I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to abandon you, but life was kinda kicking my backside these last months. I am continuing my posts on Victorian theatre. If you recall in the first post, we learned about the various type of productions, the different theatres, rules concerning the theatres, and the agents. Now let’s look at some of the accomplishments recommended in Leman Thomas Rede’sbookThe Road To The Stage, Or, The Performer’s Preceptorfor an actress or actor entering the profession.
Many of those who will honour me by perusing these pages, may
remember an actor, in the character of Corinthian Tom, dancing in the Almack
scene; although the gentleman’s performance of that character was very excellent, yet,
from not having cultivated an acquaintance with Terpsichore, he in this one
scene destroyed all our prepossessions of the all-accomplished Tom; whereas
Connor, if he did not, by his admirable Hibernian jig, completely make the
character of Dr. O’Tool, at least considerably heightened the effect of it.
Elliston was the only Doricourt upon the stage who danced the Minuet de la Gour, and this he made a great feature of his performance; while Egerton, though he opened in the Duke Aranza, at the Haymarket, did not dance at all, thus marring the whole effect of the scene, as the duke pointedly insists on Juliana dancing, and declares his intention of joining the merry circle himself.
There is one theatre in London for which no actor will be engaged
unless he has some knowledge of music, viz.-the Theatre Royal, English Opera
House. Although the season is a short one, yet this theatre, under the able
management of Mr. Arnold, has been the stepping-stone to some of our leading
actors. Harley, Wilkinson, and J. Russell, all made their first metropolitan
bows in one season here; poor Chatterley also appeared the same year. Miss
Love’s first introduction to the stage was on these boards; here it was that
Miss Kelly developed her splendid endowments; and it has been the arena where
Mathews has displayed all his versatility.
There is no line of the drama in which it may not be requisite to sing. Iago, Falkland, Edgar, (” King Lear,”) and include all vocalize, and it cannot be very agreeable to the feelings of any tragedian, after being highly applauded for his exertions in the course of the character, to be laughed at for his attempt to sing. In light comedy, it is continually requisite to execute music, and sometimes of no very easy character, as Baron Willinghurst, Captain Beldare, and Delaval (as originally written), Sparkish, The Singles, &c. &c. Old Men and Low Comedians must sing.
In melodrama, and serious pantomime, a slight knowledge of music is indispensable, where a certain number of things are to be done upon the stage during the execution of so many bars of music; the cues too for entrances and exits are frequently only cue changes of the air, and unless the ear is cultivated (if naturally bad) the performer will be led into error. At the time I was myself in the habit of perpetrating divers melodramatic characters in the provinces, I was obliged to get my brother to attend me behind the scenes to tell me when my music was on.
Fencing on the stage is more cultivated for effect than anything else, and a very slender knowledge of the art is sufficient; grace goes further than skill; a few lessons, if the pupil is not uncommonly dull, will be sufficient; it is not essential to rival Kean, or the late Bengough, in the use of the sword, but utter ignorance of the art is destructive to anyone, Edwards’ failure in Richard, at Covent Garden, was decided by his wretched combat–I need not add how Kean’s success was enhanced by his excellent one.
A knowledge of this language is a component part of that education every actor should have received; to a light comedian, and the performer of eccentrics, it is indispensable. Crackley, in “Green Man,” and a multitude of other parts, cannot be personated by a man ignorant of the Gallic tongue.
The 1872 Americanized edition of Rede’s book also includes the plays that all actors and actresses should know.
There is a vast amount of study required before the novice applies to a manager to become one of his company He must possess a thorough knowledge of the old standard dramas, for their characters are the standpoint from which all others are determined. The manager, for instance, in describing different parts uses the following phrases:
It is a kind of Bob Acres part, or that it is somewhat similar to Martin Haywood, or that still another part resembles Mrs. Haller; consequently you must judge what these characters are like and as Bob Acres is from “Rivals,” Martin Heywood from the “Rent Day” and Mrs. Haller from the “Stranger,” a knowledge of these plays and many others is most essential; besides, there are very few, if any, theatres in the United States which do not, in the course of a year, play one of the following pieces.
The following plays should, without no exception, be read. Nearly all of Shakspeare’s particularly:
And here’s a funny prerequisite to the modern reader: the would-be actress or actor must possess her or his own costumes!Here is an excerpt from the 1836 version of Rede’s book regarding costuming.
