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Persons who despise one another, salute with mock respect; persons who fear one another, with mock affection.
Rivals salute by knitting brows and biting lips; creditors with embarassment; debtors with indifference. Friendship proffers the hand; love watches the expression, the index to the heart.
BEHIND THE SCENES.
BY ALFRED CROWQUILL.
EHIND the Scenes! How eager are we all to get there! - For what? To find the splendid temple a coarsely-daubed canvass, the rushing waterfall a jack-towel, the awful thunder two yards of sheet-iron, and the rain peas in a water-spout; the houris of the ballet, who have often caused us to spend, with palpitating heart, our hoarded shil
ling, real young ladies, condescending to sup on mysterious ready-made pies! The envied, feathered, Adonis-like hero, who seemed to pass a life in embracing young and lovely ladies, and fighting, with perfect satisfaction and address, an unlimited quantity of bravoes-how does he fade! His dazzling armour turned into undisguised tin, and that gauntlet, thrown with defiance at princes' feet, nothing but Berlin at a shilling!-thus is it in the world! for
"All the world's a stage,"
where we are happy until we get behind the scenes, which is done by a slower and more painful process, day by day gaining our knowledge of the false material that pleased us when we believed it real. Reader, never try to get behind the scenes on your own or anybody else's stage-it is not worth the money.
These words did we, Mentor-like, speak unto a Telemachus of a country town, to whom we had promised to shew London-which we would advise all country cousins to see from the top of St. Paul's, where they are less likely to get defiled in its dirty ways.
The figure to the left is the chrysalis state of the fairy butterfly on the right, which change is supposed to take place
from the warmth of the gas-lights. The little basket contains some of the splendid ornaments of spangles, flowers, or silk stockings, &c., which she finds (finds is a good word, for how she ever buys them out of her salary, or reward of merit as it is jocosely termed, is a mystery most deep). Fame speaks most slightingly and unjustly of her in her arduous and dangerous position, but we could safely aver, that she and her sisters might be weighed in the balance and not found wanting, with any equal quantity of young ladies who have never been placed in a situation so full of temptations and privations.
Is a hard-working creature during the day, employed in the docks or other large warehouses, and very frequently a
common soldier, content, for a small pittance, to make one in a mob, one in a theatrical army, or enact a silent or dummy lord, and all at the same price. Would that all silent and supernumerary lords would take a lesson, and fill up the scene as well without touching the Treasury heavier.
This man do we approach with fear; unmovedly and collectedly does he see the funniest thing or the most dreadful murders committed; like a man of the world, he has become callous from being behind the scenes so long; the corporeal memory for all the dramatis persona, gifted with an awful power-he despatches the "call-boy," and even kings obey! He summons demons from below, or angels from above; raises the distant cry of distress or tempest; the beacon in every difficulty, sending in with equal feeling the bravo to destroy or the hero to rescue ; and, like the mighty Jupiter, causing the thunder to roll and the lightning to flash; Apollo himself, even, bends beneath his sway, and his sweet tone swells or falls directed by his magic finger. We see the quiet little man pass, never dreaming 't was his agency that regulated the whole, which without him would have been chaos.
THE DROP BETWEEN THE ACTS.
THE COMIC GENTLEMAN
Is a man who looks upon the world seriously, and is seldom, if ever, comic by daylight; and in fact, does not
feel himself justified in being so until he has put some red on the tip of his nose-pyrotechnically speaking, his fireworks are thrown away in daylight. Many men invite him to their tables to be funny, but like the silly lord who bought Punch and his theatre in the street, they find that they have forgotten the author of the quips and quirks that he so admirably personifies.
Our finest comic actors have been constitutionally most saturnine men, and why should we expect them to be droll any more than expect Macready to come out to dine in a toga.
He is the adored of a set, with whom he imbibes and resuscitates his spirits after the performance, often causing his nose to blush in registering his tavern score, which comes of many goes; before he goes he is generally the last object in the sleepy waiter's eyes. At feeble daybreak, like other stars, he becomes invisible, through the aid of a self-acting latch-key.
Pleased are we to say, that the habit of beginning the night in the morning is fast fading away in the profession, much to the addition of its respectability and individual comfort.
UP IN A PART.
