A Tramp Abroad By Mark Twain






































































































 -   The moment the curtain went up,
the light in the body of the house went down.
The audience sat in - Page 70
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The Moment The Curtain Went Up, The Light In The Body Of The House Went Down. The Audience Sat In The Cool Gloom Of A Deep Twilight, Which Greatly Enhanced The Glowing Splendors Of The Stage. It Saved Gas, Too, And People Were Not Sweated To Death.

When I saw "King Lear" played, nobody was allowed to see a scene shifted; if there was nothing to

Be done but slide a forest out of the way and expose a temple beyond, one did not see that forest split itself in the middle and go shrieking away, with the accompanying disenchanting spectacle of the hands and heels of the impelling impulse - no, the curtain was always dropped for an instant - one heard not the least movement behind it - but when it went up, the next instant, the forest was gone. Even when the stage was being entirely reset, one heard no noise. During the whole time that "King Lear" was playing the curtain was never down two minutes at any one time. The orchestra played until the curtain was ready to go up for the first time, then they departed for the evening. Where the stage waits never each two minutes there is no occasion for music. I had never seen this two-minute business between acts but once before, and that was when the "Shaughraun" was played at Wallack's.

I was at a concert in Munich one night, the people were streaming in, the clock-hand pointed to seven, the music struck up, and instantly all movement in the body of the house ceased - nobody was standing, or walking up the aisles, or fumbling with a seat, the stream of incomers had suddenly dried up at its source. I listened undisturbed to a piece of music that was fifteen minutes long - always expecting some tardy ticket-holders to come crowding past my knees, and being continuously and pleasantly disappointed - but when the last note was struck, here came the stream again.

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