The number of actors that of late years have been in the habit of furnishing their own wardrobe has given the managers a hint which they have pretty generally taken. Every man likes to appear to advantage, and many therefore find their own dresses, if they do not approve of the old suits in the stock ; but as our best actors have generally been the poorest men, it is necessary for me to state the things it is absolutely expected that an actor is to find himself in.
Never build while you can buy, is a rule with regard to tenements–never make dresses while you can purchase them, is a dramatic maxim. Theatrical things made at home always cost treble what they could be purchased for [on the street].
Rede includes extensive costume and property lists for various stock characters. These are page images from the 1836 edition. Enjoy!
“A dog of mine,” says the celebrated Mathews, “should not go upon the stage,” and he says wisely, for the profession is fraught with toil, anxiety, and misery, beyond any other; but if that dog cannot be happy out of this hotbed of misery, in Heaven’s name let him be a miserable puppy in it.” — from the preface of Leman Thomas Tertius Rede’s 1827 book The Road To The Stage, Or, The Performer’s Preceptor: Containing Clear And Ample Instructions For Obtaining Theatrical Engagements, With A List Of All The Provincial Theatres … And A Complete Explanation Of All The Technicalities Of The Histrionic Art
While watching “Stitch In Time”, a BBC series about the history of clothes, I was intrigued when a costume historian stated that she used old theater photos to study historic clothes because, back in the Victorian day, actors and actresses had to supply their own costumes and, thus, most bought used clothes off the streets.
I have come across numerous theater photos through the years, so, naturally, when I went to look for some, they seemed scattered away. That’s how it works for me—I can’t find what I’m looking for and I find plenty of other fun things. In this case, I dug up this wonderful volume that began its long bookly journey first published in 1827 under the title The Road to the Stage. Sadly, the book’s sage author, Leman Thomas Rede, would die a few years after its initial publication, yet his book would live on, being updated and revised through the years, including altering its title and adding tips for the American actors and actresses. I was able to find several versions of the book between the years 1827 and 1872.
For this series of four blog posts on Victorian Theatre, I will use the 1836 edition because it’s in the early Victorian era but still useful to the Regency enthusiast.
contains a kind, short memoir about its late author.
LEMAN THOMAS TERTIUS REDE (the author of the following pages) was
the son of Mr. L. T. Rede, of the Inner Temple, author of ” An Essay on
the Laws of England,” ” Anecdotes and Biography,” &c.
&c., who died at Hamburgh, December, 1806, when the writer of the little
work to which this notice is· affixed was only seven years of age, he having
been born on the 14th of October, 1799, in Clerkenwell Close, London. At an
early age, Mr. Rede chose the law for his profession; but his design of
treading in the steps of his father and that father’s father, was frustrated by
a dramatic bias, which induced him to leave and attempt the stage. He made his
first appearance as Wilford, in the town of Stafford, in 1819; and in the year
1821 appeared at the Adelphi Theatre, London, in a farce called ” Capers
at Canterbury.” An accident, which befell him at Margate shortly
afterwards, induced him to resign the idea of making the stage permanently his
profession; he became connected with the press, and devoted his attention to
As a companion, he was much sought; his powers were less dazzling
than engaging; and, perhaps, few men had a more extensive circle of convivial
acquaintances. In 1829, he returned to the stage, and conducted the Queen’s
Theatre for a short period; and from that period to the time of his death, he
occasionally (though seldom) acted. In November, 1832, he performed The
Gentleman in Black in his brother’s drama of ” The Loves of the
Devils,” at Sadler’s Wells, for the benefit of Miss Forde. On the 12th of
December following, he expired (after a short but severe illness) of a disorder
of the heart.
His remains were interred in Clerkenwell Churchyard. Of one, whose social qualities, talents, and disposition, made him the delight of every circle in which he mingled, much more might justly be said, but the subject can only involve the obtrusion of private sorrows on the public ear. Mr. Rede’s enemies (if he had any) will declare that he was in heart and mind a man, in manners a gentleman, in acquirement a scholar, of unquestioned courage, gentle, charitable, and unassuming; formed to adorn any station, from his personal as well as mental advantages. He met death as a certain visitor, who came sooner than he had hoped, but whose approaches he encountered with an unchanged mind. He left a widow, but no child, to deplore him; and is survived by his mother, by three sisters, and a brother, who feels his irreparable loss too much to add one word more to this brief notice.
