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MRS

B

ST

C

THE

OR,

A PEEP BEHIND THE CURTAIN !

COMPRISING

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES,

BRILLIANT REPARTEES,

WITTY SALLIES, EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES,
AND

AMUSING ANECDOTES,

Never before presented to the Public,

OF THE

DRAMATIC BEAUTIES,

MRS. HONEY, MADAME VESTRIS, MRS. NIS-
BETT, MISS MURRAY, MRS. HUMBY, MRS.
STIRLING, COUNTESS OF HARRINGTON, LATE
MISS FOOTE, MRS. CHATTERLEY, MISS
CHESTER, MRS. WEST, MRS. WAYLETT, MRS.
ORGER, AND MISS VINCENT.

Oh, there's the spell o'er hearts
Which only acting lends;
The youngest of the sister arts,
Where all their beauty blends.

LONDON:

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY

JACKSON & CO., 130, NEW BOND STREET.

1841.

pounded principally of size and lamp-oil-gain at last the gay and dazzling scene, where our readers may be gratified by

A PEEP BEHIND THE CURTAIN !

The curtain rises slowly to the accustomed ring of the prompter's bell, which tells the musician that his first task is over. The leader resigns his bow, and makes his bow in the green-room, whilst his subordinates linger for awhile, and then, one by one, retire for the conclusion of the act, when their services will be again required. Now gaze at the motley group that surround you-here care appears to be unknown, and all is revelry and joy-but not so in reality; many a heavy heart beats beneath the tinsel robe, and melancholy is not always banished from the bosom of a Ballet dancer. Observe that fair girl dressed in male attire-she has wrapt a cloak around her person-'tis her modesty, to hide from observation a pair of legs of the finest symmetry, which she will, however, indulge a thousand spectators with a full display of!

Look at that bustling, pursy old dame, who follows her with a bouquet and a white pocket-handkerchief-'tis her mamma, and woe betide her charge if she finds her flirting with any of the male performers, unless he comes under the denomination of a leading actor.

Those two ferocious-looking gentlemen who are taking snuff together are just going on for a mortal combat; and that mild-looking old man, with his arm round the waist of the plump girl in the dark corner, personates the venerable pastor, who has to save her, in the third act, from the very seduction he is now trying on for his own private amuse

ment.

+

We will now enter the Green-room-pray don't hesitate, though those ladies are practising before the looking-glass. Seat yourself on the ottoman, and you will perceive the effect of their display to double advantage!

The star of the evening has not yet descended from her dressing-room, and until she arrives we will relate a few anecdotes connected with the surrounding group.

You perceive that stout, short man, busily engaged in remonstrating with the thin pale man in black. The stout man is W, the actor, and the thin person, the tailor of the establishment. Mark how he calls the tailor s atten tion to the mis-fit of his trunk-hose-now he turns round to show him something is wrong behind, for no one is more scrupulous in costume than W-. Years since we remember him in a provincial circuit, where the manager had, weekly, cause to exclaim with Mrs. Haller, "Is Saturday come again so soon!" for to him it was generally a day that stood "accursed in his calendar." W- was at that period unburdened with any superfluity of coats; waistcoats he had none, and his smalls were like Cæsar's body, pierced with many 66 an envious rent." His benefit was announced, and it was absolutely necessary for him to appear in the streets and neighbourhood, in order to push his interest amongst his numerous friends and benefactors; but the state of his continuations rendered the thing, if not impos sible, a matter of serious mortification. At this moment a bright thought struck him-his smalls were luckily brown, and with the kind assistance of a female friend, his ragged seat of honour was cut out, and replaced in the neatest manner, by the greater proportion of a large sheet of that peculiar paper, which, from its strength, colour, and durability, renders it so much used in enveloping articles of commerce. Brown-papered in the breech, poor Wadvanced boldly to that forlorn hope, benefit making, and succeeded beyond his expectations. His last visit, previous to going to the theatre to dress, was to a friendly grocer. The day was oppressive, and W-seated himself upon a tub, whilst his friend poured him out a glass of homebrewed, and promised him that his most herculean efforts should be employed in the disposal of the four pit and six gallery tickets for his approaching benefit. W- rose to

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