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The mother and father, and one or two daugh- or one, and it is wellnigh time to lie down, if in ters of the family, come in, and take their places; summer, in the darkened alcoba, and rest for a the father quietly takes the melon before him, and few hours, or sit down and make dresses for the cuts it into slices, passing the plate round from coming Feast-day. The dinner or comida is but one to the other; all are wonderfully silent, re- a repetition of the almuerzo or breakfast; all spectful, self-controlled ; the household seems so have good appetites, both for the one and for the peaceful, so patriarchal in its simple primitiveness, other, and the girl, so delicate, in chiseled feathat the stranger feels out of place'; it is another, tures and pallid complexion and graceful form, purer, older world into which he has entered; all will quite surprise you by her healthy appetite so simple, so natural, so self-respectful, no servant- and the easy naturalness with which, with a girlism, no bells, no waiting at table of funky or beaming face, ever contented, joyous, and overfootman, or awkward cub just caught from the flowing with kindness, she takes the fruits of the stable-yard.
earth, and the simple meal. The sons saunter in, cigar in mouth, but rev- As to complaining of “a bad dinner," that erent toward their parents, and, saluting them with is a thing simply unheard of; there is no need the morning kiss of affection and of peace, take for a cook to know more than how to guisar a their slice of melon.
stew—that is enough for these simple and unsoThen the soup, or caldo, is placed carefully phisticated, but most refined and delicate, chilon the table, anywhere, and each takes a plate- dren of Nature. ful; then comes the cocida, for the richest fami- And, dinner over, there is the paseo, or walk, lies live much as the poor, and, in true, natural in the cool, dusky evening, in the accustomed Spain, there are no gourmets or gourmands; spot; and the men go to the Casino, smoke, then comes, as I have said, the cocida-meat drink coffee, and talk politics. Then, at night, stewed to rags, from which the caldo has been early, all repair to bed—the bed with its most taken, with rice, and slices of every sort of stewed costly worked linen, its fringes of lace; for even vegetable, of the luscious, aromatic, semi-pungent the humblest peasant, with a mud-floor, will, like vegetables of the country. A little dish of sau- the Albanians, have beautiful and ornate bedsage, or of bacon, follows; then bread and linen. cheese, and then fruit again, and the men drink You will, in this slight sketch of middle-class a little, but very little, wine, the women only domestic life, have been struck by its three lead
A cup of coffee and a cigarette follow; ing features—its frugality, its simplicity, and the meal is over. The clock goes half-past twelve its naturalness.
HUGH JAMES ROSE (Temple Bar).
FTER describing at length, and with much jects which the scene is about to represent. At
minuteness, the stage and scenic arrange- the back of the inclosure hangs a great curtain, ments of the Paris Opera-House, Saint-Preux, in painted in like manner, and nearly always pierced “ La Nouvelle Héloïse," adds that a prodigious and torn, that it may represent at a little distance number of machines are employed to put the gulfs on the ear or holes in the sky. Every whole spectacle in motion, that he has been in- one who passes behind this stage, or touches the vited several times to examine them, but that he curtain, produces a sort of earthquake, which has is “not curious to learn how little things are per- a double effect. The sky is made of certain formed by great means.” The little things, how- bluish rags, suspended from poles, or from cords, ever, of the stage, have always possessed much as linen may be seen hung out to dry in any interest for theatre-goers; and both in “La washerwoman's yard. The sun, for it is seen Nouvelle Héloise" and in his “Musical Diction- here sometimes, is a lighted torch in a lantern. ary,” Rousseau himself, in spite of Saint-Preux's The cars of the gods and goddesses are comdisclaimer, devotes much attention to them. posed of four rafters, secured and hung on a “Imagine," writes Julie's lover to the object of thick rope in the form of a swing or seesaw; his affection, "an inclosure fifteen feet broad, between the rafters is a coarse plank, on which and long in proportion; this inclosure is the the- the gods sit down, and in front hangs a piece of atre. On its two sides are placed at intervals coarse cloth, well dirtied, which acts the part of