THAT a general prejudice exists in the breasts of parents and
preceptors against the stage, is as undeniable, as that a love of it is common
to the young and inexperienced. That the oft reiterated complaints of the
uncertainty attending this ill-fated profession are true, I shall not attempt
to deny, but it must be remembered that its rewards are also considerable. If
we are to be told that numbers have existed in barns, and expired in
workhouses, we should also recollect that many have rolled in carriages, that
could never, but for the stage, have emerged from behind a counter.
John Reeve quitted a banking-house contrary to the advice of all
his relatives, yet he has cause to rejoice in a resolution that has raised him
at once to an income he could never have hoped to have gained in his original
station-indeed, be blesses the day when he left off being a cheque-taker to
Perhaps that father would most truly study the welfare of his child who should, on discovering his dramatic bias, send him at once to some country company, instead of driving him, by his opposition, to duplicity when at home, and to seek his favourite amusement in private theatres abroad;-as long as acting affords entertainment to the performer, he must like it–make it his business-his duty-and, in nine cases out of ten, a cure will be effected.
The practice that a private theatre affords is usually pernicious,
and mistaken are those parents who consent to their children performing at
those establishments, to learn the rudiments of the profession. At private
theatres, no man studies rudiments–every one grasps at first-rate characters,
which are awarded, not to strength of intellect, but of pocket- for the merest
booby that ever carried a banner, who could command two pounds, would be cast
Richard, in preference to a Kean, if he could only afford ten shillings.
I do not wish to join in the common-place censure levelled at
private theatres, though I have reason to fear there is too much truth in the character
generally given of these places. There are indeed exceptions, but their number
Note: The original 1827 edition mentions Mr. Pym’s theatre on Wilson Street and
Mr. Durrant’s on Gloucester Street exceptions.
To any person whose mind is so far engaged with the dramatic
mania, as to be unsettled with regard to other professions-to one to whom all
other modes of existence appear “flat, stale, and unprofitable”- I
should say enter it at once-and now the how becomes the question.
I shall reserve the mention of the things necessary for any
performer on his outset for another part of the work, and proceed at once to
explain the method of procuring a situation. At the Harp (a public house in
Russell-street, immediately opposite the pit-door of Drury), resides Mr. Sims,
the theatrical agent, and his hours of business are from eleven o’clock until
three. On the payment of an introductory fee of seven shillings, he enters the
name of the applicant in his books, together with the line of the drama he may
wish to fill-and, on the procuration of a situation, he proportions his demand
to the amount of the salary obtained; but it seldom exceeds the total of one
Mr. Sims holds the situation held for so many years by his father; to the manners and acquirements of a gentleman, he adds an intimate knowledge of the profession, and his promptitude in business is only equalled by his urbanity and goodnature. It has been matter of regret in the profession, that Mr. Sims has not chosen some other place for his house of business, as it is peculiarly unpleasant, especially to ladies, to make calls at a house of public entertainment.
Mr. Tumour (of Covent Garden Theatre) has an office in Bow-street,
and is also a dramatic agent his mode of transacting business is similar to
that of Mr. Sims.
Mr. Kenneth, at the corner of the same street, also procures engagements for aspirants, and Mr. Miller, of Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, is in constant communication with all provincial managers (as agent to the Dramatic Author’s Society) though he does not act as an agent between actors and managers except indeed such as meditate a transatlantic trip.
Though every creature that places a foot upon the boards does so
in expectation of becoming a favourite in the metropolis, it is ascertained
that only one in one hundred, on an average, comes to the royal theatres in any
capacity at all–nor do I mention this as matter of regret. Many provincial
situations are preferable to London ones; the favourite of the Bath, Dublin,
Edinburgh, and Glasgow Theatres, may, with reasonable prudence, realize from
four to five hundred pounds per annum; and an income equal to that has been
amassed in the York circuit. An engagement of twelve guineas per week at a
royal theatre amounts, with the deductions made during Lent, Passion week, and
the usual vacation to something less than five hundred pounds a year.
The book then lists the managers, towns and circuits, and salaries of provincial theaters and sharing companies. The later version will include lists of American theaters, as well as American agents. I will insert a snippet of the list of English provincial theaters.
