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HETHER Cambridge or Oxford was of the greater antiquity was a matter which down to the close of the last century greatly exercised the minds of university men. At the present day the impression that Oxford is the elder university is so generally prevalent that it would be vain to attempt to counteract it. Yet although Cambridge cannot boast of any colleges founded by King Alfred, and has long disregarded the fable of “Cantaber, a Spaniard, three hundred and seventy-five yeares before the birth


of our Saviour, who thither first brought and planted the Muses,” she still begins her roll of benefactors with the name of “Sigebert, King of the East Angles, who established schools here in the year 630 A.D.” These schools probably were in existence at the Norman Conquest, and some authorities maintain that it was at Cambridge that William's son, Henry I., gained his well-known sobriquet of Beauclerc. Speed tells us that “when the Normans had gotten the garland on their heads, and the Danish stormes turned into sunshine dayes, Gislebert the monk, with Odo, Tetricus, and William, in the Raigne of King Henry the First, resorted

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unto this place, and in a publike Barne read the Lectures of Grammar, Logicke, and Rhetorick, and Gislebert Divinitie upon the Sabbath and Festival dayes. From this little fountain (saith Peter Blessensis) grew a great River, which made all England fruitfull, by the many Masters and Teachers proceeding out of Cambridge as out of a holy Paradise of God.” Favored alike by church and state, by the Bishops of Ely and Norwich, by Edward III. and the Black Prince, by York and Lancaster, by the sainted Henry VI. and Margaret of Anjou no less than by Elizabeth Woodville, by the strong-minded mother of Hen

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ry VII., and, above all, by Henry VIII., Cambridge grew and flourished throughout the Middle Ages; but it was not until the time of Queen Elizabeth, the age of Bacon and Burleigh, when England was no longer governed either by soldiers or priests, but by statesmen by profession, that we meet with those names of which the university is proudest. Macaulay, himself a Cambridge man, boldly declares that “in intellectual activity, and in readiness to admit improvements, the superiority was then, and has ever since been, on the side of the less ancient and splendid institution. Cambridge had the honor of educating those celebrated Protestant bishops whom Oxford had the honor of burning; and at Cambridge were

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the college registers, “Came Mr. O. Cromwell with a party”: a sen. tence which satisfactorily accounts for his subsequent inaction. After the Revolution of 1688 Cambridge became as distinctly the Whig as Oxford was the Tory university. George I. enriched her library; George II. contributed munificently to her Senate House; and statues of each of these sovereigns, disguised as Roman emperors, stood until recently on either side of that building, while in humbler positions near the doorway are statues of the younger Pitt and of the “proud” Duke of Somerset, for sixty years Chancellor of the University. The oldest building at present standing in Cambridge is un


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“Patience, John,” said his wife. “Leave off crying, children. Katharine, my dear, have one more meal with us, if it is only a cup of tea. . Children, Katharine will come and see us sometimes—won’t you, my dear?” When Katharine came away at nine, she met Dittmer Bock smoking a Hamburg cigar under the lamp-post. “They know all now,” he said. “I was afraid to komm. I am sorry for them. Yet they have still one hundred and fifty pounds. In Hamburg that is a good pay for a clerk. One hundred and fifty pounds. Three thousand marks. Count it in marks. So it is twenty times as great—ten marks a day—what cannot be done with ten marks a day ? They have been too rich, the English. But they will be rich no longer. The English clerks are sent away. The German clerk remains. I have but forty pounds a year. Eight hundred marks. Yes, the German remains and the Englishman is sent away. It is the new conquest of England. The German remains.” “I fear they will have to deny themselves in many things,” said Katharine. “They will eat enough, but they will no longer be rich. They will no longer have such a Fräulein to teach the children.” “No. I must find another place.” “It is sometimes hard to find—I fear—the other place.” “I shall find it, somehow. fear.” . “Fräulein”—Dittmer turned pale, smitten with a sudden terror—“you leave this good family: you go away. Himmel ! Where can I go to meet you now 2° Katharine hesitated. “Do you still wish to meet me, Dittmer ?” she asked, without the least coquetry. “Ach! You ask if I still wish—what other pleasure have I than to meet you, Fräulein 2 There is no one else in the world who listens when I speak.” “If it is only to tell me what is in your mind, I will try to arrange for seeing you sometimes. But—”

