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Garda and the Lake of Como. But that this appetising addition the play has never there is such a Lake, and that it is glo- been represented. There is a story, howriously Idle, I am very certain.
ever, which one can only hope is incorrect, of an impresario of Oriental origin,
who supplying the necessary meal, yet STAGE BANQUETS.
subsequently fined his company all round
on the ground that they had "combined to A VETERAN actor of inferior fame once ex- destroy certain of the properties of the pressed his extreme dislike to what he was theatre.” pleased to term" the sham wine parties" There are many other plays in the course of Macbeth and others. He was aweary of which genuine food is consumed on the of the Barmecide banquets of the stage, of stage. But some excuse for the generally affecting to quaff with gusto imaginary fictitious nature of theatrical repasts is to wine out of empty pasteboard goblets, and be found in the fact that eating, during of making believe to have an appetite for performance, is often a very difficult matwooden apples and property' comestibles. ter for the actors to accomplish. Michael He was in every sense à poor player, and Kelly in his Memoirs relates that he was had often been a very hungry one. He required to eat part of a fowl in the supper took especial pleasure in remembering the scene of a bygone operatic play called A entertainments of the theatre in which the House to be Sold. Bannister at rehearsal necessities of performance, or regard for had informed him that it was very difficult rooted tradition, involved the setting of to swallow food on the stage. Řelly was real edible food before the actors. At the incredulous, however. “But strange as it same time he greatly lamented the limited may appear,” he writes, “ I found it a fact number of dramas in which these precious that I could not get down a morsel. My opportunities occurred.
embarrassment was a great source of fun He had grateful memories of the rather to Bannister and Suett, who were both obsolete Scottish melodrama of Cramond gifted with the accommodating talent of Brig; for in this work old custom de stage feeding. Whoever saw poor Suett manded the introduction of a real sheep's the lawyer in No Song no Supper, tucking head with accompanying “trotters.” He in his boiled leg of lamb, or in the Siege told of a North British manager who was of Belgrade, will be little disposed to wont-especially when the salaries he was question my testimony to the fact. From supposed to pay were somewhat in arrear, this account, however, it is manifest that and he desired to keep his company in good the difficulty of “stage feeding," as Kelly humour and, may be, alive-to produce this calls it, is not invariably felt by all actors play on Saturday nights. For some days alike. And probably, although the appebefore the performance the dainties that tites of the superior players may often fail were destined to grace it underwent ex- them, the supernumerary or the represenhibition in the green-room. A label bore tative of minor characters could generally the inscription : " This sheep's head will contrive to make a respectable meal if appear in the play of Cramond Brig on the circumstances of the case supplied the next Saturday night. God save the King." opportunity. " It afforded us all two famous dinners," The difficulty that attends eating on the reveals our veteran. “We had a large pot stage does not, it would seem, extend to of broth made with the head and feet; drinking, and sometimes the introduction these we ate on Saturday night; the broth of real and potent liquors during the perwe had on Sunday.” So in another Scottish formance has lead to unfortunate results. play, the Gentle Shepherd of Allan Ram- Thus Whincop, who, in 1747, published a say, it was long the custom on stages north tragedy called Scanderbeg, adding to it of the Tweed to present a real haggis, “a List of all the Dramatic Authors, with although niggard managers were often some Account of their Lives,” &c., describes tempted to substitute for the genuine dish a curious occurrence at the Theatre Royal a far less savoury if more wholesome mess in 1693. A comedy entitled The Wary of oatmeal. But a play more famous still Widow, or Sir Noisy Parrot, written by for the reality of its victuals, and better one Higden, and now a very scarce book, known to modern times, was Prince Hoare's had been produced; but on the first remusical farce, No Song, no Supper. Apresentation," the author had contrived steaming hot boiled leg of lamb and tur- so much drinking of punch in the play nips may be described as quite the leading that the actors almost all got drunk, and character in this entertainment. Without | were unable to get through with it, so that
