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A Page of Verse

GYPSY FOLK

Across the bog and up the lane

The gypsy folk are coming, Singing through the charcoal mist That rests upon the hill; A dog is yelping in the brush

And gypsy-folk are humming
Tunes their fathers wove in thought
That keep them restless still;

A dream to find at evening,
A day to watch it go,
And fortune for the finding
Where the seven winds blow!
Ah, I was born a gypsy

But life has held me here,
Tempting me with lovely things
Of ivory and gold;
Painted wagons creak tonight

And gypsy-folk are near,
Singing songs I longed to know
While I was growing old;

A bright coin to cross my palm,
A whisper soft and low,
And gypsy-folk who've waited
long

Calling me to go!

God! What have I to keep me

From walking down the lane?
Living forty years beside

A man I cannot love!
All my sons have gone to war

And died in mud and rain,
And I shall go to join them

With the same sky above;

A love to find at sunrise,
A song to sing at noon,
And gypsy-folk who wait for

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-Madefrey Odhner.

-Joseph Upper.

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I like to stray in grandma's room;
She has a cedar chest

That's filled with many ancient things,
The things that she loves best.

Old valentines with roses red,
And birds in little flocks;
These valentines so dear to her
Are in a lacquered box
Which has a key of purest gold,
To lock her treasures fast,
For here she keeps the valentine
That granddad sent her last.
'Tis hard to think of granddad, though,
(He's walking with a cane)

As sending paper valentines,

Like any love-sick swain.

And yet, today, in grandma's mail,
By granddad's hand addressed,
There came a valentine that said:
'Tis you I love the best."
-Alberta Wing Colwell.

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AN OLD TRAIL

The ancient trail leads on and on,
Worn deep by footfalls long ago;
By Aztecs, Toltecs ages gone,
By Spaniards from old Mexico.
As then, flowers blossom in the spring,
The wild birds sing

And beauty waits,

Though few pass by remembering.
Full well I know

That beauty-haunted spirits pale
Through turquoise gates

Still ride this trail.

-Annice Calland.

(Continued from page 59) tours that Herne showed his versatility in such diverse roles as "Rip Van Winkle," "Solon Shingle" and the old man in Lighthouse Cliffs. Herne came to San Francisco in the middle sixties as leading support to his wife, Helen Western and her sister, Lucille Western. Lucille was the actress, Helen the beauty. I saw them in one of their first plays, "The Corsican Brothers," Herne enacting the double role of the brothers de la Franchi. After his wife's death he became a member of Maguire's stock company supporting Edwin Forrest, Edwin Adams, John McCullough and other stars. One of his finest parts was that of "Volage" in "The Marble Heart," a combination of light comedy and romantic acting. In the seventies he took as second wife one of the Corcoran sisters, very talented and popular young actresses and drifted about until he collaborated with David Belasco in the adaptation of "Shore Acres" and struck the road that led to fame and fortune. As a character actor he had few equals and it is the opinion of Belasco that he surpassed Joseph Jefferson in the delineation of the character of "Rip Van Winkle."

Laura Hope Crews is a Californian and so is Nance O'Neil. The stage career of the last named began in this state but it was not until McKee Rankin became her dramatic tutor that she rose to stellar heights. In her early work she exhibited amazing power and in such roles as "Magda" and "Nancy Sikes" her emotional force found adequate expression. Of late years her heart has mellowed; repression, in proper degree, has succeeded the forcible but crude outpourings of the earlier years until now she may well be considered one of the stars for whom California feels a just pride.

Of John T. Raymond, that prince of comedians and good fellows, it may in truth be said that he found in San Francisco the conditions that provided the impetus that propelled him into stardom. As a fun maker, plain or grotesque, he was easily first among his kind. He was an inveterate practical joker; in fact he was so fond of jokes that his fellow actors grew to be afraid of him for they could never guess what was hatching in that queer brain of his. Such tricks as finding their shoes nailed to the floor when they were in a hurry to make ready for a performance, or wigs grotesquely queered, were always to be expected. But sometimes there were variations. On one occasion there was a scene in which the victims of the villain appeared before that personage. The villain was John McCullough and Raymond, James A. Herne, Harry Edwards and Julia Corcoran were the vic

tims. Three of them were on line upon the platform when Raymond came out of his dressing room, turned hindside before the wigs of the other victims and then took his place. With his own wig askew and his nose painted a fiery red he pointed both hands at McCullough. The audience roared, then hissed and the curtain was rung down.