Oh, I have no

“Fräulein, it is sweet to open my soul to you,

because you understand and are kind. You do not laugh. Ja! It fills my heart with joy to be with you and to see your face—so wunderschön—” “Dittmer, you must not—” “You ask if I still wish to meet you. Ach! And all the day, at my work, I see your beautiful eyes and hear your voice—so soft and sweet—” “Dittmer”—Katharine laid her hand on his arm —“understand. I can never meet you again— unless you promise not to talk like that. Oh! Dittmer—I have his letters close against my heart —and—and—Dittmer, how can you talk to me like that ?” He made no reply, because the thing he would have wished to say was exactly the most calculated to prejudice him still further. He would have said: “Forget that man, Katharine. He is dead and can feel no more. Think that you are young and beautiful, and made for love, and listen to the wooing of a gallant young clerk who means to become a great merchant and to have an island all his own in the Pacific.” “Good-by, Herr Bock,” said Katharine. “We will part here.” Then he pulled himself together as in the presence of a great danger. “Forgive me, Fräulein. I will be your brother and you shall be my sister. I will call you Kätchen; I will tell you all that is in my mind. Kätchen, will you consent 2" He offered her his hand. She took it without hesitation. “Dittmer,” she said, “you shall be my brother as long as you please.” “And when I am rich and have found my island, you shall be the queen of the island if you like. If not, you shall stay at home and be rich—with your brother. You shall have a robe of velvet and of silk—instead of stuff....” . She smiled sadly. “Dittmer, it must always be a black robe, whether it is of silk or of stuff.”


IN this way did Katharine lose her situation, and join the ranks of the multitude of ladies unemployed.

It is a great and a doleful multitude; nowhere can be seen such an array of rueful visages as where this crowd is assembled. It grows daily greater and more doleful, for reasons too various and too numerous to relate. It consists of all those women who, having been gently bred, and for the most part without expectation of labor, and therefore with no special training and no apprenticeship, find themselves, perhaps without the least warning, compelled to work for their living.

The army contains women of all ages, but mostly they are young—perhaps they are gifted with perpetual youth, which, being loveless, must be a mockery. Perhaps, in the great battles which they are always fighting against the allied troops of Poverty and Hunger, the elder ones get quickly killed. These ladies are the Amazons who offer themselves as recruits in the Army of Labor, but being undrilled and without discipline are either refused altogether or are else only taken on as auxiliaries liable to be discharged at a moment's warning. They may also be described as a Fringe hanging round every one of the Professions and Trades in which women may work. They give the most dreadful trouble to every one actually trained, skilled, and employed, for many reasons—but chiefly because they are all incompetent, every one: if they were not incompetent, they would speedily leave these dismal ranks. Therefore whatever they try, which is everything, they do badly; and thus they lower the standard

marriage in Harley House?

