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Title: Memoirs of an American Prima Donna
Author: Kellogg, Clara Louise, 1842-1916
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: Signature; Clara Louise Kellogg Strakosch]



Memoirs of an

American Prima Donna

By

Clara Louise Kellogg
(Mme. Strakosch)

_With 40 Illustrations_

G. P. Putnam's Sons
New York and London
The Knickerbocker Press
1913

COPYRIGHT, 1913
BY
CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG STRAKOSCH

The Knickerbocker Press, New York

   WITH AFFECTION AND DEEPEST APPRECIATION OF HER WORTH
          AS BOTH A RARE WOMAN AND A RARER FRIEND
              I INSCRIBE THIS RECORD OF MY
                    PUBLIC LIFE TO

                 JEANNETTE L. GILDER



FOREWORD


The name of Clara Louise Kellogg is known to the immediate generation
chiefly as an echo of the past. Yet only thirty years ago it was written
of her, enthusiastically but truthfully, that "no living singer needs a
biography less than Miss Clara Louise Kellogg; and nowhere in the world
would a biography of her be so superfluous as in America, where her name
is a household word and her illustrious career is familiar in all its
triumphant details to the whole people."

The past to which she belongs is therefore recent; it is the past of
yesterday only, thought of tenderly by our fathers and mothers, spoken
of reverently as a poignant phase of their own ephemeral youth, one of
their sweet lavender memories. The pity is (although this is itself part
of the evanescent charm), that the singer's best creations can live but
in the hearts of a people, and the fame of sound is as fugitive as life
itself.

A record of such creations is, however, possible and also enduring;
while it is also necessary for a just estimate of the development of
civilisations. As such, this record of her musical past--presented by
Clara Louise Kellogg herself--will have a place in the annals of the
evolution of musical art on the North American continent long after
every vestige of fluttering personal reminiscence has vanished down the
ages. A word of appreciation with regard to the preparation of this
record is due to John Jay Whitehead, Jr., whose diligent chronological
labours have materially assisted the editor.

Clara Louise Kellogg came from New England stock of English heritage.
She was named after Clara Novello. Her father, George Kellogg, was an
inventor of various machines and instruments and, at the time of her
birth, was principal of Sumter Academy, Sumterville, S. C. Thus the
famous singer was acclaimed in later years not only as the Star of the
North (the _rôle_ of Catherine in Meyerbeer's opera of that name being
one of her achievements) but also as "the lone star of the South in the
operatic world." She first sang publicly in New York in 1861 at an
evening party given by Mr. Edward Cooper, the brother of Mrs. Abram
Hewitt. This was the year of her _début_ as Gilda in Verdi's opera of
_Rigoletto_ at the Academy of Music in New York City. When she came
before her countrymen as a singer, she was several decades ahead of her
musical public, for she was a lyric artist as well as a singer. America
was not then producing either singers or lyric artists; and in fact we
were, as a nation, but just getting over the notion that America could
not produce great voices. We held a very firm contempt for our own
facilities, our knowledge, and our taste in musical matters. If we did
discover a rough diamond, we had to send it to Italy to find out if it
were of the first water and to have it polished and set. Nothing was so
absolutely necessary for our self-respect as that some American woman
should arise with sufficient American talent and bravery to prove beyond
all cavil that the country was able to produce both singers and artists.

For rather more than twenty-five years, from her appearance as Gilda
until she quietly withdrew from public life, when it seemed to her that
the appropriate moment for so doing had come, Clara Louise Kellogg
filled this need and maintained her contention. She was educated in
America, and her career, both in America and abroad, was remarkable in
its consistent triumphs. When Gounod's _Faust_ was a musical and an
operatic innovation, she broke through the Italian traditions of her
training and created the _rôle_ of Marguerite according to her own
beliefs; and throughout her later characterisations in Italian opera,
she sustained a wonderfully poised attitude of independence and of
observance with regard to these same traditions. In London, in St.
Petersburg, in Vienna, as well as in the length and breadth of the
United States, she gained a recognition and an appreciation in opera,
oratorio, and concert, second to none: and when, later, she organised an
English Opera Company and successfully piloted it on a course of
unprecedented popularity, her personal laurels were equally supreme.

In 1887, Miss Kellogg married Carl Strakosch, who had for some time been
her manager. Mr. Strakosch is the nephew of the two well-known
impresarios, Maurice and Max Strakosch. After her marriage, the public
career of Clara Louise Kellogg virtually ended. The Strakosch home is in
New Hartford, Connecticut, and Mrs. Strakosch gave to it the name of
"Elpstone" because of a large rock shaped like an elephant that is the
most conspicuous feature as one enters the grounds through the
poplar-guarded gate. Mr. and Mrs. Strakosch are very fond of their New
Hartford home, but, the Litchfield County climate in winter being
severe, they usually spend their winters in Rome. They have also
travelled largely in Oriental countries.

In 1912, Mr. and Mrs. Strakosch celebrated their Silver Wedding at
Elpstone. On this occasion, the whole village of New Hartford was given
up to festivities, and friends came from miles away to offer their
congratulations. Perhaps the most pleasant incident of the celebration
was the presentation of a silver loving cup to Mr. and Mrs. Strakosch by
the people of New Hartford in token of the affectionate esteem in which
they are both held.

The woman, Clara Louise Kellogg, is quite as distinct a personality as
was the _prima donna_. So thoroughly, indeed, so fundamentally, is she a
musician that her knowledge of life itself is as much a matter of
harmony as is her music. She lives her melody; applying the basic
principle that Carlyle has expressed so admirably when he says: "See
deeply enough and you see musically."

ISABEL MOORE.

WOODSTOCK, N. Y.
August, 1913



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                           PAGE

   I. MY FIRST NOTES                                 1

  II. GIRLHOOD                                      11

 III. "LIKE A PICKED CHICKEN!"                      22

  IV. A YOUTHFUL REALIST                            33

   V. LITERARY BOSTON                               43

  VI. WAR TIMES                                     55

 VII. STEPS OF THE LADDER                           62

VIII. MARGUERITE                                    77

  IX. OPÉRA COMIQUE                                 90

   X. ANOTHER SEASON AND A LITTLE MORE SUCCESS      99

  XI. THE END OF THE WAR                           110

 XII. AND SO--TO ENGLAND!                          119

XIII. AT HER MAJESTY'S                             129

 XIV. ACROSS THE CHANNEL                           139

  XV. MY FIRST HOLIDAY ON THE CONTINENT            152

 XVI. FELLOW-ARTISTS                               163

XVII. THE ROYAL CONCERTS AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE      177

 XVIII. THE LONDON SEASON                          188

   XIX. HOME AGAIN                                 200

    XX. "YOUR SINCERE ADMIRER"                     212

   XXI. ON THE ROAD                                227

  XXII. LONDON AGAIN                               235

 XXIII. THE SEASON WITH LUCCA                      245

  XXIV. ENGLISH OPERA                              254

   XXV. ENGLISH OPERA--_Continued_                 266

  XXVI. AMATEURS AND OTHERS                        276

 XXVII. "THE THREE GRACES"                         289

XXVIII. ACROSS THE SEAS AGAIN                      300

  XXIX. TEACHING AND THE HALF-TALENTED             309

   XXX. THE WANDERLUST, AND WHERE IT LED ME        324

  XXXI. SAINT PETERSBURG                           334

 XXXII. GOOD-BYE TO RUSSIA--AND THEN?              346

XXXIII. THE LAST YEARS OF MY PROFESSIONAL CAREER   357

 XXXIV. _CODA_                                     370



ILLUSTRATIONS



                                                 PAGE

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG STRAKOSCH       _Frontispiece_

   LYDIA ATWOOD                                     2
      Maternal Grandmother of Clara Louise Kellogg

   CHARLES ATWOOD                                   4
      Maternal Grandfather of Clara Louise Kellogg
      From a Daguerreotype

   GEORGE KELLOGG                                  10
      Father of Clara Louise Kellogg
      From a photograph by Gurney & Son

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG, AGED THREE                12
      From a photograph by Black & Case

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG, AGED SEVEN                14
      From a photograph by Black & Case

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG AS A GIRL                  20
      From a photograph by Sarony

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG AS A YOUNG LADY            28
      From a photograph by Black & Case

   BRIGNOLI, 1865                                  42
      From a photograph by C. Silvy

   JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, IN 1861                   46
      From a photograph by Brady

   CHARLOTTE CUSHMAN, 1861                         52
      From a photograph by Silabee, Case & Co.

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG AS FIGLIA                  56
      From a photograph by Black & Case

   GENERAL HORACE PORTER                           58
      From a photograph by Pach Bros.

   MUZIO                                           66
      From a photograph by Gurney & Son

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG AS LUCIA                   72
      From a photograph by Elliott & Fry

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG AS MARTHA                  74
      From a photograph by Turner

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG AS MARGUERITE, 1865        82
      From a photograph by Sarony

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG AS MARGUERITE, 1864        88
      From a silhouette by Ida Waugh

   GOTTSCHALK                                     106
      From a photograph by Case & Getchell

   JANE ELIZABETH CROSBY                          108
      Mother of Clara Louise Kellogg
      From a tintype

   GENERAL WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, 1877         116
      From a photograph by Mora

   HENRY G. STEBBINS                              122
      From a photograph by Grillet & Co.

   ADELINA PATTI                                  130
      From a photograph by Fredericks

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG AS LINDA, 1868            134
      From a photograph by Stereoscopic Co.

   MR. JAMES MCHENRY                              138
      From a photograph by Brady

   CHRISTINE NILSSON, AS QUEEN OF THE NIGHT       146
      From a photograph by Pierre Petit

   DUKE OF NEWCASTLE                              188
      From a photograph by John Burton & Sons

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG AS CARMEN                 230
      From a photograph

   SIR HENRY IRVING AND ELLEN TERRY AS THE VICAR
   AND OLIVIA                                     234
      From a photograph by Window & Grove

   FIRST EDITION OF THE "FAUST" SCORE, PUBLISHED
   IN 1859 BY CHOUSENS OF PARIS, NOW IN THE
   BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY                          240

   NEWSPAPER PRINT OF THE KELLOGG-LUCCA SEASON    250
       Drawn by Jos. Keppler

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG IN _MIGNON_               252
      From a photograph by Mora

   ELLEN TERRY                                    284
      From a photograph by Sarony

   COLONEL HENRY MAPLESON                         290
      From a photograph by Downey

   CLARA LOUISE KELLOGG AS AÏDA                   292
      From a photograph by Mora

   FAUST BROOCH PRESENTED TO CLARA LOUISE
   KELLOGG                                        298

   CARL STRAKOSCH                                 364
      From a photograph by H. W. Barnett

   LETTER FROM EDWIN BOOTH TO CLARA LOUISE
   KELLOGG                                        366

   "ELPSTONE," NEW HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT          370



Memoirs of An American Prima Donna



CHAPTER I

MY FIRST NOTES


I was born in Sumterville, South Carolina, and had a negro mammy to take
care of me, one of the real old-fashioned kind, of a type now almost
gone. She used to hold me in her arms and rock me back and forth, and as
she rocked she sang. I don't know the name of the song she crooned; but
I still know the melody, and have an impression that the words were:

    "Hey, Jim along,--Jim along Josy;
     Hey, Jim along,--Jim along Joe!"

She used to sing these two lines over and over, so that I slept and
waked to them. And my first musical efforts, when I was just ten months
old, were to try to sing this ditty in imitation of my negro mammy.

When my mother first heard me she became apprehensive. Yet I kept at it;
and by the time I was a year old I could sing it so that it was quite
recognisable. I do not remember this period, of course, but my mother
often told me about it later, and I am sure she was not telling a fairy
story.

There is, after all, nothing incredible or miraculous about the fact,
extraordinary as it certainly is. We are not surprised when the young
thrush practises a trill. And in some people the need for music and the
power to make it are just as instinctive as they are in the birds. What
effects I have achieved and what success I have found must be laid to
this big, living fact: music was in me, and it had to find expression.

My music was honestly come by, from both sides of the house. When the
family moved north to New England and settled in Birmingham,
Connecticut,--it is called Derby now--my father and mother played in the
little town choir, he a flute and she the organ. They were both
thoroughly musical people, and always kept up with musical affairs,
making a great many sacrifices all their lives to hear good singers
whenever any sort of opportunity offered. As for my maternal
grandmother--she was a woman with a man's brain. A widow at
twenty-three, with no money and three children, she chose, of all ways
to support them, the business of cotton weaving; going about Connecticut
and Massachusetts, setting up looms--cotton gins they were called--and
being very successful. She was a good musician also, and, in later
years, after she had married my grandfather and was comfortably off,
people begged her to give lessons; so she taught _thorough-base_, in
that day and generation! Pause for a moment to consider what that meant,
in a time when the activity of women was very limited and unrecognised.
Is it any wonder that the granddaughter of a woman who could master and
teach the science of _thorough-base_ at such a period should be born
with music in her blood?

[Illustration: =Lydia Atwood=

Maternal Grandmother of Clara Louise Kellogg]

My other grandmother, my father's mother, was musical, too. She had a
sweet voice, and was the soprano of the church choir.

Everyone knew I was naturally musical from my constant attempts to sing,
and from my deep attention when anyone performed on any instrument, even
when I was so little that I could not reach the key-board of the piano
on tip-toe. That particular piano, I remember, was very
old-fashioned--one of the square box-shaped sort--and stood extremely
high.

One day my grandmother said to my mother:

"I do believe, Jane, if we lifted that baby up to the piano, she could
play!"

Mother said: "Oh, pshaw!"

But they did lift me up, and I did play. I played not only with my right
hand but also with my left hand; and I made harmonies. Probably they
were not in any way elaborate chords, but they _were_ chords, and they
harmonised. I have known some grown-up musicians whose chords didn't!

I was three then, and a persistent baby, already detesting failure. I
never liked to try to do anything, even at that age, in which I might be
unsuccessful, and so learned to do what I wanted to do as soon as
possible.

My mother was gifted in many ways. She used to paint charmingly; and has
told me that when she was a young girl and could not get paint brushes,
she made her own of hairs pulled from their old horse's tail.

My maternal grandfather was not at all musical. He used to say that to
him the sweetest note on the piano was when the cover went down! Yet it
was he who accidentally discovered a fortunate possession of
mine--something that has remained in my keeping ever since, and, like
many fortunate gifts, has at times troubled as much as it has consoled
me.

One day he was standing by the piano in one room and I was playing on
the floor in another. He idly struck a note and asked my mother:

"What note is that I am striking? Guess!"

"How can I tell?" said my mother. "No one could tell that."

"Why, mother!" I cried from the next room, "don't you know what note
that is?"

"I do not," said my mother, "and neither do you."

"I do, too," I declared. "It's the first of the three black keys going
up!"

It was, in fact, F sharp, and in this manner it was discovered that I
had what we musicians call "absolute pitch"; the ability to place and
name a note the moment it is heard. As I have said, this has often
proved to be a very trying gift, for it is, and always has been
impossible for me to decipher a song in a different key from that in
which it is written. If it is written in C, I hear it in C; and conceive
the hideous discord in my brain while the orchestra or the pianist
renders it in D flat! When I see a "Do," I want to sing it as a "Do,"
and not as a "Re."

This episode must have been when I was about five years old, and soon
afterward I began taking regular piano lessons. I remember my teacher
quite well. He used to come out from New Haven by the Naugatuck
railway--that had just been completed and was a great curiosity--for the
purpose of instructing a class of which I was a member.

[Illustration: =Charles Atwood=

Maternal Grandfather of Clara Louise Kellogg

From a daguerreotype]

I had the most absurd difficulty in learning my notes. I could play
anything by ear, but to read a piece of music and find the notes on
the piano was another matter. My teacher struggled with this odd
incapacity; but I used to cheat him shockingly.

"_Do_ play this for me!" I would beg. "Just once, so I can tell how it
goes."

In spite of this early slowness in music reading, or, perhaps because of
it, when I _did_ learn to read, I learned to read thoroughly. I could
really play; and I cannot over-estimate the help this has been to me all
my life. It is so essential--and so rare--for a _prima donna_ to be not
only a fine singer but also a good musician.

There was then no idea of my becoming a singer. All my time was given to
the piano and to perfecting myself in playing it. But my parents made
every effort to have me hear fine singing, for the better cultivation of
my musical taste, and I am grateful to them for doing so, as I believe
that singing is largely imitative and that, while singers need not begin
to train their voices very early, they should as soon as possible
familiarise themselves with good singing and with good music generally.
The wise artist learns from many sources, some of them quite unexpected
ones. Patti once told me that she had caught the trick of her best
"turn" from listening to Faure, the baritone.

My father and mother went to New York during the Jenny Lind _furore_ and
carried me in their arms to hear her big concert. I remember it clearly,
and just the way in which she tripped on to the stage that night with
her hair, as she always wore it, drawn down close over her ears--a
custom that gave rise to the popular report that she had no ears.

That concert is my first musical recollection. I was much amused by the
baritone who sang _Figaro là Figaro quà_ from _The Barber_. I thought
him and his song immensely funny; and everyone around us was in a great
state over me because I insisted that the drum was out of tune. I was
really dreadfully annoyed by that drum, for it _was_ out of tune! I
remember Jenny Lind sang:

    "Birdling, why sing'st thou in the forest wild?
      Say why,--say why,--say why!"

and one part of it sounded exactly like the call of a bird. Sir Jules
Benedict, who was always her accompanist, once told me many years later
in London that she had a "hole" in her voice. He said that he had been
obliged to play her accompaniments in such a way as to cover up certain
notes in her middle register. A curious admission to come from him, I
thought, for few people knew of the "hole."

Only once during my childhood did I sing in public, and that was in a
little school concert, a song _Come Buy My Flowers_, dressed up daintily
for the part and carrying a small basketful of posies of all kinds. When
I had finished singing, a man in the audience stepped down to the
footlights and held up a five-dollar bill.

"To buy your flowers!" said he.

That might be called my first professional performance! The local paper
said I had talent. As a matter of fact, I don't remember much about the
occasion; but I do remember only too well a dreadful incident that
occurred immediately afterward between me and the editor of the
aforesaid local paper,--Mr. Newson by name.

I had a pet kitten, and it went to sleep in a rolled up rug beside the
kitchen door one day, and the cook stepped on it. The kitten was
killed, of course, and the affair nearly killed me. I was crying my eyes
out over my poor little pet when that editor chanced along. And he made
fun of me!

I turned on him in the wildest fury. I really would have killed him if I
could.

"Laugh, will you!" I shrieked, beside myself. "Laugh! laugh! laugh!"

He said afterwards that I absolutely frightened him, I was so small and
so tragic.

"I knew then," he declared, "that that child had great emotional and
dramatic possibilities in her. Why, she nearly burned me up!"

Years later, when I was singing in St. Paul, the _Dispatch_ printed this
story in an interview with Mr. Newson himself. He made a heartless jest
of the alliteration--"Kellogg's Kitten Killed"--and referred to my
"inexpressible expression of sorrow and disgust" as I cried, "Laugh,
will you!" Said Mr. Newson in summing up:

"It was a real tragedic act!"

Mr. Newson's description of me as a child is: "A black-eyed little girl,
somewhat wayward--as she was an only child--kind-hearted, affectionate,
self-reliant, and very independent!"

Well--sight-reading became so easy to me, presently, that I could not
realise any difficulty about it. To see a note was to be able to sing
it; and I was often puzzled when people expressed surprise at my
ability. When I was about eleven, someone took me to Hartford to "show
me off" to William Babcock, a teacher and a thorough musician. He got
out some of his most difficult German songs; songs far more intricate
than anything I had ever before seen, of course, and was frankly amazed
to find that I read them just about as readily as the simple airs to
which I was accustomed.

My childhood was very quiet and peaceful, rather commonplace in fact,
except for music. Reading was a pleasure, too, and, as my father was a
student and had a wonderful library, I had all the books I wanted. I was
literally brought up on Carlyle and Chaucer. I must have been a rather
queer child, in some ways. Even as a little thing I liked clothes. When
only nine years old I conceived a wild desire for a pair of kid gloves.
Kid gloves were a sign of great elegance in those days. At last my
clamours were successful and I was given a pair at Christmas. They were
a source of great pride, and I wore them to church, where I did my
little singing in the choir with the others. By this time I could read
any music at sight and would sit up and chirp and peep away quite
happily. As I spread my kid-gloved hands out most conspicuously, what I
had not noticed became very noticeable to everyone else: the fingers
were nearly two inches too long. And the choir laughed at me. I was
dreadfully mortified and sat there crying, until the kind contralto
comforted me.

In my young days the negro minstrels were a great diversion. They were
amusing because they were so typical. There are none left, but in the
old times they were delightful, and it is a thousand pities that they
have passed away. All the essence of slavery, and the efforts of the
slaves to amuse themselves, were in their quaint performances. The banjo
was almost unknown to us in the North, and when it found its way to New
England it was a genuine novelty. I was simply fascinated by it as a
little girl and used to go to all the minstrel shows, and sit and watch
the men play. Their banjos had five strings only and were played with
the back of the nail,--not like a guitar. This was the only way to get
the real negro twang. There was no refinement about such playing, but I
loved it. I said:

"I believe I could play that if I had one!"

My father, the dignified scholar, was horrified.

"When a banjo comes in, I go out," said he.

At last a friend gave me one, and I watched and studied the darkies
until I had picked up the trick of playing it, and soon acquired a real
negro touch. And I also acquired some genuine darky songs. One, of which
I was particularly fond, was called: _Hottes' co'n y' ever eat_.

I really believe I was the first American girl who ever played a banjo!
In a few years along came Lotta, and made the banjo a great feature.

Banjo music has natural syncopation, and its peculiarities undoubtedly
originated the "rag-time" of our present-day imitations. There was one
song that I learned from hearing a man sing it who had, in turn, caught
it from a darky, that has never to my knowledge been published and is
not to be found in any collection.

It began:

[Illustration: Musical notation; It'll set this dar-key cra-zy. I don't
know what I'll do,]

and remains with me in my _répertoire_ unto this day. I have been known
to sing it with certain effect--for when I am asked, now, to sing it, my
husband leaves the room! The last time I sang it was only a couple of
years ago in Norfolk. Herbert Witherspoon said:

"Listen to that high C!"

"Ah," said I, "that is the last remnant--the very last!"

But this chapter is to be about my first notes, not my last ones.

In 1857, my father failed, the beautiful books were sold and we went to
New York to live. Almost directly afterward occurred one of the most
important events of my career. Although I was not being trained for a
singer, but as a musician in general, I could no more help singing than
I could held breathing, or sleeping, or eating; and, one day, Colonel
Henry G. Stebbins, a well-known musical amateur, one of the directors of
the Academy of Music, was calling on my father and heard me singing to
myself in an adjoining room. Then and there he asked to be allowed to
have my voice cultivated; and so, when I was fourteen, I began to study
singing. The succeeding four years were the hardest worked years of my
life.

To young girls who are contemplating vocal study, I always say that it
is mostly a question of what one is willing to give up.

If you really are prepared to sacrifice all the fun that your youth is
entitled to; to work, and to deny yourself; to eat and sleep, not
because you are hungry or sleepy, but because your strength must be
conserved for your art; to make your music the whole interest of your
existence;--if you are willing to do all this, you may have your reward.

But music will have no half service. It has to be all or nothing.

In Rostand's play, they ask Chanticleer:

"What is your life?"

And he answers:

"My song."

"What is your song?"

"My life."

[Illustration: =George Kellogg=

Father of Clara Louise Kellogg

Photograph by Gurney & Son]



CHAPTER II

GIRLHOOD


In taking up vocal study, however, I had no fixed intention of going on
the stage. All I decided was to make as much as I could of myself and of
my voice. Many girls I knew studied singing merely as an accomplishment.
In fact, the girl who aspired professionally was almost unknown.

I first studied under a Frenchman named Millet, a graduate of the
Conservatory of Paris, who was teaching the daughters of Colonel
Stebbins and, also, the daughter of the Baron de Trobriand. Later, I
worked with Manzocchi, Rivarde, Errani and Muzio, who was a great friend
of Verdi.

Most of my fellow-students were charming society girls. Ella Porter and
President Arthur's wife were with me under Rivarde, and Anna Palmer who
married the scientist, Dr. Draper. The idea of my going on the stage
would have appalled the families of these girls. In those days the life
of the theatre was regarded as altogether outside the pale. One didn't
know stage people; one couldn't speak to them, nor shake hands with
them, nor even look at them except from a safe distance across the
footlights. There were no "decent people on the stage"; how often did I
hear that foolish thing said!

It is odd that in that most musical and artistic country, Italy, much
the same prejudice exists to this day. I should never think of telling a
really great Italian lady that I had been on the stage; she would
immediately think that there was something queer about me. Of course in
America all that was changed some time ago, after England had
established the precedent. People are now pleased not only to meet
artists socially, but to lionise them as well. But when I was a girl
there was a gulf as deep as the Bottomless Pit between society and
people of the theatre; and it was this gulf that I knew would open
between myself and the friends of whom I was really fond as, in time, I
realised that I was improving sufficiently to justify some definite
ambitions. My work was steady and unremitting, and by the time I began
study with Muzio my mind was pretty nearly made up.

A queer, nervous, brusque, red-headed man was Muzio, from the north of
Italy, where the type always seems so curiously German. Besides being
one of the conductors of the Opera, he organised concert tours, and
promised to see that I should have my chance. It was said that he had
fled from political disturbances in Italy, but this I never heard
verified. Certainly he was quite a big man in the New York operatic
world of his day, and was a most cultivated musician, with the "Italian
traditions" of opera at his fingers' ends. It is to Muzio, incidentally,
that I owe my trill.

[Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg. Aged Three=

From a photograph by Black & Case]

Oddly enough, I had great difficulty with that trill for three years;
but in four weeks' study he taught me the trick,--for it is a trick,
like so many other big effects. I believe I got it finally by using my
sub-conscious mind. Don't you know how, after striving and straining
for something, you at last relax and let some inner part of your brain
carry on the battle? And how, often and often, it is then that victory
comes? So it was with my trill; and so it has been with many difficult
things that I have succeeded in since then.

No account of my education would be complete without a mention of the
great singers whom I heard during that receptive period; that is, the
years between fourteen and eighteen, before my professional _début_. The
first artist I heard when I was old enough really to appreciate good
singing was Louisa Pine, who sang in New York in second-rate English
Opera with Harrison, of whom she was deeply enamoured and who usually
sang out of tune. We did not then fully understand how well-schooled and
well-trained she was; and her really fine qualities were only revealed
to me much later in a concert.

Then there was D'Angri, a contralto who sang Rossini to perfection.
_Italiani in Algeria_ was produced especially for her. About that same
time Mme. de la Grange was appearing, together with Mme. de la Borde, a
light and colorature soprano, something very new in America. Mme. de la
Borde sang the Queen to Mme. de la Grange's Valentine in _Les
Huguenots_, and had a French voice--if I may so express it--light, and
of a strange quality. The French claimed that she sang a scale of
_commas_, that is, a note between each of our chromatic intervals. She
may have; but it merely sounded to the listener as if she wasn't singing
the scale clearly. Mme. de la Grange was a sort of goddess to me, I
remember. I heard her first in _Trovatore_ with Brignoli and Amodio.

Piccolomini arrived here a couple of years later and I heard her, too.
She was of a distinguished Italian family, and, considering Italy's
aristocratic prejudices, it is strange that she should have been an
opera singer. She made _Traviata_, in which she had already captured the
British public, first known to us: yet she was an indifferent singer and
had a very limited _répertoire_. She received her adulation partly
because people didn't know much then about music. Adulation it was, too.
She made $5000 a month, and America had never before imagined such an
operatic salary. She looked a little like Lucca; was small and dark, and
decidedly clever in comedy. I was fortunate enough to see her in
Pergolese's delightful, if archaic, opera, _La Serva Padrona_--"The Maid
as Mistress"--and she proved herself to be an exceptional _comédienne_.
She was excellent in tragedy, too.

Brignoli was the first great tenor I ever heard; and Amodio the first
famous baritone. Brignoli--but all the world knows what Brignoli was! As
for Amodio; he had a great and beautiful voice; but, poor man, what a
disadvantage he suffered under in his appearance. He was so fat that he
was grotesque, he was absurdly short, and had absolutely no saving grace
as to physique. He played Mazetto to Piccolomini's Zerlina, and the
whole house roared when they came on dancing.

I heard nearly all the great singers of my youth; all that were to be
heard in New York, at any rate, except Grisi. I missed Grisi, I am sorry
to say, because on the one occasion when I was asked to hear her sing,
with Mario, I chose to go to a children's party instead. I am much
ashamed of this levity, although I was, to be sure, only ten years old
at the time.

[Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg. Aged Seven=

Photograph by Black & Case]

Adelina Patti I heard the year before my own _début_. She was a slip of
a girl then, when she appeared over here in _Lucia_, and carried the
town by storm. What a voice! I had never dreamed of anything like it.
But, for that matter, neither had anyone else.

What histrionic skill I ever developed I attribute to the splendid
acting that I saw so constantly during my girlhood. And what actors and
actresses we had! As I look back, I wonder if we half appreciated them.
It is certainly true that, viewed comparatively, we must cry "there were
giants in those days!" Think of Mrs. John Wood and Jefferson at the
Winter Garden; of Dion Boucicault and his wife, Agnes Robertson; of
Laura Keene--a revelation to us all--and of the French Theatre, which
was but a little hole in the wall, but the home of some exquisite art (I
was brought up on the Raouls in French pantomime); and all the wonderful
old Wallack Stock Company! Think of the elder Sothern, and of John
Brougham, and of Charles Walcot, and of Mrs. John Hoey, Mrs. Vernon, and
Mary Gannon,--that most beautiful and perfect of all _ingénues_! Those
people would be world-famous stars if they were playing to-day; we have
no actors or companies like them left. Not even the Comédie Française
ever had such a gathering.

It may be imagined what an education it was for a young girl with stage
aspirations to see such work week after week. For I was taken to see
everyone in everything, and some of the impressions I received then were
permanent. For instance, Matilda Heron in _Camille_ gave me a picture of
poor Marguerite Gautier so deep and so vivid that I found it invaluable,
years later, when I myself came to play Violetta in _Traviata_.

I saw both Ristori and Rachel too. The latter I heard recite on her last
appearance in America. It was the _Marseillaise_, and deeply impressive.
Personally, I loved best her _Moineau de Lesbie_. Shall I ever forget
her enchanting reading of the little scene with the jewels?--_Suis-je
belle?_

The father of one of my fellow students was, as I have said before,
Baron de Trobriand, a very charming man of the old French aristocracy.
He came often to the home of Colonel Stebbins and always showed a great
deal of interest in my development. He knew Rachel very well; had known
her ever since her girlhood indeed, and always declared that I was the
image of her. As I look at my early portraits, I can see it myself a
little. In all of them I have a desperately serious expression as though
life were a tragedy. How well I remember the Baron and his wonderful
stories of France! He had some illustrious kindred, among them the
Duchesse de Berri, and we were never tired of his tales concerning her.

I find, to-day, as I look through some of my old press notices, that
nice things were always said of me as an actress. Once, John Wallack,
Lester's father, came to hear me in _Fra Diavolo_, and exclaimed:

"I wish to God that girl would lose her voice!"

He wanted me to give up singing and go on the dramatic stage; and so did
Edwin Booth. I have a letter from Edwin Booth that I am more proud of
than almost anything I possess. But these incidents happened, of course,
later.

From all I saw and all I heard I tried to learn and to keep on learning.
And so I prepared for the time of my own initial bow before the public.
As I gradually studied and developed, I began to feel more and more
sure that I was destined to be a singer. I felt that it was my life and
my heritage; that I was made for it, and that nothing else could ever
satisfy me. And Muzio told me that I was right. In another six months I
would be ready to make my _début_. It was a serious time, when I faced
the future as a public singer, but I was very happy in the contemplation
of it.

That summer I took a rest, preparatory to my first season,--how
thrillingly professional that sounded, to be sure!--and it was during
that summer that I had one of the most pleasant experiences of my
girlhood,--one really delightful and _young_ experience, such as other
girls have,--a wonderful change from the hard-working, serious months of
study. I went to West Point for a visit. In spite of my sober
bringing-up, I was full of the joy of life, and loved the days spent in
a place filled with the military glamour that every girl adores.

West Point was more primitive then than it is now. But it was just as
much fun. I danced, and watched the drill, and walked about, and made
friends with the cadets,--to whom the fact that they were entertaining a
budding _prima donna_ was both exciting and interesting--and had about
the best time I ever had in my life.

Looking back now, however, I can feel a shadow of sadness lying over the
memory of all that happy visit. We were just on the eve of war, little
as we young people thought of it, and many of the merry, good-looking
boys I danced with that summer fell at the front within the year. Some
of them entered the Union Army the following spring when war was
declared, and some went South to serve under the Stars and Bars. Among
the former was Alec McCook--"Fighting McCook," as he was called.
Lieutenant McCreary was Southern, and was killed early in the war. So,
also, was the son of General Huger--the General Huger who was then
Postmaster General and later became a member of the Cabinet of the
Confederacy.

It is interesting to consider that West Point, at the time of which I
write, was a veritable hotbed of conspiracy. The Southerners were
preparing hard and fast for action; the atmosphere teemed with plotting,
so that even I was vaguely conscious that something exceedingly serious
was going on. The Commandant of the Post, General Delafield, was an
officer of strong Southern sympathies and later went to fight in Dixie
land. When the war did finally break out, nearly all the ammunition was
down South; and this had been managed from West Point.

Of course, all was done with great circumspection. Buchanan was a
Democratic president; and the Democrats of the South sent a delegation
to West Point to try to get the commanding officers to use their
influence in reducing the military course from four to three years. This
at least was their ostensible mission, and it made an excellent excuse
as well as offered great opportunities for what we Federal sympathisers
would call treason, but which they probably considered was justified by
patriotism. Indeed, James Buchanan was allotted a very difficult part in
the political affairs of the day; and the censure he received for what
is called his "vacillation" was somewhat unjust. He held that the
question of slavery and its abolition was not a national, but a local
problem; and he never took any firm stand about it. But the conditions
were bewilderingly new and complex, and statesmen often suffer from
their very ability to look on both sides of a question.

Jefferson Davis was then at West Point; and, as for "Mrs. Jeff"--I
always believed she was a spy. She had her niece and son with her at the
Point, the latter, "Jeff, Jr.," then a child of five or six years old.
He had the worst temper I ever imagined in a boy; and I am ashamed to
relate that the officers took a wicked delight in arousing and
exhibiting it. He used to sit several steps up on the one narrow
stairway of the hotel and swear the most horrible, hot oaths ever heard,
getting red in the face with fury. Alec McCook, assistant instructor and
a charming fellow of about thirty, would put him on a bucking donkey
that was there and say:

"Now then, lad, don't you let him put you off!"

And the "lad" would sit on the donkey, turning the air blue with
profanity. But one thing can be said for him: he did stick on!

Lieutenant Horace Porter, who was among my friends of that early summer,
was destined to serve with distinction on the Northern side. I met him
not long ago, a dignified, distinguished General; and it was difficult
to see in him the high-spirited, young lieutenant of the old Point days.

"Do you know," he said, "Mrs. Jeff Davis sent for me to come and see her
when she was in New York! _Of course_ I didn't go!"

He had not forgotten. One does not forget the things that happened just
before the war. The great struggle burned them too deeply into our
memories.

Nothing would satisfy the cadets, who were aware that I was preparing to
go on the stage as a professional singer, but that I should sing for
them. I was only too delighted to do so, but I didn't want to sing in
the hotel. So they turned their "hop-room" into a concert-hall for the
occasion and invited the officers and their friends, in spite of Mrs.
Jeff Davis, who tried her best to prevent the ball-room from being given
to us for our musicale. She did not attend; but the affair made her
exceedingly uncomfortable, for she disliked me and was jealous of the
kindness and attention I received from everyone. She always referred to
me as "that singing girl!"

As I have said, many of those attractive West Point boys and officers
were killed in the war so soon to break upon us. Others, like General
Porter, have remained my friends. A few I have kept in touch with only
by hearsay. But throughout the Civil War I always felt a keener and more
personal interest in the battles because, for a brief space, I had come
so close to the men who were engaged in them; and the sentiment never
passed.

Ever and ever so many years after that visit to West Point, a note came
behind the scenes to me during one of my performances, and with it was a
mass of exquisite flowers. "Please wear one of these flowers to-night!"
the note begged me. It was from one of the cadets to whom I had sung so
long before, but whom I had never seen since.

I wore the flower: and I put my whole soul into my singing that night.
For that little episode of my girlhood, the meeting with those eager and
plucky young spirits just before our great national crisis, has always
been close to my heart. As for the three dark years that followed--ah,
well,--I never want to read about the war now.

[Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg as a Girl=

From a photograph by Sarony]

It was almost time for my _début_, and there was still something I had
to do. To my sheltered, puritanically brought up consciousness, there
could be no two views among conventional people as to the life I was
about to enter upon. I knew all about it. So, a few weeks before I was
to make my professional bow to the public, I called my girl friends
together, the companions of four years' study, and I said to them:

"Girls, I've made up my mind to go on the stage! I know just how your
people feel about it, and I want to tell you now that you needn't know
me any more. You needn't speak to me, nor bow to me if you meet me in
the street. I shall quite understand, and I shan't feel a bit badly.
_Because I think the day will come when you will be proud to know me!_"



CHAPTER III

"LIKE A PICKED CHICKEN"


Before my _début_ in opera, Muzio took me out on a concert tour for a
few weeks. Colson was the _prima donna_, Brignoli the tenor, Ferri the
baritone, and Susini the basso. Susini had, I believe, distinguished
himself in the Italian Revolution. His name means _plums_ in Italian,
and his voice as well as his name was rich and luscious.

I was a general utility member of the company, and sang to fill in the
chinks. We sang four times a week, and I received twenty-five dollars
each time--that is, one hundred dollars a week--not bad for
inexperienced seventeen, although Muzio regarded the tour for me as
merely educational and part of my training.

My mother travelled with me, for she never let me out of her sight. Yet,
even with her along, the experience was very strange and new and rather
terrifying. I had no knowledge of stage life, and that first _tournée_
was comprised of a series of shocks and surprises, most of them
disillusioning.

We opened in Pittsburg, and it was there, at the old Monongahela House,
that I had my first exhibition of Italian temperament, or, rather,
temper!

When we arrived, we found that the dining-room was officially closed. We
were tired out after a long hard trip of twenty-four hours, and, of
course, almost starved. We got as far as the door, where we could look
in hungrily, but it was empty and dark. There were no waiters; there was
nothing, indeed, except the rows of neatly set tables for the next meal.

Brignoli demanded food. He was very fond of eating, I recall. And, in
those days, he was a sort of little god in New York, where he lived in
much luxury. When affairs went well with him, he was not an unamiable
man; but he was a selfish egotist, with the devil's own temper on
occasion.

The landlord approached and told us that the dinner hour was past, and
that we could not get anything to eat until the next meal, which would
be supper. And oh! if you only knew what supper was like in the
provincial hotel of that day!

Brignoli was wild with wrath. He would start to storm and shout in his
rage, and would then suddenly remember his voice and subside, only to
begin again as his anger rose in spite of himself. It was really
amusing, though I doubt if anyone appreciated the joke at the moment.

At last, as the landlord remained quite unmoved, Brignoli dashed into
the room, grabbed the cloth on one of the tables near the door and
pulled it off--dishes, silver, and all! The crash was terrific, and
naturally the china was smashed to bits.

"You'll have to pay for that!" cried the landlord, indignantly.

"Pay for it!" gasped Brignoli, waving his arms and fairly dancing with
rage, "of course I'll pay for it--just as I'll pay for the dinner,
if----"

"What!" exclaimed the landlord, in a new tone, "you will pay _extra_ for
the dinner, if we are willing to serve it for you now?"

"_Dio mio_, yes!" cried Brignoli.

The landlord stood and gaped at him.

"Why didn't you say so in the first place?" he asked with a sort of
contemptuous pity, and went off to order the dinner.

When will the American and the Italian temperaments begin to understand
each other!

Brignoli was not only a fine singer but a really good musician. He told
me that he had given piano lessons in Paris before he began to sing at
all. But of his absolute origin he would never speak. He was a handsome
man, with ears that had been pierced for ear-rings. This led me to infer
that he had at some time been a sailor, although he would never let
anyone mention the subject. Anyhow, I always thought of Naples when I
looked at him.

Most stage people have their pet superstitions. There seems to be
something in their make-up that lends itself to an interest in signs.
But Brignoli had a greater number of singular ones than any person I
ever met. He had, among other things, a mascot that he carried all over
the country. This was a stuffed deer's head, and it was always installed
in his dressing-room wherever he might be singing. When he sang well, he
would come back to the room and pat the deer's head approvingly. When he
was not in voice, he would pound it and swear at it in Italian.

Brignoli lived for his voice. He adored it as if it were some phenomenon
for which he was in no sense responsible. And I am not at all sure that
this is not the right point of view for a singer. He always took
tremendous pains with his voice and the greatest possible care of
himself in every way, always eating huge quantities of raw oysters each
night before he sang. The story is told of him that one day he fell off
a train. People rushed to pick him up, solicitous lest the great tenor's
bones were broken. But Brignoli had only one fear. Without waiting even
to rise to his feet, he sat up, on the ground where he had fallen, and
solemnly sang a bar or two. Finding his voice uninjured, he burst into
heartfelt prayers of thanks-giving, and climbed back into the car.

Brignoli only just missed being very great. But he had the indolence of
the Neapolitan sailor, and he was, of course, sadly spoiled. Women were
always crazy about him, and he posed as an _élégante_. Years afterward,
when I heard of his death, I never felt the loss of any beautiful thing
as I did the loss of his voice. The thought came to me:--"and he hasn't
been able to leave it to anyone as a legacy--"

But to return to our concert tour.

I remember that the concert room in Pittsburg was over the town market.
That was what we had to contend with in those primitive days! Imagine
our little company of devoted and ambitious artists trying to create a
musical atmosphere one flight up, while they sold cabbages and fish
downstairs!

