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Towards the close of the instant. The hair, which came strain the head slowly turned, the unbound, and fell on my shoulders, “full eyes” moved, and at the last was reverently kissed and caressed. note rested on Leontes.
The whole change was so sudden, This movement, together with so overwhelming, that I suppose the expression of the face, trans- I cried out hysterically, for he figured as we may imagine it to whispered to me, “Don't be have been by years of sorrow and frightened, my child! don't be devout meditation, speechless, frightened ! Control yourself !” yet saying things unutterable, All this went on during a tumult always produced a startling, mag- of applause that sounded like a netic effect upon all—the audience storm of hail. Oh, how glad I upon the stage as well as in front was to be released, when, as soon of it. After the burst of amaze- as a lull came, Paulina, advancing ment had hushed down, at with Perdita, said, “Turn, good sign from Paulina the solemn lady, our Perdita is found.” A sweet strain recommenced. The broken trembling voice, I am very arm and hand were gently lifted sure, was mine, as I said, from the pedestal; then, rhythmically following the music, the
“You gods, look down,
And from your sacred vials pour your figure descended the steps that
graces led up to the dais, and advancing Upon my daughter's head! Tell me, slowly, paused at a short distance from Leontes. Oh, can I ever for- Where hast thou been preserved ? get Mr Macready at this point !
Where lived ? How found
For thou shalt At first he stood speechless, as if Thy father's court ? turned to stone; his face with an
hear, that I,awe-struck look upon it.
Knowing by Paulina, that the oracle
Gave hope thou wast in being,—have this, the very counterpart of his preserved queen, be a wondrous piece of Myself to see the issue.” mechanism ? Could art so mock the life? He had seen her laid It was such a comfort to me, as out as dead, the funeral obsequies well as true to natural feeling, performed over her, with her dear that Shakespeare gives Hermione son beside her. Thus absorbed in no words to say to Leontes, but wonder, he remained until Paulina leaves her to assure him of her said, “Nay, present your hand.” joy and forgiveness by look and Tremblingly he advanced, and manner only, as in his arms she touched gently the hand held out feels the old life, so long susto him. Then, what a cry came pended, come back to her again. with, “O, she's warm !” It is im- I was called upon to play Herpossible to describe Mr Macready wione very soon after my début. at this point. He was Leontes' I was still very young, and by self! His passionate joy at find- my years and looks most unfit ing Hermione really alive seemed even to appear as the mother of beyond control. Now he was pros- the young Mamillius. Why Mr trate at her feet, then enfolding Macready selected me for the her in his arms. I had a slight task I could not imagine, and veil or covering over my head and most gladly would I have declined neck, supposed to make the statue it. But his will was law. Any look older. This fell off in an remonstrance or objection was
met by reasons and arguments so ner, when Hermione returned to broad and strong,—you were
life. But prepared I was not, earnestly reminded of your duty and could not be, for such a disto sacrifice yourself to the general play of uncontrollable rapture. I good, and the furtherance of the have tried to give some idea of effort he was making to regenerate it; but no words of mine ould the drama, —that there was nothing do it justice. It was the finest left but to give way.
burst of passionate speechless emocould
urge seemed so small, so tion I ever saw, or could have conmerely personal. Therefore playceived. My feelings being already Hermione I must, even as I had severely strained, I naturally lost not long after to play Constance something of my self - command, of Bretagne, a still severer trial and as Perdita and Florizel knelt and much greater strain upon my at my feet I looked, as the gifted young shoulders. Hermione was a Sarah Adams 1 afterwards told me, character that had not then come " like Niobe, all tears.” Of course, within the circle of my favourite I behaved better on the repetition Shakespearian heroines.
of the play, as I knew what I had therefore, quite new to me. Mrs to expect and was somewhat preWarner had been for years the pared for it; but the intensity of recognised Hermione of the Lon- Mr Macready's passion was
On this occasion she real, that I never could help being was cast for Paulina, a character moved by it, and feeling much exfor which nature had eminently hausted afterwards. fitted her by a stately figure, fine “ The Winter's Tale” makes voice, and firm, earnest manner.
