Oldalképek
PDF
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]

the only observer of this: . He held a newspaper in his hand, but his eyes instead of resting upon it looked over the specta'cles he wore and were sastened upon me in that steady gaze, which often rivets the sight upon an object of interest, with an influence like that of the snake upon the bird. When he found me reciprocating his stare, he resumed his reading, and as he withdrew his eyes a rapid change passed over his countenance, like the convulsion of mental pain: He put his coffee to his lips, but scarce moistened them, and in a few moments arose and left the room. Augus seeing that I watched the motions of the old man, upon whom he bestowed a casual glance, asked who he was. “I cannot inform you,” I said, “for he is, ex'cept by sight, utterly unknown to me; but he seems to have been afflicted in an extraordinary manner by something that has been said by one of us, most likely by yourself, for you have talked in a tolerably audible tone I assure you which Ho have been fifty times upon the eve of advising you to repress.” . . . ; * - "

“Pshaw” said he, “I never had a se. cret in my life and therefore I never whis. per; but come, it is time to go; you will of course give me your company.” I consented, although I was no play-goer and had not even noticed the bill which hung from the wall before me, and a glance at which now showed me, in emblazoned lettering, the announcement of the lady, whom my friend was dragging me to see and admire. . . . . . . . . . ... The theatre over which St. Philippe has the honor of presiding is a spacious and splendid structure of rich and tasteful ar. chitecture. It presented, at the moment we took our places, a spectacle to dazzle and delight. The first seats of the whole of the first and second range of boxes were filled by the beauty and sash. ion of the city, arrayed in its gayest apparrel, and, as if this semicircle of spiendour were not enough to fascinate the 'sight, a mirror curtain added to the cir cle its other half and doubled the magni ficence of the scene. As we seated our. selves, the green curtain was on the rise unfolding the vast fleld of that polished surface from which the audience beheld it. self reflected. You might discern the instantaneous effect produced by the hold.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

|while the poor devils were doing their best H. the scene opened in which Juliet first came jo forth. A thunder of applause followed her appearance, in which my companionjoin ho

and glowing brilliancy of her complexion to unheightened by art, the ever varying es: pression of her face, full of intellect and

appropriate costume, the richness, melody } and well tempered power of her too

knowledging inclination, so full of mol. ..}est gratitude and grâce, that it was rei!

[graphic]

- –

corner of the box, the elderly person who had attracted my attention at Maspero's. He was bearing back into the shade, but I marked the rapidly succeeding changes of his countenance.—His first aspect was that of pleasure, nay, delight, as if he had fully partaken of the popular feeling, which was still expressing itself in plaudits. Then he compressed his lips, and his brow became wrinkle with intense pain, and the frown and muscular distortion of fierce ... anger followed. He seemed convulsed for an instant with passion, till burying his head in his hands, his face was concealto ed from my view. I continued to regard him with the feelings of curious interest excited by the unaccountable mystery of his to conduct, till he raised his head and resumed his first posture, folding his arms , and smoothing his countenance into rigid |- sternness, as if wrought up to endure the torment which had distracted his mind and visage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . From this time I kept my eye upon him. The play went on. In the masquerade ... scene, Juliet was hailed with redoubled rapture. Then came the interview with Romeo from the balcony, in which, as the character which she sustained developed itself, she began to evince the perfection of her conception and execution. Romeo himself caughtinspiration from his mistress and surpassed, his former self. “The dolt the vulgar villians” ejaculated Augus in ... my ear” even his àf grossness cannot help being roused and refined by her prelosence and her converse. Cupid be praised she is now out of his reach; how it pleased me, to see her recoil from his kiss; it makes me blaze with jealousy to see him polute her with his touch.” . - “Wait”, said I smiling, “until we get them both into the Capulets; she cannot then avoid coming to close quarters.” My life on it,” he exclaimed, “she will even , then conduct herself with consumate deli. cacy; though I am on fire at the thought of what she must: inevitably submit to.” Just then she uttered a passage of unpas. sing tenderness, with all the witchery of fresh and girlish fondness, and the feelings of the audience burst forth in a long and loud expression of approbation, which - iro several of the following sentenoes. Augus was in an agony as he strove in vain to catch the tones of her silvery "... voice. He eursed the crowd of boister

[blocks in formation]

|low, delighted with her notice and happy

in shewing his ence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

His disappearance stilled the tumulo, and it was now my care to prevent his proving the cause of its recurrence. I besought bim not to suffer his admiration of a pietty

devotion, by instant obedi.

actress to make him regardless of public

exposure and ridicule. My exhortations were not needed. His manner had changed as by magic, when he received that token of grateful, yet admonishing recognition; he became as quiet as a lamb; and during the rest of the play remained absorbed in deep attention to every word and look of Juliet; the passionate intensity of his feelings exhibiting themselves alone in the workings of his countenance. As he had asserted, she managed her motions with such matchless and delicate dexterity as to avoid the touch of Romeo without seeming to shrink from it; her dignity, devoid of prudery and stiffness, yet awed and repelled him, although his countenance told how ready he would have been to take advantage of a player's privilege. When the tragedy of the drama commenced, the eyes of the audience .