The first evening was an important event for me, my initial public
appearance, and I recall quite distinctly that I sang the Cavatina from
_Linda di Chamounix_--which I was soon to sing operatically--and that I
wore a green dress. Green was an unusual colour in gowns then. Our young
singers generally chose white or blue or pink or something insipid; but
I had a very definite taste in clothes, and liked effects that were not
only pretty but also individual and becoming.

Speaking of clothes, I learned on that first experimental tour the
horrors of travel when it comes to keeping one's gowns fresh. I speedily
acquired the habit, practised ever since, of carrying a big crash cloth
about with me to spread on stages where I was to sing. This was not
entirely to keep my clothes clean, important as that was. It was also
for the sake of my voice and its effect. Few people know that the
floor-covering on which a singer stands makes a very great difference.
On carpets, for instance, one simply cannot get a good tone.

Just before I went on for that first concert, Madame Colson stopped me
to put a rose in my hair, and said to me:

"Smile much, and show your teeth!"

After the concert she supplemented this counsel with the words:

"Always dress your best, and always smile, and always be gracious!"

I never forgot the advice.

The idea of pretty clothes and a pretty smile is not merely a pose nor
an artificiality. It is likewise carrying out a spirit of courtesy. Just
as a hostess greets a guest cordially and tries to make her feel at
ease, so the tactful singer tries to show the people who have come to
hear her that she is glad to see them.

Pauline Colson was a charming artist, a French soprano of distinction in
her own country and always delightful in her work. She had first come to
America to sing in the French Opera in New Orleans where, for many
years, there had been a splendid opera season each winter. She had just
finished her winter's work there when some northern impresario engaged
her for a brief season of opera in New York; and it was at the
termination of this that Muzio engaged her for our concert tour. She
was one of the few artists who rebelled against the bad costuming then
prevalent; and it was said that for more than one of her _rôles_ she
made her gowns herself, to be sure that they were correct. It was her
example that fired me in the revolutionary steps I was to take later
with regard to my own costumes.

Our next stop was Cincinnati--_Cincinnata_, as it was called! I had
there one of the shocks of my life. The leading newspaper of the city,
in commenting on our concert, said of me that "this young girl's parents
ought to remove her from public view, do her up in cotton wool, nourish
her well, and not allow her to appear again until she looks less like a
picked chicken"!

No one said anything about my voice! Indeed, I got almost no
encouragement before we reached Detroit, and I recall that I cried a
good part of the way between the two cities over my failure in
Cincinnati. But in Detroit Colson was taken ill, so I had a chance to do
the _prima donna_ work of the occasion. And I profited by the chance,
for it was in Detroit that an audience first discovered that I had some
nascent ability.

I _must_ have been an odd, young creature--just five feet and four
inches tall, and weighing only one hundred and four pounds. I was frail
and big-eyed, and wrapped up in music (not cotton wool), and exceedingly
childlike for my age. I knew nothing of life, for my puritanical
surroundings and the way in which I had been brought up were developing
my personality very slowly.

That was a hard tour. Indeed, all tours were hard in those days.
Travelling accommodations were limited and uncomfortable, and most of
the hotels were very bad. Trains were slow, and connections uncertain,
and of course there was no such thing as a Pullman or, much less, a
dining-car. Sometimes we had to sit up all night and were not able to
get anything to eat, not infrequently arriving too late for the meal
hour of the hotel where we were to stop. The journeys were so long and
so difficult that they used to say Pauline Lucca always travelled in her
nightgown and a black velvet wrapper.

All through that tour, as during every period of my life, I was working
and studying and practising and learning: trying to improve my voice,
trying to develop my artistic consciousness, trying to fit myself in a
hundred ways for my career. Work never frightened me; there was always
in me the desire to express myself--and to express that self as fully
and as variously as I might have opportunity for doing.

It sometimes seems to me that one of the strangest things in this world
is the realisation that there is never time to perfect everything in us;
that we carry seeds in our souls that cannot flower in one short life.
Perhaps Paradise will be a place where we can develop every possibility
and become our complete selves.

In one's brain and one's soul lies the power to do almost anything. I
believe that the psychological phenomena we hear so much about are
nothing but undiscovered forces in ourselves. I am not a spiritualist. I
do not care for so-called supernatural manifestations. Many of my
friends have been interested in such matters, and I was taken to the
celebrated "Stratford Knockings" and other mediumistic demonstrations
when I was a mere child; but it has never seemed to me that the marvels
I encountered came from an outside spiritual agency. I believe,
profoundly, that, one and all, they are the workings of forces in _us_
that we have not yet learned to develop fully nor to use wisely.

[Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg as a Young Lady=

From a photograph by Black & Case]

I never did anything in my life without study. The ancient axiom that
"what is worth doing at all is worth doing well" is more of a truth than
most people understand. The thing that one has chosen for one's life
work in the world:--what labour could be too great for it, or what too
minute?

When I knew that I was to make my _début_ as Gilda, in Verdi's opera of
_Rigoletto_, I settled down to put myself into that part. I studied for
nine months, until I was not certain whether I was really Gilda--or only
myself!

I was taking lessons in acting with Scola then, in addition to my
musical study. And, besides Scola's regular course, I closely observed
the methods of individuals, actors, and singers. I remember seeing
Brignoli in _I Puritani_, during that "incubating period" before my
first appearance in opera. I was studying gesture then,--the free,
simple, _inevitable_ gesture that is so necessary to a natural effect in
dramatic singing; and during the beautiful melody, _A te, o cara_, which
he sang in the first act, Brignoli stood still in one spot and thrust
first one arm out, and then the other, at right angles from his body,
twenty-three consecutive times. I counted them, and I don't know how
many times he had done it before I began to count!

"Heavens!" I said, "that's one thing not to do, anyway!"

Languages were a very important part of my training. I had studied
French when I was nine years old, in the country, and as soon as I began
taking singing lessons I began Italian also. Much later, when I sang in
_Les Noces de Jeannette_, people would speak of my French and ask where
I had studied. But it was all learned at home.

I never studied German. There was less demand for it in music than there
is now. America practically had no "German opera;" and Italian was the
accepted tongue of dramatic and tragic music, as French was the language
of lighter and more popular operas. Besides, German always confused me;
and I never liked it.

Many years later than the time of which I am now writing, I was charmed
to be confirmed in my anti-German prejudices when I went to Paris. After
the Franco-Prussian War the signs and warnings in that city were put up
in every language in the world except German! The German way of putting
things was too long; and, furthermore, the French people didn't care if
Germans did break their legs or get run over.

Of course, all this is changed--and in music most of all. For example,
there could be no greater convert to Wagnerism than I!

My mother hated the atmosphere of the theatre even though she had wished
me to become a singer, and always gloried in my successes. To her rigid
and delicate instinct there was something dreadful in the free and easy
artistic attitude, and she always stood between me and any possible
intimacy with my fellow-singers. I believe this to have been a mistake.
Many traditions of the stage come to one naturally and easily through
others; but I had to wait and learn them all by experience. I was always
working as an outsider, and, naturally, this attitude of ours
antagonised singers with whom we appeared.

Not only that. My brain would have developed much more rapidly if I had
been allowed--no, if I had been _obliged_ to be more self-reliant. To
profit by one's own mistakes;--all the world's history goes to show that
is the only way to learn. By protecting me, my mother really robbed me
of much precious experience. For how many years after I had made my
_début_ would she wait for me in the _coulisses_, ready to whisk me off
to my dressing-room before any horrible opera singer had a chance to
talk with me!

Yet she grieved for my forfeited youth--did my dear mother. She always
felt that I was being sacrificed to my work, and just at the time when I
would have most delighted in my girlhood. Of course, I was obliged to
live a life of labour and self-denial, but it was not quite so difficult
for me as she felt it to be, or as other people sometimes thought it
was. Not only did I adore my music, and look forward to my work as an
artist, but I literally never had any other life. I knew nothing of what
I had given up; and so was happy in what I had undertaken, as no girl
could have been happy who had lived a less restricted, hard-working and
yet dream-filled existence.

My mother was very strait-laced and puritanical, as I have said, and,
naturally, by reflection and association, I was the same. I lay stress
on this because I want one little act of mine to be appreciated as a
sign of my ineradicable girlishness and love of beauty. When I earned my
first money, I went to Mme. Percival's, the smart lingerie shop of New
York, and bought the three most exquisite chemises I could find,
imported and trimmed with real lace!

I daresay this harmless ebullition of youthful daintiness would have
proved the last straw to some of my Psalm-singing New England relatives.
There was one uncle of mine who vastly disapproved of my going on the
stage at all, saying that it would have been much better if I had been a
good, honest milliner. He used to sing:

[Illustration: Musical notation; "Broad is the road That leads to
Hell!"]

in a minor key, with the true, God-fearing, nasal twang in it.

How I detested that old man! And I had to bury him, too, at the last. I
wonder whether I should have been able to do so if I had gone into the
millinery business!



CHAPTER IV

A YOUTHFUL REALIST


As I have said, I studied Gilda for nine months. At the end of that time
I was so imbued with the part as to be thoroughly at ease. Present-day
actors call this condition "getting inside the skin" of a _rôle_. I
simply could not make a mistake, and could do everything connected with
the characterisation with entire unconsciousness. Yet I want to add that
I had little idea of what the opera really meant.

My _début_ was in New York at the old Academy of Music, and Rigoletto
was the famous Ferri. He was blind in one eye and I had always to be on
his seeing side,--else he couldn't act. Stigelli was the tenor. Stiegel
was his real name. He was a German and a really fine artist. But I had
then had no experience with stage heroes and thought they were all going
to be exactly as they appeared in my romantic dreams, and--poor man, he
is dead now, so I can say this!--it was a dreadful blow to me to be
obliged to sing a love duet with a man smelling of lager beer and
cheese!

Charlotte Cushman--who was a great friend of Miss Emma Stebbins, the
sister of Colonel Stebbins--had always been interested in me; so when
she knew that I was to make my _début_ on February 26 (1861), she put
on _Meg Merrilies_ for that night because she could get through with it
early enough for her to see part of my first performance. She reached
the Academy in time for the last act of _Rigoletto_; and I felt that I
had been highly praised when, as I came out and began to sing, she
cried:

"The girl doesn't seem to know that she has any arms!"

My freedom of gesture and action came from nothing but the most complete
familiarity with the part and with the detail of everything I had to do.
In opera one cannot be too temperamental in one's acting. One cannot
make pauses when one thinks it effective, nor alter the stage business
to fit one's mood, nor work oneself up to an emotional crescendo one
night and not do it the next. Everything has to be timed to a second and
a fraction of a second. One cannot wait for unusual effects. The
orchestra does not consider one's temperament, and this fact cannot be
lost sight of for a moment. This is why I believe in rehearsing and
studying and working over a _rôle_ so exhaustively--and exhaustingly.
For it is only in that most rigidly studied accuracy of action that any
freedom can be attained. When one becomes so trained that one cannot
conceivably retard a bar, and cannot undertime a stage cross nor fail to
come in promptly in an _ensemble_, then, and only then, can one reach
some emotional liberty and inspiration.

If I had not worked so hard at Gilda I should never have got through
that first performance. I was not consciously nervous, but my throat--it
is quite impossible to tell in words how my throat felt. I have heard
singers describe the first-night sensation variously,--a tongue that
felt stiff, a palate like a hot griddle, and so on. My throat and my
tongue were dry and thick and woolly, like an Oriental rug with a "pile"
so deep and heavy that, if water is spilled on it, the water does not
soak in, but lies about the surface in globules,--just a dry and
unabsorbing carpet.

My mother was with me behind the scenes; and my grandmother was in front
to see me in all my stage grandeur. I am afraid I did not care
particularly where either of them were. Certainly I had no thought for
anyone who might be seated out in the Great Beyond on the far side of
the footlights. I sang the second act in a dream, unconscious of any
audience:--hardly conscious of the music or of myself--going through it
all mechanically. But the sub-conscious mind had been at work all the
time. As I was changing my costume after the second act, my mother said
to me:

"I cannot find your grandmother anywhere. I have been looking and
peeping through the hole in the curtain and from the wings, but I cannot
seem to discover where she is sitting."

Hardly thinking of the words, I answered at once:

"She is over there to the left, about three rows back, near a pillar."

The criticisms of the press next day said that my most marked specialty
was my ability to strike a tone with energy. I liked better, however,
one kindly reviewer who observed that my voice was "cordial to the
heart!" The newspapers found my stage appearance peculiar. There was
about it "a marked development of the intellectual at the expense of the
physical to which her New England birth may afford a key." The man who
wrote this was quite correct. He had discovered the Puritan maid behind
the stage trappings of Gilda.

If omens count for anything I ought to have had a disastrous first
season, for everything went wrong during that opening week. I lost a
bracelet of which I was particularly fond; I fell over a stick in making
an entrance and nearly went on my head; and at the end of the third act
of the second performance of _Rigoletto_ the curtain failed to come
down, and I was obliged to stay in a crouching attitude until it could
be put into working order again. But these trying experiences were not
auguries of failure or of disaster. In fact my public grew steadily
kinder to me, although it hung back a little until after Marguerite.
Audiences were not very cordial to new singers. They distrusted their
own judgment; and I don't altogether wonder that they did.

The week after my _début_ we went to Boston to sing. Boston would not
have _Rigoletto_. It was considered objectionable, particularly the
ending. For some inexplicable reason _Linda di Chamounix_ was expected
to be more acceptable to the Bostonian public, and so I was to sing the
part of Linda instead of that of Gilda. I had been working on Linda
during a part of the year in which I studied Gilda, and was quite equal
to it. The others of the company went to Boston ahead of me, and I
played Linda at a _matinée_ in New York before following them. This was
the first time I sang in opera with Brignoli. I went on in the part with
only one rehearsal. Opera-goers do not hear _Linda_ any more, but it is
a graceful little opera with some pretty music and a really charmingly
poetic story. It was taken from the French play, _La Grâce de Dieu_, and
_Rigoletto_ was taken from Victor Hugo's _Le Roi S'Amuse_. The story of
_Linda_ is that of a Swiss peasant girl of Chamounix who falls in love
with a French noble whom she has met as a strolling painter in her
village. He returns to Paris and she follows him there, walking all the
way and accompanied by a faithful rustic, Pierotto, who loves her
humbly. He plays a hurdy-gurdy and Linda sings, and so the poor young
vagrants pay their way. In Paris the nobleman finds her and lavishes all
manner of jewels and luxuries upon little Linda, but at last abandons
her to make a rich marriage. On the same day that she hears the news of
her lover's wedding her father comes to her house in Paris and denounces
her. She goes mad, of course. Most operatic heroines did go mad in those
days. And, in the last act, the peasant lover with the hurdy-gurdy takes
her back to Chamounix among the hills. On the lengthy journey he can
lure her along only by playing a melody that she knows and loves. It is
a dear little story; but I never could comprehend how Boston was induced
to accept the second act since they drew the line at _Rigoletto_!

I liked Linda and wanted to give a truthful and appealing impersonation
of her. But the handicaps of those days of crude and primitive theatre
conditions were really almost insurmountable. Now, with every assistance
of wonderful staging, exquisite costuming, and magical lighting, the
artist may rest upon his or her surroundings and accessories and know
that everything possible to art has been brought together to enhance the
convincing effect. In the old days at the Academy, however, we had no
system of lighting except glaring footlights and perhaps a single,
unimaginative calcium. We had no scenery worthy the name; and as for
costumes, there were just three sets called by the theatre _costumier_
"Paysannes" (peasant dress); "Norma" (they did not know enough even to
call it "classic"); and "Rich!" The last were more or less of the Louis
XIV period and could be slightly modified for various operas. These
three sets were combined and altered as required. Yet, of course, the
audiences were correspondingly unexacting. They were so accustomed to
nothing but primitive effects that the simplest touch of true realism
surprised and delighted them. Once during a performance of _Il Barbiere_
the man who was playing the part of Don Basilio sent his hat out of
doors to be snowed on. It was one of those Spanish shovel hats, long and
square-edged, like a plank. When he wore it in the next act, all white
with snowflakes from the blizzard outside, the audience was so simple
and childlike that it roared with pleasure, "Why, it's _real_ snow!"

It was also the time when hoop skirts were universally fashionable, so
we all wore hoops, no matter what the period we were supposed to be
representing. Scola first showed me how to fall gracefully in a hoop
skirt, not in the least an easy feat to accomplish; and I shall always
remember seeing Mme. de la Grange go to bed in one, in her sleep-walking
scene in _Sonnambula_. Indeed, there was no illusion nor enchantment to
help one in those elementary days. One had to conquer one's public alone
and unaided.

I confided myself at first to the hands of the _costumier_ with
characteristic truthfulness. I had considered the musical and dramatic
aspects of the part; it did not occur to me that the clothes would
become my responsibility as well. That theatre _costumier_ at the
Academy, I found, could not even cut a skirt. Linda's was a strange
affair, very long on the sides, and startlingly short in front. But this
was the least of my troubles on the afternoon of that first _matinée_
in New York. When it came to the last act--there having been no
rehearsals, and my experience being next to nothing--I asked innocently
for my costume, and was told that I would have to wear the same dress I
had worn in the first act.

"But, I can't!" I gasped. "That fresh, new gown, after months are
supposed to have gone by!--when Linda has walked and slept in it during
the whole journey!"

"No one will think of that," I was assured.

But _I_ thought of it and simply could not put on that clean dress for
poor Linda's travel-worn last act. I sent for an old shawl from the
chorus and ripped my costume into rags. By this time the orchestra was
almost at the opening bars of the third act and there was not a moment
to lose. Suddenly I looked at my shoes and nearly collapsed with
despair. One always provided one's own foot-gear and the shoes I had on
were absolutely the only pair of the sort required that I possessed;
neat little slippers, painfully new and clean. We had not gone to any
extra expense, in case I did not happen to make a success that would
justify it, and that was the reason I had only the one pair. Well--there
was a moment's struggle before I attacked my pretty shoes--but my
passion for realism triumphed. I sent a man out into Fourteenth Street
at the stage door of the Academy and had him rub those immaculate
slippers in the gutter until they were thoroughly dirty, so that when I
wore them onto the stage three minutes later they looked as if I had
really walked to Paris and back in them.

The next day the newspapers said that the part of Linda had never before
been sung with so much pathos.

"Aha!" said I, "that's my old clothes! That's my dirt!"

I had learned that the more you look your part the less you have to act.
The observance of this truth was always Henry Irving's great strength.
The more completely you get inside a character the less, also, are you
obliged to depend on brilliant vocalism. Mary Garden is a case in point.
She is not a great singer, although she sings better than she is
credited with doing or her voice could not endure as much as it does,
but above all she is intelligent and an artistic realist, taking care
never to lose the spirit of her _rôle_. Renaud is one of the few men I
have ever seen in opera who was willing to wear dirty clothes if they
chanced to be in character. I shall never forget Jean de Reszke in
_L'Africaine_. In the Madagascar scene, just after the rescue from the
foundered vessel, he appeared in the most beautiful fresh tights
imaginable and a pair of superb light leather boots. Indeed, the most
distinguished performance becomes weak and valueless if the note of
truth is lacking.

Theodore Thomas was the first violin in the Academy at the time of which
I am writing, and not a very good one either. The director was
Maretzek--"Maretzek the Magnificent" as he was always called, for he was
very handsome and had a vivid and compelling personality--on whom be
benisons, for it was he who, later, suggested the giving of _Faust_, and
me for the leading _rôle_.

I was not popular with my fellow-artists and did not have a very
pleasant time preparing and rehearsing for my first parts. The chorus
was made up of Italians who never studied their music, merely learned it
at rehearsal, and the rehearsals themselves were often farcical. The
Italians of the chorus were always bitter against me for, up to that
time, Italians had had the monopoly of music. It was not generally
conceded that Americans could appreciate, much less interpret opera; and
I, as the first American _prima donna_, was in the position of a
foreigner in my own country. The chorus, indeed, could sometimes hardly
contain themselves. "Who is she," they would demand indignantly, "to
come and take the bread out of our mouths?"

One other person in the company who never gave me a kind word (although
she was not an Italian) was Adelaide Phillips, the contralto. She was a
fine artist and had been singing for many years, so, perhaps, it galled
her to have to "support" a younger countrywoman. When it came to
dividing the honours she was not at all pleased. As Maddalena in
_Rigoletto_ she was very plain; but when she did Pierotto, the boyish,
rustic lover in _Linda_, she looked well. She had the most perfectly
formed pair of legs--ankles, feet and all--that I ever saw on a woman.

In singing with Brignoli there developed a difficulty to which Ferri's
blindness was nothing. Brignoli seriously objected to being touched
during his scene! Imagine playing love scenes with a tenor who did not
want to be touched, no matter what might be the emotional exigencies of
the moment or situation. The bass part in _Linda_ is that of the Baron,
and when I first sang the opera it was taken by Susini, who had been
with us on our preparatory _tournée_. His wife was Isabella Hinckley, a
good and sweet woman, also a singer with an excellent soprano voice. I
found that the big basso (he was a very large man with a buoyant sense
of humour) was a fine actor and had a genuine dramatic gift in singing.
His sense of humour was always bubbling up, in and out of performances.
I once lost a diamond from one of my rings during the first act. My
dressing-room and the stage were searched, but with no result. We went
on for the last act and, in the scene when I was supposed to be
unconscious, Susini caught sight of the stone glittering on the floor
and picked it up. As he needed his hands for gesticulations, he popped
the diamond into his mouth and when I "came to" he stuck out his tongue
at me with the stone on the end of it!

While I was working on the part of Linda myself, I heard Mme. Medori
sing it. She gave a fine emotional interpretation, getting great tragic
effects in the Paris act, but she did not catch the _naïve_ and
ingenuous quality of poor, young Linda. It could hardly have been
otherwise, for she was at the time a mature woman. There are some
parts,--Marguerite is one of them, also,--that can be made too
complicated, too subtle, too dramatic. I was criticised for my
immaturity and lack of emotional power until I was tired of hearing such
criticism; and once had a quaint little argument about my abilities and
powers with "Nym Crinkle," the musical critic of _The World_, A. C.
Wheeler. (Later he made a success in literature under the name of "J. P.
Mowbray.")

"What do you expect," I demanded, in my old-fashioned yet childish way,
being at the time eighteen, "what do you expect of a person of my age?"

[Illustration: =Brignoli, 1865=

From a photograph by C. Silvy]



CHAPTER V

LITERARY BOSTON


My friends in New York had given me letters to people in Boston, so I
went there with every opportunity for an enjoyable visit. But,
naturally, I was much more absorbed in my own _début_ and in what the
public would think of me than I was in meeting new acquaintances and
receiving invitations. Now I wish that I had then more clearly realised
possibilities, for Boston was at the height of its literary reputation.
All my impressions of that Boston season, however, sink into
insignificance compared to that of my first public appearance. I sang
Linda; and there were only three hundred people in the house!

If anything in the world could have discouraged me that would have, but,
as a matter of fact, I do not believe anything could. At any rate, I
worked all the harder just because the conditions were so adverse; and I
won my public (such as it was) that night. I may add that I kept it for
the remainder of my stay in Boston.

At that period of my life I was very fragile and one big performance
would wear me out. Literally, I used myself up in singing, for I put
into it every ounce of my strength. I could not save myself when I was
actually working, but my way of economising my vitality was to sing only
twice a week.

It was after that first performance of _Linda_, some time about
midnight, and my mother and I had just returned to our apartment in the
Tremont House and had hardly taken off our wraps, when a knock came at
the door. Our sitting-room was near a side entrance for the sake of
quietness and privacy, but we paid a penalty in the ease with which we
could be reached by anyone who knew the way. My mother opened the door;
and there stood two ladies who overwhelmed us with gracious speeches.
"They had heard my Linda! They had come because they simply could not
help it; because I had moved them so deeply! Now, _would_ we both come
the following evening to a little _musicale_; and they would ask that
delightful Signor Brignoli too! It would be _such_ a pleasure! etc."

Although I was not singing the following night, I objected to going to
the _musicale_ because certain experiences in New York had already bred
caution. I said, however, with perfect frankness, that I would go on one
condition.

"On _any_ condition, dear Miss Kellogg!"

"You wouldn't expect me to sing?"

"Oh no; no, no!"

Accordingly, the next night my mother and I presented ourselves at the
house of the older of the two ladies. The first words our hostess
uttered when I entered the room were:

"Why! where's your music?"

"I thought it was understood that I was not to sing," said I.

But, in spite of their previous earnest disclaimers on this point, they
became so insistent that, after resisting their importunities for a few
moments, I finally consented to satisfy them. I asked Brignoli to play
for me, and I sang the Cavatina from _Linda_. Then I turned on my heel
and went back to my hotel; and I never again entered that woman's house.
After so many years there is no harm in saying that the hostess who was
guilty of this breach of tact, good taste, and consideration, was Mrs.
Paran Stevens, and the other lady was her sister, Miss Fanny Reed, one
of the talented amateurs of the day. They were struggling hard for
social recognition in Boston and every drawing card was of value, even a
new, young singer who might become famous. Later, of course, Mrs.
Stevens did "arrive" in New York; but she travelled some difficult roads
first.

This was by no means the first time that I had contended with a lack of
consideration in the American hostess, especially toward artists. Her
sisters across the Atlantic have better taste and breeding, never
subjecting an artist who is their guest to the annoyance and indignity
of having to "sing for her supper." But whenever I was invited anywhere
by an American woman, I always knew that I would be expected to bring my
music and to contribute toward the entertainment of the other guests. An
Englishwoman I once met when travelling on the Continent hit the nail on
the head, although in quite another connection.

"You Americans are so queer," she remarked. "I heard a woman from the
States ask a perfectly strange man recently to stop in at a shop and
match her some silk while he was out! I imagine it is because you don't
mind putting yourselves under obligations, isn't it?"

Literary Boston of that day revolved around Mr. and Mrs. James T.
Fields, at whose house often assembled such distinguished men and women
as Emerson, Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Lowell, Anthony
Trollope, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Julia Ward Howe. Mr. Fields was the
editor of _The Atlantic Monthly_, and his sense of humour was always a
delight.

"A lady came in from the suburbs to see me this morning," he once
remarked to me. "'Well, Mr. Fields,' she said, with great
impressiveness, 'what have you new in literature to-day? I'm just
_thusty_ for knowledge!'"

Your true New Englander always says "thust" and "fust" and "wust," and
Mr. Fields had just the intonation--which reminds me somehow--in a
roundabout fashion--of a strange woman who battered on my door once
after I had appeared in _Faust_, in Boston, to tell me that "that man
Mephisto-fleas was just great!"

It was a wonderful privilege to meet Longfellow. He was never gay, never
effusive, leaving these attributes to his talkative brother-in-law, Tom
Appleton, who was a wit and a humourist. Indeed, Longfellow was rather
noted for his cold exterior, and it took a little time and trouble to
break the ice, but, though so unexpressive outwardly, his nature was
most winning when one was once in touch with it. His first wife was
burned to death and the tragedy affected him permanently, although he
made a second and a very successful marriage with Tom Appleton's sister.
The brothers-in-law were often together and formed the oddest possible
contrast to each other.

[Illustration: =James Russell Lowell in 1861=

From a photograph by Brady]

Longfellow and I became good friends. I saw him many times and often
went to his house to sing to him. He greatly enjoyed my singing of his
own _Beware_. It was always one of my successful _encore_ songs,
although it certainly is not Longfellow at his best. But he liked me
to sit at the piano and wander from one song to another. The older the
melodies, the sweeter he found them. Longfellow's verses have much in
common with simple, old-fashioned songs. They always touched the common
people, particularly the common people of England. They were so simple
and so true that those folk who lived and laboured close to the earth
found much that moved them in the American writer's unaffected and
elemental poetry. Yet it seems a bit strange that his poems are more
loved and appreciated in England than in America, much as Tennyson's are
more familiar to us than to his own people. Some years later, when I was
singing in London, I heard that Longfellow was in town and sent him a
box. He and Tom Appleton, who was with him, came behind the scenes
between the acts to see me and, my mother being with me, both were
invited into my dressing-room. In the London theatres there are women,
generally advanced in years, who assist the _prima donna_ or actress to
dress. These do not exist in American theatres. I had a maid, of course,
but there was this woman of the theatre, also, a particularly ordinary
creature who contributed nothing to the gaiety of nations and who,
indeed, rarely showed feeling of any sort. I happened to say to her:

"Perkins, I am going to see Mr. Longfellow."

Her face became absolutely transfigured.

"Oh, Miss," she cried in a tone of awe and curtseying to his name, "you
don't mean 'im that wrote _Tell me not in mournful numbers_? Oh, Miss!
_'im!_"

Lowell I knew only slightly, yet his distinguished and distinctive
personality made a great impression on me. Thomas Bailey Aldrich, a
blond, curly-headed young man, whose later prosperity greatly
interfered with his ability, I first met about this same time. He was
too successful too young, and it stultified his gifts, as being
successful too young usually does stultify the natural gifts of anybody.
On one occasion I met Anthony Trollope at the Fields', the English
novelist whose works were then more or less in vogue. He had just come
from England and was filled with conceit. English people of that time
were incredibly insular and uninformed about us, and Mr. Trollope knew
nothing of America, and did not seem to want to know anything.
Certainly, English people when they are not thoroughbred can be very
common! Trollope was full of himself and wrote only for what he could
get out of it. I never, before or since, met a literary person who was
so frankly "on the make." The discussion that afternoon was about the
recompense of authors, and Trollope said that he had reduced his
literary efforts to a working basis and wrote so many words to a page
and so many pages to a chapter. He refrained from using the actual word
"money"--the English shrink from the word "money"--but he managed to
convey to his hearers the fact that a considerable consideration was the
main incentive to his literary labour, and put the matter more
specifically later, to my mother, by telling her that he always _chose
the words that would fill up the pages quickest_.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, though he was one of the Fields' circle, I never
met at all. He was tragically shy, and more than once escaped from the
house when we went in rather than meet two strange women.

"Hawthorne has just gone out the other way," Mrs. Fields would whisper,
smiling. "He's too frightened to meet you!"

I met his boy Julian, however, who was about twelve years old. He was a
nice lad and I kissed him--to his great annoyance, for he was shy too,
although not so much so as his father. Not so very long ago Julian
Hawthorne reminded me of this episode.

"Do you remember," he said, laughing, "how embarrassed I was when you
kissed me? 'Never you mind' you said to me then, 'the time will come, my
boy, when you'll be glad to remember that I kissed you!' And it
certainly did come!"

All Boston that winter was stirred by the approaching agitations of war;
and those two remarkable women, Mrs. Stowe and Mrs. Howe were using
their pens to excite the community into a species of splendid rage. I
first met them both at the Fields' and always admired Julia Ward Howe as
a representative type of the highest Boston culture. Harriet Beecher
Stowe had just finished _Uncle Tom's Cabin_. Many people believed that
it and the disturbance it made were partly responsible for the war
itself. Mr. Fields told me that her "copy" was the most remarkable
"stuff" that the publishers had ever encountered. It was written quite
roughly and disconnectedly on whatever scraps of paper she had at hand.
I suppose she wrote it when the spirit moved her. At any rate, Mr.
Fields said it was the most difficult task imaginable to fit it into any
form that the printers could understand. Mrs. Stowe was a quiet, elderly
woman, and talked very little. I had an odd sort of feeling that she had
put so much of herself into her book that she had nothing left to offer
socially.

I did not realise until years afterwards what a precious privilege it
was to meet in such a charming _intime_ way the men and women who really
"made" American literature. The Fields literally kept open house. They
were the most hospitable of people, and I loved them and spent some
happy hours with them. I cannot begin to enumerate or even to remember
all the literary lights I met in their drawing-room. Of that number
there were James Freeman Clarke, Harriet Prescott Spofford, whom I knew
later in Washington, and Gail Hamilton who was just budding into
literary prominence; and Sidney Lanier. But, as I look back on that
first Boston engagement, I see plainly that the most striking impression
made upon my youthful mind during the entire season was the opening
night of _Linda di Chamounix_ and the three hundred auditors!

It was long, long after that first season that I had some of my
pleasantest times in Boston with Sidney Lanier. This may not be the
right place to mention them, but they certainly belong under the heading
of this chapter.

The evening that stands out most clearly in my memory was one, in the
'seventies, that I spent at the house of dear Charlotte Cushman who was
then very ill and who died almost immediately after. Sidney Lanier was
there with his flute, which he played charmingly. Indeed, he was as much
musician as poet, as anyone who knows his verse must realise. He was
poor then, and Miss Cushman was interested in him and anxious to help
him in every way she could. There were two dried-up, little, Boston old
maids there too--queer creatures--who were much impressed with High Art
without knowing anything about it. One composition that Lanier played
somewhat puzzled me--my impertinent absolute pitch was, as usual, hard
at work--and at the end I exclaimed:

"That piece doesn't end in the same key in which it begins!"

Lanier looked surprised and said:

"No, it doesn't. It is one of my own compositions."

He thought it remarkable that I could catch the change of key in such a
long and intricately modulated piece of music. The little old maids of
Boston were somewhat scandalised by my effrontery; but there was even
more to come. After another lovely thing which he played for us, I was
so impressed by the rare tone of his instrument that I asked:

"Is that a Böhm flute?"

He, being a musician, was delighted with the implied compliment; but the
old ladies saw in my question only a shocking slight upon his execution.
Turning to one another they ejaculated with one voice, and that one
filled with scorn and pity:

"She thinks it's the _flute_!"

This difference between professionals and the laity is odd. The more
enchanted a professional is with another artist's performance, the more
technical interest and curiosity he feels. The amateur only knows how to
rhapsodise. This seems to be so in everything. When someone rides in an
automobile for the first time he only thinks how exciting it is and how
fast he is going. The experienced motorist immediately wants to know
what sort of engine the machine has, and how many cylinders.

I have always loved a flute. It is a difficult instrument to play with
colour and variety. It is not like the violin, on which one can get
thirds, and sixths, and sevenths, by using the arpeggio: it is a single,
thin tone and can easily become monotonous if not played skilfully.
Furthermore, there are only certain pieces of music that ever ought to
be played on it. Wagner uses the flute wonderfully. He never lets it
bore his audience. The Orientals have brought flute playing and flute
music to a fine art, and it is one of the oldest of instruments, but,
unlike the violin and other instruments, it is more perfectly
manufactured to-day than it was in the past. The modern flutes have a
far more mellow and sympathetic tone than the old ones.

That whole evening at Miss Cushman's was complete in its fulness of
experience, as I recall it, looking back across the years. How many
people know that Miss Cushman had studied singing and had a very fine
_baritone_ contralto voice? Two of her songs were _The Sands o' Dee_ and
_Low I Breathe my Passion_. That night, the last time I ever heard her
sing, I recalled how often before I had seen her seating herself at the
piano to play her own accompaniments, always a difficult thing to do.
Again I can see her, at this late day, turning on the stool to talk to
us between songs, emphasising her points with that odd, inevitable
gesture of the forefinger that was so characteristic of her, and then
wheeling back to the instrument to let that deep voice of hers roll
through the room in

    "Will she wake and say good night?"...

During that first Boston season of mine, my mother and I used to give
breakfasts at the Parker House. We were somewhat noted characters there
as we were the first women to stop at it, the Parker House being
originally a man's restaurant exclusively; and breakfast was a meal of
ceremony. The _chef_ of the Parker House used to surpass himself at our
breakfast entertainments for he knew that such an epicure as Oliver
Wendell Holmes might be there at any time. This _chef_, by the way, was
the first man to put up soups in cans and, after he left the Parker
House kitchens, he made name and money for himself in establishing the
canned goods trade.

[Illustration: =Charlotte Cushman, 1861=

From a photograph by Silsbee, Case & Co.]

Dear Dr. Holmes! What a delightful, warm spontaneous nature was his, and
what a fine mind! We were always good friends and I am proud of the
fact. Shall I ever forget the dignity and impressiveness of his bearing
as, after the fourth course of one of my breakfasts, he glanced up, saw
the waiter approaching, arose solemnly as if he were about to make a
speech, went behind his chair,--we all thought he was about to give us
one of his brilliant addresses--shook out one leg and then the other,
all most seriously and without a word, so as to make room for the next
course!

Years later Dr. Holmes and I crossed from England on the same steamer.
He had been fêted and made much of in England and we discussed the
relative brilliancy of American and English women. I contended that
Americans were the brighter and more sparkling, while English women had
twice as much real education and mental training. Dr. Holmes agreed, but
with reservations. He professed himself to be still dazzled with British
feminine wit.

"I'm tired to death," he declared. "At every dinner party I went to they
had picked out the cleverest women in London to sit on each side of me.
I'm utterly exhausted trying to keep up with them!"

This was the voyage when the benefit for the sailors was given--for the
English sailors, that is. It was well arranged so that the American
seamen could get nothing out of it. Dr. Holmes was asked to speak and I
was asked to sing; but we declined to perform. We did write our names
on the programmes, however, and as these sold for a considerable price,
we added to the fund in spite of our intentions.

My first season in Boston--from which I have strayed so far so many
times--was destined to be a brief one, but also very strenuous, due to
the fact that in the beginning I had only two operas in my _répertoire_,
one of which Boston did not approve. After _Linda_, I was rushed on in
Bellini's _I Puritani_ and had to "get up in it" in three days. It went
very well, and was followed with _La Sonnambula_ by the same composer
and after only one week's rehearsal. I was a busy girl in those weeks;
and I should have been still busier if opera in America had not received
a sudden and tragic blow.

The "vacillating" Buchanan's reign was over. On March 4th Lincoln was
inaugurated. A hush of suspense was in the air:--a hush broken on April
12th by the shot fired by South Carolina upon Fort Sumter. On April 14th
Sumter capitulated and Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers. The Civil
War had begun.



CHAPTER VI

WAR TIMES


At first the tremendous crisis filled everyone with a purely impersonal
excitement and concern; but one fine morning we awoke to the fact that
our opera season was paralysed.

The American people found the actual dramas of Bull Run, Big Bethel and
Harpers Ferry more absorbing than any play or opera ever put upon the
boards, and the airs of _Yankee Doodle_ and _The Girl I Left Behind Me_
more inspiring than the finest operatic _arias_ in the world. They did
not want to go to the theatres in the evening. They wanted to read the
bulletin boards. Every move in the big game of war that was being played
by the ruling powers of our country was of thrilling interest, and as
fast as things happened they were "posted."

Maretzek "the Magnificent," so obstinate that he simply did not know how
to give up a project merely because it was impossible, packed a few of
us off to Philadelphia to produce the _Ballo in Maschera_. We hoped
against hope that it would be light enough to divert the public, at even
that tragic moment. But the public refused to be diverted. Why I ever
sang in it I cannot imagine. I weighed barely one hundred and four
pounds and was about as well suited to the part of Amelia as a sparrow
would have been. I never liked the _rôle_; it is heavy and uncongenial
and altogether out of my line. I should never have been permitted to do
it, and I have always suspected that there might have been something of
a plot against me on the part of the Italians. But all this made no
difference, for we abandoned the idea of taking the opera out on a short
tour. We could plainly see that opera was doomed for the time being in
America.

Then Maretzek bethought himself of _La Figlia del Reggimento_, a
military opera, very light and infectious, that might easily catch the
wave of public sentiment at the moment. We put it on in a rush. I played
the Daughter and we crowded into the performance every bit of martial
feeling we could muster. I learned to play the drum, and we introduced
all sorts of military business and bugle calls, and altogether contrived
to create a warlike atmosphere. We were determined to make a success of
it; but we were also genuinely moved by the contagious glow that
pervaded the country and the times, and to this combined mood of
patriotism and expediency we sacrificed many artistic details. For
example, we were barbarous enough to put in sundry American national
airs and we had the assistance of real Zouaves to lend colour; and this
reminds me that about the same period Isabella Hinckley even sang _The
Star Spangled Banner_ in the middle of a performance of _Il Barbiere_.

Our attempt was a great success. We played Donizetti's little opera to
houses of frantic enthusiasm, first in Baltimore, then in Washington on
May the third, where naturally the war fever was at its highest heat.
The audiences cheered and cried and let themselves go in the hysterical
manner of people wrought up by great national excitements. Even on the
stage we caught the feeling. I sang the Figlia better than I had ever
sung anything yet, and I found myself wondering, as I sang, how many of
my cadet friends of a few months earlier were already at the front.

[Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg as Figlia=

From a photograph by Black & Case]

I felt very proud of these friends when I read the despatches from the
front. They all distinguished themselves, some on one side and some on
the other. Alec McCook was Colonel of the 1st Ohio Volunteers, being an
Ohio man by birth, and did splendid service in the first big battle of
the war, Bull Run. He was made Major-General of Volunteers later, I
believe, and always held a prominent position in American military
affairs. From Fort Pulaski came word of Lieutenant Horace Porter who,
though only recently graduated, was in command of the battlements there.
He was speedily brevetted Captain for "distinguished gallantry under
fire," and after Antietam he was sent to join the Army of the Ohio. He
was everywhere and did everything imaginable during the
war--Chattanooga, Chickamauga, the Battle of the Wilderness--and was
General Grant's _aide-de-camp_ in some of the big conflicts. McCreary
and young Huger I heard less of because they were on the other side; but
they were both brave fellows and did finely according to their
convictions. It is odd to recall that Huger's father, General Isaac
Huger, had fought for the Union in the early wars and yet turned against
her in the civil struggle between the blues and the greys. The Hugers
were South Carolinians though, and therefore rabid Confederates.

With the war and its many memories, ghosts will always rise up in my
recollection of Custer, the "Golden Haired Laddie,"--as his friends
called him. He was a good friend of mine, and after the war was over he
used to come frequently to see me and tell me the most wonderful,
thrilling stories about it, and of his earliest fights with the Indians.
He was a most vivid creature; one felt a sense of vigour and energy and
eagerness about him; and he was so brave and zealous as to make one know
that he would always come up to the mark. I never saw more magnificent
enthusiasm. He was not thirty at that time and when on horseback, riding
hard, with his long yellow hair blowing back in the wind, he was a
marvellously striking figure. He was not really a tall man, but looked
so, being a soldier. Oh, if I could only remember those stories of
his--stories of pluck and of danger and of excitement!

It has always been a matter of secret pride with me that, in my small
way, I did something for the Union too. I heard that our patriotic and
inartistic _Daughter of the Regiment_ caused several lads to enlist. I
do not know if this were true, but I hoped so at the time, and it might
well have been so.

