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Ina Klosking worked night and I do take on me to say that the
“ Siebel” in Gounod's individual Herr who executed Doc"Faust," and upon the songs that tor Faustus at Homburg that night, had been added to give weight to had everything to learn, except what
he had to unlearn. His person was She came early to the theatre at obese ; his delivery of the words was night, and sat, half-dressed, fatigued, mouthing, chewing, and gurgling ; and nervous, in her dressing-room. and he uttered the notes in tune, but
Crash !--the first coup d'archet without point, pathos, or passion ; a announced the overture, and roused steady lay-clerk from Yorkor Durham her energy, as if Ithuriel's spear Cathedral would have done a little had pricked her. She came down better, because he would have been dressed, to listen at one of the upper no colder at heart, and more exact in entrances, to fill herself with the time, and would have sung clean, musical theme, before taking her whereas this gentleman set his wind
, part in it, and also to gauge the pipe trembling, all through the busi
, audience, and the singers.
neșs, as if palsy was passion. By The
« Faust was a German; what system of leverage such a man but the musical part “ Faust came to be hoisted on to such a pinbetter suited to an Italian or a
nacle of song as
Faust," puzzled Frenchman. Indeed some say that, our English friends in front as much as a rule, the German genius excels as it did the Anglo-Danish artist at in creation, and the Italian in repre- the wing; for English girls know sentation or interpretation. For my what is what in Opera. part I am unable to judge nations The “ Marguerite” had a voice of in the lump, as some fine fellows sufficient compass, and rather sweet, do, because nations are composed though thin. The part demands a of very different individuals, and I better actress than Patti, and this know only one to the million ; but Fräulein was not half as good : she
VOL. CXX.-XO. DCCXXIX.
put on the painful grin of a prize- Why, of course,
I sent on the fighter who has received a staggerer, manager to say that Mademoiselle and grinned all through the part, Schwaub was taken seriously ill; though there is little in it to grin at. that we had been fearing we must
She also suffered by having to play break faith with the public, for to a “Faust” milked of his poetry, the first time. But that a canand self-smitten with a “tremolo, tatrice, who had left the stage, which, as I said before, is the voice appreciated our difficulty, and had, of paisy, and is not, nor ever was, with rare kindness, come to our aid nor ever will be, the voice of pas- for this one night : we felt sure a sion. Bless your heart ! passion is Humbug audience--what am I say a manly thing, a womanly thing, a ing -a Homburg andience would grand thing; not a feeble, quavering, appreciate this, and make due allowpalsied, anile, senile thing. Learn ance for a performance undertaken that, ye trembling, quavering idiots in such a spirit, and with imperfect of song!
rehearsals, &c. -in short, the usual “ They let me down,” whispered patter; and the usual effect, great Ina Klosking to her faithful Ash- applause. Indeed the only applause mead. “ I feel all out of tune. that I have heard in this theatre toI shall never be able. And the night. Aslımead ahead of Gounod, audience so cold. It will be like singing in a sepulchre.”
Ina Klosking put both hands “What would you think of them before her face, and gave a little if they applauded ?" said Ashmead.
moan. She had really a sou) above “ I should say they were good, these artifices. “So then," said she, charitable souls, and the very audi- “if they do receive me, it will be ence I shall want in five minutes." ont of charity."
“No, no,” said Ashmead ; "all you No, no ; but on your first night want is a discriminating audience; you must have two strings to your and this is one. Remember they bow." have all seen l'atti in Marguerite. “But I have only one.
These Is it likely they would applaud this cajoling speeches are a waste of tin stick ?"
breath. A singer can sing, or she Ina turned the conversation with can not sing, and they find out feminine quickness. " Mr. Ash- which it is, as soon as she opens
her mead, have you kept your pro- mouth.” mise ? my name is not in the pro- "Well, thien, you open your mouth
—that is just what half the singers “ It is not; and a great mistake, can't do and they will soon find too."
out you can sing." “I have not been announced by "I hope they may; I do not name in any way ?"
know. I am discouraged; I'm " No. But of course I have terrified ; I think it is stage-fright,” nursed you a bit.”
and she began to tremble visibly, “ Nursed me? What is that? for the time drew near. Oh, what have you been doing ? Ashmead ran off, and brought No charlatanerie, I hope."
her some brandv-and-water. She “ Nothing of the kind,” said Ash- put up her hand against it with mead, stoutly; "only the regular royal scorn. “No, sir ! — if the business.”
theatre--and the lights--and the “And pray what is the regular bus- people--the mind of Goethe--and iness ?” inquired Ina, distrustfully. the music of Gounod, can't excite me
without that, put me at the counter She was quite content, however. of a café, for I have no business She met Ashmead, as she came off, here,”
and said, “ All is well, my friend, The power, without violence, and so far. They are sitting in judythe grandeur with which she said ment on me, like sepsible people, this, would have brought down the and not in a hurry. I rather like house had she spoken it in a play that." without a note of music; and Ash- “ Your own fault,” said Joseph. mead drew back respectfully, but “ You should have been announced. chuckled internally at the idea of Prejudice is a surer card than judy. this Minerva giving change in a ment. The public is an ass. café.
