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as individuals, suffered from this change; for under the old system they were frequently hissed, not by reason of their own incapacity alone, but because the public was disappointed at finding them "cast" for parts in which it had expected to meet actors of greater popularity.
On one occasion, an irritated amateur rushed from the Paris Opera-House, and began to beat an unfortunate ticket-seller from whom he had purchased his place. The cause of the gentleman's anger was at once understood.
"Est-ce que je savais qu'on lâcherait le Poutheien?" cried the ticket-seller; for it was the singing of Poutheien which had excited the opera-goer's wrath.
Talking of hisses, I may here mention that an actress of ability in her time, Mrs. Farrel, after being hissed in the part of Zaira, the heroine of The Mourning Bride," especially in the dying scene, rose from the stage, and, advancing toward the footlights, expressed her regret at not having merited the applause of the audience, and explained that, having accepted the part only to oblige a friend, she hoped she would be excused for not playing it better. After this little speech, she assumed once more a recumbent position, and was covered by the attendants with a black veil.
Such incidents as the one narrated by Mrs. Bellamy were doubtless of frequent occurrence at the French theatres. Not that they always took so serious a turn. On one occasion a dancer was listening to the protestations of an elderly lover, who was on the point even of kissing her hand, when as he stooped down his wig caught in the spangles of her dress. At that moment she had to appear on the stage, and did so amid general laughter and applause; for she carried with her the old beau's wig, or scalp, as if by way of trophy. The applause was renewed when a bald head was seen projecting from the wing in search of its artificial covering. Stories, too, are told of imprudent admirers, who, after exciting the jealousy of a machinist or 'carpenter," did not take the precaution to avoid traps, and, as a natural consequence, found themselves, at the first opportunity, shot up to the ceiling, or sunk to the lowest depths beneath the stage.
The abolition of the banquettes at the Paris Opera-House, though due in one sense to the Count de Lauraguais, as already mentioned, may be attributed also to the representations made on the subject by the actor Lekain, who played, moreover, an important part in connection with the reform of scenery, of costume, and of stage accessories generally.
Molière, in the opening scene of "Les Fâcheux," and Voltaire, in several of his works, ridiculed the custom of allowing spectators to take their places on the stage. The actors can
not but have known this practice to be absurd, and in an artistic point of view most injurious. It may be doubted, indeed, whether the French would for so many centuries have respected the least respectable of the three unities, that of place, had they not been absolutely forced to do so by the conditions under which their actors performed, and by the absolute impossibility with a narrow and crowded stage of changing the scene.
Although the honor of reforming stage costume to the extent at least of 'doing away with flagrant anachronisms in dress-is claimed for Lekain, it was not to a great tragedian, but to a very distinguished ballet-dancer that this reform was really due. In the early part of the eighteenth century, Roman, Greek, and Assyrian warriors appeared on the French stage in a conventional military costume, which seemed to be considered suitable to warriors of all nations and of all ages. The dress consisted of a belaced and beribboned tunic, surmounted by a cuirass, and of a powdered wig, with tails a yard long, over which was worn a plumed helmet.
Mademoiselle Sallé, the ballerina, who first undertook the herculean task of rendering stage costume reasonable and natural, proposed, in defiance of the prevailing custom, to give to each person in a ballet, or other dramatic work, the dress of the country and period to which the subject belonged. Mademoiselle Sallé was a friend of Voltaire, who celebrated her in an appropriate verse; and she carried with her, in 1734, when she visited London, a letter of introduction from Fontenelle to Montesquieu. Appearing at Covent Garden Theatre, in a ballet of her own composition, on the subject of "Pygmalion and Galatea," Mademoiselle Sallé dressed the part of Galatea not in the Louis Quinze style, nor in a Polish costume, such as was afterward adopted for this character at the Paris Opera-House, but in drapery imitated as closely as possible from the statues of antiquity. It was announced on the occasion of mademoiselle's benefit at Covent Garden that "servants would be permitted to keep places on the stage." This, however, was an exceptional arrangement. Endeavors were already being made in England to confine theatre-goers to their proper places in the front of the house; and on many of the play-bills of this period the following notification appears: It is desired that no person will take it ill their not being admitted behind the scenes, it being impossible to perform the entertainment unless these passages are kept clear."
