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gauntlets. The doublet was open at the in that scene, Edwin Forrest became ludibosom, showing a white, ruffled shirt.
Booth even made the physical deThe Order of the Garter was worn on formity of Richard-deformity which in the left leg. The face was, as usual in his embodiment was slight-only another that actor's scheme of "make-up," pro- attribute to interest and attract. In that vided with a mustache and a chin-tuft, scene he was an image of incarnate beauty, and it bore no resemblance to any portrait at once gentle and fiery, passionate and of the actual Richard. In the battle-scene tender, brilliant, melancholy, eager, satirihe wore spangled armor. One of For- cal, frank, loving, and noble. The brilrest's professional satellites, at one time, liant, icy contempt and scorn with which was an eccentric actor named Andrew he spoke the words: “Was ever woman in Jackson Allen (1776-1853), who owned this humor wooed? was ever woman in and used a patent for ornamenting leather this humor won?" are beyond description. with gold and silver, and on the occasion Even to remember that performance, as of some little dispute with Forrest he given when he was in his prime, is to be astonished that formidable tragedian by the thrilled and almost frightened; and that inquiry: "What in — would your Rich- performance was all the more admirable ard be without my spangles.”
because it was entirely a calculated, preThe Richard of Shakspere, like the pared, controlled work of art. Never have lago of that same marvelous delineator of I been more startled in a theater than human nature, knows himself, and for when, having one evening entered the himself he wears no disguise. His mien, house after the play had begun, I took a when he is communing with other per- place in the front row and at the extreme sons, is habitually that of specious duplic- verge of the audience, and Booth suddenly ity until his ambition is achieved. When perceived me,
perceived me, as Lady Anne spoke the alone he does not scruple to avouch him
words: “Come, now, toward Chertsey self a villain and to exult in his villainy with your holy load." Standing so that That distinction was scrupulously made one side of his face was not visible to and shown by Edwin Booth, whose as- others in the audience, he bestowed upon sumption of hypocritical goodness when me a cheerful grimace and wink, and inacting Richard, whether in the Cibber stantly flashed toward the center, exclaimversion or in the original, - which, suita- ing: “Stay, you that bear the corse, and bly cut, he restored in 1877,-- was indeed set it down!” He was indeed a marveso deftly ingratiating that it might have lous actor: "When comes there such andeceived the most astute observer, and other?" whose contrasted wickedness was so frank, Henry Irving's embodiment of Richard, entire, and cheerfully malignant as to be often and brilliantly exhibited in England, literally diabolical. The soft, sweet, re- - he produced the tragedy, according to signed, melancholy tone in which he said Shakspere, at the London Lyceum, Januto Catesby, in the scene with the Lord ary 25, 1877,- was never fully shown beMayor, "Call him again," made the use fore an American audience; but on one of deceit artistically beautiful, and caused occasion (November 24, 1883) he acted in the listener a strange, indescribable, the part in the opening scene, and afforded commingling of horror, amusement, and a signal evidence of his perfect comprehenadmiration, while the note of audacious sion of the spirit alike of the character and blasphemy and sardonic scorn in his of the play. The scene displayed a street ejaculation, “Let not the heavens hear of old London, with many quaint buildthese telltale women rail on the Lord's ings and the Tower in the background, anointed,” caused a shudder. I would also and was brilliantly illumined, as with the here record my testimony that Edwin brightest of summer suns.
The buildings Booth was the only actor I ever saw who were gaily decorated. The air made not only possible, but probable, the flooded with the melodious clangor of wooing and winning of Lady Anne; and many silver chimes. Upon that brilliant furthermore, he was, as nearly as I can scene, Glo'ster, clothed in bright raiment, ascertain from careful study and inquiry, entered through an archway, and paused the only actor of Richard who accom- and glanced about and listened to the plished that effect. Compared with him merry bells before he began to speak in
tones of airy mockery the soliloquy meanor and proceedings when Glo'ster prompted by those surroundings:
was in company with other persons that
might have imposed upon anybody, and "Now is the winter of our discontent
there was a gay, soaring complacency in Made glorious summer by this sun of York.” his demeanor when alone that conveyed a
complete impression of incarnate wickedBarry Sullivan, who seems to have been ness delighted with itself. He acted in
considered in London as “an outsider,” Cibber's version, which he had modified. but who was an actor of exceptional abil. He was common in fiber, and his delivity, gave a remarkably telling perform-ery was at times spasmodic, but he preance of Richard-consistent, sustained, sented a formidable and distinct image uniform, and effective. Genius he did of an ambitious, cruel, evil, crafty, dannot possess.
Knowledge of his art he gerous man, and he lit up the scene with did possess, in a remarkable degree, and flashes of illuminating energy. Sullivan he notably evinced it in his excellent ex- was the actor whom Edwin Forrest, as pression of the duplicity of Richard's an auditor of his Hamlet, publicly incharacter and conduct.