I had a dresser, Ellen Conklin, who had some strange and rather ghastly
tales to tell of the slave trade in the days before the war. She had
been in other opera companies, small troupes, that sang their way from
the far South, and the primitive and casual manner of their travel had
offered many opportunities for her to visit any number of slave markets.
She frequently had been harrowed to the breaking point by the sight of
mothers separated from their children, and men and women who loved each
other being parted for life. The worst horror of it all had been to her
the examining of the female slaves as to their physical equipment, in
which the buyers were more often brutal than not. Ellen was Irish and
emotional; and it tore her heart out to see such things; but she kept
on going to the slave sales just the same.

[Illustration: =General Horace Porter=

From a photograph by Pach Bros.]

"They nearly killed me, Miss," she declared to me with tears in her
eyes, "but I could never resist one!"

Though I quite understood Ellen's emotions, I found it a little
difficult to understand why she invited them so persistently. But I have
learned that this is a very common human weakness--luckily for managers
who put on harrowing plays. Many people go to the theatre to cry. When I
sang Mignon the audience always cried and wiped its eyes; and I felt
convinced that many had come for exactly that purpose. Two women I know
once went to see Helena Modjeska in _Adrienne Lecouvreur_ and, when the
curtain fell, one of them turned to the other with streaming eyes and
gasped between her choking sobs:

"L--l--let's come--(sob)--again--(sob)--t--t--to-morrow night! (sob,
sob)."

Personally, I think there are occasions enough for tears in this life,
bitter or consoling, without having somebody on the stage draw them out
over fictitious joys and sorrows.

In the beginning of the war the feeling against the negroes was really
more bitter in the North than in the South. The riots in New York were a
scandal and a disgrace, although very few people have any idea how bad
they actually were. The Irish Catholics were particularly rabid and
asserted openly, right and left, that the freeing of the slaves would
mean an influx of cheap labour that would become a drug on the market.
It was an Irish mob that burned a coloured orphan asylum, after which
taste of blood the most innocent black was not safe. Perfectly harmless
coloured people were hanged to lamp-posts with impunity. No one ever
seemed to be punished for such outrages. The time was one of open
lawlessness in New York City. The Irish seem sometimes to be peculiarly
possessed by this unreasoning and hysterical mob spirit which, as Ruskin
once pointed out, they always manage to justify to themselves by some
high abstract principle or sentiment. A story that has always seemed to
me illustrative of this is that of the Hibernian contingent that hanged
an unfortunate Jew because his people had killed Jesus Christ and, when
reminded that it had all happened some time before, replied that "that
might be, but they had only just heard of it!" It is a singularly
significant story, with much more truth than jest in it. Years later, I
recollect that those Irish riots in New York over the negro question
served as the basis for some exceedingly heated arguments between an
English friend of mine at Aix-les-Bains and a Catholic priest living
there. The priest sought to justify them, but his reasonings have
escaped me.

At the time of these riots our New York home was on Twenty-second Street
where Stern's shop now stands. We rented it from the Bryces,
Southerners, who had a coloured coachman, a fact that made our residence
a target for the animosity of our more ignorant neighbours who lived in
the rear. The house was built with a foreign porte-cochère; and, time
and again, small mobs would throng under that porte-cochère, battering
on the door and trying to break in to get the coachman. The hanging of a
negro near St. John's Chapel was an occasion for rejoicing and
festivity, and the lower class Irish considered it a time for their best
clothes. One hears of bear-baiting and bull-fights. But think of the
barbarity of all this!

Once, when we went away for a day or two, we left Irish servants in the
house and, on returning, I found that the maids had been wearing my
smartest gowns to view the riots and lynchings. A common lace collar was
pinned to one of my French dresses and I had little difficulty in
getting the waitress to admit that she had worn it. She explained
_naïvely_ that the riots were gala occasions, "a great time for the
Irish." She added that she had met my father on the stairs and had been
afraid that he would recognise the dress; but, although she was penitent
enough about "borrowing" the finery, she did not in the least see
anything odd in her desire to dress up for the tormenting of an
unfortunate fellow-creature.

Everybody went about singing Mrs. Howe's _Battle Hymn of the Republic_
and it was then that I first learned that the air--the simple but
rousing little melody of _John Brown's Body_--was in reality a melody by
Felix Mendelssohn. Martial songs of all kinds were the order of the day
and all more classic music was relegated to the background for the time
being. It was not until the following winter that public sentiment
subsided sufficiently for us to really consider another musical season.



CHAPTER VII

STEPS OF THE LADDER


In the three years between my _début_ and my appearance in _Faust_ I
sang, in all, a dozen operas:--_Rigoletto_, _Linda_, _I Puritani_,
_Sonnambula_, _Ballo in Maschera_, _Figlia del Reggimento_, _Les Noces
de Jeannette_, _Lucia_, _Don Giovanni_, _Poliuto_, _Marta_, and
_Traviata_. Besides these, I sang a good deal in concert, but I never
cared for either concert or oratorio work as much as for opera. My real
growth and development came from big parts in which both musical and
dramatic accomplishment were necessary.

Like all artists, I look back upon many fluctuations in my artistic
achievements. Sometimes I was good, and often not so good; and,
curiously enough, I was usually best, according to my friends and
critics, when most dissatisfied with myself. But of one thing I am
fairly confident:--I never really went backward, never seriously
retrograded artistically. Each _rôle_ was a step further and higher. To
each I brought a clearer vision, a surer touch, a more flexible method,
a finer (how shall I say it in English?) _attaque_ is nearest what I
mean. This I say without vanity, for the artist who does not grow and
improve with each succeeding part is deteriorating. There is no standing
still in any life work; or, if there is, it is the standing still of
successful effort, the hard-won tenure of a difficult place from which
most people slip back. The Red Queen in _Through the Looking Glass_
expressed it rightly when she told Alice that "you have to run just as
hard as you can to stay where you are."

As Gilda I was laying only the groundwork. My performance was, I
believe, on the right lines. It rang true. But it was far from what it
became in later years when the English critics found me "the most
beautiful and convincing of all Gildas!" As Linda I do not think that I
showed any great intellectual improvement over Gilda, but I had acquired
a certain confidence and authority. I sang and acted with more ease; and
for the first time I had gained a sense of _personal responsibility_
toward, and for, an audience. When I beheld only three hundred people in
my first-night Boston audience and determined to win them, and did win
them, I came into possession of new and important factors in my work.
This consciousness and earnest will-power to move one's public by the
force of one's art is one of the first steps toward being a true _prima
donna_.

_I Puritani_ never taught me very much, simply as an opera. The part was
too heavy as my voice was then, and our production of it was so hurried
that I had not time to spend on it the study which I liked to give a new
_rôle_. But in this very fact lay its lesson for me. The necessity for
losing timidity and self-consciousness, the power to fling oneself into
a new part without time to coddle one's vanity or one's habits of mind,
the impersonal courage needed to attack fresh difficulties:--these
points are of quite as much importance to a young opera singer as are
fine breath control and a gift for phrasing. _Sonnambula_, too, had to
be "jumped into" in the same fashion and was even more of an
undertaking, though the _rôle_ suited me better and is, in fact, a
rarely grateful one. Yet think of being Amina with only one week's
rehearsing! _Sonnambula_ was first given by us as a benefit performance
for Brignoli. It was generally understood to be in the nature of a
farewell. Indeed, I think he said so himself. But, of course, he never
had the slightest idea of really leaving America. He stayed here until
he died. But to his credit be it said that he never had any more
"farewell" appearances. He did not form the habit.

I have spoken of how hopeless it is for an opera singer to try to work
emotionally or purely on impulse; of how futile the merely temperamental
artist becomes on the operatic stage. Yet too much stress cannot be laid
on the importance of feeling what one does and sings. It is in just this
seeming paradox that the truly professional artist's point of view may
be found. The amateur acts and sings temperamentally. The trained
student gives a finished and correct performance. It is only a
genius--or something very near it--who can do both. There is something
balanced and restrained in a genuine _prima donna's_ brain that keeps
her emotions from running away with her, just as there is at the same
time something equally warm and inspired in her heart that animates the
most clear-cut of her intellectual work and makes it living and lovely.
Sometimes it is difficult for an experienced artist to say just where
instinct stops and art begins. When I sang Amina I was greatly
complimented on my walk and my intonation, both most characteristic of a
somnambulist. I made a point of keeping a strange, rhythmical, dreamy
step like that of a sleep-walker and sang as if I were talking in my
sleep. I breathed in a hard, laboured way, and walked with the headlong
yet dragging gait of someone who neither sees, knows, nor cares where
she is going. Now, this effect came not entirely from calculation nor
yet from intuition, but from a combination of the two. I was in the
_mood_ of somnambulism and acted accordingly. But I deliberately placed
myself in that mood. This only partly expresses what I wish to say on
the subject; but it is the root of dramatic work as I know it.

The opera of _Sonnambula_, incidentally, taught me one or two things not
generally included in stage essentials. Among others, I had to learn not
to be afraid, physically afraid, or at any rate not to mind being
afraid. In the sleep-walking scene Amina, carrying her candle and robed
in white, glides across the narrow bridge at a perilous height while the
watchers below momentarily expect her to be dashed to pieces on the
rocks underneath. Our bridge used to be set very high indeed (it was
especially lofty in the Philadelphia Opera House where we gave the opera
a little later), and I had quite a climb to get up to it at all. There
was a wire strung along the side of the bridge, but it was not a bit of
good to lean on--merely a moral support. I had to carry the candle in
one hand and couldn't even hold the other outstretched to balance
myself, for sleep-walkers do not fall! This was the point that I had to
keep in mind; I could not walk carefully, but I had to walk with
certainty. In a sense it was suggestive of a hypnotic condition and I
had to get pretty nearly into one myself before I could do it. At all
events, I had to compose myself very summarily first. Just in the middle
of the crossing the bridge is supposed to crack. Of course the edges
were only broken; but I had to give a sort of "jog" to carry out the
illusion and I used to wonder, the while I jogged, if I were going over
the side _that_ time! In the wings they used to be quite anxious about
me and would draw a general breath of relief when I was safely across.
Every night I would be asked if I were sure I wanted to undertake it
that night, and every time I would answer:

"I don't know whether I _can_!"

But, of course, I always did it. Somehow, one always does do one's work
on the stage, even if it is trying to the nerves or a bit dangerous. I
have heard that when Maud Adams put on her big production of _Joan of
Arc_, her managers objected seriously to having her lead the mounted
battle charge herself. A "double" was costumed exactly like her and was
ready to mount Miss Adams's horse at the last moment. But did she ever
give a double a chance to lead her battle charge? Not she: and no more
would any true artist.

[Illustration: =Muzio=

From a photograph by Gurney & Son]

_Sonnambula_ also helped fix in my mentality the traditions of Italian
opera; those traditions that my teachers--Muzio particularly--had been
striving so hard to impress upon and make real to me. The school of the
older operas, while the greatest school for singers in the world, is one
in which tradition is, and must be, pre-eminent. In the modern growths,
springing up among us every year, the singer has a chance to create, to
trace new paths, to take venturesome flights. The new operas not only
permit this, they require it. But it is a pity to hear a young,
imaginative artist try to interpret some old and classic opera by the
light of his or her modern perceptions. They do not improve on the
material. They only make a combination that is bizarre and inartistic.
This struck me forcibly not long ago when I heard a young, talented
American sing _A non giunge_, the lovely old _aria_ from the last act
of _Sonnambula_. The girl had a charming voice and she sang with musical
feeling and taste. But she had not one "tradition" as we understood the
term, and, in consequence, almost any worn-out, old-school singer could
have rendered the _aria_ more acceptably to trained ears. Traditions are
as necessary to the Bellini operas as costumes are to Shakespeare's
plays. To dispense with them may be original, but it is bad art. And
yet, while I became duly impressed with the necessity of the
"traditions," during those early performances, I always tried to avoid
following them too servilely or too artificially. I tried to interpret
for myself, within certain well-defined limits, according to my personal
conception of the characters I was personating. The traditions of
Italian opera combined with my own ideals of the lyric heroines,--this
became my object and ambition.

The summer after my _début_, I went on a concert tour under Grau's
management, but my throat was tired after the strain and nervous effort
of my first season, and I finally went up to the country for a long
rest. In New Hartford, Connecticut, my mother, father, and I renewed
many old friendships, and it was a genuine pleasure to sing again in a
small choir, to attend sewing circles, and to live the every-day life
from which I had been so far removed during my studies and professional
work. People everywhere were charming to me. Though only nineteen, I was
an acknowledged _prima donna_, and so received all sorts of kindly
attentions. This was the summer, I believe, (although it may have been a
later one) when Herbert Witherspoon, then only a boy, determined to
become a professional singer. He has always insisted that it was my
presence and the glamour that surrounded the stage because of me that
finally decided him.

I did not sing again in New York until the January of 1862. Before that
we had a short season on the road, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other
places. As there were then but nine opera houses in America our
itinerary was necessarily somewhat limited. In November of that year I
sang in _Les Noces de Jeannette_, in Philadelphia, a charming part
although not a very important one. It is a simple little operetta in one
act by Victor Macci. The _libretto_ was in French and I sang it in that
language. Pleasing speeches were made about my French and people wanted
to know where I had studied it--I, who had never studied it at all
except at home! The opera was not long enough for a full evening's
entertainment, so Miss Hinckley was put on in the same bill in
Donizetti's _Betly_. The two went very well together.

The critics found _Jeannette_ a great many surprising things, "broad,"
"risqué," "typically French," and so on. In reality it was innocent
enough; but it must be remembered that this was a day and generation
which found _Faust_ frightfully daring, and _Traviata_ so improper that
a year's hard effort was required before it could be sung in Brooklyn. I
sympathised with one critic, however, who railed against the translated
_libretto_ as sold in the lobby. After stating that it was utter
nonsense, he added with excellent reason:

"But this was to have been expected. That anyone connected with an opera
house should know enough about English to make a decent translation into
it is, of course, quite out of the question."

It was really funny about _Traviata_. In 1861 President Chittenden, of
the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, made a
sensational speech arraigning the plot of _Traviata_,[1] and protesting
against its production in Brooklyn on the grounds of propriety, or,
rather, impropriety. Meetings were held and it was finally resolved that
the opera was objectionable. The feeling against it grew into a series
of almost religious ceremonies of protest and, as I have said, it took
Grau a year of hard effort to overcome the opposition. When, at last, in
'62, the opera was given, I took part; and the audience was all on edge
with excitement. There had been so much talk about it that the whole
town turned out to see _why_ the Directors had withstood it for a year.
Every clergyman within travelling distance was in the house.

    [1] The book is founded upon Dumas's _La Dame aux Camélias_.

Its dramatic sister _Camille_ was also opposed violently when Mme.
Modjeska played it in Brooklyn in later years. These facts are amusing
in the light of present-day productions and their morals, or dearth of
them. _Salome_ is, I think, about the only grand opera of recent times
that has been suppressed by a Directors' Meeting. But in my youth
Directors were very tender of their public's virtuous feelings. When
_The Black Crook_ and the Lydia Thompson troupe first appeared in New
York, people spoke of those comparatively harmless shows with bated
breath and no one dared admit having actually seen them. The "Lydia
Thompson Blonds" the troupe was called. They did a burlesque song and
dance affair, and wore yellow wigs. Mr. Brander Matthews married one of
the most popular and charming of them. I wonder what would have happened
to an audience of that time if a modern, up-to-date, Broadway musical
farce had been presented to their consideration!

At any rate, the much-advertised _Traviata_ was finally given, being a
huge and sensational success. Probably I did not really understand the
character of Violetta down in the bottom of my heart. Modjeska once said
that a woman was only capable of playing Juliet when she was old enough
to be a grandmother; and if that be true of the young Verona girl, how
much more must it be true of poor Camille. My interpretation of the Lady
of the Camellias must have been a curiously impersonal one. I know that
when Emma Abbott appeared in it later, the critics said that she was so
afraid of allowing it to be suggestive that she made it so, whereas I
apparently never thought of that side of it and consequently never
forced my audiences to think of it either.

     There are some things accessible to genius that are beyond the
     reach of character [wrote one reviewer]. Abbott expects to make
     _Traviata_ acceptable very much as she would make a capon
     acceptable. She is always afraid of the words. So she substitutes
     her own. Kellogg sang this opera and nobody ever thought of the bad
     there is in it. Why? _Because Kellogg never thought of it._ Abbott
     reminds me of a girl of four who weeps for pantalettes on account
     of the wickedness of the world!

Violetta's gowns greatly interested me. I liked surprising the public
with new and startling effects. I argued that Violetta would probably
love curious and exotic combinations, so I dressed her first act in a
gown of rose pink and pale primrose yellow. Odd? Yes; of course it was
odd. But the colour scheme, bizarre as it was, always looked to my mind
and the minds of other persons altogether enchanting.

_A propos_ of the Violetta gowns, I sang the part during one season with
a tenor whose hands were always dirty. I found the back of my pretty
frocks becoming grimier and grimier, and greasier and greasier, and, as
I provided my own gowns and had to be economical, I finally came to the
conclusion that I could not and would not afford such wholesale and
continual ruin. So I sent my compliments to Monsieur and asked him
please to be extra careful and particular about washing his hands before
the performance as my dress was very light and delicate, etc.,--quite a
polite message considering the subject. Politeness, however, was
entirely wasted on him. Back came the cheery and nonchalant reply:

"All right! Tell her to send me some soap!"

I sent it: and I supplied him with soap for the rest of the season. This
was cheaper than buying new clothes.

Tenors are queer creatures. Most of them have their eccentricities and
the soprano is lucky if these are innocuous peculiarities. I used to
find it in my heart, for instance, to wish that they did not have such
queer theories as to what sort of food was good for the voice. Many of
them affected garlic. Stigelli usually exhaled an aroma of lager beer;
while the good Mazzoleni invariably ate from one to two pounds of cheese
the day he was to sing. He said it strengthened his voice. Brignoli had
been long enough in this country to become partly Americanised, so he
never smelled of anything in particular.

_Poliuto_ by Donizetti was never as brilliant a success as other operas
by the same composer. It is never given now. The scene of it is laid in
Rome, in the days of the Christian martyrs, and it has some very
effective moments, but for some reason those classic days did not
appeal to the public of our presentation. I do not believe _Quo Vadis_
would ever have gone then as it did later. The music of _Poliuto_ was
easy and showed off the voice, like all of Donizetti's music: and the
part of Paulina was exceptionally fine, with splendid opportunities for
dramatic work. The scene where she is thrown into the Colosseum was
particularly effective. But the American audiences did not seem to be
deeply interested in the fate of Paulina nor in that of Septimus
Severus. The year before my _début_ in _Rigoletto_ I had rehearsed
Paulina and had made something tragically near to a failure of it as I
had not then the physical nor vocal strength for the part. Indeed, I
should never then have been allowed to try it, and I have always had a
suspicion that I was put in it for the express purpose of proving me a
failure. That was when Muzio decided to "try me out" in the concert
_tournée_ as a sort of preliminary education. Therefore, one of the most
comforting elements of the final _Poliuto_ production to me was the
realisation that I was appearing, and appearing well, in a part in which
I had rehearsed so very discouragingly such a short time before. It was
a small triumph, perhaps, but it combined with many other small matters
to establish that sure yet humble confidence which is so essential to a
singer. So far as personal success went, Brignoli made the hit of
_Poliuto_.

[Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg as Lucia=

From a photograph by Elliott & Fry]

Lucia was never one of my favourite parts, but it is a singularly
grateful one. It has very few bad moments, and one can attack it without
the dread one sometimes feels for a _rôle_ containing difficult
passages. Of course Lucia, with her hopeless, weak-minded love for
Edgardo, and her spectacular mad scene, reminded me of my beloved
Linda, and there were many points of similarity in the two operas. I
found, therefore, that Lucia involved much less original and
interpretive work than most of my new parts; and it was never fatiguing.
Being beautifully high, I liked singing it. My voice, though flexible
and of wide range, always slipped most easily into the far upper
registers. I can recall the positive ache it was to sing certain parts
of Carmen that took me down far too low for comfort. Sometimes too, I
must admit, I used to "cheat" it. We nearly always opened in _Lucia_
when we began an opera season. Its success was never sensational, but
invariably safe and sure. Sometimes managers would be dubious and
suggest some production more startling as a commencement, but I always
had a deep and well-founded faith in _Lucia_.

"It never draws a capacity house," I would be told.

"But it never fails to get a fair one."

"It never makes a sensation."

"But it never gets a bad notice." I would say.

Martha was a light and pleasing part to play. Vocally it taught me very
little--little, that is to say, that I can now recognise, although I am
loath to make such a statement of any _rôle_. There are so many slight
and obscure ways in which a part can help one, almost unconsciously. The
point that stands out most strikingly in my recollection of _Martha_ is
the rather rueful triumph I had in it with regard to realistic acting.
Everyone who knows the story of Flotow's opera will recall that the
heroine is horribly bored in the first act. She is utterly uninterested,
utterly blasée, utterly listless. Accordingly, so I played the first
act. Later in the opera, when she is in the midst of interesting
happenings and no longer bored, she becomes animated and eager, quite a
different person from the languid great lady in the beginning. So, also,
I played that part. Here came my triumph, although it was a left-handed
compliment aimed with the intention only to criticise and to criticise
severely. One reviewer said, the morning after I had first given my
careful and logical interpretation, that "it was a pity Miss Kellogg had
taken so little pains with the first act. She had played it dully,
stupidly, without interest or animation. Later, however, she brightened
up a little and somewhat redeemed our impression of her work as we had
seen it in the early part of the evening." I felt angry and hurt about
this at the time, yet it pleased me too, for it was a huge tribute even
if the critic did not intend it to be so.

Although I did sing in _Don Giovanni_ under Grau that year in Boston, I
never really considered it as belonging to that period. I did so much
with this opera in after years--singing both Donna Anna and Zerlina at
various times and winning some of the most notable praise of my
career--that I always instinctively think of it as one of my later and
more mature achievements. I always loved the opera and feel that it is
an invaluable part of every singer's education to have appeared in it.
_The Magic Flute_ never seemed to me to be half so genuinely big or so
inspired. In _Don Giovanni_ Mozart gave us his richest and most complete
flower of operatic work. In our cast were Amodio, whom I had heard with
Piccolomini, and Mme. Medori, my old rival in _Linda_, who had recently
joined the Grau Company.

[Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg as Martha=

From a photograph by Turner]

All this time the war was going on and our opera ventures, even at their
best, were nothing to what they had been in the days of peace. It
seemed quite clear for a while that the old favourites would not draw
audiences from among the anxious and sorrowing people. For a big success
we needed something novel, sensational, exceptional.

On the other side of the world people were all talking of Gounod's new
opera--the one he had sold for only twelve hundred dollars, but which
had made a wonderful hit both in Paris and London. It was said to be
startlingly new; and Max Maretzek, in despair over the many lukewarm
successes we had all had, decided to have a look at the score. The opera
was _Faust_.

With all my pride, I was terrified and appalled when "the Magnificent"
came to me and abruptly told me that I was to create the part of
Marguerite in America. This was a "large order" for a girl of twenty;
but I took my courage in both hands and resolved to make America proud
of me. I was a pioneer when I undertook Gounod's music and I had no
notion of what to do with it, but my will and my ambition arose to meet
the situation.

Just here, because of its general bearing on the point, I feel that it
is desirable to quote a paragraph which was written by my old friend--or
was he enemy?--many years later when I had won my measure of success,
"Nym Crinkle" (A. C. Wheeler), and which I have always highly valued:

     There isn't a bit of snobbishness about Kellogg's opinions [he
     wrote]. For a woman who has sung everywhere, she retains a very
     wholesome opinion of her own country. She always seems to me to be
     trying to win two imperishable chaplets, one of which is for her
     country. So you see we have got to take our little flags and wave
     them whether it is the correct thing or not. And, so far as I am
     concerned, I think it is the correct thing.... She has this
     tremendous advantage that, when she declares in print that America
     can produce its own singers, she is quite capable of going
     afterwards upon the stage and proving it!



CHAPTER VIII

MARGUERITE


Mme. Miolan-Carvalho created Marguerite in Paris, at the Théâtre
Lyrique. In London Patti and Titjiens had both sung it before we put it
on in America,--Adelina at Covent Garden and Titjiens at Her Majesty's
Opera House, where I was destined to sing it later. Except for these
productions of _Faust_ across the sea, that opera was still an
unexplored field. I had absolutely nothing to guide me, nothing to help
me, when I began work on it. I, who had been schooled and trained in
"traditions" and their observances since I had first begun to study,
found myself confronted with conditions that had as yet no traditions. I
had to make them for myself.

Maretzek secured the score during the winter of '62-'63 and then spoke
to me about the music. I worked at the part off and on for nine months,
even while I was singing other parts and taking my summer vacation. But
when the season opened in the autumn of 1863, the performance was
postponed because a certain reaction had set in on the part of the
public. People were beginning to want some sort of distraction and
relaxation from the horrors and anxieties of war, and now began to come
again to hear the old favourites. So Maretzek wanted to wait and put off
his new sensation until he really needed it as a drawing card.

Then came the news that Anschutz, the German manager, was about to bring
a German company to the Terrace Garden in New York with a fine
_répertoire_ of grand opera, including _Faust_. Of course this settled
the question. Maretzek hurried the new opera into final rehearsal and it
was produced at The Academy of Music on November 25, 1863, when I was
very little more than twenty years old.

Before I myself say anything about _Faust_, in which I was soon to
appear, I want to quote the views of a leading newspaper of New York
after I had appeared.

     A brilliant audience assembled last night. The opera was _Faust_.
     Such an audience ought, in figurative language, "to raise the roof
     off" with applause. But with the clumsily written, uninspired
     melodies that the solo singers have to declaim there was the least
     possible applause. And this is not the fault of the vocalists, for
     they tried their best. We except to this charge of dullness the
     dramatic love scene where the tolerably broad business concludes
     the act. With these facts plain to everyone present we cannot
     comprehend the announcement of the success of _Faust_!

Who was it said "the world goes round with revolutions"? It is a great
truth, whoever said it. Every new step in art, in progress along any
line, has cost something and has been fought for. Nothing fresh or good
has ever come into existence without a convulsion of the old, dried-up
forms. Beethoven was a revolutionist when he threw aside established
musical forms with the _Ninth Symphony_; Wagner was a revolutionist when
he contrived impossible intervals of the eleventh and the thirteenth,
and called them for the first time dissonant harmonies; so, also, was
Gounod when he departed from all accepted operatic forms and
institutions in _Faust_.

You who have heard _Cari fior_ upon the hand-organs in the street, and
have whistled the _Soldiers' Chorus_ while you were in school; who have
even grown to regard the opera of _Faust_ as old-fashioned and of light
weight, must re-focus your glass a bit and look at Gounod's masterpiece
from the point of view of nearly fifty years ago! It was just as
startling, just as strange, just as antagonistic to our established
musical habit as Strauss and Debussy and Dukas are to some persons
to-day. What is new must always be strange, and what is strange must,
except to a few adventurous souls, prove to be disturbing and, hence,
disagreeable. People say "it is different, therefore it must be wrong."
Even as battle, murder, and sudden death are upsetting to our lives, so
Gounod's bold harmonies, sweeping airs, and curious orchestration were
upsetting to the public ears.

Not the public alone, either. Though from the first I was attracted and
fascinated by the "new music," it puzzled me vastly. Also, I found it
very difficult to sing. I, who had been accustomed to Linda and Gilda
and Martha, felt utterly at sea when I tried to sing what at that time
seemed to me the remarkable intervals of this strange, new, operatic
heroine, Marguerite. In the simple Italian school one knew approximately
what was ahead. A _recitative_ was a fairly elementary affair. An _aria_
had no unexpected cadences, led to no striking nor unusual effects. But
in _Faust_ the musical intelligence had an entirely new task and was
exercised quite differently from in anything that had gone before. This
sequence of notes was a new and unlearned language to me, which I had to
master before I could find freedom or ease. But when once mastered, how
the music enchanted me; how it satisfied a thirst that had never been
satisfied by Donizetti or Bellini! Musically, I loved the part of
Marguerite--and I still love it. Dramatically, I confess to some
impatience over the imbecility of the girl. From the first I summarily
apostrophised her to myself as "a little fool!"

Stupidity is really the keynote of Marguerite's character. She was not
quite a peasant--she and her brother owned their house, showing that
they belonged to the stolid, sound, sheltered burgher class. On the
other hand, she explicitly states to Faust that she is "not a lady and
needs no escort." In short, she was the ideal victim and was selected as
such by Mephistopheles who, whatever else he may have been, was a judge
of character. Marguerite was an easy dupe. She was entirely without
resisting power. She was dull, and sweet, and open to flattery. She
liked pretty things, with no more discrimination or taste than other
girls. She was a well-brought-up but uneducated young person of an
ignorant age and of a stupid class, and innocent to the verge of idiocy.

I used to try and suggest the peasant blood in Marguerite by little
shynesses and awkwardnesses. After the first meeting with Faust I would
slyly stop and glance back at him with girlish curiosity to see what he
looked like. People found this "business" very pretty and convincing,
but I understand that I did not give the typically Teutonic bourgeois
impression as well as Federici, a German soprano who was heard in
America after me. She was of the class of Gretchen, and doubtless found
it easier to act like a peasant unused to having fine gentlemen speak to
her, than I did.

There was very little general enthusiasm before the production of
_Faust_. There were so few American musicians then that no one knew nor
cared about the music. Neither was the poem so well read as it was
later. The public went to the opera houses to hear popular singers and
familiar airs. They had not the slightest interest in a new opera from
an artistic standpoint.

I had never been allowed to read Goethe's poem until I began to study
Marguerite. But even my careful mother was obliged to admit that I would
have to familiarise myself with the character before I interpreted it.
It is doubtful, even then, if I entered fully into the emotional and
psychological grasp of the _rôle_. All that part of it was with me
entirely mental. I could seize the complete mental possibilities of a
character and work them out intelligently long before I had any
emotional comprehension of them. As a case in point, when I sang Gilda I
gave a perfectly logical presentation of the character, but I am very
sure that I had not the least notion of what the latter part of
_Rigoletto_ meant. Fear, grief, love, courage,--these were emotions that
I could accept and with which I could work; but I was still too immature
to have much conception of the great sex complications that underlay the
opera that I sang so peacefully. And I dare say that one reason why I
played Marguerite so well was because I was so ridiculously innocent
myself.

Most of the Marguerites whom I have seen make her too sophisticated, too
complicated. The moment they get off the beaten path, they go to
extremes like Calvé and Farrar. It is very pleasant to be original and
daring in a part, but anything original or daring in connection with
Marguerite is a little like mixing red pepper with vanilla _blanc
mange_. Nilsson, even, was too--shall I say, _knowing_? It seems the
only word that fits my meaning. Nilsson was much the most attractive of
all the Marguerites I have ever seen, yet she was altogether too
sophisticated for the character and for the period, although to-day I
suppose she would be considered quite mild. Lucca was an absolute little
devil in the part. She was, also, one of the Marguerites who wore black
hair. As for Patti--I have a picture of Adelina as Marguerite in which
she looks like Satan's own daughter, a young and feminine Mephistopheles
to the life. Once I heard _Faust_ in the Segundo Teatro of Naples with
Alice Neilson, and thought she gave a charming performance. She was
greatly helped by not having to wear a wig. A wig, however becoming, and
no matter how well put on, does certainly do something strange to the
expression of a woman's face. This was what I had to have--a wig--and it
was one of the most dreadful difficulties in my preparations for the
great new part.

[Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg as Marguerite, 1865=

From a photograph by Sarony]

A wig may sound like a simple requirement. But I wonder if anybody has
any idea how difficult it was to get a good wig in those days. Nobody in
America knew how to make one. There was no blond hair over here and none
could be procured, none being for sale. The poor affair worn by Mme.
Carvalho as Marguerite, illustrates what was then considered a
sufficient wig equipment. It is hardly necessary to add that to my
truth-loving soul no effort was too great to obtain an effect that
should be an improvement on this sort of thing. My own hair was so dark
as to look almost black behind the footlights, and in my mind there was
no doubt that Marguerite must be a blond. To-day _prime donne_ besides
Lucca justify the use of their own dark locks--notably Mme. Eames and
Miss Farrar--but I cannot help suspecting that this comes chiefly from a
wish to be original, to be _different_ at all costs. There is no real
question but that the young German peasant was fair to the flaxen point.
Yet, though I knew how she should be, I found it was simpler as a theory
than as a fact. I tried powders--light brown powder, yellow powder,
finally, gold powder. The latter was little, I imagine, but brass
filings, and it gave the best effect of all my early experiments,
looking, so long as it stayed on my hair, very burnished and sunny.
But--it turned my scalp green! This was probably the verdigris from the
brass filings in the stuff. I was frightened enough to dispense entirely
with the whole gold and green effect; after which I experimented with
all the available wigs, in spite of a popular prejudice against them as
immovable. They were in general composed of hemp rope with about as much
look about them of real hair as--Mme. Carvalho's! I had, finally, to
wait until I could get a wig made in Europe and have it imported. When
it came at last, it was a beauty--although my hair troubles were not
entirely over even then. I had so much hair of my own that all the
braiding and pinning in the world would not eliminate it entirely, and
it had a tendency to stick out in lumps over my head even under the wig,
giving me some remarkable bumps of phrenological development. I will say
that we put it on pretty well in spite of all difficulties, my mother at
last achieving a way of brushing the hair of the wig into my own hair
and combining the two in such a way as to let the real hair act as a
padding and lining to the artificial braids. The result was very good,
but it was, I am inclined to believe, more trouble than it was worth.
Wigs were so rare and, as a rule, so ugly in those days that my big,
blond perruque, that cost nearly $200 (the hair was sold by weight),
caused the greatest sensation. People not infrequently came behind the
scenes and begged to be allowed to examine it. Artists were not nearly
so sacred nor so safe from the public then. Now, it would be impossible
for a stranger to penetrate to a _prima donna's_ dressing-room or hotel
apartment; but we were constantly assailed by the admiring, the critical
and, above all, the curious.

Of course I did not know what to wear. My old friend Ella Porter was in
Paris at the time and went to see Carvalho in Marguerite, especially on
my account, and sent me rough drawings of her costumes. I did not like
them very well. I next studied von Kaulbach's pictures and those of
other German illustrators, and finally decided on the dress. First, I
chose for the opening act a simple blue and brown frock, such as an
upper-class peasant might wear. Everyone said it ought to be white,
which struck me as singularly out of place. German girls don't wear
frocks that have to be constantly washed. Not even now do they, and I am
certain they had even less laundry work in the period of the story. It
was said that a white gown in the first act would symbolise innocence.
In the face of all comment and suggestion, however, I wore the blue
dress trimmed with brown and it looked very well. Another one of my
points was that I did not try to make Marguerite angelically beautiful.
There is no reason to suppose that she was even particularly pretty.
"Henceforth," says Mephisto to the rejuvenated Faustus, "you will greet
a Helen in every wench you meet!"

In the church scene I wore grey and, at first, a different shade of
grey in the last act; but I changed this eventually to white because
white looked better when the angels were carrying me up to heaven.

As for the cut of the dresses, I seem to have been the first person to
wear a bodice that fitted below the waist line like a corset. No living
mortal in America had ever seen such a thing and it became almost as
much of a curiosity as my wonderful golden wig. The theatre costumier
was horrified. She had never cared for my innovations in the way of
costuming, and her tradition-loving Latin soul was shocked to the core
by the new and dreadful make-up I proposed to wear as Marguerite.

"I make for Grisi," she declared indignantly, "and I _nevair_ see like
dat!"

Well, I worked and struggled and slaved over every detail. No one else
did. There was no great effort made to have good scenic effects. The
lighting was absurd, and I had to fight for my pot of daisies in the
garden scene. The jewel box I provided myself, and the jewels. I
felt--O, how deeply I felt--that everything in my life, every note I had
sung, every day I had worked, had been merely preparation for this great
and lovely opera.

Colonel Stebbins, who was anxious, said to Maretzek:

"Don't you think she had better have a German coach in the part?"

Maretzek, who had been watching me closely all along, shook his head.

"Let her alone," he said. "Let her do it her own way."

So the great night came around.

There was no public excitement before the production. People knew
nothing about the new opera. On the first night of _Faust_ there was a
good house because, frankly, the public liked me! Nevertheless, in spite
of "me," the house was a little inanimate. The audience felt doubtful.
It was one thing to warm up an old and popular piece; but something
untried was very different! The public had none of the present-day
chivalry toward the first "try-out" of an opera.

Mazzoleni of the cheese addiction was Faust, and on that first night he
had eaten even more than usual. In fact, he was still eating cheese when
the curtain went up and munched cheese at intervals all through the
laboratory scene. He was a big Italian with a voice as big as himself
and was, in a measure, one of Max Maretzek's "finds." "The Magnificent"
had taken an opera company to Havana when first the war slump came in
operatic affairs, and had made with it a huge success and a wide
reputation. Mazzoleni was one of the leading tenors of that company. He
sang Faust admirably, but dressed it in an atrocious fashion, looking
like a cross between a Jewish rabbi and a Prussian _gene d'arme_. Of
course, he gave no idea of the true age of Faust--the experienced,
mature point of view showing through the outward bloom of his artificial
youth. Very few Fausts do give this; and Mazzoleni suggested it rather
less than most of them. But the public was not enlightened enough to
realise the lack.

Biachi was Mephistopheles. He was very good and sang the _Calf of Gold_
splendidly. Yet that solo, oddly enough, never "caught on" with our
houses. Biachi was one of the few artists of my day who gave real
thought and attention to the question of costuming. He took his general
scheme of dress from _Robert le Diable_ and improved on it, and looked
very well indeed. The woman he afterwards married was our contralto, a
Miss Sulzer, an American, who made an excellent Siebel and considered
her work seriously.

At first everyone was stunned by the new treatment. In ordinary,
accepted operatic form there were certain things to be
expected;--_recitatives_, _andantes_, _arias_, choruses--all neatly laid
out according to rule. In this everything was new, startling,
overthrowing all traditions. About the middle of the evening some of my
friends came behind the scenes to my dressing-room with blank faces.

"Heavens, Louise," they exclaimed, "what do you do in this opera anyway?
Everyone in the front of the house is asking 'where's the _prima
donna_?'"

Indeed, an opera in which the heroine has nothing to do until the third
act might well have startled a public accustomed to the old Italian
forms. However, I assured everyone:

"Don't worry. You'll get more than enough of me before the end of the
evening!"

The house was not much stirred until the love scene. That was
breathless. We felt more and more that we were beginning to "get them."

There were no modern effects of lighting; but a calcium was thrown on me
as I stood by the window, and I sang my very, very best. As Mazzoleni
came up to the window and the curtain went down there was a dead
silence.

Not a hand for ten seconds. Ten seconds is a long time when one is
waiting on the stage. Time and the clock itself seemed to stop as we
stood there motionless and breathless. Maretzek had time to get through
the little orchestra door and up on the stage before the applause came.
We were standing as though paralysed, waiting. We saw Maretzek's pale,
anxious face. The silence held a second longer; then--

The house came down. The thunders echoed and beat about our wondering
ears.

"Success!" gasped Maretzek, "success--success--_success_!"

Yet read what the critics said about it. The musicians picked it to
pieces, of course, and so did the critics, much as the German reviewers
did Wagner's music dramas. The public came, however, packing the houses
to more than their capacity. People paid seven and eight dollars a seat
to hear that opera, an unheard-of thing in those days when two and three
dollars were considered a very fair price for any entertainment.
Furthermore, only the women occupied the seats on the _Faust_ nights. I
speak in a general way, for there were exceptions. As a rule, however,
this was so, while the men stood up in regiments at the back of the
house. We gave twenty-seven performances of _Faust_ in one season; seven
performances in Boston in four weeks; and I could not help the welcome
knowledge that, in addition to the success of the opera itself, I had
scored a big, personal triumph.

[Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg as Marguerite, 1864=

From a silhouette by Ida Waugh]

As I have mentioned, we took wicked liberties with the operas, such as
introducing the _Star Spangled Banner_ and similar patriotic songs into
the middle of Italian scores. I have even seen a highly tragic act of
_Poliuto_ put in between the light and cheery scenes of _Martha_; and I
have myself sung the _Venzano_ waltz at the end of this same _Martha_,
although the real quartette that is supposed to close the opera is much
more beautiful, and the _Clara Louise Polka_ as a finish for _Linda di
Chamounix_! The _Clara Louise Polka_ was written for me by my old
master, Muzio, and I never thought much of it. Nothing could give
anyone so clear an idea of the universal acceptance of this custom of
interpolation as the following criticism, printed during our second
season:

"The production of _Faust_ last evening by the Maretzek troupe was
excellent indeed. But why, O why, the eternal _Soldiers' Chorus_? Why
this everlasting, tedious march, _when there are so many excellent band
pieces on the market that would fit the occasion better_?"

As a rule the public were quite satisfied with this chorus. It was
whistled and sung all over the country and never failed to get eager
applause. But no part of the opera ever went so well as the _Salve
dimora_ and the love scene. All the latter part of the garden act went
splendidly although nearly everyone was, or professed to be, shocked by
the frankness of the window episode that closes it. It is a pity those
simple-souled audiences could not have lived to see Miss Geraldine
Farrar draw Faust with her into the house at the fall of the curtain!
There is, indeed, a place for all things. _Faust_ is not the place for
that sort of suggestiveness. It is a question, incidentally, whether any
stage production is; but the argument of that is outside our present
point.

Dear Longfellow came to see the first performance of _Faust_; and the
next day he wrote a charming letter about it to Mr. James T. Fields of
Boston. Said he:

"The Margaret was beautiful. She reminded me of Dryden's lines:

    "'So pois'd, so gently she descends from high,
    It seems a soft dismission from the sky.'"