All mentions of travelling troops, such as Richardson’s, Scouton
and Holloway’s, Ryan’s, Adams’s, &c. would be here out of place, as these
persons its is presumed do even style themselves theatrical managers.
The system of sharing companies being nearly exploded, it is only necessary to briefly explain the principles on which they are conducted. If there were eight actors and four actresses, besides the manager, the receipts would be divided into seventeen parts or shares: One to each actor and actress; One to the manager, as an actor; One to him for dresses ; One for scenery; One for properties ; One also as manager. Thus if the receipts any one night amounted to 17l., the manager took 5l., and the company ll. a piece. In addition to this, as some little outlay must occur, the manager advancing this called it a stock debt, for which whenever they had a tolerable house, he made a large deduction.
On a rough calculation the United Kingdom is supposed to contain about 3000 performers; that is to say, individuals of both sexes who really understand their business–the amount of persons connived at by their friends and the public as actors and actresses must be about seven times that number.
As music is becoming daily more popular in this country, first
singers are proportionably in request. At Liverpool the leading vocalist has a
salary of five pounds per week; and such is the dearth of male singers, that
that is now considered the most profitable and safe line, and one for which an
engagement can always be obtained.
Tragedy is, it has been justly observed, going out of fashion. Whether England will ever become so completely fashionable as to dislike Shakespeare it is difficult to say, but certainly he has been latterly played to houses, that would indicate that the immortal bard’s attraction was declining ; but as improvements generally originate in the metropolis, so also do innovations, and tragedy, though unattractive in London, is not yet scouted in the provinces. As nearly all aspirants commence as tragedians, this line has always numerous professors; it is now, from the arrangements of modern managers, become imperative that a leading man should provide his own wardrobe. A tragedian always commands the best salary in the theatre, and in large establishments his situation is easy and profitable; in small ones he is expected to blend the light comedy with the serious business, and thus his labour, though not his profit is marvelously increased.
Genteel Comedy has been long called the most profitable line upon
the stage–it requires a good modern wardrobe. In small theatres the light
comedian must play the seconds in tragedy (Macduff, Richmond, &c.)–the
salary is generally first-rate - at all events next to that of the leading
Low Comedy is supposed to
be the best line, with reference to the benefits it ensures, but this is
trusting to a very precarious chance–the salary is generally on a par with the
First Old Men obtain somewhat similar terms.
Walking Gentlemen (Charles Stanley, Henry, Moreland, Harry
Thunder, &c.) is a line that also requires an extensive wardrobe; this
business is usually assigned to persons learning the rudiments of the
profession-the salary is generally low ; in Dublin even, not exceeding two
guineas per week, and in many respectable companies not more than one.
The observations already made, apply to the other sex equally with
regard to the First Tragedy–Fine Ladies–Singing Chambermaids–Old Women–and
First Singing Ladies are much more numerous than male vocalists, a circumstance which the system of modern education accounts for–and, perhaps, for a Lady, the Old Women may be considered the most profitable and safe line. Any young lady embracing this line, and possessed of even a moderate share of talent, could seldom lack a provincial engagement, and would stand an excellent chance of metropolitan distinction.
Having premised thus much, it is now necessary to place before my
readers the regulations of provincial establishments.
Rede then lists the general rules governing the country theatres including rehearsal and performance and the fines accrued for infractions on these rules. For example, “Every performer is expected to go on the stage and assist in all the processions and choruses, where it has been customary in London for principals to be engaged, as in Macbeth, Pizarro, Juliet’s dirge, Alexander’s entry, &c.-non-compliance with this regulation subjects the party to a fine of ten shillings” and “Saturday is considered the first day of the week, as in the London theatres.”
For rehearsals, “Notice of pieces to be rehearsed to be posted in the green-room, and the time of beginning, before the end of the play on the previous night of performance; and it is the call-boy’s duty to give notice to every performer who does not perform that evening” and “For not being reasonably perfect at the last rehearsal (sufficient time having been given for study), five shillings.”
An actor was fined a guinea for being intoxicated during a performance and five shillings for “omitting or introducing a scene or song without the consent of the manager.”
In the coming post, we will look at the skills required of men and women entering the acting profession. In the meantime, here is a little 1899 theatrical gem.
