Puslapio vaizdai

prise to her to learn, a few days later, that more suitable resting-place. Gone are the instead of writing a will, the lawyer had walnut monuments, the majestic state-bed secured from its new owner a ten-year of his forefathers, and their places are lease for her mother on the house that had usurped by slender furniture of cream been hers.

enamel, painted in rosebuds, which Caro"It should never have been allowed !" line finds distinctly trivial. Caroline protested to sympathetic friends. Indeed, the entire effect of the house is "I blame the lawyer greatly. Poor, dear somewhat trivial; muslin ruffles at the mother's mind, you know! It is not as if windows, plants in gay red pots, flowered she could possibly live to go back there, walls; nothing really handsome and subthough why she should wish to I cannot stantial and suitable for a judge's widow, imagine. It seems a little, just a little, with the exception, possibly, of the old ungrateful, does n't it? Fancy being ham- pianoforte, recovered from a second-hand pered with a ten-year lease!"

shop, whose mild, uncertain tinkle may be But for once Caroline found herself in heard at all hours by the passer-by. error. The widow seemed to have every Caroline has been forced to the relucintention of living to go back there. In tant conclusion that her mother herself is fact, two days after the lease was signed, somewhat trivial; not a woman of deep she rejected her dainty luncheon-tray in feeling, perhaps, certainly lacking all toto, and demanded two broiled lamb- sense of the fitness of things. Fancy chops.

preferring, at sixty-odd, to live alone (ex

cept for servants), in a street where there The judge's ghost, if it ever cares to are shops; to wear white muslin instead of revisit mundane haunts, must be rather decent crape; to eat half one's meals out startled by the changes that have taken of doors in view of the entire neighborplace in its former dwelling. Outwardly, hood-and such a neighborhood! Noisy the house behind the elms is much the children always about, women in gingham same. Its new roof does not vary by a aprons calling pleasantries over the back shingle from its old roof. Only a few fence, amorous couples of the vicinity conlines of mortar, whiter than the rest, show ducting their affairs in the garden, quite where bricklayers have repaired certain as if it were a people's park. No reserve, ravages upon its dignified front, and these no privacy, none of that gradual fading the woodbine, growing green again from out of life which is to be expected of stout, undaunted roots, is doing its best to bereaved aged ladies. The judge's widow, cover. Nevertheless, the changes are in fact, is growing plump. there, noticeable as much to the ear as to Only Solomon remains to uphold the

dignity of the establishment-Solomon, All day long the voices of children echo who during his master's lifetime managed through the house, coming not only from to absorb something of the judicial manthe garden, but from the nursery up-stairs, ner, now enhanced by an increasing portwhere the daughter of the shabby lawyer liness of person and stiffness of carriage. next door teaches kindergarten, with the He receives Caroline on her conscientious aid of Bo Peep and her tailless flock and daily visits with a certain stately enthuthe jumping cow's.

siasm reserved for his equals, tempered As for the judge's bedroom, his ghost somewhat, however, by the natural conmust turn from it in dismay toward a descension of the victor.

the eye.

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Part Four: Racine and Shakspere in French in France


HAKSPERE was not regularly acted

anywhere in London, although now and then one of his plays would be given as a “great production.” The first time I saw Sir Henry Irving was in his revival of "Romeo and Juliet." The scenery was gorgeous, and much of the acting was fine; but when we went around on the stage at the end of the play, and Sir Henry, benign and courteous to a young and unimportant beginner, asked me how I liked his performance, I answered energetically:

"Oh, Mr. Irving, I wish I had seen you in something else."

My friends, startled, tried to jump into the breach to explain my speech away, but Sir Henry put them back with a gesture,

and said, "She is right; the part does n't suit me at all."

Then he turned to me, with the eagerness and simplicity of a boy, and talked with me about the production. Several times during coming years he asked me to play at the Lyceum in Shaksperian or other poetical plays, but, unfortunately, on account of previous engagements or for other reasons, I could never do so.

Another part in which I did not care for Irving was Macbeth. We discussed that thoroughly, too, a few years later, after my return from France. On that occasion, also, with the modesty of the truly great, he admitted he had not projected the part as he would have desired, but that it interested him deeply. As we


sat talking, he began to recite speeches simple and straightforward appreciation and whole scenes of it, I answering him. of his own value, and said that he was When we first began to talk, he did not sure my acting with him in Paris in that see Lady Macbeth at all as I did, but way would be worth my while from every later, when I did battle for my view, he point of view.. said: "No one but Siddons could act such Both Mrs. Tennant and her daughter, a conception of the part. Of course, if Lady Stanley, urged the suggestion, and I you could, you would have a right to your promised to let M. Coquelin know my statue,” alluding to the statue of Sarah decision by letter to Paris, as he was reSiddons, the greatest of English tragedi- turning to France by the next morning's ans, which stands in Westminster Abbey. train, having finished his London engage

One of the most cherished friends of ment. the Tennants of Whitehall was the great- As soon as my friends in London knew est of all French actors of comedy, the of my decision to go, everything possible late Constant Coquelin, the style of whose was done to hinder me; it was represented art was, in its way, as classical as the to me that I was wrecking a brilliant cawriting of Molière, whose most perfect I very nearly gave up the advenexponent Coquelin was. I had never met ture, and perhaps might have done so but him, though he had seen me act in Lon- that a deep personal sorrow which had don in the part of Hester Prynne in my struck across my life at that time caused own production of a dramatization of me to desire the distraction of a new and Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter," in which more absorbing occupation. Mr., now Sir, Johnstone Forbes-Rob- Many kind friends sent me letters of ertson was playing Dimmesdale, both per- recommendation to persons in France. formances winning high praise. Some Acting upon friendly advice, I decided to business caused me to make a quick trip make my home with some French family to New York. In my absence Mrs. Ten- during my studies in Paris, so as to learn nant sent repeatedly to my mother, who French ways of thought to the core, and was with me in London at the time and speak, write, think, and live French durwho remained there during my journey to ing that period. Many were the letters America, inquiring the date of my return, given me by friends to families of distincand asking to be apprised of it at once. tion, with injunctions to look kindly after On my return, I found awa