CHAPTER IX

OPÉRA COMIQUE


To most persons "opéra comique" means simply comic opera. If they make
any distinction at all it is to call it "high-class comic opera." As a
matter of fact, tragedy and comedy are hardly farther apart in spirit
than are the rough and farcical stuff that we look upon as comic opera
nowadays and the charming old pieces that formed the true "opéra
comique" some fifty years ago. "Opéra bouffe" even is many degrees below
"opéra comique." Yet "opéra bouffe" is, to my mind, something infinitely
superior and many steps higher than modern comic opera. So we have some
delicate differentiations to make when we go investigating in the fields
of light dramatic music.

In Paris at the Comique they try to keep the older distinction in mind
when selecting their operas for production. There are exceptions to this
rule, as to others, for play-houses that specialise; but for the most
part these Paris managers choose operas that are light. I use the word
advisedly. By _light_ I mean, literally, _not heavy_. Light music, light
drama, does not necessarily mean humorous. It may, on the contrary, be
highly pathetic and charged with sentiment. The only restriction is that
it shall not be expressed in the stentorian orchestration of a
Meyerbeer, nor in the heart-rending tragedy of a Wagner. In theme and
in treatment, in melodies and in text, it must be of delicate fibre,
something easily seized and swiftly assimilated, something intimate,
perfumed, and agreeable, with no more harshness of emotion than of
harmony.

Judged by this standard such operas as _Martha_, _La Bohème_, even
_Carmen_--possibly, even _Werther_--are not entirely foreign to the
requirements of "opéra comique." _Le Donne Curiose_ may be considered as
an almost perfect revival and exemplification of the form. A careful
differentiation discovers that humour, a happy ending, and many
rollicking melodies do not at all make an "opéra comique." These
qualities all belong abundantly to _Die Meistersinger_ and to Verdi's
_Falstaff_, yet these great operas are no nearer being examples of
genuine "comique" than _Les Huguenots_ is or _Götterdämmerung_.

It was my good fortune to sing in the space of a year three delightful
_rôles_ in "opéra comique," each of which I enjoyed hugely. They were
Zerlina in _Fra Diavolo_; Rosina in _Il Barbiere_; and Annetta in
_Crispino e la Comare_. _Fra Diavolo_ was first produced in Italian in
America during the autumn of 1864, the year after I appeared in
Marguerite, and it remained one of our most popular operas throughout
the season of '65-66. I loved it and always had a good time the nights
it was given. We put it on for my "benefit" at the end of the regular
winter season at the Academy. The season closed with the old year and
the "benefit" took place on the 28th of December. The "benefit" custom
was very general in those days. Everybody had one a year and so I had to
have mine, or, at least, Maretzek thought I had to have it. _Fra
Diavolo_ was his choice for this occasion as I had made one of my best
successes in the part of Zerlina, and the opera had been the most liked
in our whole _répertoire_ with the exception of _Faust_. _Faust_ had
remained from the beginning our most unconditional success, our _cheval
de bataille_, and never failed to pack the house.

I don't know quite why that _Fra Diavolo_ night stands out so happily
and vividly in my memory. I have had other and more spectacular
"benefits"; but that evening there seemed to be the warmest and most
personal of atmospheres in the old Academy. The audience was full of
friends and, what with the glimpses I had of these familiar faces and my
loads of lovely flowers and the kindly, intimate enthusiasm that greeted
my appearance, I felt as if I were at a party and not playing a
performance at all. I had to come out again and again; and finally
became so wrought up that I was nearly in tears.

As a climax I was entirely overcome when I suddenly turned to find
Maretzek standing beside me in the middle of the stage, smiling at me in
a friendly and encouraging manner. I had not the slightest idea what his
presence there at that moment meant. The applause stopped instantly.
Whereupon "Max the Magnificent" made a little speech in the quick hush,
saying charming and overwhelming things about the young girl whose
musical beginning he had watched and who in a few years had reached "a
high pinnacle in the world of art. The young girl"--he went on to
say--"who at twenty-one was the foremost _prima donna_ of America."

"And now, my dear Miss Kellogg," he wound up with, holding out to me a
velvet case, "I am instructed by the stockholders of the Opera Company
to hand you this, to remind you of their admiration and their pride in
you!"

I took the case; and the house cheered and cheered as I lifted out of it
a wonderful flashing diamond bracelet and diamond ring. Of course I
couldn't speak. I could hardly say "thank you." I just ran off with eyes
and heart overflowing to the wings where my mother was waiting for me.

The bracelet and the ring are among the dearest things I possess. Their
value to me is much greater than any money could be, for they symbolise
my young girl's sudden comprehension of the fact that I had made my
countrymen proud of me! That seemed like the high-water mark; the finest
thing that could happen.

Annetta was my second creation. There could hardly be imagined a greater
contrast than she presented to the part of Marguerite. Gretchen was all
the virtues in spite of her somewhat spectacular career; gentleness and
sweetness itself. Annetta, the ballad singer, was quite the opposite. I
must say that I really enjoyed making myself shrewish, sparkling, and
audacious. Perhaps I thus took out in the lighter _rôles_ I sang many of
my own suppressed tendencies. Although I lived such an essentially
ungirlish life, I was, nevertheless, full of youthful feeling and high
spirits, so, when I was Annetta or Zerlina or Rosina, I had a flying
chance to "bubble" just a little bit. Merriment is one of the finest and
most helpful emotions in the world and I dare say we all have the
possibilities of it in us, one way or another. But it is a shy sprite
and does not readily come to one's call. I often think that the art, or
the ability,--on the stage or off it--which makes people truly and
innocently gay, is very high in the scale of human importance.
Personally, I have never been happier than when I was frolicking through
some entirely light-weight opera, full of whims and quirks and laughing
music. I used to feel intimately in touch with the whole audience then,
as though they and I were sharing some exquisite secret or delicious
joke; and I would reach a point of ease and spontaneity which I have
never achieved in more serious work.

_Crispino_ had made a tremendous hit in Paris the year before when
Malibran had sung Annetta with brilliant success. It has been sometimes
said that Grisi created the _rôle_ of Annetta in America; but I still
cling to the claim of that distinction for myself. The composers of the
opera were the Rice brothers. I do not know of any other case where an
opera has been written fraternally; and it was such a highly successful
little opera that I wish I knew more about the two men who were
responsible for it. All that I remember clearly is that they both of
them knew music thoroughly and that one of them taught it as a
profession.

Our first Cobbler in _Crispino e la Comare_ ("The Cobbler and the
Fairy") was Rovere, a good Italian buffo baritone. He was one of those
extraordinary artists whose art grows and increases with time and, by
some law of compensation, comes more and more to take the place of mere
voice. Rovere was in his prime in 1852 when he sang in America with Mme.
Alboni. Later, when he sang with me, a few of the New York critics
remembered him and knew his work and agreed that he was "as good as
ever." His voice--no. But his art, his method, his delightful
manner--these did not deteriorate. On the contrary, they matured and
ripened. Our second Cobbler, Ronconi, was even more remarkable. He was,
I believe, one of the finest Italian baritones that ever lived, and he
succeeded in getting a degree of genuine high comedy out of the part
that I have never seen surpassed. He used to tell of himself a story of
the time when he was singing in the Royal Opera of Petersburg. The
Czar--father of the one who was murdered--said to him once:

"Ronconi, I understand that you are so versatile that you can express
tragedy with one side of your face when you are singing and comedy with
the other. How do you do it?"

"Your Majesty," rejoined Ronconi, "when I sing _Maria de Rohan_
to-morrow night I will do myself the honour of showing you."

And, accordingly, the next evening he managed to turn one side of his
face, grim as the Tragic Mask, to the audience, while the other, which
could be seen from only the Imperial Box, was excessively humorous and
cheerful. The Czar was greatly amused and delighted with the exhibition.

Once in London, Santley was talking with me about this great baritone
and said:

"Ronconi did something with a phrase in the sextette of _Lucia_ that I
have gone to hear many and many a night. I never could manage to catch
it or comprehend how he gave so much power and expression to

[Illustration: Musical notation; Ah! è mio san-gue, l'ho-tra-di-ta!]

Ronconi was deliciously amusing, also, as the Lord in _Fra Diavolo_. He
sang it with me the first time it was ever done here in Italian, when
Theodor Habelmann was our Diavolo. Though he was a round-faced German,
he was so dark of skin and so finely built that he made up excellently
as an Italian; and he had been thoroughly trained in the splendid school
of German light opera. He was really picturesque, especially in a
wonderful fall he made from one precipice to another. We were not
accustomed to falls on the stage over here, and had never seen anything
like it. Ronconi sang with me some years later, as well, when I gave
English opera throughout the country, and I came to know him quite well.
He was a man of great elegance and decorum.

"You know," he said to me once, "I'm a sly dog--a very sly dog indeed!
When I sing off the key on the stage or do anything like that, I always
turn and look in an astounded manner at the person singing with me as if
to say 'what on earth did you do that for?' and the other artist,
perfectly innocent, invariably looks guilty! O, I'm a _very_ sly dog!"

_Don Pasquale_ was another of our "opéra comique" ventures, as well as
_La Dame Blanche_ and _Masaniello_. It was a particularly advantageous
choice at the time because it required neither chorus nor orchestra. We
sang it with nothing but a piano by way of accompaniment; which possibly
was a particularly useful arrangement for us when we became short of
cash, for we--editorially, or, rather, managerially speaking--were
rather given in those early seasons to becoming suddenly "hard up,"
especially when to the poor operatic conditions, engendered
spasmodically by the war news, was added the wet blanket of Lent which,
in those days, was observed most rigidly.

Of the three _rôles_, Zerlina, Rosina, and Annetta, I always preferred
that of Rosina. It was one of my best _rôles_, the music being
excellently placed for me. _Il Barbiere_ had led the school of "opéra
comique" for years, but soon, one after the other, the new
operas--notably _Crispino_--were hailed as the legitimate successor of
_Il Barbiere_, and their novelty gave them a drawing power in advance of
their rational value. In addition to my personal liking for the _rôle_
of Rosina, I always felt that, although the other operas were charming
in every way, they musically were not quite in the class with Rossini's
masterpiece. The light and delicate qualities of this form of operatic
art have never been given so perfectly as by him. I wish _Il Barbiere_
were more frequently heard.

Yet I was fond of _Fra Diavolo_ too. I was forever working at the _rôle_
of Zerlina or, rather, playing at it, for the old "opéra comique" was
never really work to me. It was all infectious and inspiring; the music
full of melody; the story light and pretty. Many of the critics said
that I ought to specialise in comedy, cut out my tragic and romantic
_rôles_, and attempt even lighter music and characterisation than
Zerlina. People seemed particularly to enjoy my "going to bed" scene.
They praised my "neatness and daintiness" and found the whole picture
very pretty and attractive. I used to take off my skirt first, shake it
well, hang it on a nail, then discover a spot and carefully rub it out.
That little bit of "business" always got a laugh--I do not quite know
why. Then I would take off my bodice dreamily as I sang:
"To-morrow--yes, to-morrow I am to be married!"

[Illustration: Musical notation; Si, do-ma-ni, Si, do-ma-ni sa-rem
ma-ri-to e moghi,]

One night while I was carrying the candle in that scene a gust of wind
from the wings made the flame gutter badly and a drop of hot grease fell
on my hand. Instinctively I jumped and shook my hand without thinking
what I was doing. There was a perfect gale of laughter from the house.
After that, I always pretended to drop the grease on my hand, always
gave the little jump, and always got my laugh.

As I say, nearly everybody liked that scene. I was myself so girlish
that it never struck anybody as particularly suggestive or immodest
until one night an old couple from the country came to see the opera and
created a mild sensation by getting up and going out in the middle of
it. The old man was heard to say, as he hustled his meek spouse up the
aisle of the opera house:

"Mary, we'd better get out of this! It may be all right for city folks,
but it's no place for us. We may be green; but, by cracky,--we're
_decent_!"



CHAPTER X

ANOTHER SEASON AND A LITTLE MORE SUCCESS


One of the pleasant affairs that came my way that year was Sir Morton
Peto's banquet in October. Sir Morton was a distinguished Englishman who
represented big railway interests in Great Britain and who was then
negotiating some new and important railroading schemes on this side of
the water. There were two hundred and fifty guests; practically
everybody present, except my mother and myself, standing for some large
financial power of the United States. I felt much complimented at being
invited, for it was at a period when very great developments were in the
making. America was literally teeming with new projects and plans and
embryonic interests.

The banquet was given at Delmonico's, then at Fifth Avenue and
Fourteenth Street, and the rooms were gorgeous in their drapings of
American and English flags. The war was about drawing to its close and
patriotism was at white heat. The influential Americans were in the mood
to wave their banners and to exchange amenities with foreign potentates.
Sir Morton was a noted capitalist and his banquet was a sort of "hands
across the sea" festival. He used, I recall, to stop at the Clarendon,
now torn down and its site occupied by a commercial "sky scraper," but
then the smart hostelry of the town.

I sang that night after dinner. My services had not been engaged
professionally, so, when Sir Morton wanted to reward me lavishly, I of
course did not care to have him do so. We were still so new to _prime
donne_ in New York that we had no social code or precedent to refer to
with regard to them; and I preferred, personally, to keep the episode on
a purely friendly and social basis. I was an invited guest only who had
tried to do her part for the entertainment of the others. I was
honoured, too. It was an experience to which anyone could look back with
pride and pleasure.

But, being English, Sir Morton Peto had a solution and, within a day or
two, sent me an exquisite pearl and diamond bracelet. It is odd how much
more delicately and graciously than Americans all foreigners--of
whatever nationality indeed--can relieve a situation of awkwardness and
do the really considerate and appreciative thing which makes such a
situation all right. I later found the same tactful qualities in the
Duke of Newcastle who, with his family, were among the closest friends I
had in England. Indeed, I was always much impressed with the good taste
of English men and women in this connection.

An instance of the American fashion befell me during the winter of
'63-'64 on the occasion of a big reception that was given by the father
of Brander Matthews. I was invited to go and asked to sing, my host
saying that if I would not accept a stipulated price he would be only
too glad to make me a handsome present of some kind. The occasion turned
out to be very unfortunate and unpleasant altogether, both at the time
and with regard to the feeling that grew out of it. I happened to wear a
dress that was nearly new, a handsome and expensive gown, and this was
completely ruined by a servant upsetting melted ice cream over it. My
host and hostess were all concern, saying that, as they were about to go
to Paris, they would buy me a new one. I immediately felt that if they
did this, they would consider the dress as an equivalent for my singing
and that I should never hear anything more of the handsome present. Of
course I said nothing of this, however, to anyone. Well--they went to
Paris. Days and weeks passed. I heard nothing from them about either
dress or present. I went to Europe. They called on me in Paris. In the
course of time we all came home to America; and the night after my
return I received a long letter and a set of Castilian gold jewelry,
altogether inadequate as an equivalent. There was nothing to do but to
accept it, which I did, and then proceeded to give away the ornaments as
I saw fit. The whole affair was uncomfortable and a discredit to my
entertainers. Not only had I lost a rich dress through the carelessness
of one of their servants, but I received a very tardy and inadequate
recompense for my singing. I had refused payment in money because it was
the custom to do so. But I was a professional singer, and I had been
asked to the reception as a professional entertainer. This, however, I
must add, is the most flagrant case that has ever come under my personal
notice of an American host or hostess failing to "make good" at the
expense of a professional.

Well--from time to time after Sir Morton's banquet, I sang in concert.
On one occasion I replaced Euphrosyne Parepa--she had not then married
Carl Rosa--at one of the Bateman concerts. The Meyerbeer craze was then
at its height. Good, sound music it was too, if a little brazen and
noisy. _L'Étoile du Nord_ (I don't understand why we always speak of it
as _L'Étoile du Nord_ when we never once sang it in French) had been
sung in America by my old idol, Mme. de la Grange, nearly ten years
before I essayed Catarina. My _première_ in the part was given in
Philadelphia; but almost immediately we came back to New York for the
spring opera season and I sang _The Star_ as principal attraction. Later
on I sang it in Boston.

It was always good fun playing in Boston, for the Harvard boys adored
"suping" and we had our extra men almost without the asking. They were
such nice, clean, enthusiastic chaps! The reason why I remember them so
clearly is that I never can forget how surprised I was when, in the boat
at the end of the first act of _The Star of the North_, I chanced to
look down and caught sight of Peter Barlow (now Judge Barlow) grinning
up at me from a point almost underneath me on the stage, and how I
nearly fell out of the boat!

We had difficulty in finding a satisfactory Prascovia. Prascovia is an
important soprano part, and had to be well taken. At last Albites
suggested a pupil of his. This was Minnie Hauck. Prascovia was sung at
our first performance by Mlle. Bososio who was not equal to the part.
Minnie Hauck came into the theatre and sang a song of Meyerbeer's, and
we knew that we had found our Prascovia. Her voice was very light but
pleasing and well-trained, for Albites was a good teacher. She
undoubtedly would add value to our cast. So she made her _début_ as
Prascovia, although she afterwards became better known to the public as
one of the most famous of the early Carmens. Indeed, many people
believed that she created that _rôle_ in America although, as a matter
of fact, I sang Carmen several months before she did. As Prascovia she
and I had a duet together, very long and elaborate, which we introduced
after the tent scene and which made an immense hit. We always received
many flowers after it--I, particularly, to be quite candid. By this time
I was called The Flower Prima Donna because of the quantities of
wonderful blossoms that were sent to me night after night. When singing
_The Star of the North_ there was one bouquet that I was sure of getting
regularly from a young man who always sent the same kind of flowers. I
never needed a card on them or on the box to know from whom they came.
Miss Hauck used to help me pick up my bouquets. The only trouble was
that every one she picked up she kept! As a rule I did not object, and,
anyway, I might have had difficulty in proving that she had appropriated
my flowers after she had taken the cards off: but one night she included
in her general haul my own special, unmistakable bouquet! I recognised
it, saw her take it, but, as there was no card, had the greatest
difficulty in getting it away from her. I did, though, in the end.

Minnie Hauck was very pushing and took advantage of everything to
forward and help herself. She never had the least apprehension about the
outcome of anything in which she was engaged and, in this, she was
extremely fortunate, for most persons cursed with the artistic
temperament are too sensitive to feel confident. She was clever, too.
This is another exception, for very few big singers are clever. I think
it is Mme. Maeterlinck who has made use of the expression "too clever to
sing well." I am convinced that there is quite a truth in it as well as
a sarcasm. Wonderful voices usually are given to people who are,
intrinsically, more or less nonentities. One cannot have everything in
this world, and people with brains are not obliged to sing! But Minnie
Hauck was a singer and she was also clever. If I remember rightly, she
married some scientific foreign baron and lived afterwards in Lucerne.

Once I heard of a soldier who was asked to describe Waterloo and who
replied that his whole impression of the battle consisted of a mental
picture of the kind of button that was on the coat of the man in front
of him. It is so curiously true that one's view of important events is
often a very small one,--especially when it comes to a matter of mere
memory. Accordingly, I find my amethysts are almost my most vivid
recollection in connection with _L'Étoile du Nord_. I wanted a set of
really handsome stage jewelry for Catarina. In fact, I had been looking
for such a set for some time. There are many _rôles_, Violetta for
instance, for which rich jewels are needed. My friends were on the
lookout for me, also, and it was while I was preparing for _The Star of
the North_ that a man I knew came hurrying in with a wonderful tale of a
set of imitation amethysts that he had discovered, and that were, he
thought, precisely what I was looking for.

"The man who has them," he told me, "bought them at a bankrupt sale for
ninety-six dollars and they are a regular white elephant to him. Of
course, they are suitable only for the stage; and he has been hunting
for months for some actress who would buy them. You'd better take a look
at them, anyhow."

I had the set sent to me and, promptly, went wild over it. The stones,
that ranged from the size of a bean to that of a large walnut, appeared
to be as perfect as genuine amethysts, and the setting--genuine soft,
old, worked gold--was really exquisite. There were seventy stones in
the whole set, which included a necklace, a bracelet, a large brooch,
ear-rings and a most gorgeous tiara. The colour of the gems was very
deep and lovely, bordering on a claret tone rather than violet. The
crown was apparently symbolic or suggestive of some great house. It was
made of roses, shamrocks, and thistles, and every piece in the set was
engraved with a small hare's head. I wish I knew heraldry and could tell
to whom the lovely ornaments had first belonged. Of course I bought
them, paying one hundred and fifty dollars for the set, which the man
was glad enough to get. I wore it in _The Star_ and in other operas, and
one day I took it down to Tiffany's to have it cleaned and repaired.

The man there, who knew me, examined it with interest.

"It will cost you one hundred and seventy dollars," he informed me.

"What!" I gasped. "That is more than the whole set is worth!"

He looked at me as if he thought I must be a little crazy.

"Miss Kellogg," he said, "if you think that, I don't believe you know
what you've really got. What do you think this jewelry is really worth?"

"I don't know," I admitted. "What do you think it is worth?"

"Roughly speaking," he replied, "I should say about six thousand
dollars. The workmanship is of great value, and every one of the stones
is genuine."

Through all these years, therefore, I have been fearful that some Rip
Van Winkle claimant might rise up and take my beloved amethysts away
from me!

My general impressions of this period of my life include those of the
two great pianists, Thalberg and Gottschalk. They were both wonderful,
although I always admired Gottschalk more than the former. Thalberg had
the greater technique; Gottschalk the greater charm. Sympathetically,
the latter musician was better equipped than the former. The very
simplest thing that Gottschalk played became full of fascination.
Thalberg was marvellously perfect as to his method; but it was
Gottschalk who could "play the birds off the trees and the heart out of
your breast," as the Irish say. Thalberg's work was, if I may put it so,
mental; Gottschalk's was temperamental.

Gottschalk was one of the first big pianists to come to New York
touring. He was from New Orleans, having been born there in the French
Quarter, and spoke only French, like so many persons from that city up
to thirty years ago. But he had been educated abroad and always ranked
as a foreign artist. He must have been a Jew, from his name. Certainly,
he looked like one. He had peculiarly drooping eyelids and was
considered to be very attractive. He wrote enchanting Spanish-sounding
songs; and gave the banjo quite a little dignity by writing a piece
imitating it, much to my delight, because of my fondness for that
instrument. He was in no way a classical pianist. Thalberg was. Indeed,
they were altogether different types. Thalberg was nothing like so
interesting either as a personality or as a musician, although he was
much more scholarly than his predecessor. I say predecessor, because
Thalberg followed Gottschalk in the touring proposition. Gottschalk
began his work before I began mine, and I first sang with him in my
second season. He and I figured in the same concerts not only in those
early days but also much later.

[Illustration: =Gottschalk=

Photograph by Case & Getchell]

Gottschalk was a gay deceiver and women were crazy about him. Needless
to say, my mother never let me have anything to do with him except
professionally. He was pursued by adoring females wherever he went and
inundated with letters from girls who had lost their hearts to his
exquisite music and magnetic personality. I shall always remember
Gottschalk and Brignoli comparing their latest love letters from matinée
girls. Some poor, silly maiden had written to Gottschalk asking for a
meeting at any place he would appoint. Said Gottschalk:

"It would be rather fun to make a date with her at some absurd,
impossible place,--say a ferry-boat, for instance."

"Nonsense," said Brignoli, "a ferry-boat is not romantic enough. She
wouldn't think of coming to a ferry-boat to meet her ideal!"

"She would come anywhere," declared Gottschalk, not at all
vaingloriously, but as one stating a simple truth. "I'll make her come;
and you shall come too and see her do it!"

"Will you bet?" asked Brignoli.

"I certainly will," replied Gottschalk.

They promptly put up quite a large sum of money and Gottschalk won. That
dear, miserable goose of a girl did go to the ferry-boat to meet the
illustrious pianist of her adoration, and Brignoli was there to see. If
only girls knew as much as I do about the way in which their stage
heroes take their innocent adulation, and the wicked light-heartedness
with which they make fun of it! But they do not; and the only way to
teach them, I suppose, is to let them learn by themselves, poor little
idiots.

As I look back I feel a continual sense of outrage that I mixed so
little with the people and affairs that were all about me; interesting
people and important affairs. My dear mother adored me. It is strange
that we can never even be adored in the particular fashion in which we
would prefer to be adored! My mother's way was to guard me eternally;
she would have called it protecting me. But, really, it was a good deal
like shutting me up in a glass case, and it was a great pity. My mother
was an extraordinarily fine woman, upright as the day and of an unusual
mentality. Uncompromising she was, not unnaturally, according to her
heritage of race and creed and generation. Yet I sometimes question if
she were as uncompromising as she used to seem to me, for was not the
life she led with me, as well as her acceptance of it in the beginning,
one long compromise between her nature and the actualities? At any rate,
where she seemed to draw the line was in keeping me as much as possible
aloof from my inevitable associates. I led a deadly dull and virtuous
life, of necessity. To be sure, I might have been just as virtuous or
even more so had I been left to my own devices and judgments; but I
contend that such a life is not up to much when it is compulsory.
Personal responsibility is necessary to development. Perhaps I reaped
certain benefits from my mother's close chaperonage. Certainly, if there
were benefits about it, I reaped them. But I very much question its
ultimate advantage to me, and I confess freely that one of the things I
most regret is the innocent, normal coquetry which is the birthright of
every happy girl and which I entirely missed. It is all very well to be
carefully guarded and to be made the archetype of American virtue on the
stage, but there is a great deal of entirely innocuous amusement that I
might have had and did not have, which I should have been better off
for having. My mother could hardly let me hold a friendly conversation
with a man--much less a flirtation.

[Illustration: =Jane Elizabeth Crosby=

Mother of Clara Louise Kellogg

From a tintype]



CHAPTER XI

THE END OF THE WAR


The Civil War was now coming to its close. Abraham Lincoln was the hero
of the day, as he has been of all days since, in America. The White
House was besieged with people from all walks of life, persistently
anxious to shake hands with the War President, and he used to have to
stand, for incredible lengths of time, smiling and hand-clasping. But he
was ever a fine economist of energy and he flatly refused to talk. No
one could get out of him more than a smile, a nod, or possibly a brief
word of greeting.

One man made a bet that he would have some sort of conversation with the
President while he was shaking hands with him.

"No, you won't," said the man to whom he was speaking, "I'll bet you
that you won't get more than two words out of him!"

"I bet I will," said the venturesome one; and he set off to try his
luck.

He went to the White House reception and, when his turn came and his
hand was in the huge presidential grasp, he began to talk hastily and
volubly, hoping to elicit some response. Lincoln listened a second,
gazing at him gravely with his deep-set eyes, and then he laid an
enormous hand in a loose, wrinkled white glove across his back.

"Don't dwell!" said he gently to his caller; and shoved him along,
amiably but relentlessly, with the rest of the line. So the man got only
his two words after all.

One week before the President was murdered I was in Washington and sat
in the exact place in which he sat when he was shot. It was the same
box, the same chair, and on Friday too,--one week to the day and hour
before the tragedy. When I heard the terrible news I was able to picture
exactly what it had been like. I could see just the jump that Booth must
have had to make to get away. I never knew Wilkes Booth personally nor
saw him act, but I have several times seen him leaving his theatre after
a performance, with a raft of adoring matinée girls forming a more or
less surreptitous guard afar off. He was a tremendously popular idol and
strikingly handsome. Even after his wicked crime there were many women
who professed a sort of hysterical sympathy and pity for him. Somebody
has said that there would always be at least one woman at the death-bed
of the worst criminal in the world if she could get to it; and there
were hundreds of the sex who would have been charmed to watch beside
Booth's, bad as he was and crazy into the bargain. It is a mysterious
thing, the fascination that criminals have for some people, particularly
women. Perhaps it is fundamentally a respect for accomplishment;
admiration for the doing of something, good or evil, that they would not
dare to do themselves.

We had all gone to Chicago for our spring opera season and were ready to
open, when the tragic tidings came and shut down summarily upon every
preparation for amusement of any kind. Every city in the Union went into
mourning for the man whom the country idolised; of whom so many people
spoke as _our_ "Abraham Lincoln." Perhaps it was because of this
universal and almost personal affection that the authorities did such an
odd thing--or, at least, it struck me as odd,--with his body. He was
taken all over the country and "lay-in-state," as it is called, in
different court houses in different states.

I was stopping in the Grand Pacific Hotel when the body was brought to
Chicago, and my windows overlooked the grounds of the Court House of
that city. Business was entirely suspended, not simply for a few
memorial moments as was the case when President McKinley was killed, but
for many hours during the "lying-in-state." This, however, was probably
only partly official. Everyone was so afraid that he would not be able
to see the dead hero's face that business men all over the town
suspended occupation, closed shops and offices, and made a pilgrimage to
the Court House. All citizens were permitted to go into the building and
look upon the Martyr President, and vast numbers availed themselves of
the privilege--waited all night, indeed, to claim it. From sunset to
sunrise the grounds were packed with a silent multitude. The only sound
to be heard was the shuffling echo of feet as one person after another
went quietly into the Court House, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle,--I can
hear it yet. There was not a word uttered. There was no other sound than
the sound of the passing feet. One thing that must have been official
was that, for quite a long time, not a wheel in the city was allowed to
turn. This was an impressive tribute to a man whom the whole American
nation loved and counted a friend.

The only diversion in the whole melancholy solemnity of it all was the
picking of pockets. The crowds were enormous, the people in a mood of
sentiment and off their guard, and the army of crooks did a thriving
business. It is a sickening thing to realise that in all hours of great
national tragedy or terror there will always be people degenerate enough
to take advantage of the suffering and ruin about them. Burning or
plague-stricken cities have to be put under military law; and it is said
that to the multiplied horrors of the San Francisco earthquake the
people look back with a shudder to the ghastly system of looting which
prevailed afterwards in the stricken city.

Every imaginable kind of flowers were sent to the dead President,
splendid wreaths and bouquets from distinguished personages, and many
little cheap humble nosegays from poor people who had loved him even
from afar and wanted to honour him in some simple way. No man has ever
been loved more in his death than was Abraham Lincoln.

I sent a cross of white camellias. I do not like camellias when they are
sent to me, because they always seem such heartless, soulless flowers
for living people to wear. But just for that reason, just because they
are the most perfect and the most impersonal of all flowers that grow
and blossom they seem right and suitable for death. Ever since that time
I have associated white camellias with the thought of Abraham Lincoln
and with my strange, impressive memory of those days in Chicago.

However, nations go on even after the beloved rulers of them are laid in
the ground. Our Chicago season opened soon--I in Lucia--and everything
went along as though nothing had happened. The only difference was that
the end of the war had made the nation a little drunk with excitement
and our performances went with a whirl.

Finally the victorious generals, Lieutenant-General Grant and
Major-General Sherman, came to Chicago as the guests of the city and we
gave a gala performance for them. As the _Daughter of the Regiment_ had
been our choice to inaugurate the commencement of the great conflict, so
the _Daughter of the Regiment_ was also our choice to commemorate its
close. The whole opera house was gay with flags and flowers and
decorations, and the generals were given the two stage boxes, one on
each side of the house. The audience began to come in very early; and it
was a huge one. The curtain had not yet risen--indeed, I was in my
dressing-room still making-up--when I heard the orchestra break into
_See the Conquering Hero Comes_, and then the roof nearly came off with
the uproar of the people cheering. I sent to find out what was
happening, and was told that General Grant had just entered his box. We
were ridiculously excited behind the scenes, all of us; even the
foreigners. They were such emotional creatures that they flung
themselves into a mood of general excitement even when it was based on a
patriotism to which they were aliens. The wild and jubilant state of the
audience infected us. I had felt something of the same emotion in
Washington at the beginning of the war, when we had done _Figlia_
before, to the frantically enthusiastic houses there. Yet that was
different. Mingled with that feeling there had been a grimness and pain
and apprehension. Now everyone was triumphant and happy and emotionally
exultant.

General Sherman came into his box early in the first act and the
orchestra had to stop while the house cheered him, and cheered again.
Sherman was always just a bit theatrical and loved applause, and he,
with his staff, stood bowing and smiling and bowing and smiling. The
whole proceeding took almost the form of a great military reception. As
I look back at it, I think one of the moments of the evening was created
by our basso, Susini. Susini--himself a soldier of courage and
experience, a veteran of the Italian rebellion--made his entrance,
walked forward, stood, faced one General after the other and saluted
each with the most military exactness. They were both plainly delighted;
while the house, in the mood to be moved by little touches, broke into
the heartiest applause.

I had a moment of triumph also when we sang the _Rataplan, rataplan_.
Since the early hit I had made with my drum I always played it as the
Daughter of the Regiment, and when we came to this scene I directed the
drum first toward one box and then toward the other, as I gave the
rolling salute. The audience went mad again; and again the orchestra had
to stop until the clapping and the hurrahs had subsided. It may not have
been a great operatic performance but it was a great evening! Such
moments written about afterwards in cold words lose their thrill. They
bring up no pictures except to those who have lived them. But on a night
such as that, one's heart seems like a musical instrument, wonderfully
played upon.

Between the acts the two distinguished officers came behind the scenes
and were introduced to the artists, making pleasant speeches to us all.
Immediately, I liked best the personality of General Grant. There was
nothing the least spectacular or egotistical about him; he was
absolutely simple and quiet and unaffected. He bewildered me by
apologising courteously for not being able to shake hands with me.

"You have had an accident to your hand!" I exclaimed.

"Not exactly an accident," he said, smiling. "I think I may call it
design!"

He explained that he had shaken hands with so many people that he could
not use his right hand for a while. He held it out for me to see and,
sure enough, it was terribly swollen and inflamed and must have been
very painful.

The great evening came to an end at last. We were not sorry on the whole
for, thrilling as it had been, it had been also very tiring. I wonder if
such mad, national excitement could come to people to-day? I cannot
quite imagine an opera performance being conducted on similar lines in
the Metropolitan Opera House. Perhaps, however, it is not because we are
less enthusiastic but because our events are less dramatic.

In recalling General Sherman I find myself thinking of him chiefly in
the later years of my acquaintance with him. After that Chicago night,
he never failed to look me up when I sang in any city where he was and
we grew to be good friends. He was always quite enthusiastic about
operatic music; much more so than General Grant. He confided to me once
that above all songs he especially disliked _Marching through Georgia_,
and that, naturally, was the song he was constantly obliged to listen
to. People, of course, thought it must be, or ought to be, his favourite
melody. But he hated the tune as well as the words. He was desperately
tired of the song and, above all, he detested what it stood for, and
what it forced him to recall.

[Illustration: =General William Tecumseh Sherman, 1877=

From a photograph by Mora]

Like nearly all great soldiers, Sherman was naturally a gentle person
and saddened by war. Everything connected with fighting brought to him
chiefly the recollection of its horrors and tragedies and always filled
him with pain. So it was that his real heart's preference was for such
simple, old-fashioned, plantation-evoking, country-smelling airs as _The
Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane_. One day during his many visits to our
home he asked me to sing this and, when I informed him that I could not
because I did not know and did not have the words, he said he would send
them to me. This he did; and I took pains after that never to forget his
preference.

[Illustration: Musical notation; In de lit-tle old log cab-in in de
lane.]

One night when I was singing in a concert in Washington, I caught sight
of him sitting quietly in the audience. He did not even know that I had
seen him. Presently the audience wanted an encore and, as was my custom
in concerts, I went to the piano to play my own accompaniment. I turned
and, meeting the General's eyes, smiled at him. Then I sang his beloved
_Little Old Log Cabin_. My reward was his beaming expression of
appreciation. He was easily touched by such little personal tributes.

"Why on earth did you sing that queer old song, Louise," someone asked
me when I was back behind the scenes again.

"It was an official request," I replied mysteriously. The end of the war
was a strenuous time for the nation; and for actors and singers among
others. The combination of work and excitement sent me up to New
Hartford in sore need of my summer's rest. But I think, of all the many
diverse impressions which that spring made upon my memory, the one that
I still carry with me most unforgetably, is a _sound_:--the sound of
those shuffling feet, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle,--in the Court House
grounds in Chicago: a sound like a great sea or forest in a wind as the
people of the nation went in to look at their President whom they loved
and who was dead.



CHAPTER XII

AND SO--TO ENGLAND!


The following season was one of concerts and not remarkably enjoyable.
In retrospect I see but a hurried jumble of work until our decision, in
the spring, to go to England.

For two or three years I had wanted to try my wings on the other side of
the world. Several matters had interfered and made it temporarily
impossible, chiefly an unfortunate business agreement into which I had
entered at the very outset of my professional career. During the second
season that I sang, an _impresario_, a Jew named Ulman, had made me an
offer to go abroad and sing in Paris and elsewhere. Being very eager to
forge ahead, it seemed like a satisfactory arrangement, and I signed a
contract binding myself to sing under Ulman's management _if I went
abroad_ any time in three years. When I came to think it over, I
regretted this arrangement exceedingly. I felt that the _impresario_ was
not the best one for me. To say the least, I came to doubt his ability.
At any rate, because of this complication, I voluntarily tied myself up
to Max Maretzek for several years and felt it a release as now I could
not tour under Ulman even if I cared to. By 1867, however, my Ulman
contract had expired and I was free to do as I pleased. I had no
contract abroad to be sure, nor any very definite prospects, but I
determined to go to England on a chance and see what developed. At any
rate I should have the advantage of being able to consult foreign
teachers and to improve my method. The uncertainties of my professional
outlook did not disturb me in the least. Indeed, what I really wanted
was, like any other girl, to go abroad, as the gentleman in the
old-fashioned ballad says:

    ... to go abroad;
    To go strange countries for to see!

I greatly enjoyed the voyage as I have enjoyed every voyage that I have
made since, even including the channel crossing when everyone else on
board was seasick, and also the one in which I was nearly ship-wrecked
off the Irish coast. I have crossed the Atlantic between sixty and
seventy times and every trip has given me pleasure of one kind or
another. I am never nervous when travelling. Like poor Jack, I have a
vague but sure conviction that nothing will happen to _me_; that I am
protected by "a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft!"

At Queenstown, where we touched before going on to our regular port of
Liverpool, a man came on board asking for Miss Clara Louise Kellogg. He
was from Jarrett, the agent for Colonel Mapleson who was then
_impresario_ of "Her Majesty's Opera" in London, and he brought me word
that Mapleson wanted me to call on him as soon as I reached London and,
until we could definitely arrange matters, to please give him the
refusal of myself, if I may so express it. Perhaps I wasn't a proud and
happy girl! Mapleson, I heard later, was then believed to be on the
verge of failure and it was hoped that my appearance in his company
would revive his fortunes. I grew afterwards cordially to detest and to
distrust him, and we had more troubles than I can or care to keep track
of: and, as for Jarrett, he was a most unpleasant creature with a
positive genius for making trouble. But on that day in Queenstown
harbour, with the sun shining and the little Irish fisher boats--their
patched sails streaming into the blue off-shore distance,--the man
Jarrett had sent to meet me on behalf of Colonel Mapleson seemed like a
herald of great good cheer.

When we reached London we went to Miss Edward's Hotel in Hanover Square.
It was a curious institution, distinctive of its day and generation, a
real old-fashioned English hotel, behind streets that were "chained-up"
after nightfall. It was called a "private hotel" and unquestionably was
one; deadly dull, but maintained in the most aristocratic way
imaginable, like a formal, pluperfect, private house where one might
chance to be invited to visit. Everyone dined in his own sitting-room,
which was usually separated from the bedroom, and never a soul but the
servants was seen. The Langham was the first London hotel to introduce
the American style of hotel and it, with its successors, have had such
an influence upon the other hostelries of London as gradually to
undermine the quaint, old, truly English places we used to know, until
there are no more "private hotels" like Miss Edward's in existence.

We had friends in London and quickly made others. Commodore McVickar, of
the New York Yacht Club, had given me a letter to a friend of his, the
Dowager Duchess of Somerset. Her cards, by the way, were engraved in
just the opposite fashion--"Duchess Dowager." McVickar told me that, if
she liked, she could make things very pleasant for me in London. It
appeared that she was something of a lion hunter and was always on the
lookout for celebrities either arriving or arrived. She went in for
everything foreign to her own immediate circle--art, intellect, and
Americans--chiefly Americans, in fact, because they were more or less of
a novelty, and she had the thirst for change in her so strongly
developed that she ought to have lived at the present time. Every night
of her life she gave dinners to hosts of friends and acquaintances.
Indeed, it is a fact that her sole interest in life consisted of giving
dinner parties and making collections of lions, great and small. I have
been told that after dinner she sometimes danced the Spanish fandango
toward the end of the evening. I never happened to see her do it, but I
quite believe her to have been capable of that or of anything else
vivacious and eccentric, although she was seventy or eighty in the shade
and not entirely built for dancing.

I was somewhat impressed by the prospect of meeting a real live Duchess,
and had to be coached before-hand. In the early part of the eighteenth
century the mode of address "Your Grace" was used exclusively, and very
pretty and courtly it must have sounded. Nowadays it is only servants or
inferiors who think of using it. Plain "Duke" or "Duchess" is the later
form. At the period of which I am writing the custom was just betwixt
and between, in transition, and I was duly instructed to say "Your
Grace," but cautioned to say it _very_ seldom!

[Illustration: =Henry G. Stebbins=

From a photograph by Grillet & Co.]

On the nineteenth of November, Colonel Stebbins and I went to call.
Maria, Dowager Duchess of Somerset lived in Park Lane in a house of
indifferent aspect. Its distinctive feature was the formidable number of
flunkeys ranged on the steps and standing in front, all in powdered
wigs and white silk stockings and wearing waistcoats of a shade carrying
out the dominant colour of the ducal coat of arms. It was raining hard
when we got there, but not one of these gorgeous functionaries would
demean himself sufficiently to carry an umbrella down to our carriage.
In the drawing-room we had to wait a long time before a sort of
gilt-edged Groom of the Chambers came to the door and announced,

"Her Grace, the Duchess!"

My youthful American soul was prepared for someone quite dazzling, a
magnificent presence. What is the use of diadems and coronets if the
owner does not wear them? Of course I knew, theoretically, that
duchesses did not wear their coronets in the middle of the day, but I
did nevertheless hope for something brilliant or impressive.

Then in walked Maria, Dowager Duchess of Somerset. I cannot adequately
describe her. She was a little, dumpy, old woman with no corsets, and
dressed in a black alpaca gown and prunella shoes--those awful things
that the present generation are lucky enough never to have even seen.
She furthermore wore a _fichu_ of a style which had been entirely
extinct for fifty years at least. I really do not know how there
happened to be anyone living even then who could or would make such
things for her. No modern modiste could have achieved them and survived.
Her whole appearance was certainly beyond words. But she had very
beautiful hands, and when she spoke, the great lady was heard instantly.
It was all there, of course, only curiously costumed, not to say
disguised.