West Twenty-third St., New York, Sept. 22d, 18—. My Dear Madam,—I am sure you are too clear sighted not to have observed the
profound impression which your amiable qualities, intelligence and personal
attractions have made upon my heart, and as you have not repelled my attentions nor manifested
displeasure when I ventured to hint at the deep interest I felt in your welfare
and happiness, I cannot help hoping that you will receive an explicit
expression of my attachments, kindly and favorably. I wish it were in my power
to clothe the feelings I entertain for you in such words as should make my
pleadings irresistible; but after all what could I say, more than that you
are very dear to me, and that the most earnest desire of my
soul is to have the privilege of calling you my wife? Do you can you love me?
You will not, I am certain, keep me in suspense, for you are too good and kind
to trifle for a moment with sincerity like mine. Awaiting your answer, I
remain, with respectful affection, Ever yours,
To Francis Templeton, ESQ.,
West Forty-second St., New York, Sept. 24th, 18—. My Dear Mr. Templeton,—I
despise false delicacy, and therefore shall not pretend that I have been blind
to the state of your feelings. Nay, more, I will say that if your attentions
had been altogether unwelcome I should have treated them with a degree of
coldness which you say I have not shown. Widows, you
know, are supposed to have more experience and tact in these matters than
single ladies, and depend upon it if I had disliked you I should have known how
to make you aware of the fact. Under all the circumstances I think you may hope. I
shall be pleased to see you whenever you feel inclined to call, and meanwhile,
I remain, Yours very truly,
To Miss Maud Carter,
Pearl St., New York, March llth, 18—. My Dearest Maud,—I am off, to-morrow, and yet not altogether, for I leave my heart behind in your gentle keeping. You need not place a guard over it, however, for it is as impossible that it should stay away, as for a bit of steel to rush from a magnet. The simile is eminently correct, for you, my dear girl, are a magnet, and my heart is as true to you as steel. I shall make my absence as brief as possible. Not a day, not an hour, not a minute, shall I waste either in going or returning. Oh! this business! But I won’t complain, for we must have something for our hive besides honey—something that rhymes with it—and that we may have it, I must bestir myself. You will find me a faithful correspondent. Like the spider, I shall drop a line by (almost) every post; and mind, you must give me letter for letter I can’t give you credit. Your returns must be prompt and punctual.
To Herbert Holton, ESQ.,
Fifth Avenue, March 11th, 18—. Dear Herbert,—What a rattlebrain
you are! I cried for half an hour over your letter, though not that it was
particularly pathetic, but simply because it told me you were going away. Of
course I know that your journey is a matter of necessity, but that does not
help my loneliness. I have two injunctions to lay upon you, and I charge you by
your love, to obey them. They are comprised in six words —write often, and come back soon. I
won’t pay myself so poor a compliment as to suppose you will forget me for a moment.
Impatiently awaiting your return, believe me, Dear Herbert,
To Miss Belle Carpenter,
Wall St., New York, Oct . 5th, 18—. My Dear Miss,—I am accustomed to speak plainly, and know little of the niceties of etiquette. Do not think the worse of me for opening my heart to you abruptly, without any preliminary flourishes. There cannot be anything offensive, I hope, in the candid declaration that I love you. If you will give me the opportunity, I will endeavor to prove my affection by devoting my whole life to the promotion of your happiness. I should regard the pleasure of calling you my wife as the greatest that earth could afford.
Most sincerely yours,
To Albert Seaton, ESQ.
East Thirty-eighth St., New York, Oct. 7th, 18—. Dear Sir,—I have received your
letter, and must say that there is an air of straight-forward sincerity about
it that I like. Fine phrases have never been much to my taste, for I have found
the language of truth simple and direct. Following your own example, and
waiving all evasion, I will say at once that I think you worthy of the
affection you solicit, and that, with the consent of my parents, I shall not
object to receive your addresses. I shall be at home to-morrow evening and shall
be glad to see you. Yours sincerely,
To Miss Kate Martin,
Chicago, Iii., Sept. l0th, 18– My Dearest Kate,—This sheet of paper, though I should cover it with loving words, could never tell you truly how I long to see you again. Time does not run on with me now at the same pace as with other people; the hours seem days, the days weeks, while I am absent from you, and I have no faith in the accuracy of clocks and almanacs. Ah! if there was truth in clairvoyance, wouldn’t I be with you at this moment! I wonder if you are as impatient to see me as I am to fly to you? Sometimes it seems as if I must leave business and everything else to the Fates, and takes the first train to New York. However, the hours domove, though they don’t appear to, and in a few more weeks we shall meet again. Let me hear from you as frequently as possible in the meantime. Tell me of your health, your amusements and your affection.