Raymond found his star role in "Col. Mulberry Sellers." The play was a dramatization of Mark Twain's "Gilded Age." Mark did not like Raymond's interpretation of "Sellers," claiming that it was a gross exaggeration, almost a burlesque, not at all like the character his brain had conceived. But Raymond's audiences liked the interpretation and money flowed into the box office whereever "Sellers" was the attraction. While this play was on the boards the actors who formed the star's supporting company and who had suffered severely from his jokes turned the tables on him. The most trying part of his performance was the eating of raw turnips, for he loathed vegetables and never ate them except upon compulsion. The actors knew this and one night they "doctored" the turnips. Raymond ate them, made a wry face but said nothing. The next night he called for apples but when it night he called for apples but when it came time for the repast he discovered that he was compelled to eat raw onions covered with apple skins.

E. A. Sothern was another practical joker but he found more than his match in Raymond when they were playing together in "Our American Cousin.' Sothern, who was a finished actor and who had played anything and everything from "Hamlet" and "David Garrick" to "Box and Cox," struck his money maker in "Lord Dundreary." When the part was first assigned to him he found "Dundreary" to be a conventional fop, but he worked at the character until it became a screaming caricature of the English aristocracy with all the faults, foibles and good heartedness of that upper class guild. No one who ever saw him in the part will forget the slight lisp and the halting skip that nightly evoked roars of laughter. His son, E. L. Sothern, well and favorably known to San Franciscans, followed in the footsteps of his father to become one of America's most popular romantic actors and tragedians.

In the middle sixties Alice Kingsbury arrived in San Francisco from Ohio. She was billed as "The Elfin Star" and soon became one of the great favorites of the local stage. Her petite form, sweet voice and alluring manner were assets that served to prolong indefinitely her engagement at Maguire's Opera House. Her support included John McCullough, William Barry, Pierpont Thayer, D. C. Anderson, Wil

lie Simms, Mrs. Harry Jackson and Kate Denin. The theatre going public lost one of its main attractions when she left the stage to become the wife of Col. Cooley.

San Franciscans in the days gone by were enthusiastic whenever they spoke of Charlotte Crabtree (Lotta), the petite embodiment of roguery and verve. No actress ever approached her, with the possible exception of Maude Adams, in personal magnetism that enthralled, in radiant charm that was ever hers. Sara Bernhardt, great actress though she was, never captured and held the heart as did little saucy Lotta, who flinging stage convention to the winds made up in personality what she lacked in dramatic accuracy. She was Lotta, the incomparable. That was enough.

Bernhardt, in her palmy days, gave to San Francisco performances that which ranked her as the world's leading actress. The sinuous grace of her slender, flexible form, the dulcet tones of her marvelous voice, the power that was little short of dynamic all contributed to a rendition that was flawless.

Adah Isaacs Menken had a dual personality. She was always a dreamer and her serious moods were attuned to higher things. Her poetry hinted at a spirit refined against the grossness of matters earthy and yet she was morally weak, the flesh supinely succumbing to the demands of her grosser nature until the metoric career of her still young years was submerged in pitiable obscurity. Her handsome face, matchless form and superb acting found a catching vehicle in "Mazeppa" which for weeks crowded Maguire's Opera House. Her first husband was a prize fighter, John C. Heenan, the Benicia Boy, her second husband, Robert H. Newell, the "Orpheus C. Kerr," of civil war days, a world famed humorist and story writer. Married life in each instance was short on account of her inherent waywardness.

Among the talented comedians of the early days were Joseph Jefferson, John E. Owens and W. J. Florence. Jefferson, though he played "Rip Van Win-" kle" for years, was equally good in other roles, mainly those taken from the old English plays such as "Bob Acres, "Dr. Ollapod," "Caleb Plummer," and "Newman Noggs." In farce he was unsurpassed for quaint, dry humor and in burlesque he was a great favorite. No other actor succeeded better in upholding the reputation of his country and his countrymen. In San Francisco he appeared in his old comedy impersonations and the critics were loud in praise of his wonderful art. And yet, in my humble opinion, he was not as great an actor as John E. Owens. As an artist in stage work Jefferson was far out of the ordinary but he was always, in

character portrayals, an outside critic of his own work. Owens, on the other hand, never looked on from the outside. He was steeped in the character he portrayed. He disappeared in it and never thought of art. Once he had merged himself in the character he lost all sense of outward things. The audience never laughed at Owens but at "Solon Shingle," "Dr. Pangloss" or "Caleb Plummer."