After Colonel Stebbins had presented me and she had greeted me kindly,
he said:

"I am sure Miss Kellogg will be glad to sing for you."

"O," said Her Grace, carelessly, "I haven't a piano. I don't play or
sing and so I don't need one. But I'll get one in."

I was amazed at the idea of a Duchess not owning a piano and having to
hire one when, in America, most middle-class homes possess one at
whatever sacrifice, and every little girl is expected to take music
lessons whether she has any ability or not. Even yet I do not quite
understand how she managed without a piano for her musical lions to play
on.

She did get one in without delay and I was speedily invited to come and
sing. I thought I would pay a particular compliment to my English
hostess on that occasion by choosing a song the words of which were
written by England's Poet Laureate, so I provided myself with the lovely
setting of _Tears, Idle Tears_; music written by an American, W. H. Cook
by name, who besides being a composer of music possessed a charming
tenor voice. In my innocence I thought this choice would make a hit.
Imagine my surprise therefore when my hostess's comment on the text was:

"Very pretty words. Who wrote them?"

"Why," I stammered, "Tennyson."

"Indeed? And, my dear Miss Kellogg, who _was_ Tennyson?"

Almost immediately after Colonel Stebbins bought her a handsome set of
the Poet Laureate's works with which she expressed herself as hugely
pleased, although I am personally doubtful if she ever opened a single
volume.

She did not forget the _Tears, Idle Tears_ episode, however, and had the
wit and good humour often to refer to it afterwards and, usually, quite
aptly. One of her most charming notes to me touches on it gracefully.
She was a great letter-writer and her epistles, couched in flowery terms
and embellished with huge capitals of the olden style, are treasures in
their way:

" ...I know all I feel; and the Tears (_not idle Tears_) that overflow
when I read about that Charming and Illustrious 'glorious Queen' ... who
is winning all hearts and delighting everyone...."

Another letter, one which I think is a particularly interesting specimen
of the Victorian style of letter-writing, runs:

...I read with great delight the "critique" of you in _The London
     Review_, which your Mamma was good enough to send me. The Writer is
     evidently a man of highly Cultivated Mind, capable of appreciating
     Excellency and Genius, and like the experienced Lapidary knows a
     pearl and a Diamond when he has the good fortune to fall in the way
     of one of high, pure first Water, and great brilliancy. Even _you_
     must now feel you have captivated the "elite" of the British
     Public, and taken root in the country, deep, deep, deep....

My mother and I used often to go to see the Duchess and, through her met
many pleasant English people; the Duke and Duchess of Newcastle, Lady
Susan Vane-Tempest who was Newcastle's sister, Lord Dudley, Lord
Stanley, Lord Derby, Viscountess Combermere, Prince de la Tour
D'Auvergne, the French Ambassador,--I cannot begin to remember them
all--and I came really to like the quaint little old Duchess, who was
always most charming to me. One small incident struck me as
pathetic,--at least, it was half pathetic and half amusing. One day she
told me with impressive pride that she was going to show me one of her
dearest possessions, "a wonderful table made from a great American
treasure presented to her by her dear friend, Commodore McVickar." She
led me over to it and tenderly withdrew the cover, revealing to my
amazement a piece of rough, cheap, Indian beadwork, such as all who
crossed from Niagara to Canada in those days were familiar with. It was
about as much like the genuine and beautiful beadwork of the older
tribes as the tawdry American imitations are like true Japanese textures
and curios. This poor specimen the Duchess had had made into a table-top
and covered it with glass mounted in a gilt frame, and had given it a
place of honour in her reception room. I suppose Mr. McVickar had sent
it to her to give her a rough general idea of what Indian work looked
like. I cannot believe that he intended to play a joke on her. She was
certainly very proud of it and, so far as I know, nobody ever had the
heart to disillusion her.

More than once I encountered in England this incongruous and
inappropriate valuation of American things. I do not put it down to a
general admiration for us but, on the contrary, to the fact that the
English were so utterly and incredibly ignorant with regard to us. The
beadwork of the Duchess reminds me of another somewhat similar incident.

At that time there were only two really rich bachelors in New York
society, Wright Sandford and William Douglass. Willie Douglass was of
Scotch descent and sang very pleasingly. Women went wild over him. He
had a yacht that won everything in sight. While we were in London, he
and his yacht put in an appearance at Cowes and he asked us down to pay
him a visit. It was a delightful experience. The Earl of Harrington's
country seat was not far away and the Earl with his daughters came on
board to ask the yacht's party to luncheon the day following. Of course
we all went and, equally of course, we had a wonderful time. Lunch was a
deliciously informal affair. At one stage of the proceedings, somebody
wanted more soda water, when young Lord Petersham, Harrington's eldest
son, jumped up to fetch it himself. He rushed across the room and flung
open, with an air of triumph, the door of a common, wooden ice-box,--the
sort kept in the pantry or outside the kitchen door by Americans.

"Look!" he cried, "did you ever see anything so splendid? It's our
American refrigerator and the joy of our lives! I suppose you've seen
one before, Miss Kellogg?"

I explained rather feebly that I had, although not in a dining-room. But
the family assured me that a dining-room was the proper place for it. I
have seldom seen anything so heart-rendingly incongruous as that plain
ugly article of furniture in that dining-room all carved woodwork,
family silver, and armorial bearings!

They were dear people and my heart went out to them more completely than
to any of my London friends. I soon discovered why.

"You are the most cordial English people I've met yet," I said to Lady
Philippa Stanhope, the Earl's charming daughter. Her eyes twinkled.

"Oh, we're not English," she explained, "we're Irish!"

Yet even if I did not find the Londoners quite so congenial, I did like
them. I could not have helped it, they were so courteous to my mother
and me. Probably they supposed us to have Indians in our back-yards at
home; nevertheless they were always courteous, at times cordial. One of
the most charming of the Englishwomen I met was the Viscountess
Combermere. She was one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting, a very
vivacious woman, and used to keep dinner tables in gales of laughter.
Just then when anyone in London wanted to introduce or excuse an
innovation, he or she would exclaim, "the Queen does it!" and there
would be nothing more for anyone to say. This became a sort of
catch-word. I recall one afternoon at the Dowager Duchess of Somerset's,
a cup of hot tea was handed to the Viscountess who, pouring the liquid
from the cup into the saucer and then sipping it from the saucer, said:

"Now ladies, do not think this is rude, for I have just come from the
Queen and saw her do the same. Let us emulate the Queen!" Then, seeing
us hesitate, "the Queen does it, ladies! the Queen does it!"

Whereupon everyone present drank tea from their saucers.

It was the Viscountess, also, who so greatly amused my mother at a
luncheon party by saying to her with the most polite interest:

"You speak English remarkably well, Mrs. Kellogg! Do they speak English
in America?"

"Yes, a little," replied mother, quietly.



CHAPTER XIII

AT HER MAJESTY'S


Adelina Patti came to see us at once. I had known her in America when
she was singing with her sister and when, if the truth must be told,
many people found Carlotta the more satisfactory singer of the two. I
was glad to see her again even though we were _prime donne_ of rival
opera organisations. Adelina headed the list of artists at Covent Garden
under Mr. Gye, among whom were some of the biggest names in Europe.
Indeed, I found myself confronted with the competition of several
favourites of the English people. At my own theatre, Her Majesty's, was
Mme. Titjiens, always much beloved in England and still a fine artist.
Christine Nilsson was also a member of the company; had sung there
earlier in that year and was to sing there again later in the season.

A _tour de force_ of Adelina's was my old friend _Linda di Chamounix_.
She was supposed to be very brilliant in the part, especially in the
_Cavatina_ of the first act. As for Marguerite it was considered her
private and particular property at Covent Garden, and Nilsson's private
and particular property at Her Majesty's.

I have been often asked my opinion of Patti's voice. She had a beautiful
voice that, in her early days, was very high, and she is, on the whole,
quite the most remarkable singer that I ever heard. But her voice has
not been a high one for many years. It has changed, changed in pitch and
register. It is no longer a soprano; it is a mezzo and must be judged by
quite different standards. I heard her when she sang over here in
America thirteen years ago. She gave her old _Cavatina_ from _Linda_ and
sang the whole of it a tone and a half lower than formerly. While the
public did not know what the trouble was, they could not help perceiving
the lack of brilliancy. Ah, those who have heard her in only the last
fifteen years or so know nothing at all about Patti's voice! Yet it was
always a light voice, although I doubt if the world realised the fact.
She was always desperately afraid of overstraining it, and so was
Maurice Strakosch for her. She never could sing more than three times in
a week and, of those three, one _rôle_ at least had to be very light. A
great deal is heard about the wonderful preservation of Patti's voice.
It _was_ wonderfully preserved thirteen years ago. How could it have
been otherwise, considering the care she has always taken of herself?
Such a life! Everything divided off carefully according to _régime_:--so
much to eat, so far to walk, so long to sleep, just such and such things
to do and no others! And, above all, she has allowed herself few
emotions. Every singer knows that emotions are what exhaust and injure
the voice. She never acted; and she never, never felt. As Violetta she
did express some slight emotion, to be sure. Her _Gran Dio_ in the last
act was sung with something like passion, at least with more passion
than she ever sang anything else. Yes: in _La Traviata_, after she had
run away with Nicolini, she did succeed in putting an unusual amount of
warmth into the _rôle_ of Violetta.

[Illustration: =Adelina Patti=

From a photograph by Fredericks]

But her great success was always due to her wonderful voice. Her acting
was essentially mechanical. As an intelligent actress, a creator of
parts, or even as an interesting personality, she could never approach
Christine Nilsson. Nilsson had both originality and magnetism, a
combination irresistibly captivating. Her singing was the embodiment of
dramatic expression.

In September of that year we went down to Edinburgh to see the ruins of
Melrose Abbey. To confess the truth, I remember just two things clearly
about Scotland. One was that, at the ruins, Colonel Stebbins picked up a
piece of crumbling stone, spoke of the strange effect of age upon it,
and let it drop. Around turned the showman, or guide, or whatever the
person was called who crammed the sights down our throats.

"You Americans are the curse of the country!" he exclaimed sharply.

My other distinct memory--with associations of much discomfort and
annoyance--is that I left one rubber overshoe in Loch Lomond.

So much for Scotland. We did not stay long; and were soon back in London
ready for work.

Our rehearsals were rather fun. It seemed strange to be able to walk
across a stage without getting the hem of one's skirt dirty. English
theatres are incredibly clean when one considers what a dirty, sooty,
grimy town London is. Our opera was at the old Drury Lane, although we
always called it Her Majesty's because that was the name of the opera
company. I was amused to find that a member of the company, a big young
basso named "Signor Foli," turned out to be none other than Walter
Foley, a boy from my old home in the Hartford region. I always called
him "the Irish Italian from Connecticut."

We opened on November 2d in _Faust_. There was rather a flurry of
indignation that a young American _prima donna_ should dare to plunge
into Marguerite the very first thing. The fact that the young American
had sung it before other artists had, with the exception of Patti and
Titjiens, and that she was generally believed to know something about
it, mattered not at all. English people are acknowledged idolaters and
notoriously cold to newcomers. They cling to some imperishable memory of
a poor soul whose voice has been dead for years: and it was undoubtedly
an inversion of this same loyalty to their favourites that made them so
dislike the idea of Marguerite being selected for the new young woman's
_début_. But, really, though on a slightly different scale, it was not
so unlike the early days of _Linda_, over again when the Italians
accused me with so much animosity of taking the bread out of their
mouths. It can easily be believed that, with Nilsson holding all records
of Marguerite at Her Majesty's, and with Adelina waiting at Covent
Garden with murderous sweetness to see what I was going to do with her
favourite _rôle_, I was wretchedly nervous. When the first night came
around no one had a good word for me; everybody was indifferent; and I
honestly do not know what I should have done if it had not been for
Santley--dear, big-hearted Santley. He was our Valentine, that one,
great, incomparable Valentine for whom Gounod wrote the _Dio possente_.
I was walking rather shakily across the stage for my first entrance,
feeling utterly frightened and lonely, and looking, I dare say, nearly
as miserable as I felt, when a warm, strong hand was laid gently on my
shoulder.

"Courage, little one, courage," said Santley, smiling at me and patting
me as if I had been a very small, unhappy, frightened child.

I smiled back at him and, suddenly, I felt strong and hopeful and brave
again. Onto the stage I went with a curiously sure feeling that I was
going to do well after all.

I suppose I must have done well. There was a packed house and very soon
I felt it with me. I was called out many times, once in the middle of
the act after the church scene, an occurrence that was so far as I know
unprecedented. Colonel Keppel, the Prince of Wales's aide (I did not
dream then how well-known the name Keppel was destined to be in
connection with that of his royal master), came behind during the
_entr'acte_ to congratulate me on behalf of the Prince. In later
performances his Highness did me the honour of coming himself. The
London newspapers--of which, frankly, I had stood in great dread--had
delightful things to say. This is the way in which one of them welcomed
me: " ...She has only one fault: if she were but English, she would be
simply perfect!" The editorial comments in _The Athenæum_ of Chorley,
that gorgon of English criticism, included the following paragraph:

     Miss Kellogg has a voice, indeed, that leaves little to wish for,
     and proves by her use of it that her studies have been both
     assiduous and in the right path. She is, in fact, though so young,
     a thoroughly accomplished singer--in the school, at any rate,
     toward which the music of M. Gounod consistently leans, and which
     essentially differs from the florid school of Rossini and the
     Italians before Verdi. One of the great charms of her singing is
     her perfect enunciation of the words she has to utter. She never
     sacrifices sense to sound; but fits the verbal text to the music,
     as if she attached equal importance to each. Of the Italian
     language she seems to be a thorough mistress, and we may well
     believe that she speaks it both fluently and correctly. These
     manifest advantages, added to a graceful figure, a countenance full
     of intelligence, and undoubted dramatic ability, make up a sum of
     attractions to be envied, and easily explain the interest excited
     by Miss Kellogg at the outset and maintained by her to the end.

But, oh, how grateful I was to that good Santley for giving the little
boost to my courage at just the right moment! He was always a fine
friend, as well as a fine singer. I admired him from the bottom of my
heart, both as an artist and a man, and not only for what he was but
also for what he had grown from. He was only a ship-chandler's clerk in
the beginning. Indeed, he was in the office of a friend of mine in
Liverpool. From that he rose to the foremost rank of musical art. Yet
that friend of mine never took the least interest in Santley, nor was he
ever willing to recognise Santley's standing. Merely because he had once
held so inferior a position this man I knew--and he was not a bad sort
of man otherwise--was always intolerant and incredulous of Santley's
success and would never even go to hear him sing. It is true that
Santley never did entirely shake off the influences of his early
environment, a characteristic to be remarked in many men of his
nationality. In addition to this, some men are so sincere and
simple-hearted and earnest that they do not take kindly to artificial
environment and I think Santley was one of these. And he was a dear man,
and kind. His wife, a relative of Fanny Kemble, I never knew very well
as she was a good deal of an invalid.

[Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg as Linda, 1868=

From a photograph by Stereoscopic Co.]

On the 9th we repeated _Faust_ and on the 11th we gave _Traviata_. This
also, I feel sure, must have irritated Adelina. It is a curious little
fact that, while the opera of _Traviata_ was not only allowed but also
greatly liked in London, the play _La Dame aux Camilias_--which as we
all know is practically the _Traviata libretto_--had been rigorously
banned by the English censor! _Traviata_ brought me more curtain calls
than ever. The British public was really growing to like me!

_Martha_ followed on the 15th. This was another _rôle_ in which I had to
challenge comparison with Nilsson, who was fond of it, although I never
liked her classic style in the part. It was given in Italian; but I sang
_The Last Rose of Summer_ in English, like a ballad, and the people
loved it. I wore a blue satin gown as Martha which, alas! I lost in the
theatre fire not long after.

Then came _Linda di Chamounix_, the second _rôle_ that I had ever sung.
I was glad to sing it again, and in England, and the newspapers spoke of
it as "a great and crowning success" for me. As soon as we had given
this opera, Gye, the _impresario_ at Covent Garden, decided it was time
to show off Patti in that _rôle_. So he promptly--hastily, even--revived
Linda for her. I have always felt, however, that Linda was tacitly given
to me by the public. Arditi, our conductor at Her Majesty's, wrote a
waltz for me to sing at the close of the opera, _The Kellogg Waltz_, and
I wore a charming new costume in the part, a simple little yellow gown,
with a blue moiré silk apron and tiny pale pink roses. The combination
of pink and yellow was always a favourite one with me. I wore it in my
early appearance as Violetta and, later, also in _Traviata_, I wore a
variant of the same colour scheme that was called by my friends in
London my "rainbow frock." It was composed of a _grosgrain_ silk
petticoat of the hue known as apricot, trimmed with mauve and pale
turquoise shades; the overskirt was caught back at either side with a
turquoise bow and the train was of plain turquoise. I took a serious
interest in my costumes in those days--and, indeed, in all days! This
latter gown was one of Worth's creations and met with much admiration.
More than once have I received letters asking where it was made.

The English public was most cordial and kindly toward me and unfailingly
appreciative of my work. But I believe from the bottom of my heart that,
inherently and permanently, the English are an unmusical people. They do
not like fire, nor passion, nor great moments in either life nor art.
Mozart's music, that runs peacefully and simply along, is precisely what
suits them best. They adore it. They likewise adore Rossini and Handel.
They think that the crashing emotional climaxes of the more advanced
composers are extravagant; and, both by instinct and principle, they
dislike the immoderate and the extreme in all things. They are in fact a
simple and primitive people, temperamentally, actually, and
artistically. I remember that the first year I was in London all the
women were singing:

    My mother bids me bind my hair
      And lace my bodice blue!

It wandered along so sweetly and mildly, not to say insipidly, that of
course it was popular with Victorian England.

Finally, came _Don Giovanni_ on December 3d. I played Zerlina as I had
done in America. Later I came to prefer Donna Anna. But in London
Titjiens did Donna Anna. Santley was the Almaviva and Mme. Sinico was
the Donna Elvira. The following spring when we gave our "all star cast"
Nilsson was the Elvira. I had no Zerlina costume with me and the
decision to put on the opera was made in a hurry, so I got out my old
Rosina dress and wore it and it answered the purpose every bit as well
as if I had had a new one.

The opera went splendidly, so splendidly that, two days later, on the
5th, we gave it again at a matinée, or, as it was the fashion to say
then, a "morning performance." The success was repeated. I caught a most
terrible cold, however, and returned in a bad temper to Miss Edward's
Hotel to nurse myself for a few days and get in condition for the next
performance. But there was destined to be no next performance at the old
Drury Lane.

The following evening at about half-past ten, my mother, Colonel
Stebbins, and I were talking in our sitting-room with the window-shades
up. Suddenly I saw a red glow over the roofs of the houses and pointed
it out.

"It's a fire!" I exclaimed.

"And it's in the direction of the theatre!" said Colonel Stebbins.

"Oh, I hope that Her Majesty's is in no danger!" cried my mother.

We did not think at first that it could be the theatre itself, but
Colonel Stebbins sent his valet off in a hurry to make enquiries. While
he was gone a messenger arrived in great haste from the Duchess of
Somerset asking for assurances of my safety. Then came other messages
from friends all over London and soon the man servant returned to
confirm the reports that were reaching us. Her Majesty's had caught fire
from the carpenter's shop underneath the stage and, before morning, had
burned to the ground.

Arditi had been holding an orchestra rehearsal there at the time and the
last piece of music ever played in the old theatre was _The Kellogg
Waltz_.

[Illustration: =Mr. McHenry=

From a photograph by Brady]



CHAPTER XIV

ACROSS THE CHANNEL


Titjiens had smelled smoke and she had been told that it was nothing but
shavings that were being burned. Luckily, nobody was hurt and, although
some of our costumes were lost, we artists did not suffer so very much
after all. But of course our season was summarily put an end to and we
all scattered for work and play until the spring season when Mapleson
would want us back.

My mother and I went across to Paris without delay. I had wanted to see
"the Continent" since I was a child and I must say that, in my heart of
hearts, I almost welcomed the fire that set me free to go sightseeing
and adventuring after the slavery of dressing-rooms and rehearsals.
Crossing the Channel I was the heroine of the boat because, while I was
just a little seasick, I was not enough so to give in to it. I can
remember forcing myself to sit up and walk about and even talk with a
grim and savage feeling that I would die rather than admit myself beaten
by a silly and disgusting _malaise_ like that; and after crossing the
ocean with impunity too. Everyone else on board was abjectly ill and I
expect it was partly pride that kept me well.

In Paris we went first to the Louvre Hotel where we were nearly frozen
to death. As soon as we could, we moved into rooms where we might thaw
out and become almost warm, although we never found the temperature
really comfortable the whole time we lived in French houses. We saw any
number of plays, visited cathedrals and picture galleries, and bought
clothes. In fact we did all the regulation things, for we were
determined to make the most of every minute of our holiday. Rather
oddly, one of the entertainments I remember most distinctly was a
production of _Gulliver's Travels_ at the Théâtre Châtelet. It was the
dullest play in the world; but the scenery and effects were splendid.

I was not particularly enthusiastic over the French theatres. Indeed, I
found them very limited and disappointing. I had gone to France
expecting every theatrical performance in Paris to be a revelation.
Probably I respect French art as much as any one; but I believe it is
looked up to a great deal more than is justified. Consider Mme.
Carvalho's wig for example, and, as for that, her costume as well. Yet
we all turned to the Parisians as authority for the theatre. The
pictures of the first distinguished Marguerite give a fine idea of the
French stage effects in the sixties. A few years ago I heard
_Tannhäuser_ in Paris. The manner in which the pilgrims wandered in
convinced me in my opinion. The whole management was inefficient and
Wagner's injunctions were disregarded at every few bars. The French
Gallicise everything. They simply cannot get inside the mental point of
view of any other country. Though they are popularly considered to be so
facile and adaptable, they are in truth the most obstinate, one-idead,
single-sided race on earth barring none except, possibly, the Italians.
Gounod's _Faust_ is a good example--a Ger man story treated by
Frenchmen. Remarkably little that is Teutonic has been left in it.
Goethe has been eliminated so far as possible. The French were held by
the drama, but the poetry and the symbolism meant nothing at all to
them. Being German, they had no use for its poetry and its symbolism.
The French colour and alter foreign thought just as they colour and
alter foreign phraseology. They do it in a way more subtle than any
usual difficulties of translation from one tongue to another. The
process is more a form of transmuting than of translating--words,
thoughts, actions--into another element entirely. How idiotic it sounds
when Hamlet sings:

    _Être--ou n'être pas!_

Perhaps this, however, is not entirely the fault of the French.
Shakespeare should never be set to music.

There is also the question of traditions. I may seem to be contradicting
myself when I find fault with a certain French school for its blind and
bigoted adherence to traditions; but there should be moderation in all
things and a hidebound rigidity in stupid old forms is just as
inartistic as a free-and-easy elasticity in flighty new ones. It is
possible to put some old wine in new bottles, but it must be poured in
very gently. French artists learn most when once they get away from
France. Maurel is a good example. Look at the way he grew and developed
when he went to England and America and was allowed to work problems and
ideas out by himself.

Once when in Paris I wanted to vary and freshen my costume of
Marguerite, give it a new yet consistent touch here and there. I was not
planning to renovate the _rôle_, only the girl's clothes. Having always
felt that the Grand Opera was a Mecca to us artists from afar, I
hastened there and climbed up the huge stairway to pay my respects to
the Director. Monsieur had never heard of me. Frenchmen make a point
never to have heard of any one outside of France. The fact that I was
merely the first and the most famous Marguerite across the sea did not
count. He was, however, very polite. He brought out his wonderful
costume books that were full of new ideas to me and delighted me with
numberless fresh possibilities. I saw unexplored fields in the direction
of correct costuming and exclaimed over the designs, Monsieur watching
my enthusiasm with bored civility. There was one particularly enchanting
design for a silver chatelaine, heavy and mediæval in character. I could
see it with my mind's eye hanging from Marguerite's bodice. This I said
to M. le Directeur: but he shook his dignified head with a frown.

"Too rich. Marguerite was too poor," he said with weary brevity.

"Oh, no!" I explained volubly and eagerly, "she was of the well-to-do
class--the burghers--don't you remember? Marguerite and Valentine owned
their house and, though they were of course of peasant blood, this sort
of chatelaine seems to me just the thing that any German girl might
possess."

"Too rich," Monsieur put in imperturbably.

"But," I protested, "it might be an heirloom, you know, and----"

"Too rich," he repeated politely; and he added in a calm, dreamy voice
as he shut up the book, "I think that Mademoiselle will make a mistake
_if she ever tries anything new_!"

As for sightseeing in France, my mother and I did any amount of it on
that first visit. Sometimes I was charmed but more often I was
disillusioned. There have been few "sights" in my life that have come up
to my "great expectations" or been half as wonderful as my dreams. This
is the penalty of a too vivid imagination; nothing can ever be as
perfect as one's fancy paints it. The view of Mont Blanc from the
terrace of Voltaire's house near the borderland of France and
Switzerland is one of the few in my experience that I have found more
lovely than I could have dreamed it to be. Of all the palaces that I
have been in--and they have numbered several--the only one that ever
seemed to me like a real palace was Fontainebleau. Small but exquisite,
it looked like a haven of rest and loveliness, as though its motto might
well be: "How to be happy though a crowned head!"

Speaking of crowned heads reminds me that while we were in Paris Mr.
McHenry, our English friend from Holland Park, made an appointment for
me to be presented to the ex-Queen of Spain, the Bourbon princess,
Christina, so beloved by many Spaniards. I was delighted because I had
never been presented to royalty and a Spanish queen seemed a very
splendid sort of personage even if she did not happen to be ruling at
the moment. Christina had withdrawn from Spain and had married the Duke
de Rienzares. They lived in a beautiful palace on the Champs Élysées.
There are nothing but shops on the site now but it used to be very
imposing, especially the formal entrance which, if I remember correctly,
was off the Rue St. Honoré. Mrs. and Mr. McHenry went with me and, after
being admitted, we were shown up a marble staircase into what was called
the Cameo Room, a small, austere apartment filled with cameos of the
Bourbons. Queen Christina liked to live in small and unpretentious
rooms; they seemed less suggestive of a palace.

I found that "royalty at home" was about as simple as anything could
conceivably be; not quite as plain as the old Dowager Duchess of
Somerset to be sure but quite plain enough. The Queen and the Duke de
Rienzares entered without ceremony. The Queen wore a severe and simple
black gown that cleared the floor by an inch or two. It was a perfectly
practical and useful dress, admirably suited for housekeeping or tidying
up a room. Around the royal lady's shoulders hung a little red plaid
shawl such as no American would wear. She was Spanishly dark and her
black hair was pulled into a knot about the size of a silver dollar in
the middle of the back of her head. I have never seen her _en grande
toilette_ and so do not know whether or not she ever looked any less
like a respectable housekeeper. She had a delightful manner and was most
gracious. She had, with all the Bourbon pride, also the Bourbon gift of
making herself pleasant and of putting people at their ease. Of course
she was immensely accomplished and spoke Italian as perfectly as she did
Spanish. The Duke seemed harmless and amiable. He had little to say, was
thoroughly subordinate, and seemed entirely acclimated to his position
in life as the ordinarily born husband of a Queen.

Our visit was not much of an ordeal after all. It was really quite
instinctively that I courtesied and backed out of the room and observed
the other points of etiquette that are correct when one is introduced to
royalty. As it was a private presentation, it had not been thought
necessary to coach me, and as I backed myself out of the august
presence, keeping myself as nearly as possible in a courtesying
attitude, I caught Mr. McHenry looking at me with amused approval.

"Well," said he, when we were safe in the hall and I had straightened
up, "I should say that you had been accustomed to courts and crowned
heads all your life! You acted as if you had been brought up on it!"

"Ah," I replied, "that comes from my opera training. We learn on the
stage how to treat kings and queens."

Not more than a fortnight after this I had an offer for an engagement at
the Madrid Opera for $400.00 a night, very good for Spain in those days.
I suppose that it came indirectly through the influence of Queen
Christina. I wanted to go to Spain, but my mother would not let me
accept. We were almost pioneers of travel in the modern sense and had no
one to give us authoritative ideas of other countries. People alarmed us
about the climate, declaring it unhealthy; and about the public, which
they said was capricious and rude. The warning about the public
particularly frightened me. I should never object to my efforts being
received in silence in case of disapproval, but I felt that I could not
survive what I had been told was the Spanish custom of hissing. I was
also told that Spanish audiences were very mercurial and difficult to
win. So we refused the Madrid Opera offer, and I have never sung in
either Spain or Italy principally because of my dread of the hissing
habit.

That same year I heard Christine Nilsson for the first time, in _Martha_
at the Théâtre Lyrique and, later, in _Hamlet_ at the same theatre with
Faure. Shortly after both Nilsson and Faure were taken over by the Grand
Opera. Ophélie had been written for Nilsson and composed entirely around
her voice. She created the part, singing it exquisitely, and Ambrose
Thomas paid her the compliment of taking his two principal soprano
melodies from old Swedish folk-songs. Nilsson could sing Swedish
melodies in a way to drive one crazy or break one's heart. I have been
quite carried away with them again and again. There was one delicious
song that she called _Le Bal_ in which a young fellow asks a girl to
dance and she is very shy. It was slight, but ever so pretty, and it had
a minor melody that was typically northern. These were the good days
before her voice became impaired. In this connection I may mention that
it was Christine Nilsson who, having heard the Goodwin girls sing _Way
Down upon the Swanee River_, first introduced it on the stage as an
_encore_.

While speaking of Nilsson, I want to record that I was present on the
night, much later, when she practically murdered the high register of
her voice. She had five upper notes the quality of which was unlike any
other I ever heard and that possessed a peculiar charm. The tragedy
happened during a performance of _The Magic Flute_ in London and I was
in the Newcastles' box, which was near the stage. Nilsson was the Queen
of the Night, one of her most successful early _rôles_. The second aria
in _The Magic Flute_ is more famous and less difficult than the first
aria and, also, more effective. Nilsson knew well the ineffectiveness of
the ending of the first _aria_ in the two weakest notes of a soprano's
voice, A natural and B flat. I never could understand why a master like
Mozart should have chosen to use them as he did. There is no climax to
the song. One has to climb up hard and fast and then stop short in the
middle. It is an appalling thing to do: and that night Nilsson took
those two notes at the last in _chest tones_.

[Illustration: =Christine Nilsson as Queen of the Night=

From a photograph by Pierre Petit]

"Great heavens!" I gasped, "what is she doing? What is the woman
thinking of!"

Of course I knew she was doing it to get volume and vibration and to
give that trying climax some character. But to say that it was a fatal
attempt is to put it mildly. She absolutely killed a certain quality in
her voice there and then and she _never recovered it_. Even that night
she had to cut out the second great _aria_. Her beautiful high notes
were gone for ever. Probably the fatality was the result of the last
stroke to a continued strain which she had put upon her voice. After
that she, like Mario, began to be dramatic to make up for what she had
lost. She, the classical and cold artist, became full of expression and
animation. But the later Nilsson was very different from the Nilsson
whom I first heard in Paris during the winter of 1868, when, besides
singing the music perfectly, she was, with her blond hair and broad
brow, a living Ophélie. As I have said, Faure, the baritone, was her
Hamlet in that early performance. He was a great artist, a great actor
in whatever _rôle_ he took. His voice was not wonderful, but he was
saved, and more than saved, by his style and his art. He was a
particularly cultivated, musicianly man whose dignity of carriage and
elegance of manner could easily make people forget a certain ungrateful
quality in his voice. It was Faure who had the brains and perseverance
to learn how to sing a particular note from a really bad singer. The bad
singer had only one good note in his voice and that happened to be the
worst one in Faure's. So, night after night, the great artist went to
hear and to study the inferior one to try and learn how he got that
note. And he succeeded, too. This is a fair sample of his careful and
finished way of doing anything. He was a big artist, and to big
artists, especially in singing, music is almost mathematical in its
exactness.

Adelina Patti, who had also left London for the winter, was singing at
the _Italiens_ in Paris. I went to hear her give an indifferent
performance of _Ernani_. It was never one of her advantageous _rôles_.
Adelina had a most extraordinary charm and a great power over men of
very diverse sorts. De Caux, Nicolini, Maurice Strakosch, who married
Adelina's sister Amelia, all adored her and felt that whatever she did
must be right because she did it. Nicolini, who had been a star tenor
singing all over Italy before she captured him, was willing to forget
that he ever had a wife or children. Maurice was for years her "manager
and representative," and as such put up with incredible complexities in
the situation. There is a long and lurid tale about Nicolini's wife
appearing in Italy when Nicolini, Maurice, and Adelina were all there.
The story ended with Nicolini being kicked downstairs and the press
commented upon the episode with an apt couplet from Schiller to the
effect that "life is hard, but merry is art!"

The names of Paris and of Maurice Strakosch in conjunction conjure up
the thought of Napoleon III, who, in his young days of exile, used to be
very intimate with Maurice. Louis Napoleon, after he had escaped from
the fortress of Ham, spent some time in London, and he and Maurice
frequently lunched or dined together. By the way, some years later, at a
dinner at the McHenrys' in Holland Park, I was told by Chevalier Wyckoff
that it was he who rescued Napoleon from the prison of Ham by smuggling
clothes in to him and by having a boat waiting for him. Maurice used to
tell of one rather amusing incident that occurred during the London
period. Louis Napoleon's dress clothes were usually in pawn, and one
night when he wanted to go to some party, he presented himself at
Maurice's rooms to borrow his. Maurice was out; but nevertheless Louis
Napoleon took the dress clothes anyway, adding all of Maurice's orders
and decorations. When he was decked out to his satisfaction he went to
the party. Shortly after, in came Maurice, to dress for the same party,
and called to his valet to bring him his evening clothes.

"Mr. Bonaparte's got 'em on, sir," said the man: and Maurice stayed at
home!

Napoleon III was a man of many weaknesses. Yet he kept his promises and
remembered his friends--when he could. As soon as he became Emperor he
sent for Maurice Strakosch and offered him the management of the
_Italiens_; but Maurice declined the honour. He was too busy
"representing" Patti in those days to care for any other engagement. He
did give singing lessons to the Empress Eugénie however, and was always
on good terms with her and with the Emperor.

When I was in Paris in '68 Napoleon and Eugénie were in power at the
Tuileries and day after day I saw them driving behind their splendid
horses. Paris was extremely gay and yet somewhat ominous, for there was
a wide-spread feeling that clouds were gathering about the throne. When
thinking of that period I sometimes quote to myself Owen Meredith's
poem, _Aux Italiens_,

    At Paris it was at the opera there ...

           *       *       *       *       *

    The Emperor there in his box of state
      Looked grave, as if he had just then seen
    The red flag wave from the city gate,
      Where his eagles in bronze had been.

The Tuileries court was a very brilliant one and we were accustomed to
splendid costumes and gorgeous turnouts in the Bois, but one day I came
home with a particularly excited description of the "foreign princess" I
had seen. Her clothes, her horses (she drove postilion), her carriage,
her liveries, her servants, all, to my innocent and still ignorant mind,
proclaimed her some distinguished visiting royalty. How chagrined I was
and how I was laughed at when my "princess" turned out to be one of the
best known _demi-mondaines_ in Paris! Even then it was difficult to tell
the two _mondes_ apart.

A unique character in Paris was Dr. Evans, dentist to the Emperor and
Empress. He was an American and a witty, talented man. I remember
hearing him laughingly boast:

"I have looked down the mouth of every crowned head of Europe!"

When disaster overtook the Bonapartes, he proved that he could serve
crowned heads in other ways besides filling their teeth. It was he who
helped the Empress to escape, and the fact made him an exile from Paris.
He came to see me in London years afterwards and told me something of
that dark and dramatic time of flight. He felt very homesick for Paris,
which had been his home for so long, but the dear man was as merry and
charming as ever.

We spent in all only a short time in Paris. Two months were taken out of
the middle of that winter for travelling on the Continent, after which
we returned to the French city for March. When we first started from
Paris on our trip we were headed for Nice. It was Christmas Day, and
cold as charity. Why _did_ we choose that day of all others on which to
begin a journey? Our Christmas dinner consisted of cold soup swallowed
at a station. Christmas!--I could have wept!



CHAPTER XV

MY FIRST HOLIDAY ON THE CONTINENT


It seemed very odd to be really idle. From the time I was thirteen I had
been working and studying so systematically that to get the habit of
leisure was like learning a new and a difficult lesson. It took time,
for one thing, to find out how to relax; nervous persons never acquire
this art naturally nor possess it instinctively. It is with them the
artificial product of painful experience. All my life I had been
expending energy at top pressure and building it up again as fast as I
could instead of sometimes letting it lie fallow for a bit. When I
became exhausted my mother would speedily make strong broths with rice
and meat and vegetables and anything else that she considered nourishing
to stimulate my jaded vitality; then I would go at my work again harder
than ever. When I had finished one thing I plunged, nerves, body, and
brain, into another. To be an artist is bad enough; but to be an
American artist--! To the temperamental excitability and intensity is
added the racial nervousness; and lucky are such if they do not go up in
a final smoke of over-energised effort. When I was singing I was always
in a fever before the curtain rose. All the day before I was restless to
the point of desperation. Instead of letting myself go and becoming
comfortably limp so that I might conserve my strength for the
performance itself, I would cast about for a hundred secondary ways in
which to waste my nervous force. I was nearly as bad as the Viennese
_prima donna_, Marie Willt. The story is told of her that a reporter
from a Vienna newspaper went to interview her the afternoon before she
was to sing in _Il Trovatore_ at the Royal Opera and enquired of the
scrubwoman in the hall where he could find Frau Willt.

"Here," responded the scrubwoman, sitting up to eye him calmly.

When the young man expressed surprise and incredulity she explained, as
she continued to mop the soapy water, that she invariably scrubbed the
floor the day she was going to sing. "It keeps me busy," she concluded
sententiously.

Think of the force that went into that scrubbing-brush which might have
gone into the part of Leonora! But it is not for me to find fault with
such a course of action because I followed a very similar one. If I did
not exactly scrub floors, I did, somehow, contrive to find other equally
adequate ways of dissipating my strength before I sang. Yet here I was,
actually taking a holiday, with no chance at all to work even if I
wanted to!

When we arrived in Nice the lemons and oranges on the trees and a sky as
blue as painted china made the place seem to me somewhat unnatural, like
a stage setting. Not yet having learned my lesson of relaxation, I soon
became restless and wanted to be again on the move. Nevertheless we
stayed there for nearly a month. My mother seemed to like it. She made
many friends and spent hours every day painting little pictures--quite
dear little pictures they were--of the bright coloured wild flowers
that grew roundabout. But possibly a few extracts from the diary kept by
my mother of this visit will not be out of place here. The capital
letters and italics are hers.

     _Dec. 25_--Christmas morning. Sun shone for two hours. Left for
     Nice. Arrived at 5 P.M. A very cold night. Cars warmed by zink
     hollow planks [boxes] filled with Boiling water which are replaced
     every three hours at the different stations. Notwithstanding shawls
     and wraps suffered with the cold. Nothing to eat until we arrived
     at twelve at Marseilles, where [we] got a poor, cold soup and
     miserable cup of tea. Arrived at the Hotel Luxembourg in Nice at
     6.30 P.M. The city and hotels crowded with people from all parts of
     the world. Rheumatic people rush here to get into the _sunshine_--a
     _thing_ seldom seen in Paris or London in winter. Nice is simply a
     watering-place _without the water_, unless one means the Sea
     Mediterranean which almost rushes into the Halls of the Hotels. All
     languages are here spoken; therefore no trouble for any nation to
     obtain what it desires. The streets are pulverised magnesia.
     Everybody looks after walking as though they had been to mill
     "turning hopper."

     In our promenade [to-day, Dec. 27] we meet in less than twenty
     minutes as many different nationalities, or representatives of
     each. Poor in soil, poor in colour, poor in taste is Nice. The
     Hotels compose the City. Roses bloom by the roadsides in abundance.
     The gardens of the Hotels are yellow with Oranges. Palm trees line
     the streets, none of which have shade trees that ever grow enough
     to shade but _one person at a time_--no soil--no vigour--sun does
     all the maturing. Things ripen from necessity, not from the soil.

     _Saturday 28_--Clear beautiful morning. Beach covered with
     promenaders. At twelve Louise and I took a long walk towards Villa
     Franca--sun very hot--met Richard Palmer who had just arrived.
     Enjoyed the morning; were refreshed by our walk. Mr. Stebbins and
     Charlie called. Drive at 5. Evening had a light wood fire upon the
     hearth, making rooms and hearts cheerful in direct opposition to
     the roaring of the wild sea at our very feet. Proprietor of Hotel
     sent up his Piano for Louise. Basket Phaetons--2 ponies--are hired
     here for one franc an hour--fine woods but dusty.

     _29th.--Sunday_--Magnificent morning. The sea smooth as glass.
     Women line the beach spreading clothes to bleach. There is a short
     diluted Season of Italian Opera here. _Ernani_ was announced for
     last evening. There is no odor from the Mediterranean, no sea
     weeds, no shells, a perfectly clean barren beach. I don't believe
     it is even salt. Shall go and sip to satisfy Yankee curiosity.
     There are two Irish heiresses here whose combined weight in gold is
     9000 lbs., and the way the nobs and snobs tiptoe, bow, and scrape
     is something to behold. They are always dressed alike. We are cold
     enough to have a small wood fire morning and evening in a very
     primitive style fireplace 18 inches square. Handirons made of 2
     cast iron virgins' heads and busts. Bellows thrown in.

     _One_ P.M.--Took a double Pony Basket Phaeton, Louise and I on the
     front seat, she driving a grey and bay pony. Drove to Villa Franca
     where the American fleet is anchored. Saw the old flag once more,
     which brought home most vividly to my heart and roused the old
     longing for the dear old spot.

