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-in her day was regarded as a prodigy of genius and beauty. In 1837 she became the wife of Mr. James Mason, and soon afterward retired from the stage. In 1847, "King Henry VIII" was produced at the old Bowery Theater, New York, with Eliza Marian Trewar (Mrs. Shaw), a remarkably beautiful woman and a fine actress, as the Queen. Among American actors the most notable representative of Wolsey was that superb comedian John Gilbert. A good performance of King Henry was given by John Jack.
The loveliest embodiments of Queen Katharine that have been presented on our stage within a remembrance ranging over a period of more than fifty years were those of Helena Modjeska, 1892, and Ellen Terry, 1892-93. Madame Modjeska's delicate features, dark, sad, dreamy eyes,
was represented for Fanny Kemble's bene-
From the painting by J. Forbes-Robertson in the Garrick Club, London
off the scene, and it served to deepen the uary 28, 1878, he played the part for the pathos of a deeply affecting situation. first time in New York at Booth's TheThe actress highly valued this accessory, ater. His stage version of the play comand Lawrence Barrett, who, as I'olsey, pressed it into four acts, the third of which had acted with her, told me that when he contained only 126 lines. Later, when was leaving her company at the end of his editing his prompt-book, I induced him to engagement she earnestly besought him, if add an abridged fifth act, which appears in at any time he should ever present the play the printed copy. Scrupulous attention of “King Henry VIII,” not to introduce was given to the dressing of the play, a that song, as she was desirous that the garniture too elaborate to admit of descrippublic recollection of it, and of the im- tion here. Booth's embodiment of Wolsey pressive effect it produced, should remain was interesting and impressive, but the undisturbed in association with her em- part did not deeply stir his feelings, and bodiment of the suffering Queen. Char- he did not greatly care for it. lotte Cushman's greatest performances essentially a tragedian, and his genius rewere those of Queen Katharine, Lady quired tragedy as a vehicle. The pervaMacbeth, and Oleg Merrilies, but of the sive quality of his performance of Wolsey three she valued chiefly the first. Lady was poetic state. He presented a noble Macbeth she did not like, although her image of authority, tempered by exquisite embodiment of it was supremely fine.
grace. He denoted austere intellect and Edwin Booth acted Wolsey for the first the capability of subtle craft. No actor time on December 13, 1876, at the Arch has appeared in our time who could betStreet Theater, Philadelphia, and on Jan- ter present the aspect of ecclesiastical majesty. The points usually made by death, --can be made exceedingly effective actors of this part,- in the soliloquy about
on the stage. Robert Wilks acted the Anne Boleyn and King Henry, at "How part in 1723, and, by his clear discriminamuch, methinks, I might despise this tion between impetuosity at the beginning man!” and at Wolsey's exit, with Cam- and nobility of resignation at the close, peius,--were admirably made by him, invested it with dramatic importance. and, as usual, his elocution was superb, Johnston Forbes-Robertson, in 1892, gave especially in the parting scene with Crom- a memorably dignified, gentle, and touchwell, and when he spoke those solemn ing performance of the unfortunate noblewords:
man, presenting an image of innate aris“Had I but serv'd my God with half the zeal eloquence of the Duke's farewell speech.
tocracy, and doing especial justice to the I sery'd my king, he would not in my age
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of WinHave left me naked to my enemies.”
chester (1485-1555), in life, was a big
oted, austere, and cruel person, and in On the New York stage King Henry Shakspere's play he is represented as arrothe Eighth has been notably acted by, gant and vindictive. The part, neveramong others, Lewis Hallam, H. B. Har- theless, in the eighteenth century, was rison, Henry Wallack, Thomas S. Ham- thought to be susceptible of facetious blin, D. W. Waller, William Rufus treatment, and it was customarily allotted Blake, and Otis Skinner. The King's The King's to an eccentric or low comedian.
Ben age in the play is thirty. Mr. Skinner Johnson acted it in 1723; John Hippesmade him a young man. The stage cus- ley in 1743; William Parsons in 1777; tom has been to present him according to and Richard Suett in 1788. Mention is Holbein's portrait. Wolsey has been acted made of a player named Taswell (promphere by W. C. Macready, 1827; Charles ter at Drury Lane), who, performing W. Couldock, 1849; Charlotte Cushman, Gardiner, carried a crutch, and in follow1857; E. L. Davenport, 1858; William ing the Archbishop of Canterbury, when Creswick, 1871; Milnes Levick, 1874; making the exit, at the close of the scene George Vandenhoff, 1874; and John of the primate's discomfiture of the hostile Lane, 1892. The part was also played by council, shook that implement derisively Lawrence Barrett and by John McCul. over Cranmer's head! Parsons also used lough. Gustavus Vaughan Brooke's em- a crutch when playing Gardiner. bodiment of Wolsey was shown in Aus- The play of “King Henry VIII” is tralia, and enthusiastic encomium of it is neither symmetrical in construction nor cited from the Melbourne press by his uniform in style, and it commingles the judicious biographer, W. J. Lawrence of constituents of spectacle with those of Comber, Ireland.
drama. It is not a perfect work of art, The character of the Duke of Bucking. but it depicts with marvelous fidelity the ham,proud, self-assertive, and of an im- ruin of greatness, and it illustrates with perious temper in his prosperous day, but deep admonitory significance the mutabilsimple, manly, patient, and pathetic in his ity of fortune and the transitory lot of ultimate state of ruin and in the hour of