of good work; and because they are so miserably poor they have to take any pay; and so they lower wages, which is the beginning of all sorl'OWS. It is a truly dreadful thing to belong to the Ladies Unemployed. The hunt for work is with them exactly like the savage's hunt for food: it begins every morning; there is no respite; and it tends to produce among the ladies much the same effects as among the savages. Not with all women, it is true, but with some. Miss Beatrice and her sister at Harley House went through the life without losing the womanly virtues. But it makes many girls hard, grasping, and unscrupulous; every one, like the savage, fighting for her own hand, hunting for her own-food. It causes the tender-hearted to become pitiless; the unselfish to become selfish; the honest and truthful to practise ways that are tortuous; the necessities of life make them ready to underbid and to undersell each other; and send them by hundreds into the hungry jaws of sharks who live, like the Loathly Worm of old, upon the tender limbs of young maidens. Two of these girls were talking together in a cubicle of Harley House. One of them stood in the doorway with joined hands, the other sat on the bed. The former had been six months longer among the Ladies Unemployed than the other; she was therefore wiser than her friend. “I have averaged eight shillings a week,” she said—“eight shillings a week. Katharine, during the whole time that I have been trying to get work I have never possessed more than a single sovereign at a time to put between me and starvation. Oh! it is worse than the life of a slave, and there is no way out of it—not any way—except one, of course—and for that we have to wait so long.” “Courage, Lily,” said the other; “you will find something presently.” Lily shook her head impatiently. “Well,” Katharine went on, “I have fifteen pounds stored up. Think of that | Fifteen pounds ! it ought to keep us for more than three months.” “No ; there are boots; you may go in rags if you can hide them, but you must have boots to wear, and they are frightfully dear. Besides, I am not going to be so mean as to take your money, Katharine.” “How rich I thought I was,” said Katharine,

“when Tom asked me before he went away if I

had plenty of money, and I thought of my hoard of fifteen pounds, and told him that I had no anxiety at all about money, and of course I hadn't so long as I had my situation. And now he is dead,” Katharine sighed. “And my place is lost. Lily, you must and shall share my money.” “Oh, Katharine, you will want it all.” “My dear,” Katharine took her hand and held it, “we must be sisters, because of all the women in the world I do not think there are any other two so desolate and so friendless as we are.” “I am sure there are not. I wonder what we have done to deserve it?” “There cannot, surely, be two other girls in the world left without any friends or relations. Fancy not having a single cousin, to say nothing of father, mother, brother, or sister s” “My father,” said Lily, with a touch of pride, as if the thing showed dignity and independence, “always said that sooner than return to his relations he would sit down and starve.” “Mine,” said Katharine, without any pride at all, “refused to let me ever speak of my relations. You see, Lily, we must have cousins.” . “And perhaps they are generous cousins who would help us—if we can be helped; but mine at least cannot be rich—I am sure they cannot be rich. When father was ill I forgot to ask him who they are and where they live.” “My father,” said Katharine, carrying on the comparison, “would have told me, I suppose, where he got his money, but he fell down dead, and had no time, poor dear!” “What have we done to deserve it 2' “Lily, it is always what your father does: the responsibility of a man must be terrible; it isn't only the income for his own lifetime, it is the future of his children to the third and fourth generations that he has in his hands. I wonder if they ever think of it. I wonder if our fathers, Lily, ever thought of what would happen to their daughters when they should die.”. “Mine didn't. He thought about his invention, and the man who stole it and made a fortune out of it. He brooded over it all the time.” “And mine thought about his club. Does it seem quite right that fathers should have such power? If one's father fails, down they all go, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. If he succeeds, up they all go together, higher and higher.” “ Unless they take to drink,” said Lily, wisely. “If he fails, the girls have to look for work—” “And not to find it.” “Unless,” Katharine continued, “they get married. And then there is the chance of another father failing.” “My dear, what is the use of talking about Love and marriage cannot come in our way. How are we to make the acquaintance of any men 2 Some of the girls at the Museum make acquaintances with the readers, but no good ever came of that sort of acquaintance yet.” o “But, Lily, anything may happen.” “Not out of books, unless it is bad; in real

