Stage-land: Curious Habits and Customs of Its Inhabitants

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Chatto & Windus, 1889 - Actors - 80 pages
 

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Page 26 - The first is when the client comes unexpectedly into a fortune; the second, when he unexpectedly loses it. In the former case, upon learning the good news, the stage lawyer at once leaves his business, and hurries off to the other end of the kingdom to bear the glad tidings. He arrives at the humble domicile of the beneficiary in question, sends up his card, and is ushered into the front parlour. He enters mysteriously, and sits left, client sits right.
Page 1 - That the accidental loss of the three and six penny copy of a marriage certificate annuls the marriage. That the evidence of one prejudiced witness, of shady antecedents, is quite sufficient to convict the most stainless and irreproachable gentleman of crimes for the committal of which he could have had no possible motive. But that this evidence may be rebutted, years afterwards, and the conviction quashed without further trial, by the unsupported statement of the comic man. That if A forges B's...
Page 27 - But such simple methods are not those of the stage lawyer. He looks at the client, and says : " You had a father." The client starts. How on earth did this calm, thin, keeneyed old man in black know that he had a father? He shuffles and stammers, but the quiet, impenetrable lawyer fixes his cold, glassy eye on him, and he is helpless. Subterfuge, he feels, is useless, and amazed, bewildered, at the knowledge of his most private affairs possessed by his strange visitant, he admits the fact: he had...
Page 32 - SHE sits on a table and smokes a cigarette. A cigarette on the stage is always the badge of infamy. In real life the cigarette is usually the hall-mark of the particularly mild and harmless individual. It is the dissipation of the YMCA ; the innocent joy of the pure-hearted boy, long ere the demoralizing influence of our vaunted civilization has dragged him down into the depths of the short clay. But behind the cigarette, on the stage, lurks ever blackhearted villainy and abandoned womanhood. The...
Page 28 - They all go about telling their own and their friends' secrets, to perfect strangers, on the stage. Whenever two people have five minutes to spare, on the stage, they tell each other the story of their lives. "Sit down, and I will tell you the story of my life," is the stage equivalent for the "Come and have a drink," of the outside ! world. The good Stage lawyer has generally nursed the heroine on his knee, when a baby (when she was a baby, we mean) — when she was only so high. It seems to have...
Page 28 - ... On the eldest daughter's birthday, when there's a big party on, is his favorite time. He comes in about midnight and tells them just as they are going down to supper. He has no idea of business hours, has the stage lawyer — to make the thing as unpleasant as possible seems to be his only anxiety. If he cannot work it for a birthday, then he waits till there's a wedding on, and gets up early in the morning on purpose to run down and spoil the show. To enter among a crowd of happy, joyous fellow-creatures,...
Page 1 - ... but, as a sincere friend to Literature in all its branches, I would ask, if that were law, what would become of the Novelists and the Playwrights ? The law of Stageland has been codified for us by the laborious care of Mr. Jerome K. Jerome, and among its bestestablished principles seem to be these : If a man dies without leaving a will, then all his property goes to the nearest villain...
Page 14 - The Stage heroine's only pleasure in life is to go out in a snowstorm without an umbrella, and with no bonnet on. She has a bonnet, we know (rather a tasteful little thing), we have seen it hanging up behind the door of her room; but when she comes out for a night stroll, during a heavy snowstorm (accompanied by thunder), she is most careful to leave it at home. Maybe she fears the snow will spoil it, and she is a careful girl. She always brings her child out with her on these excursions. She seems...
Page 63 - No power on earth can save it, after once the good old man has become a shareholder. If we lived in Stage-land, and were asked to join any financial scheme, our first question would be : "Is the good old man in it ?

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