-act "absurdity," Madame* 
is just such a piece as Mr. Hollingshead might have 
selected to "play the people in" to a popular bur- 
lesque. It is like a nightmare brought on by a surfeit 
of French farces; but it is tolerably inoffensive, and 
people are found to laugh at it. That capital 
comedian Mr. Eric Lewis manages to be fairly 
amusing in the part of Mr. Galleon. At the Royalty, 
the hundredth night of The ChiliWidow was celebrated 
by the production of a one-act play by Mr. Frankfort 
* December 7 February I, 1896. 



378 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Moore entitled Kitty Clive.* It is like a score of 
other plays in which some legendary actor or actress 
is made to give a taste of .his or her quality in private 
life; and it differs from its predecessors chiefly in its 
total lack of ingenuity or plausibility. However, it 
affords Miss Irene Vanbrugh an opportunity for some 
agreeable high-jinks which seemed to entertain the 
audience. There was one thrilling moment when Miss 
Vanbrugh-Clive undertook to show us how Garrick, 
as Hamlet, delivered the address to the Ghost. Un- 
fortunately she broke off after the first line, and left 
me simply gasping with disappointment. 



LIV. 

"ONE OF THE BEST." 

2$th December. 

WHEN it has been stated that One of the Best\ at the 
Adelphi is a good and effective play of its kind 
certainly one of the best of recent years there 
remains very little to be said of it. The ability 
displayed by Messrs. Seymour Hicks and George 
Edwardes is of the purely spectacular and stage- 
managerial kind, not in the least dramatic. There 

* December II still running, 
t December 21 still running. 



"ONE OF THE BEST." 379 

is little or no invention in the play. The skill of 
the authors lies in seizing upon a picturesque and 
impressive incident the degradation of Captain 
Dreyfus and forcing it, not without violence, into 
an English setting. In doing so they shrink from 
no extreme of physical or moral improbability. The 
English Dreyfus must, of course, be innocent of the 
treachery attributed to him, so he has to be provided 
with a double, and we are asked to assume a strong 
personal resemblance between Mr. Terriss (the hero) 
and Mr. Abingdon (the villain). This is a pretty 
steep assumption to begin with. Then, that the 
villain may gain access to the safe in which the War 
Office plans are deposited, the daughter of the officer 
entrusted with their charge has to be represented 
as a most abandoned and repulsive criminal. Poor 
Miss Millward ! never was a more hateful part assigned 
to an Adelphi heroine. The authors' efforts to keep 
Esther Coventry within the pale of sympathy only 
made her more intolerable. We should have liked 
her better as an out-and-out villainess. She cannot 
possibly be deceived by her villain-lover's represen- 
tation that his object in stealing the plans is only (!) 
to swindle the Government out of ^"5000. Unless 
she is a mere idiot, she must know that she is 
betraying not only her father, but her country. Then 
in order to screen her lover, she perjures herself 
through thick and thin, and suffers an innocent man 



380 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

who has done her no harm to be subjected to an 
infamous punishment and condemned to penal 
servitude for life. And finally, there being no one 
else left to betray, she turns round and betrays her 
lover, not out of remorse or any sort of compunction, 
but simply because he declines to marry her. I must 
say the hero's magnanimity in imploring her father 
(and the audience) to pardon her seems to me mis- 
placed. She ought to be handed over to Professor 
Lombroso to adorn his gallery of female delinquents. 
A character of more unredeemed turpitude has never 
been presented to the execrations of a British gallery. 
Yet such is Miss Millward's empire over the affections 
of the Adelphi gods that they positively applaud her ! 
This Esther Coventry is the pivot of the whole action, 
and in designing her the authors have simplified their 
task with a happy audacity, on which I beg to 
congratulate them. The scene of the robbery is a 
stirring piece of melodrama, and the court-martial is 
fairly effective, though it would be much more so if 
Lieutenant Keppel made some slight attempt to 
defend himself, instead of indulging in mere futile 
protestation and declamation. But the great attrac- 
tions of the play are of course the scenes representing 
the hero's degradation and reinstatement, the best- 
regulated pieces of military spectacle I remember to 
have seen on the stage. The degradation was really 
moving after its fashion, and it seemed to me that 



"ONE OF THE BEST." 381 

Mr. Terriss here attained a genuine dignity and 
sincerity of emotional expression, not always to be 
found in his acting. 

Mr. Abingdon, as the villain, had a more than 
usually ungrateful part, and I must protest against 
the cowardly brutality with which the mob of soldiers 
and rustics is suffered to treat him at the close. Such 
outbreaks of bestial ferocity do, indeed, occur, but 
that is no reason why they should be presented with 
approbation on the stage. When the benevolent 
clergyman appeared on the scene, I did not doubt 
that he was going to rescue the defenceless and 
cowering wretch of a villain, and put to shame the 
dastardly crew who were torturing him. But not a 
bit of it ! After a feeble protest, he left them to 
their savage sport ; and no doubt the gods went away 
full of admiration for this mob of sturdy Britons, and 
prepared to imitate them on the first opportunity. 
Mr. L. Delorme and Mr. Athol Forde played two 
minor characters very cleverly, the one a French spy, 
the other an octogenarian rustic. Mr. Harry Nicholls 
was exceedingly droll as a Highlander from Hamp- 
stead (he said Hampshire, but that must have been a 
slip of the tongue), and Miss Vane Featherston, as 
the comic maidservant, played up to him very brightly. 
By the way, Mr. Nicholls's allusion to some supposed 
jealousy between the Commander-in-Chief and another 
distinguished General (both mentioned by name) 



382 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

struck me as being in execrable taste ; but since the 
sagacious Mr. Redford sanctions it, I suppose it is 
little short of high treason to say so. It seems to me 
that the one conceivable utility of a censorship would 
be to check silly and offensive personalities of this 
sort. The speech may very probably be a "gag"; 
but whether Mr. Redford did, or did not, pass it, the 
fact remains that our beneficent censorship failed to 
prevent its being spoken on the stage. Were it not 
that Mr. Redford is supposed to relieve us of all 
responsibility in these matters, the slight hiss which 
greeted it would doubtless have been much more 
emphatic. Hence the popularity of the censorship 
with low-comedians, on whom it places no check, 
while it protects them against the censorship of the 
decent-minded public. 



EPILOGUE. 



THE Epilogue to 1895 must be one of mingled gratu- 
lation and warning. The actual record of the year 
is highly inspiriting; but a danger seems to loom 
ahead. It is not a new danger; it has been descried 
and charted long ago. But the very rapidity of our 
advance has brought us visibly nearer to it, and we 
shall presently have to deal with it in earnest. 

The condition of the theatre as a whole is dis- 
tinctly healthier than at any time since the decline 
of the Patent Houses. In all departments save one 
the general tendency is upwards. The one exception 
is the so-called " Legitimate." Sir Henry Irving has 
done splendid service to his profession, and has 
amply earned the reward which this year has brought 
him ; but he has not made Shakespeare live as he ought 
to live on the stage of his native country. Four or five 
sumptuous revivals in a decade are not enough to 
keep the art of Shakespearian acting alive. With 
many of us, it does not survive even as a memory: 
hence the apparent success of a thoroughly mediocre, 
and in some parts indescribably feeble, revival of 



384 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Romeo and Juliet at the Lyceum. We have also had 
The Two Gentlemen of Verona and A Midsummer 
Night's Dream cruelly mutilated by Mr. Daly, but 
resuscitated, in some measure, by the cleverness of 
his company. Except for one or two amateur experi- 
ments, this is our whole Shakespearian record;* and 
for the rest, our Elizabethan, Caroline, and Georgian 
repertory is represented by The Rivals at the Court 
Theatre ! Such are the short and simple annals of 
the classic drama. What we want is, in addition to 
the Lyceum, a theatre like Sadler's Wells during the 
Phelps period more modern in its methods, indeed, 
but conducted in a like artistic spirit. 

The " Legitimate " apart, there is progress on every 
hand. Even spectacular melodrama seems (or is this 
an illusion ?) a shade less imbecile than it used to be. 
In the department of farce we have at least shaken off 
the yoke of France. A notably successful adaptation 
is now exceedingly rare in the record of 1895 The 
Chili Widow stands alone. The most popular farces 
of the past three or four years have all been of home 
manufacture ; and though none of them (since Mr. 
Pinero turned serious) has been of the highest quality, 

* It is true, however, that Sir Henry Irving gave a few per- 
formances of The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado, and Macbeth, 
by way of rehearsals for America. Sir Henry's habit of running 
through his repertory during the summer months is an excellent 
one, tending as it does to break through the exclusive domin- 
ance of the long run. 



EPILOGUE. 385 

we have quite a little group of writers who are develop- 
ing a pretty knack of touching off the humorous 
aspects of life. Upon the " musical comedy " of the 
In Town, Shop Girl, Gentleman Joe, and Artisfs 
Model type, which is swamping our lighter theatres, it 
is impossible to look with much complacency; but it 
may at least be said that there are excellent possi- 
bilities in the form, and that even the tawdry and 
vulgar medleys we now see are greatly preferable to 
the brazen burlesques which they have supplanted. 
Who would willingly go back to the time when a 
popular manager loved to advertise himself as a 
" dealer in legs," when pink-limbed priestesses of the 
"sacred lamp" used to gabble screeds of halting 
doggerel, crammed with puns which they did not 
understand, and when not even the most beautiful 
and sacred theme in mythology, history, or poetry 
was safe from the debasing clutch of the graceless and 
illiterate parodist? The "musical comedy" of to- 
day has at least the negative merit of not being a 
hideous leprosy on the fair face of literature. 

It is, however, in the sphere of social comedy or 
drama that the advance is most palpable. Even now 
one speaks of the " dramatic revival," not with assured 
faith, but rather with a tremulous hope. It is so 
difficult to attain a true perspective in matters of 
art, and especially in matters theatrical. So many 
" dramatic revivals " have fizzed, sputtered, flared, and 

2 5 



386 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

gone out like Roman candles, leaving only unsightly 
and unsavoury exuviae behind them. Virginius, in 
the eighteen-twenties, heralded a dramatic revival ; 
so did The Lady of Lyons in the late 'thirties ; and 
behold ! they both stink in the nostrils of to-day. 
More real, perhaps, was the revival marked by Society 
and Caste; yet it too died away, and we had to fall 
back upon imported Diplomacies and Pink Dominoes. 
Such experiences may well render us wary of halloo- 
ing before we are out of the wood. But the present 
movement appears to me to differ from these others 
in that it is (with all respect to Mr. Henry Arthur 
Jones) a "nascence" rather than a "renascence." It 
gives us a form of drama which we have never had 
before. 

Robertsonian comedy was only the old comedy 
of manners in a new guise the comedy of no- 
manners it was wittily called. It offered no criticism 
of life or of social institutions, beyond an asser- 
tion of the excellent but somewhat superficial 
maxim that fond hearts are more than coronets and 
simple faith than Norman blood. In the later works 
of Mr. Pinero, on the other hand, we have a drama 
of ideas, in those of Mr. Henry Arthur Jones shall 
we say a melodrama of ideas ? All the tedious talk 
we have heard about "problem plays" and "sex 
plays " means nothing more than that the drama is at 
last beginning to seize upon and interpret the genuinely 



EPILOGUE. 387 

dramatic aspects of modern life. It is significant that 
while the Robertsonian comedy was faithful to the 
age-old formula, and always ended with the marriage 
of one or two pairs of lovers, the new drama is much 
more apt to take marriage (if not the Divorce Court) 
for its starting-point. While the love idyll was the in- 
dispensable nucleus of every play, monotony followed 
close on the heels of each new departure, and any- 
thing like a searching psychology was impossible. 
The dramatist's province has now been extended so 
as to include every form and phase of the relationship 
between man and woman ; or, in other words, the 
stage has at last entered into a really intimate and 
vital relationship to life. That is why if the move- 
ment be left unhampered from without one looks 
with some confidence for a steady development of 
drama, keeping pace with the development of social 
life and thought. The movement, it is true, is only 
beginning ; and yet, in such a play as The Benefit of 
the Doubt, how incalculable the advance beyond any- 
thing we could have dreamed of three years ago ! It 
is far from a faultless, and scarcely an inspiriting, 
piece of work. It does not come scatheless from the 
very searching ordeal of criticism to which all plays 
of any ambition are nowadays subjected. But it is to 
be noted that all who speak of it, whether in attack or 
defence, treat its leading characters, at least, as real 
people, having a sort of substantive and independent 



388 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

existence, such as we instinctively attribute to the 
creations of the great novelists. How long is it since 
we could say as much of any group of personages in 
English drama? And The Benefit of the Doubt does 
not stand alone. Mr. Pinero has given us also The 
Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith; in The Triumph of the 
Philistines Mr. Jones produced a play which, though 
scarcely successful, was quite in the movement ; and 
The Divided Way revealed in Mr. H. V. Esmond a 
talent which I, for one, shall watch with vivid sym- 
pathy and hope. Thus there is no lack of encourage- 
ment in the record of, the year which shows Mr. 
Pinero steadily advancing, Mr. Jones at least main- 
taining his ground, and the younger generation, in the 
person of Mr. Esmond, knocking resolutely at the 
door. 

Where, then, lies the danger foreshadowed above ? 
Simply in this, that while the drama, as an intellectual 
product, is rapidly progressing, the theatre, as a 
practical mechanism for the publication, the giving 
forth, of plays, remains absolutely stationary. No- 
serious attempt is being made to provide at any single 
point a loophole of escape from the inauspicious 
commercial conditions which Mr. George Bernard 
Shaw expounded so clearly in his introduction to the 
THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1894. "The theatre," said 
Mr. Shaw, "depends on a very large public, the 
drama on a very [I should rather say a comparatively] 



EPILOGUE. 389 

small one. . . . Unless a London manager sees some 
probability of from 50,000 to 75,000 people paying 
him an average of five shillings a-piece within three 
months, he will hardly be persuaded to venture [a 
production]." Moreover, if the demand drops towards 
the end of the three months and the play has to be 
taken off, it is regarded as a check for the author and 
manager, nay, almost a disaster; though a similar 
result in the case of a novel would be recorded as a 
monumental triumph. Thus the play which extracts 
from the pockets of the public such a sum as would 
amply content Mr. Meredith or Mr. Hardy and their 
publishers, ranks as a dead and deplorable failure. 
A play whose aggregate produce would mean brilliant 
victory for Mr. Crockett or Mr. Ian Maclaren, ranks 
as little better than a defeat for Mr. Pinero or Mr. 
Jones. In order to be accepted as an unqualified 
success, a play must bring in such sums as would buy 
up half-a-dozen masterpieces by Mr. Hall Caine or 
Miss Marie Corelli. 

Stage-publication is necessarily somewhat more 
costly than book -publication ; but the discrepancy 
need not be so enormous as it is, or appears 
to be, at present. While this state of things 
continues, the drama must remain in subjection to 
the tastes, if not precisely of the mob, at least of a 
much larger public than can possibly be expected to 
give steady support to thoughtful and artistic work. 



390 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

So long as a play must make immediate appeal to 
50,000 people if it is to escape positive failure, to 
150,000 if it is to attain distinguished success, the 
drama is hopelessly condemned to triviality and 
mediocrity. 

What we want is a method of stage-publication 
which shall reduce by at least one-half the minimum 
number of purchasers (so to speak) required to make 
a play an honourable success, and shall afford the 
chance of an intermediate fortune between utter failure 
and instant and overwhelming vogue. In short, 
we must have a mechanism which shall furnish us 
with a middle term between the " boom " and the 
" frost." That mechanism can be supplied only by a 
repertory theatre, where unbroken runs shall be for- 
bidden by the articles of association. And that 
theatre, though it ought to be a self-supporting and 
even an interest-paying concern, cannot be founded 
without a considerable capital (or endowment-fund if 
you will), so vested as to enable it to establish itself 
as an art-institution, and form its traditions and its 
public, before any direct pecuniary return is demanded. 

The leaders of the stage must soon, in self-defence, 
realise the necessity of such a theatre (or theatres); 
and the necessity once admitted, the possibility will 
forthwith become equally clear. Men who have once 
felt the joy of free artistic creation cannot, if they 
would, fall back again upon mere unrelieved pot- 



EPILOGUE. 391 

boiling. There will always be themes, of course, 
which lend themselves to what may be called long- 
run treatment, and these they will continue to treat 
for the actor-managers and their leading ladies. But 
they will presently recognise, if indeed they do not 
already, that the finest themes and the subtlest 
methods appeal to the public of from 25,000 to 
50,000, not to the 150,000 multitude. The smaller 
public is indeed growing, but not nearly so rapidly 
as our dramatists are advancing in artistic seriousness 
and competence. Some of them may perhaps hope, 
by deliberately moderating their rate of advance, to 
take the multitude forward along with them. I beg 
them to banish the dream. Life is too short for any 
such enterprise. The only plan is deliberately to cut 
loose from the multitude, press on with the few (who 
are not so very few) as fast and as far as our powers 
permit, and leave the crowd to struggle after as best 
it may. If our playwrights continue formally to bid, 
in every effort, for a great popular success, they will 
either sink back into insignificance (and that they 
will find no less irksome than humiliating), or else 
they must look to have their career chequered by the 
doubtful successes which reactionary paragraphists 
will make haste to describe and gloat over as failures. 
A successful appeal to the 25,000 public would mean 
neither disgrace nor beggary, but fame and a sub- 
stantial profit. It is only when you cast your nets 



392 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

for the 150,000, and land a bare fifth of them, that 
you set the enemy chuckling over your loss of 
prestige. 

I have my doubts even of the financial policy of 
staking everything upon the first run of a play which 
has any sort of solid merit in it. In the course of 
six or eight months, you kill, by exhaustion, the goose 
that lays the golden eggs. There are many plays, of 
course, which it would be folly to treat otherwise. If 
you stumble on a Trilby, by all means squeeze it for 
all it is worth while the " boom " lasts ; but I am not 
at all certain that this is the far-sighted policy in the 
case of a Mrs. Tanqueray or a Rebellious Susan. The 
other day an old friend of mine returned to England 
after a long sojourn in Vienna, where he had in some 
degree lost touch of English matters and manners. 
He called on me the day after the production of The 
Benefit of the Doubt, and, having read some notices 
of it, asked me to tell him about Mr. Pinero. I took 
down from my book-case a dozen or so of that 
writer's plays, and spread them before my querist on 
the table. "Ah," he said, as he glanced over them, 
" now which of these ought I to go and see ? " I 
explained that none of them, except The Benefit of 
the Doubt, was then being acted or likely to be soon 
revived. "What!" 'he said, "have they all been 
failures ? " I had some difficulty in making him 
understand that lie was no longer in easy-goin 



EPILOGUE. 393 

Vienna, which ruminates its dramatic tit-bits, but in 
feverish, gigantic London, which knows only two 
methods of dealing with the theatrical viands offered 
it to spit them out with contumely, or ravenously 
to crunch them up in either case destroying them 
once for all. There are, of course, exceptions to this 
rule. Revivals do occur ; a second and even a third 
bid is made for the favour of the multitude. But 
as soon as the multitude ceases to crowd to- the 
pay-boxes, the play ceases to exist. It has no chance 
of living out its natural life, much less of putting on 
immortality. 

Again, the long-run system forces the playwright to 
stake everything, practically, upon the hazards of the 
first night and the first cast. These hazards have 
always to be faced, but under the present system any 
misadventure becomes absolutely irretrievable. Look, 
for instance, at The Benefit of the Doubt. It would 
be absurd to call this play a failure, but its ten weeks' 
run was much shorter than might have been antici- 
pated. What, then, was the reason? I believe a 
certain falling-off in the last act had something to do 
with it; but the main and obvious reason lay in the 
extreme inadequacy with which three of the principal 
characters were represented. At a repertory theatre 
it might not, in this one season, have attained sixty 
performances; it might perhaps have been played 
three times a week for five or six weeks; but we 



394 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

should all have looked forward to seeing it again next 
season, re-studied, and, we might not unreasonably 
hope, with the mistakes of the first cast corrected. 
As it is, we may possibly, and even probably, never 
have an opportunity of seeing that admirable second 
act worthily performed in all its parts. 

