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THE DELIGHTED

SUPES.”

187

He was borne off the stage by the convulsed litterbearers, who, as soon as they got behind the scenes, dropped their burthen upon the floor and roared with uncontrollable merriment.

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Poor Pennyweight scrambled to his feet, and holding his horrificd head between his hands, rushed into the green room, where he sank into an arm-chair, gasping for breath. I followed him and found him there, a picture of despair.

“Oh! oh! oh!” said I.

Lady Macbeth approached him, fan in hand, and gazed upon him in speechless amazement. Pennyweight turned his head

away and groaned. “What will become of you if you go on at this rate, Mr. Pennyweight ?" said Lady Macbeth, sternly.

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row.

“Don't,” he moaned; “for pity's sake, don't! Did you see Augustus Tompkius ?”

“ Augustus Tompkins ?” “Tompkins! my rival. He had a seat in the front

I saw him grinning like a monkey at me; and Annie Porter sitting by his side, with her fan up before her face, and laughing all over. Oh, distraction!"

“Well, go home. Change your dress, and go home as soon as you can. Don't be downcast; the worst is over now.

I don't think you can do any worse than this. Perhaps you'll do better the next time.”

“No! I've had enough of the stage! Oh, how shall I ever look my friends in the face again ?"

And he rushed away into his dressing-room.

I have not seen Mr. Penuyweight since; but I am informed he has gone into business, and has now become a useful member of society.

PENNYWEIGHT'S GOBLIN.

189

But to this day he is said to be haunted by a horrible spectre which takes the shape of the cruel thing that undid him quite—a “gin-sling."

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Old Doctor Franklin, on hearing the remark that what was lost on earth went to the moon, observed that there must be a good deal of good advice accumulated there.

Good advice seems to be lost on the victims of ihe stage-struck fever; but by the lightest weapons of ridicule a fool is to be laughed from his folly.

Mr. Alfred Pennyweight is a type of the fools who see only the glitter and glory of the stage, and burn to share it, as a boy with a drum burns to be a soldier.

When years and experience have shown the boy that the soldier's life is full of toil and danger, and that the bugles and the drums are not its chief concern, he is very likely to take new views of the desirability of such a life. He finds that merchandise or politics are better suited to bis tastes.

But the folly of the stage-struck youth is a graver matter. He is no longer a child; he is old enough at once to enter upon the life which dazzles his fancy and deludes his sense, and he enters upon it.

Thus is the stage cumbered with a load of human rubbish, the like of which is to be found in no other sphere of art.

190

POWER OF RIDICULE.

Men with no true sense of art, actuated solely by vanity, are as numerous as the leaves of Vallambrosa, in that vale which should be bright with intellect, and grace, and culture.

With all the power I possess, I would hold the stagestruck youth up to ridicule. When sober reasoning will fail of its end; ridicule will touch the sore spot as with caustic.

Make a thing ridiculous, and many a young man will recoil from it as if it were a snake.

I have had proof—substantial proof-of the effective work my efforts in this respect have wronght; and I know that all the anathemas ever thundered from the divine desk against this thing will not terrify the soul of the victim of stage fever as will a titter from behind a lady's fan.

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My Tour in the West as a Star Actress.–From Paris to Cincinnati.

My Critics.—My First Benefit. — Generals and Poets in the Greenroom. - Down the Rivor to Louisville. - An Operatic Company.My First "Soldier Audience."-Military Necessity.—Southern Refugees.- Queer Gratitude for an Actress's Services.—Trouble in Getting to Nashville.-Cutting Down the Wardrobe.-Soldiers in the Cars.The Mason.—A Guerrilla Attack.-The Rebel Negro.

The genus

If there ever was a truism in this world which is a truer truism than other truisms, it is that veracious one which asserts that “ everything goes by comparison.”

Of course I know I shall not be contradicted in this statement, but for the sake of argument I choose to believe that some disagreeable, mythical personage flatly denies the possibility of a sensible man's having two opinions on the same subject, merely because a certain space of time has elapsed, and other scenes have intervened between his first statement and his last.

Perhaps it may be so—with sensible men. is somewhat limited, and as a rapidly disappearing race, I suppose we must be somewhat lenient with them. But with sensible women I know it is different.

But to resume, and in the conventional style of theatrical story-tellers (I beg pardon, nothing sous jeu meant by this play) continue.

It was on a July day, in the second year of the rebellion, that I left the sunny coast of France.

It was raining that day on the sunny coast of France.

To use a mild and singularly appropriate metaphor, it was raining cats and dogs that day on the sunny coast of France.

This did not prevent me leaving, however.

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