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Quiet restored, he crept softly up to his place, and sat till the stabbing scene in the last act. As Charles de Moor stabbed poor Amelia, our rustic patron of the drama was wrought up to an agony which worked his countenance into horrible shape. He uttered one unearthly shriek, and made a break for the door-over the heads of everybody in his way-knocking down a doorkeeper, and vanished, howling, into the night.
At a Washington theatre, not long since, considerable amusement was caused during the performance of the “Heir at Law" by a nervous individual in the dress circle, who happened to notice that a gas jet near him was not lighted, rising in his seat and asking, in a loud tone of voice, if the usher “ wouldn't light that gas-burner ?” It so happened that the actress who was playing Cicely Homespun had occasion to repeat the words, “Oh, no, I cannot,” making it sound very much as though she was replying to the interrogator in the dress circle. The effect may easily be imagined.
The play of the “Long Strike” was being enacted at a theatre in Harrisburg, Pa., and, during the court scene, while the audience were deeply interested, and the Judge asked the question, Guilty or not guilty ? a well-dressed, intelligent-looking man left his seat in the audience and pushed through the crowd to the front of the stage, and very calmly called out, “Stop!” The manager of the theatre, who was personating the part of Moneypenny, thinking the man intoxicated, came to the footlights, and the following dialogue ensued: “Will you oblige me by taking your seat, sir?” said the manager. The man replied, “I want to give my evidence in this case. It was not that man” (pointing to the actor who represented the character of Jem Starkie) “who killed him. I saw who did it, I saw the man shoot him from behind the hedge." At this point a roar of laughter from the audience brought
JENNY LIND AND THE HOOSIER.
this unbiassed witness suddenly to his senses, and he took his seat.in confusion.
A lady in whom I have the fullest confidence relates, as an actual fact, the story of Jenny Lind and the Hoosier. She tells me that during her march of triumph through this country, and after her visit to Cincinnati, where she captivated all hearts, Jenny Lind found herself one evening in the (then) small town of Madison, Indiana. Mr. Barnum had made an arrangement with the captain of the mail steamer which plies between Cincinnati and Louisville, to have the boat lie by on the Indiana shore long enough for the divine Jenny to give a concert at Madison.
The largest building in town having been prepared for her reception, an auction of the tickets took place in the hall on the morning of her arrival. The capacity of the building was fully tested by the anxious Madisonites.
“Comin' thro' the Rye” was given first. This was followed by “Home, Sweet Home;" and who can describe the marvellous effect of that song, as rendered by Jenny Lind? The famous “Bird Song" was ther the popular air of the country, and it was given as a concluding piece on the evening in question. The last line of the song runs thus, “I know not, I know not why I am singing,” and Jenny gave it with her full power. At this moment, a genuine Hoosier, indigenous to the soil, rose up in the auditorium, and thus delivered himself:
“ You don't know why you are singin', eh? Gosh! I know if you don't! You're singin' to the tune of five dollars a head, and I reckon dad's hogs will have to suffer for my ticket!"
In an old number of the Boston Post I find an account of Mrs. Partington's visit to the play, to see my sister, Eliza Logan, in the character of Juliet, and never was there a queerer specimen of an auditor than that old lady was (she must be about 130 years old now, by the way,)
MRS. PARTINGTON AT THE PLAY.
if the Posťs account can be relied on. “ It was our fortune,” says the editor, “to sit behind Mrs. Partington during the entire performance, and we were much interested at the effect of the play upon her unsophisticated mind. It was to her an all-absorbing reality. The characters were real characters, and Mercutio and Tybalt were as sensibly killed as though she had felt for their pulse and found it not. She criticised Juliet's haste to get married, and said they didn't do so when she was young, and didn't believe so beautiful a young lady would have gone unmarried, if Romeo wouldu't have had her, and gracious knows he seemed to love her terribly, though hot love she knew was soon cold. But it was at the scene where Romeo bought the 'pizen' that she became most excited. It's agin the law to sell it to him,' said she, half aloud, and turned to see if Patterson was anywhere within hailing distance. But even that functionary looked calmly on, nor raised a finger to stay the fatal draught. She saw through the whole plot, and knew that Juliet had taken nothing but a sleeping potion, and wasn't dead. “Won't somebody go down and tell the poor young man she isn't dead ?' said she, wringing her hands, and dropping a tear on the bill in her lap—the dear young man will do something harmonious to himself if somebody doesn't stop him.' The scene shifted, and the tomb of all the Capulets was revealed, with the grief of the noble Count Paris and the violence of, Romeo in killing him, and when the latter drank the poison she uttered the faint ejaculation, 'I told you so,' and bowed her head forward to shut out the scene which she knew must follow, by so doing chafing the neck of a young man in the front seat with her bonnet, while Ike sat wondering what they did with all the dead folks that they killed at the theatres. When Mrs. Partington raised her eyes the green curtain was down, and the bodies of Romeo and Juliet were bowing their thanks to the audience for a complimentary call.”
DEALERS IN WILD BEASTS.
About Menageries and their Tenants.-How the Animals are Obtained.
Dealers in Wild Beasts. — Prices of Hippopotami, Leopards, Tigers, Hyenas, etc. -Curious Freaks of Caged Animals. — The Trade in Snakes.-Cost of Boa Constrictors and Rattlesnakes.-The Trade in Rare Birds. Pheasants, Parrots and Cockatoos for Sale.
How Monkeys are Caught.–Fright at a Wild Beast Show.-" The Animals are Loose!”- Fire breaks out in the Winter Quarters of a Menagerie.Terror of the Animals.—They escape into the Streets.—How they Behaved.— Wild Beasts Frightened by a Storm.-Chloroforming a Tiger. – Elephant Stories. — Cracking a Cocoa Nut. - Protecting a Friend.-Afraid to Cross a Bridge.--Debarking an Elephant at the New York Wharf.-A Leopard attacks an Elephant and gets the worst of it.-An Elephant Attacks a Locomotive and gets the worst of it.--A Lion Loose in a Village in Mississippi.--He Eats a Horse and Escapes into the Open Country.-His Ultimate Fate.
For menageries I have great respect, as a rule. As an interesting and instructive branch of the “show business," free from objectionable features, these exhibitions of the animal kingdom are worthy of support.
It is true, the animals are not usually, in their cages, very ferociously wild; but they serve to show the children—who are always the most delighted visitors to the menagerie—how wonderful are the creatures of other lands, even in the subdued condition of captives.
Animals are obtained for menageries through a few regular dealers in wild beasts. These dealers are generally Germans—both in this country and in Europe. Two brothers of this nationality, whose place of business is in Chatham street, New York, are the principal American dealers in such interesting goods as lions, tigers, elephants, and the like; though there are numberless small dealers, scattered all over the country, in the large towns, who deal in birds, and various creatures of the smaller sort, which go to make up menageries.