     _30th._ No letters. No news of trunks. The Monotonous sea singing
     Hush at measured intervals, not one wave even an inch higher than
     another. This cannot be a real sea, the Mediterranean, _or it would
     sometime change its tone_. Yesterday rode through the old Italian
     part of the City. Houses 6 or 7 stories high. Streets just wide
     enough for a donkey cart to get through. Never can pass each other.
     One has to back out.

     _Tuesday 31._ Took our usual walk. Listened to the band in the
     Public Gardens. This is a poor, barren country. I believe the
     plates are _licked by the inhabitants instead of the dogs_. This
     place is too poor for _them_. The only good conditioned looking
     people here are the priests. They are bursting with inward
     satisfaction and joy. When in Paris last October we heard of a most
     wonderful pair of earrings that had been presented to Adelina Patti
     by a Gent who glided under the name of Khalil Bey, worth Millions!
     When in Paris again in December there was a great stir about the
     Private Picture Gallery of a very wealthy man who had met with
     severe and great losses at the gaming table. Our friends tried to
     obtain admission for us to see them, but through some slip we
     failed. Upon our arrival in Nice, one day there was great confusion
     and agitation among the Eager. Servants were standing in corners
     and evidence of something was very vivid. Finally the mystery was
     solved. And we learned that a great Prince had arrived from St.
     Petersburg. A Turk! Who was sharing our fate (the order of things
     is all reversed in Nice. You commence life there by beginning at
     the top and working your way down) and taken rooms on the 6th
     floor, accompanied by 2 servants, one especially to take care of
     the Pipe. His name is Khalil Bey--about 50 years old--a hard,
     Chinese, cast-iron face run when the iron was very hot--sinking
     well into the mould--one eye almost blind--short small feet--he
     seemed to commence to grow at the feet and grew bigger and wider as
     he went up.

     _3rd._ He moves in the best "society" over here--has his Box at the
     Opera--tells frankly his losses at cards--so many million
     francs--is a man of influence even among a certain class and that
     far above mediocre. Met him at an evening entertainment. Found him
     a great admirer of Patti in certain _rôles_--very good judgment
     upon musical matters in general--and a professed _Gambler_.

     _4th._ Rained all day. A lost day to comfort outside and in.

     _5th._ Another day of the same sort. Weary with looking at the
     sea.

     _6th._ Clearing. Sunshine at intervals.

     _7th._ Mr. Kinney called in afternoon. Conversation related to
     Americans in Europe. Came to the conclusion that as a general rule
     none but the class denominated "fast" come to Europe and like it.
     Mr.---- said he would give any American young gentleman or lady
     just 18 months in European society to lose all refinement and all
     moral principle, young ladies in particular. The moral principle
     cannot be strong when one is _laughed at for blushing_!

     _8th._ Mr. and Mrs. L---- came over in the evening. Sat two hours.
     Discussed Europe generally and decided _America_ was the _only
     place for decent people to live in_. _Death_ is all over Europe, an
     epidemic that has no cure. Death of all moral responsibility. Death
     of ambition in the way of virtue. Death of all comforts of life.
     The last man that dies will be carried from the _card table_.

In my own recollection of Nice the two men principally mentioned in my
mother's diary, Khalil Bey and Admiral Farragut, stand out strikingly.
Khalil Bey was a fabulously rich Turk who spent his life wandering
luxuriously over the face of the earth with a huge retinue of retainers
nearly as picturesque as he was. He was a big, dark, murderous looking
creature, not unattractive in a sinister, strange, and piratical way. He
had a wild and lurid record and was especially notorious for his
reckless gambling, at which his luck was said to be miraculous. He was
an opera enthusiast, having heard it in every city in Europe, and was
one of Adelina's admirers. My mother disliked him exceedingly, declaring
he was like a big snake. But my mother never had any tolerance for
foreign noblemen. There were many of them at Nice and her comments were
caustic and often apt. I remember her casual summing up of the Marquis
de Talleyrand (the particular friend of Mrs. Stevens, an American woman
from Hoboken whom he afterwards married) as "a young man belonging to
some goose pond or other!"

Admiral Farragut, who was in the harbour with his flagship the
_Hartford_ and several other American battle-ships, was greatly fêted,
being just then a great hero of the war. The United States Consul gave a
reception for him which he explained in advance was to be
"characteristically American." The only noticeable thing about the
entertainment seemed to be the quantity and variety of drinkables that
were unceasingly served by swift and persuasive waiters. The
Continentals must have had a startling impression of American thirst!
The Admiral himself, however, was hardly given time to swallow anything
at all, people were so anxious to ask him questions and to shake hands.

The Stebbinses and McHenrys joined us when we had been in Nice only a
short time, and, after a little stay there together, we went on by way
of Genoa and the Corniche Road to Pisa, and thence to Florence. At
Florence we met the Admiral again and found him more charming the better
we knew him. In Florence, too, we had several glimpses of the Grisi
family, Madame and her three daughters. Grisi was, I think, a striking
example of a singer being born and not made. When she sang Adalgisa in
_Norma_ in Milan, she made a sudden and overwhelming hit. Next day every
one was rushing about demanding, "Who was her teacher? Who gave her this
wonderful style and tone?" Grisi herself was asked about it and she gave
the names of several teachers under whom she had worked. But, needless
to say, another Grisi was never made. In her case it didn't happen to be
the teacher. Often the credit is given to the master when it really
belongs to the pupil, or, rather, to _le bon Dieu_ who made the vocal
chords in the first place. For, however we may agree or disagree about
fundamental requirements for an artist--breath control, voice placing,
tone colour, interpretation,--the simple fact remains that the one great
essential for a singer is a voice! One little story that I recall of
Grisi interested me. It was said that, when she was growing old and
severe exertion told on her, she always, after her fall as Lucretia
Borgia, had a glass of beer come up through the floor to her and would
drink it as she lay there with her back half turned to the audience.
This is what was _said_; and it seemed to me like a very good scheme.

The director of the railway between Rome and Naples, M. De la Haute, put
his private car at our disposal. In the present era of cars equipped
with baths and barber shops, libraries and writing rooms, it would seem
primitive, but it was quite the last word in the railroad luxury of that
period. I was charmed with the Italian scenery as we steamed through it
and, above all, with the highly pictorial peasants that we passed. Their
clothes, of quaint cut and vivid hues, were exactly like stage costumes.

"Why," I exclaimed excitedly, peering from the car window, "they are all
just out of scenes from _Fra Diavolo_!"

We were, indeed, going through the mountains of the _Fra Diavolo_
country, where the inhabitants lived in continual fear of the bands of
brigands that infested the mountains. Zerlina and Fra Diavolo were
literally in their midst.

M. De la Haute gave a delightful breakfast for us on one of the terraces
outside Naples with the turquoise blue bay beneath, the marvellous
Italian sky overhead, and Vesuvius before us. Albert Bierstadt, the
American artist, was of the company, and afterwards turned up in Rome,
whither we went next. When we made the ascent of Vesuvius, my mother
recounts in her diary: "There must have been at least a hundred Italian
devils jumping about and screaming to take us up. It seemed as if they
must have just jumped out of the burning brimstone."

In Rome we dined with Charlotte Cushman. This was, of course, some years
before her death and she was not yet ravaged by her tragic illness. She
was very full of anecdotes of her friends, the Carlyles, Tennyson, and
others, whom she had just left in England. To our little party was added
Emma Stebbins, who had been doing famously in sculpture, and, also,
Harriet Hosmer, the artist, as well as one or two clever men. It was
Carnival Week, and so I had my first glimpse of a true Continental
_festa_. I had never before seen any real Latin merriment. The
Anglo-Saxon variety is apt to be heavy, rough, or vulgar. But those
fascinating people had the wonderful power of being genuinely and
innocently gay. They became like happy children at play. They threw
confetti, sang and laughed, and tossed flowers about. It was a veritable
lesson in joy to us more sober and commonplace Americans who looked on.

While I was in Rome I was presented to the Pope, Pius IX, a most lovely
and genial personality with a delightful atmosphere about him. I was
told that he had very much wanted to be made Pope and had played the
invalid so that the Cardinals would not think it was very important
whether they elected him or not; so that they could say (as they did
say), "Let us elect him:--he'll die anyhow!" He was duly elected and,
just as soon as he was in the Pontifical Chair, his health became
miraculously restored! When we were presented I could not help being
amused at the extraordinary articles brought by people for the good man
to bless. One woman had a pair of marble hands. Another offered the
Pontiff a photograph of himself; and his Holiness had evident difficulty
in keeping a straight face as he explained to her that really he could
not bless a likeness of himself. Etiquette at these Vatican receptions
is very strict as to what one must wear, what one must do, and where one
must stand. Sebasti, of Sebasti e Reali, the famous Roman bankers, has
the tale to tell of a Hebrew millionaire from America who contrived to
secure an invitation to one of these select audiences and, not being
able to see the Pope clearly on account of the crowd, climbed upon a
chair to get a better view. In the twinkling of an eye a dozen
attendants were after him, whispering harshly, "Giù! Giù! Giù!" ("Get
down! Get down! Get down!") and the Israelite climbed down exclaiming in
crestfallen accents: "How did you know it?"

I have never been presented to the present Pope, but I gather from my
friends in Rome that his administration is, as usual, a rather
complicated affair. The ruling power is Cardinal Rampolla, the Mephisto
of the Church, for whom a distinguished Marchesa has a _salon_ and
entertains, so that, in this way, he can meet people on neutral ground.

On our return trip we crossed Mont Cenis by diligence. From Lombardy,
with the smell of orange flowers all about us, we mounted up and up
until the green growing things became fewer and frailer, and the air
chillier and more rarified. Between six and seven thousand feet up we
struck snow and changed to a sleigh. We made the whole trip in eleven
hours--a record in those days. Think of it, you modern tourists who
cross Mont Cenis in three! But you will do well to envy us our diligence
and sleigh just the same, for you--oh, horrors!--have to do it through a
tunnel instead of over a mountain pass! We felt quite adventurous, for
it was generally considered a rather hazardous undertaking. By March
first we were back again in Paris and, before the end of the month, Mr.
Jarrett and Arditi joined us with my renewed contract with Colonel
Mapleson.

It seemed to me a very short period before it was time for me to go back
to Drury Lane for the real London season. Spring had come and Mapleson
was ready to make a record opera season; so we said good-bye to our
friends in Paris and turned once more toward England.



CHAPTER XVI

FELLOW-ARTISTS


My mother's diary reads as follows:

     _March 25_ Left Paris for London accompanied by Arditi and Mr.
     Jarrett. Came by Dover and Calais. Very sick. Had a band on the
     boat to entice the passengers into the idea that everything was
     lovely and there is no such thing as seasickness. Arrived in London
     at ten minutes before six.

     _28._ Went out house-hunting. Rooms too small.

     _29._ House-hunting. Dirty houses. A vast difference between
     American and English housekeeping. Couldn't stand it. Visited ten.
     Col. Chandler came in the evening. Miss Jarrett went with us.

     _30._ Went again. Saw a highfalutin Lady who said she wanted to get
     a _fancy price_ for her house. Couldn't see it.

     _April 1st._ Miss Jarrett, Lou and I started again and had about
     given up the ship when Louise discovered a house with "to let" on
     it. So we ventured in without cards. Lovely! _Neat_ and _nice_.
     Beautiful large garden, lawn, etc. We were taken to see the Agent
     who had it in charge. When we got outside we 3 embraced each other
     and I screamed with _joy_. She (the Landlady) was the first to have
     a house "to let" that was not painted and powdered an inch thick.

     _2._ Rehearsal of _Traviata_ for the 4th. Three hours long.
     Bettini, Santley, Poley and "Miss Kellogg."

     _3._ Stage rehearsal.

     _4._ First appearance in the regular season of Miss Kellogg in
     _Traviata_. Prince of Wales came down end of 2nd act and
     congratulated her warmly. Also brought the warmest congratulations
     from the Princess--splendid--called out three times--received 8
     bouquets. Forgot powder--sent Annie home--too late--hurried,
     daubed, nervous, out of breath. Couldn't get champagne opened quick
     enough--rushed and tore--delayed orchestra 5 minutes--got on all
     right--at last--went off splendidly. Miss Jarrett, Mr. Jarrett,
     Arditi, Mr. Bennett of the Press [critic of _The Daily Telegraph_]
     came and congratulated Louise. The Prince of Wales was very
     kind--said he remembered the hospitality of the Americans to him
     years agone. [Louise] Had a new ball room dress--all white with red
     camilias.

This somewhat incoherent record as jotted down by my mother is sketchy
but true in spirit. Never in my life, before or since, was I ever so
nervous as at our opening performance in London of _Traviata_; no, not
even had my American _début_ tried me so sorely. Everything in the world
went wrong that could go wrong on this occasion. I forgot my powder and
the skirt of my dress, and Annie, my maid, had to rush home in a cab to
get them. I tore my costume while making my first entrance and had to
play the entire act with a streamer of silk dangling at my feet. I went
on half made up, daubed, nervous, out of breath. _Never_ was I in such a
state of nerves. But to my astonishment I made a very big success. There
was a burst of applause after the first act and I could hardly believe
my ears. It struck me as most extraordinary that what I considered so
unsatisfactory should please the house. Several of the artists singing
with me came to me during the evening much upset.

"Don't you know why everything on the stage has been going so badly
to-night?" they said. "We've a _jettatura_ in front!"

Madame Erminie Rudersdorf, the mother of Richard Mansfield, was in one
of the boxes; and she was generally believed to have the Evil Eye. The
Italian singers took it very seriously indeed and made horns all through
the opera (that is, kept their fingers crossed) to ward off the satanic
influence! Madame Rudersdorf was a tall, heavy, and swarthy Russian with
ominously brilliant eyes; and one of the most commanding personalities I
ever came in contact with. Although she had a dangerously bad temper, I
never saw any evidences of it, nor of the _jettatura_ either. She came
that night and congratulated me:--and it meant something from her.

My professional vocation has brought me up against almost every
conceivable superstition, from Brignoli's stuffed deer's head to the
more commonplace fetish against thirteen as a number. But I never saw
any one more obsessed by an idea of this sort than Christine Nilsson.
She actually would not sing unless some one "held her thumbs" first.
"Holding thumbs" is quite an ancient way of inviting good luck. One
promises to "hold one's thumbs" for a friend who is going through some
ordeal, like a first night or an operation for appendicitis or a wedding
or anything else desperate. Nilsson was the first person I ever knew who
practised the charm the other way about. Before she would even go on the
stage somebody, if only the stage carpenter, had to take hold of her two
thumbs and press them. She was convinced that the mystic rite brought
her good fortune. Many of the Italian artists that I knew believed in
the efficacy of coral as a talisman and always kept a bit of it about
them to rub "for luck" just before they went on for their part of the
performance. Somebody has told me that Emma Trentini had a queer
individual superstition: when she was singing for Hammerstein she would
never go on the stage until he had given her a quarter of a dollar!
Ridiculous as all these _idées fixes_ appear when writing them down, I
am convinced that they do help some people. A sense of confidence is a
great, an invaluable thing, and whatever can bring that about must
necessarily, however foolish in itself, make for a measure of success. I
caught Nilsson's "holding thumbs" trick myself without ever believing in
it, and often have done it to people since in a sort of general
luck-wishing, friendly spirit. The last time I was in Algiers I entered
an antique shop that I always visit there and found the little woman who
kept it in a somewhat indisposed and depressed state of mind:--so much
so in fact that when I left I pinched her thumbs for luck. Not long
afterwards I had the sweetest letter from her. "I cannot thank you
enough," she wrote; "you did something--whatever it was--that has
brought me luck. I feel sure it is all through you!"

To return to my mother's diary after our first performance of _Traviata_
in London:

     _Sunday._ Sat around. Afternoon drove through Hyde Park.

     _Monday 6th._ Rehearsal of _Gazza Ladra_. I went all over to find
     dress for Linda--failed.

     _Tuesday._ Moved out to 48 Grove End Road--8 guineas a week.
     Received check on County Bank from Mapleson for £100. Drew the
     money.

     _Wednesday 8th._ Heard rehearsal of _Gazza Ladra_. Remained in
     theatre till 5.25 P.M. fitting costume. Rode home in 22 minutes.

     _Thursday 9th._ Saw Linda. Magnificent. Best thing. Called out
     three times. Bouquet--dress--yellow. _Moire_ blue satin apron--pink
     roses--gay!

     _Friday--Good Friday._ Regulated house. In the evening _Don
     Giovanni_ was performed. Louise wore her Barber dress--pink satin
     one--made by Madame Vinfolet in New York--splendid! Poli told me
     that in the height of the Messiah Season he often made 75 guineas a
     week. He looked at his operatic engagement as secondary.

     _Sunday 12._ Louise received basket of Easter eggs with a beautiful
     bluebird over them from Mrs. McHenry--Paris--beautiful--shall take
     it to America. Mrs. G---- dined with us at 5.

     _13th._ Rehearsal of _G. Ladra_--3 hours. I took cold waiting in
     cold room. No letters.

     _Tuesday 14._ Letters from Mary Gray, Nell and Leonard and Carter.
     Pay day at Theatre but it didn't come. 3 hours rehearsal. At 4 P.M.
     Louise, Mr. S---- and I called by appointment upon the Duchess of
     Somerset. Met her 3 nieces and the Belgian Minister--a splendid
     affair--tea was served at 5--went home--dined at 6--went to Covent
     Garden to hear Mario & Fionetti, the latter said to be the best
     type of Italian school. Louise thought little of it. Didn't know
     whether to think less of Davidson's judgment or more of her own.

            *       *       *       *       *

     _21st._ Green room rehearsal of _Gazza Ladra_. _Don Giovanni_ in
     the evening--fine house.

     _22nd._ Rehearsed one act of _Gazza Ladra_. Louise tired and
     nervous. Rained. Santley rode part way home with us.

     _23rd._ _Rigoletto_--full house--Duke of Newcastle brought Lord
     Duppelin for introduction. Opera went off splendidly. Check for
     £100. Saw the Godwins--Bryant's son-in-law.

     _24th. Friday._ Drew the money. Reception at the Langs.

     _25th._ Louise went to new Philharmonic to rehearsal. In the
     evening went to Queen's Theatre to see Toole in _Oliver
     Twist_--splendid. Mr. Santley went to Paris.

     _26th. Sunday._ Dr. Quinn, Mr. Fechter and Arditi called. Louise
     and Miss Jarrett washed the dog! [This pet was one of the puppies
     of Titjiens's tiny and beautiful Pomeranian and I had it for a long
     time and adored it.] The 3 Miss Edwards called. Letter from Sarah.

     _27._ Louise and I go to Rehearsal of _Gazza Ladra_ and to hear Mr.
     Fechter in _No Thoroughfare_. He thinks more of himself than of the
     thoroughfare--good performance though. Letter from George
     Farnsworth.

     _28._ Clear and cold. Rehearsed _Gazza Ladra_.

     _29._ [Louise] sang at Philharmonic--duet _Nozze di Figaro_ with
     Foli.

     _30th._ Long rehearsal of Gazza. Dined at Duchess of Somerset's at
     8 P.M. Met many best men of London. Duke of Newcastle took Louise
     in to dinner. Col. Williams took me. Duchess is an old tyrant--sang
     Louise to death--unmerciful--I despise her for her selfishness.

Indeed, every minute of those spring weeks was occupied and more than
occupied. I never was so busy before and never had such a good time. The
"season" was a delightful one; and certainly no one had a more varied
part in it than I. Thanks to the Dowager Duchess and our friends we went
out frequently; and I was singing four and five times a week counting
concerts. Private concerts were a great fad that season and I have often
sung at two or three different ones in the same evening.

Colonel Mapleson was in great feather, having three _prime donne_ at his
disposal at once, for Christine Nilsson had soon joined us, that
curious mixture of "Scandinavian calm and Parisian elegance" as I have
heard her described. No two singers were ever less alike, either
physically or temperamentally, than she and I; yet, oddly enough, we
over and over again followed each other in the same _rôles_. Titjiens,
Nilsson, and I sang together a great deal that season, not only in opera
but also in concert. Our voices went well together and we always got on
pleasantly. Madame Titjiens was no longer at the zenith of her great
power, but she was very fine for all that. I admired Titjiens greatly as
an artist in spite of her perfunctory acting. Cold and stately, she was
especially effective in purely classic music, having at her command all
its traditions:--Donna Anna for instance, and Fidelio and the Contessa.
I sang with her in the Mozart operas. Particularly do I recall one night
when the orchestra was under the direction of Sir Michael Costa. Both
Titjiens and Nilsson were singing with me, and the former had to follow
me in the _recitative_. Where Susanna gives the attacking note to the
Contessa Sir Michael's 'cello gave me the wrong chord. I perceived it
instantly, my absolute pitch serving me well, but I hardly knew what to
do. I was singing in Italian, which made the problem even more
difficult; but, as I sang, my sixth sense was working subconsciously. I
was saying over and over in my brain: "_I've got to give Titjiens the
right note or the whole thing will be a mess. How am I going to do it?_"
I sang around in circles until I was able to give the Contessa the
correct note. Titjiens gratefully caught it up and all came out well.
When the number was over, both Titjiens and Nilsson came and
congratulated me for what they recognised as a good piece of
musicianship. But Sir Michael was in a rage.

"What do you mean," he demanded, "by taking liberties with the music
like that?"

One cannot afford to antagonise a conductor and he was, besides, so
irascible a man that I did not care to mention to him that his 'cello
had been at fault. He was a most indifferent musician as well as a
narrow, obstinate man, although London considered him a very great
leader. He only infuriated me the more by remarking indulgently, one
night not long after, as if overlooking my various artistic
shortcomings: "Well, well,--you're a very pretty woman anyway!" It was
his "anyway" that irrevocably settled matters between us. He disliked
Nilsson too. He declared both in public and in private that her use of
her voice was mere "charlatanry and trickery" and not worthy to be
called musical. Nilsson was not, in fact, a good musician; few _prime
donne_ are. On one occasion she did actually sing one bar in advance of
the accompaniment for ten consecutive measures. This is almost
inconceivable, but she did it, and Sir Michael never forgave her.

Mapleson was planning as a _tour de force_ with which to stun London a
series of operas in which he could present all of us. "All-star casts"
were rare in those days. Most managers saved their singers and doled
them out judiciously, one at a time, in a very conservative fashion. But
Mapleson had other notions. Our "all-star" Mozart casts were the wonder
of all London. Think of _Don Giovanni_ with Santley as the Don and
Titjiens as Donna Anna; Nilsson as Donna Elvira, Rockitanski of Vienna
the Leporello, and myself as Zerlina! Think of _Le Nozze di Figaro_ with
Titjiens as the Countess, Nilsson Cherubino, Santley the Count, and me
as Susanna! These were casts unequalled in all Europe--almost, I
believe, in all time!

Gye, of Covent Garden, declared that we were killing the goose that laid
the golden egg by putting all our _prime donne_ into one opera. He said
that this made it not only impossible for rival houses to draw any
audiences, but that it also cut off our own noses. Nobody wanted to go
on ordinary nights to hear operas that had only one _prima donna_ in
them when they could go on star nights and hear three at once. However,
Colonel Mapleson found that the scheme paid and our "triple-cast"
performances brought us most sensational houses. Personally, as I have
already said, I never liked Mapleson, and I had many causes for
resentment in a business way. I remember one battle I had with him and
the stage manager about a dress I was to wear in _Le Nozze di Figaro_. I
do not recall what it was they wanted me to wear; but I know that,
whatever it was, I would not wear it. I left in the middle of rehearsal,
drove home in an excited state of indignation, and seized upon poor
Colonel Stebbins, always my steady help in time of trouble. He went,
saw, fought, and conquered, after which the rehearsals went on more or
less peaceably.

Undoubtedly we had some fine artists at Her Majesty's, but occasionally
Mapleson missed a big chance of securing others. One day we were putting
on our wraps after rehearsal when my mother and I heard a lovely
contralto voice. On inquiry, we learned that Colonel Mapleson and Arditi
were trying the voice of a young Italian woman who had come to London in
search of an engagement. The Colonel and the Director sat in the
orchestra while the young woman sang an _aria_ from _Semiramide_. When
the trial was over the girl went away at once and I rushed out to speak
to Mapleson.

"Surely you engaged that enchanting singer!" I exclaimed.

"Indeed I didn't," he replied.

She went directly to Gye at Covent Garden, who engaged her promptly and,
when she appeared two weeks later, she made a sensation. Her name was
Sofia Scalchi.

Besides the private concerts of that season there were also plenty of
public concerts, a particularly notable one being a Handel Festival at
the Crystal Palace on May 1st, when I sang _Oh, had I Jubal's Lyre_!
Everything connected with that occasion was on a large scale. There were
seven thousand people in the house, the largest audience by far that I
had ever sung to before. The place was so crowded that people hung about
the doors trying to get in even after every seat was filled; and not one
person left the hall until after I had finished--a remarkable record in
its way! Some time later, when I was on my way home to America and
wanted to buy some antiques, I wandered into a little, odd Dickens-like
shop in Wardour Street. I wanted to have some articles sent on approval
to meet me at Liverpool, but hesitated to ask the old man in the shop to
take such a risk without knowing me. To my surprise he smiled at me a
kindly, wrinkled smile and said, with the prettiest old-fashioned bow:

"Madame, you are welcome to take any liberties you will with my entire
stock. I heard you sing 'Jubal's Lyre.' I shall never forget it, nor be
able to repay you for the pleasure you gave me!"

I always felt this to be one of my sincerest tributes. Perhaps that is
partly why the night of my first Crystal Hall Concert remains so clearly
defined in my memory.

My mother's diary of this period continues:

     _May 4._ Mr. Santley dined with us. Played Besique in the evening.
     _I beat_.

     _5._ Louise and I went to St. James Hall rehearsal. After went to
     Theatre. Learned Nilsson did not have as good a house 2nd night as
     Louise's first one in _La Gazza Ladra_. Mr. Arditi came to rehearse
     the waltz.

     _6th._ _La Gazza Ladra._ Full house--enthusiasm--Duke of Newcastle
     came in.

     _7._ Arditi's rehearsal for his concert at his house at 5
     P.M.--went--house full--hot and funny. Mr. S---- came in the
     evening--played one game Besique.

     _8._ Intended to go to Haymarket Theatre but Miss J---- had
     headache. Santley came in the afternoon to practise Susanna.

     _9._ Santley called. McHenry and Stebbins, with another Budget of
     disagreeables from Mapleson who, not satisfied with cheating her
     [Louise] out of $500., deliberately asked her to give him 3 nights
     more! Shall have his money if we have to go to law about it.

     _Monday._ [Louise] Sang at Old Philharmonic flute song from _The
     Star_. Mr. Stebbins went to Jarrett and told him Miss Kellogg would
     sing no longer than the 15th--her engagement closes then--but that
     Mapleson must pay her what he owed her--that he would have the
     checks that day or sue him.

     _Tuesday._ Just got the second check of £150, showing that a little
     _hell fire and brimstone administered in large doses_ is a good
     thing. The Englishman has not outwitted the Yankee yet!

     _12._ Louise sang _Don Giovanni_--Titjiens "Donna Anna," Santley
     "Don Giovanni," Nilsson "Elvira." Crowded house--seats sold at a
     premium--Louise received all the honours--everything encored--4
     bouquets. Nilsson and Titjiens were encored only for the grand
     trio. The applause on _Batti Batti_ was something unequalled.

     _13._ Went to photographers. Miss Jarrett, Santley and ourselves
     dined at Mr. Stebbins'--went to hear Lucca in _Fra Diavolo_--was
     delighted--she was not pretty but intelligent--sang well--not
     remarkable, but showed great cleverness--full of talent--acted it
     well--filled out the scenes--kept the thing going. The Tenor was
     good. I remained through the second act. Dropped my fan onto a bald
     head. Went over to Drury Lane--heard one act of _The Hugenots_.

     _14._ Mr. S---- dined with us--played Besique in the
     evening--Louise beat of course.

     _15._ [Louise] Sang _Don Giovanni_ to a full house. Bennett came
     and Smith and Mapleson and Duke of Newcastle.

     _16._ Santley sang in rehearsal _Le Nozze di Figaro_. Mr. Stebbins
     dined with us. Played solitaire in the evening with the new Besique
     box.

I sang several times at the Crystal Palace Concerts with Sims Reeves,
the idolised English tenor. Never have I heard of or imagined an artist
so spoiled as Reeves. The spring was a very hot one for London, although
to us who were accustomed to the summer heat of America, it seemed
nothing. But poor Sims Reeves evidently expected to have heat
prostration or a sunstroke, for he always wore a big cork helmet to
rehearsals, the kind that officers wear on the plains of India. The
picture he made sitting under his huge helmet with a white puggaree
around it, fanning himself feebly, was one never to be forgotten. He had
a somewhat frumpy wife who waited on him like a slave. I had little
patience with him, especially with his trick of disappointing his
audiences at the eleventh hour. But he could sing! He was a real artist,
and, when he was not troubling about the temperature, or his diet, he
was an artist with whom it was a privilege to sing. I remember singing
with him and Mme. Patey at a concert at Albert Hall. Mme. Patey was an
admirable contralto and gifted with a superb technique. We three sang a
trio without a rehearsal and, when it was over, Reeves declared that it
was really wonderful the way in which we all three had "taken breath" at
exactly the same points, showing that we were all well trained and could
phrase a song in the only one correct way. This was also noticed and
remarked upon by several professionals who were present.

I also sang with Alboni. At an Albert Hall concert on my second visit to
England a year or two later, I said to her:

"Madame, I cannot tell you how honoured I feel in singing on the same
programme with you."

She bowed and smiled. She was a very, very large woman, heavily built,
but she carried her size with remarkable dignity. I was considerably
amused when she replied:

"Ah, Mademoiselle, I am only a shadow of what I have been!"

My most successful song that season was my old song _Beware_. It was
unusual to see a _prima donna_ play her own accompaniment, which I
always did to this song and to most _encores_. The simple, rather
insipid melody was written by Moulton, the first husband of the present
Baronne de Hegeman, and it was not long before it was the rage in the
sentimental younger set of London. How tired I became of that ridiculous
sign-post cover and the "As Sung by Miss Clara Louise Kellogg" staring
up at me! And how much more tired of the foolish tune:

[Illustration: Musical notation; I know a maid-en fair to see, Take
care! Take care!]

One of the greatest honours paid me was the command to sing in one of
the two concerts at Buckingham Palace given each season by the reigning
sovereign. I have always kept the letter that told me I had been chosen
for this great privilege. Cusins, from whom it came, was the Director of
the Queen's music at the Palace.



CHAPTER XVII

THE ROYAL CONCERTS AT BUCKINGHAM


The Royal Private Concerts at Buckingham Palace formed in those days,
and I believe still form, the last word in exclusiveness. Many persons
who have been presented at court, in company with a great crowd of other
social aspirants, never come close enough to the inner circle of royalty
to get within even "speaking distance" of these concerts. In them the
court etiquette is almost mediæval in its brilliant formality; and yet a
certain intimacy prevails which could not be possible in a less
carefully chosen gathering. So sacred an institution is the Royal
Concert that they have a fixed price--twenty-five guineas for all the
solo singers, whatever their customary salaries,--the discrepancies
between the greater and the lesser being supposedly filled in with the
colossal honour done the artists by being asked to appear.

Queen Victoria seldom presided at these or similar functions. The Prince
of Wales usually represented the Crown and did the honours, always
exceedingly well. I have been told by people who professed to know that
his good nature was rather taken advantage of by his august mother, who
not only worked him half to death in his official capacity, but never
allowed him enough income for the purpose. Personally, I always liked
the Prince. He was a tactful, courteous man with real artistic feeling
and cultivation. He filled a difficult position with much graciousness
and good sense. More than once has he come behind the scenes during an
operatic performance to congratulate and encourage me. The Princess was
good looking, but was said to be both dull and inflexible. The former
impression might easily have been the result of her deafness that so
handicapped her where social graces were concerned. She could not hear
herself speak and, therefore, used a voice so low as to be almost
inaudible. When she spoke to me I could not hear a word of what she
said. I hope it was agreeable.

My mother's entries in her diary at this point are:

     _Monday. 17_. 3 P.M. Rehearsal at Anderson's for Buckingham Palace
     Concert. Met Lucca there. A perfect original. Private concert in
     the evening at No. 7 Grafton Street. Pinsuti conducted. Louise
     _encored_ with _Beware_. Concert commenced at eleven. Closed at 2
     A.M. Saw about five bushels of diamonds.

     _18th. Tuesday._ Went to Buckingham Palace. Rehearsed at eleven.
     Very good palace, but dirty.

     _19._ Rehearsal of Somnambula. Got home at 4. Mr. S---- came in the
     evening.

     _20._ Buckingham Palace Concert.

The rehearsal at Buckingham Palace was held in the great ballroom with
the Queen's orchestra, under Cusins, and the artists were Titjiens,
Lucca, Faure, and myself. These concerts were composed of picked singers
from both Covent Garden and Her Majesty's and were supposed to represent
the best of each. As my mother notes, I first met Pauline Lucca
there--such an odd little creature. She amused me immensely. She was
always doing absurd things and making quaint, entertaining speeches.
She was not pretty, but her eyes were beautiful. On this occasion, I
remember, Titjiens was rehearsing one of her great, classic _arias_.
When she had finished we all, the orchestra included, applauded. Lucca
was sitting between Faure and myself, her feet nowhere near touching the
floor, and she applauded rhythmically and quite indifferently,
slap-bang! slap-bang! slinging her arms out so as to hit both of us and
then slapping them together, the while she kicked up her small feet like
a child of six. She was regardless of appearances and was applauding to
please herself.

Lucca used to warn me not to abuse my upper notes. We knew her as almost
a mezzo. She told me, however, that she had once had an exceedingly high
voice, and that one of her best parts was Leonora in _Trovatore_. She
had abused her gift; but she always had a delightful quality of voice
and put a great deal of personality into her work.

The approach to the Palace on concert nights was very impressive, for
the Grenadier Guards were drawn up outside, and inside were other guards
even more gorgeously arrayed than the cavalry. In the concert room
itself was stationed a royal bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guards. The
commanding officer was called the Exon-in-Waiting. The proportions of
the room were magnificent and there were some fine frescoes and an
effective way of lighting up the stained glass windows from the outside;
but the general impression was not particularly regal. The decorations
were plain and dull--for a palace. The stage was arranged with chairs,
rising tier above tier, very much like a stage for oratorio singers.
Before royalty appears, the singers seat themselves on the stage and
remain there until their turn comes to sing. This is always a trial to
a singer, who really needs to get into the mood and to warm up to her
appearance. To stand up in cold blood and just _sing_ is discouraging.
The prospect of this dreary deliberateness did not tend to raise our
spirits as we sat and waited.

At last, after we had become utterly depressed and out of spirits, there
was a little stir and the great doors at the side of the ballroom were
thrown open. First of all entered the Silver-Sticks in Waiting, a dozen
or so of them, backing in, two by two. All were, of course,
distinguished men of title and position; and they were dressed in
costumes in which silver was the dominant note and carried long wands of
silver. They were followed by the Gold-Sticks in Waiting--men of even
more exalted rank--and, finally, by the Royal Party. We all arose and
curtesied, remaining standing until their Highnesses were seated.

The concerts were called informal and therefore long trains and court
veils were not insisted on; but the men had to appear in ceremonial
dress--knee breeches and silk stockings--and the women invariably wore
gorgeous costumes and family jewels, so that the scene was one full of
colour and glitter. The uniforms of the Ambassadors of different
countries made brilliant spots of colour. The Prince of Wales and his
Princess simply sparkled with orders and decorations. I happened to hear
the names of a few of her Royal Highness's. They were the Orders of
Victoria and Albert, the Star of India, St. Catherine of Russia, and the
Danish Family Order. She also wore many of the crown jewels, and with
excellent taste on every occasion I have seen her. With a black satin
gown and court train of crimson, for example, she wore only diamonds;
while another time I remember she wore pearls and sapphires with a
velvet gown of cream and pansy colour. Such good sense and discretion in
the choice of gems is rare. So many women seem to think that any jewels
are appropriate to any toilet.

Tremendously august personages used to be in the audiences of those
Buckingham Palace concerts at which I sang then and later, such as the
Duke and Duchess of Teck, the Prince and Princess Christian of
Schleswig-Holstein, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Crown Prince
of Sweden and Norway, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. Indeed,
royalty, peers of the realm and ambassadors or representatives, and
members of the court were the only auditors. In spite of this the
concerts were deadly dull, partly, no doubt, because everybody was so
enormously impressed by the ceremony of the occasion and by the rigours
of court etiquette that they did not dare move or hardly breathe. There
was one woman present at my first Buckingham Palace concert, a
lady-in-waiting (she looked as if she had become accustomed to waiting)
who was even more stiff than any one else and about whose décolleté
there seemed to be no termination. Never once, to my certain knowledge,
did she move either head or body an inch to the right or to the left
throughout the performance.

A breach of etiquette was committed on one occasion by a friend of mine,
a compatriot, who had accompanied me to one of these gilt-edged affairs.
She stood up behind the very last row of the chorus and--used her
opera-glasses! Not unnaturally, she wanted for once, poor girl, to get a
good look at royalty; but it is needless to say that she was hastily and
summarily suppressed.

When the Prince and Princess were seated the concert could begin. There
were two customs that made those functions particularly oppressive. One
was that all applause was forbidden. An artist, particularly a singer or
stage person of any kind, lives and breathes through approbation: and
for a singer to sing her best and then sit down in a dead and stony
silence without any sort of demonstration, is a very chilling
experience. The only indication that a performance had been acceptable
was when the Prince of Wales wriggled his programme in an approving
manner. A hand-clap would have been a terrific breach of etiquette. The
other drawback--and the one that affected the guests even more than the
artists--was that, when once the Prince and Princess were seated, no one
could rise on any pretext or provocation whatever. I think it was at my
second appearance at the Royal Concerts that an amusing incident
occurred which impressed the inconvenience of this regulation upon my
memory. The Duchess of Edinburgh, daughter of the Czar, entered in the
Prince of Wales's party. She looked an irritable, dissatisfied, bilious
person; and I was told that she was always talking about being "the
daughter of the Czar of all the Russias" and that it galled her that
even the Princess of Wales took precedence over her. Those were the good
old days of tie-backs, made of elastic and steel, a sort of modified
hoop-skirt with all of the hoop in the back. The tie-back was the
passing of the hoop and its management was an education in itself. I
remember mine came from Paris and I had had a bit of difficulty in
learning to sit down in it gracefully. Well--the Duchess of Edinburgh
had not mastered the art. She was all right until she sat down and
looked very regal in a gown of thick, heavy white silk and the most
gorgeous of jewels--encrusted diamonds and Russian rubies, the latter
nearly the size of a pigeon's eggs. Her tiara and stomacher were so
magnificent that they appalled me. The Prince and Princess sat down and
every one else followed suit, the daughter of the Czar of all the
Russias among the others in the front row. And she sat down wrong. Her
tie-back tilted up as she went down; her skirt rose high in front,
revealing a pair of large feet, clad in white shoes, and large ankles,
nearly up to her knees. There was a footstool under the large feet and
they were very much in evidence the whole evening, posing, entirely
against their owner's will, on a temporary monument. The awful part of
it was that the Duchess knew all about it and was so furious that she
could hardly contain herself. It was a study to watch the daughter of
the Czar of all the Russias in these circumstances. Her face showed how
much she wanted to get up and pull down her dress and hide her robust
pedal extremities, but court etiquette forbade, and the Duchess
suffered.

The end of everything, as a matter of course, was _God Save the Queen_
and, as there were nearly always two _prime donne_ present, each of us
sang one verse. All the artists and the chorus sang the third, which
constituted "Good-night" and was the official closing of the
performance. I usually sang the first verse. When the concert was over,
the Prince and Princess with the lesser royalties filed out. They passed
by the front of the stage and always had some agreeable thing to say. I
recall with much pleasure Prince Arthur--the present Duke of
Connaught--stopping to compliment me on a song I had just sung--the
Polonaise from _Mignon_--and to remind me that I had sung it at Admiral
Dahlgren's reception at the Navy Yard in Washington during his American
visit.

"You sang that for me in Washington, didn't you, Miss Kellogg?" he said;
and I was greatly pleased by the slight courteous remembrance.

After royalty had departed every one drew a long breath of partial
relaxation. The guests could then move about with more or less freedom,
talk with each other, and speak with the artists if they felt so
inclined. I was impressed by the stiffness, the shyness and awkwardness
of the English people--of even these very great English people, the
women especially. One would suppose that authority and ease and
graciousness would be in the very blood of those who are, as the saying
is, "to the manner born," but they did not seem to have that "manner."
Finally I came to the conclusion that they really _liked_ to appear shy
and _gauche_, and deliberately affected the stiffness and the
awkwardness.

So much has been said about the Victorian prejudice against divorce and
against scandal of all sorts that no one will be surprised when I say
that, on one occasion when I sang at the Palace, I was the only woman
singer whom the ladies present spoke to, although the gentlemen paid
much attention to the others. The Duchess of Newcastle was particularly
cordial to me, as were also the wife of our American Ambassador and
Consuelo, Duchess of Manchester. My fellow-artists on that occasion were
Adelina Patti and Trebelli Bettina and, as each of them had been
associated with scandal, they were left icily alone. At that time Patti
and Nicolini were not married and the papers had much to say about the
tenor's desertion of his family. I have sung with Nilsson and Patti and
Lucca at these concerts. I have sung with Faure and Santley and Capoul
(nice little Capoul, known in America as "the ladies' man") and I have
sung with Scalchi and Titjiens. I have sung there with even the great
Mario.

There was a supper at the palace after the Royal Concerts--two supper
tables in fact--one for the royal family and one for the artists. I
caught a glimpse on my first appearance there of the table set for the
former with the historic gold plate, with which English crowned heads
entertain their guests. It was splendid, of course, although very heavy
and ponderous, and the food must needs have been something superlative
to have fitted it. I doubt if it was, however, as British cooks are apt
to be mediocre, even those in palaces. Cooking is a matter of the
Epicurean temperament or, rather, with the British, the lack of it. Our
supper was not at all bad in spite of this, although little Lucca did
turn up her nose at it and at the arrangements.

