Memories and Impressions of Helena Modjeska: An Autobiography ; Illustrated

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Macmillan, 1910 - Actresses - 571 pages
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Page 382 - DEFT hands called Chopin's music from the keys. Silent she sat, her slender figure's poise Flower-like and fine and full of lofty ease ; She heard her Poland's most consummate voice From power to pathos falter, sink and change; The music of her land, the wond'rous high, Utmost expression of its genius strange,— Incarnate sadness breathed in melody. Silent and thrilled she sat, her lovely face Flushing and paling like a delicate rose Shaken by summer winds from its repose Softly this way and that...
Page 323 - HELENA." I went several times to the theatre during that time. I saw and admired Mrs. Drew in "School for Scandal" and Mr. Sothern in "Lord Dundreary"; also Charles Coghlan and Adelaide Neilson, each of the latter in three different parts. I thought Coghlan a most exquisite actor. His parts in the "Lady of Lyons" and "Money" were played with a finish rarely seen on any but the French stage, while his lago in " Othello " was surely the best I ever have seen before or since. To begin with, he looked...
Page 138 - ... intended to give an impression of sensuousness. These two children are unconscious of their passion. They meet because they love, because they want to be together, to hear each other's voices, and to look in each other's eyes, and cherish and kiss or die. If they succumb to the natural law and the calling of their southern blood, it is not done with premeditation. There is no necessity, either, to remind the audience what had just happened in Juliet's room by such naturalistic details as a disarranged...
Page 527 - She came here as the exponent of the newest dramatic methods of the so-called realistic school of acting. Generally speaking, I do not take great interest in all this talk about the different schools of acting. It seems to me that there are only two schools, one of good acting, the other of bad acting. Thus, in the case of Madame Duse, I cared much less for her particular modernistic methods than for her own self and her artistic powers. Whatever school she belongs to, she is a great actress.
Page 250 - ! After the day of toil, to play the guitar and sing by moonlight, to recite poems, or to listen to the mocking-bird ! And listening to our songs would be charming Indian maidens, our neighbors, making wreaths of luxuriant wild flowers for us ! And in exchange we should give them trinkets for their handsome brown necks and wrists ! And oh, we should be so far away from every-day gossip and malice, nearer to God, and better.
Page 251 - Oh, but to cook under the sapphire-blue sky in the land of freedom! What Joy!" I thought. "To bleach linen at the brook like maidens of Homer's 'Iliad' ! After the day of toil, to play the guitar and sing by moonlight, to recite poems, or to listen to the mockingbird! And listening to our songs would be charming Indian maidens, our neighbors, making wreaths of luxuriant wild flowers for us! And in exchange we should give them trinkets for their handsome brown necks and wrists! And oh, we should be...
Page 294 - The whole picture looked more like fantastic stage scenery than a real thing, and looking at it, my imagination carried me far, far beyond the hills, back to the footlights again. A few years later we bought this place, and I called it "Arden," because, like the "Forest of Arden...
Page 304 - We had several cows, but there was no one to milk them, and we had to buy milk, butter, and cream from the neighbors. We had chickens, but our fine dogs made regular meals of the eggs. We had a vineyard, which yielded beautiful muscat grapes, but there was nobody to buy them, and often people would come and fill their wagons with them without more ado; they said that such was the custom of the country. . . . Our winter crop of barley was fast disappearing in the mouths of the neighboring cattle,...
Page 373 - Frou-Frou" that my rapid speeches were like Wagner's music to him, — the less he understood, the better he liked them. He added, further, that this rushing cataract of sounds was most impressive. Though the whole notice was most enthusiastic, and though I was thankful for so much indulgence, yet I considered it more as a youthful outburst of admiration than a truthful account. Had it not been so sincere, it would have sounded like satire. I laughed while reading it, but blushed also, and went directly...
Page 243 - You cannot die of hunger there, that is quite sure!" said one. "Rabbits, hares, and partridges are unguarded! You have only to go out and shoot them ! " "Yes," said another, "and fruits, too, are plenty! Blackberries and the fruit of the cactus grow wild, and they say the latter is simply delicious!

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