“How curious,” he said, “that you should mention them to-night. We have always intended to take them away, and only yesterday, after an 杭州不正规spa在哪 interval of six years, I gave the order for their removal. This[Pg 148] evening as we started for dinner they arrived in Berkeley Square. A strange coincidence.”
Lady Bancroft has the merriest laugh imaginable. I used to love to see her act when I was quite a girl, and somehow Miss Marie Tempest reminds me strongly of her to-day. She has the same lively manner.
Lady Bancroft’s eyes are her great feature—they are deeply set, with long dark lashes, and their merry twinkle is infectious. When she laughs her eyes seem to disappear in one glorious smile, and every one near her joins in her mirth. Mrs. Bancroft was comparatively a young woman when she retired from the stage, and one of her greatest joys at the time was to feel she was no longer obliged to don the same gown at the same moment every day.
At some theatres a dress 杭州按摩哪里好 rehearsal is a great affair. The term properly speaking means the whole performance given privately right through, without even a repeated scene. The final dress rehearsal, as a rule, is played before a small critical audience, and the piece is expected to run as smoothly as on the first night itself—to be, in fact, a sort of prologue to the first night. This is a dress rehearsal proper, such as is given by Sir Henry Irving, Messrs. Beerbohm Tree, Cyril Maude, George Alexander, or the old Savoy Company.
Before this, however, there are endless “lighting rehearsals,” “scenic rehearsals,” or “costume parades,” all of which are done separately, and with the greatest care. As we saw before, Mrs. Kendal disapproves of a dress rehearsal, but she is almost alone in her opinion.[Pg 149] It is really, therefore, a matter of taste whether 杭州丝袜美女 the whole performance be gone through in separate portions or whether one final effort be made before the actual first night. As a rule Sir Henry Irving has three dress rehearsals, but the principals only appear in costume at one of them. They took nine weeks to rehearse the operetta The Medal and the Maid, yet Irving put The Merchant of Venice with all its details on the Lyceum stage in twenty-three days.
Sir Henry strongly objects to the public being present at any rehearsal. “The impression given of an incomplete effort cannot be a fair one,” he says. “It is not fair to the artistes. A play to be complete must pass through one imagination, one intellect must organise and control. In order to attain this end it is necessary to experiment: no one likes to be corrected before strangers, therefore rehearsals—or in other words ‘杭州夜网桑拿按摩论坛 experiments’—should be made in private. Even trained intellect in an outsider should not be admitted, as great work may be temporarily spoiled by some slight mechanical defect.”
In Paris rehearsals used to be great institutions. They were opportunities for meeting friends. In the foyers and green-rooms of the theatres, at répètitions générales, every one talked and chatted over the play, the actors, and the probable success or failure. This, however, gradually became a nuisance, and early in this twentieth century both actors and authors struck. They decided that even privileged persons should be excluded from final rehearsals, which are always in[Pg 150] costume in Paris. As a sort of salve to the offended public, it was agreed that twenty-four strangers should be admitted to the last great dress rehearsal before the actual 杭州 养生保健production of a new piece, hence everybody who is anybody clamours to be there.
CHAPTER VIII MADAME SARAH BERNHARDT
Sarah Bernhardt and her Tomb—The Actress’s Holiday—Love of her Son—Sarah Bernhardt Shrimping—Why she left the Comédie Fran?aise—Life in Paris—A French Claque—Three Ominous Raps—Strike of the Orchestra—Parisian Theatre Customs—Programmes—Late Comers—The Matinée Hat—Advertisement drop Scene—First Night of Hamlet—Madame Bernhardt’s own Reading of Hamlet—Yorick’s Skull—Dr. Horace Howard Furness—A Great Shakespearian Library.
It is not every one who cares to erect his own mausoleum during his life.
There are some quaint and weird people who prefer to do so, however: whether it is to save their friends and relations trouble after their demise, whether from some morbid desire to face death, or whether for notoriety, who can tell? Was it not one of our dukes who built a charming crematorium for the benefit of the public,
and beside it one for himself, the latter to be given over to general use after he himself had been reduced to spotless ashes within its walls? He was a public benefactor, for his wise action encouraged cremation, a system which for the sake of health and prosperity is sure to come in time.
Madame Sarah Bernhardt has not erected a crematorium, but on one of the highest spots of the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris she has placed her tomb. It is a solid stone structure, like a large sarcophagus, but it is supported on four arches, so that light may be seen beneath, and the solidity of the slabs is thereby somewhat lessened. One word only is engraven on the stone:
This is the mausoleum of one of the greatest actresses the world has ever known. What is lacking in the length of inscription is made up by the size of the lettering.
Upon the tomb lay one enormous wreath on the Jour des Morts, 1902, and innumerable people paid homage to it, or stared out of curiosity at the handsome erection.
Though folk say Madame Bernhardt courts notoriety, there are moments when she seeks solitude as a recreation, and she has a great love of the sea.
Every year for two months she disappears from theatrical life. She forgets that such a thing as the stage exists, she never reads a play, and as far as theatrical matters are concerned she lives in another sphere. That is part of her holiday. It is not a holiday of rest, for she never rests; it is a holiday because of the change of scene, change of thought, change of occupation. Her day at her seaside home is really a very energetic one.
Photo by Lafayette, New Bond Street.
MADAME SARAH BERNHARDT AS HAMLET.
At five the great artiste rises, dons a short skirt, [Pg 153]country boots, and prepares to enjoy 杭州按摩好地方 herself. Often the early hours are spent in shooting small birds. She rarely misses her quarry, for her artistic eye helps her in measuring distance, and her aim is generally deadly. Another favourite entertainment is to shrimp. She takes off her shoes and stockings and for a couple of hours will stand in the water shrimping, for her “resting” is as energetic as everything else she does. She plies her net in truly professional style, gets wildly enthusiastic over a good catch, and loves to eat her freshly boiled fish at déjeuner. Perhaps she has a game with her ten lovely Russian dogs before that mid-day meal.