Strange mistakes sometimes arose from the author's name not being announced. At the first performance of the tragedy of “Statira,” Pradon, the writer of that work, took his place among the audience to judge freely of its effect. The
first act was a good deal hissed, and Pradon was about to protest, when a friend whispered to him not to make himself known, but in order to conceal his identity to hiss like the others. Pradon hissed, when a mousquetaire at his side asked him why he hissed a piece that was excellent, and the work of a man who held a distinguished position at court. Pradon, annoyed at his neighbor's interference, replied that he should hiss if he thought fit. The mousquetaire knocked his hat off. Pradon struck the mousquetaire, and receiving a severe beating in return, left the theatre, insulted and injured, but not mortally hurt.
A tragedy, in six acts, by M. de Beausobre, called "Les Arsacides," had been formally accepted at the Comédie Française by some mistake. A large sum of money was offered to the author on condition of his withdrawing the work; but it had taken him thirty years to write the piece; he was now sixty years of age, and he was resolved to see it played. The tragedy was hissed from beginning to end. The actors wished to finish the performance at the end of the second act; but the public were so amused that they insisted on hearing the whole. The next day the author went to the theatre, and assured the actors that if they would give him one more rehearsal, and, above all, would allow him to add a seventh act, the work would have a glorious success. They prevailed upon him to accept an indemnity, and the piece was not played again.
The story is perhaps sufficiently well known of the celebrated English actor, Powell, who sought in vain one night for a supernumerary named Warren, who dressed him, but who on this occasion had undertaken to play the part of Lothario's corpse in "The Fair Penitent." Powell, who took the principal character, called out in an angry tone for Warren, who could not help raising his head from out of the coffin, and replying, "Here, sir." "Come, then," continued Powell, not knowing where the voice came from, "or I'll break every bone in your body!" Warren, believing his master to be quite capable of carrying out his threat, sprang in his fright out of the coffin, and ran in his winding-sheet across the stage.
Our dying heroes and heroines in the present day wait to regain animation until the curtain has fallen. Unless, however, they are supposed to be dead, they reappear in their own private character at the end of each dramatic scene which happens to have procured for them marked approbation. A distinguished tenor, the late Signor Giuglini, being much applauded one night for his singing in the Miserere scene of "Il Trovatore," quitted the dungeon in which Manrico is supposed to be confined, came forward to the public, bowed, and then, not to cheat the executioner, went calmly back to prison.
A much more modern story of the confusion of facts with appearances is told, and with truth, of a distinguished military amateur, who had undertaken, for one occasion only, to play the part of "Don Giovanni." In the scene in which the profligate hero is seized and carried down to the infernal regions, the principal character could neither persuade nor compel the demons, who were represented by private soldiers, to lay hands on one whom, whatever part he might temporarily assume, they knew well to be a colonel in the army. The demons kept at a respectful distance, and, when ordered in a loud whisper to lay hands on their dramatic victim, contented themselves with falling into an attitude of attention.
Jules Janin, in the collection of his feuilletons published under the title of "Histoire de la Littérature Dramatique," tells how in the ultra-tragic tragedy of "Tragadalbas," an actor, in the midst of a solemn tirade, let a set of false teeth fall from his mouth. This was nothing more or less than an accident which might happen to any one. Lord Brougham is said to have suffered the same misfortune while speaking in the House of Lords. But the great tragedian showed great presence of mind, and also a certain indifference to the serious nature of the work in which he was engaged, when he coolly stooped down, picked up the teeth, replaced them between his jaws, and continued his speech.
At some French provincial theatre, where a piece was being played in which the principal character was that of a blind man, the actor to whom this part had been assigned was unwell, and it seemed necessary to call upon another member of the company to read the part. Thus the strange spectacle was witnessed of a man supposed to be totally blind, who read every word he uttered from a paper he carried in his hand.
At an English performance of "William Tell," the traditional arrow, instead of going straight from Tell's bow to the heart-perforated beforehand—of the apple placed on the head of Tell's son, stopped half way on the wire along which it should have traveled to its destination.
Everything, however, succeeded in Rossini's 'William Tell," except the apple incident, as everything failed in Dennis's "Appius," except that thunder which Dennis recognized and claimed as his own when he heard it a few nights afterward in "Macbeth." Yet it has never been very difficult to represent thunder on the stage. One of the oldest theatrical anecdotes is that of the actor, who, playing the part of a bear, hears a clap of stage-thunder, and mistaking it for the real thing, makes the sign of the cross.
