Behind the Scenes of the Comédie Française: And Other Recollections

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Chapman and Hall, limited, 1889 - Comédie - 543 pages
 

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Page 18 - In the name of the French People. " The President of the Republic decrees —
Page 18 - ... Minister of the Interior, appoints M. Arsene Houssaye Director of the Theatre de la Republique. Tes, that's right," I added, "Napoleon and Barrot, two good signatures, to say nothing of the French people who have had a jinger in the pie.
Page 219 - ... Franfaise approved of the play, Rachel arranged for a second audition. This time there were present George Sand, fimile Augier and Theophile Gautier. At the finish of the reading, the actress kissed Ponsard. But, like Othello's, it was a kiss that killed, for the salute was accompanied by these fatal words : " I shall not play Charlotte Corday, because I should be detestable in the part. I am a daughter of the Antique; the pit would shout to me : ' Go, fetch thy peplum.' They would hiss me for...
Page 192 - For her success on the stage, Judith, who was Rachel's cousin, owed more to her prettiness than to her genius. In the glowing words of Houssaye, she was " a downright nut-brown angel, a masterpiece of sculpture without the aid of stays, a masterpiece of painting without the aid of
Page 288 - Yes, it is because of my name; but also because the public would applaud in the wrong places if I did not drag them away from the drinking troughs round the corner and lead them hither with a leash; but, when I have them in battle array, they obey like one man, at the slightest signal, and Heaven alone knows how many battles we have won when they were already half lost. The societaires are well aware of it.
Page 522 - The bust of our great poet was there, as on an altar, in the centre of that stage of which he is one of the gods. On his brow lay the immortal laurel wreath. All his latest interpreters, or rather the whole company of the theatre, stood reverently grouped around him and the Tragic Muse, grasping the Sybillic palmbranch, recited stanzas in honour of the author of Le Cid. The lines were by M. de Banville; they were delivered by Mdlle.
Page 521 - Comedie remembers her gods. It indulges, if only for a few moments, in meditation, and celebrates a mass to Corneille and to Moliere. The youngest poets are asked to furnish a dramatic poem, an ode, or a scenic trifle, the better to celebrate the commemoration, just as tenors and baritones from the...
Page 512 - Georges, I seem to be beholding the ruins of Palmyra in motion. Age has played terrible havoc with her, still she is not less majestic, nor less coquettish. Coquetry in old age is like a rose in a grinning death's head. Mdlle. Georges came to ask me yesterday to give a performance for her benefit. " You'll save me from starving,
Page 13 - ... with a flag that showed more red than tri-colour, because you managed so well to hide the blue and the white- " " Upon my heart!" I burst out laughing, and gave the ambassador a kiss for his pains. " The Citizens aforenamed offer you an engagement for jive years." " And how much do these gentlemen offer little Rachel to get them out of their misery?
Page 271 - Migraine (Headache), and true to its title it has given the headache to both actors and spectators alike who were trying to find the comedy behind the words, and failed. What is more, they have never been able to find out whether the piece was in prose or in verse. M. Viennet has religiously attended the rehearsals.

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