Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

no Knight of the Rueful Countenance had When the guard appeared with the ever fought more windmills in a given prisoners, the woman was still clinging time. Juanita—she who had impressed to the man's clothes, and a soldier was on me by an impassioned appeal for a fool's either side of the couple. I recognized liberty—was a wanton! About a mile them at once-Juanita and the Mestizo. from home, out of the tropic blackness a The interpreter began, “Your name?hand grasped my stirrup. The stallion “ Alfredo Gonzales y Murieta, retired threw himself back on his haunches. My merchant; residence, the Baradero, San gun was out and cocked quicker than I

Roqué, Province of Kavite.” can tell it, and I leaned down to the small “And you, woman?” figure at my side. Juanita's face out of

Before she could reply the judge broke the night! A single word—Paciencia!"

in:

Hold on there! That's that coun—and she was gone. I raised myself in terfeiter's wife, and that must be the the saddle, I breathed free, the ylang- accomplice. Search him!” ylang was in the air, there was a cool The Señor Alfredo Gonzales y Muribreeze from over Ermita way. I felt eta was a walking mint. He was literally allured by a sense of ease.

stuffed with yellow bills of the Bank of hands to the false first morning glow in Spain, and his pockets were weighted the east and I called out aloud, “ O Brah- down with counterfeit Mexican dollars. ma, give us wisdom and let us not judge !" The little woman looked at the Judge

appealingly. Two days later I was sitting under the “Here, Sergeant,” he said, “ present dais with Judge Jewett, when there came niy compliments to Lieutenant Wolf at the sound of a scuffle in the street and a Bilibid prison and give him this order little later a noise in the great hall below. of release. That woman wants her husPresently the impassible orderly came in band. Take this fellow with you and and went through his invariable calis- watch him carefully. Here's his committhenics.

ment-fourteen years. Court now stands “ Man and woman fighting before the adjourned.” Palace, sir. Captain Case placed them Magellan and Columbus stared wildunder arrest. Do you want them now, eyed at each other, and as I went out with sir?"

the Spanish interpreter he said, “ Trot them in, Sergeant!”

“What liars these people are !

I raised my

[ocr errors]

(All rights reserved.)

USURY OF LOVE

TURN not the temple of thine heart

Into a money-changer's mart;
Nor seek the usury of love:
But lend, lend, lend!
Without a thought of love's return.
When lo! its sacrifice shall earn
The greater gain, and thus shall prove
A blessed end.

Isaac Jenkinson-Frazee.

[graphic]

A GROUP OF THE PLAYERS IN “BEN-HUR” Mr. Emmett Corrigan, “Ben-Hur"

Maud West, "Eros"

Mr. Frederick Truesdell, “ Malluch" Mr. W. S. Hart, " Messala"

Miss Mary Shaw, “Amrah”

Miss Adeline Adler, " Tirzah " Miss Corona Riccardo, “ Iras”

(

[ocr errors]

T

\HE most remarkable dramatic pro- ness of this scene is greatly enhanced by

duction in many respects known to the characteristic music composed by Pro

theatrical history is “Ben-Hur," fessor Kelly, the dominating theme of the the dramatization by William Young of Star of Bethlehem recurring at intervals General Lee Wallace's novel of that title. throughout the play. The play has been running in New York This beautiful picture fades and the City since last autumn. The production music changes to a strain which suggests cost $71,000 before the opening night. It the tread of the camel in the desert sand, employs 350 people. Very nearly 250,000 and in imagination the auditor follows people had seen the play at the time of its the Wise Men in their journey to Jerusahundredth performance, in February last. lem, where the play opens in a scene which The receipts have averaged over $18,500 shows the roof-terrace of the Palace of a week from the start. The advance sale, Hur, from which a view of the Holy City covering six weeks ahead, has been is presented. The youthful Ben-Hur, his $40,000 right along. The management mother and sister Amrah, the faithful has received daily an average of $500 in nurse, and Simonides, the merchant of express orders and postal orders from peo- Antioch, are introduced. Messala, a type ple outside the city. Nothing like this of the insolence and arrogance of Rome, has ever been previously known in theatri- returning to Jerusalem after long absence, cal business.

visits Ben-Hur, the friend of his boyhood, Very many people who had enjoyed the and is warmly greeted. He repays his book feared that the play would be but a welcome with an insult, which is resented, melodramatic spectacle, with emphasis and takes his leave in anger. A tender laid upon a claptrap chariot-race scene; domestic scene is interrupted by the blare but it is no exaggeration to say that the of trumpets announcing the approach of production at every point has surprised the Procurator Gratus. Far and near the and delighted the most fastidious taste people of Jerusalem swarm to their houseand most reverent mind. The play is es- tops to witness the entry of their new sentially a spectacle, but with a deep dra- master. Then follows the catastrophe of matic significance, and its pictures of the the falling tiles described in the novel. life of the times it depicts are both im- Ben-Hur, to see the legion as it passes, pressive and thrilling.