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pier for having been loved. It is something to remember always. Oh! it must be a wonderful thing to feel that a man is going to give up all his life—all his work—to make you happy and keep you in ease and comfort. It must be such a happiness just to feel it, as you did, for a month or two, that even to think of it makes me go mad with rage at the cruel fate which keeps us locked up here out of the way of it, so that we can never, never meet with it.” “Yes,” said Katharine, “it is a wonderful thing to feel. There is no other happiness to compare with it—and I have felt it. Oh " she clasped her hands, “I have felt it !” “Katharine, when I am tramping the streets from one place to another, knowing beforehand that I shall be too late, a terrible picture arises before my mind, a dreadful nightmare which comes by day: and I see my future life stretched out before me plain and clear—perhaps yours, dear, as well, but I hope—yes—I hope that God will take you first.” “Oh, Lily l’ “I must—I cannot help it—I must speak The picture comes of itself and stays before my eyes, and I must tell somebody. Katie, I see myself going on like this for year after year— all my life.” The girl's dark eyes glowed and grew larger as she gazed intently upon the panoramic picture which rolled itself out before her. As she spoke it became real to Katharine as well. “Oh, such a long life I shall live to eighty. There will be no change until the time comes when no one will give me any work to do at all. And then I shall go to the workhouse. I am always applying for places. Sometimes I get taken on, but generally I am too late. Always jostling and pushing and fighting with other women. What a life . It is yours as well as mine. What a fortune for us to be born with !” “Lily, some change will come. It must come.” “No, never any change. Look at poor old Miss Stidolph. She is sixty at least; and she is no better off than when she began—thirty years ago and more, after her father failed—to go out as a daily governess. What change has ever come to her ? Look at Miss Augusta and Miss Beatrice: to be sure, they've got fifty pounds a year to live upon now. Before it came they were starving. And their father was a Canon of a Cathedral. What a life they have led ! No, Katharine, for us and those like us there is no hope—none. I declare, Katharine, that if there were any way of escape—any—offered me, I would take it.” She looked about her like a prisoner in a cell, and gasped as if for want of air. {{ Lily !” “Never enough money,” she went on ; “never enough food; never enough dress; never any society at all. What a life it is that lies before us! You are twenty-one, and I am twenty-two. Perhaps fifty or sixty years of it. And oh, how slowly the hands move round the clock Oh, how slowly the sun goes down s” “Lily, you have no right to assume that things will go on just as they are doing at present.” “No; they may be worse. Katharine, is it right that girls should be treated so 2 We are born with the same desire for happiness as other girls. We could enjoy, like them, beautiful things and

lives of ease. And oh look at us. There is not a single lady in this great town who invites either of us to her house ; there is no chance of meeting a gentleman, unless it is the kind of gentleman who speaks to girls in the street. Happiness ' What does it mean 2 We do not know what it means. We are sentenced.” Katharine sighed heavily. “What good is it to rebel?” she asked. “Let us accept our lot and make what we can out of it. What can we do more in the way of work?” “I should like to do nothing. We were made to do nothing. That is why women are not able to lift anything and to fight. It is the business of men to work, and of women to sit down and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Besides, men like work—and women don't.” “What can we do, however?” “I can do nothing. I never was taught to do anything. None of us were.” “Well, but—” “I can copy, I think; that is all I am really fit for. I can copy documents, and I can go to the Museum and make extracts. I can also search. I don't suppose,” she added, with candor, “that I should ever find anything, but I could try, if any one wanted me to find anything. Some girls seem always able to get search-work to do. But then I know nobody, and have got no interest. And oh, how many there are who are trying to get the work l’’ “You can teach, Lily.” “No”—her black eyes, which had been heavy and sad, flashed with anger—“No ; I cannot and will not teach. I hate teaching. I loathe teaching. I want to kill the children: they drive me to madness. The last time I tried teaching I ran away from the place or I should have done something dreadful. Fortunately I don't know anything. I can't add up and divide. I can't tell you the capital of any country, and I do not remember a single date. And I've forgotten all the kings of Israel. Katharine, I would rather make button-holes for shirts than teach.” “Well, dear, there are other things.” “I could do clerk's work, but no one will have me. I could write letters.” “Let us be hopeful, Lily. You are very pretty, and perhaps—who can tell? As for me, that is all over; but you—Lily, are you sure you have no relations o' “I know of none. My father came to London from the north. But I don't know where. He brought his invention with him, but somebody stole it from him, and then he became a clerk. He lived a moody and a lonely life, and he made no friends; but he always hoped to make another invention.” “What was his invention ?” “I don't know. Something to do with machines. My father was always making pictures of wheels. I have no friends and no money. What have I done, I ask again o’” “It isn't what we have done, dear, I told you; it is what our fathers did.” Lily made as if she would say something really severe, but she refrained. “Well,” she said, mildly, “to-morrow you will begin the round. I only hope”—she said this as one who has no hope—“that you will be more lucky than I have been.”