H. SUTHERLAND EDWARDS (Macmillan's Magazine).
SOME FORGOTTEN ASPECTS OF THE
T may be pleaded, and generally is pleaded, on behalf of the British Parliament, that it has gradually undone the wrongs of centuries, and has at last placed the people of Ireland on a footing of perfect equality with the people of England. But the mere undoing of a wrong does not always place the injured person on an equality with those who have not been wronged. The sovereign's "pardon" does not necessarily place the innocent convict where he was before. His health may have been ruined meanwhile, or his business, or both. In equity, therefore, if not in strict law, he has exceptional claims on the consideration and sympathy of the Government which did him wrong. . . . The conduct of England in the past goes far to explain the present condition of Ireland. If that conduct has been exceptional in the highest degree, the Irish may be less unreasonable than is generally supposed in demanding some exceptional remedies.
It is popularly supposed that the special illtreatment of Ireland by England began at the time of the Reformation. Undoubtedly the Reformation introduced a new element of discord by adding to the antipathy of race the more potent and more bitter antipathy of religion-the religion of a handful of English officials in Dublin imposed upon the Irish nation by the Mussulman argument of the sword. Before the Reformation the Irish nation was outlawed for the crime of being Irish. At the Reformation it was outlawed anew for the additional crime of being "Papist."
When they are highly developed you can deal with them as individual entities whose power of resistance is destroyed when you have cut off or overcome the head. In low organizations, on the other hand, to divide is simply to multiply the centers of life and of resistance. Ireland was politically in this undeveloped condition at the time of Strongbow's invasion. No victory, however decisive on the spot, sufficed to crush the resistance of the population at large, because the population at large acknowledged no single head. Dispersed at one place, they suddenly attacked at another. Harassed and exasperated by this style of warfare, the English seem to have conceived the idea of exterminating the large majority of the native population. The atrocious laws decreed against them hardly admit of any other interpretation. The Irish were, simply as Irish, placed outside the protection of the law, and were treated as vermin. Submission to English rule did not bring with it the correlative privileges of an English subject. To kill an Irishman was no murder. "To break a contract with him was no wrong. He could not sue in the English courts. The slaughter of the Irish and the seizure of their property were acts rewarded by the Government." There was no restraint on the greed and cruelty of the oppressor, except the fear of retaliation. "A common defense in charges of murder was that the murdered man was of 'the mere Irish.'" To escape from this cruel bondage the Irish repeatedly petitioned for admission to the benefits of English law, and were always refused. Such was the condition of the Irish beyond the Pale. Nor was the lot even of those who lived within it an enviable one. The degree of protection which submission to English rule afforded them may be tested by a statute of 1465, which decreed that
But to say that the Irish were outlawed by England may appear to some an exaggerated statement. It is, however, the literal fact. The truth is, that England found the conquest of Ireland a much more difficult matter than it had bargained for. If the Irish had been united politically under one head, one of two results must have followed-either the English invaders would have been driven out of the country, or the Irish would have submitted after a few decisive defeats. But the ancient Irish were broken up into a number of separate tribes, owing collectively no allegiance to any one single chief. This made it impossible, without a military occupation of the whole country, to subdue and rule them in the mass; and a military occupation of the whole Such, however, was the fascination of the country was impossible. Political organizations Irish character, stimulated here and there, perare in this respect like animal organizations. haps, by sympathy with undeserved wrongs or
But it is right to record even small mercies, and therefore I hasten to add that the brutality of this law was somewhat mitigated by a subsequent statute which directed the Irish within the Pale to wear English apparel.
any person going to rob or steal, having no faithful man of good name or fame in his company in English apparel," might be killed by the first man who met him. This placed the life of every Irish man and Irish woman within the Pale at the disposal of any Englishman who might feel tempted to indulge his passions.
by love of adventure and a wild life, that Englishmen were allured across the Pale in considerable numbers. These became proverbially "more Irish than the Irish." They learned the language, adopted the costume, imbibed the manners, and got infected with the wit of the subject race. If this process of amalgamation had been allowed to go on unchecked, Ireland would probably have had a different history. But it was arrested inside the Pale by the Reformation; outside the Pale by the statutes of Kilkenny. By these statutes an impassable gulf was dug between the two races. To intermarry with the Irish, or indeed to form any sort of connection with them, was a capital crime. It was also made highly penal to present an Irishman to an ecclesiastical benefice, or to grant the rites of hospitality to an Irish bard or story-teller. Yet the result of it all was that when Henry VIII. quarreled with the Pope, and thus added the bitterness of religious persecution to the hatred already engendered by English tyranny, the area of English rule was contracted within a compass of twenty miles.