W. J. Florence began to rise in the scale of acting soon after his marriage to the sister of Mrs. Barney Williams. In England, as Irish comedians, Florence and Williams toured the provinces, each at the head of a company, Willams gathering in the pounds, Florence the shillings. Soon Florence became disgusted with the condition that made him play second fiddle to his brother-in-law. The "Ticket of Leave Man" gave him his opportunity for a change. Dropping Irish comedy he sailed for the United States, brought out the "Ticket of Leave Man" at the Winter Garden, followed it with "No Thoroughfare" and "Caste" and wound up by producing the greatest money maker of them all, "The Almighty Dollar." In San Francisco the play proved a bonanza to the Florences, Mrs. Florence, with her falsetto squeak and mincing manner making as great a hit as her talented husband.

It was at the American Theatre in the early days that a most curious perform ance was given under the management of George Pauncefote, an English actor, who afterwards went to Japan, married a native of the country and settled down to a life of ease and indolence. The play was "Othello" and it was a polyglot affair, Pauncefote playing "Othello" in English, the other important characters being nationally distributed as follows: "Iago," French; "Cassio," Italian; "Brabano," Spanish; "Roderigo," Danish; "Desdemona," German. The absurdity of the thing became apparent before the end of the first act, but it was in the last scene of the last act, where "Othello" smothers "Desdemona," that the climax of absurdity was reached. Let the reader imagine, if possible, the mirthprovoking effect of this portion of the dialogue that Shakespeare meant should be the last word in dramatic suspense:

Othello-Had all his hairs been lives my great revenge had stomach for them all.

Desdemona-O weh, er ist verraten, und ich bin verloren.

Desdemona-Nur wahrend ich mein Gebet verrichte.

Othello it is too late. (Smothers her).

Shakespeare's "The Two Dromios" brought into the limelight Stuart Robson and William H. Crane. It was easy for Robson to cause that laughable break or crack in his voice and give that idiotic cackle, for these vocal eccentricities had been for years his main stock in trade. The hard work was allotted to Crane who not only had to make up so as to give a perfect counterfeit presentment of Robson but also to imitate the vocal break and cackle. That he was able to do this so that the audience was unable to distinguish one commedian from the other furnishes proof to all discerning critics that the honors of the double performance belong to Crane. The duet of the Dromios, "I know a bank where the wild thyme grows," given with a softness and tenderness that would have caused an opera singer to gasp in surprise and delight was one of the great hits of the performance.

James O'Neill captured a bread-winner when he lighted upon Monte Cristo. Before this stroke of good luck he had played in all sorts of tragic and romantic roles in San Francisco and the interior. Shortly before he began to star in the dramatization of Dumas' famous story he consented to play the leading role in the first production of the Passion Play. The storm of criticism that was leveled at his head for his so-called profanation of the most sacred of biblical characters was silenced when he gave the public his sincerely earnest, refined and exalted impersonation. His appearance in this historical role will never be forgotten by those who had the rare good fortune to see the play.

Augustin Daly, who was both playwright and manager, brought his select company of players to San Francisco some time after his sensational play, "Under the Gaslight," had had a most successful production at Maguire's Opera House. His company, as near as I can recollect, had as principal members Ada Rehan, Edith Kingdon (who afterward became the wife of George Gould), Mrs. Lemoyne, James Lewis, Charles Leclerc, George Clarke, John Drew and W. J. Lemoyne. The performances were of such rare excellence that enthusiastic theatre goers urged Daly to come again and again.