leans upon the parapet It crumbles and

. The usual overture by the orchestra is falls outward. A cry arises from the omitted and in its stead what is really a street: "Help! Treason! The Propictorial overture is presented. In this curator hath been murdered.” The prelude to the play, “ The Wise Men in palace-roof is invaded by the soldiery. the Desert,” is sounded the key-note of the Ben-Hur, accused by Messala, is seized drama. The curtain rises, disclosing a and bound. The shrieking women are symbolic drop, which depicts the opulent dragged away to the Tower of Antonia, power of Rome in contradistinction to the and the curtain falls upon Ben-Hur strugspiritual peace of Jerusalem. A choir gling in the grasp of his captors. chants the prophecies of Isaiah of the Three years pass and Ben-Hur, in ignocoming of the Messiah as the symbolic rance of the fate of his mother and sister, drop fades away, disclosing the tableau of is a slave—a rower on the war-galley “ The Wise Men in the Desert ” standing Astrea—of Arrius, the Roman tribune,

beside their kneeling camels, looking who commands a fleet sent to exterminate across the arid waste of sand and watch- the Ægean pirates. The rise of the curing with wonder and awe the apparition tain discloses the “ between-decks” of the of the Star of Bethlehem. Mysteriously trireme dimly lighted by battle lanterns. it fitters, at first a mere luminous point, The slaves, “ caitiffs and cut-throats of all increasing rapidly in size and brilliancy, the earth," toil at the creaking oars, Benshooting forth rays of light till the entire Hur among them. Here again Mr. Kelly's horizon is illuminated. The impressive music lends aid to the imagination, sig

[graphic]

scene IN “BEN-HUR”– BETWEEN DECKS ON THE WAR-GALLEY OF ARRIUS, THE ROMAN TRIBUNE Ben-Hur, now a galley slave, a rower on the trireme, is telling his story to Arrius, who is so much interested he gives orders that this slave shall not be chained when the

galley goes into action, as was the awful custom, dooming the rowers to certain death is the galley went down

nificative of the swash of the sea, the sigh- thirty years before, when they came to ing of the wind through the unseen Jerusalem asking for “Him who was cordage, and the mysterious murmurs of born King of the Jews." This interview the mighty deep. Arrius looks over his is interrupted by Ben-Hur, who comes to rowers before going into battle. Ben-Hur Simonides in quest of information of the attracts his attention. He orders the Hor- fate of his mother and sister. He distator to send Hur to him. Arrius learns closes his real identity as Ben-Hur, from Hur his story, and discovers that he though dressed as a Roman soldier. He is the son of an old friend, Ithamar, relates his adoption by Arrius, the duumPrince of Jerusalem. He orders Ben-Hur vir's jealousy of his love, and prevenback to his post. Hur thanks Arrius for tion of search for Hur's mother and sister. his kindness, and tells him that it is the Arrius is dead. Simonides refuses to first shown him since three years before, acknowledge Hur, yet secretly suspects when on his way to the galleys, in Bethle- his identity. Messala, the Roman who will hem, a curly-haired boy, the son of a car- compete in the chariot-races in the circus penter, gave him a cup of water. This as the champion of Rome, is mentioned is the first of the reverent allusions to the to test Hur. He would find Messala, and Nazarene in the drama, which is made is told that he is training his horses in the most touching by a strain of the musical Grove of Daphne.

He goes there foltheme, “ The Star of Bethlehem," which lowed by Malluch, an agent of Simondes. is always introduced when the Saviour ia After Hur's departure, Simondes reveals mentioned.

to Esther that if the young Roman who The galley is boarded and sunk. Ben- has just departed be the real Ben-Hur, Hur, who, by the Tribune's order, has not they are both his slaves and all they posbeen ironed to his thwart like the rest of

sess is his. the slaves, saves the life of Arrius in the The scene instantly changes to the fight. The shock of the trireme in its Grove of Daphne, the most noted pleascollision with the pirates, the rowers being ure-ground of antiquity. The Temple of hurled from their benches, and the clash Apollo is displayed, and before it troops of the sea-battle, are most realistically of young girls cross the stage tripping to presented. As the trireme sinks, the stage a song of Anacreon. Damsels of mature is plunged in darkness. An instant later years, bearing garlands and hymning in the open sea is revealed, and Ben-Hur, praise of Daphne, smile on Hur and supporting the wounded and helpless beckon to him enticingly. He turns in Arrius, clings to a fragment of the float- aversion but to face a fancifully bedecked ing wreck in the darkness. The sun rises, throng enacting the Masque of Eros, a great ball of fire on the horizon. Ben- symbolizing the dedication of a youth and Hur discovers the approach of a Roman maiden to a life of pleasure. In this trireme to the rescue. (Curtain.)

scene a chorus of seventy voices is heard. The first scene of the third act shows Ben-Hur turns away. He is in search of the interior of a room in the home of the racecourse and finds a guide in MalSimonides, the

the merchant prince of luch. Antioch. In the first act Simonides is a The scene changes, the Temple of strong man in the full vigor of life; in Apollo passes and the fountain of Castelia this scene he is a cripple, distorted by the is revealed. The revelers reappear and are tortures of Gratus, who sought to force re-enforced by the devadasi who whirl in him to give up the fortune of the Hurs their voluptuous dances. More than two which is in his hands, as the slave, stew- hundred people take part in this spectacle. ard, and confident of the dead Prince of The merry-makers disperse and the horses Hur. Great is the wealth of the crafty of Sheik Ilderim attract Ben-Hur. Folmerchant, but of all his treasures his lowing these comes a herald who offers daughter Esther is the dearest. Sheik reward for a driver in the coming chariotIlderim tells Simonides of the coming of

Then a camel richly caparisoned Balthasar, one of the three Wise Men and led by an Ethiop approaches. In the whom he rescued from the fury of Herod houdah on its back are seated Iras and

a

races.

« PreviousContinue »