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HAVE been a play-goer for over forty years, during which I have seen many a star rise and set; in fact the whole dramatic hemisphere has changed—perhaps for the better, perhaps for the worse. But my hearty love and appreciation of histrionic art have never altered ; I can feel a play as keenly as a girl of sixteen, while bringing to it also the cool criticism of a lifetime's experience. Therefore I think I may be listened to in a matter whereon the London critics seem to have been very unfair. I did not join in the first furor over Miss Mary Anderson. She appeared to me a beautiful, intelligent, and attractive woman; but whether she would ever make a great actress remained to be proved. It depended upon her being able to keep a steady head, in spite of popular admiration, so as to attain by patient and continuous study that dramatic culture without which beauty, and even genius, are absolutely useless. Her Parthenia and Galatea, though graceful sketches, scarcely led up to Juliet—a part of which a great actress once said, “We can never understand it tili we are too old to play it.” Therefore no wonder, though she looked it to perfection, and

was charming in the lightest scenes, Miss Anderson failed to attain the height of passion which makes the sixteen-year-old girl of Verona the most tragic and difficult of all stage heroines. Rosalind, played just before she left for America, was the first indication of her capacity to impersonate Shakespeare's women. The fantastic lovelorn boy-girl, witty and winning, yet never losing her maiden dignity, was played by her better than by anybody since Helen Faucit. She seemed to have in her that rare combination of nature and art—the poet's instinct and the woman's soul—without which no actress need attempt those women of women—Shakespeare's. When, after her American tour, she came back and announced her daring, unique, ingenious combination of Hermione and Perdita—mother and daughter—in t e Winter's Tale, I was eager to see her; all the more because the newspaper critics were almost universally against her. But a press verdict is not infallible: I have seen many a poor play—and actor—written up, many a good one written down; yet both at last always found their right level. Many of the objections

and condemnations were paltry and unnecessary. manage a not always harmonious

* In the note accompanying the above article, dated October 4, the day before her death, Mrs. Craik says: “The enclosed paper applies as much to America as to England. I send it and a photograph, hoping that both may appear in the Bazar.” It was probably the last from the pen of the gifted author, and was received the day after the announcement by cable of her decease.—ED. Bazar. - * - - " --


For instance, the doubling the parts—much complained of as confusing everything—caused, I found, only the omission of four lines of Perdita's part, and the introduction of a harmless dummy for about three minutes before the curtain's fall. The excisions of words and phrases, which the natural growth of refinement between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries made necessary, were very few, and—much as she has been abused for it—Miss Anderson was right to make them. She did no more: there was no need. Dear old Will, though he calls a spade a spade, and deals with human nature as he saw it—the human nature of his time—is at heart always pure, always moral. In him you never find that elegant euphemistical glossing over of sin, to be laughed at in comedy and sentimentalized upon in tragedy until wrong and right are so confused that one shrinks from taking one's young daughters to almost any modern play. The Winter's Tale is essentially a tale—no more. It goes against all the canons of dramat

ic unity, is full of ridiculous anachronisms, yet

has a humorous interest and po-
etic charm peculiarly its own.
It must have come fresh to the
critics of to-day, startling them,
not out of their proprieties, but
improprieties. The picture of a
young man and young woman,
bachelor and maid, innocently
and virtuously in love with one
another, of a wife so consciously
pure that she can give the kiss of
welcome to her husband's friend
(as was the custom in Shake-
speare's time) without thought of
blame, and whose only reproach
to that brutal husband is,
“Adieu, my lord.

