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Behind the Footlights, or the Stage as I Knew It (Classic Reprint) (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 9 jun 2017


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Excerpt from Behind the Footlights, or the Stage as I Knew It

To issue to his patrons, the public, such a catalogue of his wares as will ensure the commodities being regarded in the most favourable light. He warrants everything. This rule applies with equal force to the mercantile pro fessional, be he lawyer, doctor, divine, or simple author or artist. It behoves him to recommend his work by some cunningly-contrived device, and to affix to his nostrum an attractive label, so as to induce the patient to swallow the potion cheerfully. And where, let me ask, can a dealer hit upon, and offer to his cus tomer a more enticing trap-bait than in the innocent and ingenuous title Truth Secure under that aegis, he can draw upon his imagination from St. Paul's to the Antipodes, and set down taradiddle after taradiddle with the impunity of the infallible Pope of Rome. The grocer warrants his roasted coffee free from chicory, and the confiding housewife at once plumps down upon the counter of the tea warehouse one shilling and eightpence, for sixteen ounces of the fifteenpenny mulatto-coloured abomination, with the docility of a lamb. The dairyman pops an additional penny per quart upon his guaran teed pure milk, and the unsuspicious invalid imbibes the skim-wash with an inward assurance of its bodily nourishment and support. Champagne, bottled on Count Phizzy's estate in the south of France, and bearing that nobleman's heraldic lozenge branded on the cork, com mands an extra two guineas per dozen from the amateurconnoisseur at his wine merchant's; whilst brandy, neat as imported, and the juice of the juniper berry, stamped by the Boniface's distiller, as positively free from aqueous adulteration, are insisted upon as wholesome and nutri tious beverages, by that numerous class of ancient spinster who consider a nightcap of scalding hot alcohol, at their time of life, as grateful, and, indeed, essential to their health and longevity. In each, and in all of these cases, the assurance of the purveyor who supplies the article is accepted in good faith by the purchaser, and the bare idea of chicanery on his part is scouted as unworthy of his social status. Very well then, the author of these sketches only follows the lead of the counter, and of his brethren of the quill, when he honourably and faithfully assures the reader that the incidents in the following pages are free from adultera tion, and literally and absolutely true. Of My Dééut on the Stage, an actor now living, and not many years since the respected lessee of a Metropolitan popular place of amusement, was the hero, and from his own lips the facts related in the tale were supplied. A Tragedian's Irish Début, and Coriolanus at the Seaside, owe their existence to the late distinguished tragedian Charles Dillon (to whom the adventures really occurred) and who was wont to narrate them to his intimate friends in his own characteristic and inimitable style. For the rest, the author was a witness of, or has been a participator in, all the scenes described, and has neither added to nor subtracted from the fidelity of the event. He takes this opportunity of acknowledging his indebtedness to his zealous collaborator, Mr. G. B. Le Fanu, whose illus trations have given to his characters a vivid life and reality the pen must have striven in vain to impart.

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