the resources How admirably she acted Emilia of a theatre both in actors and in “Othello” I must ever remem- mise en scène. It was therefore ber, especially the way she turned only in such cities as Dublin, Glason Othello in the last scene, in gow, and Edinburgh that I was which Mr Macready was also very able to have it acted. But in all grand. On the audience, who these cities, even with such inade. could see their looks and gestures, quate resources as they supplied, the impression they made must the play used to produce a profound have been very great indeed. I, impression. The sympathies of my as the smothered Desdemona, could audience for the suffering Herhear only.
mione were reflected back upon My first appearance as Hermione me so warmly as to make me feel is indelibly imprinted on my mem- that they entered into my concepory by the acting of Mr Macready tion of her beautiful nature, such as I have described it in the statue as I have here endeavoured to
Mrs Warner had rather present it. There, as in London, jokingly told me, at one of the the statue scene always produced a rehearsals, to be prepared for some- remarkable effect. This I could thing extraordinary in his man- feel in the intense hush, as though
1 This sweet accomplished lady wrote many poems and hymns. Her drama in blank verse, founded on the story of Vivia Perpetua,” one of the first Christian martyrs, was greatly admired in a wide literary circle. Her beautiful hymn
Nearer, my God, to Thee,” we all know, and are moved by, when sung in our churches as it often is.
every one present "held his breath” pains, which only poets know,” so for the time. In Edinburgh, upon there is a pleasure in the actor's one occasion, I have been told by a pains, which only actors know, friend who was present, that as I who have to deal with the “high descended from the pedestal and actions and high passions” of advanced toward Leontes, the which Milton speaks. Unless they audience simultaneously rose from know these pains, and feel a joy their seats, as if drawn out of in knowing them, their vocation them by surprise and reverential never rise to the level of awe at the presence of one who
an art. bore more of heaven tban of earth I fear, my dear Lord Tennyson, about her. I can only account for I have tried your patience with this this by supposing that the soul long letter. But in this fine play of Hermione had for the time I have had to write of three exentered into mine, and “so divinely quisite types of womanhoodwrought, that one might almost the mother, the maiden, and the say,” with the old poet, my“ body friend. In what other play or thought.” Of course I did not story do we find three such women? observe this movement of the In lingering over their excellences audience, for my imagination was I may have lost account of time and too full of what I felt was then thus wearied you. If I have, pray in Hermione's heart, to leave me forgive me this once, and believe eyes for any but Leontes. You me to be ever, with deepest admimay judge of the pleasure it was ration and gratitude, very sincerely to play to audiences of this kind. yours, As “there is a pleasure in poetic HELENA FAUCIT MARTIN.
1st November 1890, BRYNTYSILIO, LLANGOLLEN.
THE SHROUDED WATCHER,
It is many years since the fol- riety was altogether conducive to lowing remarkable incident in my his fair fame; but D— had a life took place. For the ordinary singular way of worming himself commonplace details of everyday into the good graces of a particexperience my memory is gener- ular set, and passed for a gentleally held to be indifferent, but the man of affable manners, much circumstances in this case wit, and especially a certain bold such that they have indelibly diablerie that stuck at nothing, fixed themselves in my recollec- and gave him a kind of popularity tion, as though they had occurred among the more daring spirits in yesterday.
society. How well I can call up At the time I allude to I was a his appearance ! Dark brilliant very raw young ensign, scarcely eyes and black hair; a tall lithe done with the goose - step. My figure, with a very peculiar but regiment was quartered in the really bewitching smile on
Barracks, situated in a sub- casions when it suited him to urb of the capital of that well- please; and a beautifully shaped known island-fortress which stands contour of head and profile. He warden over the blue waters of was known to be of good family, the Mediterranean highway, with- and as he had been in the service, in sight of Sicilian Etna, and al- my regiment had made him an most of Northern Africa.
