Hopkinson Smith tells a characteristic story of a southern friend of
his, an actor, who, by the way, was in the dramatization of _Colonel
Carter_. On one occasion the actor was appearing in his native town, and
remembered an old negro and his wife, who had been body servants in his
father's household, with a couple of seats in the theatre. As it
happened, he was playing the part of the villain, and was largely
with treasons, stratagems and spoils. From time to time he
caught a glimpse of the ancient couple in the gallery, and judged from
their fearsome countenance and popping eyes that they were being duly
After the play he asked them to come and see him behind the scenes. They
sat together for a while in solemn silence, and then the mammy
resolutely nudged her husband. The old man gathered himself together
with an effort, and said: "Marse Cha'les, mebbe it ain' for us po'
niggers to teach ouh young masser 'portment. But we jes' got to tell yo'
dat, in all de time we b'long to de fambly, none o' ouh folks ain' neveh
befo' mix up in sechlike dealin's, an' we hope, Marse Cha'les, dat yo'
see de erroh of yo' ways befo' yo' done sho' nuff disgrace us."
In a North of England town recently a company of local amateurs produced
Hamlet, and the following account of the proceedings appeared in the
local paper next morning:
"Last night all the fashionables and elite of our town gathered to
witness a performance of _Hamlet_ at the Town Hall. There has been
considerable discussion in the press as to whether the play was written
by Shakespeare or Bacon. All doubt can be now set at rest. Let their
graves be opened; the one who turned over last night is the author."
Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special
observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature.--_Shakespeare_.
To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart;
To make mankind, in conscious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold--
For this the tragic muse first trod the stage.