the audience was dismissed at the end of I cut a slice when I'm having my own tea, the third act." Upon subsequent perform at home, and bring it down with me. " ances of the comedy no doubt the manage- Rather among the refreshments of the ment reduced the strength of the punch, side-wings than of the stage must be or substituted some harmless beverage, counted that reeking tumbler of “very toast-and-water perhaps, imitative of that brown, very hot, and very strong brandyardent compound so far as mere colour and water," which, as Doctor Doran rewas concerned. There have been actors, lates, was prepared for poor Edmund however, who have refused to accept the Kean, as, towards the close of his career, innocent semblance of vinons liquor sup- he was wont to stagger from before the plied by the management, and especially footlights, and, overcome by his exertions when, as part of their performance, they and infirmities, to sink, “a helpless, speechwere required to simulate intoxication. Aless, fainting, bent-up mass,” into the chair certain representative of Cassio was wont placed in readiness to receive the shatto take to the theatre a bottle of claret tered, ruined actor. With Kean's protofrom his own cellar, whenever he was type in acting and in excess, George called upon to sustain that character. It Frederick Cooke, it was less a question of took possession of him too thoroughly, he stage or side-wing refreshments than of said, with a plausible air, to allow of his the measure of preliminary potation he had affecting inebriety after holding an empty indulged in. In what state would he come goblet to his lips, or swallowing mere toast- down to the theatre ? Upon the answer to and-water or small beer. Still his pre- that inquiry the entertainments of the night caution had its disadvantages. The real greatly depended.
The real greatly depended. “I was drunk the night claret he consumed might make his intem- before last,” Cooke said on one occasion; perance somewhat too genuine and accu- “ still I acted, and they hissed me. Last rate; and his portrayal of Cassio's speedy night I was drunk again, and I didn't act, return to sobriety might be in snch wise they hissed all the same. There's no knowvery difficult of accomplishment. So there ing how to please the public.” A fine actor, have been players of dainty taste, who, Cooke was also a genuine humorist, and required to eat in the presence of the au- it must be said for him, although a like dience, have elected to bring their own excuse has been perhaps too often pleaded provisions, from some suspicion of the for such failings as his, that his senses gave quality of the food provided by the ma- way, and his brain became affected after nagement. We have heard of a clown very slight indulgence. From this, howwho, entering the theatre nightly to under- ever, he could not be persuaded to abstain, take the duties of his part, was observed and so made havoc of his genins, and terto carry with him always a neat little paper minated, prematurely and ignobly enough, parcel.' What did it contain? bystanders his professional career. inquired of each other. Well, in the comic Many stories are extant as to performscenes of pantomime it is not unusual to ances being interrupted by the entry of insee a very small child, dressed perhaps as nocent messengers bringing to the players, a charity-boy, crossing the stage, bearing in the presence of the audience, refreshin his hands a slice of bread-and-butter. ments they had designed to consume beThe clown steals this article of food and hind the scenes, or sheltered from observadevours it; whereupon the child, crying tion between the wings. Thus it is told of aloud, pursues him hither and thither about one Walls, who was the prompter in a Scotthe stage. The incident always excites tish theatre, and occasionally appeared in much amusement; for in pantomimes the minor parts, that he once directed a maidworld is turned upside-down, and moral of-all-work, employed in the wardrobe deprinciples have no existence; cruelty is partment of the theatre, to bring him a gill only comical, and outrageous crime the of whisky. The night was wet, so the girl, best of jokes. The paper parcel borne to not caring to go out, intrusted the comthe theatre by the clown under mention mission to a little boy who happened to be enclosed the bread-and-butter that was to standing by. The play was Othello, and figure in the harlequinade. “You see I'm Walls played the Duke. The scene of the a particular feeder,” the performer ex- senate was in course of representation. plained. “I can't eat bread-and-butter of | Brabantio had just stated : any one's cutting. Besides, I've tried it, and they only afford salt butter. I can't
My particular grief stand that. So as I've got to eat it and
Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature,
That it epgluts and swallows other sorrows, no mistake, with all the house looking at me, And it is still itself,
and the Duke, obedient to his cue, had in- maker, and are designed for what are quired:
known as the “spill and pelt” scenes of Why, what's the matter ?