honorary member of
our mess ; To make my narrative clearer, and I rather think another corps I will begin by presenting to the in garrison had given him the reader the chief character in it. same entrée into theirs. At all
was a young fel- events, he was on pretty good low with an odd history. What terms with some of our fellows, brought him to Malta none of us though our colonel and one or two ever exactly knew. He was under- of the older oflicers certainly did stood to have been in one of “John not encourage him much, as his Company's" regiments, but whether example was not considered benehorse or foot I cannot remember. ficial to the juniors. His own account was that he had D. was a wonderful billiardleft the Indian service (for some player. I never saw any one to unexplained reason), and having beat him at “losing hazards” or found his way to Vienna, got him- the "spot stroke.”
As to pool, self into a regiment of Austrian
were as nothing in cavalry, as not a few ex-British his hands; and at all card games officers managed at that time to in particular, both the skill and do. But, for reasons best known the luck of the man were extrato himself and the authorities, his ordinary. Night after night I stay in the Kaiser's service was have seen him at play, and his not of long duration, and when I winnings must have almost sufliced joined my regiment in the island to maintain him. As to other principality sacred to San Publio, traits in his character, I am sorry D-- was a well-known char- to say I never heard of one single acter among the English residents good or generous sentiment that and garrison. Not that the noto- could be traced to him. D—'s
talk at the mess-table or in the these pages who have trod the anteroom was of the most cynical narrow streets, quaintly built and flavour it was ever my lot to hear; gaily coloured, of Valetta, and and though “de mortuis nil nisi repicture their arabesquebonum ” is an excellent and de- Italian character, the old-world cent moral to abide by, truth com- environment, the massive and pels me to add that some very rather formal friezes and entablasinister tales of D- 's influence tures of the basilicas and other over the other sex had got about buildings. The funereal - looking at the time I speak of. What has faldetta of the women; the men now come to be dignified with the pouring in to market from the name of hypnotism was unknown neighbouring casals, clad in blue as such in those days, but I believe homespun and long purse-shaped D- possessed some conspicuous caps ; the combined odours of powers in this direction, and I am oranges, garlic, oil, and roasting afraid was not always over-scrupu- coffee emanating from the shoplous in his use of them. Even at doors ; the long bastioned lines this distance of time his portrait of fortifications, with wide deep stands out clear to my mind's eye, fosses ; the red-coated sentries at with a kir of Rembrandt - like he port archways; the splendid sheen upon it, by reason of the auberges of the old knights, —what mysterious shadow in the back- an odd jumble of impressions they ground which was to loom up and all convey ! cover it with the blackness of
was Holy Week darkness. I ought perhaps to towards the end of April 18–. add, for the better understanding Music has always been a passion of what is to follow, that for a with me; and every afternoon little while before the dénouement preceding Good Friday in that came, some ominous whisperings particular week, when I could get got afloat among us about D- off duty from the dust and glare and the methods whereby so much of the white parade-ground and silver and gold was perpetually the monotonous bawling of the being transferred at whist and drill-sergeant, it was my wont to écarté from other people's pockets steal away to the Duomo of San to his own. For in my long ex- Giovanni. And who that has perience of those holding her ever sat in that stately cathedral gracious Majesty's commission, church, surrounded by its splennotwithstanding a black sheep dour of inlaid marble and under here and there, it is not to be the magnificent frescoes of Matteo denied that scrupulous honour Preti,l and in the dimly lighted and fair dealing have ever been atmosphere, odorous with incense, in the forefront of their tradi- listened to the entrancing strains tions.
of the Office of the “ Tenebra," I now come to the memorable could ever forget it?
Such exday of the occurrence of the quisite pathos in the solos, inexstrange incident, to one phase of pressibly mournful yet sweet, and which I and others—most of them then the moaning harmonies of the gone now—were eyewitnesses. antiphonal choruses—like no other
There may be many who scan music I ever heard, or probably
1 Another of the treasures of this church is the celebrated picture by Caravaggio, “ The Decapitation of the Baptist.”