Yet again, the necessity for immediate appeal to the 
multitude crushingly handicaps all untried and in- 
conspicuous authors. Mr. Alexander, for instance, 
produced Mr. Esmond's very remarkable play The 
Divided Way. Much as I admired it, I could have 
predicted its financial failure, and I dare say Mr. 
Alexander himself was not a whit more sanguine. 
Mr. Esmond, as an author, was unknown to the great 
public, or known only through the rumour of a pre- 
vious failure. There was nothing meretricious or 
sensational in the piece itself, nothing to " set people 
talking"; and in the cast there was no performer who 
happened to be in momentary vogue. Therefore the 
150,000 stolidly ignored the play, and the 25,000 had 
no time to find out its existence. At a repertory 
theatre, it would have been enabled to seek out its 
affinities and might quite probably have attained an 
encouraging success. 

I believe, then, that interest and ambition will ere 
long combine to make our leading dramatists cast 
about for some method of formally repudiating their 
alleged thraldom to that really non-existent despot 



EPILOGUE. 395 

the Average Playgoer. We are actually enslaved, not 
by a definite external force, but by an error of language, 
a vicious habit of thought. We persist in talking and 
thinking of the Public, as though it were a tangible 
entity, one and indivisible. Nothing could be more 
misleading : the Public is a myth, or rather an inert 
and negligible conglomeration of many and diverse 
publics, some of which have scarcely an idea or a 
taste in common. There is a public for every form 
of art, except the merely tedious and puerile; but it is 
not always easy, in an overgrown community, for the 
artist to get at his public. Who can doubt that there 
now exists, in this England of ours, a public sufficient 
to support, and that liberally, the serious modern 
drama which we have at last shown ourselves capable 
of producing ? All it wants is a rallying-point ; and 
that rallying-point must be provided by the initiative, 
or at any rate with the active co-operation, of the 
artists themselves. This is not the place to discuss 
ways and means, or to consider whether the enfran- 
chisement of the contemporary drama and the rational 
cultivation of the classics can be brought within the 
sphere of one enterprise. That would be the ideal 
arrangement, and I see no reason why it should not 
be practicable, even if it ultimately involved the com- 
mand of more than one stage. But the main point is 
to provide, as aforesaid, a theatre which shall abjure 
in advance the principle of the long run, and shall 



396 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

serve as a rallying-point for the intelligent public. 
This public has neither to be created nor educated ; 
it is ready-made and ready-educated, if only we can 
appeal to it with spirit and judgment. What is 
certain is that unless such an appeal can be made, 
and that shortly, our boasted renascence is in a 
parlous predicament. We have reached, or very 
nearly, the limit of possible progress under existing 
conditions; and the cessation of advance is the signal 
for retreat. 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS, 
1895. 

BY HENRY GEORGE HIBBERT. 

JANUARY. 

2. A HAPPY THOUGHT: Play in One Act, by H. 
Tripp Edgar. Revival at the Strand. Cast -.John Wentworth* 
Mr. H. Tripp Edgar ; Jack, Mr. Edgar Stevens ; Freddy Wood- 
peck, Mr. Dudley Cloraine ; A Stranger, Mr. Frank Stather \. 
Kilty Wentworth, Miss Kate Ruskin. 

3. AN IDEAL HUSBAND: Play in Three Acts, by- 
Oscar Wilde. Haymarket. Cast: The Earl of Caversham, 
Mr. Alfred Bishop ; Lord Goring, Mr. Charles H. Hawtrey ^ 
Sir Robert Chiltern, Mr. Lewis Waller ; Vicom'.e De Nanjac, 
Mr. Cosmo Stuart ; Mr. Montford, Mr. Henry Stanford ; Phipps^ 
Mr. C. H. Brookficld ; Mason, Mr. H. Deane ; Footman, Mr. 
Charles Meyrick ; Footman, Mr. Goodhart ; Lady Chiltern, 
Miss Julia Neilson ; Lady Markby, Miss Fanny Brough ; Lady 
Basildon, Miss Vane Featherston ; Mrs. Marchmont, Miss. 
Helen Forsyth ; Miss Mabel Chiltern, Miss Maud Millett ; 
Mrs. Cheveley, Miss Florence West. Withdrawn 6th April j 
reproduced at the Criterion, I3th April ; withdrawn 2;th 
April. 

4. THYRZA FLEMING: Play in Four Acts, by 
Dorothy Leighton (Mrs. G. C. Ashton Jonson). Terry's 
(Independent Theatre). Cast : Colonel Rivers, Mr. Bernard 
Gould ; Bertie Earnshaw, Mr. William Bonney ; John Heron, 
Mr. George Warde ; Bobby Falkland, Mr. Harry Buss ; Jenks, 
Mr. Osmond Shillingford ; Waiter, Mr. George Shepheard ; 



398 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Pamela Rivers, Miss Winifred Frazer ; Theophila Falkland, 
Miss Agnes Hill ; Jones, Miss A. Beaugarde ; Martin, Miss 
Papton ; Chambermaid, Miss Louise Cove ; Thyrza Fleming, 
Miss Esther Palliser. 

5. GUY DOMVILLE: Play in Three Acts, by Henry 
James. St. James's. Cast: Guy Domville, Mr. George 
Alexander ; Lord Devenish, Mr. W. G. Elliott ; Frank Hum- 
ber, Mr. Herbert Waring ; George Round, Mr. H. V. Esmond ; 
Servant, Mr. Frank Dyall ; Mrs. Peverel, Miss Marion Terry ; 
Mrs. Domville, Mrs. Edward Saker ; Mary Brasier, Miss 
Evelyn Millard ; Fanny, Miss Irene Vanbrugh ; Milliners, 
Miss Blanche Wilmot and Miss Lucy Bertram. Withdrawn 
5th February. Preceded by TOO HAPPY BY HALF: 
A Farce in One Act, by Julian Field. Cast : Eric Verner, 
Mr. H. V. Esmond ; Jack Fortescue, Mr. Arthur Royston ; 
James, Mr. E. Benham ; Maud Verner, Miss Evelyn Millard. 

12. KING ARTHUR: A Play in a Prologue and Four 
Acts, by J. Comyns Carr. Lyceum. Cast: King Arthur, 
Mr. Irving ; Sir Lancelot, Mr. Forbes Robertson ; Sir 
Mordred, Mr. Frank Cooper ; Sir Kay, Mr. Tyars ; Sir 
Gawaine, Mr. Clarence Hague ; Sir Bedevere, Mr. Fuller 
Mellish ; Sir Agravaine, Mr. Lacy ; Sir Percivale, Mr. 
Buckley ; Sir Lavaine, Mr. Julius Knight ; Sir Dagonet, Mr. 
Harvey ; Merlin, Mr. Sydney Valentine ; Messenger, Mr. 
Belmore ; Gaoler, Mr. Tabb ; Morgan Lt Fay, Miss Genevieve 
Ward ; Elaine, Miss Lena Ashwell ; Clarissant, Miss Annie 
Hughes ; Spirit of the Lake, Miss Maud Milton ; Guinevere, 
Miss Ellen Terry. After 3rd May " King Arthur" began to be 
performed alternately with other plays. 

14 AN INNOCENT ABROAD : Farce in Three Acts, 
by W. Stokes Craven (first produced in the United Kingdom at 
the Theatre Royal, Belfast, 9th November 1894). Terry's. 
Cast: Tobias Pilkington, Mr. Edward Terry; Dick, Mr. 
Leslie Kenyon ; Jack Summerville, Mr. Harcourt Beatty ; Dr. 
Hanson, Mr. Jack Thompson ; Bill Bouncer, Mr. Ernest 
Hendrie ; Dennis, Mr. George Belmore ; Mr. Knowles, Mr. 
.Robert Soutar ; Wilber, Mr. Gerald Mirrielees ; Mrs. Pilking- 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 399 

ton, Miss Kate Mills ; Lily, Miss Lily Desmond ; Cissy 
Farnboroiigh, Miss Mackintosh ; Rose, Miss Jessie Danvers. 
Withdrawn i6th March. Preceded by KEEP YOUR 
OWN COUNSEL : Duologue, by Henry Bellingham and 
William Best. Cast : Mr. Pickering, Mr. Sidney Brough ; 
Dora, Miss Madge Mackintosh. Succeeded by HIGH LIFE 
BELOW STAIRS : Farce in One Act, by the Rev. James 
Townley. Cast : Duke's Servant, Mr. Edward Terry ; Sir 
Harry's Servant, Mr. Ernest Hendrie ; Lady Bafts Maid, 
Miss Madge Ray ; Lady Charlotte's Maid, Miss Madge 
Mackintosh ; Lovell, Mr. Sydney Brough ; Freeman, Mr. 
Leslie Kenyon ; Philip, Mr. Jack Thompson ; Tom, Mr. 
Robert Soutar ; Kingsbox, Mr. G. Mirrielees ; Coachman, Mr. 
T. Eames ; Cook, Miss Eily Desmond ; Chloe, Miss Blanche 
Astley ; Kitty, Miss Jessie Danvers. 

17. A PAIR OF SPECTACLES : Comedy in Three 
Acts, adapted from the French by Sydney Grundy; revival 
at the Garrick. Cast : Mr. Benjamin Goldfinch, Mr. John 
Hare ; Uncle Gregory, Mr. Charles Groves ; Percy, Mr. Allan 
Aynesworth ; Dick, Mr. Gilbert Hare ; Larimer, Mr. Charles 
Rock ; Bartholomew, Mr. Gerald Du Maurier ; Joyce, Mr. 
George Raiemond ; Another Shoemaker, Mr. Roger Roberts ; 
Mrs. Goldfinch, Miss Kate Rorke ; Lucy Larimer, Miss Mabel 
Terry Lewis; Charlotte, Miss Lilian Lee. Withdrawn 2nd 
March. Preceded by FADED FLOWERS : Play in One 
Act, by Arthur A'Beckett. Cast : Harold Beresford, Mr. 
Arthur Bourchier ; Robert Elton, Mr. Scott Buist ; Bobbie, 
Master Horace Terry ; Ada, Miss Violet Vanbrugh. 

19. THE TABOO : Fantastic Opera in Two Acts, Libretto 
by Mason Carnes, Music by Ethel Harraden (first produced at 
Leamington, 22nd May 1894). Trafalgar. Cast : Papakaio, 
Mr. Harry Paulton ; Timaru, Mr. Wilfred Howard ; Ranoro, 
Mr. Kelson Truman ; Bigmoko, Mr. George Humphry; Septimus 
Octopus Sharp, Mr. Wyatt ; Whangahia, Miss Helena Dalton ; 
Wangathaia, Miss Maud Maude ; Whangayonda, Miss Bertha 
Meyers; Waltatattka, Madam Amadi ; Orama, Miss Lettie Searle ; 
Pateena, Miss Nellie Murray ; Kiwi, Miss Dorothy Wilmot ; 



400 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Vestida de Culteria y Campania, Miss Lizzie St. Quinten. 
Withdrawn 26th January. Preceded by THE HOUSE 
OF LORDS. Cast: Henry, Duke of Hanover Square, Mr. 
Charles Crook ; Halifax Finsbury, Mr. V. Drew ; Mr. 
Murgatroyd, Mr. Frederick Seymour ; Emmeline, Miss Carrie 
Fenton ; Lady Victoria Portobello, Miss Maud Maude. 

26. PAPA'S WIFE: Duologue, by Seymour Hicks and 
F. C. Phillips; Music by Ellaline Terriss. Lyric. 



FEBRUARY. 

2. AN ARTIST'S MODEL: Musical Comedy in Two 
Acts, by Owen Hall ; Lyrics by Harry Greenbank ; Music by 
Sidney Jones. Daly's. Cast : Adele, Miss Marie Tempest ; 
Lady Barbara Cripps, Miss Leonora Braham ; Lucien, Miss 
Nina Cadiz ; Jessie, Miss Marie Studholme ; Rose, Miss Kate 
Cannon ; Christine, Miss Alice Davis ; Ruby, Miss Kate 
Adams ; Violet, Miss Lettice Fairfax ; Geraldine, Miss Hettie 
Hamer ; Amy Cripps, Miss Louie Pounds ; Jane, Miss Sybil 
Grey ; Miss Manvers, Miss Nellie Gregory ; Daisy Vane, Miss 
Letty Lind ; Rudolph Blair, Mr. C. Hayden Coffin; Sir George 
St. Alban, Mr. Eric Lewis ; Archie Pendillon, Mr. Yorke 
Stephens ; The Earl of Thamesinead, Mr. Lawrence D'Orsay ; 
Algernon St. Alban, Mr. J. Farren Soutar ; Carbonnet, Mr. 
Maurice Farkoa ; Apthorpe, Mr. Gilbert Porteous ; Maddox, 
Mr. Conway Dixon ; Janus Cripps, Mr. E. M. Robson ; 
Smoggins, Mr. W. Blakeley ; Madame Amelie, Miss Lottie 
Venne. Transferred to the Lyric, 28th May; returned to 
Daly's, 28th September. Still running. 

4. THE BABES; OR, W(H)INES FROM THE 
WOOD : Burlesque, by H. Paulton, written up to date by A. C. 
Shelley. Revival at the Strand. Cast : Tessie, Miss Alice Ather- 
ton ; Pattie Buttre, Miss Elaine Gryce ; Bertie Patchoulic, Miss 
Mary Allestree ; Lady Buttre, Miss Ada Palmer ; Maude, Miss 
Violet Neville ; Miss Specs, Miss Annie Gowarcl ; Victor, Miss 
Fanny Davenport ; Reginald, Miss Agnes Pendennis; Margery, 
Miss Pollie Bonheur ; Rosina, Miss Ray Vivian ; Clementina, 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 401 

Miss Ida Young ; Qtteenie, Miss Patty Thornhill ; Sir Rowland 
Bnflte, Mr. David James; Charlie Bunk, Miss Adeline 
Vaudrey; Bill Booty, Mr. J. J. Dallas; Ralph Reckless, Mr. 
Edgar Stevens ; Dr. Bohts, Mr. J. D. Saunders ; Police 
Inspector, Mr. Holland; Djlly, Mr. Willie Edouin. "The 
Babes " only ran a few nights. 

5. MARGATE: A Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, by 
Barton White (tentative afternoon performance). Terry's. 
Cast : General Piercy, Mr. Leslie Kenyon ; Tooling Beck, Mr. 
Richard Purdon; Arthur Vereker, Mr. Harcourt Beatty; Willie, 
Mr. E. H. Kelly; Tobias Dodd, Mr. Robert Nainby; Stephens, 
Mr. E. Dagnall ; Inspector of Police, Mr. Harry Norton; Police- 
man, Mr. Henry Benton ; Helen Vereker, Miss Olga Kate Noyle ; 
Mrs. Beck, Miss Dolores Drummond ; Kitty, Miss Amelia 
Gruhn ; Pauline, Miss Ina Goldsmith ; Mrs. Stephens, Miss 
Katie Neville ; Ma fame Tulipon, Mrs. B. M. De Solla ; Eliza, 
Miss Jessie Danvers. 

9. A LEADER OF MEN: Comedy in Three Acts, by 
Charles E. D. Ward. Comedy. Cast : Robert Llewelyn, 
M.P., Mr. Fred Terry; Lord Killamey, M.P., Mr. Will 
Dennis ; Archdeacon Baldwin, Mr. Joseph Carne ; Louis 
Farquhar, M.P., Mr. H. B. Irving; Morion Stone, M.P., 
Mr. W. Wyes ; Jack Carnforth, Mr. Sydney Brough ; Adolphus 
Poole, Mr. Stuart Champion ; Llewelyn's Servant, Mr. J. 
Byron ; Footman, Mr. M. Browne ; Lady Solway, Miss Le 
Thiere ; Mrs. Alsager Ellis, Miss Alma Murray; Barbara 
Deane, Miss May Harvey; Mrs. Dundas, Miss Marion Terry. 
Withdrawn 8th March. -SOWING THE WIND was re- 
vived on gth March. 

13. THOROUGHBRED : A Comic Play in Three Acts, 
by Ralph R. Lumley. Toole's. Cast : Lord Sandaoe, Mr. 
John Billington ; The Hon. Blenkinsopp Carlingham, Mr. 
Fitzroy Morgan ; John Rimple, Mr. J. L. Toole ; A. V. 
Decker, Mr. C. M. Lowne ; Claude Nizril, Mr. Edward A. 
Coventry; Jeb Tosh, Mr. George Shelton ; Jennings, Mr. 
Frank J. Arlton ; Wokeham, Master Alec Boles ; The Hon. 
Wilhelmina Carlingham, Miss Henrietta Watson ; Miss 

26 



402 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

rallingham, Miss Cora Poole ; Mrs. Rimple, Miss Kate 
Carlyon ; Delia Rimple, Miss Florence Fordyce. Withdrawn 
8th June ; reproduced (after a provincial tour) 3rd Septem- 
ber ; finally withdrawn 8th September, when Mr. Toole's 
tenancy of this theatre ended. (Mr. Toole's part was played 
by Mr. Westland or by Mr. Rutland Harrington during 
greater part of the London season.) Preceded by THE 
SECRET. Cast : Dnpuis, Mr. H. Westland ; Valare, Mr. 
C. Lowe ; Thomas, Mr. George Shelton ; Porter, Mr. C. 
Brunton ; Cecile, Miss Kate Carlyon; Angelica, Miss Alice 
Kingsley. Mr. George Grossmith gave his drawing-room enter- 
tainment in association with "Thoroughbred" for some time. 

14. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST: 
A Trivial Comedy in Three Acts, by Oscar Wilde. St. James's. 
Cast : John Worthing, Mr. George Alexander ; Algernon 
Moncrieffe, Mr. Allan Aynesworth ; The Rev. Canon Chasuble, 
Mr. H. H. Vincent ; Merriman, Mr. Frank Dyall ; Lane. Mr. 
F. Kinsey Peile ; Lady Brackiiell, Miss Rose Leclercq ; The 
Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax, Miss Irene Vanbrugh ; The Hon. 
Cecily Cardew, Miss Evelyn Millard ; Miss Pi ism, Mrs. George 
Canninge. Withdrawn 8th May. Preceded by IN THE 
SEASON, a One Act Play by E. Langdon Mitchell. Cast: 
Sir Harry Collingwood, Mr. Herbert Waring ; Edivard Fair- 
burne, Mr. Arthur Royston ; Sybil March, Miss Elliott Page. 

16. AN M.P.'S WIFE: A Play in Four Acts, adapted 
from T. Terrell's novel, "A Woman of Heart." Opera 
Comique. Produced for one week only. Cast : John Army- 
tage, M.P., Mr. William Herbert; Sir Richard Macklin, Mr. 
Frederick de Lara; Frank Everard, Mr. Rothbury Evans; 
William Spat row, Mr. Percy Bell ; Alexander Jephson, Mr. 
J. Hastings Batson ; Job Venables, Mr. E. Rochelle ; A Hire.i 
Waiter, Mr. Adam Sp range ; Robert Fen-Mick, Mr. Charles 
Glenney ; Ruth EJliott, Miss T. White ; Lady Cakott, Miss 
Alexes Leighton ; Lucy '1 ravers, Miss Alice Dukes; Rose 
Bellamy, Miss Ina Goldsmith; Elise, Miss Dorothy Lawson. 
Preceded by A STAGE COACH, a Comedy in One Act, by 
Frederick de Lara. Cast : Colonel Biimpus, Mr. E. Rochelle ; 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 

Robert de Vere Trevelyan, Mr. Frederick de Lara; Mrs. Turtle- 
dove, Miss Alexes Leighton ; May, Miss Alice Dukes ; Brown, 
Miss Ina Goldsmith. 