THE LEADING GENTLEMAN.
This class is wonderfully various, according to the size of the sphere of action. The leading gentleman at a patent theatre is a creature of great magnitude, mysterious and magnificent, believing the English stage to be that exact quantity of board he may personally occupy at any
A minor leading gentleman is one who passes his life in heart-burnings and disappointments, if he should possess "a soul above buttons;" continually snatching at the Shaksperian wreath which tantalizingly eludes him, except on benefit nights, or the visit of star, when, from the resources of the theatre, it cannot be the perfect "feast of reason and the flow of soul," but hashed-mutton without spice. As he grows older the vision of Shakspere fades into feebleness, and he makes a more homely wreath of his own; content with illegitimate means to gain applause, he places it with all its thorns of disappointment upon his brow, believing it looks very like the real one. In his own little world he has his criticisers, his staunch friends and bodyguard, who continually say, and most religiously believe that, had he the chance, he would put Macready to bed in rather unpleasant sheets.
THE LEADING LADY.
This subject we approach with all the care we would an old gentleman with the gout, for we know her sensitiveness, and fear to give pain; but let every leading lady who reads
this paper understand most strictly, that it is not intended for her, but for a person she knows very well.
TRAGEDY QUEEN.-"My child, I come! I will avenge thee!"(Aside to the pot-boy)-"Put some more ginger in it."
She is painfully alive to the introduction of young and lovely Juliets, and bears no rival near her throne; she would rather die at the stake, a martyr to the causeor, what is tantamount, play in eighteen pieces in the week. If eminently successful, she allows herself to faint as the curtain falls, to give a true idea of her super-human efforts, which is an excellent excuse for her remaining on the spot until called for and bouquét-crowned by the audience this is not a bad move for rising young ladies, but they must be cautious not to do it before their names are in letters at least a foot long, or they may be left to the sympathy of the carpenters.
THE HEAVY LINE.
This is not, as the name seems to imply, all beer, although unfortunately mixed up a great deal with it; the line in itself is ingenious and multifarious, generally done by an old stager, who is content to play one-speech kings, fathers who never turn-up until the last scene, or robbers who are shot in the first, being in about the same situation as a sea-chest, a table, or chair, which are necessarily put
on to make out the story. He has much time on his hands, which is spent next door (next door to a theatre always means a public-house), where he is an oracle,
remembering G. F. Cooke and all the Kembles, mentally compares now with then, and heaves a melancholy sigh inside the pewter-pot, or any vessel that is offered to him, for he is generally liked for his quaintness and untiring good-humour. He is a seasoned drinker, and is always able to see his entertainers home; he is careless in his attire, and seldom washes all the paint off his face, which he considers professional; he mostly wears his hat on one side, jauntily over what he supposes to be a wig, which looks more like a small allowance of that weed with which he so liberally serves his pipe; his hat is shabby, and he has altogether a seedy and unbrushed appearance, not much improved by an unmitigated shave, no whiskers being allowed upon the stage, except they are glued on, by which process we firmly believe the real ones are eradicated, if we may judge by the stubble; but what's the difference? he dresses fifteen times or more at night-what is the day to him? If transmigration be true, he is in the probationary state for a future owl.
The theatrical Cerberus, very improperly provided with only one head, and that generally of the sternest mould— we say improperly, for he needs the three of the great original to carry him through his many and difficult duties -bluff and forbidding as he appears, is everything to everybody, regulated by his thermometer, the manager; bland and courteous to the successful dramatic author, to whom he was of late so rough and monosyllabic, who was but as dirt until he appeared for many weeks in large type against the wall, and became the flower-crowned idol of the public; rushing to open the charmed door for him, which was as firmly closed against him as a rock, until he spoke the " open sesame." Look upon him again; who would take him for Love's messenger? yet is he the forlorn hope of despairing lovers, who, without the entrée, must make love from the front of the house. How seriously does he look, as the stricken youth places within his grasp the secret offering to some female star, accompanied by a douceur, which he will not trust himself to look upon that the young sprig may believe in his disinterested feeling." With what a stolid look does he hand the rose-coloured billet to the leading gentleman, received from a trembling hand, and enforced by a sweet voice and half-a-crown.