screens, on which are curiously painted the ob- clouds for the magnificent car. One may see toward the bottom of the machine two or three tors, and painters, are said to have been marvelfoul candles, badly snuffed, which, while the ous. Many of the Italian theatres had been congreater personage dementedly presents himself structed so as to admit of the most elaborate swinging in his seesaw, fumigate him with in- spectacular representations. cense worthy of his dignity. The agitated sea is M. Edouard Fournier, contrasting in his composed of long angular lanterns of cloth and “Vieux Neuf "the poverty of our modern stage blue pasteboard, strung on parallel spits, which representations with the richness by which those are turned by little blackguard boys. The thun- of ancient times were distinguished, sets forth der is a heavy cart, rolled over an arch, and is that the Farnesino Theatre at Parma, built for not the least agreeable instrument heard at our dramas, tournaments, and spectacles of all kinds, opera. The flashes of lightning are made of contained at least fifty thousand spectators. Serpinches of resin thrown on a flame, and the vandoni was for some time scene-painter and thunder is a cracker at the end of a fuse. The decorator at the Opera of Paris; but a stage theatre is, moreover, furnished with little square which (as Rousseau, speaking through the meditraps, which, opening at the end, announce that um of Saint-Preux, has told us) was “ fifteen feet the demons are about to issue from their cave. broad, and long in proportion,” could not afford When they have to rise into the air, little demons the Italian artist fit scope for his designs; and he of stuffed brown cloth are substituted for them, accordingly left Paris for Dresden, where Augusor sometimes real chimney-sweeps, who swing tus of Saxony (Mr. Carlyle's “Augustus the about suspended on ropes, till they are majesti. Strong ") enabled him to work on a grand scale, cally lost in the rags of which I have spoken.” and to produce pieces in which four hundred
Contemptible, however, as toward the end of mounted horsemen could maneuvre with ease. the eighteenth century was the character of stage It was not until three quarters of a century decorations, both at the Paris Opera and the later that horses, or even a single horse, were desComédie Française—and doubtless, therefore, at tined to appear on the boards of the Paris Operanearly all the French theatres—the art of pre- House. To Meyerbeer, or perhaps to Meyerbeer senting theatrical pieces suitably and magnifi- and Scribe conjointly, belongs the doubtful honor cently was not at that time by any means in its of having introduced live horses in the musical infancy. It was rather in its decadence. drama. But, long before Marguerite de Valois
During the reign of Louis XIV., the sun and rode on to the stage in the opera of “ Les Huguemoon were so well represented at the French nots,” a real horse had, in the year 1682, appeared Opera that, as Saint-Evremond informs us, the before an ordinary theatrical audience in the charAmbassador of Guinea, assisting at one of its acter of Pegasus. As poets, according to an inperformances, leaned forward in his box when human creed, make better verses for being kept those orbs appeared, and religiously saluted them. without money, so it was held that the unhappy In the days before Gluck and Mozart, the Opera Pegasus ought, until the end of his performance, at Vienna was chiefly remarkable for its size and to be deprived of oats. The sensation of hunger for the splendor of its scenery; and in a well- gave, it is said, “a certain ardor" to the moveknown description of an operatic performance at ments of the poetic courser; and the sound of Vienna, addressed by Lady Mary Wortley Mon- corn shaken in a sieve had the effect of making the tagu to Pope, we are told that “nothing of the proud but famished steed neigh, snort, and stamp kind was ever more magnificent,” that “the dec- in a style thought worthy of Pegasus himself. orations and habits cost the Emperor thirty thou- The white horse which figured in the first sand pounds sterling,” and that “the stage, built representation of “Les Huguenots," at our Royal over a very large canal, divided at the beginning Italian Opera, without being precisely a Pegasus, of the second act into two parts, discovering the had often served as hack to one of the greatest water, on which there immediately came from of English writers. It was, or had been, the different parts two fleets of little gilded vessels property of Mr. Thackeray, and answered to the that gave the representation of a naval fight." name of “ Becky Sharp.”