18. THE RED SQUADRON : Drama in Four Acts, 
by J. Harkins, jun., and J. MacMahon. (Produced for copy- 
right purposes on 9th August, 1894, at the Bijou Theatra, 
Bayswater. ) Pavilion. Cast : General da Rotnacio, Mr. 
Arthur Lyle ; Fiancisco, Mr. Charles Coleman ; Robert 
Staunton, Mr. Edward O'Neill; Paul de Silveria, Mr. Royston 
Keith; General Fonseca, Mr. Horace Mead; Horatio Framfton, 
Mr. George V. Wybrow ; Harry Marlington, Mr. H. Buss ; 
Santos, Mr. J. W. Selby ; Admiral D 1 Atom's, Mr. F. Sindall ; 
Admiral Walker, Mr. P. Darwin ; Admiral von Weigand, Mr. 
L. Courtney ; An Admiral, Mr. George Roberts ; Bacho, 
Mr. A. Campion ; Jacko, Mr. Claude Warden ; Marie Silveria, 
Miss Rose Meller; Therese, Miss Edith Giddens; Hope Staunton, 
Mr. Clarence Shirley ; Martha Williamson, Miss Evelyn 
Shelley. 

MARCH. 

2. GENTLEMAN JOE, THE HANSOM CABBY: 

Musical Farce, Words and Lyrics by Basil Hood ; Music by 
Walter Slaughter. Prince of Wales's. Cast : Gentleman 
Joe, Mr. Arthur Roberts ; Lord Donnybrook, Mr. William 
Philp ; Mr. Hughie Jaqueson, Mr. Evelyn Vernon ; Mr. Ralli 
Carr, Mr. E. II. Kelly; William, Miss Clara Jecks; Dawson, Mr. 
Eric Thome ; James, Mr. Picton Roxborough ; Mr. Pilkinglon 
Jones, Mr. W. H. Denny ; Airs. Ralli Carr, Miss Aida Jenoure; 
The Hon. Mabel Kavanagh, Miss Kate Cutler; Miss Lalage 
Potts, Miss Sadie Jerome ; Miss Pilkinglon Jones, Miss Carrie 
Benton ; Miss Lucy Pilkington Jones, Miss Audrey Ford ; Miss 
Ada Pilkington Jones, Miss Ellas Dee ; Miss Amy Pitkington 
Jones, Miss Eva Ellerslie ; Emma, Miss Kitty Loftus. Still 
running. 

2. DANDY DICK WHITTINGTON: Opera Bouffe, 
by G. R. Sims and Ivan Caryll. Avenue. Cast : Sir Achilles 
Fitzwarren, Mr. A. J. Evelyn ; Lady Fitzwarren, Mr. John 



404 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

F. Sheridan ; Captain Fairfax, R.N., Mr. James Barr ; Larry 
<y Bi annagan , Mr. Henry Wright; Koko Gaga, Mr. Robert 
Pateman ; Angiiste, Mr. Frederick Vaughan ; 7'om, Mr. Harold 
Patterson ; Fhra Maha, Mr. H. N. Wenman ; Alice, Miss Ethel 
Haydon ; Lola, Miss Bertha Meyers; Sz Dee, Miss Grade 
Whiteford ; Willasee, Miss Florence Levey ; Nnntahtari, Miss 
Ellen Goss ; 'Chantawee, Miss Maude Fisher ; Jenny, Miss I. 
Du Foye ; Zoe, Miss L. Lisle ; Nina, Miss Morgan ; Susan, 
Miss Elcho; Song Kla, Mr. M'Bride ; Pining Tha, Mr. Shale; 
Chanta Buree, Mr. Wilkes ; See Papal, Mr. Davies ; Dick 
Whittinglon, Miss May Yohe. Withdrawn I3th July. 

4. SAVED FROM THE SEA: Drama in Four Acts, 
by Arthur Shirley and Benjamin Landeck. Pavilion. Cast : 
Dan Ellington, Mr. Charles Glenney ; Jim Weaver, Mr. Harry 
M'Clelland ; Peter Scalcher, Mr. Julian Cross ; Richard 
Fenlon, Mr. Albert Marsh ; Billy Snooks, Mr. Maitland Marler ; 
Jenkins, Mr. Trevor Warde ; Jack, Miss Gladys Whyte ; In- 
spector Jennings, Mr. G. Webber ; Chaplain, Mr. George 
Yates ; Head Warder, Mr. G. Lawrence; Second Warder, Mr. 
Harris ; Nancy Ellington, Miss Beaumont Collins ; Mrs. Blake, 
Miss Harriet Clifton ; Polly Blake, Miss Fanny Selby. 

9. THAT TERRIBLE GIRL : Musical Farcical Comedy, 
by J. Stephens. Royalty. Cast : Miss Clover Atkins, Miss 
Hope Booth ; Miss Prudence Primrose, Miss Kitty Leefred ; 
Mrs. Van Schooler, Miss Ida Hazledean ; Miss Pansy Van 
Schooler, Miss Lillie M'Intyre; Mr. Phineas Chatterhawk, Mr. 
Edward Lauri ; Mr. Horace Fairfax, Mr. J. R. Hatfield ; Dr. 
Pilsbtiiy Barker, Mr. F. Glover ; Jack Babbitt, Mr. Wyvel ; 
U. R. Slick, Mr. Douglas Hamilton ; Tim M'Swat, Mr. 
Stephen Bond ; Silas Saltzer, Mr. George Giddens. With- 
drawn 22nd March. Preceded by HER GUARDIAN: Come- 
dietta, by J. R. Brown. (Originally known as " Love's Secret.") 
Cast : Mr. Davenant, Mr. J. R. Hatfield ; Mr. Luttrell, Mr. 
Wyvell ; Mr. Martineaii, Mr. Douglas Hamilton; Violet Fane, 
Miss Ida Heron ; Miss Morant, Miss Leslie. 

12. A LOVING LEGACY: Farcical Comedy in Three 
Acts, by F. W. Sidney, originally produced in America. 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 405 

Strand. Cast: Harry Kingsley, Mr. William H. Day; 
Ed-ward Pommeroy, Mr. Oswald Yorke ; Savory Bird, Mr. 
Alfred Maltby ; Terence, Mr. Mark A. Kinghorne ; Mohaffimed 
El Tebkir, Mr. J. A. Rosier ; Mrs. O 1 Rourke, Miss Lizzie 
Henderson ; Kitty O* Rourke, Miss May Whitty ; May^ Miss 
Nancy Noel ; Susan, Miss Katie Lee. Transferred to the 
Opera Comique I5th April, withdrawn 2Oth April. Preceded 
by SALT TEARS : a Serio-comic Drama in One Act, by 
T. VV. Speight. Cast : Ben Briny, Mr. H. R. Teesdale ; Phil 
Shingle, Mr. Robb Harwood ; Jim Riley's Father, Mr. J. 
M'Kenzie; Ruth Mayjield, Miss Olga Garland; Lady Janet 
Trevor, Miss Ettie Williams. 

13. THE NOTORIOUS MRS. EBBSMITH : Play 
in Four Acts, by A. W. Pinero. Garrick. Cast : The Duke 
of St. Olpherts, Mr. John Hare ; Sir SandforJ Cleeve, Mr. 
Ian Robertson ; Lucas Cleeve, Mr. Forbes Robertson ; The Rev. 
Amos Winterjield, Mr. C. Aubrey Smith ; Sir John Broderick, 
Mr. Joseph Carne ; Dr. Kirke, Mr. Fred Thorne ; Fortune, 
Mr. Gerald Du Maurier; Antonio Pofpi, Mr. C. F. Caravoglia ; 
Agnes, Mrs. Patrick Campbell (replaced on 15th May by Miss 
Olga Nethersole) ; Gertrude Thorpe, Miss Ellis Jeffreys ; Sybil 
Cleeve, Miss Eleanor Calhoun ; Nella, Miss Mary Halsey; 
Hephzihah, Mrs. Charles Groves. Withdrawn I4th June. 

15. A MAN'S LOVE: Play in Three Acts, adapted 
from the Dutch of J. C. de Vos, by J. T. Grein and C. W. 
Jarvis, originally produced at the Prince of Wales's Theatre on 
25th June 1889 (a morning performance) ; now reproduced at 
the Opera Comique (Independent Theatre). Cast : Frank 
Upworth, Mr. Herbert Flemming; Georgie, Miss Mary Keegan ; 
Emily, Miss Winifred Fraser ; Mary, Miss Jay Lupton. 
Preceded by SALVE : a Dramatic Fragment in One Act, by 
Mrs. Oscar Beringer. Cast : Desmond Ogilvie, Mr. William 
Haviland ; Rex Ogilvie, Mr. Matthew Brodie ; Deborah Ogilvie, 
Mrs. Theodore Wright. 

23. THE BLUE BOAR: Farce in Three Acts, by Louis 
N. Parker and Murray Carson (produced originally at the Court 
Theatre, Liverpool). Terry's. Cast : Robert Honcydcw, Mr. 



406 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Edward Terry; Cyril Strawthwaile, Mr. Harcourt Beatty ; 
7^i? Griffin, Mr. George Belmore ; Boots, Mr. Leslie Kenyon ; 
Dr. Prendergast, Miss F'anny Brough ; Mrs. Pounder, Miss 
Alexes Leighton ; Millicent, Miss Madge M'Inlosh. With- 
drawn aoth Ap-.il. 

2$. IN AN ATTIC : Comedietta, by Wilton Jones. St. 
James's. An afternoon performance. Cast : Arthiir Clarges, 
Mr. Philip Cuningham ; Joe Dixon, Mr. W. II. Denny; 
Rosalind, Miss Annie Hill. 

25. Theatre de 1 CEuvre season began at the Opera 
Comique. Productions: ROSMERSHOLM, L'INTBUSB, 
PELLEAS ET MELISANDE, and SOLNESS LE CON- 
STRUCTEUR. 

28. FORTUNE'S FOOL : Monologue, by Henry Hamil- 
ton. Haymarket. 

APRIL. 

4. THE NEWEST WOMAN: Musical Comedietta, 

by Henry Chance Newton ; Music by Georges Jacobi. Avenue. 

Cast : Girtonia Fitzgiggle, Miss Maud Holland ; Melchizedeck 
[osser, Mr. Lytton Grey. 

13. THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND ME: DramainFour 

Acts, by Franklyn Fyles and David Belasco (originally produced 
in the United States). Adelphi. Cast: Gene/ al Kennion, Mr. 
F. H. Macklin ; Major Burlefgh, Mr. Charles Fulton ; Lieu- 
tenant Hawkesworth, Mr. William Terriss ; Lieutenant Morton 
Par.'ow, Mr. W. L. Abingdon ; Arthur Penwick, M.D., Mr. 
E. W. Gardiner ; Private Jones, Mr. G. W. Cockburn ; John 
Ladru, Mr. Julian Cross ; Dick Burleigh, Miss Dora Barton ; 
Sergeant Dix, Mr. Ackerman May; RPGlynn, Mr. Richard 
Purdon ; Andy Jackson, Mr. Edwin Rorke ; Kate Kennion, 
Miss Millward ; Lucy Hawkesworth, Miss Hope Dudley; Fawn, 
Miss Mary Allestree ; Witter 1 s Ann, Miss Marie Mont rose ; 
Withdrawn loth August. During the run Miss Cynthia Brooke 
succeeded Miss Hope Dudley, and Miss Nannie Comstock, 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 407 

the "original" representative of the character in America, 
succeeded Miss Marie Montrose. 

13. WOMAN'S CAPRICE: Comedietta in One Act, 
adapted by II. M. Lewis from the German of " Gott sei clank ; 
cler Tisch ist gedeckt." Prince of Wales's. Cast : Captain 
Flarenppe, Mr. Eric Thome ; Mr. 'St. John Finitely, Mr. 
Evelyn Vernon ; William Jones, Mr. Picton Roxborough ; Mrs. 
Flareuppe, Miss Adelaide Newton ; Mrs. St. John Finitely, 
Miss Ellas Dee ; May, Miss Attie Chester. 

15. FANNY: Farce in Three Acts, by George R. Sims 
and Cecil Raleigh (originally produced at the Prince of Wales's, 
Liverpool, 8th April 1895). Strand. Cast: Captain Gerald 
O'Brien, Mr. J. L. Shine; Professor Barnabas Bixley, Mr. William 
H. Day ; Kellaway, Mr. Owen Harris ; Saunders, Mr. T. P. 
Haynes ; Harold Gregory, Mr. Osmond Shillingford ; Bob 
Tapping, Mr. George Blackmore ; George, Mr. J. Mahoney ; 
Joseph Barnes, Mr. Robb Harwood ; Flo. Baincs, Miss Lydia 
Cowell ; Grace Dormer, Miss May Whitty ; Paquila O'Brien, 
Miss Alma Stanley. Withdrawn ist June. Preceded by 
THE BACKSLIDER: Duologue in One Act, by Osmond 
Shillingford. Cast: Mis. Agatha Dolomite, Miss May Whitty; 
Mr. Antony Dolomite, Mr. Osmond Shillingford. 

15. THE WORKGIRL : Drama in a Prologue and Four 
Acts, by George Conquest and Arthur Shirley. Surrey. 
Cast: Frank Bel ton, Mr. Ernest Leicester; Natty Wobbs, Mr. 
Arthur Conquest ; Silas Sephton, Mr. Frank Lister ; The Hon. 
Edgar Drayton, Mr. John Webb ; Loo Genesis, Mr. George 
Conquest, Jun. ; Tom Courtney, Mr. Fred Conquest; Keeley 
Rendale, Mr. Charles Cruik?hanks ; Bob To.lge, Mr. T. Ger- 
man ; Flash Fred, Mr. J. Miller ; Suds, Mr. W. Stevens ; Tosh 
Tomson, Mr. W. Donne ; Joe Perks, Mr. H. Moore ; Richard 
Bracknel', Mr. Arthur Hall; Watty Wibbles, Mr. J. O. Fraser ; 
Dr. Pearson, Mr. Reuben Leslie ; Inspector Graham, Mr. W. 
Biddle ; Alary Belt on, Miss Olga Kate Vernon ; Evelyn 
Sephton, Miss Cissy Farrell ; Mrs. Wobbs, Miss E. Cardoza ; 



408 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Jenny Wibbles, Miss Laura Dyson ; Madame Lamarshe, Miss 
C. Percival ; Harriett, Miss Issy Behring ; Ria, Miss Amy 
Dyson ; Liza, Miss M. Hall. 

15. BEFORE THE DAWN: Play in One Act, by 
Henry Byatt. Opera Comique. Cast: Sir John Radley, 
Bart., Mr. Mathevv Brodie ; Sallie Gliberry, Miss Katie Lee; 
Lena, Miss Ettie Williams ; Constable, Mr. H. R. Teesdale. 

17. DELIA HARDING: Play in Three Acts, adapted by 
Comyns Carr from the French of Victorian Sardou. Comedy. 
Cast: Sir Arthur Studley, C.B., Mr. Cyril Maude; Cliie 
Stndley, Mr. Fred Terry ; Stanley Ftench, Mr. Mackintosh ; 
Julian Ormsby, Mr. Gilbert Farquhar ; Pe'dval Luinley, Mr. 

Lyston Lyle; Sir Christopher Cat-stairs, Mr. Chandler; T/ie 
Syndic of Bel/agio, Mr. Will Dennis ; Clerk to the Syndic, Mr. 
Mules Brown ; Captain Simmonds, Mr. Blakiston ; Waiter, 
Mr. J. Byron; Lady Carslairs, Miss Rose Leclercq ; Mis. 
Venables, Miss Dorothy Dorr; Mrs. Emmeltne Jay, Miss Eva 
Williams ; Janet Ross, Mrs. E. H. Brooke ; Servant, Miss 
Fleming Norton ; Delia Haiding, Miss Marion Terry. With- 
drawn 1 7th May. 

18. THE LADIES' IDOL: Farcical Comedy in Three 
Acts, by Arthur Law (originally produced at the Theatre Royal, 
Bournemouth, a8th March, 1895). Vaudeville. Cast : Lionel 
Delamere, Mr. Weedon Grossmith ; The Duke of Castleford, 
Mr. Sydney Warden ; Lord Finch Cal'owdale, Mr. C. P. Little ; 
Sir Simon Roebuck, Mr. Arthur Helmore ; Mr. Purley, Mr. 
John Beauchamp ; Mr. Wix, Mr. Frederick Volpe ; Mr. 
Kurdle, Mr. Thomas Kingston ; Mr. Beamish, Mr. Kenneth 
Douglas; Simmons, Mr. L. Power; The Duchess of Castleford, 
Miss Gladys Homfrey ; The Countess of CroombiiJge, Miss 
Helen Ferrers; Lady Helen Fiant, Miss Esme Beringer; Lady 
Eugenia Rostrevor, Miss R. Sergeantson ; Lady Boyce, Miss B. 
Crawford ; Airs. Somerville S'liith, Miss Beatrice Hayden ; 
Miss Minniver, Miss Alma Gordon ; Miss Dora Vale, Miss 
May Palfrey; Mary, Miss A. Beet. Withdrawn 1 5th June. 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 409 

25. BARON GOLOSH : Operetta Bouffe in Two Acts, ad- 
apted from Maurice Ordonneau and Edmond Audran's " L'Oncle 
Celestin," with additional numbers by Meyer Lutz (originally 
produced at the Star Theatre and Opera House, Swansea, 
I5th April, 1895). Trafalgar. Cast: Baron Go'osh, Mr. E. 
J. Lonnen ; J\Ia>reau, Mr. Harry Paulton ; Gnstave, Mr. Scott 
Russell ; Count- Acacia, Mr. Frank Wyatt ; Viscount Acacia, 
Mr. George Humphrey; Ratinet, Mr. W. S. Laidlaw ; Hair- 
dresser, Mr. Stanley Smith ; Tailor, Mr. V. M. Seymour ; 
Bootmaker, Mr. T. F. Lovelace; Narcisse, Mr. Ernest Down; 
Clementine, Miss Florence Perry; Pamela, Miss M. A. Victor; 
Madame de BeTefontaine, Miss Violet Melnotte; Madelon, 
Miss Alice Lethbridge ; Therese, Miss Delia Carlyle ; Dress- 
maker, Miss Alwyn ; Florist, Miss Osland ; Madame Margerine, 
Miss Maud Maude; Madame Gruyere, Miss Violet Ellacott ; 
Madame Brie, Miss Eva Murton ; Countess Acacia, Miss Sylvia 
Grey. Withdrawn 8th June. Preceded by A HAPPY 
THOUGHT, a Play in One Act, by H. Tripp Edgar. Cast : 
John Wentworth, Mr. H. Tripp Edgar; Jack Went-worth, 
Mr. Stanley Smith; Freddy Woodpcck, Mr. W. S. Laidlaw; A 
Stranger, Mr. Ernest Down; Kitty Went-worth, Miss Kate 
Ruskin. 

25. THE PASSPORT: Play in Three Acts, by B. C. 
Stephenson and William Yardley (partly founded on Colonel 
Savage's novel, My Official Wife}. Terry's. Cast : Ferdinand 
Sinclair, Mr. Yorke Stephens ; Christopher Coleman, Mr. Alfred 
Maltby; Bob Coleman, Mr. Roland Atwood; Al^y Grey, Mr. 
Cecil Ramsey; Henty Harris, Mr. Compton Coutts; Pattison, 
Mr. Richard Blunt ; Schmerkoff, Mr. J. L. Mackay; George 
Greenwood, Mr. George Giddens ; Mrs. Coleman, Miss Fanny 
Coleman ; Mildred, Miss Kate Tully; Violet Tracey, Miss 
Grace Lane ; Markham, Miss Cicely Richards ; Mrs. Darcy, 
'Miss Gertrude Kingston. Transferred to the Trafalgar (now 
the Duke of York's Theatre), agth July. Withdrawn 24th 
August. Preceded on 26th April by A WOMAN'S NO, 
a Play in One Act, by Somerville Gibney. 