the pantomime. · They represent juicy when the little boy appeared upon the legs of mutton, brightly streaked with red stage, bearing a pewter measure, and ex- and white, quartern loaves, trussed fowls, plained, “It's just the whisky, Mr. Walls; turnips, carrots, and cabbages, strings of and I could na git ony at fourpence, so sausages, fish of all kinds, sizes, and yer awn the landlord a penny; and he colours; they are to be stolen and pocketed says it's time you was payin' what's doon by the clown, recaptured by the policeman, i the book.” The senate broke up amidst and afterwards wildly whirled in all directhe uproarious laughter of the audience. tions in a general “ rally” of all the cha
Real macaroni in Masaniello, and real racters in the harlequinade. They are but champagne in Don Giovanni, in order that adroitly painted canvas stuffed with straw Leporello may have opportunities for or sawdust. No doubt the property-maker “comic business” in the supper scene, are
sometimes views from the wings with con. demanded by the customs of the opera- siderable dismay the severe
sage to which tic stage. Realism generally, indeed, is his works of art are subjected. “He's an exgreatly affected in the modern theatre. cellent clown, sir,” one such was once heard The audiences of to-day require not merely to say, regarding from his own stand-point that real water shall be seen to flow from the performance of the jester in question. a pump, or to form a cataract, but that "He don't destroy the properties as some real wine shall proceed from real bottles, do." Perhaps now and then, too, a minor and be fairly swallowed by the performers. actor or a supernumerary, who has derided In Paris, a complaint was recently made “the sham wine parties of Macbeth and that, in a scene representing an entertain- others," may lament the scandalous waste ment in modern fashionable society, the of seeming good victuals in a pantomime. champagne supplied was only of a second- But, as a rule, these performers are not rate quality. Through powerful opera- fanciful on this, or, indeed, on any other glasses the bottle labels could be read, and subject. They are not to be deceived by the the management's sacrifice of truthfulness illusions of the stage; they are themselves to economy was seve
verely criticised. The too much a part of its shams and artifices. audience resented the introduction of the Property legs of mutton are to them not cheaper liquor, as though they had them- even food for reflection, but simply "proselves been constrained to drink it. perties," and nothing more. Otherwise, a
As part also of the modern regard for somewhat too cynical disposition might be realism may be noted the "cooking-scenes," unfortunately encouraged; and the poor which have frequently figured in recent plays. player, whose part requires him to be lavish The old conjuring trick of making a pud- of bank-notes of enormous amount upon the ding in a hat never won more admiration stage, and the hungry super,” constrained than is now obtained by such simple expe- to maltreat articles of food which he would dients as frying bacon or sausages, or prize dearly if they were but real, might be broiling chops or steaks upon the stage in too bitterly affected by noting the grievous sight of the audience. The manufacture discrepancy existing between their privato of paste for puddings or pies by one of and their public careers —the men they are the dramatis persone has also been very and the characters they seem to be. favourably received, and the first glimpse of the real rolling-pin and the real Hour to be thus employed, has always been attended
CASTAWAY. with applause. In a late production, the
BY THE AUTHOR OF “BLACK SHEEP," "WRECKED IN opening of a soda-water bottle by one of the characters was generally regarded as quite the most impressive effect of the representation.