sulted in a Philadelphia theater, as he had atmosphere of plausibility about his de- publicly insulted llacready in Edinburgh,
by jeering at some of his “business,” and Many years ago James Booth Roberts to whom, in retaliation, the naturally and was conspicuous in the part, till he laid it properly offended performer, taking in- aside to identify himself with that of stant advantage of a fortuitous opportu- Mephistopheles. Roberts was a man of nity, applied, by a pointed gesture, the diminutive figure but dignified bearing, line: "That great baby you see there is and a scrupulous stickler for correctness not yet out of his swaddling clouts." and decorum—such a man as mischievous
Among the many actors who have pre- youths would naturally select as a subject sented Richard on the American stage for a practical joke. The great comedian mention should be made of John Hodg- Joseph Jefferson, although in his maturity kinson, Lewis Hallam, Charles Kean, he strongly condemned the practice of Henry James Finn, Sheridan Knowles, “guying," did not in his youth wholly Charles H. Eaton, James W. Wallack, abstain from that form of frolic. Thus, E. L. Davenport, William Creswick, G. V. he told me, when on one occasion he Brooke, Wyzeman Marshall, T. S. Ham- was playing Catesby to the Richard of blin, Edwin Adams, James E. Murdoch, Roberts, he rushed upon the battle-scene, Lawrence Barrett, Thomas Keene, Rich- vociferating, instead of the correct line, ard Mansfield, and Robert Mantell. "Behind yonder thicket stands a swift horse," "Behind yonder swifet stands a States. His ideal was that of the “laughthick horse !" "Mr. Roberts," he added, ing devil," and in the exposition of it he “was much incensed, and he rebuked me, indicated a novel theory. Richard is nineafter the play, in strong language. I told teen years old when he kills King Henry, him that I was very sorry and had not in the Tower, and thirty-three years old meant to misread the line; that it had when he is slain, on Bosworth Field. His been repeated to me in transposed form, progress in evil, the actor maintained, and I had become confused.
I do not
should therefore be exhibited, each of his
believe you, sir!' rejoined the angry trage- murderous deeds being made to react upon dian. "You are a damned mischievous him mentally and physically, and the efyoung man.
fect of that reaction being shown in gradThe most recent artistic triumph ual but distinct changes of condition, asgained in representation of Richard the pect, expression, and voice. Pursuant to Third was that of Richard Mansfield. that theory, he made Richard youthful That remarkable actor made for himself and gay at the beginning, and caused him a stage version of Shakspere's tragedy and to become grave, stern, massive, ruthless, produced it in a costly and magnificent and terrible, as the time lapsed and the setting at the Globe Theater, London, on action proceeded, till at the last premaMarch 16, 1889, then acting Richard for turely old, he was seared, haggard, agothe first time. Later he made his per- nized, desperate, yet undaunted. One of formance known throughout the United the effective devices of pictorial stage business invented and employed by him was out of Shakspere's text, the opportunities the use of a ray of red light which, stream- of acting thus provided, and the actor's ing through the stained glass of a window capability of improving those opportuniin the throne-room, when the King was ties. The resistless charm of the authensitting alone upon the chair to which he tic theatrical character of Richard, as dishad made his way by murder, fell upon tinguished from the authentic figure of his hand and seemed to bathe it with history, consists in the union of colossal blood, causing him for a moment to shrink will with instantaneous promptitude of and shudder. The elder Booth and some action. He has been conceived and poractors who have followed his example de- trayed by the poet as a complete incarnanoted the entrance of the iron of remorse tion of that malign force in Nature which into the soul of Richard at the moment of never sleeps, never rests, never pauses his mother's denunciation of him. Mans- the force of evil, provided in the mysterifield showed it as early as that scene ous scheme of things for the production of upon the throne. The most effective busi- good. Richard affords startling contrasts, ness he employed was that of mistaking either moving furtively or braving all opCatesby for yet another apparition, when position and trampling upon everything. that officer suddenly enters at the culmi- He is the embodied energy of an infernal nation of the dream scene. No one, I spirit. Twice only is he checked, and think, who ever heard it, will ever forget then for only a moment. But, notwiththe shrill, agonized sound of Mansfield's standing all his wicked power, Richard is voice when he spoke the words: “Zounds! human, and though he cannot be reached who 's there!” Indeed, the whole of his from without he is finally struck from action and delivery in that scene was mag- within. The regnancy of his indomitable nificently expressive of tumultuous an- intellect, which carries him so high, and guish, horror, and frenzy, the haunted which should foresee, protect, and lead murderer leaping wildly from his couch, him to ultimate victory, crumbles in the whirling an imaginary sword, and plung. Aame of its own wickedness. Any expert, ing forward as if in battle with frightful capable actor would always have an audiforms invulnerable to mortal blows, and ence as Richard. Given an actor who can stumbling to his knees, uttering in an ap- provide that personality with a fair and palling shrick the words, "Jesu, have winning exterior and can display it by mercy!”
brilliant expression, -an actor who posThe subject of King Richard the Third sesses the lithe body, the luminous face, is one of the most interesting in all the the piercing eyes, the capacious, sonorous long and various annals of English history, voice, the ruling brain, the fire, the terriand its presentation in the theater should ble tragic power, and the consummate art be encouraged. False as Shakspere's trag- which sometimes are combined in one man, edy is to history, a "consummation de- as they were in Edwin Booth in his prime, voutly to be wished” is a judicious re- and Shakspere's Richard the Third furvision of it and such a restoration of it nishes one of the greatest of all opportunito our stage as would compel abandon- ties that even such a marvelously gifted ment of the Cibber hash. Great as some actor can seize - the opportunity to interof the performances of Richard were that pret and make actual in the theater a were given by the old actors in Cibber's thrilling, terrific conception of intellectual play, it is established by careful exami- power perverted to the service of evil and nation that the greatness of them was at the same time convincingly to demonchiefly due to the powerful passages of strate its utter futility when at last and the original text, selected and preserved inevitably it dashes itself against the adaby Cibber, in the mosaic which he made
mant of Divine Law.