27. VANITY FAIR: Caricature in Three Acts, by 
G.W.Godfrey. Court. Cast : Lord Arthur Nugent, G.C.B., 



410 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Mr. Arthur Cecil ; The Duke of Berkshire, K. G. , Mr. Charles 
Sugden ; Mr. Brabazon Tegg, Mr. William Wyes ; Harold 
Brabazon Tegg, Mr. Nye Chart ; Sir James Candy, Mr. 
Charles Fawcett ; Bertie Kosevere, Mr. A. Vane Tempest ; 
Sir Richard Fanshawe, Mr. Wilfred Draycott; Villars, Mr. 
Howa r d Sturge ; Smiley, Mr. W. Cheeseman ; Tea'.e, Q.C., 
Mr. F. Macdonnell ; Foreman, Mr. H. N. Ray ; Clerk of 
Arraigns, Mr. Lane ; Bill Feltoe, Mr. G. W. Anson ; The 
Viscountess of Castleblaney, Miss Granville ; Lady Jacqueline 
Villars, Miss Helena Dacre ; Violet Brabazon Tegg, Miss 
Nancy Noel ; Mrs. Chelwynd, Miss Frances Dillon ; Mrs. 
Walronl, Miss Lucy Bertram; Mrs. Biabazon Tegg, Mrs. 
John Wood. Withdrawn 27th July ; reproduced 23rd Sep- 
tember ; withdraw;! 2nd November. 



MAY. 

I. A HUMAN SPORT : Drama in One Act, by Austin 
Fryers. Globe. A morning performance. Cast : Herbert 
Groves, Mr. Philip Cunningham ; Entile Foudrian', Mr. 
Willon Heriot ; Olti Nip, Mr. James A. Welch ; Minnie, 
Miss Katherine Glover ; Mrs. Chessle, Mrs. Theodore Wright. 

4. BYEGONES: Play in One Act, by A. W. Pinero 
(produced at the Lyceum on i8th September, 1880). Revival, 
Lyceum. Cast: The Hon. Cutzon Gramshawe, Mr. Ben 
Webster ; The Rev. Giles Horncastle, Mr. Haviland ; Pro- 
fessor Giacomo Mazzoni, Mr. Sydney Valentine ; Bella, Miss 
Ailsa Craig; Rnby, Miss Annie Hughes. Also A STORY 
OF WATERLOO : Sketch by Dr. Conan Doyle. Corporal 
Gregory Brewster, Mr. Irving; Sergeant Archie MacJonald, 
R.A., Mr. Fuller Mellish ; Col. James Midwinter, Mr. Ben 
Webster ; Nora Brewster, Miss Annie Hughes. Also 
DON QUIXOTE: Piece founded on an incident in the 
Romance by Cervantes, by W. G. Wills. Master QuixaJa, 
Mr. Irving ; Sincho Panza, Mr. Johnson ; Father Perez, Mr. 
Haviland; Pedro, Mr. Archer; A Peasant, Mr. Reynolds; 
Muleteers, Messrs. Belmore and Rivington; An'onia, Miss 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 4! I 

de Silva ; Maria, Miss Milton : Dulcinea, Mrs. Lacy ; An Old 
Woman, Mr. Innes; Girls, Misses Foster, K. Harwood, and 
Ailsa Craig.* 

6. A NEAR SHAVE : Musical Farce, by G. D. Day, 
Author, and Edward Jones, Composer. Court. Cast : 
Ebenezer Add'eshaw, Mr. G. W. Anson ; Josiah Giggins, Mr. 
II. O. Cleary ; Arabella Pe'.tifer, Miss Emmeline Orford. 

6. THREEPENNY BITS: Farce by I. Zangwill 
(originally produced at the Opera House, Chatham, 25th April, 
1895). Garrick. 

7. THE HOME SECRETARY: Play in Three Acts, 
by R. C. Carton. Criterion. Cast : The Right Hon. Duncan 
Tiendel, M.P., Mr. Charles Wyndham ; Sir James Hazlett, 
Q.C., M.P., Mr. Alfred Bishop; Lord Blazer, Mr. David 
James; Frank Trendel, Mr. Sydney Brough ; Capta ; n Chesnall, 
Mr. Charles Brookfield ; Mr. Thorpe- Didsbury, M.P., Mr. H. 
de Lange ; Rixon, Mr. H. Deane ; Morris Lecaile, Mr. Lewis 
Waller; Rhoda Trendel, Miss Julia Neilson ; Lady Clotilda 
Bramerton, Miss Dolores Drummond ; Esme Brainerton, Miss 
Maud Millett ; Mrs. Thorpe-Didsbury, Miss Mary Moore. 
Withdrawn aoth July ; reproduced at the Shaftesbury, 2nd 
October ; withdrawn 9th November. 

9. THE SKYWARD GUIDE : Drama in Four Acts, 
by Mrs. Albert Bradbhaw and Mark Melford. Royalty. 
An afternoon performance. Cast : Albert Penrose, Mr. Loring 
Fernie ; Hamblen Templeton, Mr. Harry Mountford ; Wilfted 
Barfoot, Mr. Frank Gordon ; Tipper, Mr. A. D. Pierpoint ; 
Mr. Craven, Mr. Roy Byford ; Vernon Stiasse, Miss Jackey- 

* Memorandum of repertory revivals: The Merchant of 
Venice, I7th June; Faust, 24th June; Louis XL, 27th June; 
Becket, 1st July; Much Ado About Nothing, 4th July; Charles I., 
nth July; The Lyons Mail, 12th July; The Corsican Brothers, 
1 5th July ; Journeys End in Lovers Meeting, 1 7th July ; Macbeth , 
24th July; Nance Olil field, 27th July (last performance of the 
season). 



412 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

dora Melford ; Christian Slrasse, Mr. Mark Melford ; Joseph, 
Mr. Robert Lintott ; Knubel, Mr. James Ashburn ; Peter, Mr. 
Vincent Osborne ; Franz, Mr. Arthur Edmunds ; Mr. Beauley, 
Mr. Vansittart ; Aleppa, Miss Ethel Payne; Adrea, Miss 
Madge Lewis ; City Clerk, Mr. Cecil Rutland ; Paulio, Mr. 
George Albertazzi ; Gendarme, Mr. George W. Abron ; The 
Hon. Mrs. Penrose, Miss Ethel Arden ; Leonora Garth, Miss 
Dora de Winton ; Flavia Strasse, Miss Annie Stalman ; Freda 
Colefield, Miss Eva Willing ; Rosa, Miss Ida Heron ; Jennie, 
Miss Gertrude Price; Martha, Miss Margaret Hayes. 

it. THE TRIUMPH OF THE PHILISTINES; 
and How Mr. Jorgan Preserved the Morals of Market 
Pewbury under very trying circumstances : Comedy in 
Three Acts, by Henry Arthur Jones. St. James's. Cast : 
Sir Valentine Feilowes, Mr. George Alexander ; Willie Hessel- 
tine, Mr. H. V. Esmond ; Mr. Jorgan, Mr. Herbert Waring ; 
Mr. Pole, Mr. E. M. Robson ; Mr. Blagg, Mr. Ernest Hendrie; 
Mr. Mod/in, Mr. Arthur Royston ; Mr. Skewitt, Mr. James 
Welch; Mr. Wapes, Mr. H. H. Vincent; Mr. Corby, Mr. 
Duncan Tovey ; Thomas Blagg, Master Frank Saker ; Wheeler, 
Mr. Mark Paton ; Lady Bcauboys, Lady Monckton ; Alma 
Suleny, Miss Elliott Page; Miss Angela Soar, Miss Blanch 
Wilmot ; Sally Lebnine, Miss Juliet Nesville. Withdrawn 
igth June. Revivals of THE SECOND MRS. TAN- 
QUERAY on aoth June and of THE IDLER on 4th 
July ensued. 

13. THE RECKONING: Play in Four Acts, by 
Silvanus Dauncey (originally produced at the Globe at an after- 
noon performance, 3rd December 1891). Grand. Cast: 
Captain Philip Con-way, Mr. Charles Glenney; Mr. Leach, 
MT. Charles Dalton ; Sir William Deacon, Mr. Robert 
Macdonald ; Frank Gibson, Mr. W. Graham Brown ; Dr. 
AlcPherson, Mr. Arthur Rowlands ; The Rev. Samuel Oliver, 
Mr. Horniman ; Rigby Nicks, Mr. Arthur Whitby; Slisher, 
Mr. J. Willes ; Dnckett, Mr. R. E. Warton ; Dora Deacon, 
Miss Marion Lind ; Mrs. Chilcott, Miss Pendennis ; Janet, 
Miss C. Lindsey; Constance Oliver, Miss Alma Murray. 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 413 

22. THE PRUDE'S PROGRESS: Comedy in Three 
Acts, by Jerome K. Jerome and Eden Philpotts (originally 
produced at the Theatre Royal, Cambridge, l6th May 1895). 
Comedy. Cast : Adam Cherry, Mr. Edward Righton ; Jack 
Medbury, Mr. \V. T. Lovell ; Ted Morris, Mr. Ernest 
Leicester ; Theodore Trovers, Mr. Arthur Playfair ; Ben Dixon, 
Mr. Cyril Maude ; Nelly Mortis, Miss Lena Ashwell ; Prim- 
rose Deane, Miss Ettie Williams ; Airs. Wheedles, Miss Alice 
Mansfield; Mrs. Ben Dixon, Miss Fanny Brough. Transferred 
to Terry's Theatre ; withdrawn I4th September. 

26. FEDORA: Sardou's Play, adapted into English by 
Herman Merivale. Haymarket. Cast : Count Loris If an off, 
Mr. Tree; Jean de Sin'ex, Mr. Nutcombe Gould; Piene 
Boroff, Mr. Berte Thomas; M. Rouvel, Mr. C. M. Hallard ; 
M, Fernet, Mr. Mackay ; M. Laioc/te, Mr. Edward Ferris; 
Dr. Loreck, Mr. Edmund Maurice ; Gretch, Mr. Holman 
Clark ; Bo.'eslas Lasinski, Mr. Leslie ; Tchileff, Mr. Charles 
Allan; Desiree, Mr. Herbert Ross; Dmitri, Mr. Lesly Thom- 
son; Kir ill, Mr. F. Percival Stevens; Princess Fedora Romazoff, 
Mrs. Patrick Campbell ; Conn/ess Olga Soukareff, Mrs. Ban- 
croft ; Baroness Ockar, Miss Hilda II anbury ; Madame de 
Tournis, Miss Routh ; Marka, Miss Aylward. Mrs. Tree 
eventually replaced Mrs. Campbell. Withdrawn 2oth July. 

27. Madame Sarah Bernhardt's season at Daly's 
Theatre began. Productions : GISMONDA, LA FEMME 
DE CLAUDE, MAGDA, LA PRINCESSE LOINTAINE, 
LA TOSCA, IZEYL, and LA DAME AUX CAMELIAS. 

JUNE. 

3. Eleonora Duse's season of eight performances began at 
Drury Lane. Productions: LA DAME AUX CAMELIAS; 
LA FEMME DE CLAUDE; MAQDA ; CAVALLERIA RUS- 
TIC ANA ; LA LOCANDIERA. On and after 2;th June, 
Eleonora Duse appeared at the Savoy. 

3. GOSSIP: Comedy in Four Acts, by Clyde Fitch and 
Leo Dietrichstein. Grand. Cast : Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Langtry; 






4H THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Mr. Barry, Mr. James W. Pigott ; Mrs. Stanford, Miss 
Beverley Sitgreaves ; Mr. Stanford, Mr. Oscar Adye ; Miriam 
Stanford, Miss Kate Bealby ; Mrs. Cuminings, Miss Clara 
Daniells ; Clara Cuminings, Miss Frances Wyatt ; Dr. Robins, 
Mr. A. Holmes-Gore ; Gas: on Berney, Mr. Ivan Watson ; 
Hallows, Mr. Easton ; Servant, Mr. J. Topper ; Count Marcy, 
Mr. Herbert Flemming. Preceded by a " trifle" in One Act by 
Russell Vaun, entitled THE POLKA. Cast: Mr. Maxwell, 
Mr. Ivan Watson ; Mr. Chester, Mr. A. Holmes Gore ; Mrs. 
Chester, Miss Kate Bealby. 

3. SETTLING DAY : Drama in Four Acts, by F. A. 
Scudamore. Surrey. 

3. THE FORTY THIEVES: Burlesque. Standard. 

13. AN AVERAGE MAN; OR, HOW THE 
AVERAGE BECAME THE ABNORMAL: Comedy 
Drama of Modern Life in Four Acts, by "S. X. Courte" 
(originally produced at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre, Folk- 
stone, 6th March 1895). Opera Comique. An afternoon 
performance. Cast : Vivian Allardyce, Mr. Loring Fernie ; 
Robert Allardyce, Mr. Fred Grove ; John Allardyce, Mr. G. 
R. Foss ; Arthur Ingersoll, Mr. Alfred Kendrick ; The Hon. 
Bertie Thoytes, Mr. James Lindsay ; Montie Marlboroitgh, Mr. 
Fred Permain ; Cecil Hampton, Mr. Hurdman-Lticas ; A Scout, 
Mr. Hugh Bodien ; The Hon. Dolly Thoytes, Miss Kate Bealby; 
Hilda Ffloyd Fanshawe, Miss Marjorie Griffiths ; Winifred 
Dayne, Miss Dora de Winton. 

15. A PRACTICAL JOKER : Comedietta, by C. L. 
Hume. Comedy. Cast : Charles Dalrymple, Mr. Arthur 
Playfair; Dawson, Mr. George Hawtrey; Adela Grey, Miss Doris 
Templeton ; Sybil Forsyth, Miss Lena Ashwell. 

15. Revival of A PAIR OF SPECTACLES and 
A QUIET RUBBER at the Garrick; Mr. Hare's farewell 
appearance. 

17. First performance at Drury Lane of the Ducal Court 
Company of Saxe Coburg and Gotha. Productions during the 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 415 

season : DER VOGELHANDLER, DIE EERE, HASEMANS 
TOCHTER, DIE FLEDERMAUS, HANSEL UND GRETEL, 
HEIMATH VERKAUFTE BRAUT, DER WILDSCHTJTZ, 
BERUCHMTE FRA.U, and DER FREISCHUTZ. Some per- 
formances were also given at the Savoy by the dramatic section 
of the Ducal Company of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, alternatively 
with those of Eleonora Duse. 

17. THE MINX AND THE MAN: Burlesque in Four 
Scenes, written by Frank Lindo, Lyrics by W. Skelton, Music 
by Thomas Prentis. Parkhurst. Also THE LEGACY: 
a Comedietta by Frank Lindo. 

17. A MODERN HYPATIA, by Mabel Collins (origin- 
ally produced for copyright purposes at the Bijou Theatre, 
Bayswater, 22nd February 1894). Terry's. Cast: Lord 
Arthur Davenant, Mr. Edmund Gurney ; Lewin Alexis, Mr. 
Acton Bond ; Sir George Martyn, Mr.' Frank Adair ; Francis, 
Mr. Rudge Harding ; Dr. Vane Tylden, Mr. Charles Sugden ; 
Mrs. Fitzpatrick, Mrs. Wilton ; Rose, Miss Edith Crauford ; 
Mrs. Vane Tylden, Miss Agnes Hill ; Servant, Miss Eileen 
Munro; Marcia Royal, Mrs. Theodore Wright. An afternoon 
performance. Also TWO WOMEN, by "One of Them": 
Dramatic Fragment. Cast : Lady Caroline Villiers, Mrs. 
Theodore Wright ; Frank Villiers, Mr. Leslie Dehvaide ; 
Valerie de Lonne, Mrs. Wilton ; Collins, Mr. Fenton. 

24. THE TERROR OF PARIS: Drama in Four 
Acts, by A. E. Hill-Mitchelson' and Charles Longden (origin- 
ally produced at the Victoria Opera House, Burnley). Pavilion. 

24. THE DEAD PAST: Drama, by Austin Fryers. 
Parkhurst. Cast : Edward Crofton, Mr. H. K. Fraser- 
Tyler ; Sir Maurice Hardy, Mr. Douglas Gordon ; Sarah, 
Miss Emma Parry; Doll Barton, Miss Mabel Hardinge. 
Also THE PICTURE-DEALER: Comedy in Three 
Acts, by Henry Reichardt and Arnold Goldsworthy (per- 
formed for copyright purposes at Ladbroke Hall on Thursday, 
3<Dth June 1892, and played for the first time at a London 



416 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

theatre at the Strand on 4th July 1892). Parkhurst Cast : 
Ephraim Pottle, Mr. John Hudspeth ; Phil Tiptoff, Mr. Trevor 
Warde ; The Rev. Simon Nocker, Mr. Gilbert Arrandale ; 
Bartholomew Crisp, Mr. Maurice Drew ; Christopher Whiting, 
Mr. H. Fraser-Tyler ; Samuel Huggins, Mr. James Francis ; 
Mr. McPherson, Mr. George Brooke ; Biggs, Mr. Stanley 
Grahame; William Scroggs, Mr. Algie Spalding ; A Warrant 
Officer, Mr. A. S. Hardy ; Banker's Clerk, Mr. Edward 
Wright ; Florrie, Miss Violet Austen ; Mrs. Tiptoff, Miss Maud 
Stanhope ; Miss Nocker, Miss Emily Beauchamp ; Martha, 
Miss Katherine Glover. 

25. ALL OR NOTHING: Episode, by Hamilton Aide. 
Criterion. Afternoon performance for a Charity. Cast : Sir 
Henry Dashivood, Mr. H. Revelle ; Giulia, Lady Dashwood, 
Miss E. Calhoun ; Servant, Mr. A. Royston. 

25. THE RAILROAD OF LOVE: Comedy in Four 
Acts, adapted by Augustin Daly from the German (originally 
produced in London at the Gaiety on 3rd May 1888). Daly's. 
Cast: General Everett, Mr. Edwin Varrey ; Lieutenant Howell 
Everett, Mr. Frank Worthing; Phenix Scuttieby, Mr. James 
Lewis ; Adam Grinnidge, Mr. George Clarke ; Judge Van 
Ryker, Mr. Campbell Gollan ; Benny Dumaresq, Mr. Chester 
Devon ne ; Tniffles, Mr. Robert Shepherd; Crusty, Mr. George 
Wharnock ; Tom, Mr. Bosworth ; Mrs. Eutycia Labin nam, 
Mrs. G. H. Gilbert ; Viva Van Ryker, Miss Sybil Carlisle ; 
Cherry, Miss Jeanne Vorhees ; Valentine Osprey, Miss Ada 
Rehan. 

26. THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF MISS 
BROWN : Farcical Play in Three Acts, by Robert Buchanan 
and Charles Marlowe. Vaudeville. Cast : Miss Rotnney, 
Miss M. A. Victor ; Angela Bright-well, Miss May Palfrey ; 
EnpJieinia Schwartz, Miss Esme Beringer ; Matilda Jones, 
Miss Daisy Brough ; Millicent Lovei idge, Miss Jay Holford ; 
Clara Loveridge, Miss Grace Dudley; Mrs. G 1 Gallagher, Miss 
Gladys Homfrey ; Emma, Miss Marion Murray ; Major 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 417 

Cf Gallagher, Mr. J. Beauchamp ; Private Docherty, Mr. Power; 
Hetr von Moser, Mr. Robb Harwood ; Mr. Hibbertson, Mr. 
Gilbert Farquhar ; Sergeant Tanner, Mr. Lionel Brough ; 
Capt. Courlenay, Mr. Frederick Kerr. Transferred to Terry's, 
5th October. Withdrawn 8th February 1896. Preceded by 
BETWEEN THE POSTS. Cast: Geoffrey Warburton, 
Mr. John Buckstone ; Edith Neville, Miss Measor ; Lucy, Miss 
Grace Dudley. 

27. QWONG HI : Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, by 
Fenton Mackay (originally produced 1st April 1895, at 
the Princess's Theatre, Bristol). Terry's. Cast : Qwong Hi, 
Mr. Willie Edouin ; Frank Brett, Mr. Stewart Champion ; 
Fred Earle, Mr. Douglass Hamilton ; Captain Lander, 
Mr. W. F. Hawtrey ; Roy Lander, Mr. Harry Eversfield ; 
Verity, Mr. J. Graham ; Bailiff, Mr. A. Phillips; Mrs. Brett, 
Miss Leslie Greenwood ; Miss Diction, Miss Helen Ferrers ; 
Lydia Winlock, Miss Dora de Winton ; Clarke, Miss Annie 
Go ward; Queenie Dimple, Miss Daisy Bryer; Nettie Merrydue, 
Miss May Edouin. An afternoon performance. 