Till then the extermination of the Irish, though aimed at in various acts, was never openly recommended by English officials. It was left to Protestant zeal to stain the English name with this infamy. The poet Spenser calmly contemplates the extermination of the Irish as the surest method of making an "Hibernia Pacata." After describing in pathetic terms the desolation of Munster by the ruthless soldiers of Elizabeth, he observes: "The end will (I assure me) be very short, and much sooner than it can be in so great a trouble, as it seemeth, hoped for; although there should be none of them fall by the sword nor be slain by the soldier, yet thus being kept from manurance and their cattle from running abroad, they would quickly consume themselves and devour one another."
This horrible anticipation was, in fact, literally fulfilled, both in Elizabeth's reign and on several subsequent occasions. In the reign of James I., for example, Sir Arthur Chichester reported that he had found Ulster "abounding with houses, corn, cattle, and a people who had been bred up in arms" and were highly prosperous. But they were Roman Catholics, and must make room for Protestants. Accordingly, this militant propagandist left the country "desolate and waste, and the people upon it enjoying nothing but as fugitives, and what they obtained by stealth."
But the sword and torch were too slow as instruments of destruction, or perhaps too expensive. At all events, Chichester agrees with Spenser in putting his trust mainly in famine. "I have often said and written, it is famine that must consume the Irish, as our swords and other endeavors work not that speedy effect which is expected. Hun
ger would be a better, because a speedier, weapon to employ against them than the sword." This barbarous policy succeeded too well. Pestilence and famine committed frightful havoc among those who had escaped the sword and fire. Starving children were to be seen feeding in the silent streets on the corpses of their parents, and even the graves were rifled to appease the pangs of hunger. And these horrors went on, not during one or two years, but at intervals extending over generations. According to Sir William Petty's calculation, no fewer than five hundred and four thousand of the native Irish perished, out of a total population of one million four hundred and sixty-six thousand, in the eleven years of the war following the rebellion of the Irish in 1641-a rebellion of which Burke says, "No history that I have ever read furnishes an instance of any that was so provoked." "Figures, however," says Mr. McLennan, in his most interesting and instructive" Memoir of Thomas Drummond," "convey but a poor notion of the state to which the country was reduced. Famine, as at the end of the Elizabethan wars, stepped in to complete the havoc of the sword. A plague followed. Suicide became epidemic, as the only escape from the intolerable evils of life. Cannibalism reappeared. According to an eye-witness, whole counties were cleared of their inhabitants. . . . When survivors were found, they were either old men and women, or children. 'I have seen these miserable creatures,' says Colonel Laurence, 'plucking stinking carrion out of a ditch, black and rotten, and been credibly informed that they digged corpses out of the grave to eat.'"
Did these dreadful sufferings soften toward the Irish the hearts of their English oppressors? On the contrary, says Sir William Petty, writing in 1672, "some furious spirits have wished that the Irish would rebel again, that they might be put to the sword."