I never wished to see you Borry; now
I trust I shall,”
was a phase of dramatic interest
so new to the present generation
of play-goers and dramatic crit-
ics that it must have been to
them like a dish of strawberries
and cream after feeding upon
“high”—very high — venison.
No wonder they carped at it, and
at the actress who, instead of the
Féodoras, Theodoras, in tragudy, |
and the whole range of trans- | |
planted French ladies of comedy, | |
had courage to present to the |

| | !"o". | "Will Anderson is not a perfect Hermione, especially in the first scene, when she does not well

voice, and her manner is scarcely stately enough for “the daughter of a king”—the matron - queen whose sweet courtesy to her husband's guest is miles removed from modern “flirting.” But at once she strikes the key-note of the character—of both characters, mother and daughter—thorough womanliness. Her fondling of Mamillius, her kindness to her women, her tender playfulness with Leontes, all carry out Shakespeare's conception. And in the trial scene, when a commoner actress would have made Hermione a ranting tragedy queen, Miss Anderson is simplicity itself—a wronged, brokenhearted woman, sad and worn, who, but for her child, scarcely cares to defend herself. Her byplay is excellent, every gesture being full of pathos; and her blank-verse—the critics said she did not know how to declaim blank-verse—was not “declaimed” at all, but wrung from her, brokenly and by fits, exactly as in such a case would be. The only fault in this scene—as fine a one as ever Shakespeare wrote, and acted perfectly—is the condemned queen's parting look of reproach at her husband, which Miss Anderson would do well to reconsider or omit entirely. Another stage “point” which was severely commented on, and must probably have seemed strange, because natural, to an audience accustomed to watch the unnatural ravings of heroines

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her beauty, her grace, the almost child-like sweetness of her face and gestures, and an atmosphere of innocent simplicity so completely un-" stagy,” take one fairly by storm. We follow her with eager eyes, and truly when she dances we, like Florizel, wish her “a wave of the sea, That she might do it ever.”

If any fault can be found in a study that would have charmed Shakespeare's self, it is that the princess-peasant—being a princess—is a little too like a common girl in her demonstrations of af. fection for her “sweet friend.” A certain reticence and dignity would have marked her most passionate tenderness. By-the-way, what a pity that Mr. Forbes Robertson, who acts so well the thankless and too elderly part of Leontes, could not also have doubled it with that of Florizel, and so made a true picture of that brave young prince who has the sense to see in the village girl a royal nature equal to his own, and holds to her with a love as pure as passionate, and de

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ful thing,” says Claudio. “And shamed life a hateful,” answers Isabella. Nor does he ever make sin anything else than hateful. Dear old Will, even his comedy, when purged of certain verbal grossness peculiar to his time, is, as in the Winter's Tale, perfectly harmless to pure ears and eyes. For some months to come, let us hope, there will at least be one theatre in London where young people can go without tainting their fresh souls by images of wickedness, or, worse, putting vice in such pleasant or pathetic shape that they mistake it for virtue. Why should it be so? Why should not managers, who are many of them most respectable men and women, and actors, often as good husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, as any of us all—why should they not combine to give the omnivorous British public wholesome food instead of garbage? Its appetite is wholesome still. Witness the honest delight with which it applauds “virtue rewarded and vice punished.” What crowds went nightly to see Olivia, Claudian, and the like! and how every Shakespearian revival

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usually confided to secondary performers, might in the hands of a really good actor be made an exceedingly fine study of a young man, a pattern to all the young men of to-day, from the “mashers” in the stalls to the “”Arrys” of the gallery. It is to bring forward this view of the stage as a great teacher, better than most books and many sermons, that I write the present notice of the Winter's Tale at the Lyceum. It is a charming spectacle, pleasant to the ear and delightful to the eye, for the artistic mise en scene is excellent, except for the dummy baby, not a “judicious baby,” as a spectator observed, which evoked an irresistible titter. And the music is very good, except for the evil habit our orchestras are getting into of accompanying special bits, merely spoiling both music and speech. Besides all this, it is an innocent play. We come from it entirely free from that “bad taste in one's mouth” with which one generally quits a theatre. Shakespeare, if rough, is always wholesome; in him we never find that condoning and plastering over of vice which is

the curse of the modern stage. “Death is a fear.