JULY. 

1. Madame Rejane began, at the Garrick Theatre, a 
short season, during which she produced MA COUSINE 
and MADAME SANS-GENE. 

2. TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. Daly's. 

Cast : The Duke of Milan, Mr. George Clarke ; Proteus, Mr. 
Frank Worthing ; Valentine, Mr. John Craig ; Sir Thurio, 
Mr. Sidney Herbert ; Sir Eglantottr, Mr. Gerald Maxwell ; 
Antonio, Mr. Edwin Varrey; Panthino, Mr. Charles Leclercq ; 
Launce, Mr. James Lewis ; Speed, Mr. Herbert Gresham ; 
Host, Mr. Tyrone Power ; The First Outlaw, Mr. Hobart 
Bosworth ; Second Outlaw, Mr. Thomas Bridgland ; Third 
Outlaw, Mr. Campbell Gollan ; Sylvia, Miss Maxine Elliot ; 
Lucetta, Miss Sybil Carlisle ; Ursula, Miss Mallon ; Julia, 
Miss Ada Rehan. 

2 7 



413 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

4. SAM'L OF POSEN : Comedy Drama in Four Acts, 
by George H. Jessop. Gaiety. An afternoon performance. 
Cast: Samuel Plaslrick, Mr. M. B. Curtis ; Mr. Winsltnv, Mr. 
Colin Coop ; Frank Branson, Mr. Henry Vibart ; Jack Cheviot, 
Mr. Sidney Brough ; Cuthbert Fitzurse, Mr. Lawrance D'Orsay; 
Uncle Goldstein, Mr. Julian Cross ; Conn Quinn, Mr. Richard 
Purdon ; Henry Dentatus Brown, Mr. Robb Harwood ; Snow- 
ball, Mr. W. Edwards ; Mademoiselle Celeste, Miss Albena De 
Mer; l\ebecca, Miss Mary Jocelyn ; Gladys, Miss Constance 
Collier ; Mrs. Alulchay, Miss Kate Kearney ; Ellen, Miss 
Kate Cutler. 

8. FLIGHT FOR LIFE: Drama in Four Acts, by 
F. A. Scudamore (originally produced under the title of "Our 
El Dorado," at the Opera House, Northampton, 6th August 
1894, and played under that name at the Pavilion, London, 
the following week). Surrey. 

9. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. Daly's. 

Cast: Theseus, Mr. George Clarke; Egeus, Mr. Tyrone Power; 
Demetrius, Mr. Frank Worthing ; Lysander, Mr. John Craig ; 
Philoslrate, Mr. Hobart Bosworth ; Quince, Mr. Charles 
Leclercq ; Snug, Mr. Herbert Gresham ; Bottom, Mr. James 
Lewis ; Flute, Mr. Sidney Herbert ; Snout, Mr. William 
Sampson ; Starveling, Mr. Thomas Bridgland ; Hippolyta, 
Miss Leontine ; Hermia, Miss Maxine Elliot ; Oberon, Miss 
Sybil Carlisle ; Titania, Miss Percy Haswell ; A Fairy, Miss 
Sofia Hoffman ; Puck, or Robin Goodfellovu, Miss Lillian Swain ; 
Helena, Miss Ada Rehan. 

15. A LONDON MYSTERY : Drama in Four Acts, 
by William Bourne. Pavilion. 

15. LOVE AND WAR: Comic Opera in Three Acts, 
by Lawrence Olde and Basil Gotto ; Music by Evan Krefe 
(originally produced at the Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, I7th 
June 1895). Elephant and Castle. Cast : Admiral Horn- 
blower, Mr. Harry H alley ; The Prince de St. Bris, Mr. 
Wyndham Guise ; Col. Sir Everett Lascelles, Mr. Walter 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 419 

Ashley ; Captain Sinclair Lascdles, Mr. J. Coates ; Vicomte 
Rigaud, Mr. L. Wensley ; Phelim C? Tiger, Mr. Dan Fitz- 
gerald ; Bottle Bill, Mr. Hampton Gordon ; Lady Lascelles, 
Miss Sophie Harriss ; Jessie Hornbloiver, Miss Josephine 
Findlay ; The Princesse de St. Bris, Miss Pierina Amelia ; 
Maraquiia, Miss Nellie Cozens; Fanchette, Miss Susie Nainby; 
Mrs, Jenkins, Miss Dora Birkett ; Kitty r . Miss Edith Hunter. 

16. AFTER THE BALL: Operetta, by F. Kinsey 
Peile. St. James's. Afternoon performance for a Charity. 
Cast : Mrs. Cyprian Smith, Miss Marie Halton ; Mr. Cyprian 
Smith, Mr. F. Kinsey Peile. Also OUR TOYS: An 
Extravaganza, by W. Yardley. 

20. A HOUSE OF LIES: Drama in Four Acts, by 
Charles Hannan. Lyric, Hammersmith. Cast : Sir Sidney 
Lee, Mr. J. R. Crauford ; Lady Lee, Miss Alice Ingram ; Eric 
Lee, Mr. Charles Dalton ; Bertie Lee, Mr. Lennox Pawle ; 
Eveleen Lee, Miss Edie Forster ; Edward Armstrong, Mr. 
Charles Vane ; Madame Lorraine, Miss Grace Warner ; Mr. 
Edgi.vorth, Mr. F. Lomnilz ; Jean, Mr. L. Lavater ; Paul 
Gautier, Mr. Charles Warner. Preceded by DORA. Cast : 
Farmer Allen, Mr, Charles Warner ; Will Allen, Mr. Charles 
Vane; Luke Bloomfield, Mr. Charles Dalton; Dora, Miss Grace 
Warner ; Mary Morrison, Miss Leah Marlborough ; Willy, 
Miss Foster. 

23. TWICE FOOLED : A Comedietta in One Act, by 
" Lamda Mu." An afternoon performance. Gaiety. Cast: 
Mrs. Parsons Green, Miss Phyllis Broughton ; Mr. Parsons 
Green, Mr. George Mudie ; Penn Colomb, Esq., Mr. Eric 
Lewis ; Nina, Miss Marie Halton. 

27. QWONG HI : A Farcical Comedy, by Fenton^ 
Mackay. Revival at the Avenue. Cast : Qwong Hi, Mr. 
Willie Edouin ; Frank Brett, Mr. Oswald Yorke ; Fred Earle, 
Mr. Forbes Dawson ; Captain Lander, Mr. W. F. Hawtrey ; 
Roy Lander, Mr. Kenneth Douglass; Verity, Mr. Ernest Cosham; 
Bailiff, Mr. Forrester ; Mrs. Brett, Miss Helen Ferrers ; Miss 
Diction, Miss Beatrice Day ; Lydia Winlock, Miss Florence 



420 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Fordyce ; Clarke, Miss Lilian Millward ; Qiieenie Dimple, Miss 
Daisy Bryer; Nettie Merrydue, Miss May Edouin. With- 
drawn 1 7th August. 

29. IN AN ATTIC: A Play in One Act, by Wilton 
Jones. Revival at the Trafalgar. Cast : Arthur Clarges, 
Mr. Guy Brandon ; Joe Dixon, Mr. Cecil Ramsey ; Rosalind, 
Miss Mary Lind. 

29. NANCY AND COMPANY: Farcical Comedy, by 
Augustin Daly, based on a German piece. Revival at Daly's. 
Cast: Mr. Ebenezer Griffing, Mr. James Lewis; Kiefe CfKiefe, 
Esq., Mr. Frank Worthing; Captain Paul Renseller, Mr. 
Sidney Herbert ; Young Mr. Sikes Stockslow, Mr. Herbert 
Gresham ; Julius, Mr. William Sampson; Taffy Brasher, Mr. 
Hobart Bosworth ; Miss Huldah Dangery, Mrs. G. H. Gilbert ; 
Oriana, Miss Maxine Elliot ; Daisy Griffing, Miss Percy 
Haswell ; Betsy, Miss Helen Bryant ; Nancy Brasher, Miss 
Ada Rehan. 

29. THE HONOUR OF THE HOUSE: Drama in 
Five Acts, by H. H. Lewis. Pavilion. (Mr. C. W. Somerset 
as Sebastian Ferara.) 

29. VENGEANCE IS THINE: Drama in Five Acts, 
by John Mills. Britannia. 

A UGUST. 

3. SAVED FROM THE SEA: A Melodrama in 
Four Acts, by Arthur Shirley and Benjamin Landeck. Prin- 
cess's. Cast : Dan Ellington, Mr. Charles Glenney ; Jim 
Weaver, Mr. Austin Melford ; Peter Scalcher, Mr. Bassett 
Roe ; Richard Fenlon, Mr. Frank Harding ; Billy Snooks, Mr. 
Lionel Rignold ; Jenkins, Mr. Lennox Pawle ; Jack, Miss 
Gladys White ; Inspector Jennings, Mr. George Claremont ;. 
Chaplain, Mr. George Yates; Head Warder, Mr. Freeman; 
Second Warder, Mr. Jameson ; Nancy Ellington, Miss Beau- 
mont Collins ; Mrs. Blake, Miss Harriet Clifton ; Polly Blake^ 
Miss Fanny Selby. 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 421 

5. THE WORLD'S VERDICT: A Drama in Five 
Acts, by Arthur Jefferson. Surrey. 

8. ALL ABROAD: A Musical Farce in Two Acts, by Owen 
Hall and James T. Tanner ; Lyrics by W. H. Risque ; Music by 
Frederick Rosse. Criterion. Cast : Mr. Bowles, Mr. Charles 
E. Stevens ; Mr. Beaver, Mr. Horace Mills ; Baron Fontenay, 
Mr. H. De Lange ; Ernest, Mr. John Coates ; Matirice Mewice, 
Mr. C. P. Little ; Capshaw, Mr. Lionel Rae ; Skeggs, Mr. G. 
Carroll ; Gendarme, Mr. Cecil Frere ; Adolphe, Mr. L. Johnson; 
Tom Eltham, Mr. R. Lister ; Reggie Andale, Mr. C. Mills ; 
Connie, Miss Kate Cutler; Blanche Leonide, Miss Amelia; 
Chloe Feltop, Miss Nellie Thome ; May Aslor, Miss Lena 
Brophey ; Madame Montesqtiieu, Miss Ada Reeve. Withdrawn 
2nd November. Revived at Court, 2nd January 1896. 

19. A YOUNGSTER'S ADVENTURE : Sketch in 
One Act, by John S. Clarke. Strand. Cast : Kit Curtis, Mr. 
Wilfred Clarke ; Ellen, Miss Nancy Noel ; Lady Lyster, Miss 
Muriel Wylford ; Beckey, Miss Caroline Ewell. Also NEW 
YORK DIVORCE : A Farce in Three Acts, adapted from 
the French. Cast : Paul Roach, Mr. Wilfred Clarke ; Oliver 
Goldcoyne, Mr. Arthur Wood ; Owen Cuttaway, Mr. Arthur 
Helmore ; Peter Clincher, Mr. Oswald Yorke ; Casar Smash, 
Mr. Rankin Duval; Selena Roach, Miss Muriel Wylford ; Maud 
Eveltry, Miss Nancy Noel ; Honor Racket, Miss Marie Hud- 
speth. Withdrawn i6th September. 

19. A WOMAN'S VICTORY: Drama in Five Acts, 
by W. A. Brabner. Pavilion. 

19. CAMILLE. Revival at the Grand. Cast : Armand 
Duval, Mr. Ernest Leicester ; M. Duval, Mr. W. Farren, Jun. ; 
Gaston Rieux, Mr. Thomas Kingston ; Comte de Varville, Mr. 
Luigi Lablache ; Gustave, Mr. George Humphery ; Doctor, 
Mr. Graham Goring ; Sans Gaudens, Mr. Herbert Grimwood ; 
Arthur, Mr. G. Merrilees ; Messenger, Mr. W. C. Postance ; 
Footman, Mr. Thomas Courtice ; Servant, Mr. Pollak ; Madame 
Prudence, Miss Alexes Leighton; Nanine, Miss Lilian Kingston; 



422 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Nickettt, Miss Winifred Fraser ; Olympe, Miss Emmerson ; 
Marguerite Gautier, Miss Olga Nethersole. 

19. THE NEW BARMAID: Up-to-date Musical 
Play in Two Acts, by Frederick Boarger and W. E. Sprange, 
Music by John Crook (produced on ist July 1895 at the 
Opera House, Southport). Metropole, Camberwell. Cast : 
Captain Lovebury, Mr. Wilfred Howard ; Lieutenant Bradley, 
Mr. V. M. Seymour ; Colonel Claymore, Mr. C. Wilford ; Bertie 
White, Mr. Joseph B. Montague ; Bonsor, Mr. H. Conyers ; 
Gussie, Mr. Michael Dure ; Inspector Hart, Mr. F. J. Walton ; 
Club Porter, Mr. Harry Bishop; William White, Mr. A. 
Alexander ; Lady Moulton, Miss Florence Lynn ; Dora, Miss 
Julia Kent ; Mabel, Miss M. Johnson ; Kitty, Miss Elsie 
Johnson ; Tommy, Miss Edith Denton ; Johnny, Miss Ethel 
Tinsley ; Florrie, Miss Lily Johnson ; Effie, Miss Ada Peppiatte ; 
Lily, Miss Gertrude Thomas; Maud, Miss E. St. Louin ; Elsie, 
Miss Josephine Young; Alice, Miss Estelle Dudley; Gertie, 
Miss Rosie Claire ; Brenda South, Miss Ida St. George ; Ethel 
Joy, Miss Amy Augarde. 

31. THE SWORDSMAN'S DAUGHTER : A Drama 
in Four Acts, by Brandon Thomas and Clement Scott, adapted 
from Le Maitre cT Amies, by Jules Mary and Georges Grisier. 
Adelphi. Cast : Vibrac, Mr. William Terriss ; Jean Olgan, 
Mr. Charles Fulton ; Baron de Chanloisel, Mr. Harry Nichols ; 
Dr. Dubarry, Mr. J. R. Crauford ; Tommy Wilkins, Mr. 
Julian Cross ; Jacquot Breton, Mr. Richard Purdon ; Judge 
Melvil, Mr. G. R. Foss ; Count Henri de Rochfiere, Mr. W. L. 
Abingdon ; Lieutenant Leverdier, Mr. Vincent Sternroyd ; 
Marescot, Mr. Richard Brennand ; Leclair, Mr. Edwin Rorke ; 
Maurice, Mr. Paul Berton ; San Melilo, Mr. A. W. Fitzgerald ; 
Cartel, Mr. Webb Darleigh ; Prevot, Mr. Caleb Porter; 
Abbe Roland, Mr. J. S. Blythe ; Madeleine, Miss Milward ; 
Therese, Miss Vane Featherstone ; Mrs. Wilkins, Miss Mar- 
riott ; Madame Breton, Miss Kate Kearney ; Lisette, Mrs. 
E. H. Brooke ; Suzanne, Miss Mary Allestre ; Countess de 
Floriel, Miss Madge Leighton. Withdrawn 3Oth November. 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 423 

SEPTEMBER. 

2. ALABAMA: A Play in Four Acts, by Augustus 
Thomas, originally produced in America. Garrick. Cast : 
Colonel Preston, Mr. James Fernandez ; Carey Preston, Miss 
Agnes Miller ; Harry Preston, Mr. E. S. Willard ; Mrs. Page, 
Miss Marion Terry; Lathrop Page, Mr. Cecil Crofton; Ray- 
mond Page, Mr. Bassett Roe ; Colonel Moberley, Mr. John 
Mason ; Atalanta Moberley, Miss Nannie Craddock ; Mrs. 
Stockton, Miss Keith Wakeman ; Mr. Armstrong, Mr. W. T. 
Lovell; Squire Tucker, Mr. F. H. Tyler; Decalur, Mr. H. 
Cane. Withdrawn I2th October. 

3. THE PRIVATE SECRETARY. Farcical Comedy. 
Revival at the Avenue. Cast : Mr. Marsland, Mr. Nicol 
Pentland ; Harry Marsland, Mr. J. L. Mackay; Mr. Catter- 
mole, Mr. W. F. Hawtrey; Douglas Cattermole, Mr. Charles 
Hawtrey ; The Rev. Robert Spalding, Mr. Willis Searle ; Mr. 
Sidney Gibson, Mr. St. John Hamund; John, Mr. W. H. 
Taylor; Knox, Mr. George Spencer ; Gardener, Mr. Mackenzie; 
Edith Marsland, Miss Ada Mellon ; Eva Webster, Miss Evelyn 
Harrison ; Mrs. Stead, Mrs. H. Leigh ; Miss Ashford, Miss 
Caroline Elton. 

7. THE CHILI WIDOW: A Comedy in Three Acts, 
adapted by Arthur Bourchier and Alfred Sutro, from " M. Le 
Directeur," by Alexander Bisson and Fabrice Carre. Royalty. 
Cast: Sir Reginald Delamere, Bart., Mr. Arthur Bourchier; 
Leslie Lavender, Mr. Cosmo Stuart ; Duckworth Crabbe, Mr. 
W. Blakeley ; Frederick Martindale, Mr. Welton Dale; 
Mathison Craw ley, Mr. Frank Lindo ; Cecil Fielding, Mr. 
Charles Troode; Patrick CfDiuyer, M.P., Mr. Ernest Hendrie; 
Macpherson, Mr. Mark Kinghorne ; Alfred Gentle, Mr. A. 
Bromley Davenport ; William, Mr. Arthur Armstrong ; Boy, 
Mr. S. Alexander ; Mrs. Jeffreys, Miss Sophie Larkin ; Gladys 
de la Casa y Guales, Miss Violet Vanbrugh; Honor Bliss, 
Miss Kate Phillips. Still running. 

9. THE WINNING HAND : Drama in Five Acts, by 
George Conquest and St. Aubyn Miller. Surrey. 



424 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

9. DR. AND MRS. NEILL : Play in Three Acts, by Clo 
Graves. Grand. Cast: Dr. Net II, M.D. Edin., F.R.S., 
Mr. Brandon Thomas; Renfrew Plunkett, Q.C., Mr. E. W. 
Gardiner ; Edward Valancy, Mr. Oscar Adye ; Dr. Saundtrs, 
Mr. P. Gromer ; Ellis, Mr. C. Montague ; Footman, Mr. 
Stanley Preston ; Lady Carthew, Miss Beatrice Lamb ; Mrs. 
Neill, Miss Kate Rorke. 

9. BUTTERCUP AND DAISY: Musical Comedy in 
Three Acts, by George Dance (originally produced at the Court 
Theatre, Liverpool, 1 7th June 1895). Royal, Kilburn. Cast: 
Theodore Goodwin, Mr. George Houghten ; Mrs. Goodwin, Miss 
Deleval; Kitty, Miss Barry Eldon ; Flo, Miss Marie Dainton; 
Ethel, Miss Phoebe Mercer ; Captain Cranbourne, Mr. George 
Sinclair; Percy Dawson, Mr. Harold Eden; David Tompkinson, 
Mr. Edmund Page ; Roberts, Mr. George Barran ; Liza Ellen, 
Miss Louie Freear ; Dick Drake, Mr. T. P. Haynes ; Bessie, 
Miss Jennie Dawson ; Josiah Snigg, Mr. A. Watts ; Cecil 
Howard, Mr. Harry Walters. 

10. BOGEY : A Play in Three Acts, by H. V. Esmond. 
St. James's. Cast: Uncle Archie Buttanshaw, Mr. H. V. 
Esmond ; Joseph Gradden, Mr. Fred Everill ; Jamie Mac- 
lachlan, Mr. W. G. Elliot ; John Tiddy, Mr. Philip Cunning- 
ham ; Noah Emens, Mr. Gaston Mervale ; Kennedy, Mr. 
W. R. Staveley ; Marion Buttanshaw, Miss Ethel Matthews ; 
Fairy Buttanshaw, Miss Eva Moore ; Maid, Miss Lovell ; Miss 
Minden, Miss Pattie Bell. Withdrawn 2ist September. 