When opera began to be treated seriously as From the work in which Servandoni in the a form of musical art, these spectacular vanities eighteenth century introduced at the Dresden were abandoned. But, in Rousseau's time, the Theatre four hundred horsemen to the one-horse French Opera was remakable neither for its sce- opera of “Les Huguenots " the step is indeed a nery nor for its singing. In the eighteenth cen- long one. Nor does it seem to mark a progress; tury the Italians already thought more of the though, as a matter of fact, the history of the music of their operas than of the decorations to theatrical spectacle is something quite apart from which, at an earlier period, they had accorded that of the musical or of the poetical drama. the first place. The stage-effects of Servandoni Opera has never profited by being represented and Brunio, who were at once architects, sculp- with great scenic magnificence, nor by the attempts so frequently made to increase the interest and spoken to by the frequenters of these seats. of the work performed by introducing realistic or This munificent patron of operatic art—and of absolutely real accessories. The original stage operatic artists paid, in any case, a sum of Pegasus may perhaps have learned to deport twelve thousand livres, by way of compensation, himself in a becoming manner; and it has been for the loss sustained by the theatre in consentseen that precautions were taken toward that end. ing to the abolition of the banquettes. But the live goat in “ Dinorah " always misbe- At our English theatres the spectators who haved himself until, ultimately, at the Royal were allowed to take seats on the stage did not, Italian Opera, Madame Adelina Patti found her- as in France, place themselves prominently beself obliged to discard her unruly pet, and to sing fore the public. The practice, however, of adDinorah's charming cradle-song either to a pure- mitting so many visitors behind the scenes, and ly imaginary animal or to a stuffed figure. of allowing them to remain on the stage while
At a Paris theatre an attempt was once made the performance was actually going on, could not to give reality to a pastoral scene by bringing on but be attended with many inconveniences, one to the stage a flock of live sheep, which, however, of which is mentioned by Mrs. Bellamy in a wellfrightened by the lights and by the clamor of the au- known passage of her memoirs. A Mr. St. dience, lost no time in going astray, so that at the Leger, as Mrs. Bellamy passed before him on the second representation it was found necessary to stage at Dublin, kissed her on the neck, and rereplace the live sheep hy pasteboard imitations. ceived a box on the ears in return. Lord Ches
The insufficiency of the stage-arrangements terfield rose in his box and applauded. His exat the Paris Opera, when Rousseau was expatiat. ample was followed by the whole house; and, at ing on the artistic poverty of that establishment, the end of the act, Major Macartney, deputed by may be explained in some measure not only by the Viceroy, waited on Mr. St. Leger, and rethe smallness of the stage, but by the manner in quested him to make a public apology. This inwhich it was blocked up on both sides by the cident had an important effect in bringing about aristocratic section of the audience, who sat in a reform which had long been advocated. rows on both sides of the singers, while the baser Many reforms or innovations, supposed to be portion of the public stood in the pit, which, un- of the present day, are but returns to ancient til a comparatively late period, was unprovided practices. There is much in Herr Wagner's with seats. Often the occupants of the benches musical system—including the use of horses on on the stage took quite a different view of the the stage-which is not by any means so new as representation to that formed by the upstanding is generally supposed. There was novelty at one spectators in the parterre; and ideas were some time in bringing the orchestra before the public, times exchanged between the two great divisions instead of keeping it out of sight, as was done in of the public with an irritating effect, and with the early days of the drama, and quite lately at results which sometimes took the form of open the Wagner festival of Baireuth. The custom, violence. The actor or singer, under this absurd too, adopted at Baireuth, of proclaiming the aparrangement, stood in the midst of his audience; proaching representation by sound of trumpet, and when, as sometimes happened, the remarks though apparently new in the present day, is not made by those on the stage induced him to turn so new as the system of distributing programmes, round, he was accused of showing disrespect to which dates only from the time of Dryden. In the public in front of the orchestra. At times, France the custom of naming the artists in the under this arrangement, a piece was hissed by bills of the performance is still more modern, beone division, applauded by the other; it was not ing not quite a hundred years old. On the 9th of always the aristocratic section which allowed it- September, 1779, the actors of Paris held a meetself in the right. "Le Grondeur,” by Brueys and ing, at which they adopted a petition, begging Palaparet, was received with hisses from the the Mayor of Paris not to force them to print stage, with applause from the pit. Molière's their names on the programmes. It was held “Ecole des Femmes," which delighted the pit, by the profession to be for the advantage of found no favor in the eyes of the too fastidious, theatres generally that singers and actors should but not sufficiently intelligent, patrons of the remain anonymous; for if, in an important part, seats on the stage, one of whom, at each fresh a favorite artist was to be replaced on a given burst of laughter, is said to have exclaimed, with evening by an artist of no great popularity, the a shrug of the shoulders : “ Laugh away ! laugh public, it was argued, would not be prevented by away! you fools in the pit !"
such a substitution from attending. It was not The benches on the stage of the Paris Opera until 1791 that the Paris Opera adopted the cuswere abolished, at the instance of the Count de tom of announcing the performers' names. HowLauraguais, who, it has been surmised, may have ever the general interests of the stage may have felt annoyed at Sophie Arnould's being stared at, been affected, it can scarcely be said that artists,
as individuals, suffered from this change; for un- not but have known this practice to be absurd, der the old system they were frequently hissed, and in an artistic point of view most injurious. not by reason of their own incapacity alone, but It may be doubted, indeed, whether the French because the public was disappointed at finding would for so many centuries have respected the them "cast" for parts in which it had expected least respectable of the three unities, that of place, to meet actors of greater popularity.
