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teeth almost closed, so that, as Lady Teazle says, her words “seem to slide out edgewise, as if from the aperture of a poor's-box": but of the esteem in which Miss Adams has long been held by a numerous public of playgoers there can be no doubt.


Barrie's comedy of “What Every Woman Knows” had its first representation in America at the Empire Theatre, New York, on December 23, 1908, and Miss Adams gave a proficient, serio-comic, sometimes pathetic performance, representing, in a distinctly American manner, the peculiar and interesting Scotch girl who is the heroine of that ingenious composition. The piece showed itself to be somewhat more a play and somewhat less a “fantasy” than most of Barrie's later productions. The dramatist told a story by means of action,-the action being interpretative of the dialogue, -and, in telling the story, evolved character, sometimes much exaggerated for comic effect, and thus touched alike the springs of laughter and of tears. The fact which every woman knows is the fact that man, in the order of nature, is largely dependent on woman, and that without her assistance he would accomplish little if anything,—that he must be "mothered” and encouraged. That truth is illustrated and enforced by a fanciful, humorous, extravagant, and good-naturedly satirical exposition of Scotch persons and Scotch domestic life.

Barrie's method of stating his self-evident proposition is quizzical; the quizzical attitude of observation seems to have become the fixed, inveterate habit of his mind. The formula is blithely stated by the heroine: “Woman was not made out of Adam's rib, but out of his funny bone." That heroine, Maggie Wylie (the name itself possesses a latent significance), was a plain girl, the sister of three thrifty Scotchmen, Aleck, David, and James Wylie,-all resident in a Scotch town. The Wylies were possessed of a library. There was a railway porter, named John Shand, who had “a soul above buttons” and who wished to improve his mind by reading. With that purpose in view he surreptitiously entered the house of the Wylies, on various occasions, in order to obtain access to their books. At last he was captured as a burglar, but on being apprised of the motive of his singular conduct his captors agreed to pardon his burglarious incursion and to provide for his education, if he would agree to become,-after an interval of several years, and in the event of her concurrence,—the husband of Maggie Wylie. To that condition Shand assented, and in due time,-Maggie coming to know him and to love him, while releasing him from his promise,—the marriage occurred, and thereafter Shand, continually guided and aided by his wise, sweet, sensible wife,--without any knowledge, on his part, of her influence,—was embarked on the flood-tide of a prosperous public career. Then, as sometimes happens with clever

men, his head was turned by flattery, his vanity got the better of his judgment, and he became infatuated with a sparkling, worldly woman, by name Lady Sybil Lazenby. His wife, Maggie, in the natural course of things, perceived her husband's weakness and folly, and was mortified and grieved. She followed, however, an unusual and unnatural course, providing that Shand should be thrown into the society of his shallow charmer, in the comparative seclusion of a country cottage; where, presently, common sense surpervening on irrational sentiment, the lover and the lady found themselves mutually bored, so that Shand was glad to return to his Maggie and humbly to recognize and avouch the infinite obligation that rests on any man who is so fortunate as to possess the love of a good woman.

There are many details in the play, all deftly, if a little wildly, devised, and all concentrated to bear on the illustration of that central truth. The spirit is pure, the touch is light, the satire is playful, the colloquy is neat and fluent; the characterization, if sometimes violent, is distinct; the sequence of situations is cumulative,-notwithstanding that the First Act, with its audacity of fancy, is more brilliantly contrived and more humorously written than either of the three others,—and the method of impartment of meaning is, rightly, that of suggestion, not that of didacticism.

The dramatists who have done the greatest and most enduring service to the drama in the present period

are William S. Gilbert, Henry Arthur Jones, and Augustus Thomas, all of whom have evinced, besides other faculties, passion and power. Barrie has enriched dramatic literature with delicious creations of whimsical fancy and gentle humor, which could not be too much commended, and for which he merits the gratitude of every lover of the Stage. Miss Adams entered thoroughly into the spirit of the part of Maggie Wylie,

the spirit which combines goodness, tenderness, magnanimity, pride, motherhood, and pity with some little dash of tartness,—and gave a performance which needed only flexibility and more essential Scotch character to make it as entirely enjoyable as it was artistically consistent. At the moment when Maggie destroys Shand's written promise of marriage and again at the moment when she gazes on the beauty who has bewitched her husband, Miss Adams attained to the loftiest height she has reached, in the expression of feeling. The only essentially Scotch performance was that of David Wylie by Mr. David Torrence-correct and admirable in every particular. The part of Shand is technically so good (though no man could ever be quite so insensate under the circumstances shown) that it would carry any actor, and it carried Mr. Richard Bennett. He was not in the least a Scotchman, but he gave a consistent, sustained, effective performance.




EXPERIENCE has taught, as one of the laws of Moral Nature, that from persons to whom much has been given of intellectual faculty and alluring potency much will be expected. The richly endowed mind that trifles with its opulence, neglecting to fulfil itself and perform its duty, will eventually incur the retribution of disenchantment, unavailing sorrow, and immedicable regret. The penalty is not imposed from without: it does not proceed from the opinion of other persons,—a minor influence, and in the moral discipline of the soul completely insignificant: it comes from within. In the conduct of life, accordingly, those persons are wise who aim high, and who, at any sacrifice of personal comfort and at implacable repudiation of base expediency, cleave to the finest ideals that they are able to form. That thought is irresistibly brought to mind by consideration of the professional procedure of that exceptional and remarkable actress Blanche Bates, a woman to whom Nature has been prodigal of some of her richest gifts.

Miss Bates was born in Portland, Oregon, on August

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