"What!" she exclaimed tempestuously, "stay here to 'second supper'!
Never! These English prigs want to make us eat with the servants! You
may stay for their horrid supper if you choose. But I would rather
starve--" and off she went, all rustling and fluttering with childish
indignation.

It was at one of these after-concert "receptions" at the palace that I
had quite a long chat with Adelina Patti about her coming to America. I
urged it, for I knew that a fine welcome was awaiting her here. But
Nicolini,--her husband for the moment,--who was sitting near, exclaimed:
"_Vous voulez la tuer!_" ("Do you want to kill her!") It seems that they
were both terribly afraid of crossing the ocean, although they
apparently recovered from their dread in later years.

There was one Royal Concert which will always remain in my memory as the
most marvellous and brilliant spectacle, socially speaking, of my whole
life. It was the one given in honour of the Queen's being made Empress
of India and among the guests were not only the aristocracy of Great
Britain, but all the Eastern princes and rajahs representing her
Majesty's new empire. At that time hardly any one had been in India.
Nowadays people make trips around the world and run across to take a
look at the Orient whenever they feel inclined. But then India sounded
to us like a fairy-tale place, impossibly rich and mysterious, a country
out of _The Arabian Nights_ at the very least.

My mother and I were then living in Belgrave Mansions, not far from the
palace nor from the Victoria Hotel where the Indian princes put up, and
we used to see them passing back and forth, their attendants bearing
exquisitely carved and ornamented boxes containing choice jewels and
decorations and offerings to "The Great White Queen across the
Seas,"--offerings as earnest of good faith and pledges of loyalty. I was
glad to be "commanded" for the Royal Concert at which they were to be
entertained, for I knew that it would be a splendid pageant. And it
turned out to be, as I have said, the richest display I ever saw. The
rich stuffs of the costumes lent themselves most fittingly to a lavish
exhibition of jewels. The ornaments of the royal princesses and
peeresses that I had been admiring up to that occasion seemed as nothing
compared to this array. Every Eastern potentate appeared to be trying to
vie with all the others as to the gems he wore in his turban.

It would be impossible for me to say how interesting I found all this
sort of thing. It was like a play to me--a delicious play, in which I,
too, had my part. I am an imperialist by nature. I love pomp and
ceremony and circumstance and titles. The few times that I have ever
been dissatisfied with my experiences in the lands of crowned heads, it
was merely because there wasn't quite grandeur enough to suit my taste!



CHAPTER XVIII

THE LONDON SEASON


Our house in St. John's Wood that we rented for our first London season
was small, but it had a front door and a back garden and, on the whole,
we were very happy there. Whenever my mother became bored or
dissatisfied she thought of the hotels on the Continent and immediately
cheered up. There many people sought us out, and others were brought to
see us. Newcastle was always coming with someone interesting in tow.
Leonard Jerome, who built the Jockey Club, came with Newcastle, I
remember, and so did Chevalier Wyckoff, who had something to do with
_The Herald_, and did not use his title.

[Illustration: =Duke of Newcastle=

From a photograph by John Burton & Sons]

It was always said of the Duke and Duchess of Newcastle that "he married
her for her money and she married him for his title, so that they each
got what they wanted." It may have been true and probably was, for they
did not seem an ardently devoted couple, and yet it is difficult to
believe the rather cruel report--they were both so much too lovable to
merit it. The Duchess was a beauty and, when she wore the big, blue,
Hope Diamond,--(I have often seen her wearing it) she was a most
striking figure. As for Newcastle himself, I always found him a most
simple, warm-hearted, generous man, full of delicate and kindly
feelings. He had big stables and raced his horses all the time, but
it was said of him that he generally lost at the races and one might
almost know that he would. He was a sort of "mark" for the racing sharks
and they plucked him in a shameless manner. I first met the Newcastles
at the dinner table of the Dowager Duchess of Somerset, and more than
once afterwards has Newcastle whispered to her "hang etiquette" and
taken me in to dinner instead of some frumpy marchioness or countess.

We became acquainted with the Tennants of Richmond Terrace. Their house
was headquarters for an association of Esoteric Buddhism;--A. P.
Sinnett, the author of the book entitled _Esoteric Buddhism_, was a
prominent figure there. The family is perhaps best known from the fact
that Miss Tennant married the celebrated explorer Stanley. But to me it
always stood for the centre of occult societies. The household was an
interesting one but not particularly peaceful.

I suppose the world is full of queer people and situations, but I do
think that among the queerest of both must be ranked Lord Dudley, who
owned Her Majesty's Theatre. He lived in Park Lane and was a very grand
person in all ways, and, according to hearsay, firmly believed that he
was a teapot, and spent his days in the miserable hope that somebody
would be kind enough to put him on the stove! He did not go about
begging for the stove exactly; his desire was just an ever-present,
underlying yearning! He was a nice man, too, as I remember him. A man by
the name of Cowen represented the poor peer and we gave Cowen his
legitimate perquisites in the shape of benefit concerts and so forth;
but we all felt that the whole thing was in some obscure manner terribly
grim and pathetic. Many things are so oddly both comic and tragic.

During the warm weather we went often into the country to dine or lunch
at country houses. I shall never forget Mr. Goddard's dinner at his
place. He had a glass house at the end of the regular house that was
half buried in a huge heliotrope plant which had grown so marvellously
that it covered the walls like a vine. The trunk of it was as thick as a
man's arm, and the perfume--! My mother wrote in her diary a single line
summing up the day as it had been for her: "Lovely day. Strawberries and
two black-eyed children." For my part, I gathered all the heliotrope I
wanted for once in my life.

Mr. Sampson's entertainment is another notable memory. Mr. Sampson was
financial editor of that august journal _The London Times_, much sought
after by the large moneyed interests, and lived in Bushy Park, beyond
Kensington. Mrs. Heurtly was our hostess; and Lang, who had just been
running for Prime Minister, was there and, also, McKenzie, an East
Indian importer in a big way who afterwards became Sir Edward McKenzie,
through loaning to the Prince of Wales the money for the trousseau and
marriage of the Prince of Wales's daughter Louise to the Duke of Fife,
and who then was not invited to the wedding! It was through Sampson,
too, that I first met the famous critic Davidson, and I think it was on
the occasion of his party that I first met Nilsson's great friend Mrs.
Cavendish Bentinck.

Among all the memories of that time stands out that of the home of the
dear McHenrys in Holland Park, overlooking the great sweep of lawn of
Holland House on which, it is said, the plotters of an elder day went
out to talk and conspire because it was the only place in London where
they could be sure that they would not be overheard. Alma Tadema lived
just around the corner and we often saw him. Another interesting
character of whom I saw a good deal at that time was Dr. Quinn, an
Irishman, connected through a morganatic marriage with the royal family.
He was very short and jolly, and very Irish. He had asthma horribly and
ought really to have considered himself an invalid. He gasped and
wheezed whenever he went upstairs, but he simply couldn't resist dinner
parties. He loved funny stories, too, not only for his own sake but also
because his friend, the Prince of Wales, liked them so much. My mother
was very ready in wit and usually had a fund of stories and jokes at her
command, and Dr. Quinn used to exhaust her supply, taking the greatest
delight in hearing her talk. He would come panting into the house, his
round face beaming, and gasp:

"Any new American jokes? I'm dining with the Prince and want something
new for him!"

He loved riddles and conundrums, particularly those that had a poetical
twist in them. One of his favourites was:

    _Why is a sword like the moon?_
    _Because it is the glory of the (k)night!_

I have heard him tell that repeatedly, always ending with a little
appreciative sigh and the ejaculation, "that is so poetical, isn't it?"

One lovely evening we drove out to Greenwich to dinner, in Newcastle's
four-in-hand coach. It was not the new style drag, but a huge, lumbering
affair, all open, in which one sat sideways. There were postillions in
quaint dress and a general flavour of the Middle Ages about the whole
episode. There was nothing of the Middle Ages about the dinner however.
There were twenty-five of us present in all; among the number Lady Susan
Vane-Tempest, a beautiful woman with most brilliant black hair, and
Major Stackpoole, and dear Lady Rossmore, his wife (who was so impulsive
that I have seen her jump up in her box to throw me the flowers she was
wearing), and some of the Hopes (Newcastle's own family), that race that
always behaves so badly! A little later in the season, my mother and I
accepted with delight an invitation from the Duke and Duchess of
Newcastle to visit them at their place in Brighton. The Duke naively
explained that he had been having "a run of rotten luck" of late, and
thought that I might turn it. Apparently I did, for the very day after
we got there his horse won in the races.

I sang, of course, in the evening, as their guest. There was no thought
of remuneration, nor could there be. The graceful way in which our dear
host showed his appreciation was to send me a pin, beautifully executed,
of a horse and jockey done in enamel, enclosed in a circle of perfect
crystal, the whole surrounded with a rim of superb diamonds and
amethysts--purple and white being his racing colours. The brooch was
inscribed simply with the date on which his horse ran and won.

I wore that pin for years. When I had it cleaned at Tiffany's a long
time afterwards, it made quite a sensation, it was so unique. Once, I
remember, I was in the studio dwelling on Fifteenth Street of the
Richard Watson Gilders when I discovered that, having dressed in a
hurry, I had put my pin in upside-down. I started to change it, and then
said:

"O, what's the use. Nobody will ever notice it. They are all too
literary and superior around here!"

The first man Mrs. Gilder presented to me was evidently quite too much
interested in the pin to talk to me.

"Excuse me," he at last said politely, "but you will like to know, I
feel sure, that your brooch is upside-down."

"O, is it," said I sweetly. But I did not take the trouble to change it
even then, and, afterwards, I would not have done so for worlds, for I
should have been cheated out of a great deal of quiet amusement. One of
the contributors to _The Century_ was later presented to me, and the
effect of that pin upside-down was more irritating than it had been to
the first man. He almost stood on his head trying to discover what was
the trouble. At last:

"You've got your pin upside-down," he snapped at me as though a personal
affront had been offered him.

"I know I have," I snapped back.

"What do you wear it that way for?" he demanded.

"To make conversation!" I returned, nearly as cross as he was.

"I don't see it," he said curtly. As a matter of fact I had just
realised that upside-down was the way to wear the pin henceforward. I
said to Jeannette Gilder the next day:

"My upside-down pin was the hit of the evening. I am never going to wear
it any other way!"

I have kept my word during all these years. Never have I worn
Newcastle's pin except upside-down, and I have never known anyone to
whom I was talking to fail to fall into the trap and beg my pardon and
say, "you have your brooch on upside-down." Years later I was once
talking to Annie Louise Gary in Rome and a perfectly strange man came up
and began timidly:

"I beg your pardon, but your----"

"I know," I told him kindly. "My pin is upside-down, isn't it?"

He retreated, thinking me mad, I suppose. But the fun of it has been
worth some such reputation. Different people approach the subject so
differently. Some are so apologetic and some are so helpful and some,
like my _Century_ acquaintance, are so immensely and disproportionately
annoyed.

But I am wandering far afield and quite forgetting my first London
season which, even at this remote day, is an absorbing recollection to
me. I had at that time enough youthful enthusiasm and desire to "keep
going" to have stocked a regiment of débutantes! Although I was quite as
carefully chaperoned and looked out for in England as I had been in
America, there was still an unusual sense of novelty and excitement
about the days there. I had all of my clothes from Paris and learned
that, as Sir Michael Costa had insultingly informed me, I was "quite a
pretty woman anyhow." Add to this the generous praise that the London
public gave me professionally, and is it to be considered a wonder that
I felt as if all were a delightful fairy tale with me as the princess?

As my mother has noted in her diary, we went one evening to Covent
Garden to hear Patti sing. One really charming memory of Patti is her
Juliette. She was never at all resourceful as an actress and was never
able to stamp any part with the least creative individuality; but her
singing of that music was perfect. Maurice Strakosch came into our box
to present to us Baron Alfred de Rothschild who became one of the
English friends whom we never forgot and who never forgot us. Maddox,
too, called on us in the box that evening. He was the editor of a
little journal that was the rival of the _Court Circular_. Maddox I saw
a good deal of later and found him very original and entertaining. He
ordered champagne that night, so we had quite a little party in our box
between the acts.

As my mother has also noted, I went to Covent Garden to hear Mario for
the first time. Fioretti was the _prima donna_, said to be the best type
of the Italian school. Altogether the occasion was expected to be a
memorable one and I was full of expectations. Davidson, the critic of
_The London Times_ and the foremost musical critic on the Continent,
except possibly Dr. Hanslick of Vienna, was full of enthusiasm. But I
did not think much of Fioretti nor, even, of Mario! Yes, Mario the
great, Mario the golden-voiced, Mario who could "soothe with a tenor
note the souls in Purgatory" was a bitter disappointment to me. I was
too inexperienced still to appreciate the art he exhibited, and his
voice was but a ghost of his past glory. Yet England adored him with her
wonderful loyalty to old idols.

Several distinguished artists and musicians came into our box that
night, Randegger the singing teacher for one, and my good friend Sir
George Armitage. Sir George was breathless with enthusiasm.

"There is no one like Mario!" he exclaimed, rubbing his hands with
delight.

"This is the first time I ever heard him," I said.

"Ah, what an experience!" he cried.

"I should never have suspected he was the great tenor," I had to admit.

"Oh, my dear young lady," said Sir George eagerly, "that 'la' in the
second act! Did you hear that 'la' in the second act? There was the old
Mario!"

His devotion was so touching that I forebore to remind him that if one
swallow does not make a summer, so one "la" does not make a singer. When
poor Mario came over to America later he was a dire failure. He could
not hold his own at all. He could not produce even his "la" by that
time. Like Nilsson, however, he greatly improved dramatically after his
vocal resonances were impaired, for I have been told that when in
possession of his full voice he was very stiff and unsympathetic in his
acting.

Sir George Armitage, by the way, was a somewhat remarkable individual, a
typical, well-bred Englishman of about sixty, with artistic tastes. He
was a perfect example of the dilettante of the leisure class, with
plenty of time and money to gratify any vagrant whim. His particular
hobby was the opera; and he divided his attentions equally between
Covent Garden with Adelina and Lucca, and Her Majesty's with Nilsson,
Titjiens, and Kellogg. When operas that he liked were being given at
both opera houses, he would make a schedule of the different numbers and
scenes with the hours at which they were to be sung:--9.20 (Covent
Garden), _Aria_ by Madame Patti. 10 o'clock (Her Majesty's), Duet in
second act between Miss Nilsson and Miss Kellogg. 10.30, Sextette at
Covent Garden, etc., etc. He kept his brougham and horses ready and
would drive back and forth the whole evening, reaching each opera house
just in time to hear the music he particularly cared for. He had seats
in each house and nothing else in the world to do, so it was quite a
simple matter with him, only,--who but an Englishman of the hereditary
class of idleness would think of such a way of spending the evening? He
was a dear old fellow and we all liked him. He really did not know much
about music, but he had a sincere fondness for it and dearly loved to
come behind the scenes and offer suggestions to the artists. We always
listened to him patiently, for it gave him great pleasure, and we never
had to do any of the things he suggested because he forgot all about
them before the next time.

My mother's diary reads:

     _June 13._ Last night _Nozze di Figaro_. Mr. and Mrs. McHenry sent
     five bouquets. Splendid performance.

     _15._ Dined at Duchess of Somerset's.

     _16._ Dined with Mr. and Mrs. McHenry. Stebbins--Vanderbilts.

     _18._ _Don Giovanni._ Checks from Mr. Cowen. Banker came to see us.
     Duke of Newcastle--Sir George Armitage.

     _20._ Benedict's Morning Concert, St. James' Hall. _Encore_
     "Beware"--_Don Giovanni_ in the evening.

     _21. Sunday._ Dined with Duke and Duchess of Newcastle. Major
     Stackpoole, Lady Susan Vane-Tempest and others. Rehearsed _La
     Figula_.

     _Monday._ Rehearsal of _La Figula_. In the evening went to hear
     Patti. Didn't like Patti. Received letter from Colonel Stebbins
     from Queenstown.

     _Tuesday._ Rehearsed _La Figula_. Called at Langham on Godwin--all
     came out in the evening.

     _Wednesday 24._ Morning performance of _Le Nozze_--got home at 6.
     P.M. Charity concert for Mr. Cowen at 8.30 at Dudley House.

     _Thursday._ Rehearsal of _La Figula_. Concert in the evening at
     Lady Fitzgerald's.

     _Monday._ Louise and I went to drive. Do not learn anything
     definite about the future--where I am to be next winter--no one
     knows. I do not see any settled home for me any more. Sometimes I
     am satisfied to have it so--at others--get nervous and uneasy and
     discontented. Yet I have lost interest in going home--it will be so
     short a visit--so soon a separation--then to some other stranger
     place--new friends--new faces--I want the old. The surface of life
     does not interest me.

     _Tuesday._ Dined at Langs'--large party.

     _Wednesday 15._ Went to Crystal Palace--Mapleson's Benefit. The
     whole performance closed with the most magnificent display of
     Fireworks I ever saw--most marvellous.

     _16._ _Don Giovanni_--full house--great success in the
     part--Duchess and Lady Rossmore threw splendid bouquets--house very
     enthusiastic--papers fine--Mrs. McHenry and Mr. Sampson came
     down--Duke of Newcastle and Major Stackpoole--Miss Jarrett.

     _Monday. Le Nozze di Figaro._

     _Tuesday. La Figula._

     _Thursday._ Went to theatre. Saw Nilsson and all the artists. Went
     to hear Patti in _Romeo and Juliette_--Strakosch gave us the box.
     Strakosch introduced Rothschilds.

     _Friday._ _Le Nozze di Figaro._ Baron Rothschilds, Sir George
     Armitage came around.

     _Saturday._ Sir George breakfasted with Louise. Rothschilds
     called--letter from Mr. Stebbins.

     _Sunday morning._ Dr. Kellogg of Utica called--spent several hours.
     Santley called--and McHenry in the evening.

I was greatly shocked by the heavy drinking in the 'sixties that was not
only the fashion but almost the requirement of fashion in England. My
horror when I first saw a titled and distinguished Englishwoman in the
opera box of the Earl of Harrington (our friend of the charming luncheon
party), call an attendant and order a brandy and soda will never be
forgotten. It was the general custom to serve refreshments in the boxes
at the opera, and bottles and glasses of all sorts passed in and out of
these private "loges" the entire evening. Indeed, people never dreamed
of drinking water, although they drank their wines "like water"
proverbially. Such prejudice as mine has two sides, as I realise when I
think of the landlady of our apartment which we rented during a later
London season in Belgrave Mansions. When singing, I had to have a late
supper prepared for me--something very light and simple and nourishing.
Our good landlady used to be shocked almost to the verge of tears by my
iniquitous habit of drinking water _pur-et-simple_ with my suppers.

"Oh, miss," she would beg, "let me put a bit of sherry or _something_ in
it for you! It'll hurt you that way, Miss! It'll make you ill, that it
will!"



CHAPTER XIX

HOME AGAIN


Mapleson asked me to stay on the other side and sing in England,
Ireland, and France at practically my own terms, but I refused to do so.
I had made my English success and now I wanted to go home in triumph. My
mother agreed with me that it was time to be turning homeward. So I
accepted an engagement to sing under the management of the Strakosches,
Max and Maurice, on a long concert tour.

I have only gratitude for the manner in which my own people welcomed my
return. The critics found me much improved, and one and all gave me
credit for hard and unremitting work. "Here is a young singer," said
one, "who has steadily worked her way to the highest position in
operatic art." That point of view always pleased me; for I contend now,
as I have contended since I first began to sing, that, next to having a
voice in the first place, the great essential is to work; and then
_work_; and, after that, begin to WORK!

New York as a city did not please me when I saw it again. I had
forgotten, or never fully realised, how provincial it was. Even to-day I
firmly believe that it is undoubtedly the dirtiest city in the world,
that its traffic regulation is the worst, and its cab service the most
expensive and inconvenient. All this struck me with particular force
when I came home fresh from London and Paris.

My contract with the Strakosches was for twenty-five weeks, four
appearances a week, making a hundred performances in all. This tour was
only broken by a short engagement under my old director Maretzek at the
Academy of Music in Philadelphia, an arrangement made for me by Max
Strakosch when we reached that city in the spring; and, with the
exception of _Robert le Diable_, _Trovatore_, and one or two other
operas, I spent the next three years singing in concert and oratorio
entirely. It was not enjoyable, but it was successful. We went all over
the country, North, South, East, West, and everywhere found an
enthusiastic public. Particularly was this so in the South as far as I
personally was concerned. The poor South had not yet recovered from the
effects of the Civil War and did not have much money to spend on
amusements, but, when at Richmond the people learned that I was Southern
born, more than one woman said to me:

"Go? To hear you! Yes, indeed; we'll hang up all we have to go and hear
you!"

One of my popular fellow-artists on the first tour was James M. Wehli,
the English pianist. He was known as the "left-handed pianist" and was
in reality better suited to a vaudeville stage than to a concert
platform. His particular accomplishment consisted in playing a great
number of pieces brilliantly with his left hand only, a feat remarkable
enough in itself but not precisely an essential for a great artist, and,
even as a pianist, he was not inspired.

My first appearance after my European experience was in a concert at the
Academy of Music in New York. It was a real welcome home. People cheered
and waved and threw flowers and clapped until I was literally in tears.
I felt that it did not matter in the least whether New York was a real
city or not; America was a real country! When the concert was over, the
men from the Lotus Club took the horses out of my carriage and dragged
it, with me in it, to my hotel. And oh, my flowers! My American title of
"The Flower _Prima Donna_" was soon reestablished beyond all
peradventure. Flowers in those days were much rarer than they are now;
and I received, literally, loads and loads of camellias, and roses
enough to set up many florist shops. Without exaggeration, I sent those
I received by _cartloads_ to the hospitals. And one "floral offering"
that I received in Boston was actually too large for any waggon. A
subscription had been raised and a pagoda of flowers sent. I had to hire
a dray to carry it to my hotel; and then it could not be got up the
stairs but had to spend the night downstairs. In the morning I had the
monstrous thing photographed and sent it off to a hospital. Even this
was an undertaking as I could not, for some reason, get the dray of the
night before; and had to hire several able-bodied men to carry it. I
hope it was a comfort to somebody before it faded! It is a pity that
this tribute on the part of Boston did not assume a more permanent form,
for I should have much appreciated a more lasting token as a remembrance
of the occasion. It must not be thought that I was unappreciative
because I say this. I love anything and everything that blooms, and I
love the spirit that offers me flowers. But I must say that the pagoda
was something of a white elephant.

While thinking of Boston and my first season at home, I must not omit
mention of Mrs. Martin. Indeed, it will have to be rather more than a
mere mention, for it is quite a little story, beginning indirectly with
Wright Sandford. Wright Sandford was the only man in New York with a big
independent fortune, except "Willie" Douglass who spent most of his time
cruising in foreign waters. Wright Sandford was more of a friend of mine
than "Willie" Douglass, and I used to haul him over the coals
occasionally for his lazy existence. He had eighty thousand a year and
absolutely nothing to do but to amuse himself.

"What do you expect me to do?" he would demand plaintively. "I've no one
to play with!"

Whenever I was starting on a tour he would send me wonderful hampers put
up by Delmonico, with the most delicious things to eat imaginable in
them, so that my mother and I never suffered, at least for the first day
or two, from the inconveniences of the bad food usually experienced by
travellers. A very nice fellow was Wright Sandford in many ways, and to
this day I am appreciative of the Delmonico luncheons if of nothing
else.

When we were _en route_ for Boston on that first tour,--a long trip
then, eight or nine hours at least by the fast trains--there sat close
to us in the car a little woman who watched me all the time and smiled
whenever I glanced at her. I noticed that she had no luncheon with her,
so when we opened our Delmonico hamper, I leaned across and asked her to
join us. I do not exactly know why I did it for I was not in the habit
of making friends with our fellow-travellers; but the little person
appealed to me somehow in addition to her being lunchless. She was the
most pleased creature imaginable! She nibbled a little, smiled, spoke
hardly a word, and after lunch I forgot all about her.

In Boston, as I was in my room in the hotel practising, before going to
the theatre, there came a faint rap on the door. I called out "Come in,"
yet nobody came. I began to practise again and again came a little rap.
"Come in," I called a second time, yet still nothing happened. After a
third rap I went and opened the door. In the dark hall stood a woman. I
did not remember ever having seen her before; but I could hardly
distinguish her features in the passage.

"I've come," said she in a soft, small voice, "to ask you if you would
please kiss me?"

Of course I complied. Needless to say, I thought her quite crazy. After
I had kissed her cheek she nodded and vanished into the darkness while
I, much mystified, went back to my singing. That night at the theatre I
saw a small person sitting in the front row, smiling up at me. Her face
this time was somewhat familiar and I said to myself, "I do believe
that's the little woman who had lunch with us on the train!" and
then--"I wonder--_could_ it also be the crazy woman who wanted me to
kiss her?"

During our week's engagement in Boston we were confronted with a
dilemma. Max Strakosch came to me much upset.

"What are we going to do in Providence--the only decent hotel in the
town has burned down," he said. "You'll have to stop with friends."

"I haven't any friends in Providence," I replied.

"Well, you'll have to get some," he declared. "There's no hotel where
you could possibly stay and we can't cancel your engagement. The houses
are sold out."

Presently a cousin of mine, acting as my agent on these trips, came and
told me that a man had called on him at the theatre whose wife wished to
"entertain" Miss Kellogg while she was in Providence!

The idea appalled me and I flatly refused to accept this extraordinary
invitation; but those two men simply forced me into it. Strakosch,
indeed, regarded the incident as a clear dispensation from heaven.
"Nothing could be more fortunate," he said, "never mind who they are,
you go and stay with them anyway. You've wonderful business waiting for
you in Providence."

Well--I went. Yet I felt very guilty about accepting a hospitality that
would have to be stretched so far. It was no joke to have me for a
guest. I knew well that we would be a burden on any household,
especially if it were a modest one. When I was singing I had to have
dinner at half-past four at the latest; I could not be disturbed by
anything in the morning and, besides, it meant three beds--for mother,
myself, and maid. In Providence we arrived at a tiny house at the door
of which I was met by the little woman of the train who was, as I had
surmised, the same one who had wanted me to kiss her. Supper was served
immediately. Everything was immaculate and dainty and delicious. Our
hostess had remembered some of the contents of the Delmonico hamper that
I had especially liked and had cooked them herself, perfectly.

She made me promise never to stay anywhere else than with her when I was
in Providence and I never have. In all, throughout the many years that
have intervened between then and now, I must have visited her more than
twenty times. During this period I have been privileged to watch the
most extraordinary development that could be imagined by any
psychologist. When I first stopped with her there was not a book in the
house. While everything was exquisitely clean and well kept, it was
absolutely primitive. On my second visit I found linen sheets upon the
beds and the soap and perfume that I liked were ready for me on the
dressing-table. She studied my "ways" and every time I came back there
was some new and flattering indication of the fact. Have I mentioned her
name? It was Martin, Mrs. Martin, and her husband was conductor on what
was called the "Millionaire's Train" that ran between Boston and
Providence. I saw very little of him, but he was a nice, shy man, much
respected in his business connection. He was "Hezzy" and she was
"Lizy"--short for Hezekiah and Eliza. They were a genuinely devoted
couple in their quiet way although he always stood a trifle in awe of
his wife's friends. She was about ten years older than I and had a
really marvellous gift for growing and improving. After a while they
left the first house and moved into one a little larger and much more
comfortable. They had a library and she began to gather a small circle
of musical friends about her. Her knowledge of music was oddly
photographic. She would bring me a sheet of music and say:

"Please play this part--here; this is the nice part!" But she was, and
is, a fine critic. Some big singers are glad to have her approval. As in
music so it was with books--the little woman's taste was instinctive but
unerring. She has often brought me a book of poetry, pointed out the
best thing in it, and said in her soft way:

"Don't you think this is nice? I _do_ think it is _so_ nice! It's a
lovely poem."

There was a young telegraph operator in Providence who had a voice. His
name was Jules Jordan. Mrs. Martin took him into her house and
practically brought him up. He, too, began to grow and develop and is
now the head of the Arion Society, the big musical association of
Providence that has some of the biggest singers in the country in its
concerts. Mrs. Martin entertains Jules Jordan's artistic friends and
goes to the concert rehearsals and says whether they are good or not.
She knows, too. "I am called the 'Singers'' friend," she said to me not
very long ago. She criticises the orchestra and chorus as well as the
solos, and she is right every time. I consider her one of the finest
critics I know. As for the professional critics, she is acquainted with
them all and they have a very genuine respect for her judgment. She is
the sort of person who is called "queer." Most real characters are. If
she does not like one, the recipient of her opinion is usually fully
aware of what that opinion is. She has no social idea at all, nor any
toleration for it. This constitutes one point in which her development
is so remarkable. Most women who "make themselves" acquire, first of
all, the social graces and veneer, the artificiality in surface matters
that will enable them to pass muster in the "great world." She has
allowed her evolution to go along different lines. She has really grown,
not in accomplishments but in accomplishment; not in manners but in grey
matter. Indeed, I hardly know how to find words with which to speak of
Mrs. Martin for I think her such a wonderful person; I respect and care
for her so much that I find myself dumb when I try to pay her a tribute.
If I have dared to speak of her humble beginnings in the first little
house it is because it seems to me that only so can I really do her
justice as she is to-day. She is a living monument of what a woman can
do with herself unaided, save by the force and the aspiration that is in
her. Meeting her was one of the most valuable incidents that happened to
me in the year of my home-coming.

It seems as if I spent most of my time in those days being photographed.
Likenesses were stiff and unnatural; and I am inclined to believe that
the picture of me that has always been the best known--the one leaning
on my hand--marked a new epoch in photography. I had been posing a great
deal the day that was taken and was dead tired. There had been much
arranging; many attempts to obtain "artistic effects." Finally, I went
off into a corner and sat down, leaning my head on my hand, while the
photographer put new plates in his camera. Suddenly he happened to look
in my direction and exclaimed:

"By Jove--if I could only--I'm going to try it anyway!" Then he shouted,
"Don't move, please!" and took me just as I was. He was very doubtful as
to the result for it was a new departure in photography; but the attempt
was very successful, and other photographers began to try for the same
natural and easy effect. Another time I happened to have a handkerchief
in my lap that threw a white reflection on my face, and the photographer
discovered from it the value of large light-coloured surfaces to deflect
the light where it was needed. This, too, I consider, was an unconscious
factor in the introduction of natural effects into photography. I never,
however, took a satisfactory picture. People who depend on expression
and animation for their looks never do. My likenesses never looked the
way I really did--except, perhaps, one that a photographer once caught
while I was talking about Duse, explaining how much more I admired her
than I did Bernhardt.

In those concert and oratorio years I remember very few pleasurable
appearances: but unquestionably one of the few was on June 15th, when
the Beethoven Jubilee was held and I was asked to sing as alternative
_prima donna_ with Parepa Rosa. Although I had done well in the Crystal
Palace, I was not a singer who was generally supposed nor expected to
fill so large a place as the American Institute Colosseum on Third
Avenue, and many people prophesied that I could not be satisfactorily
heard there. I asked my friends to go to different parts of the house
and to tell me if my voice sounded well. Even some of my friends out in
front, though, did not expect to hear me to advantage. But, contrary to
what we all feared, my voice proved to have a carrying quality that had
never before been adequately recognised. The affair was a great success.
Parepa Rosa did not, as a matter of fact, have quite so big a voice as
she was usually credited with having. She had power only to _G_. Above
the staff it was a mixed voice. She could diminish to an exquisite
quality, but she could not reinforce with any particular volume or
vibration.

There was another occasion that I remember with a deep sense of its
impressiveness:--that of the funeral of Horace Greeley, at which I sang.
I knew Horace Greeley personally and recall many interesting things
about him; but, naturally perhaps, what stands out in my memory is the
fact that, a few days before he died, he came to hear me sing Handel's
_Messiah_, being, as he said afterwards, particularly touched and
impressed by my rendering of _I know that my Redeemer liveth_. When he
came to die, the last words that he said were those, whispered faintly,
as if they still echoed in his heart. It may have been because of this
fact that it was I who was asked to sing at his funeral.

On my return from abroad I was, of course, wearing only foreign clothes
and, as a consequence, found myself the embarrassed centre of much
curiosity. American women were still children in the art of dressing. At
one time I was probably the only woman in America who wore silk
stockings and long gloves. People could not accustom themselves to my
Parisian fashions. In Saratoga one dear man, whom I knew very well, came
to me much distressed and whispered that my dress was fastened crooked.
I had the greatest difficulty in convincing him that it was made that
way and that the crookedness was the latest French touch. A recent
fashion was that humped-up effect that gave the wearer the attitude then
known and reviled as the "Grecian Bend." It was made famous by
caricatures and jokes in the funny papers of the time, but I, being a
new-comer so to speak, was not aware of its newspaper notoriety.
Conceive my injured feelings when the small boys in the street ran after
me in gangs shouting "Grecian Bend! Grecian Bend!"

Another point that hurt the delicate sensibilities of the concert-going
American public was the fact that at evening concerts I wore low-necked
gowns. On the other side the custom of wearing a dress that was cut down
for any and every appearance after dark, was invariable, and it took me
some time to grasp the cause of the sensation with my modestly
_décolleté_ frocks. People, further, found my ease effrontery, and my
carriage, acquired after years of effort, "putting on airs." In spite of
the cordiality of my welcome home, therefore, I had many critics who
were not particularly kind. Although one woman did write, "who ever saw
more simplicity on the stage?" there were plenty of the others who said,
"Clara Louise Kellogg has become 'stuck up' during her sojourn abroad."
As for my innocent desire to be properly and becomingly clothed, it
gave rise to comments that were intended to be quite scathing, if I had
only taken sufficient notice of them to think of them ten minutes after
they had reached my ears. That year there was put on the millinery
market a "Clara Louise" bonnet, by the way, that was supposed to be a
great compliment to me, but that I am afraid I would not have been seen
wearing at any price!

In this connection one champion arose in my defence, however, whose
efforts on my behalf must not be overlooked. He was an Ohio journalist,
and his love of justice was far greater than his knowledge of the French
language. Seeing in some review that Miss Kellogg had "a larger
_répertoire_ than any living _prima donna_," this chivalrous writer
rushed into print as follows:

     We do not of course know how Miss Kellogg was dressed in other
     cities, but upon the occasion of her last performance here we are
     positively certain that her _répertoire_ did not seem to extend out
     so far as either Nilsson's or Patti's. It may have been that her
     overskirt was cut too narrow to permit of its being gathered into
     such a lump behind, or it may have been that it had been crushed
     down accidentally, but the fact remains that both of Miss Kellogg's
     rivals wore _répertoires_ of a much more extravagant size--very
     much to their discredit, we think ...



CHAPTER XX

"YOUR SINCERE ADMIRER"


A man whose name I never learned dropped a big, fragrant bunch of
violets at my feet each night for weeks. Becoming discouraged after a
while because I did not seek him out in his gallery seat, he sent me a
note begging for a glance and adding, for identification, this
illuminating point: "_You'll know me by my boots hanging over!_"

Who could disregard such an appeal? That night my eyes searched the
balconies feverishly. He had not vainly raised my hopes; his boots
_were_ hanging over, large boots, that looked as if they had seen
considerable service. I sang my best to those boots and--dear man!--the
violets fell as sweetly as before. I have conjured up a charming
portrait of this individual, with a soul high enough to love music and
violets and simple enough not to be ashamed of his boots. Would that all
"sincere admirers" might be of such an ingenuous and engaging a pattern.

The variety of "admirers" that are the lot of a person on the stage is
extraordinary. It is very difficult for the stage persons themselves to
understand it. It has never seemed to me that actors as a class are
particularly interesting. Personally I have always been too cognisant of
the personalities behind the scenes to ever have any theatrical idols;
but to a great many there is something absolutely fascinating about the
stage and stage folk. The actor appears to the audience in a perpetual,
hazy, calcium glory. We are, one and all, children with an inherent love
for fairy tales and it is probably this love which is in a great measure
accountable for the blind adoration received by most stage people.

I have received, I imagine, the usual number of letters from "your
sincere admirer," some of them funny and some of them rather pathetic.
Very few of them were really impertinent or offensive. In nearly all was
to be found the same touching devotion to an abstract ideal for which,
for the moment, I chanced to be cast. Once in a while there was some one
who, like a person who signed himself "Faust," insisted that I had "met
his eyes" and "encouraged him from afar." Needless to say I had never in
my life seen him; but he worked himself into quite a fever of resentment
on the subject and wrote me several letters. There was also a man who
wrote me several perfectly respectful, but ardent, love letters to
which, naturally, I did not respond. Then, finally, he bombarded me with
another type of screed of which the following is a specimen:

"Oh, for Heaven's sake, say something,--if it is only to rate me for my
importunities or to tell me to go about my business! Anything but this
contemptuous silence!"

But these were exceptions. Most of my "admirers'" letters are gems of
either humour or of sentiment. Among my treasures is an epistle that
begins:

     "Miss Clara Louise Kellogg

     Miss:

     Before to expand my feelings, before to make you known the real
     intent of this note, in fine before to disclose the secrets of my
     heart, I will pray you to pardon my indiscretion (if indiscretion
     that can be called) to address you unacquainted," etc.

Isn't this a masterpiece?

There was also an absurdly conceited man who wrote me one letter a year
for several years, always in the same vein. He was evidently a very
pious youth and had "gotten religion" rather badly, for in every epistle
he broke into exhortation and urged me fervently to become a "real
Christian," painting for me the joys of true religion if I once could
manage to "find it." In one of his later letters--after assuring me that
he had prayed for me night and morning for three years and would
continue to do so--he ended in this impressive manner:

     " ...And if, in God's mercy, we are both permitted to walk 'the
     Golden Streets,' I shall there seek you out and give you more fully
     my reasons for writing you."

Could anything be more entertaining than this naïve fashion of making a
date in Heaven?

Not all my letters were love letters. Sometimes I would receive a few
words from some woman unknown to me but full of a sweet and
understanding friendliness. Mrs. Elizabeth Tilton, then the centre of
the stage scandal through her friendship with Henry Ward Beecher, wrote
me a charming letter that ended with what struck me as a very pathetic
touch:

     "I am unwilling to be known by you as the defiant, discontented
     woman of the age--rather, as an humble helper of those less
     fortunate than myself----"

I never knew Mrs. Tilton personally, but have often felt that I should
have liked her. One of the dearest communications I ever received was
from a French working girl, a corset maker, I believe. She wrote:

     "I am but a poor little girl, Mademoiselle, a toiler in the sphere
     where you reign a queen, but ever since I was a very little child I
     have gone to listen to your voice whenever you have deigned to sing
     in New York. Those magic tone-flowers, scattering their perfumed
     sweetness on the waiting air, made my child heart throb with a
     wonderful pulsation...."

One of the favourite jests of the critics was my obduracy in matters of
sentiment. It was said that I would always have emotional limitations
because I had no love affairs like other _prime donne_. Once, when I
gave some advice to a young girl to "keep your eyes fixed upon your
artistic future," or some such similar phrase, the press had a good deal
of fun at my expense. "That" it was declared, "was exactly what was the
matter with Clara Louise; she kept her eyes fixed upon an artistic
future instead of upon some man who was in love with her!" I was rather
a good shot, very fond of target shooting, and many jokes were also made
on the supposed damage I did. One newspaper man put it rather more
aptly. "Not only in pistol shooting," he said, "but in everything she
aims at, our _prima donna_ is sure to hit the mark."

My "sincere admirers" were from all parts of the house, but I think I
found the "gallery" ones most sincere and, certainly, the most amusing.
Max Maretzek used to say that he had no manner of use for an artist
unless she could fill the family circle. I am glad to be able to record
that I always could. My singing usually appealed to the people. _The
Police Gazette_ always gave me good notices! I love the family circle.
As a rule the appreciation there is greater because of the sacrifices
which they have had to make to buy their seats. When people can go to
hear good music every night, they do not care nearly so much about doing
it.

I wonder if anybody besides singers get such an extraordinary sense of
contact and connection with members of their audiences? I have sometimes
felt as if thought waves, reaching through the space between, held me
fast to some of those who heard me sing. Who knows what sympathies, what
comprehensions, what exquisite friendships, were blossoming out there in
the dark house like a garden, waiting to be gathered? Letters--not
necessarily love letters--rather, stray messages of appreciation and
understanding--have brought me a similar sense of joy and of safe
intimacy. After the receipt of any such, I have sung with the pleasant
sense that a new friend--yes, friend, not auditor--was listening. I have
suddenly felt at home in the big theatre; and often, very often, have I
looked eagerly over the banked hosts of faces, asking myself wistfully
which were the strangers and which mine own people.

It was not only in the theatre that I found "admirers." My vacations
were beset with those who wanted to look at and speak to a genuine
_prima donna_ at close range. Indeed, I had frequently to protect myself
from perfectly strange and intrusive people. Often I have gone to
Saratoga during the season. Saratoga was a fashionable resort in those
days and I always had a good audience. One incident that I remember of
Saratoga was a detestable train that invariably came along in the middle
of my performance--the evening train from New York. I always had to stop
whatever I was singing and wait for it to go by. One night I thought I
would cheat it and timed my song a little earlier so that I would be
through before the train arrived. It just beat me by a bar; and I could
hear it steaming nearer and nearing as I hurried on. As I came to the
end there was a loud whistle from the locomotive;--but, for once, luck
was on my side, for it was pitched in harmony with my final note! The
coincidence was warmly applauded.

When on the road I not infrequently practised with my banjo at hotels.
It was more practicable to carry about than a piano and, besides, it was
not always an easy matter to hire a good piano. One time--also in
Saratoga--I was playing that instrument preparatory to beginning my
morning practice, when an old gentleman who had a room on the same
floor, descended to the office in a fine temper. He was a long, slim,
wiry old fellow, with a high, black satin stock about his bony neck,
very few hairs on his little round head, deep sunken eyes, pinched
features, and an extremely nervous manner.

"See here," he burst out in a cracked voice, as he danced about on the
marble tiling of the office floor, "have you a band of nigger minstrels
in the house, eh! Zounds, sir, there's an infernal banjo tum, tum,
tumming in my ears every morning and I can't sleep. Drat banjoes--I hate
'em. And nigger minstrels--I hate 'em too. You must move me, sir, move
me at once. That banjo'll set me crazy. Move me at once, d'ye hear?--or
I'll leave the house!"