16. IN A LOCKET: Farcical Comedy in Three Acts, 
by Harry and Edward Paulton. Strand. Cast : General 
Greville, Mr. Clinton Baddeley ; Garnet Greville, Mr. Harold 
Child; Andrew Mallock, Mr. Laurence Cautley; Alfred Banner, 
Mr. Scott Buist; Marler, Mr. Frank M. Wood; Comyns, Mr. 
James Welch; Middleton Simpkin, Mr. Harry Paulton ; Judith 
Simpkin, Miss Annie Hill; Elaine Ferris, Miss Gladys Evelyn; 
Susan, Miss Julia Warden; Marian, Miss Amy Elstob; Cicely, 
Miss Alice de Winton. Preceded by A HANDSOME 
HUSBAND. Cast: Mr. Henry Wyndham, Mr. James 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 425 

Welch ; Mr. Henry Fitzherbert, Mr. Clinton Baddeley ; Laura 
Wyndham, Miss Agnes Paulton ; Amelia, Miss Ida Walland ; 
Sophia Melford, Miss Amy Elstob ; Jane, Miss Winifred Wood. 
Withdrawn 3Oth October. 

16. TOMMY ATKINS: Drama in Four Acts, by Arthur 
Shirley and Benjamin Landeck. Pavilion. Cast : Harold 
Wilson, Mr. Murray Carson ; Colonel Hardwick, Mr. G. L. 
Eveson ; Captain Richard Maitland, Mr. A. C. Lilley; Captain 
Robert Sparrow, Mr. Royston Keith ; Sergeant Paddy Alolloy, 
Mr. Martin Adeson ; Privctte Mason, Mr. G. W. Cockburn ; 
Private Harris, Mr. Herbert Hamilton ; Ebenezer Skindle, Mr. 
Fred Winn; Stephen Raymond, Mr. J. Nelson Ramsey; Thomas 
Trot man, Mr. George Antley; Sir Simon Redgrave, f. P., Mr. 
Bedford; Perkins, Mr. Norton Wilson; Arab Chief, Mr. C. 
Ferry ; Jack, Mr. Bond ; Ruth, Miss Essex Dane ; Elsie 
Wilson, Miss Rose Pendennis ; Margaret Maitlands, Miss 
Rachel de Solla ; Kate Perkins, Miss Montelli ; Martha, Miss 
Helen Rean ; Rose Selwyn, Miss Elsie Arnauld. 

19. CHEER, BOYS, CHEER: A Drama in Five Acts, 
by Sir Augustus Harris, Cecil Raleigh, and Henry Hamilton. 
Drury Lane. Cast : Lady Hilyard, Miss Fanny Brough ; 
Lady Ughtred Kesteven, Mrs. Raleigh ; Kitty Parker, Miss 
Pattie Browne ; Mrs. Verity, Miss Marie D'Altra ; Mrs. 
Chomondeley, Miss Fannie Ward ; Blanche Lindsey, Miss Eleanor 
Calhoun ; The Marqttis of Chepstow, Mr. Henry Neville ; Lord 
Archibald Kesteven, Mr. Sidney Howard ; George Hilyard, Mr. 
Hamilton Revelle ; Reginald Fitzdavis, Mr. Charles Dalton ; 
Wolff Meikstein, Mr. Lionel Rignold ; Oliver C. Brown, Mr. 
George Giddens ; Cyrus Trueman, Mr. Austin Melford ; 
The Rev. Mr. Nugent, Mr. William Rignold ; Forbes, Mr. 
MacVicars ; John Knight, Mr. Tripp Edgar ; Miss Planquet, 
.Miss Mowbrey ; Miss Vernon, Miss Kate Ruskin ; Miss Hen- 
shaw, Miss Edie Farquhar ; Miss Fitzwilliam, Miss Gertrude 
Green ; Mrs. Bradshaw, Miss Lydia Rachel ; Mrs. Bentley, 
Miss Amy Abbott ; Hotel Clerk, Mr. De Groot ; Barmaid, 
Miss Maud Francis ; Corporal Thompson, Mr. R. A. Lyons ; 
Sergeant Btuklaw, Mr. Frank Damer ; Gibbens, Mr. Alfred 



426 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Balfour ; Warder, Mr. Arthur Henden ; Jackson, Mr. C. 
Danvers ; Policeman, Mr. Alfred Robert ; Porter, Mr. James 
Francis ; Mr. Gordon Lee, Mr. Howard Russell ; Mr. Philip 
Lee, Mr. A. Trevor ; Professor Schwinter, Mr. Herbert Char- 
ante ; Signor Patrogilli, Mr. Court ; Sir Hilary Fanshaw, Mr. 
Robert. Transferred to the Olympic, igth December. Still 
running. 

21. ROMEO AND JULIET. Revival at the Lyceum. 
Cast : Prince Esealus, Mr. Joseph Carne ; Paris, Mr. Arthur 
Grenville ; Montague^ Mr. Alfred Brydone ; Cafttlet, Mr. 
George Warde ; Romeo, Mr. Forbes Robertson ; Mercutio, Mr. 
Coghlan ; Benvolio, Mr. Frank Gilmore ; Tybalt, Mr. Will 
Dennis ; Friar Lawrence, Mr. Nutcombe Gould ; Friar John, 
Mr. Charles E. Senior ; Balthazar, Mr. T. P. Williamson ; 
Sampson, Mr. Lennox Pawle ; Gregory, Mr. George Canninge ; 
Peter, Mr. John Willes ; Abram, Mr. Charles Lloyd ; An 
Apothecary, Mr. Ian Robertson ; Lady Montague, Miss Faber ; 
Lady Capulet, Mrs. Edward Saker ; Juliet, Mrs. Patrick 
Campbell ; Nurse, Miss Dolores Drummond. Withdrawn 2ist 
December. 

25. HARMONY : Domestic Drama in One Act, by Henry 
Arthur Jones (originally produced, 1 3th August 1879, at the Grand 
Theatre, Leeds). Royalty. Cast : Michael Kursman, Mr. 
Mark Kinghorne ; Frank Seaton, Mr. Arthur Armstrong ; 
Muggins, Mr. Charles Troode ; Jenny, Miss Ettie Williams. 

26. HER ADVOCATE: Play in Three Acts, by Walter 
Frith. Duke of York's. Cast: George Abinger, Q.C., 
Mr. Charles Cartwright ; Douglas Ferraby, Esq., Mr. Oswald 
Yorke ; John Melcombe, Esq. , Mr. Holmes Gore ; Michael 
Dennis, Esq., Mr. J. H. Barnes ; Dr. Mai-shall, Mr. C. 
W. Somerset; Webby, Mr. Cecil Ramsey; Sergeant Black, 
Mr. Willie Young ; The Hon. Mr. Justice Vesey, Mr. Frederick 
Volpe ; Flack, Mr. Alfred Phillips ; Marker, Mr. D. Norman ; 
Mr. Bodmin, Mr. S. Trevor ; Mr. Maclean, Mr. A. H. Lyons ; 
Mr. Blackstone, Q.C., Mr. Lyston Lyle; The High Sheriff, Mr. 
R. Vaughan ; The Chaplain, Mr. P. J. Hillier ; The Judge's 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 427 

Marshal, Mr. F. W. Bedells ; Foreman of the Jury, Mr. A. 
Collins ; Mrs. Field, Miss Gertrude Kingston ; Mrs. Melcombe, 
Miss Henrietta Watson ; Blanche Ferraby, Miss Lena Ash well; 
Female Warder, Miss Major. Withdrawn 3Oth November. 

OCTOBER. 

5. THE WRONG ADDRESS: Duologue, Anony- 
mous. Duke of York's. Cast : The Hon. John Brampton, 
Mr. Oswald Yorke ; Mrs. Alfred Franklin, Miss Henrietta 
Watson. 

10. POOR MR. POTTON: Farce in Three Acts, by 
Clarence Hamlyn and H. M. Paull. Vaudeville. Cast : 
Willoughby Potton, Mr. Weedon Grossmith ; Dick ffarrowby, 
Mr. Wilfred Draycott; Professor Schmidt, Mr. John Beauchamp; 
Tom Dash-wood, Mr. Tom Terriss ; Mr. Dawson, Mr. F. 
Volpe ; Mr. Bait, Mr. Sydney Warden ; Mr. Kidby, Mr. F. 
Saker ; Mrs. Dashwood, Miss Gladys Homfrey; Mrs. Potion, 
Miss F. Haydon ; Catherine Dashwood, Miss May Palfrey ; 
Pauline Dash-wood, Miss Annie Chippendale ; Barford, Miss A. 
Dale ; Annie, Miss Alice Beet. Withdrawn 2nd December. 

14. THE SCHOOL-GIRL: Comedy, by George Man- 
chester, with music by Albert Maurice. Standard. Cast : 
Professor Gainsbury, Mr. C. A. Russell ; Cyril Beresford, Mr. 
Eric Ford ; Jack Gadsden, Mr. George M. Slater ; Timothy 
O 'Flanagan, Mr. William Holies ; Lord Frederick Fitzjuggins, 
Mr. Sidney Turner ; Algy Clayton, Mr. Hariy L. Wrenn ; 
Policeman, Mr. H. Warren ; Montmorency, Mr. G. Sidney ; 
Cheeks, Miss Louie Walters; Mrs. Allason, Miss Agnes Hewitt ; 
Madge Gainsbury, Miss Ada Walgrave ; Bella Gadsden, Miss 
Maud Noel ; Susannah St. Aubyn, Miss Maggie Hunt ; 
Georgina Godolphin, Miss Nannie Goldman ; Aminta Armitage, 
Miss Lottie Siegenberg ; Phillipa Plantagenet, Miss Ethel 
Grace ; Frances Fitz-william, Miss Connie Nelson ; Hyacinth 
Hamilton, Miss Grace Kelly ; Olga Oliphant, Miss Mary 
Hulton ; Florence Fitzherbert, Miss Jenny Maxwell ; Beatrice 
Bannerman, Miss Madge Lester ; Alice Argyll, Miss Ethel 



428 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Hardacre ; Mabel Marmaduke, Miss Minnie Percival ; Maggie 
Macgregor, Miss Edith Singlehurst ; Louisa Allason {Little Miss 
Loo), Miss Minnie Palmer. 

14. A LION'S HEART: a Melodrama in a Prologue 
and Five Acts, by Arthur Shirley and Benjamin Landeck 
(originally produced at the Parkhurst Theatre in July 1892, 
now reproduced at the Princess's). Cast (Prologue): Pierre 
Rizardo, Mr. Charles Glenney ; Louise, Miss Beaumont Collins ; 
Gaspard Dobr?, Mr. William H. Day; Timothy Puggs, Mr. 
Leslie Thompson ; Ring Master, Mr. Charles Baldwin ; Helen*, 
Miss Kale E. Leslie. (Drama), Pierre Rizardo, Mr. Charles 
Glenney; Colonel Robert de Villefort, Mr. E. Rochelle; Gaspard 
Dobre, Mr. William H. Day; Dick Lorimore, Mr. George H. 
Harker ; Jack Bealby, Mr. Maitland Marler ; Dobson, Mr. 
Frank Harding ; Daddy Mason, Mr. George Yates ; Captain 
Gavarnie, Mr. A. J. Byde ; Jean Loraine, Mr. George Clare- 
mont ; Chariot, Mr. Charles Baldwin ; Pitou, Mr. Leslie 
Thompson ; Marion Lorimore, Miss Beaumont Collins ; Gilbert, 
Miss Josephine Woodin ; Bessie Lorimore, Miss Fannie Selby; 
Sister Gertrude, Miss Harriet Clifton ; Madame Le Coeminant, 
Miss Loveridge ; Louise, Miss Alice Vitu. 

16. THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT: Comedy 
in Three Acts, by Arthur W. Pinero. Comedy. Cast : Mrs. 
Emptage, Miss Henrietta Lindley; Claude Emptage, Mr. 
Aubrey Fitzgerald; Justina Emptage, Miss Esme Beringex; 
Theophila Eraser, Miss Winifred Emery; Sir Fletcher Port' 
wood, M.P., Mr. Cyril Maude ; Mrs. Cloys, Miss Rose Leclercq; 
The Right Rev. Antony Cloys, D.D., Bishop of St. Olpherts, 
Mr. Ernest Cosham ; Alexander Eraser, Mr. J. G. Grahame ; 
John Allingham, Mr. Leonard Boyne ; Denzil Shafio, Mr. J. 
W. Pigott ; , Peter Elphick, Mr. Stuart Champion; Horton, Mr. 
Mules Browne ; Quaife, Mr. John Byron ; Olive Allingham, 
Miss Lily Hanbury; Mrs. Quintan Twelves, Miss Eva Williams. 
Withdrawn 27th December. 

19. THE RISE OF DICK HALWARD : Play in 
Three Acts, by Jerome K. Jerome. Garrick. Cast : Dr. 
Halyard, Mr. F. H. Tyler ; Dick Halward, Mr. E. S. Willard; 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 429 

Dan Graham, Mr. J. II. Barnes ; Reggie Philbrick, Mr. H. V. 
Esmond ; Mr. Carruthers, Mr. H. Cane ; Mrs. Carruthers, 
Miss Fanny Coleman ; Madge, Miss Marion Terry; Enid 
Elphick, Miss Annie Hughes ; Valentine Carvalho, Mr. Bassett 
Roe ; Henry Duve, Mr. W. T. Lovell ; Pamela, Miss Winifred 
Fraser ; Servant, Miss Violet Almbruster. Withdrawn 9th 
November. 

28. THE BRIC-A-BRAC WILL: Comic Opera in 
Three Acts. Libretto by S. J. Adair Fitz-Gerald and Hugh 
Moss ; Lyrics by S. J. Adair Fitz-Gerald ; Music by Emilio 
Pizzi. Cast : Dtike Erico Lantazaro, Mr. Charles Conyers ; 
Antonio, Mr. Frank Wyatt ; Paolo, Mr. Harrison Brockbank ; 
The Doge of Venice, Mr. J. J. Dallas ; Barnaba, Mr. E. W. 
Royce ; Roberto, Mr. Frank H. Celli ; Beppo, Mr. Stanley 
Patterson ; Mudillo, Mr. Watty Brunton, jun. ; A Watchman, 
Mr. Horn Conyers ; Sylvia, Miss Kate Drew (eventually Miss- 
Florence St. John) ; Chiara, Miss Susie Vaughan ; Lisette^ 
Miss Fanny Marriott. Withdrawn 28th December. 

28. A TALE OF THE THAMES: Drama in Four 
Acts, by George Conquest and Arthur Shirley. Surrey. 

30. TRILBY : a Dramatic Version, by Paul M. Potter, 
of George Du Maurier's Novel (originally produced in England 
at the Theatre Royal, Manchester, on 7th September, now 
reproduced at the Haymarket). Cast : Svengali, Mr. Beer- 
bohm Tree ; Talbot Wynne, Mr. Edmund Maurice ; Alexander 
M'Alister, Mr. Lionel Brough ; William Bagof, Mr. Patrick 
Evans (eventually Mr. Henry V. Esmond) ; Gecko, Mr. C. M. 
Hallard ; Zouzou, Mr. Herbert Ross ; Dodor, Mr. Gerald Du 
Maurier ; Oliver, Mr. Berte Thomas ; Larimer, Mr. Guyer 
Mackay ; The Rev. Thomas Bagot, Mr. Charles Allan ; Manager 
Kaw, Mr. Holman Clark; Trilby ff Ferrall, Miss Dorothea 
Baird ; Mrs. Bagot, Miss Frances Ivor ; Madame Vinard, Miss- 
Rosina Filippi. Still running. 

NOVEMBER. 

I. THE LORD MAYOR: a "What you Will" in 
Three Acts, by W. E. Bradley, Harry and Edward A. Paulton. 



43O THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Strand. Cast : Sir Martin Marlow, Mr. Harry Paulton ; 
Martin Marloiv, Junior, Mr. Scott Buist ; Miss Sabina Mar- 
low, Miss Gladys Evelyn ; Miss Clarissa Mar low, Miss Agnes 
faulton, The Hon. Richard Gratwick, Mr. Harold Child ; Lady 
Muriel Grativick, Miss Amy Elstob ; Bristol, Mr. James 
Welch ; Professor Grimweed, Mr. Laurence Irving ; Cora, Miss 
Alice de Winton ; Alderman bobbins, Mr. Clinton Baddeley ; 
Alderman Harris, Mr. E. Coventry ; Henry H. Morgan, Mr. 
Newman Maurice ; Daniel B. Jackson, Mr. Stanley Betjemann ; 
Inspector Handford, Mr. F. J. Waller; Gebel, Mr. C. Leigh ton; 
Turner, Mr. E. Wilson ; Griffin, Mr. C. Mordan. Withdrawn 
5th November. 

2. MRS. PONDERBURY'S PAST: a Farce in Three 
Acts, adapted by F. C. Burnand from Ernest Blum and Raoul 
Toche's Madame Mongodin. Avenue. Cast : Matthew Ponder- 
bury, Mr. Charles Hawtrey ; Mervin Thorp, Mr. Cosmo 
Stuart ; John Rumford, Mr. J. L. Mackay ; Hyacinth Grayling, 
Mr. Willis Searle ; Peter, Mr. W. F. Hawtrey ; Mrs. Ponder- 
bury , Miss Alma Stanley ; Ethel Penistpn, Miss Ada Mallon ; 
Susan, Miss Evelyn Harrison ; Countess de Mojeski, Miss 
Lottie Venne. Still running. 

5. THE SQUIRE OF DAMES: Comedy in Three 
Acts, adapted from L'Ami des Femmes (Alexandre Dumas fils) 
by R. C. Carton. Criterion. Cast : Mr. Kilroy, Mr. Charles 
Wyndham ; Colonel Dennant, Mr. Frank Fenton ; Sir Douglas 
Thorbiirn, Mr. Bernard Gould ; Lord Eustace Chetland, Mr. H. 
de Lange ; Professor Dowle, F.A.S., Mr. Alfred Bishop; 
Barnes, Mr. R. Lister ; Servant, Mr. C. Terric ; Mrs. Doyle, 
Miss Granville ; Elsie, Miss Beatrice Ferrar ; Zoe Nuggetson, 
Miss Fay Davis ; Adelaide Dennant, Miss Mary Moore. Still 
running. 

6. THE INTERVIEW: A Comedietta, by T. G. 
Warren. Garrick. Cast : Martin Grange, Mr. W. T. Lovell ; 
Natalie Morris, Miss Keith Wakeman. Preceding THE 
PROFESSOR'S LOVE-STORY, now revived. 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 43 1 

11. THE RIVALS : Sheridan's Comedy, revived at the 
Court. Cast : Sir Anthony Absohite, Mr. William Farren ; 
Captain Absohite, Mr. Sydney Brough ; Faulkland, Mr. 
Charles Sugden ; Bob Acres, Mr. Arthur Williams ; Sir LTUIUS 
O' Trigger, Mr. Brandon Thomas; Fag, Mr. H. Nye Chart; 
David, Mr. W. Cheeseman ; Coachman, Mr. W. H. Quinton ; 
Servant, Mr. F. Lane ; Boy, Mr. Chapman ; Lydia Languish, 
Miss Nancy Noel ; Julia Melville, Miss Violet Raye ; Lucy, 
Miss Marie Hudspeth ; Mrs. Malaprop, Mrs. John Wood. 
Withdrawn 2ist December. 

12. AN OLD GARDEN : A Play in One Act, by Hill 
Davies (originally produced at Brighton, now reproduced at 
Terry's). Cast : Mildred Sandford, Miss Mona Oram ; Rose 
Harmer, Miss Doris Templeton ; David Brice, Mr. W. J. 
Robertson ; Philip Melville, Mr. John Buckstone. 