CHAPTER VIII. COMBINATION AND CONSPIRACY. At Christmas time, when the shops are MRS. ENTWISTLE lying on her sofa, which so copiously supplied with articles of food —there being no longer anything worth as to suggest a notion that the world is looking out at-had been moved away
from content to live upon half-rations at other the window and wheeled opposite the fire, seasons of the year, there is extraordinary was gazing into the glowing coais, and storing of provisions at certain of the seeing in them dreary scenes, which theatres. These are not edible, however; harmonised with the gloomy state of her they are due to the art of the property- mental reflection, for Mrs. Entwistle was
PORT,” &c. &c.
in a very low condition of mind and body. world looked upon with pity, and half her Her maid Willis, whose life was rendered a little world regarded with contempt, had burden to her by the perpetual and always enjoyed a wealth of quiet happiness, such contradictory orders which she was receive as was granted but to few of her friends. ing from the invalid, could have vouched From the day she told her story, Gerald's for this; and so could Doctor Asprey, who manner had altered towards her. He was was in such constant request, and had his not less affectionate; on the contrary, valuable time so much intruded upon by whenever he was with her she could see his eccentric patient, that he was compelled that he strove to pay her constant atten. to speak out frankly, and to come to an tion, and to be specially loving, both in understanding with her.
language and manner, whenever he ad“ Your guineas, my dear Mrs. Entwistle,” dressed her. But the young man said the great physician, blandly," are as changed, changed in every way, and, as good to me as any one else's, and if I Mrs. Entwistle thought, very much for the thought I earned them honestly I should worse. The society into which she had not have the smallest scruple in taking introduced him, and in which he had them. Further, I am bound to say that taken such delight, had no longer any were I, as I was some years ago, a strug- charm for him. Formerly his absences from gling man, to whom fees are an object, home were comparatively rare, and on his my scruples would trouble me infinitely return he would generally bring with him less than they do now. But the fact is, some anecdote of the company in which there is a large number of persons anxious his time had been passed; now he was for my advice, to whom I can be of real away constantly from morning till night, service, while to you I can do no possible and, as regarded most of his actions, was good. Your bodily health is certainly no silent as the grave. worse than it was previous to your last
one subject, however, on attack, no worse, that is to say, in itself. which Gerald had spoken to his aunt, and If you suffer yourself to be preyed upon by spoken frankly. That girl, whose acaný mental disquietude, you at once put quaintance he had made when he was yourself ont of the range of my art. I amongst those theatrical people, and whom cannot minister to a mind diseased, my he had met in London on her way to some dear Mrs. Entwistle, nor should I presume low employment which she had-he had to suggest to you where you would most spoken about her. When he first menprobably receive the necessary consolation.” tioned his accident of encountering with
Thanks, doctor, for your reticence," Rose in the street, narrating at the same said Mrs. Entwistle, with a faint smile. time how he had known her as a child, and “A man of less savoir faire would certainly given her drawing-lessons at Wexeter, Mrs. have recommended me to apply to the Entwistle gave no hint of objection to his incumbent of the parish. However, my renewal of the acquaintance, but, on the mental disquietude, as you term it, is not contrary, expressed a wish that Rose of any great moment, and I will take care should be brought to call upon her, and not to pester you causelessly any more.” patronised her, as we have seen. After
In declaring that the trouble which preyed she had received a visit from the young upon her mind was of no great moment, Mrs. girl, and noticed her rare and delicate Entwistle scarcely spoke the truth. Ever beauty, her simple self-possession, and the since she had revealed to Gerald the history general air of refinement and high breed. of her early days, and of the manner in ing which characterised her, more espewhich, for the sake of gratifying her own cially after she had marked the effect which longings for vengeance, she had practised these charms had unmistakably produced upon his father's jealousy, the aspect of upon Gerald, it occurred to Mrs. Entwistle life had changed to her. Other persons that certain relations might eventually would have found such a life passed on an arise between the young people, of which invalid's sofa, whence, as she knew well, she would be supposed to be in ignorance, she would never be carried but to her but which would necessarily prevent her grave, sufficiently blank and colourless. from receiving Miss Pierrepoint in her But from the day on which Gerald Har. house. Mrs. Entwistle was a woman of the dinge first took up his abode with her, to world, and of that world which now-a-day that on which she saw the tear steal down is not reticent in its remarks about matters his face, as he listened to the story of his which our ancestors discreetly ignored; so mother's wrongs, the woman, whom all the she took an opportunity of mentioning what