Down East types were portrayed by Keep'st Joseph Jefferson as "Salem Scudder," in the "Octoroon"; John E. Owens as "Solon Shingle" and James A. Herne in "Shore Acres," but the specialists in the Yankee dialect were Denman Thompson and Richard Golden. Thompson in "Joshua Whitcomb," and "The Old Homestead" gave to an ap

Othello-Out, strumpet. thou for him to my face? Desdemona-Ach, verbanen sie mir, mein herr, aber toten sie mir nicht. Othello-Nay, if you striveDesdemona-Nur en Halbustunde. Othello-Being done there is no

pause.

preciative public a dramatic composite of the persons he had encountered in his native state, Vermont. Golden, born in Bucksport, Maine, faithfully reproduced in "Old Jed Prouty" the Bucksport river scene and the old hotel with its group of loungers and had no difficulty in mastering the peculiar speech of the natives of that locality.

The most prominent of the tragedians of the old days were Edwin Booth, Edwin Forrest, Henry Irving, Edwin Adams, Edwin L. Davenport, Charles Kean, John McCullough, Lawrence Barrett, Thomas W. Keene and W. E. Sheridan. To Booth I give first place, for while he held the stage there was no one who could equal him in his favorite parts. Irving was an artist-actor of rare and peculiar talents, but the senses never surrendered to him and illusion never took the place of curiosity and interest. Edwin Booth was an actor whose genius scorned art. To Irving detail was everything, to Booth nothing. The perfect elocutionist, the model of grace and form he was the inspired realization of the passion and pathos of Shakespeare and he did not need the artistry of Henry Irving to make him great. In Hamlet he stood alone and since his death no actor has been found worthy to fill his shoes. Forrest possessed both brawn and brain and in his prime was America's leading actor. Edwin Adams, handsome, polished and debonair, could play light comedy or tragedy with equal facility. His death occurred in San Francisco whither he had come, broken in health, from Australia. Charles Kean was a credit to the English speaking stage and playing the same roles made prominent by his distinguished father, Edmund Kean, achieved in San Francisco, a marked success. Edwin L. Davenport gave to all his impersonations the gifts of a scholar and was second only to Edwin Booth in his portrayal of "Hamlet." Thomas W. Keene was both comedian and tragedian and was never more at home than when he was the leading member of the California Theatre stock company. Lawrence Barrett, cold, precise and intellectual, essayed light comhigh place in the theatrical world. John edy and tragedy and won for himself a McCullough, the Hotspur of the drama, shone in heroic roles and was a worthy successor to Edwin Forrest. W. E.

Sheridan, charged with dynamic force, scored his greatest triumphs in "Ingomar" and "Louis XI." It was said of him that when he felt like it he could play some parts better than any actor on the American stage.

In the early days Australia furnished. many performers who became favorites (Continued on page 79)

This Interesting World

Sometimes I Am Glad that I Live In It

Conducted by IDA CLAIRE

HERE is something frightfully depressing about vital statistics at times. Perhaps it is the manner in which editorials and articles shake the big stick of Vital Statistics at society in the person of the Reading. Public with the threat.

"See where you are going! At the present rate-"

Well, at any rate Vital Statistics show that somewhere (I forget where, but it isn't in South Carolina, for they don't have 'em) there is a divorce for every ten marriages-ten per cent and going up, and even worse in spots. So, at the present rate of increase in a few brief years we shall have more divorces than marriages, and I suppose in time we shall have to let down the immigration bars and import married couples to keep the divorce courts supplied.

There is no reassurance in the printed page. A course of reading in some of our modern fiction, of the type that stirs a strong mental urge for a broom and a pail of suds with a few Sunday supplements shrieking in three-inch headlines of the fifth marriage of some fastidious celebrity, with a brief and circumstantial account of the previous four and the amounts of the various and sundry alimonies, leaves one with a dark sense of foreboding for the institution of marriage. And when the reader tries to escape the gloomy conclusion forced upon him, by the reflection that this is, after all, fiction, he is nailed by the vital statistics, one divorce to every ten marriages.

Psycho-analysis gives no help except as a consolation in case nothing can be done and the present rate of increase continues. It presupposes such an unlovely and unhealthy state of inner consciousness as the normal possession of the average individual that the rapid extinction of the race would be the only desirable solution.

Is the root of the trouble economic or social; is it a symptom of deteriorating public morals, or of the weakening of personal character? Or is it a stage through which we are passing, with the possibility of permanently improved con

ditions? Can it be helped by stricter laws, or by education?