13. MERRIFIELD'S GHOST: A One-Act Play, by 
H. M. Paull. Vaudeville. Cast: Thomas MenifieM, Mr. 
F. Volpe ; John Gordon, Mr. Sydney Warden ; Will Gordon, 
Mr. Wilfred Draycott ; Sylvia Merrifield, Miss Kate Sergeant- 
son. 

15. GIDDY GALATEA: Musical Skit in One Act, by 
Henry Edlen ; Music by Edward Jones. Cast: Galatea Green, 
Miss Minnie Thurgate; Phidias Phixum, Mr. Forbes Dawson ; 
Pygmalion Potts, Mr. T. P. Haynes ; Daphne Potts, Miss Annie 
Dovelley. 

16. NANNIE: A Two-Act Comedy, by T. G. Warren. 
Opera Comique (now re-opened under the management of Miss 
Nellie Farren). Cast : Nannie Geen, Miss Emily Cudmore ; 

Jessie Geen, Miss Emma Gwynne ; Rose Dadden, Miss Stella 
-Lee; Eliza Boon, Miss F. Montgomery; Matthew Burge, Mr. 
Edward Sass ; Sydney Wynne, Mr. Oscar Adye ; David Geen, 
Mr. J. G. Taylor. Also A MODEL TRILBY: Burlesque 
in One Act, by C. H. Brookfield and W. Yardley ; Music by 
Meyer Lutz. Cast : Durien, Mr. Eric Lewis ; Svengali, Mr. 
Robb Harwood ; Taffy, Mr. Farren Soutar; The Laird, Mr. 
C. P. Little ; Little Billee, Mr. George Antley ; Jack, Mr. Fred 



432 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Storey ; Thomas Bagot, Mr. E. H. Kelly ; The Stranger, Mr. 
E. J. Scott ; Zouzou, Miss Millie Le Capelaine ; Dodor, Miss 
May Romney ; Madame Vinard, Miss Helen Vicary ; Mrs. 
Bagot, Miss Mary Stuart ; Mimi, Miss Eva Hamblen ; Musette, 
Miss Greville Moore; Trilby, Miss Kate Cutler. "Nannie" 
withdrawn 6th December ; " A Model Trilby " still running. 

18. THE MANXMAN: A Play in Four Acts, adapted 
by Wilson Barrett from Hall Caine's novel, and anonymously 
revised. Shaftesbury. Cast : Philip Christian, Mr. Lewis 
Waller ; Pete Quilliam, Mr. G. W. Cockburn ; Casar Cregeen, 
Mr. James Fernandez ; Black Tom, Mr. Henry Kemble ; Ross 
Christian, Mr. C. H. E. Brookfield ; Sir Edward Brook'anJ, 
Mr. Hamilton Knight ; Mr. Farrant, Q.C., Mr. F. Percival 
Stevens; Dr. Mylechreest, Mr. George Hippesley ; Kelly, Mr. 
Lesly Thomson ; Jemmy Lord, Mr. H. Deane ; Inspector 
Ballure, Mr. C. Goodhart ; Lady Brookland, Mrs. Arthur 
Ayers ; Miss Cicely Cornwall, Miss Christine Mayne ; Nancy, 
Miss Kate Phillips ; Bella, Miss Norbury ; Kate Cregeen, Miss 
Florence West. Withdrawn November 3Oth. 

23. THE DIVIDED WAY: A Play in Three Acts 
(originally produced at the Theatre Royal, Manchester, on 3 1st 
October, now reproduced at the St. James's Theatre). 
Cast : General Humeden, Mr. W. H. Vernon ; Gaunt 
Humeden, Mr. George Alexander ; Jack Humeden, Mr. Allan 
Aynesworth ; Jay Grist, Mr. Herbert Waring ; Dr. Macgrath, 
Mr. H. H. Vincent ; Mr. Swendal, Mr. E. M. Robson ; Kelly, 
Mr. Frank Dyall ; Phyllis Humeden, Miss Violet Lyster ; Mrs. 
Kelly, Miss Mouillot ; Lois, Miss Evelyn Millard. Also THE 
MISOGYNIST, originally produced at Manchester, on 25th 
October, as "The Woman Hater." Cast: Mr. Corquodale, 
Mr. George Alexander ; Charlie Denison, Mr. Allan Aynes- 
worth ; Royd, Mr. H. H. Vincent ; Kitty Denison, Miss Ellis 
Jeffreys. Withdrawn 1 4th December. 

30. A DANGEROUS RUFFIAN : Farce in One Act, 
by W. D. Howells. Avenue. Cast : Edward Roberts, Mr. 
W. F. Hawtrey; Wilks Campbell, Mr. J. L. Mackay ; Mr. 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 433 

Bemis, Mr. W. Wyes; Dr. Bemis, jun., Mr. E. Halfield ; 
Mrs. Crashaw, Miss Evelyn Harrison ; Bella, Miss Clayton ; 
Mrs. Roberts, Miss Florence Harrington. 

DECEMBER. 

2. THE WOMAN IN BLACK : A New Version of 
Wilton Jones's Drama, " Haunted Lives." Standard. 

2. ONE OF THE BRAVEST: Musical Comedy- 
Drama. Britannia. 

2. THE BANDIT KING : Drama in Five Acts, by J. 
H. Wallick. Pavilion. 

2. THE WATER BABES: Operatic Extravaganza by 

E. W. Bowles, Music by Merton Clarke. Parkhurst. 

3. THE NEW BOY: Revival at the Vaudeville. 

4. MR. VERSUS MRS: An Incident, by Arthur 
Bourchier and Mountjoy. Royalty. Cast : Mr. Robert 
Challenger, Mr. Arthur Bourchier ; The Hon. Mrs. Fealher- 
leigh, Miss Violet Vanbrugh. Afternoon performance for^a 
Charity. 

7. MADAME : An " Absurdity" in Three Acts, by James 
T. Tanner. Opera Comique. Cast: Mr'jGalleon, Mr. Eric 
Lewis; George Baxter, Mr. Farren Soutar ; Denlon Jones, Mr. 
James G. Taylor ; Captain Charles Cameron, Mr. Oscar Adye ; 
Monsieur Vi-uienne, Mr. E. H. Kelly; Charlemagne, Mr. E. J. 
Scott ; Jorkins, Mr. Horniman ; Inspector, Mr. Culverwell ; 
Miss Baxter, Miss Kate Tindall ; Edith Galleon, Miss F. 
Montgomery ; Madame Vivienne, Miss Helen Vicary ; Miss 
Godolphin, Miss Emma Gvvynne. Still running. 

II. KITTY CLIVE (ACTRESS) : Comedy in One Act, 
by Frankfort Moore. Royalty. Cast : Kitty Clive, Miss Irene 
Vanbrugh ; Jack Bates, Mr. Henry Vibart ; Landlord, Mr. 

F. W. Permain. 

16. THE NEW HUSBAND: Dialogue by Cotsford 

28 



434 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Dick. Haymarket. (An afternoon performance.) Cast: 
Air. Heliotrope, Mr. George Giddens ; Mrs. Heliotrope, Miss 
Fanny Brough ; Servant. Mr. Croxon. 

21. ONE OF THE BEST : A Drama in Four Acts, by 
Seymour Hicks and George Edwardes. Adelphi. Cast : 
Dudley Keppel, Mr, William Terris ; Philip Ellsworth, Mr. 
W. L. Abingdon ; Lieutenant- General Coventry, Mr. Charles 
Fulton; Sir Archibald McGregor, K.C.B., A.D.C., Mr. 
Edward Sass ; The Rev. Dr. Penrose, Mr. Julian Cross ; M. 
/ules de Gruchy, M. L Delorme ; Private Jupp, Mr. Harry 
Nicholls ; Sergeant Henessy, Mr. A. W. Fitzgerald ; Corporal 
Smythe, Mr. Walter; Private (Hon.) Moniressor, Mr. Richard 
Brennand ; Private Ginger, Mr. Cole ; Private Snipe, Mr. 
Webb Darleigh ; Private White, Mr. Herrick ; President of the 
Court, Mr. Hubert Parker ; Jason Jupp, Mr. H. Athol Forde ; 
Esther Coventry, Miss Millward ; Mary Penrose, Miss Edith 
Ostlere; Kitty Spencer, Miss Vane Featherstone ; Mrs. Spencer, 
Miss Kate Kearney. Still running. 

23. TOMMY ATKINS: A Drama in Four Acts, by 
Benjamin Landeck and Arthur Shirley (originally produced at 
the Pavilion Theatre, on l6th September, no'w reproduced 
at the Duke of York's Theatre). Cast : Harold Wilson, 
Mr. Charles Cartwright ; Stephen Raymond, Mr. Lyston Lyle ; 
Ebenezer Skindle, Mr. Lennox Pawle ; Captain Richard Mait- 
land, Mr. Edward O'Neill ; Captain Bob Sparrow, Mr. Wilfred 
Forster ; Little Jack, Miss Jessica Black ; Colour- Sergeant 
Paddy Molloy, Mr. Richard Purdon ; Private Mason, Mr. G. 
W. Cockburn ; Colonel Hardiuick, Mr. Pemberton Peach ; 
Perkins, Mr. Langley Handford ; The Arab Sheikh, Mr. 
Gomer May ; Tommy Trotman, Mr. Harry Buss ; Private 
Harris, Mr. Dalziel Heron ; Orderly, Mr. W. Richards ; 
Surgeon, Mr. Douglas Norman ; Villager, Mr. Alfred Collins ; 
Ruth Raymond, Miss Gertrude Kingston; Elsie Wilson, Miss 
Constance Collier; Rose Selwyn, .Miss Clare Harford ; Mar- 
garet Maitland, Miss Olliffe ; Kate Perkins, Miss Naomi 
Neilson ; Martha, Miss Minnie Major. Withdrawn 3ist 
December. 



SYNOPSIS OF PLAYBILLS. 435 

26. CINDERELLA: Pantomime by Augustus Harris, 
Cecil Raleigh, and Arthur Sturgess. Drury Lane. Cast : 
The Prince, Miss Ada Blanche; Cinderella, Miss Isa Bowman; 
Dandini, Miss Alexandra Dagmar ; The Baron, Mr. Herbert 
Campbell ; The Baroness, Mr. Dan Leno ; The Tutor, Mr. 
Lionel Rignold ; Two Bailiff s Officers, The Griffiths Brothers; 
Angelina, Miss Sophie Larkin ; Clorinda, Miss Emily Miller ; 
The Fairy Godmother, Miss Lily Harold ; French Ambassador. 
Miss Marguerite Cornille ; The Lord Chamberlain, Miss Maggie 
Ripley ; The Demon ; Miss L. Comyns ; King Toy, Miss K. 
Jocelyn ; The Spirit of Pantomime, Miss Helen Lee; Lord-in- 
Waiting, Miss Lena Delphine ; Captain of the Guard-at-Arms, 
Miss Harrison ; Master of the Ceremonies, Miss E. Pritchard ; 
Alasler of the Horse, Miss M. Shields ; Prime Minister, Miss 
V. Knight; Aide-de-Camp to the Prince, Miss M. Bryer; Ger- 
man Ambassador, Miss A. Fricker ; Italian Ambassador, Miss 
II. Hastings; Russian Ambassador, Miss Queenie Dudley; 
Austrian Ambassador, Miss L. Feverell. 

26. ROBINSON CRUSOE: Pantomime by Horace 
Lennard, Music by Oscar Barrett. Lyceum. Cast : Immortal, 
The Spirit of Adventure, Miss Geraldine Somerset. Mortals 
Robinson Crusoe, Miss Alice Brookes ; Mrs. Crusoe, Mr. Victor 
Stevens ; Dan I Hopkins, Mr. Richard Blunt ; Polly Hopkins, 
Miss Grace Lane ; Will Atkins, Mr. Fred Emney ; Larboard, 
Mr. Marius Girard ; Starboard, Mr. E. Morehen ; Captain 
Truman, Miss Susie Vaughan ; Midshipmite, Miss Ida Muriel; 
Sergeant of Marines, Miss Lilian Holmes; The Market Beadle, 
Mr. Roy Kennett ; Oliver, Miss Mellor ; Randolf, Miss E. 
Gibbons ; Geoffrey, Miss May Haddon; Mark, Miss L. Francis; 
Nance, Miss M. Mount ; Dora, Miss Lena Lewis ; Maud, Miss 
J. Chamberlain ; Margery, Miss L. Augarde ; Little Daisy, 
Miss Ethel Grace ; Dog, Master L. Wilkes ; Goat, Master Edwin 
Allen ; Parrot, Mr. A. Gough ; Cat, Master H. Linwood ; 
Hullabaloo, Mr. Fred Storey; Chut-Nee, Mr. W. Ritter Riley; 
Fiti-Fiti, Mr. Fred Kitchen; Talkee-Talkee, Mr. Zanfretta ; 
Em-Cee, Mr. Harry Kitchen; Hanga-Mup, Mr. Philippe; 
Tripfoot, Master Herbert Lamartine ; Nicee, Miss Florence 
Herbert ; Picee, Miss Mary Norton ; Popsee, Miss Catherine 



436 THEATRICAL WORLD OF 1895. 

Williamson; Wopsee, Miss Blanche Dons; Ducksee, Miss 
Pattie Marshall ; Kicksee, Miss Constance Gordon ; Princess 
Pretti-Pretti, Mdlle. Zanfretta ; Friday, Mr. Charles Lauri. 

27. A WOMAN'S REASON : Play in Three Acts, by 
Charles H. E. Brookfield and F. C. Phillips. Shaftesbury. 
Cast : Lord Bletchley, Mr. Charles Brookfield ; The Rev. Cosmo 
Pretious, Mr. Henry Kemble ; Captain Crazier, Mr. Charles 
Coghlan ; Stephen LfAcosta, Mr. Lewis Waller ; Algie, Mr. 
Stewart Dawson ; Mr. Me George, Mr. Hamilton Knight ; 
Martin Tutt, Mr. E. J. Malyon ; James, Mr. Leslie Thomp- 
son ; Footman, Mr. Charles Goodhart ; Lady Bletchley, Miss 
Carlotta Addison ; The Hon. Nina Keith, Mrs. Tree ; Agatha 
Pretious, Miss Maud Millett ; Curtice, Miss Violet Stevens ; 
Leah D'Acosta, Miss Florence West. Still running. 

28. THE LATE MR. CASTELLO : A Farce in 
Three Acts, by Sydney Grundy. Comedy. Cast : Captain 
Treficsis, Mr. Leonard Boyne ; Sir Peto Wanklyn, Mr. Cyril 
Maude ; Jack Uniacke, Mr. J. G. Grahame ; Spencer, Mr. J. 
Byron ; Mrs. Bickerdyke, Miss Rose Leclercq ; Mrs. Castello, 
Miss Winifred Emery ; Avice, Miss Esme Beringer. Still 
running. 



INDEX. 



Adelphi, 119, 261, 378. 
Avenue, 259, 336, 373. 

Burlington Hall, 219. 

Comedy, 47, 74, 128, 181, 313. 
Court, 132, 253, 346, 384. 
Criterion, 14, 144, 253, 337. 

Daly's, 42, 184, 201, 209, 233, 

234, 243, 384. 
Drury Lane, I, 188, 201, 218, 

301. 
Duke of York's (see Trafalgar 

Square), 303. 

Gaiety, 132. 

Garrick, 5, 37, 75, 161, 240, 

267, 321. 
Gray's Inn Hall, 366. 

Haymarket, 14, 143, 172, 328. 

Independent Theatre, 12, 95, 
104. 



THEATRES, ETC. 

Lyric, 42, 188. 



Lyceum, 3, 20, 137, 284, 384. 



L'CEuvre, 104. 

Opera Comique, 6l, 95, 104, 
35i 377- 

Prince of Wales's, 62, 72, 346. 
Royalty, 94, 281, 377. 

St. George's Hall, 37. 

St. James's, 32, 56, 152, 218, 

275 , 353, 364, 394- 
Savoy, 218, 231. 
Shaftesbury, 144, 328, 361. 
Strand, 55, 95, 123, 260, 302, 

335- 

Terry's, 12, 35, 96, 135, 233, 

366. 

Theatre Royal, Brighton, 374. 
Toole's, 60. 
Trafalgar Square (see Duke of 

York's), 135. 



Vaudeville, 130, 233, 308. 



PLAYS. 



Alabama, 267. 

All Abroad, 253. 

All's Well that Ends Well, 37. 

L'Am des Femmes, 337. 

L'Arlesienne, 272. 



Arms and the Man, 142. 
The Artist's Model, 41, 188. 
As You Like It, 224. 

The Babes, 55. 



433 



INDEX. 



PLAYS Continued. 



The Bauble Shop, 148. 

The Benefit of the Doubt, 313, 

340, 387, 393- 
Blue Beard, 56, 258. 
The Blue Boar, 96. 
Bogey, 275. 
A Bunch of Violets, 147. 

Cavalleria Rusticana, 209, 272. 
Charlie's Aunt, 130. 
Cheer, Boys, Cheer, 301. 
The Chili Widow, 281. 
The Comedy of Errors, 366. 
The Crusaders, 153. 

La Dame aux Camelias, 192. 
A Dangerous Ruffian, 373. 
Delia Harding (Marcelle), 128, 

150. 

Le Derm-Monde, 338. 
The Divided Way, 353, 388, 394. 
A Doll's House, 196. 
Don Quixote, 137. 

Die Ehre, 218, 227. 

Fanny, 123. 

Fedora, 172, 184. 

La Femme de Claude, 188, 

207. 
The Fringe of Society, 338. 

Gentleman Joe, 62, 72. 

Ghosts, 69, 196. 

The Girl I left Behind Me, 1 19. 

Gismonda, 184. 

The Greatest of These, 374. 

Guy Domville, 32. 

Hedda Gabler, 71, 197. 

Heimat, 193, 227. 

Her Advocate, 303. 

High Life Below Stairs, 35. 

The Home Secretary, 144, 328. 



An Ideal Husband, 14, 147, 

341- 
The Importance of being 

Earnest, 56. 
In a Locket, 302. 
An Innocent Abroad, 35. 
In Town, 43. 
L'Intruse, 109. 
Izeyl, 185, 203. 

John-a-Dreams, 143. 
Julius Caesar, 224. 

King Arthur, 20. 

Kitty Clive (Actress), 377. 

The Ladies' Idol, 130, 308. 
The Lady from the Sea, 185. 
Lady Windermere's Fan, 19, 147. 
A Leader of Men, 47. ' 
Little Eyolf, 196, 197. 
La Locandiera, 192, 209. 
The Lord Mayor, 335. 
A Loving Legacy, 95. 

Ma Cousine, 240. 

Madame, 377. 

Madame Mongodin, 336. 

Magda, 193, 227. 

Le Maitre d'Armes, 261. 

A Man's Love, 95. 

The Manxman, 361. 

The Master Builder, 105, in, 

197. 

Merrifield's Ghost, 352. 
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 

243- 

The Misogynist, 364. 
A Model Trilby, 351. 
Monsieur le Directeur, 281. 
An M.P.'s Wife, 61. 
Mrs. Ponderbury's Past, 336. 

Nannie, 351. 



INDEX. 



439 



PLAYS Continued. 



The New Boy, 130. 
New York Divorce, 260. 
The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith, 
75, "7, 314, 388. 

An Old Garden, 366. 
One of the Best, 378. 

A Pair of Spectacles, 37. 

The Passport, 135. 

Pauline Blanchaid, 185. 

Pelleas et Melisande, 109, ill. 

Phedre, 204. 

The Pillars of Society, 71. 

Poor Mr. Potton, 308. 

The Pretenders, 199. 

La Princesse Lointaine, 209. 

The Prude's Progress, 181. 

Qwong Hi, 259. 

The Railroad of Love, 233. 

The Rise of Dick Hal ward, 321. 

The Rivals, 346. 

Les Rois, 185. 

Romeo and Juliet, 284, 295. 

Rosmersholm, 105, 117, 197. 

Salve, 95. 

Santa Claus, 3. 