had they not been absolutely forced to do so by On one occasion, an irritated amateur rushed the conditions under which their actors perfrom the Paris Opera-House, and began to beat formed, and by the absolute impossibility with a an unfortunate ticket-seller from whom he had narrow and crowded stage of changing the scene. purchased his place. The cause of the gentle- Although the honor of reforming stage cosman's anger was at once understood.
tume—to the extent at least of doing away with “Est-ce que je savais qu'on lâcherait le flagrant anachronisms in dress—is claimed for Poutheien?” cried the ticket-seller; for it was Lekain, it was not to a great tragedian, but to a the singing of Poutheien which had excited the very distinguished ballet-dancer that this reform opera-goer's wrath.
was really due. In the early part of the eighTalking of hisses, I may here mention that an teenth century, Roman, Greek, and Assyrian waractress of ability in her time, Mrs. Farrel, after riors appeared on the French stage in a convenbeing hissed in the part of Zaira, the heroine of tional military costume, which seemed to be con“The Mourning Bride," especially in the dying sidered suitable to warriors of all nations and of scene, rose from the stage, and, advancing to- all ages. The dress consisted of a belaced and ward the footlights, expressed her regret at not beribboned tunic, surmounted by a cuirass, and having merited the applause of the audience, and of a powdered wig, with tails a yard long, over explained that, having accepted the part only to which was worn a plumed helmet. oblige a friend, she hoped she would be excused Mademoiselle Sallé, the ballerina, who first for not playing it better. After this little speech, undertook the herculean task of rendering stage she assumed once more a recumbent position, and costume reasonable and natural, proposed, in dewas covered by the attendants with a black veil. fiance of the prevailing custom, to give to each
Such incidents as the one narrated by Mrs. person in a ballet, or other dramatic work, the Bellamy were doubtless of frequent occurrence dress of the country and period to which the subat the French theatres. Not that they always ject belonged. Mademoiselle Sallé was a friend took so serious a turn. On one occasion a dancer of Voltaire, who celebrated her in an appropriate was listening to the protestations of an elderly verse ; and she carried with her, in 1734, when lover, who was on the point even of kissing her she visited London, a letter of introduction from hand, when as he stooped down his wig caught Fontenelle to Montesquieu. Appearing at Covent in the spangles of her dress. At that moment Garden Theatre, in a ballet of her own composishe had to appear on the stage, and did so amid tion, on the subject of “Pygmalion and Galatea," general laughter and applause; for she carried Mademoiselle Sallé dressed the part of Galatea with her the old beau's wig, or scalp, as if by not in the Louis Quinze style, nor in a Polish cosway of trophy. The applause was renewed when tume, such as was afterward adopted for this a bald head was seen projecting from the wing character at the Paris Opera-House, but in drapery in search of its artificial covering. Stories, too, imitated as closely as possible from the statues are told of imprudent admirers, who, after excit- of antiquity. It was announced on the occasion ing the jealousy of a machinist or "carpenter,” of mademoiselle's benefit at Covent Garden that did not take the precaution to avoid traps, and, "servants would be permitted to keep places on as a natural consequence, found themselves, at the stage.” This, however, was an exceptional the first opportunity, shot up to the ceiling, or arrangement. Endeavors were already being sunk to the lowest depths beneath the stage. made in England to confine theatre-goers to
The abolition of the banquettes at the Paris their proper places in the front of the house ; Opera-House, though due in one sense to the and on many of the play-bills of this period the Count de Lauraguais, as already mentioned, may following notification appears: “It is desired be attributed also to the representations made that no person will take it ill their not being on the subject by the actor Lekain, who played, admitted behind the scenes, it being impossible moreover, an important part in connection with to perform the entertainment unless these pasthe reform of scenery, of costume, and of stage sages are kept clear." accessories generally.