Remember that every word you write will be a comfort
to me. Unchangeably yours,
To William Archer, ESQ.,
Bleecker St., New York, Sept. 16th, 18—. Dear William,—Your affectionate letter was most welcome. I won’t tell you
where I keep it, but I dare say you will guess that it is not very far from my heart. I need not
inform you, for you know it well, that you have my entire and undivided
affection, and that I look forward to your return with the most pleasurable
emotions. I am in excellent health, but cannot know real happiness until I
share it with yon. There, now I think you will not complain that I do not
reciprocate your devotion. According to the rules of etiquette I suppose I
ought to be more reserved; but truth is truth, and you shall never have aught
From your attached
To Miss Jane Grover,
Wednesday, Oct. 20th, 18– Dearest Jane,—The delightful hours
I have passed in your society have left an impression on my mind that is
altogether indelible, and cannot be effaced even by time itself. The frequent
opportunities I have possessed, of observing the thousand acts of amiability
and kindness which mark the daily tenor of your life, have ripened my feelings
of affectionate regard into a passion at once ardent and sincere, until I have
at length associated my hopes of future happiness with the idea of you as a life-partner
in them. Believe me, dearest Jane, this is no puerile fancy, but the matured
result of a long and warmly cherished admiration of your many charms of person
and mind. It is love—pure, devoted love: and I feel confident your knowledge of
my character will lead you to ascribe my motives to their true source.
May I then implore you to consult your own heart, and, should
this avowal of my fervent and honorable passion for you be crowned with your
acceptance and approval, to grant me permission to
refer the matter to your parents. Anxiously waiting your answer, I am, dearest
Your sincere and faithful lover,
To Henry Barclay, ESQ.
Dear Henry,—I have just perused your
too flattering letter, and, believe me, I feel so excited that I scarcely know
how or what to reply. You cannot but have observed that the favorable
impressions I received on the night of our first meeting, have gradually
deepened as our intimacy matured, and it would be false modesty in me now to
disclaim a feeling of the sincerest and most affectionate regard-for you, after
such undoubted proofs of your attachment. Dear Henry, my heart is yours. Need I
say more than that your proposals to my parents will find a warm and not
uninterested advocate, in one to whom the acceptance of them will be
happiness—their rejection a misfortune?
Excuse the brevity of this letter, for I cannot trust myself to
say more than that I am,
To Miss Alice Martine,
Chestnut St., Philadelphia, May 2d, 18—. My Dear Miss,—I have intended
many times when we have been together to put the simple question, which this note
is intended to propose; but although it seems the easiest thing in the world to
make an offer of marriage, yet when the heart is as deeply interested in the
answer as mine is, it is apt to fail one at the critical moment. Can I, dare I
hope, that you will permit me to call you mine? Am I mistaken, misled by
vanity, in supposing that this proposal, made in the truest spirit of
respectful love, will not be displeasing to you? My position and prospects
warrant me in saying that I can provide for you a comfortable home, and I may
truly add that without you no place can be a home to me. Anxiously awaiting
your answer, I remain, Yours affectionately,
To Ernest Irving, ESQ.,
Green St., Philadelphia, May 5th, 18—. Dear Sir,—Your offer of marriage is certainly unexpected, but it is made in a manner so diffident and respectful as to preclude the possibility of its giving offense. I am not offended; but marriage is a serious matter, and although I confess my own inclinations are in your favor, I must advise with those who have a right to be consulted, before I give you a decided answer. I think I may say, however, in the meantime, that you need notdespair. Sincerely yours,
To Miss Lizzie Bolton,
Madison Square, New York, Feb. 24th, 18—. Dear Miss,—Although I have been in
your society but once, the impression you have made upon me is so deep and powerful,
that I cannot forbear writing to you, in defiance of all rules of etiquette.
Affection is sometimes of slow growth; but sometimes too it springs up in a moment.