The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, 77, 

93, 218, 314, 354, 392. 
The Shop-Girl, 132. 



Slaves of the Ring, 6. 

Sodoms Ende, 227. 

Solness le Constructeur, 105, 

ill. 

Sowing the Wind, 74. 
The Squire of Dames, 337. 
A Story of Waterloo, 137, 142. 
The Strange Adventures of Miss 

Brown, 233, 308. 
The Swordsman's Daughter, 

261. 

That Terrible Girl, 94. 

Theodora, 184. 

Thorough-Bred, 60. 

Thyrza Fleming, 12. 

La Tosca, 184. 

Trilby, 328, 392. 

A Trilby Triflet, 346. 

The Triumph of the Philistines, 

152, 388. 

Twelfth Night, 219. 
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 

234- 

Vanity Fair, 132. 

Whittington and his Cat, I. 
The Wild Duck, 197. 
A Woman of no Importance, 
10, 147. 

A Youngster's Adventure, 260. 



AUTHORS. 



Barrett, Wilson, 361. 
Belasco, David, 119. 
Beringer, Mrs. Oscar, 95. 
Bisson, A., 281. 
Blum, Ernest, 336. 
Bourchier, Arthur, 281. 
Bradley, W. E., 335. 
Brookfield, Charles, 352. 



Buchanan, Robert, 233. 
Burnand, F. C., 336. 

Carr, Comyns, 20, 129. 

Carre, , 281. 

Carson, Murray ("Thornton 

Clark"), 96. 
Carton, R. C, 144, 328, 338, 



440 



INDEX. 



AUTHORS Continued. 



"Clark, Thornton" (Murray 

Carson), 96. 

Clarke, John Sleeper, 260. 
Craven, W. Stokes, 35. 

Davies, Hill, 366. 

Doyle, Conan, 142. 

Dumas, Alexandre, fils, 188, 

196, 337- 

Du Maurier, George, 133, 329. 
De Vos, J. C., 95. 

Edwardes, George, 377. 
Esmond, H. V., 275, 353, 388, 
394- 

Frith, Walter, 303. 
Fyles, Franklin, 119. 

Gilbert, W. S., 59, 101, 256. 
Godfrey, G. W., 132, 364. 
Goldoni, Carlo, 192. 
Greenbank, Harry, 44, 65. 
Grisier, Georges, 261. 
Grundy, Sydney ,-5, 37, 74, 374. 

" Hall, Owen," 42, 68, 253. 
Hamilton, Henry, i, 301. 
Hamlyn, Clarence, 309. 
Harris, Sir Augustus, I, 301. 
Hicks, Seymour, 377. 
Hood, Basil, 65. 
Howells, W. D., 373. 

Ibsen, Henrik, 68, 79, 104, 158, 
194. 

James, Henry, 32. 
Jerome, J. K., 181, 321. 
Jones, Henry Arthur, 68, 152, 
164, 256, 386. 

Law, Arthur, 130. 
Leighton, Miss Dorothy, 12. 
Lennard, Horace, 4. 



Lumley, Ralph, 60. 

Mackay, Fenton, 259. 
Maeterlinck, Maurice, 109, nr. 
" Marlow, Charles," 233. 
Mary, Jules, 261. 
Meilhac, Henri, 240. 
Moore, Frankfort, 377. 

Parker, Louis N., 96. 
Paull, H. M., 309, 352. 
Paulton, Edward A., 303, 335. 
Paulton, Harry, 55, 302, 335. 
Phillpott, Eden, 181. 
Pinero, A. W., 59, 68, 75, 130, 

161, 310, 354, 386, 392. 
Planche, J. R., 255. 
Potter, Paul M. , 133, 329. 

Raleigh, Cecil, I, 125, 301. 

Risque, W. H., 253, 258. 

" Ross, Adrian," 43, 65, 68, 

101, 258. 
Rostand, Edmond, 209. 

Sardou, Victorien, 128, 172. 
Scott, Clement, 262. 
Scribe, Eugene, 341. 
Shakespeare, 37, 219, 234, 243, 

284, 366. 

Shaw, G. Bernard, 59. 
Sheridan, R. B. , 346. 
Sidney, Fred. VV. , 95. 
Sims, George R., 125, 256. 
Stephenson, B. C. , 135. 
Sudermann, Herman, 193, 218, 

226. 
Sutro, Alfred, 281. 

Tanner, James T., 253, 377. 
Terrell, Thomas, 61. 
Thomas, Augustus, 268. 
Thomas, Brandon, 130, 262. 
Toche, Raoul, 336. 



INDEX. 

AUTHORS Continued. 



Townley, Rev. James, 36. 

" Ward, Charles E. D.," 49. 
Warren, T. G., 351. 



Wilde, Oscar, 14, 56. 
Wills, W. G., 138. 

Yardley, W., 136, 352. 



441 



ACTORS. 



Abingdon, W. L., 123, 267, 381. 
Alexander, George, 34, 60, 161, 

360, 365. 

Anson, G. W., 135. 
Antley, George, 352. 
Aynesworth, Allan, 37, 60, 360, 
' 



Bancroft, S. B., 349. 
Barnes, J. H. , 305. 
Barrett, Wilson, 361. 
Barrington, Rutland, 60. 
Beatty, Harcourt, 95. 
Beauchamp, John, 131, 233, 

312. 

Bishop, Alfred, 19, 345. 
Blakeley, W., 41, 46, 284. 
Bourchier, Arthur, 12, 283. 
Boyne, Leonard, 321. 
Brodie, Matthew, 96. 
Brookfield. Charles, 19, 151. 
Brough, Lionel, 233, 258. 
Brough, Sydney, 55, 75, 151, 

328- 

Campbell, Herbert. 2, 97. 
Capelli, Dante, 193. 
Cartwright, Charles, 307. 
Cecil, Arthur, 135. 
Cheesman, W., 348. 
Clarke, George, 244, 246, 250, 

252. 

Clarke, Wilfred, 261. 
Coates, John, 259. 
Cockburn, G. W., 123, 364. 
Coffin, Hayden,-4i, 46. 



Coghlan, Charles, 299. 
Cooper, Frank, 32. 
Coventry, E. A., 61. 
Craig, John, 240, 252. 
Cuningham, Philip, 281. 

Dale, Welton, 284. 

Dalton, Charles, 302. 

Day, W. H., 127. 

De Lange, H., 152, 259, 345. 

Delorme, L., 381. 

De Max, , 217. 

Dennis, Will, 55, 300. 

Denny, W. H., 65. 

De Sanctis, Alfredo, 193. 

D'Orsay, Lawrance, 46. 

Edouin, Willie, 55, 259. 
Elliot, W. G., 34, 281. 
Emney, Fred, 4. 
Esmond, H. V., 34, 161, 281, 

327, 335- 

Espinosa, Monsieu/, 4. 
Evans, Patrick, 335. 
Everill, F., 281. 

Farkoa, Maurice, 46. 
Farren, William, 347. 
Fenton, Frank, 345. 
Fernandez, James, 274, 364. 
Forde, Athol, 381. 
Fulton, Charles, 123, 267. 

Gardiner, E. W., 123. 
Garthorne, C. W., 75. 
Giddens, George, 94, 136, 302. 



442 



INDEX. 



ACTORS Continued. 



Gillmore, Frank, 300. 
Glenney, Charles, 61. 
Gould, Bernard, 14, 345. 
Gould, Nutcombe, 179, 300. 
Grahame, J. G-, 321. 
Gresham, Herbert, 240. 
Grossmith, Weedon, 131, 312. 
Groves, Charles, 37. 
Guitry, , 217. 

Hare, Gilbert, n, 37. 

Hare, John, 7, 12, 37, 93, 97, 

163. 

Harwood, Robb, 127, 352. 
Haviland, , 96. 
Hawtrey, Charles, 19, 336. 
Heimhoff, , 218. 
Hendrie, Ernest, 35, 161. 
Herbert, William, 6l. 

Irving, Henry (afterwards Sir 
Henry), 31, 97, 137, 142, 180. 
Irving, H. B., 55, 75. 

James, David S., 152. 
Johnson, S., 140. 

Kendal, W. H., 374. 
Kerr, Frederick, 233. 
Kinghorne, Mark, 284. 
Klein, Adolf, 218, 231. 

Lauri, Charles, 5. 
Le Hay, John, 188. 
Leicester, Ernest, 183. 
Leno, Dan, 2, 98. 
Lewis, Eric, 41, 46, 352, 377. 
Lewis, James, 234, 240, 252. 
Little, C. P., 131. 
Lovell, W. T., 183, 275. 
Lowne, C. M., 61. 
Lugne-Poe, 108, no. 

Mackay, J. L.. 136. 
Mackintosh, W., 130. 



Macklin, F. H., 123. 

Maltby, Alfred, 136. 

Mason, John, 275. 

Maude, Cyril, 75, 130, 183, 321. 

Mazzanti, Ettore, 193. 

Mills, Horace, 259. 

Morgan, Fitzroy, 60. 

Neville, Henry, 302. 
Nicholls, Harry, 267, 381. 
Nye Chart, H. , 348. 

Paulton, Harry, 303, 336. 
Philp, William, 65. 
Playfair, Arthur, 183. 
Power, Tyrone, 252. 

Righton, Edward, 183. 

Rignold, Lionel, 302. 

Roberts, Arthur, 64, 72, 268, 

346. 
Robertson, Forbes, 32, 93, 163, 

284, 286. 

Robertson, Ian, 300. 
Robson, E. M., 46, 161. 
Ross, Herbert, 143. 

Saker, F., 312. 
Shelton, B., 60. 
Shine, J. L. , 127. 
Somerset, C. W., 307. 
Soutar, Farren, 352. 
Stephens, Yorke, 46, 136. 
Stevens, Charles E., 259. 
Stevens, Victor, 4. 
Sugden, Charles, 135, 348. 

Terriss, Tom, 312. 

Terriss, William, 123, 267, 381. 

Terry, Edward, 35, 96. 

Terry, Fred, 55, 130, 328. 

Thomas, Brandon, 12, 75, 348. 

Thorne, Eric, 346. 

Toole, J. L., 60. 



INDEX. 



443 



ACTORS Continued. 



Tree, Beerbohm, 143, 179, 333. 
Tyler, F. H., 275. 

Valbel, , 342. 
Valentine, Sidney, 32. 
Vernon, W. H. , 360. 
Vincent, H. H., 60, 360, 366. 

Waller, Lewis, 19, 151, 328, 364. 
Warde, George, 300. 



Waring, Herbert, 34, 160, 360. 
Weiss, , 218. 
Welch, James, 161. 
Willard, E. S., 274, 327. 
Williams, Arthur, 349 
Worthing, Frank, 234, 240, 252. 
Wyes, W., 55, 135. 
Wyndham, Charles, 151, 345. 

Yorke, Oswald, 261, 308. 



ACTRESSES. 



Ash well, Miss Lena, 32, 183, 
308. 

Baird, Miss Dorothea, 334. 
Bancroft, Mrs., 179. 
Bell, Miss Pattie, 281. 
Beere, Mrs. Bernard, 173, 179, 

349- 

Beet, Miss Alice, 312. 
Beringer, Miss Esme, 131, 233. 
Bernhardt, Sarah, 173, 179, 184, 

201, 202, 217. 
Booth, Miss Hope, 94. 
Braham, Miss Leonora, 46. 
Brooke, Mrs. E. H., 267. 
Brough, Miss Fanny, 19, 96, 

183, 302. 
Browne, Miss Pattic, 302. 

Calhoun, Miss Eleanor, n, 302. 
Campbell, Mrs. Patrick, 76, 90, 

162, 172, 203, 219, 284, 288, 

296. 

Canninge, Mrs., 60. 
Carlisle, Miss Sibyl, 240, 252. 
Coleman, Miss Fanny, 136. 
Cowell, Miss,Lydia, 127. 
Cutler, Miss Kate, 259, 352. 

Dacre, Miss Helena, 135. 
Davis, Miss Fay, 345. 



Despres, Mademoiselle, 107, 

no, 113. 

Dorr, Miss Dorothy, 129. 
Drummond, Miss Dolores, 300. 
Dudley, Miss Hope, 123. 
Duse, Eleonora, 173, 179, 188, 

201, 202, 231. 

Edouin, Miss May, 260. 
Elliot, Miss Maxine, 240, 252. 
Emery, Miss Winifred, 97, 321. 
Espinosa, Mademoiselle, 4. 

Featherstone, Miss Vane, 267, 

3.8i. 

Filippi, Miss Rosina, 335. 
Eraser, Miss Winifred, 14, 327. 

Gilbert, Mrs., 234. 

Hanbury, Miss Lily, 143, 147. 
Harold, Miss Lily, 3. 
Harvey, Miss May, 55. 
Haswell, Miss Percy, 252. 
Haydon, Miss F., 312. 
Heinekey, Miss Lena, 41. 
Hewett, Miss Agnes, 3. 
Hill, Miss Agnes, 14. 
Homfrey, Miss Gladys, 233, 
312. 



444 



INDEX. 



ACTRESSES Con 'imtetf. 



Hudspeth, Miss Marie, 261, 

348. 
Hughes, Miss Annie, 327. 

Jecks, Miss Clara, 4. 
Je'ffreys, Miss Ellis, 365. 
Jenoure, Miss Aida, 65. 
Jerome, Miss Sadie, 65. 

Kendal, Mrs., 219, 374. 
Kennett, Miss Olive, 41. 
Kingston, Miss Gertrude, 136, 
3 oS. 

Larkin, Miss Sophie, 284. 
Lawrence, Miss Queenie, 3. 
Lea, Miss Marion, 368. 
Leclercq, Miss Rose, 60, 130, 

321. 

Leighton, Miss Alexes, 96. 
Leontine, Miss, 252. 
Le Thiere, Miss, 55. 
Lewis, Miss Mabel Terry, 37. 
Leyton, Miss Rosie, 4. 
Lind, Miss Letty, 41, 45, 188. 
Linden, Fraulein, 218. 
Loftus, Miss Kitty, 4, 65, 346. 
Lyster, Miss Violet, 360. 

Marriott, Miss, 267. 
Matthews, Miss Ethel, 281. 
Mellot, Mile. Marthe, 107, no, 

"3- 

Millard, Miss Evelyn, 34, 60, 

74, 218, 360. 
Miller, Miss Agnes, 275. 
Millet, Miss Maud, 19, 151, 328. 
Millward, Miss, 123, 267, 379. 
Monckton, Lady, 161. 
Montrose, Miss Marie, 3, 123. 
Moore, Miss Eva, 281. 
Moore, Miss Mary, 151, 321, 

345- 
Morris, Mrs. Herbert, 41. 



Murray, Miss Alma, 55. 

Neilson, Miss Julia, 19, 147, 151, 

328. 

Nesville, Miss Juliette, 154. 
Nethersole, Miss Olga, 76, 161. 
Noel, Miss Nancy, 135, 348. 

Oram, Miss Mona, 366. 

Page, Miss Elliott, 157. 
Palfrey, Miss May, 131, 233, 

312. 

Palliser, Miss Esther, 14. 
Phillips, Miss Kate, 7, 12, 75, 

284, 364. 
Poole, Miss Cora, 61. 

Raleigh, Mrs. (Miss Isabel Ellis- 
sen), 302. 

Raye, Miss Violet, 348. 

Reeve, Miss Ada, 259. 

Rehan, Miss Ada, 233, 236, 239, 
252. 

Rejane, Madame, 240. 

Richards, Miss Cicely, 136. 

Robins, Miss Elizabeth, 107, 
368. 

Rorke, Miss Kate, n, 37. 

Stanley, Miss Alma, 127, 337. 
Swain, Miss Lillian, 252. 

Tempest, Miss Marie, 44, 46. 
Terriss, Miss Ellaline, 131. 
Terry, Miss Ellen, 26, 31. 
Terry, Miss Marion, 34, 55, 

129, 137- 
Tree, Mrs. Beerbohm, 143, 172. 

Vanbrugh, Miss Irene, 34, 60, 

284, 378. 

Vanbrugh, Miss Violet, 284. 
Vaughan, Miss Susie, 4. 



INDEX. 
ACTRESSES 



445 



Venne, Miss Lottie, 41, 46, 
328, 337- 

Ward, Miss Genevieve, 32. 
Watson, Miss Henrietta,6i, 308. 
West, Miss Florence, 19, 363, 
364- 



White, MissT., 61. 
Whitty, Miss May, 127. 
Williams, Miss Ettie, 183. 
Woisch, Frau, 218. 
Wood, Mrs. John, 132, 347. 

Zanfretta, Mademoiselle, 4. 



MANAGERS, CRITICS, COMPOSERS, ETC. 



Alexander, George, 199, 353, 

394- 

Aristotle, 261, 270. 
Arnold, Matthew, 338. 

Barrett, Oscar, 3. 

Burne Jones, Sir Edward, 32. 

Carr, Comyns, 47. 128. 

Daly, Augustin, 234, 243, 384. 
De Lara, Frederick, 61. 
Dillon, Arthur (Elizabethan 

Stage Society), 221. 
Dolmetsch, Arnold, 366. 

Ed \vardes, George, 41. 
Elizabethan Stage Society, 219, 
366. 

Farren, Miss Nellie, 351. 
Filon, Augustin, 256. 

Harris, Sir Augustus, I. 
Hazlilt, William, 39. 

Irving, Mr. (afterwards Sir 
Henry), 3, 20, 26, 180, 235, 
383- 

Jones, Sidney, 44. 



Lamb, Charles, 285. 
Lemaitre, Jules, 115, 117. 
Lewes, George Henry, 349. 
Lewes, Dr. Louis, 40. 
Lugne-Poe, M., 114. 
Lutz, Meyer, 352. 

Matthews, Brander, 349. 
Moore, George, 98. 
Morell, H. H., 328. 

Pigott, E. F. S. (Censor), 45, 
66, 132. 

Redford, George (Censor), 75, 

123, 241, 343, 382. 
Rosse, Frederick, 253, 259. 

Sarcey, Francisque, 108, 194, 

261. 

Scott, Clement, 76. 
! Shaw, G. Bernard, 49, 115, 

215- 

Slaughter, Walter, 65. 
Sullivan, Sir Arthur, 256. 

Vitu, Auguste, 321. 

Walkley, A. B., 113, 115, 193,. 

296. 

Ward, W., 352. 
Wyndham, Charles, 337. 



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THE THEATRICAL WORLD FOR 1894 . . .3 

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PEER GYNT ........ 5 

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himself in 1807 (long out of print), and the admirable articles which he 
contributed more than twenty years later to "The Tatler," and never 
republished. 

" All students of drama and lovers of ' the play ' will welcome the 
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selected and edited by Mr. Archer and Mr. Lowe, with notes, and 
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VOL. II. 

SELECTIONS FROM THE CRITICISMS 

OF WILLIAM HAZLITT. Annotated, with an Introduction 
by WILLIAM ARCHER, and an Engraved Portrait of Hazlitt as 
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CRITICISMS OF JOHN FORSTER (hitherto uncollected), 
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THE PLAYS OF RICHARD BRINSLEY 

SHERIDAN. Edited, with Introduction, by RUDOLF DIRCKS. 

PLAYS AND DRAMATIC ESSAYS. By 

CHARLES LAMB. With an Introduction by RUDOI F DIRCKS. 

SCHILLER'S WILLIAM TELL. Trans- 

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COMEDIES BY ALFRED DE MUSSET. 

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THE INSPECTOR - GENERAL (or 

" Revizor ''). A Russian Comedy. By NIKOLAI V. GOGOL. 
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MAETERLINCK'S PELLEAS AND 

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LESSING'S NATHAN THE WISE. 

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DRAMAS AND LYRICS OF BEN 

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PLAYS OF BEAUMONTAND FLETCHER. 

(Selected. ) With an Introduction by J. I. FLETCHER. 

POEMS AND PLAYS OF OLIVER 

GOLDSMITH. With Introductory Sketch, Biographical and 
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GOETHE'S "FAUST" (BAYARD TAY- 

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ArtD Archer, William 

A6724th The theatricalSforld 1 of 

1895