Another era of persecution dates from William of Orange, and it was not till the twentyseventh of the reign of George II. that the Penal Code reached what Mr. McLennan calls "the fullness of its hideousness-the reproach of politicians, and disgrace of Protestants and Churchmen." He gives such an admirably compressed summary of these abominable laws, that I think the reader will excuse my quoting the passage in extenso:
The Papist was withdrawn from the charge and education of his family. He could educate his children neither at home nor abroad. He could not be their guardian, nor the guardian of any other person's children. Popish schools were prohibited, and special disabilities attached to Papists bred abroad. A premium was set on the breach of filial duty and
the family affections. If a son declared himself Protestant, which he might do in boyhood, a third of his father's fortune was at once applied to his use; the father's estate was secured to him as heir, a liferent merely being left to the father. A father's settlement to the prejudice of the heir-at-law might be instantly defeated by the heir becoming Protestant. If the heir continued a Papist, the estate gaveled went in equal shares to the sons-a modification of old Irish law introduced to break up the estates of the Papists, so that none should be on the land above the condition of a beggar. If there were no sons it gaveled on the daughters; if no children, then on the collaterals. Papists who had lost their lands, and had grown rich in commerce, could neither buy land nor lend their money on heritable security. The Papists could get no hold, direct or indirect, upon the soil. Even a lease to a Papist, to be legal, must have been short. Any Papist above sixteen years of age might be called on to take the oath of abjuration, and, on thrice declining, he suffered a pramunire. If he entertained a priest or a bishop,
he was fined; for a third offense he forfeited his whole fortune. The exercise of his religion was forbidden; its chapels were shut up; its priests banished, and hanged if they returned home. ... A Papist could not enter the profession of the law. He could not marry a Protestant (the fatal Kilkenny provision against mixing over again). He could neither vote at vestries, nor serve on grand juries, nor act as a constable, as a sheriff, or under-sheriff, or a magistrate. He could neither vote at elections nor sit in Parliament. In short, he was excluded from any office of public trust or emolument. "The Catholics," says Sir H. Parnell, "in place of being the free subjects of a prince from whom they were taught to expect only justice and mercy, were made the slaves of every one, even of the meanest of their Protestant countrymen." Had they become mere slaves they might have expected some degree of humane treatment; but, as the policy which had made
them slaves held them at the same time as the natu
ral and interested enemics of their masters, they were doomed to experience all the oppression of tyranny without any of the chances, which other 'slaves enjoy, of the tyrants being merciful, and feeling their tyranny secure.
tory of the inhabited world. If the wars of England, carried on here from the reign of Elizabeth, had been waged against a foreign enemy, the inhabitants would have retained their possessions under the established law of civilized nations"; but the policy of England was a declaration of perpetual war against the natives of Ireland, and it has rendered her a blank amid the nations of Europe, and retarded her progress in the civilized world."
"The situation therefore of the Irish nation at the Revolution (of 1688) stands unparalleled in the his
Of the Irish landlords he says that "confiscation is their common title; and from their first settlement they have been hemmed in by the old inhabitants brooding over their discontent in sullen indignation." One of the great evils of our dealing with Ireland is, that we have persisted in governing her according to English prejudices and ideas. Not thus have we dealt with India, or French Canada, or even the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The land tenure of Ireland was altogether different from that of England. The land belonged to the sept, not to the chief, or to any of his vassals. This was forgotten or ignored when the lands of chiefs were declared forfeit and granted to fresh landlords. The occupiers, on the other hand, regarded these lands as their own; and this idea, founded originally in fact, has never passed clean out of their minds, and it lies at the root of a good deal of the present land agitation. It was not a mere class which the confiscations disinherited and uprooted from the soil, but the entire race of Irishmen; and these still cherish the tradition that they are the lawful owners of the land.
And, as if it were not enough to have divorced a whole nation from the soil which gave it birth, and which of right belonged to it, the ingenuity of English statecraft found other means of completing the ruin of Ireland. Till Queen Elizabeth's reign the Irish had a flourishing trade in supplying England with cattle. This was supposed to depreciate rents in England, and Irish cattle were accordingly declared by act of Parliament "a nuisance," and their importation was forbidden. Thereupon the Irish killed their cattle at home and sent them to England as salted
In short, the Irish Roman Catholics who sur-meat. This provoked another act of Parliament, vived their persecutions were literally dispossessed forbidding in perpetuity the importation of all of their native country. Lord Clare, the Irish cattle from Ireland, "dead or alive, great or small, Lord Chancellor at the time of the Union, made fat or lean." Nevertheless, the Lord-Lieutenant that statement in his place in Parliament. After appealed to Ireland on behalf of the sufferers showing that "the whole land of Ireland had from the great fire of London. The Irish were been confiscated, with the exception of the estates wretchedly poor, and had no gold or silver to of five or six families of English blood," and that spare; but they sent a handsome contribution in "no inconsiderable portion of the island had been cattle. This gift the landed interest in England confiscated twice, or perhaps thrice, in the course resented in loud and angry tones as “a political of a century," he goes on to make the following contrivance to defeat the prohibition of Irish catremarkable declaration : tle." Driven to their wits' ends, the Irish turned the hides of their cattle into leather, which they exported to England. But here too they were