In half an hour after I was introduced to you, my heart was no longer my own. I
have not the assurance to suppose that I have been fortunate enough to create
any interest in yours; but will you allow me to cultivate your acquaintance in
the hope of being able to win your regard in the course of time? Petitioning
for a few lines in reply, I remain, dear Miss,
To Clarence Boardman, Esq.,
East Thirty-fourth St., New York, Feb. 27th, 18—. Dear Sir,—I ought, I suppose, to
call you severely to account for your declaration of love at first sight, but I
cannot in conscience do so ; for to tell you the truth, I have thought more
about you since our brief interview than I should be willing to admit, if you
had not come to confession first. And now a word or two in seriousness: We know
but little as yet of each other, and hearts should not be exchanged in the
dark. I shall be happy to receive you here as a friend, and as to our future
relations to each other, we shall be better able to judge what they ought to
be, when we know each other more intimately. I am, dear sir, Yours truly,
To Mr. Henry Hilton,
Walnut St., Philadelphia, Dec. 2d, 18—. Sir,—I have heard of your flirtations since you have been at New York. In fact I have been told that you were false enough to deny your engagement to me, in the hope of making yourself more acceptable as a beau to your new lady acquaintances. Under such circumstances I am quite willing to release you from all your promises. You are free, sir! I have no inclination to share your affections with half a dozen others. Nothing less than a whole heart will satisfy me.
To Miss Augusta Wells,
My Dear Gussie,—You have been imposed upon
; by whom I know not, but unquestionably by some one who has a grudge against
me. I have never since our engagement paid more attention to any lady than
ordinary politeness required. My heart has never wandered from you for a moment.
Dismiss such groundless suspicions from your mind. Your letter has wounded me
deeply. To break off our engagement would be to render me the most miserable of
men. I am willing that the strictest inquiry should be made into my conduct,
for it will bear the closest scrutiny.
Dearest, let me hear from you again soon, and in the old kind
vein. Ever yours,
Dear Frank,—No letter again! You are
really growing intolerably negligent, and I shall begin to think that you are
getting tired of me, and that some new attraction is in the field. Knowing how
anxious I am respecting your health and welfare, I am sure you will give me the
credit of not writing from idle jealousy, although really I feel grieved and
anxious at your unusual neglect.
I have no news
just at present—indeed, I am too much out of spirits to write at any great
length. Pray hasten to remove all doubt from the mind of one whose thoughts,
day and night, are upon you only.
To Miss Lucy Hartman,
No. — St. Luke’s Place, Oct.
3d, 18—. My Dear Lucy,—It
is with pain I write to you in aught that can seem like a strain of reproach,
but I confess that your conduct last night both
surprised and vexed me. Your marked approbation of the attentions paid to you
by Mr. Walters was as obvious as your neglect of myself. Believe me, I am in no
way given to idle jealousy—still less am I selfish or unmanly enough to wish to
deprive any lady on whom I have so firmly fixed my affections, of any pleasure
to be obtained in good society. But my peace of mind would be lost forever, did
I believe that I have lost one atom of your affection.
Pray write, and assure me that you still preserve your undivided
Your devoted but grieved
To Miss Catherine Morton,
Arch St., Philadelphia, Oct. 22st, 18—. My Dearest Kate,—How grieved
am I that you should think me capable of wavering in my affection toward you,
and inflicting a slight upon one, in whom my whole hopes of happiness are
centered! Believe me, my attentions to Miss Hamilton were never intended for
anything more than common courtesy. My long acquaintance with her father, and
my knowledge of her amiable character—as well as the circumstance of her being
a comparative stranger to the Howards,—such were my sole reasons for paying
more attention to her than I might otherwise have done.
Pray rest confident in the belief that my affection for you is
as unchanging as my regret is great that I should ever have given you cause to
doubt it, and believe me, Dearest Kate,
While I was preparing my Halloween post, I noticed that The Ladies’ Home Journal featured paper dolls in many of their issues in the 1910s. I’ve adored paper dolls since childhood, so I was giddy to put these dolls on my blog. In total, there are 45 pages of paper dolls including Alice in Wonderland and World War One soldier ones!
I’ve posted these images as a thumbnail gallery. Just click on an image to see a larger version that you can save and print. Get out your scissors and enjoy!
Throwing a Halloween party? Sure, you can search Pinterest for cute ideas like most everyone. Or you can browse the pages of The Ladies’ Home Journal in the 1910s! I’ve posted some of the pages I found, as well as old Halloween cards from Wikimedia Commons. Happy Halloween!