“ It must come to the same thing And now her cue was coming. in the end,” said the Klosking, firmShe ordered everybody ont of the ly. “One can sing, or one cannot.” entrance not very ceremoniously, and drew well back. Then, at her
Iler next song was encored, and she made a stately rush, and so, she came off flushed with art and being in full swing before she clear- gratified pride. “I have no fears ed the wing, she swept into the now,” said she, to her Achates, centre of the stage with great rapid- firmly. “I have my barometer ; a ity and resolution; no trace either of young lady in the stalls. Oh, such her sorrowful heart or her quaking a beautiful creature, with black hair limbs was visible from the front and eyes! She applauds me fear
There was a little applause, all lessly. Her glorious eyes speak to due to Ashmead's preliminary apol- mine, and inspire me. She is happy, ogy, but there was no real reception; she is. I drink suubeams at her. for Germany is large and musical, I shall act and sing 'Le Parlate and she was not immediately recog- d'Amor' for her—and you will see.:' nised at Homburg. But there was that indescribable flutter which Between the acts, who shoull marks a good impression and keen come in but Ned Severne, and glidexpectation suddenly aroused. She ed into the vacant stall by Zoe's side. was beautiful on the stage, for one She quivered at his coming near thing; her figure rather tall and her; he saw it, and felt a thrill of stately, and her face full of power: pleasure himself. and then the very way she came on
** How is .S.T.'?" said she, kindly. showed the step and carriage of an
"ST.'!" said he, forgetting. artist at home upon the boards. " Why, your sick friend, to le
She cast a rapid glance round the sure.” house, observed its size, and felt her “Oh, not half so bad be way. She sang her first song even thought. I was a fool to lose an ly, but not tamely, yet with re- hour of you for him.
lle was strained power; but the tones were hipped ; had lost all his money at so full and flexible, the expression rouge et noir. So I lent him fifty so easy yet exact, that the judges pounds, and that did him more good saw there was no effort, and sus- than the doctor. You forgive me?" pected something big Inight be yet ** Forgive you? I approve. Are in store to-night. At the end of you going back to him?" said she, her song she did let out for a mo- demurely. ment and, at this well-timed fore- “No, thank you, I have made taste of her power, there was ap- sacrifices enough.” plause, but nothing wonderful.
And so indeed he had, having
got cleaned out of £300, through He murmured in her ear, “You preferring gambling to beauty. are • Marguerite,' for you could fire
" Singers good ?” he inquired. a man's heart so that he would sell
“ Wretched; all but one—and his soul to gain you." she is divine."
It was the accent of passion, and “ Indeed! who is she ?"
the sensitive girl quivered. Yet "I don't know. A gentleman in she defended herself-in words : black came out
“ Hush !" said she; “ that is wicked * Mephistopheles ?"
-out of an opera. Fanny would “ Ño ;-how dare you?—and said laugh at you, if she heard.” a singer that had retired would per- Here were two reasons for net form the part of “ Siebel,' to oblige; making such hot love in the stalls and she has obliged me for one.
of an opera.
Which of the two She is, oh, so superior to the others! weighed most with the fair reasoner Such a heavenly contralto ; and her shall be left to her own sex. upper notes honey dropping from The brief scene ended with the the comb. And then she is so declaration of the evil spirit that modest, so dignified, and so beau- Marguerite' is lost. tiful. She is fair as a lily; and “There," said Zoe, naïvely, " that such a queen-like brow, and deep, is over, thank goodness : now you deep, grey eyes, full of sadness and will hear my singer.” soul. "I'm afraid she is not happy.
“ Siebel ” and “Marta " came on Once or twice she fixed them on from cpposite sides of the stage. me, and they magnetised me, and “See !” said Zoe, “isn't she lovedrew me to her. So I magnetised ly?" and she turned her beaming her in return. I should know her face full on Severne, to share her anywhere fifty years hence. Now, pleasure with him. To her amazeif I was a man, I should love that ment-the man seemed transformed : woman, and make her love me.” a dark cloud had come over his " Then I am very glad you are
He sat, pale, not a man,” said Severne, tenderly: and seemed to stare at the tall, ma
“So am I,” whispered Zoe, and jestic, dreamy singer, who stood blushed.
immovable, dressed like a velvet The curtain rose.
youth, yet looking like no earthly “ Listen now, Mr. Chatterbox,"
Mr. Chatterbox,” boy, but a draped statue of Mercury, said Zoe.
New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill.' Ned Severne composed himself to listen ; but Fräulein Graas had not The blood left his lips, and sung many bars before he revolted. Zoe thought he
Zoe thought he was faint; but “ Listen to what ?" said he ; "and the next moment he put his handlock at what? The only • Marguer- kerchief hastily to his nose, and ite' in the place is by my side." wriggled his way out, with a rush
Zoe coloured with pleasure ; but and a crawl, strangely combined, her good sense was not to be blinded. at the very moment when the singer “ The only good black Mephistophe- delivered her first commanding noto less you mean,” said she. “ To be of recitative. • Marguerite,' one must be great, and Every body about looked surprissweet, and tender; yes, and far more ed and disgusted at so ill-timed an lovely than ever woman was. That exit; but Zoe, who had seen bis lady is a better colour for the part white face, was seriously alarmed, than I am : but neither she nor I and made a movement to rise too, shall ever be Marguerite.'”
and watch, or even follow him : but,