But chance at the last moment led urgent message from Mrs. Tennant, ask- me blindly, as it were, to persons who ing my mother and me to dine with her were strangers to me, who yet became, that same night, hinting at an important throughout all my stay in France, my matter that she desired to make known "famille de France," as they called themby word of mouth. At her house that selves, -my mother, my sisters, my old evening I saw M. Coquelin for the first grandmother, -and never

was there a time off the stage. In introducing him to more devoted and loyal home circle than me, Mrs. Tennant said: “Sit there on this exquisite French family of the old that sofa, and let M. Coquelin tell you régime became to me. what he has to say.

Do not answer until At a house where I was dining on the you have thought well of what he says; evening before my departure from Lonit is for your great good.”

don to Paris my hostess asked me casually I began to expect some valuable criti- if I could deliver a message in Paris for cism of my work, but he explained to me her to the Marquise Le Mulier. that he expected to open a theater of his Before starting on my rounds to call own in Paris, and asked me if I would be on the persons, a family of rank and of willing to play there in French with him. some literary distinction, with whom cerHe thought I could soon make my accent tain English friends had hoped I might good enough for that purpose. He had a find a home during my stay in France, I

me an


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made it my duty to deliver the message Pursuing the old dictum, "When in I had brought to the Marquise Le Mulier. Rome, do as the Romans do," I put myI left the ladies who accompanied me in self into the hands of my French family, the carriage, and alone went up the five and asked them to advise me as if our flights of stairs to the marquise's apart- pleasant fiction were actually true and I ment.

were their daughter in very fact. In that The family consisted of the old mar


I saw life from the French point of quise; her daughter, Mme. Germaine, a view. During my entire stay in France, lady of fifty or so; two grandsons; and I never so much as appeared out of doors three granddaughters, Marie, Olga, and unaccompanied by the marquise or by one young Germaine.

or more of those ladies. One of them was They showed me a precious miniature also present in the drawing-room during of the old marquise by the famous minia- any visits I received. turist Guérin, showing her at the age of I took up several courses in French three, holding a doll, standing in the gar- with university professors, studied tragdens of the Palais Royal, they said. It edy and comedy with the most distinwas a good portrait in essence of the mar- guished and famous actors of the Théâtre quise as I saw her before me, small, with Français, rehearsing with Coquelin Aîné very large, wide-opened blue eyes, laugh- and with Mounet-Sully as well as with ing and bright, and a broad forehead. I several others: with M. Laugier of the admired her at once and was charmed by Comédie Française; and Paul Berton, her. It seemed to me she was something who had played the leading parts with to me. I felt as if there was some ten- Sarah Bernhardt and was the grandson der destiny between me and all that ex- of Samson, the old actor with whom quisite family.

Rachel studied her great classical rôles. As the time came to rise and end my M. Berton possessed many letters of short visit, it seemed suddenly sad for me Rachel's to his grandfather.

I spoke my thoughts aloud, and Several persons who had been said to myself, murmuring the words, as quainted with Rachel told me stories of they afterward told me, "This is the place her, and of the impression her acting crewhere I should be happy.” Then I turned ated on their minds. Among them was and asked Mme. Le Mulier if she could Lord Glenesk, whose father had known not take me into her fold, and gave a full Rachel well; Leconte de Lisle, who had explanation of my purpose in coming to met her; Victorien Sardou; and Marie Paris. The suggestion caused a moment Laurent, a handsome, white-haired, blackof silence. I said, “I seem to know you – eyed woman, who as a young girl had you would understand me; I should have played Rachel's suivante with her in all perfect confidence here."

of her great rôles. The impression was They looked at one another, then ex- always the same—that of all-conquering cused themselves, and withdrew for a con- genius. It was clear that those who saw sultation. Presently they returned and Rachel act did not bring away opinions stood around me, and the old marquise of her work, but a fiery experience which told me that I might come. Both she and had lifted all minds to a sublime height her daughter afterward called me "ma of emotion, which they never forgot durfille d'Amérique"-my daughter from ing the rest of their lives. America- and spoke of themselves as my Lord Glenesk gave me an account of his "family of France" and my "sisters of first meeting with Rachel. He had gone France." During my entire stay in to Paris for the first time as a youth, and France those expressions were made good for the first time his father had taken him in deeds, and have always proved true to the Français to see Rachel act. The since that first day of our accidental meet- entire audience had been stirred to the ing.

wildest pitch of enthusiasm and excite

to go.



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The next morning early he had before at the theater, but spoken in dead ridden to the Bois with his father, and on tones, as if by a somnambulist. Dismountthe way his father had said, “We will ing from their horses, they entered the turn out of the avenue a moment, down garden. There they found Rachel, clad this street; I want to show you the house in loose garments, dull-eyed, with dishevof the marvelous woman we saw act last eled hair and wan face, utterly void of all night.” It was barely sunrise, and as they the Aaming magnetism that a few hours pulled their horses up outside a high wall earlier had filled her frame. To the quesinclosing a small villa, they were aston- tions of Lord Glenesk's father, she anished to hear, proceeding from within, swered wearily that she had been rehearswhat appeared to be the reacting of the ing there under the trees since it was very scenes they had witnessed the night scarce day, trying in vain to find means


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