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may count upon a lengthened “run”! Why not give the people good food instead of bad?—provided the food is palatable. And can it be possible that our honest English brains are unable to produce anything which is palatable without being dull? Are managers so afraid of this that their worst condemnation of a play is—I have known it given—“Oh, this will never pay: it is too moral” Will no one seriously consider how we can stem this fatal tide which is drifting us off in the lowest depths of Greek and Roman degradation, all the worse because like them it has a smooth surface of artistic beauty and refinement? Will no one raise a warning voice, especially to the young generation, “Take heed where you are

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going” And more, will no one try to arrest them on the fatal road before it is too late? We have set aside the old superstition that as the church is God's house—which it is, or ought to be—so the theatre must necessarily be the house of the devil. Actors, and actresses too, are not what they often, alas ! used to be. Most of them, especially of the higher ranks, are cultivated gentlemen and gentlewomen, and many are very good men and good women—virtuous, domestic, with a high ideal of their art, intellectually and morally. So are managers not a few. Could not these, the wholesome leaven of a corrupt lump, combine to purify the whole lump 2 Could they not agree to “abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good” Better than all the vetoes of the Lord Chamberlain would be an honest lessee who had the courage to say, as one lessee has been heard to say when urged to accept indecent French plays, “There are two sorts of love—one fair, one foul; the latter shall never enter my theatre.” And if in support of this our leading actors, or, better, our actresses— favorites of the public whom managers must needs propitiate— would absolutely refuse to play such a part as Marguerite in La Dame auz Camellias, and the countless other parts familiar to the public, of which the whole interest consists in the breaking, or attempted breaking, or pardonable and pathetic breaking, of the Seventh Commandment, what a change would at once be made in the atmosphere of the stage! —as great spiritually as that which is soon to be made materially in substituting electric light for gas—“airs from heaven” instead of “blasts from hell.” For to many people coming away from a modern play, or from the noxious air of the theatre where it is acted, is like quitting, in plain English, a moral hell. A very ingenious, elegant, amusing hell, but nevertheless as black as Avernus, and into which the descent is as easy. If a reformation is to come at all, it must come, I believe—as most reformations do come— from the women. Let those actresses, not few, I trust, who are stainless maidens, faithful wives, good mothers, take their stand, as apparently Miss Anderson does, and refuse to act immoral parts in vicious plays. Let them lead the public taste instead of weakly following it; refuse to pamper its appetite for anything vile, and give it strong, pure, wholesome food. I believe it would “swallow” the sternest morality—the highest poetry— if put before itin an attractive form. There can be no possible objection to what is called “stage upholstery.” If the public like spectacle, by all means let them have it. A real gem is none the worse for a beautiful setting. The exquisite eye-pictures of the Winter's Tale at the Lyceum are truly Shakespearian. Good acting is none the worse for picturesque accessories of every kind. The slight interpolations of dumbshow, murmuring crowds, etc., tell exceedingly well; and the world-known fun of Autolycus, Shepherd, and Clown is well sustained by capable actors. But that dresses, scenery, and decorations should constitute the whole of a play is as great a mistake as to suppose that the play can do without them. It remains for Miss Mary Anderson—and perhaps for Mr. Wilson Barrett, who is said to have taken the Globe Theatre from Christmas next, and who, with one or two fatal exceptions, has done more than any manager to raise the tone of the stage—it remains for these and those like them to show that under all its feeble, melodramatic, or vicious outside there is a wholesome inward vitality in our British drama which can survive all foreign taint, and needs no bolstering up by translations or imitations, but can be both tragic and comic on its own account. Surely it is monstrous that the country which produced Shakespeare should be obliged to beg, borrow, or steal from other countries the dramatic element which it cannot find at home. It could find it if it tried. We possess, we must possess, both good plays and good actors, if our managers would dare to try them. Our English stage, like our English literature, might be the greatest and the wholesomestin all the world. Courage only is needed—in dramatists, managers, actors. The public would follow like a flock of sheep—if they were but shown the way. That some one will arise and show it is the earnest hope with which the present paper is written.

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