What are we going to do about it? Homes and society in general, are rather vitally affected by the matter, and "the present rate of increase" has a menace for us and for our whole civilization. I wouldn't give a fig, or a feeif I could avoid it—for a long diagnosis unless it carried with it some hope of a remedy to help the complaint.

Being a homeopathist, I should look first for a mild remedy, one not difficult to take, and more or less related to the disease.

It is well to study things at their source. What becomes of the turbulent, undisciplined, uncontrolled and dis

Is divorce responsible for our undisciplined children? What is your opinion. Write Ida Claire, briefly, and tell her what you think about it. Or if you think there is any other question of the day more vital to the nation's welfare, write her about that. Letters should be of not more than 300 words.

agreeable children, the infants of the species who are more deadly than any other part of the race would dare to be? What becomes of them when they grow up? Do they help to swell "the present rate of increase?" Or do they become charming and delightful people with attractive personalities and lovely manners?

Does life, that hard-worked, and perhaps not unkind task-master, who bears so many responsibilities and so much blame, take over the training which parents neglect or bungle, and turn out a model product prepared to do worthy team-work?

Does the selfish, ruthless, ungovernable and ungoverned child become under Life's careful tutelage considerate, self-directed and adaptable? Or, perhaps, after all, these things do not count in the happiness or permanence of marriage? The caveman theory does not

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This is a word I have made to describe us all when we are pleased with ourselves, in contrast to our attitude when we feel apologetic. I believe that it faithfully portrays the mental attitude of the two Scotchmen who were coming out of church. "And how many of the elect do you suppose may be on earth today, Sandy? "A dozen, maybe." "Na, na, Sandy! Not so many. Not so many!"

"Be good and you will be lonesome" carries no threat to the idiocentric; it is a precious promise. When he does something kindly or meritorious it is no comfort to him to be told, "there are others." When his play succeeds he may, for politeness sake, make graceful gestures toward the performers, but in his heart he never doubts that the ap

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plause is all for himself. If the piece fails his gesture toward the performers, while not visible, is no less real. Compliment a female idiocentric upon her appearance, and she hastens to take credit to herself for designing the costume, or for selecting the harmonious parts, or even for finding it ready at a sale. On the contrary, if you have some criticism to make she at once lays the blame upon her limited purse, on the sales-woman, or on the prevailing mode. "Well, it was the only thing I could get. They're all like this." Suggest some shortcoming to a youthful idiocentric. Does he blame himself? Not at all. He blames society in general. "All the fellows do it. Most of them are a lot worse than I am."

(Continued on page 88)

(Continued from page 77) with the theatre going public of San Francisco. Among them were Harry Edwards, the Howson family, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Jackson, Willie Edouin, Alexander Fitzgerald and Walter Montgomery.

After playing at the Metropolitan for awhile Willie Edouin joined the stock company at Maguire's Opera House. He was one of the outstanding fun maker of the day, excelling particularly in burlesque. The Jacksons became great favorites, Mrs. Jackson being at her best in tragic impersonations. Her "Lady Macbeth," in my opinion, has seldom been equalled. Harry Jack

son was a comedian with a circus twist. In other words he was a stage clown, but his style was so unique and fetching that he never failed to "put it across." Harry Edwards, big, bluff and hearty, easily found a place in Maguire's stock company. He was "Sir Peter Teazle" to the life and in all the parts for which he was cast he lent prominence and distinction. Walter Montgomery was the ablest actor ever sent from the Antipodes. He was both tragedian and light comedian and to see him in Don Caesar de Bazan was to see artistically reproduced the glamour and glory of the old Spanish days. The Howson family of singing performers arrived after Lydia Thompson's British Blondes and the "Black Crook" had had record breaking audiences at Maguire's. They opened at the Metropolitan Theatre and one of the first trick-spectacular pieces presented was the "Sheep's Foot," which for startling as well as laugh provoking effects put the "Black Crook" in the shade. In this play the famous. Buisly brothers performed hair raising acrobatic stunts while Willie Edouin sent dull care scurrying to the woods.

