FROM THE EASY CHAIR BY GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS NEW YORK AND LONDON HARPER BROTHIRS PUBLISHERS 1902 Copyright, 1891, by HAMPER BROTHERS. AllngkU 1 shall from Time to Time Report and Consider all Matters of what Kind Soever that shall occur to Me. THE TATLER. CONTENTS. PACK EDWARD EVERETT IN 1863 i AT THE OPERA IN 1864 5 EMERSON LECTURING ... . at SHOPS AND SHOPPING 37 MRS. GRUNDY AND THE COSMOPOLITAN ... 36 DICKENS READING 1867 44 PHJLLIS 56 THOREAU AND MY LADY CAVAL1ERE . . 62 HONESTUS AT THE CAUCUS 74 THALBERG AND OTHER ...
FROM THE EASY CHAIR BY GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS NEW YORK AND LONDON HARPER BROTHIRS PUBLISHERS 1902 Copyright, 1891, by HAMPER BROTHERS. AllngkU 1 shall from Time to Time Report and Consider all Matters of what Kind Soever that shall occur to Me. THE TATLER. CONTENTS. PACK EDWARD EVERETT IN 1863 i AT THE OPERA IN 1864 5 EMERSON LECTURING ... . at SHOPS AND SHOPPING 37 MRS. GRUNDY AND THE COSMOPOLITAN ... 36 DICKENS READING 1867 44 PHJLLIS 56 THOREAU AND MY LADY CAVAL1ERE . . 62 HONESTUS AT THE CAUCUS 74 THALBERG AND OTHER PIANISTS 1871 ... 86 URBS AND RUS 97 RIP VAN WINKLE 106 A CHINESE CRITIC i HOLIDAY SAUNTERING 121 WENDELL PHILLIPS AT HARVARD 1881 . . . tag EASTER BONNETS 139 JENNY LIND 145 THE TOWN 156 SARAH SHAW RUSSELL 161 STREET MUSIC 166 A LITTLE DINNER WITH THACKERAY . . .173 CECILIA PLAYING 181 THE MANNERLESS SEX 189 ROBERT BROWNING IN FLORENCE . . . .197 PLAYERS 909 UNMUSICAL BOXES 318 THE ACADEMY DINNER IN ARCADIA, . . aa EDWARD EVERETT IN 1862. HE house was full, and mur murous with the pleasant chat and rustling movement of well-dressed persons of both sexes who waited pa tiently the coming of the orator, looking at the expanse of stage, which was car peted, and covered with rows of settees that went backward from the footlights to a landscape of charming freshness of color, that might have been set for the Maid of Milan or the pastoral opera. Between the seats and the foot-lights was a broad space, upon which stood a small table and two or three chairs and if the orator of the evening, like a primo tenore, had been surveying the house through the friendly chinks of the pastoral landscape, he would have felt a warm suffusion of pleasure that his name should be the magicspell to summon an audience so fair, so numerous, and so intelligent. i There were ushers who showed ladies to seats, and with their dress-coats and bright badges looked like a milder Met ropolitan police. But no greater force was presumed to be required of them than pressing aside a too discursive crin oline. In the soft, ample light, as the au dience sat with fluttering ribbons and bright gems and splendid silks and shawls, so tranquilly expectant, so calmly smiling, so shyly blushing if, haply, in all that crowd there were a pair of lovers, it was hard to believe that civil war was wasting the land, and that at the very moment some of those glad hearts were broken but would not know it until the sad news came. Yet it was easy, in the same glance, to feel that even the terrible shape that we thought we had eluded forever did not seem, after all, so terrible that even civil war might be shaking the gates and the guests still smile in the chambers. But while leaning against the wall, un der the balcony, the Easy Chair looks around upon the humming throng and thinks of camps far away, and beating drums and wild alarms and sweeping squadrons of battle, there is a sudden hush and a simultaneous glance towards one side of the house, and there, behind the seats at the side, and making for the stage door, marches a procession, two and two, very solemn, very bald, very gray, and in evening dress. They are the invited guests, the honored citizens of Brooklyn, the reverend clergy, and oth ers a body of substantial, intelligent, decorous persons. They disappear for a moment within the door, and immediately emerge upon the stage with a composed bustle, moving the seats, taking off their coats, sedately interchanging little jests, and finally seating themselves, and gazing at the audience evidently with a feeling of doubt whether the honor of the posi tion compensates for its great disadvan tage for to sit behind an orator is to hear, without seeing, an actor, The audience is now waiting, both upon the stage and in the boxes, with patient expectation. There is little talk ing, but a tension of heads towards the stage. The last word is spoken there, the
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