thos

to moisten and so powerfus was the pa

of her acting, that the melting mood extended itself to those least troubled with sensibility... I had occasionally cast an eye upon the elderly stranger behind me. His emotions increased each moment and at the close of the last scene hissebs were

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

was a little: angel in beauty, intelligence

[ocr errors]

to and heart. For several weeks 1xas her ... . . . . .'; . . . . . . . . . . o * 'o - - - ,

--" " -- - -
- .* * *
------

[ocr errors]

im, for I saw him but three or four years ago.” By this time we had arrived upo the levee. The city, with its white so eded houses, lay on the interior of to rigging upon the outside in equally pro... solid repose. It was as bright as the sun. sinéatroën. The sea breeze, whose steady current came freshly up the river, wased the musquitoes from the shore, o, give us a pure reanimating atmosphere ... to bigothe, and fanned the feverish brow of my companion, who opened his bosom to the cooling air. The stillness was now and then broken by the shrill, harsh creakoing of the ungreased wheels. of one o ... those water carts, that ply daily and night. lythogh the streets, piercing the tortu. . fol:ears of the stranger, till his hardened s

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]
[graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]

atrictlars become habituated to the sound. hithe pauses of this melody came music, floating over the waters, of a finely contrasted description. It was the rude chaunt of softenegroes returning down the river to theirinaster's plantation, and beguiling ... the titos their oars with a wild yet, rich and well harmonized chorus. ... ed slowly along the levee in silence, until * I spoke to him of his return to the ship.– "No," he replied, “I have now a tie that to binds méhére; my doubts must be remo. ... wed before I leave this place: if my sus, sicians are groundless, I shall have nothing to detain one; if otherwise, Oh! I know not what I can do, yet I, will not départ; without making an effort to re. * this her:from her list condition.” & Hitherto we had encountered no one in of our wilk, but, opposite fort St. Charles, whose white walls and green mounds lay in the moonlight, a stone's cast to our lesi, w8 saw a man coming slowly up the le. Vee;--he approached us, I recognised the old man, who had been the subject of my close obscrvation, and with whom, some singular-sympathy seemed to connectus. self intensely interested in satisfying my suspicions, in 'relation:to this strange indi. Yidual. 1 requested: Augus to scrutinize o, it faee, keenly as we passed him, and then managed to throw myself in his way, 9 as to bring us both to a halt, for a time long enough to afford my friend the desi3 opportunity of scanning the face of .*.*.sitänger. The recognition I expected **placé, and the mutual astonishment $oth parties was inexpressible, when, in the clear moonlight, my companion dis*led the features of the father of Miss. Moore

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

o is his and its forests of spars and recalled the countenance of the on of his

friend. . * , - - . . "
. When the first ejaculations of surprise
were over and I had been introduced to
Mr. Dartmore, Augus hurriedly asked him,
‘Is Miss Clara Wilton, the actress, your
daughter?” “Yes,” he replied, with a
groan that seemed to come from his in-
most heart, “she is too tiuly, my lost, un-
happy, un orthy child.”—“You do not,
then, countenance her present profession—
meeting you here, I had for an instant
feared that she was pursuing it under
your protection.”—“God in heaven forbid”
he exclaimed, “no–no— she adopted and
adheres to it in defiance of my authority
and my wishes, knowing my peace to be
ruined, my heart to be broken, my life
rendered miserable and precarious by her.
conduct.” “And what in heaven's name
led to this disgraceful dereliction of her
duty to you and to herself ". . . -
“'The story is soon told. . When she
was a child of ten years; I took her to see
the “Children in the Wood” as a reward
for some good behavionr which had par-
ticularly pleased me. On that cursed oc-
casion were sown the seeds of a passion
for dramatic performances, which sprun
up and ripened with fearful rapidity. She
had at the age of fifteen, read every play
in the modern lan: uages worth perusing.
Some private theatricals, which I unwil-
lingly encouraged, confirmed the bias of
her mind. That she possessed eminent
genius for the stage cannot be denied; but
was it therefore incumbent on me to as-
sent to her adoption of a discreditable
profession, which I abhorred, and thus
throw away upon a selfish world the trea-
sure I had been hoarding for years—my
only child? No: not if I had been assured
that her talents and success would have
procured her the fame of Siddons. Know-
ing all this, she kept her projects profound-
ly, secret, I indulged her unsuspectingly
with constant visits to the theatre. About
eight months since, one fatal night upon
which she had gone thither, her compan-
ions returned in alarm without her.—I
hurried in quest of her, still blind to the
dreadful truth; but I neither discovered
nor heard of her, till her announcement a
week afterward. to appear upon the New
York boards, under the assumed name

* and the old man more slowly

she now bears. When I recovered from

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
« ElőzőTovább »