she bad in her mind to Gerald, and re- better disposed towards the person of ceived a reply which, both in words and his choice. She felt herself in duty bound meaning, was stronger and sterner than to request Gerald to bring Rose constantly anything which she had yet heard from to her house, by which means she herself
Mrs. Entwistle shrugged her saw far more of her nephew than she othershoulders ; her nephew was a purist, she wise would have done. For the lovesupposed, and the young men of the pre- making between Gerald and Rose at this sent day, if he were to be taken as an ex- period of their career was by no means so ample, were notably different from those of offensive as such proceedings are generally her time. His friendship with this young supposed to be; and their meetings were girl was, she supposed, one of those queer usually held in Mrs. Entwistle's boudoir, fancies which were part and parcel of his where they sat by the side of the invalid's artistic nature. It never occurred to her sofa. Mrs. Entwistle had bitterly opposed for one moment that George Heriot, no Gerald's plan for going down to Springlonger an outcast, but, though not yet re- side, and acquainting his father with the stored to his position and his name, yet details of the story which she had told him, well placed before the world as her adopted not merely because it would incense Sir heir, conld ever intend to offer marriage to Geoffry against her and place her character Rose Pierrepoint, an unknown person, who in a most disadvantageous light—as for earned her living by her own labour, and that she cared nothing—but the result of when Gerald announced to her that he had the interview, whatever it might be, might proposed, and been accepted by this same have the effect of hastening Gerald's maryoung person," and was only awaiting riage. For if Sir Geoffry, believing what the result of his interview with his father was told him, and repenting of his former to carry the project into execution, Mrs. rigorous conduct, clasped his son to his heart Entwistle was furious. It is probable that and reinstated him in his position, he would in her rage she might have ordered her be too glad in the excess of his joy to agree nephew to quit the house, had not Gerald to anything his son wished, and to accept in the same speech announced to her, with as daughter-in-law no matter who might all expressions of gratitude for her past be proposed. While, on the other hand, kindness, his intention of being solely self- should the attempt at reconciliation prove reliant for the future, and of seeking his a failure, there was the chance that Gerald fortune in a foreign country. Then her love in his fury would instantly ally Rose's fate for the boy, which had been growing up with his own, and forgetful of the promise for the last few years, increasing year by which he had made to remain with his year as his manhood developed, asserted aunt until her death, would start off with itself with fullest force, and in the bitter- his wife to seek their fortune in a new ness of her despair at the idea of part- land. And although her fears had not been ing from him, the proud woman humbled verified, Mrs. Entwistle was still not withherself to pour forth a plaint which no one out alarm. She had seen how much Gerald could have listened to unmoved. Why had taken to heart the rebuff and the insult should his marriage, which ought to be a he had received. She had noticed-she joy to them both, prove a source of sorrow could not help noticing and grieving over to her? What necessity was there for him --the change in his appearance and manner, to go away? Could he not bring his wife the loss of the fire and energy
which to that house, which for years he had formerly characterised his every thought looked upon as his home, where she should and movement, the dull, moody, brooding be received as a daughter, and of which state into which he had fallen, and from she should be made the mistress ? Ah, which even Rose's companionship somewould he not wait by her a very, very times failed to rouse him. He had told her little time longer, until-until--and then —for in all his communications with her her voice broke, and Gerald, profoundly Gerald was consistently frank—that his touched, whispered that her wishes should one great aim in life was to be reconciled to
his father, that he had told Rose as much, But when this excited emotion, which and that she had given him fresh bope. It lasted for a very short period with Mrs. appeared that Rose — how, or through Entwistle, had passed away, she found whom, she would not say—had the means herself not one whit more inclined to ap- of bringing certain influence to bear upon
of what she held to be her nephew's Sir Geoffry Heriot, and this influence was intention of mésalliance, not one atom to be strongly exercised in Gerald's favour.