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able to the finest of drama. It does not signify that the acting of Miss Bates in that contemptible piece was good. How could her acting, in a perfectly easy farce part, be otherwise than good-she being what she is, and possessing the experience that she possesses? She had only to be gay and free in demeanor; to be cool, quick, tantalizing, and once or twice insolent and vehement; to meet palpable subterfuge with demure cajolery, and repel brazen impudence with nonchalant scorn; and, which is not a pleasing memory—to reveal, in the closing passage, which was insidiously devised for an impartment of voluptuous suggestion, those emotions, eminently natural and in themselves innocent and right, which modest, self-respecting womanhood, with decent reticence, naturally shields beneath impenetrable reserve and privacy. An actress who could readily impersonate such a part as Violante, in “The Wonder,” and express in it all the spirit of coquetry of which her nature is capable, could not fail to be much more than equal to the puny requirements of such a part as Roxana. To record the lapse of Blanche Bates into such stuff as “Nobody's Widow" is only to record wasted opportunity and disappointed expectation.

The earlier performances of this fine actress, representative of her true nature and her admirable artistic achievement, should be commemorated—for they are well remembered and they will not soon be forgotten.

“UNDER TWO FLAGS.”

A drama based on Ouida's well-known novel, “Under Two Flags,”—being one of several that have been deduced from the same source,—was presented at the Garden Theatre on February 5, 1901, under the supervision of David Belasco, and Miss Bates acted the heroine of it, Cigarette. The story of that ardent, picturesque, adventurous girl is a story of amatory infatuation, brave exploits, and pathetic self-sacrifice, under romantic circumstances. The representative of Cigarette must be handsome, passionate, expeditious, magnanimous, resolute, full of resource, sparkling with energy, potent in fiery conflicts of feeling, and, above all, capable of covering grief with a smile. That is the essence of the character. Blanche Bates, possessing rare personal distinction and a temperament equally attuned to the extreme moods of mirth and grief, was easily proficient in the assumption of that personality and in the pictorial and effective expression of it. Without the presence of that actress the play would have passed as a populous, tumultuous stage pageant-a spectacle of Moorish scenery and military bustle: animated by her power, sensibility, and spirited, various, and incessant action, it was lifted to dramatic importance.

The employment of Cigarette is the salvation from various dangers of a man whom she loves and whose love is bestowed on another woman, and her diligence

in that employment is attended by risk and rewarded by ruin. Many persons appear to think that it is beatific to be loved by other persons and grievous not to be loved, and, accordingly, love-tales exemplary of the joy, on the one hand, and the sorrow, on the other, that are sequent from those antipodal conditions of experience are perennially popular. Pygmalion worships a stone; Titania caresses the ears of an ass, and the populace is thrilled. Cigarette's passion for Bertie Cecil is of the old, familiar kind, and, the scene being Algeria, her adventures are, theatrically, shown across a background of singular beauty,—for that country is remarkable for flowers, cedar forests, Oriental palms, Roman remains, stony deserts contrasted with smiling villages, and luxuriant gardens not distant from mountains covered with

snow.

Taste, thought, ingenuity, and sedulous care were expended on the pageant by Belasco, and the result was a magnificent spectacle,-one of the richest and most impressive ever seen on our Stage. Had it been brought here by Henry Irving or Herbert BeerbohmTree, it would have been hailed as a transcendent exploit in stage craft. Every scene was a picture, , every picture was harmonious with the phase of the story to be illustrated, and in the transitions from the luxurious villa, with its prospect of the tranquil ocean faintly rippling beneath the moon, to the desolate, rocky, weird, and ominous mountain gorge a climax of solemn

grandeur seemed to take shape, color, and charm, slowly rising out of a dream of romantic beauty. The drift of whirling mist over the darkening waves of sand on the bleak seacoast would have seemed the most consummate of illusions, had it not been excelled by the blinding terrors of a mountain tempest. Those effects were wrought by simple means, but they were not less splendid because of the simplicity of their management.

The dramatic victory was not won, however, by either the pageantry or the play. “Under Two Flags" is hackneyed in expedients, abrupt in movement, drastic in method, coarse in character, shady in morals, florid in style, and the version of it used by Belasco was made silly, in some of the colloquies, by the infusion of contemporary slang and reference. The listener heard of "rot" and also of "the Klondike,”—unknown in the period of the story. But the old novel had been made to yield telling situations, and the strong and splendid acting of Miss Bates vitalized them and brilliantly animated the whole structure. The revelation of jealousy, working in an unsophisticated, half-savage nature, the elemental passion expressed in the fantastic dance, the prayer of the breaking heart for her lover's fidelity, the supplication for his pardon, the agony when repulsed, the ecstasy when triumphant, the tremendous conflict of emotions in the wild ride for rescue—they were all displayed with more of human nature and more of a competent artist's power to control feelings

and to shape the effect of situation than had been seen on our Stage for many a long day.

“THE DARLING OF THE GODS.”

romance

The drama called “The Darling of the Gods,” by David Belasco and John Luther Long, was presented in New York for the first time on December 3, 1902, and since then it has been acted many times, in many places, always to the satisfaction of the community, always with success. It is an excellent play, a unique fabric of fancy, wildly romantic, rich and strange with unusual characters, lively with incident, occasionally mystical with implication of Japanese beliefs and customs, opulent with an Oriental splendor of atmosphere and detail, - like that of Beckford's

of “Vathek,”—fragrant with sweetness, like Moore's “Lalla Rookh,”—busy with action, effective by reason of situation, and communicative of a love story of enchaining interest and melancholy beauty.

The story of Yo-San, who is designated “the darling of the gods,” separated from all adjuncts and accessories, is simple. She is a princess in Japan, betrothed to a Japanese courtier whom she does not wish to wed. She has stipulated, as a preliminary condition of their marriage, that the courtier must prove his valor by capturing a certain formidable outlaw, Prince Kara, who, on being captured, will be put to death. She has been saved from fatal dishonor through the expe

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