Strange mistakes sometimes arose from the Molière, in the opening scene of “Les Fâ- author's name not being announced. At the first cheux," and Voltaire, in several of his works, performance of the tragedy of “Statira,” Pradon, ridiculed the custom of allowing spectators to the writer of that work, took his place among take their places on the stage. The actors can the audience to judge freely of its effect. The first act was a good deal hissed, and Pradon was A much more modern story of the confusion about to protest, when a friend whispered to him of facts with appearances is told, and with truth, not to make himself known, but in order to con- of a distinguished military amateur, who had unceal his identity to hiss like the others. Pradon dertaken, for one occasion only, to play the part hissed, when a mousquetaire at his side asked of “Don Giovanni.” In the scene in which the him why he hissed a piece that was excellent, profligate hero is seized and carried down to the and the work of a man who held a distinguished infernal regions, the principal character could position at court. Pradon, annoyed at his neigh- neither persuade nor compel the demons, who bor's interference, replied that he should hiss if were represented by private soldiers, to lay hands he thought fit. The mousquetaire knocked his on one whom, whatever part he might temporarihat off. Pradon struck the mousquetaire, and re- ly assume, they knew well to be a colonel in the ceiving a severe beating in return, left the theatre, army. The demons kept at a respectful distance, insulted and injured, but not mortally hurt. and, when ordered in a loud whisper to lay hands
A tragedy, in six acts, by M. de Beausobre, on their dramatic victim, contented themselves called “Les Arsacides," had been formally ac- with falling into an attitude of attention. cepted at the Comédie Française by some mis- Jules Janin, in the collection of his feuilletons take. A large sum of money was offered to the published under the title of “Histoire de la Littéauthor on condition of his withdrawing the work; rature Dramatique," tells how in the ultra-tragic but it had taken him thirty years to write the tragedy of “Tragadalbas," an actor, in the midst piece; he was now sixty years of age, and he of a solemn tirade, let a set of false teeth fall was resolved to see it played. The tragedy was from his mouth. This was nothing more or less hissed from beginning to end. The actors wished than an accident which might happen to any one. to finish the performance at the end of the second Lord Brougham is said to have suffered the same act; but the public were so amused that they in- misfortune while speaking in the House of Lords. sisted on hearing the whole. The next day the But the great tragedian showed great presence author went to the theatre, and assured the ac- of mind, and also a certain indifference to the tors that if they would give him one more re- serious nature of the work in which he was enhearsal, and, above all, would allow him to add gaged, when he coolly stooped down, picked up a seventh act, the work would have a glorious the teeth, replaced them between his jaws, and success. They prevailed upon him to accept an continued his speech. indemnity, and the piece was not played again. At some French provincial theatre, where a
The story is perhaps sufficiently well known piece was being played in which the principal of the celebrated English actor, Powell, who character was that of a blind man, the actor to sought in vain one night for a supernumerary whom this part had been assigned was unwell, named Warren, who dressed him, but who on and it seemed necessary to call upon another this occasion had undertaken to play the part of member of the company to read the part. Thus Lothario's corpse in “The Fair Penitent.” Powell, the strange spectacle was witnessed of a man who took the principal character, called out in an supposed to be totally blind, who read every word angry tone for Warren, who could not help rais- he uttered from a paper he carried in his hand. ing his head from out of the coffin, and replying, At an English performance of “William Tell," “Here, sir.” “Come, then," continued Powell
, the traditional arrow, instead of going straight not knowing where the voice came from, “or I'll from Tell's bow to the heart-perforated beforebreak every bone in your body!” Warren, be- hand—of the apple placed on the head of Tell's lieving his master to be quite capable of carrying son, stopped half way on the wire along which out his threat, sprang in his fright out of the cof- it should have traveled to its destination. fin, and ran in his winding-sheet across the stage. Everything, however, succeeded in Rossini's
Our dying heroes and heroines in the present “William Tell,” except the apple incident, as day wait to regain animation until the curtain has everything failed in Dennis's “ Appins,” except fallen. Unless, however, they are supposed to that thunder which Dennis recognized and claimed be dead, they reappear in their own private char- as his own when he heard it a few nights afteracter at the end of each dramatic scene which ward in “ Macbeth.” Yet it has never been very happens to have procured for them marked ap- difficult to represent thunder on the stage. One probation. A distinguished tenor, the late Signor of the oldest theatrical anecdotes is that of the Giuglini, being much applauded one night for his actor, who, playing the part of a bear, hears a singing in the Miserere scene of “Il Trovatore," clap of stage-thunder, and mistaking it for the quitted the dungeon in which Manrico is supposed real thing, makes the sign of the cross. to be confined, came forward to the public, bowed, and then, not to cheat the executioner, went calm- H. SUTHERLAND EDWARDS (Macmillan's ly back to prison.