There were few American playfew American playwrights or dramatists in the old days, Augustin Daly and Bartley Campbell taking the lead. Nearly all the new plays produced came from England and France. England gave us "The Ticket of Leave Man," "Oliver Twist," "The Streets of New York," (adapted from Charles Reade's "Hard Cash"), "The Long Strike," "The Lancashire Lass," "Arrah Na Pogue," "The New Magdalen," "Miss Multon," "East Lynne," "Griffith Gaunt," "Armadale," "Peg Woffington" and others. France contributed "The Two Orphans," "La Belle Russe" (adapted for the American stage by David Belasco), "La Tosca," "Fedora," "Article 47," "The Celebrated Case," "Within an Inch of His Life," "Monte Cristo," etc. Fanny Davenport shone in "Fedora," while Clara Morris showed herself to be the greatest emotional actress in the country by her

splendid acting in "East Lynne" and "Miss Multon."

Of the amateurs of San Francisco but one, according to my memory, attained prominence as a professional. That one was Samuel Biercy. In the fall of 1870 he made his professional debut as "Iago" to the "Othello" of John McCullough. The debut was a success, McCullough declaring that he had never in his life witnessed a more satis

factory performance. In 1874, after touring California as a member of the Frank Wilton company he went to Chicago to support McCullough. In 1876 he was in England under contract with Bartley Campbell to play the leading part in "The Virginians." The trip placed him near the top of the profession. Returning to New York in 1877 he played leading roles for awhile and then went on the road as a member of Edwin Booth's company. Afterward he became stock star at Niblo's Gardens,

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New York, his best parts being "Claude Melnotte" in the "Lady of Lyons," "Lagadere" in "The Duke's Motto" and "Raphael" in the "Marble Heart." In the fall of 1878 he returned as a star to San Francisco and died of smallpox in Boston in 1881.

Eleanor Calhoun, a grand niece of John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, orator and statesman, was a pupil of Mrs. Melville Snyder, mother of Emelie Melville, the popular actress and vocalist and made her professional debut as "Juliet" at the California Theatre in 1880. The critics praised her work, and after exhausting her small repertoire she left for the east and for a year played leading roles in a stock company which gave performances in the Eastern, Middle and Southern states. London next called her and it was not long before she had worked her way to a leading position in one of the high class theatres. Under the auspices of Lady Archibald Campbell she played "Rosa

lind" at an al fresco production of "As You Like It" to the warm approbation of the vast audience assembled. Soon after this performance she went to Paris where she studied French, obtaining such a mastery over the language as to give her confidence to play in French with the great Coquelin as leading support. Returning to London she resumed her position as one of the favorites of the stage and was still playing when she was married to Prince Lazarovich, a claimant to the throne of Serbia.

I might go on to speak of other players of the early days whose performances are pleasantly remembered by all old timers. I might,, if space permitted, speak of Adelaide Neilson, whose beauty, the glorious charm of her splendid eyes and exceptional dramatic ability made her first among the "Juliets" of the stage; of C. W. Couldock, who forsook tragedy to become a character actor and whose superb acting as "Luke Fielding" in "The Willow Copse" and "Dunstan Kirke" in "Hazel Kirke" stamped him as the foremost emotional old man actor of his day; of Nat Goodwin, unique in style, who could play anything and everything and play it well; of Mrs. D. P. Bowers, the talented successor to Charlotte Cushman America; of Mrs. Judah, that grand and for years the leading tragedienne of old lady of the stage; of Mrs. C. R. Saunders, who was ever nothing if not capable; of effervescent Sallie Hinckley; of demure and handsome Sue Rob

inson; of unfortunate Willie Simms, whose budding career was cut short by insanity; of D. C. Anderson, that sterling old actor and intimate friend of Edwin Booth; of Alexander Fitzgerald, who failed to cement in San Francisco the honors he had won in Australia; of the popular Mandeville sisters, Alicia and Jennie, who were drowned in the sinking of the Brother Jonathan off the coast of Oregon; of handsome and dashing Harry Montague, who died suddenly while playing the leading role in "Diplomacy"; of M. B. Curtis, who killed Policeman Grant and thereby wrecked a promising stage career; of winsome Eliza Weathersby, the first wife of Nat Goodwin; of statuesque Kate Denin, who could act, and of John Wilson, her husband, who could not act; of versatile Mrs. F. M. Bates, the mother of Blanche Bates; and lastly of David Belasco, who gave up a promising career on the stage to devote his whole time to writing plays and managing theatres.

But few of the old time actors and actresses are alive today, but few who saw their stage work are still above ground. But fond memory these survivors still have and that memory will persist while life lasts.

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