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DEANITES AND LOGANITES.
Logan, there was supposed to exist a bitter feeling of rivalry between the two young actresses, though in reality the young ladies were excellent friends from their childhood, which friendship was uninterrupted till the death of Julia Dean Hayne, which occurred in New York city some two years since.
But being the only candidates in the Western country at that period for the same dramatic favors, the dear public at once concluded that they must necessarily be bitter rivals and foes.
The whole valley of the Mississippi engaged in a sort of theatrical war of the red and white roses.
Each lady had her separate and ardent set of admirers. Miss Dean was admired for her beauty of face, my sister for her beauty of mind.
Excitement was intense when either appeared at the theatres in the different cities.
Omnibuses, steamboats and race-horses were named after the young ladies by their different admirers. They had bands of music to escort them from the steamboat landings to the hotels, and serenades given them after the play.
If Miss Dean had a service of silver given her, Eliza's friends at once presented her with a set of diamonds. Clubs were formed—the Deanites and the Loganites, and party feeling ran very high.
Of course the newspaper critics had their feelings enlisted, and their columns teemed with the subject during the engagement of one or the other, their preference for their own favorite being given in earnest words, with very frequently a comparison of the merits of the two actresses.
One enthusiastic admirer of both said in describing their acting that Julia Dean in her efforts was like beautiful flashes of lightning, while, on the other hand, Eliza Logan's voice was like the thunder of Heaven's artillery.
A GOOD-NATURED, NOISY AUDIENCE.
Apropos of this, George D. Prentice said: “If Miss Dean lightens and Miss Logan thunders, what a stormy time the audience must have of it!"
Stormy times like the Macready riot, are, however as rare in the annals of the stage as in those of any other profession.
The noisest audience that I ever confronted was one which was gathered, one holiday evening-I really don't remember now whether it was Christmas or the Fourth of July—in Burton's Theatre, in Chambers street, New York.
It was, I believe, in the year 1856. Edward Eddy was then in the zenith of his fame, and upborne on the tiptopmost wave of popularity.
He had taken Burton's theatre on speculation for a season, and the night in question was one of the most profitable that ever occurred to him in his whole career.
The play was “Pizarro," and I was representing the faithful Cora. Eddy himself was the Rolla of the hour.
There was a crowd so dense in the theatre that night, that anything like order or quiet was entirely out of the question.
The whole house, from pit to gallery, literally swarmed with humanity, and although there was no occasion for excitement, except the mere fact of the throng being so immense, such was the steady uproar of the night that no one in the audience could have heard a word that was uttered on the stage.
We went through the performance almost in dumb show. Instead of raising the voice to a pitch which should make it audible to the audience, one and all of the players spoke the words in the quiet tone of a private conversation.
It was all the same to the spectators. They could not have heard us if we had bellowed ourselves hoarse.
Cooper, the famous tragedian, was fond of telling the
story of his triumph over a noisy and belligerent English audience, on the occasion of his debut in Manchester. “Of all actors Cooke had long been the first favorite, particularly in Richard—a part suited to rather a rough audience, who had coldly received Kemble, and were not disposed to favor a young American actor (which Cooper always claimed to be), a title at that time far from being a recommendation. The determination was formed to oppose any actor in Cooke's great part, when Cooper unconsciously selected it. Upon his appearance, a large audience greeted the stranger with every kind of noise and insult. He was soon, however, made fully aware of the cause and motive of the attack, by yells for Cooke! Cooke!' No Yankee actors!' Off with him!' and other more offensive cries; but, summoning his accustomed fortitude, he acted with his best ability through three entire acts, without seeming conscious that not one word of his speaking could be heard. Whether from fatigue, arising from their brutal exertions, or respect for the constancy which no outrage could shake, they suffered the fourth act to commence in comparative silence; when Cooper, taking advantage of the momentary lull, played his part so well, that the act was scarcely disturbed in its progress, and its conclusion marked by a long-continued applause, lasting nearly to the commencement of the fifth, which began and ended in a tumult of applause. He frequently adverted to this triumph over unfair opposition as one of the brightest scenes of his life.”
Curosities of the Lecture Field.—The Comic and the Pathetic in Lectures.
-False Ideas about Western Audiences.-Doctor Charletan-How I Chanced to Turn Lecturer.—My First Trip.-Amusing Incidents.Wabasha.- What the American Lecture System is.—Its Perpetuity.Women Lecturers.— Anna Dickinson.— Descriptions of Everett and Emerson as Lecturers.—The Requisites for Success.
One of the most curious curiosities of the lecture-field is that, being the most intellectual of all the branches of the “show business," it should include among its votaries so many numbsculls, whose only idea of success with an audience is involved in making it laugh.
It is the pathetic touch of nature, and not the humorous, which makes the world kin.
The strictly comic speaker is not to be envied; for one man to laugh at his pet joke he will find twenty to remain perfectly stolid under it, fifty to be disgusted with it, and perhaps double that number who will extend their disgust of the joke to the joker himself. Notwithstanding this fact the pervading impression among tyros in the lecturing business, is that for a speaker to meet with greatest success he must appeal altogether to the comic taste of the crowd; and especially is this idea prevalent in regard to Western audiences. The conviction is based, to speak truly, on a firmly-grounded opinion that audiences in the West are exclusively composed of giggling louts and their redhanded feminine companions, who desire to be entertained, and comprehend entertainment in no other wise than as an evening's roaring with insensate laughter.
The immediate result of this idea is that the whole Western country is flooded with traveling lecturers (comic of course), migratory " theatres comiques," itin