"Why, sir," said the clerk suavely, "that banjo player is not a nigger
minstrel, at all, sir, but Miss Clara Louise Kellogg, who uses a banjo
to practise with."

The hard lines in the old fellow's face relaxed, he looked sharply at
the clerk and, leaning over the counter, remarked:

"What, Clara Louise Kellogg! W--why, I'll go up and listen! Zounds, man,
she's my particular favourite. She's charmed me with her sweet voice
many a time. D---- n it, give her another banjo! Tell her to play all
day if she wants to! Clara Louise Kellogg, eh? H'm, well, well!"

He tottered off and, as I observed, after that so long as I stayed left
the door of his room open down the hall so that he could hear my "tum,
tum, tumming."

A very different, though equally ingenuous tribute to my powers was that
given by an old Indian trapper who, when in Chicago to sell his hides,
went to hear me sing and expressed his emotions to a newspaper man of
that city in approximately the following language:

     I have heard most of the sweet and terrible noises that natives
     make. I have heard the thunder among the Hills when the Lord was
     knocking against the earth until it passed; and I have heard the
     wind in the pines and the waves on the beaches, when the darkness
     of night was in the woods, and nature was singing her Evening Song
     and there was no bird nor beast the Lord has made, and I have not
     heard a voice that would make as sweet a noise as nature makes when
     the Spirit of the Universe speaks through the stillness; but that
     sweet lady has made sounds to-night sweeter than my ears have heard
     on hill or lake shore at noon, or in the night season, and I
     certainly believe that the Spirit of the Lord has been with her and
     given her the power to make such sweet sounds. A man might like to
     have these sweet sounds in his ears when his body lies in his cabin
     and his spirit is standing on the edge of the great clearing. I
     wish she could sing for me when my eyes grow dim and my feet strike
     the trail that no man strikes but once, nor travels both ways.

Surely among my friends, if not among my "sincere admirers," I may
include Okakura, who came over here with the late John La Farge as an
envoy from the Japanese Government to study the art of this country as
well as that of Europe. His dream was to found some sort of institution
in Japan for the preservation and development of his country's old,
national ideals in art. His criticisms of Raphael and Titian, by the
way, were something extraordinary. As for music, he had a marvellous
sense for it. La Farge took him to a Thomas Concert and he was vastly
impressed by the music of Beethoven. One might have thought that he had
listened to Occidental classics all his life. But, for that matter, I
know two little Japanese airs that Davidson of London told me might well
have been written by Beethoven himself; so it may be that there is an
obscure bond of sympathy, which our less acute ears would not always
recognise, between our great master and the composers of Okakura's
native land.

Okakura was only twenty-six when I first met him at Richard Watson
Gilder's studio in New York, but he was already a professor and spoke
perfect English and knew all our best literature. When Munkacsy, the
Hungarian painter, came over, his colleague, Francis Korbay, the
musician, gave him an evening reception, and I took my Japanese friend.
It was a charming evening and Okakura was the success of the reception.
When he started being introduced he was nothing but a professor. Before
he had gone the rounds he had become an Asiatic prince and millionaire.
He had the "grand manner" and wore gorgeous clothes on formal occasions.

Some years later I called on his wife in Tokio. I considered this was
the polite thing for me to do although Okakura himself was in Osaka at
the time. Okakura had an art school in Tokio, kept up with the aid of
the Government, where he was trying to fulfil his old ambition of
preserving the individuality of his own people's work and of driving out
Occidental encroachments. At the school, where we had gone with a guide
who could serve also as interpreter, I asked for Madame. My request to
see her was met with consternation. I was asking a great deal--how much,
I did not realise until afterwards. Before I could enter, I was
requested to take off my shoes. This I considered impossible as I was
wearing high-laced boots. Furthermore, we were having winter weather,
very cold and raw, and nothing was offered me to put on in their place,
as the Japanese custom is at the entrances of the temples. My refusal to
remove my shoes halted proceedings for a while; but, eventually, I was
led around to a side porch where I could sit on a _chair_ (I was amazed
at their having such a thing) and speak with the occupants of the house
as they knelt inside on their heels. The _shoji_, or bamboo and paper
screen, was pushed back, revealing an interior wonderfully clever in its
simplicity. The furniture consisted of a beautiful brassier and two rare
kakamonos on the wall--nothing more.

In came Madame Okakura in a grey kimono and bare feet. Down she went on
her knees and saluted me in the prettiest fashion imaginable. We talked
through the interpreter until her daughter entered, who spoke to me in
bad, limited French. The daughter was an unattractive girl, with an
artificially reddened mouth, but I thought the mother charming, like a
most exquisite Parisienne masquerading as a "Japanese Lady."

Not long after my visit I saw Okakura himself and told him how much I
had enjoyed seeing his wife. He gave me an annoyed glance and remained
silent. I was nonplussed and somewhat mortified. I could not understand
what could be the trouble, for he acted as if his honour were offended.
In time I learned that the unpardonable breach of good form in Japan was
to mention his wife to a Japanese!

So graceful, so delicate in both expression and feeling are the letters
that I have received from Okakura, that I cannot resist my inclination
to include them in this chapter,--although, possibly, they are somewhat
too personal. On January 4, 1887, he wrote:

     /* MY DEAR MISS KELLOGG: */

     France lies three nights ahead of us. The returning clouds still
     seek the western shore and the ocean rolls back my dreams to you.
     Your music lives in my soul. I carry away America in your voice;
     and what better token can your nation offer? But praises to the
     great sound like flattery, and praises to the beautiful sound like
     love. To you they must both be tiresome. I shall refrain. You
     allude to the Eastern Lights. Alas, the Lamp of Love flickers and
     Night is on the plains of Osaka. There are lingering lights on the
     crown of the Himalayas, on the edges of the Kowrous, among the
     peaks of Hira and Kora. But what do they care for the twilight of
     the Valley? They stand like the ocean moon, regardless of the
     tempest below. Seek the light in the mansion of your own soul. Are
     you not yourself the _Spirit Nightingale of the West_? Are you not
     crying for the moon in union with your Emersons and
     Longfellows--with your La Farges and your Gilders? Or am I
     mistaken? I enclose my picture and submit the translation of the
     few lines on the back to your _axe of anger and the benevolence of
     your criticism_ as we say at home. I need a great deal of your
     benevolence and deserve more of your anger, as the lines sound so
     poor in the English. However they do not appear very grand in the
     original and so I submit them to your guillotine with a free
     conscience. The lines are different from the former, for I forget
     them--or care not to repeat.

     Will you kindly convey my best regards to Mrs. Gilder, for I owe so
     much to her, to say nothing of your friendship! Will you also
     condescend to write to me at your leisure?

            *       *       *       *       *

     (_Translation_:--One star floats into the ocean of Night. Past the
     back of Taurus, away among the Pleiades, whither dost thou go?
     Sadly I watch them all. My soul wanders after them into the
     infinite. Shall my soul return, or--never?)

     VIENNA, March 4, 1887.

     MY DEAR MISS KELLOGG:

     The home of a traveller is in his sweet memories. Under the shadow
     of Vesuvius and on the waters of Leman my thoughts were always for
     America, which you and your friends have made so pleasant to me.
     Pardon me therefore if my pen again turns toward you. How kind of
     you to remember me! Your letter reached me here last night and I
     regret that I did not stay longer in Paris to receive it sooner.
     Will you not favour me by writing again?

     Europe is an enigma--often a source of sadness to me. The forces
     that developed her are tearing her asunder. Is it because all
     civilisations are destined to have their days and nights of Brahma?
     Or was the principle that organised the European nations itself a
     false one? Did they grasp the moon in the waters and at last
     disturb the image? I know not. I only feel that the Spirit of
     Unrest is standing beside me. War is coming and must come, sooner
     or later. Conflicting opinions chase each other across the
     continent as if the demons fought in the air before the battle of
     men began. The policy of maintaining peace by increasing the
     armies is absurd. It is indeed a sad state of things to make such a
     sophism necessary. I am getting tired of this, though there is some
     consolation that there are more fools in the world than the
     Oriental.

     I have been rather disappointed in the French music. Perhaps I am
     too much prejudiced by _The Persian Serenade_ to appreciate
     anything else. The acting was artificial and there was no voice
     which had anything of the Spirit Nightingale in it. You once told
     me that you intended to cross the Atlantic this summer. When? My
     dreams are impatient of your arrival. May you come soon and correct
     my one-sided impression of Europe!

     I am going to Rome after two or three weeks' stay in this place.
     That city interests me deeply, as yet the spiritual centre of the
     West, whose voice still influences the politics of Central Europe.
     In May I shall be at the Paris Salon and cross over to London in
     the early part of June.

     It snows every day in Vienna and I spend my time mostly with the
     old doctors of the University. Their talks on philosophy and
     science are indeed interesting, but somehow or other I don't feel
     the delight I had in your society in New York. Why?

     July 12, 1887.

     MY DEAR MISS KELLOGG:

     I am very glad to hear that you are in Europe. My duties in London
     end this week and I have decided to start for Munich next morning,
     thence to Dresden and Berlin. I am thus looking forward to the
     great pleasure of meeting you again and gathering fragrance from
     your conversation. Mrs. Gilder wrote to me that you were not quite
     well since your tour in the West and my anxiety mingles with my
     hopes. The atmosphere of English civilisation weighs heavily on me
     and I am longing to be away. It seems that civilisation does not
     agree with a member of an Eastern barbaric tribe. My conception of
     music has been gradually changing. The Ninth Symphony has
     revolutionised it. Where is the future of music to be?

     Many questions crowd on me and I am impatient to lay them before
     you at Carlsbad. Will you allow me to do so?

     BERLIN. KAISERHAUF, July 24th.

     MY DEAR MISS KELLOGG:

     The Spirit of Unrest chases me northward. Dresden glided dimly
     before me. Holbein was a disappointment. The Sistine Madonna was
     divine beyond my expectation. I saw Raphael in his purity and was
     delighted. None of his pictures is so inspired as this. Still my
     thoughts wandered amid these grand creations. They flitted past in
     a shower of colours and shadows and I have drifted hither through
     the hazy forests of Heine and the troubled grey of Millet's
     twilight....

     To me your friendship is the boat that bears me proudly home. I
     wait with pleasure any line you may send me there. Wishing every
     good to you, I remain yours respectfully.

     KAISERHAUF, July 28th, 1887.

     MY DEAR MISS KELLOGG:

     Ten thousand thanks for your kind letter. My address in Japan is
     Monbusho, Tokio, and if you will write to me there I shall be so
     happy! The task which I have imposed upon myself--the preserving of
     historical continuity and internal development, etc.,--has to work
     very slowly. I must be patient and cautious. Still I shall be
     delighted to confide to you from time to time how I am getting on
     with my dream if you will allow me to do so. You say that you have
     a hope of finding what you long for in Buddhism. Surely your lotus
     must be opening to the dawn. European philosophy has reached to a
     point where no advance is possible except through mysticism. Yet
     they ignore the hidden truths on limited scientific grounds. The
     Berlin University has thus been forced to return to Kant and begin
     afresh. They have destroyed but have no power to construct, and
     they never will if they refuse to _see_ more into themselves....

     Hoping you the best and the brightest, I am

      Yours faithfully,

      OKAKURA KAKUDZO.


And so I come to one of all these who was really a "sincere admirer,"
and a faithful lover, although I never knew him. It is a difficult
incident to write of, for I feel that it holds some of the deepest
elements of sentiment and of tragedy with which I ever came in touch.

I was singing in Boston when a man sent me a message saying that he was
connected with a newspaper and had something of great importance about
which he wanted to see me. He furthermore said that he wished to see me
alone. It was an extraordinary request and, at first, I refused. I
suspected a subterfuge--a wager, or something humiliating of that sort.
But he persisted, sending yet another message to the effect that he had
something to communicate to me which was of an essentially personal
nature. Finally I consented to grant him the interview and, as he had
requested, I saw him alone.

He was just back from the front where he had been war correspondent
during the heart of the Civil War, and he told me that he had a letter
to give to me from a soldier in his division who had been shot. The
soldier was mortally wounded when the reporter found him. He was lying
at the foot of a tree at the point of death, and the correspondent asked
if he could take any last messages for him to friends or relatives. The
soldier asked him to write down a message to take to a woman whom he had
loved for four years, but who did not know of his love.

"Tell her," he said, speaking with great difficulty, "that I would not
try even to meet her; but that I have loved her, before God, as well as
any man ever loved a woman." He asked the reporter to feel inside his
uniform for the woman's picture. "It is Miss Kellogg," he added, just
before he died. "You--don't think that she will be offended if I send
her this message--now--do you?"

He asked the correspondent to draw his sabre and cut off a lock of hair
to send to me, and the reporter wrote down the message on the only
scraps of paper at his disposal--torn bits scribbled over with reports
of the enemy's movements, and the names of other dead soldiers whose
people must be notified when the battle was over. And then the
soldier--my soldier--died; and the correspondent left him the picture
and came away.

The scribbled message and the lock of hair he put into my hands, saying:

"He was very much worried lest you would think him presumptuous. I told
him that I was sure you would not."

I was weeping as he spoke, and so he left me.



CHAPTER XXI

ON THE ROAD


Oh, those first tours! Not only was it exceedingly uncomfortable to
travel in the South and West at that time, but it was decidedly risky as
well. Highway robberies were numerous and, although I myself never
happened to suffer at the hands of any desperadoes, I have often heard
first-hand accounts from persons who had been robbed of everything they
were carrying. While I was touring in Missouri, Jesse James and his men
were operating in the same region and the celebrated highway man himself
was once in the train with me. I slipped quietly through to catch a
glimpse of him in the smoking-car. Two of his "aides" were with him and,
although they were behaving themselves peacefully enough for the time
being, I think that most of the passengers were willing to give them a
wide berth. During one concert trip of our company I saw something of a
situation which might have developed dramatically. There was a "three
card monte" gang working on the train. One of their number pretended to
be a farmer and entirely innocent, so as to lure victims into the game.
I saw this particularly tough-looking individual disappear into the
toilet room and come out made up as the farmer. It was like a play. I
also saw him finger a pistol that he was carrying in his right hip
pocket: and I experienced a somewhat blood-thirsty desire that there
might be a genuine excitement in store for us, but the alarm spread and
nobody was snared that trip.

As there were frequently no through trains on Sundays, we had sometimes
to have special trains. I never quite understood the idea of not having
through trains on Sundays, for surely other travellers besides
unfortunate singers need occasionally to take journeys on the Sabbath.
But so it was. And once our "special" ran plump into a big strike of
locomotive engineers at Dayton, Ohio. Our engine driver was held up by
the strikers bivouacked in the railroad yards and we were stalled there
for hours. At last an engineer from the East was found who consented to
take our train through and there was much excitement while he was being
armed with a couple of revolvers and plenty of ammunition, for the
strikers had threatened to shoot down any "scab" who attempted to break
the strike. We were all ordered to get down on the floor of the car to
avoid the stones that might be thrown through the windows when we
started; and when the train began to move slowly our situation was
decidedly trying. We could hear a hail of shots being fired, as the
engine gathered speed, but our volunteer engineer knew his business and
had been authorised to drive the engine at top speed to get us out of
the trouble, so soon the noise of shooting and the general uproar were
left behind. The plucky strike-breaker was barely grazed, but I,
personally, never cared to come any closer to lawlessness than I was
then.

There were some bright spots on these disagreeable journeys. One day as
I was coming out of a hall in Duluth where I had been rehearsing for the
concert we were giving that evening, I ran into a man I knew, an
Englishman whom I had not seen since I was in London.

"There!" he exclaimed, "I knew it was you!"

"Did you see the advertisement?" I asked.

"No," he returned, "I'm just off the yacht that's lying out there in the
Lake. I'm out looking into some mining interests, you know. I heard your
voice from the boat and I knew it must be you, so I thought I'd take a
run on shore and look you up."

But such pleasant experiences were the exception. The South in general
was in a particularly blind and dull condition just then. The people
could not conceive of any amusement that was not intended literally to
"amuse." They felt it incumbent to laugh at everything. My _cheval de
bataille_ was the Polonaise from _Mignon_, at the end of which I had
introduced some chromatic trills. It is a wonderful piece and required a
great deal of genuine technique to master. A portion of the house would
appreciate it, of course, but on one occasion a detestable young couple
thought the trills were intended to be humorous. Whenever I sang a trill
they would poke each other in the ribs and giggle and, when there was a
series of the chromatic trills, they nearly burst. The chromatics
introduced by me were never written. They went like this:

[Illustration: Musical notation.]

One disapproving unit in an audience can spoil a whole evening for a
singer. I recall one concert when I was obsessed by a man in the front
row. He would not even look at me. Possibly he considered that I was a
spoiled creature and he did not wish to aid and abet the spoiling, or,
perhaps, he was really bored and disgusted. At any rate, he kept his
eyes fixed on a point high over my head and not with a beatific
expression, either. He clearly did not think much of my work. Well--I
sang my whole programme to that one man. And I was a failure. Charmed I
ever so wisely, I could not really move him. But I _did_ make him
uncomfortable! He wriggled and sat sidewise and clearly was uneasy. He
must have felt that I was trying to win him over in spite of himself. I
sometimes wonder if other singers do the same with obdurate auditors?
Surely they must, for it is a sort of fetish of the profession that
there is always one person present who is by far the most difficult to
charm. In that clever play _The Concert_ the pianist tells the young
woman in love with him that he was first interested in her when he saw
her in the audience because she did not cry. He played his best in order
to moisten her eyes and, when he saw a tear roll down her cheek, he knew
that he had triumphed as an artist. Our audiences were frequently inert
and indiscriminating. One night an usher brought me a programme from
some one in the audience with a suggestion scribbled on the margin:

"Can't you sing something devilish for a change?"

I believe they really wanted a song and dance, or a tight-rope
exhibition. We had a baritone who sang well "The Evening Star" from
_Tannhauser_ and his performance frequently ended in a chill silence
with a bit of half-hearted clapping. He had a sense of humour and he
used to come off the stage and say:

"That didn't go very well! Do you think I'd better do my bicycle act
next?"

[Illustration: 

Clara Louise Kellogg as Carmen

From a photograph] Times change and standards with them. The towns where they yearned for bicycle acts and "something devilish" are to-day centres of musical taste and cultivation. I never think of the change of standards without being reminded of an old tale of my father's which is curious in itself, although I cannot vouch for it nor verify it. He said that somewhere in Germany there was a bell in a church tower which, when it was first hung, many years before, was pitched in the key of _C_ and which was found to ring, in the nineteenth century, according to our present pitch, at about our _B_ flat. The musical scientists said that the change was not in the bell but in our own standard of pitch, which had been gradually raised by the manufacturers of pianos who pitched them higher and higher to get a more brilliant tone. My throat was very sensitive in those days. I took cold easily and used, besides, to be subject to severe nervous headaches. Yet I always managed to sing. Indeed, I have never had much sympathy with capricious _prime donne_ who consider themselves and their own physical feelings before their obligation to the public that has paid to hear them. While, of course, in fairness to herself, a singer must somewhat consider her own interests, I do believe that she cannot be too conscientious in this connection. In _Carmen_ one night I broke my collar bone in the fall in the last act. I was still determined to do my part and went out, after it had been set, and bought material to match my costumes so that the sling the surgeon had ordered should not be noticed. And, for once fortunately, my audiences were either not exacting or not observing, for, apparently, no comment was ever made on the fact that I could not use my right arm. I could not help questioning whether my gestures were usually so wooden that an arm, more or less, was not perceptible! Our experiences in general with physicians on the road were lamentable. As a result my mother carried a regular medicine chest about with her and all of my fellow-artists used to come to her when anything was the matter with them. Another hardship that we all had to endure was the being on exhibition. It is one of the penalties of fame. Special trains were most unusual, and so were _prime donne_, and crowds used to gather on the station platforms wherever we stopped, waiting to catch a glimpse of us as we passed through. And the food! Some of our trials in regard to food--or, rather, the lack of it--were very trying. Voices are very dependent on the digestion; hence the need of, at least, eatable food, however simple it may be. On one trip we really nearly starved to death for, of course, there were no dining-cars and the train did not stop at any station long enough to forage for a square meal. Finally, in desperation, I told one of the men in the company that, if he would get some "crude material" at the next stop and bring it in, I would cook it. So he succeeded in securing a huge bundle of raw chops, a loaf of bread and some butter. There was a big stove at one end of the car and on its coals I broiled the chops, made tea and toast, and we all feasted. Indeed, it seemed a feast after ten hours with nothing at all! Another time I got off our "special" to hunt luncheon and was left behind. I raced wildly to catch the train but could not make it. After a while the company discovered that they had lost me on the way and backed up to get me. Speaking of food, I shall never forget the battle royal I once had with a hotel manager on the road in regard to my coloured maid, Eliza. She was a very nice and entirely presentable girl and he would not let her have even a cup of tea in the dining-room. We had had a long, hard journey, and she was quite as tired as the rest of us. So, when I found her still waiting after I had lunched, I made a few pertinent remarks to the effect that her presence at the table was much to be preferred to the men who had eaten there without table manners, uncouth, feeding themselves with their knives. "And what else did we have the war for!" I finally cried. How the others laughed at me. But Eliza was fed, and well fed, too. I had always to carry my own bedclothes on the Western tours. When we first started out, I did not realise the necessity, but later, I became wiser. Cleanliness has always been almost more than godliness to me. Before I would use a dressing-room I nearly always had it thoroughly swept out and sometimes cleaned and scrubbed. This all depended on the part of the country we were in. I came to know that in certain sections of the South-west I should have to have a regular house-cleaning done before I would set foot in their accommodations. I missed my bath desperately, and my piano, and all the other luxuries that have become practical necessities to civilised persons. When I could not have a state-room on a train, my maid would bring a cup of cold water to my berth before I dressed that was a poor apology for a bath, but that saved my life on many a morning after a long, stuffy night in a sleeper. The lesser hardships perhaps annoyed me most. Bad food, bad air, rough travelling, were worse than the more serious ills of fatigue and indispositions. But the worst of all was the water. One can, at a pinch, get along with poor food or with no food at all to speak of, but bad water is a much more serious matter. Even dirt is tolerable if it can be washed off afterwards. But I have seen many places where the water was less inviting than the dirt. When I first beheld Missouri water I hardly dared wash in it, much less drink it, and was appalled when it was served to me at the table. I gazed with horror at the brown liquid in my tumbler, and then said faintly to the waiter: "Can't you get me some clear water, please?" "Oh, yes," said he, "it'll be clearer, ma'am, _but it won't be near so rich_!" And all the time I was working, for, no matter what the hardships or distractions that may come an artist's way, he or she must always keep at work. Singing is something that must be worked for just as hard after it is won as during the winning process. Liszt is supposed to have said that when he missed practising one day he knew it; when he missed two days his friends knew it; on the third day the public knew it. I often rehearsed before a mirror, so that I could know whether I looked right as well as sounded right; and, _apropos_ of this, I have been much impressed by the fact that ways of rehearsing are very different and characteristic. Ellen Terry once told me that, when she had a new part to study, she generally got into a closed carriage, with the window open, and was driven about for two or three hours, working on her lines. "It is the only way I can keep my repose," she said. "I only wish I had some of Henry's repose when studying a part!" [Illustration: =Sir Henry Irving and Ellen Terry as the Vicar and Olivia= From a photograph by Window & Grove] CHAPTER XXII LONDON AGAIN After nearly three years of concert and oratorio and racketing about America on tours, it was a joy to go to England again for another season. The Peace Jubilee Association asked me to sing at their celebration in Boston that spring, but I went to London instead. The offer from the Association was a great compliment, however, and especially the wording of the resolution as communicated to me by the secretary. "Unanimously voted:--That Miss Clara Louise Kellogg, the leading _prima donna_ of America, receive the special invitation of the Executive Committee, etc." The spring season in London was well along when we arrived there and, before I had been in the city a day, I began to feel at home again. Newcastle and Dr. Quinn called almost immediately and Alfred Rothschild sent me flowers, all of which made me realize that this was really England once more and that I was among old and dear friends. I was again to sing under Mapleson's management. The new opera house, built on the site of Her Majesty's that had burned, was highly satisfactory; and he had nearly all of his old singers again--Titjiens, Nilsson, and myself among others. Patti and Lucca were still our rivals at Covent Garden; also Faure and Cotogni; and there was a pretty, young, new singer from Canada with them, Mme. Albani, who had a light, sweet voice and was attractive in appearance. Our two innovations at Her Majesty's were Marie Roze from the Paris Opera Comique--later destined to be associated with me professionally and with Mapleson personally--and Italo Campanini. Campanini was the son of a blacksmith in Italy and had worked at the forge himself for many years before going on the stage, and was the hero of the hour, for not only was his voice a very lovely one, but he was also a fine actor. It was worth while to see his Don José. People forgot that Carmen herself was in the opera. Our other tenor was Capoul, the Frenchman, Trebelli-Bettini was our leading contralto and my friend Foli--"the Irish Italian from Connecticut"--was still with us. Campanini, the idol of the town, was, like most tenors, enormously pleased with himself. To be sure, he had some reason, with his heavenly voice, his dramatic gift, and his artistic instinct; but one would like some day to meet a man gifted with a divine vocal organ and a simple spirit both, at the same time. It appears to be an impossible combination. When Mapleson told Campanini that he was to sing with me in _Lucia_ he frowned and considered the point. "An American," he muttered doubtfully. "I have never heard her--do I know that she can sing? I--Campanini--cannot sing with a _prima donna_ of whom I know nothing! Who is this Miss Kellogg anyway?" "You're quite right," said the Colonel with the most cordial air of assent. "You'd better hear her before you decide. She's singing Linda to-night. Go into the stalls and listen to her for a few moments. If you don't want to sing with her, you don't have to." That evening Campanini was on hand, ready to controvert the very idea of an American _prima donna_ daring to sing with him. After the first act he came out into the foyer and ran into the Colonel. "Well," remarked that gentleman casually, winking at Jarrett, "can she sing?" "Sing?" said Campanini solemnly, "she has the voice of a flute. It is the absolutely perfect tone. It is a--miracle!" So, after all, Campanini and I sang together that season in _Lucia_ and in other operas. While Campanini was a great artist, he was a very petty man in many ways. A little incident when Capoul was singing _Faust_ one night is illustrative. Capoul, much admired and especially in America, was intensely nervous and emotional with a quick temper. Between him and Italo Campanini a certain rivalry had been developing for some time, and, whatever may be asserted to the contrary, male singers are much bitterer rivals than women ever are. On the night I speak of, Campanini came into his box during the _Salve dimora_ and set down to listen. As Capoul sang, the Italian's face became lined with a frown of annoyance and, after a moment or two, he began to drum on the rail before him as if he could not conceal his exasperation and _ennui_. The longer Capoul sang, the louder and more irritated the tapping became until most of the audience was unkind enough to laugh just a little. Poor Capoul tried, in vain, to sing down that insistent drumming, and, when the act was over, he came behind the scenes and actually cried with rage. On what might be called my second _début_ in London, I had an ovation almost as warm as my welcome home to my native land had been three years before. I had forgotten how truly the English people were my friends until I heard the applause which greeted me as I walked onto the stage that night in _Linda di Chamouix_. Sir Michael Costa, who was conducting that year, was always an irascible and inflexible autocrat when it came to operatic rules and ideals. One of the points of observance upon which he absolutely insisted was that the opera must never be interrupted for applause. Theoretically this was perfectly correct; but nearly all good rules are made to be broken once in a while and it was quite obvious that the audience intended this occasion to be one of the times. Sir Michael went on leading his orchestra and the people in front went on clapping until the whole place became a pandemonium. The house at last, and while still applauding, began to hiss the orchestra so that, after a minute of a tug-of-war effect, Sir Michael was obliged to lay down his baton--although with a very bad grace--and let the applause storm itself out. I could see him scowling at me as I bowed and smiled and bowed again, nearly crying outright at the friendliness of my welcome. There were traitors in his own camp, too, for, as soon as the baton was lowered, half the orchestra--old friends mostly--joined in the applause! Sir Michael never before had broken through his rule; and I do not fancy he liked me any the better for being the person to force upon him this one exception. I include here a letter written to someone in America just after this performance by Bennett of _The London Telegraph_ that pleased me extremely, both for its general appreciative friendliness and because it was a _résumé_ of the English press and public regarding my former and my present appearance in England. Miss Kellogg has not been forgotten during the years which intervened, and not a few _habitués_ cherished a hope that she would be led across the Atlantic once more. She was, however, hardly expected to measure herself against the _crème-de-la-crème_ of the world's _prime donne_ with no preliminary beat of drum and blowing of trumpet, trusting solely to her own gifts and to the fairness of an English public. This she did, however, and all the English love of "pluck" was stirred to sympathy. We felt that here was a case of the real Anglo-Saxon determination, and Miss Kellogg was received in a manner which left nothing of encouragement to be desired. Defeat under such circumstances would have been honourable, but Miss Kellogg was not defeated. So far from this, she at once took a distinguished place in our galaxy of "stars"; rose more and more into favour with each representation, and ended, as Susannah in _Le Nozze di Figaro_ by carrying off the honours from the Countess of Mlle. Titjiens and the Cherubino of Mlle. Nilsson. A greater achievement than this last Miss Kellogg's ambition could not desire. It was "a feather in her cap" which she will proudly wear back to her native land as a trophy of no ordinary conflict and success. You may be curious to know the exact grounds upon which we thus honour your talented countrywoman, and in stating them I shall do better than were I to criticise performances necessarily familiar. In the first place, we recognise in Miss Kellogg an artist, and not a mere singer. People of the latter class are plentiful enough, and are easily to be distinguished by the way in which they "reel" off their task--a way brilliant, perhaps, but exciting nothing more than the admiration due to efficient mechanism. The artist, on the other hand, shows in a score of forms that he is more than a machine and that something of human feeling may be made to combine with technical correctness. Herein lies the great charm often, perhaps, unconsciously acknowledged, of Miss Kellogg's efforts. We know at once, listening to her, that she sings from the depth of a keenly sensitive artistic nature, and never did anybody do this without calling out a sympathetic response. It is not less evident that Miss Kellogg is a consummate musician--that "rare bird" on the operatic boards. Hence, her unvarying correctness; her lively appreciation of the composer in his happiest moments, and the manner in which she adapts her individual efforts to the production of his intended effects. Lastly, without dwelling upon the charm of a voice and style perfectly well known to you and ungrudgingly recognised here, we see in Miss Kellogg a dramatic artist who can form her own notion of a part and work it out after a distinctive fashion. Anyone able to do this comes with refreshing effect at a time when the lyric stage is covered with pale copies of traditionary excellence. It was refreshing, for example, to witness Miss Kellogg's Susannah, an embodiment full of realism without coarseness and _esprit_ without exaggeration. Susannahs, as a rule, try to be ladylike and interesting. Miss Kellogg's waiting-maid was just what Beaumarchais intended, and the audience recognised the truthful picture only to applaud it. For all these reasons, and for more which I have no space to name, we do honour to the American _prima donna_, so that whenever you can spare her on your side we shall be happy to welcome her on ours. It was during this season in London that Max Maretzek and Max Strakosch decided to go into opera management together in America; and Maretzek came over to London to get the company together. Pauline Lucca and I were to be the _prime donne_ and one of our novelties was to be Gounod's new opera _Mireille_, founded on the poem by the Provençal poet, Mistral. I say "new opera" because it was still unknown in America; possibly because it had been a failure in London where it had already been produced. "The Magnificent" thought it would be sure to do well in "the States" on account of the wild Gounod vogue that had been started by _Faust_ and _Romeo and Juliette_. [Illustration: First edition of the _Faust_ score, published in 1859 by Chousens of Paris, now in the Boston Public Library] I was to sing it; and Colonel Mapleson sent Mr. Jarrett with me to call on Gounod, who was then living in London, to get what points I could from the master himself. Everybody who knows anything about Gounod knows also about Mrs. Welldon. Georgina Welldon, the wife of an English officer, was an exceedingly eccentric character to say the least. Even the most straight-laced biographers refer to the "romantic friendship" between the composer and this lady--which, after all, is as good a way as any of tagging it. She ran a sort of school for choristers in London and had, I believe, some idea of training the poor boys of the city to sing in choirs. Her house was usually full of more or less musical youngsters. She was, also, something of a musical publisher and the organiser of a woman's musical association, whether for orchestral or choral music I am not quite certain. From this it will be seen that she was, at heart, a New Woman, although her activities were in a period that was still old-fashioned. If she were in her prime to-day, she would undoubtedly be a militant suffragette. She was also noted for the lawsuits in which she figured; one particular case dragging along into an unconscionable length of time and being much commented upon in the newspapers. Gounod and she lived in Tavistock Place, in the house where Dickens lived so long and that is always associated with his name. On the occasion of our call, Mr. Jarrett and I were ushered into a study, much littered and crowded, to wait for the great man. It proved to be a somewhat long drawn-out wait, for the household seemed to be in a state of subdued turmoil. We could hear voices in the hall; some one was asking about a music manuscript for the publishers. Suddenly, a woman flew into the room where we were sitting. She was unattractive and unkempt; she wore a rumpled and soiled kimono; her hair was much tousled; her bare feet were thrust into shabby bedroom slippers; and she did not look in the least as if she had had her bath. Indeed, I am expressing her appearance mildly and politely! She made a dive for the master's writing-table, gathered up some papers--sorting and selecting with lightning speed and an air of authority--and then darted out of the room as rapidly as she had entered. It was, of course, Mrs. Welldon, of whom I had heard so much and whom I had pictured as a fascinating woman. This is the nearest I ever came to meeting this person who was so conspicuous a figure of her day, although I have seen her a few other times. When dressed for the street she was most ordinary looking. Gounod was in the house, it developed, all the time that we waited, although he could not attend to us immediately. He was living like a recluse so far as active professional or social life was concerned, but he was a very busy man and beset with all manner of duties. When he at last came to us, he greeted us with characteristic French courtesy. His manners were exceedingly courtly. He was grey-haired, charming, and very quiet. I think he was really shy. With apologies, he opened his letters, and, while giving orders and hearing messages, a pretty incident occurred. A young girl, very graceful and sweet looking, came into the room. She hurried forward with a little, impulsive movement and, curtseying deeply to Gounod, seized one of his hands in both of hers and raised it to her lips. "_Cher maître!_" she murmured adoringly, and flitted away, the master following her with a smiling glance. It was Nita Giatano, an American, afterwards Mrs. Moncrieff, now the widow of an English officer, who was studying with Gounod and living there and who, later, became fairly well known as a singer. Then Gounod proceeded to say pleasant things about my _Marguerite_ and was interested in hearing that I was planning to do _Mireille_. We then and there went over the music together and he gave me an annotated score of _Mireille_ with his autograph and marginal directions. I treasured it for years afterwards; and a most tragic fate overtook it at last. I sent it to a book-binder to be bound, and, when the score came back, did not immediately look through it. It was some time later, indeed, that I opened it to show it off to someone to whom I had been speaking of the precious notes and autograph. I turned page after page--there were no notes. I looked at the title page--there was no signature. That wretched book-binder had not scrupled to substitute a new and valueless score for my beloved copy, and had doubtless sold the original, with Gounod's autograph and annotations, to some collector for a pretty sum. When I tried to hunt the man up, I found that he had gone out of business and moved away. He was not to be found and I have never been able to regain my score. _Mireille_ was not given for several years, as affairs turned out, and I rather congratulated myself that this was so, for it was not one of Gounod's best productions. I once met Mme. Gounod in Paris, or, rather, in its environs, at a garden party given at the Menier--the Chocolat Menier--place. She was a well-mannered, commonplace Frenchwoman, rather colourless and uninteresting. I came to understand that even Georgina Welldon, with her untidy kimono and her lawsuits, might have been more entertaining. I asked Gounod, on this occasion, to play some of the music of _Romeo and Juliette_. He did so and, at the end, said: "I see you like my children!" Gounod was chiefly famous in London for the delightful recitals he gave from time to time of his own music. He had no voice, but he could render programmes of his own songs with great success. Everybody was enthusiastic over the beautiful and intricate accompaniments that were such a novelty. He was so splendid a musician that he could create a more charming effect without a voice than another man could have achieved with the notes of an angel. Poor Gounod, like nearly all creative genuises, had a great many bitter struggles before he obtained recognition. Count Fabri has told me that, while _Faust_ (the opera which he sold for twelve hundred dollars) was running to packed houses and the whole world was applauding it, Gounod himself was really in need. His music publisher met him in the streets of Paris, wearing a wretched old hat and looking very seedy. "Why on earth," cried the publisher, "don't you get a new hat?" "I did not make enough on _Faust_ to pay for one," was the bitter answer. CHAPTER XXIII THE SEASON WITH LUCCA After the London season and before returning to America we went to Switzerland for a brief holiday. During this little trip there occurred a pleasing and somewhat quaint incident. On the Grünewald Glacier we met a young Italian-Swiss mountaineer who earned his living by making echoes from the crags with a big horn and by the national art of yodeling. There was one particular echo which was the pride of the region and, the day we were exploring the glacier, he did not call it forth as well as usual. Although he tried several times, we could distinguish very little echo. Finally, acting on a sudden impulse, I stood up in our carriage and yodeled for him, ending with a long trill. The high, pure air exhilarated me and made me feel that I could do absolutely anything in the world with my voice, and I actually struck one or two of the highest and strongest notes that I ever sang in my life and one of the best trills. The echoes came rippling back to us with wonderful effect. The young mountaineer took off his Tyrolean hat and bowed to me deeply. "Ah, mademoiselle!" he said, "if I could call into being such an echo, my fortune here would be made!" Our stay there was all too short to please me and the day soon came for us to start for home. We crossed on the _Cuba_ of the Cunard Line, and a very poor steamer she was. It was not in the least an interesting trip. There was no social intercourse, because all the passengers were too seasick to talk or even to listen. It seemed to them like a personal affront for anyone not to succumb to _mal de mer_. "You mean thing," one woman said to me, "why aren't you seasick!" Our passenger list was, however, a somewhat striking one. Rubenstein and Wieniawski were on board and Clara Doria; Mark Smith, the actor; Edmund Yeats and Maddox, the editor whom I had known in London, and, of course, Pauline Lucca. She was registered as the Baroness von Raden and had her baby with her--the one generally believed to have a royal father--and, with her baby and her seasickness, was very much occupied. Her father and mother accompanied her. Lucca, as we know, had been a ballerina. Her toes were all twisted and deformed by her early years of dancing. She once showed them to me, a pitiful record of the triumphs of a ballet dancer. There was something of the ballerina in her temperament, also, which she never entirely outgrew. Certainly she was far from being a _prima donna_ type. An irresistible sense of fun made her a most amusing companion; and her charm lay largely in her unexpectedness. One never could guess what she was going to do or say next. I recall an incident that occurred a little later in Chicago that illustrates this. A very handsome music critic--I will not mention his name--came behind the scenes one night to see us. He was a grave young man, with a brown beard and beautiful eyes, and his appearance gave a vague sense of familiarity as if we had seen it in some well-known picture. Yet I could not place the resemblance. Lucca stood off at a little distance studying him owlishly for a minute or two as he was chatting to me in the wings. Presently she whisked up to him with her brown eyes dancing and, looking up at him in the drollest way, said laughingly: "And how do you do, my Jesus Christ!" On this voyage home I saw more or less of Edmund Yeats who kept us amused with a steady flow of witty talk and who kept up an equally steady flow of brandy and soda, and of Maddox who was not seasick and was willing to both walk and talk. Maddox was an interesting man, with many strange stories to tell of things and people famous and well-known. Among other personalities we discussed Adelaide Neilson, whose real name, by the way, was Mary Ann Rogers. I was speaking of her refinement and pretty manners on the stage, her gracious and yet unassuming fashion of accepting applause, and her general air of good breeding, when Maddox told me, to my great astonishment, that this was more remarkable than I could possibly imagine since the charming actress had come from the most disadvantageous beginnings. She had, in fact, led a life that is generally characterised as "unfortunate" and it was while she was in this life that Maddox first met her, and, finding the girl full of ambition and aspirations toward something higher, had put her in the way of cultivating herself and her talents. These facts as told me by Maddox have always remained in my mind, not in the least to Neilson's discredit, but quite the reverse, for they only make her charming and artistic achievements all the more admirable. I have always enjoyed watching her. She was always just diffident enough without being self-conscious. It used to be pretty to see her from a box where I could look at her behind the scenes compose herself before taking a curtain call. She would slip into the mood of the part that she had just been playing and that she wished still to suggest to the audience. Which reminds me that Henry Irving once told me that he and Miss Terry did exactly this same thing. "We always try to keep within the picture even after the act is over," he said. "An actor should never take his call in his own character, but always in that which he has been personating." On the whole the particular trip of which I am now speaking stands out dominantly in my memory because of Rubenstein. I never, never saw anyone so seasick, nor anyone so completely depressed by the fact. Poor creature! He swore, faintly, that he would never cross the ocean again even to get home! Occasionally he would talk feebly, but his spirit was completely broken. I have not the faintest idea what Rubenstein was like when he was not seasick. He may have sparkled consummately in a normal condition; but he did not sparkle on the _Cuba_. The Lucca-Kellogg season which followed was not a comfortable one, but it netted us large receipts. The work was arduous, the operas heavy, and the management was up to its ears in contentions and jealousies. New York was in a musical fever during the early seventies. We were just finding out how to be musical and it was a great and pleasurable excitement. We were pioneers, and enjoyed it, and were happy in not being hide-bound by traditions as were the older countries, because we had none. One of the season's sensations was Senorita Sanz, a Spanish contralto, whose voice was not unlike that of Adelaide Phillips. She was a beautiful woman and a good actress, and, above all, she had the true Spanish temperament, languid, exotic and yet fiery. Her Azucena was a fine performance; and she created a tremendous _furore_ with La Paloma, which was then a novelty. She used to sing it at Sunday night concerts and set the audiences wild with: [Illustration: Musical notation; Cuan-do...... sa-lí de lo Ha-ba-na Vál-ga-me Dios!] Lucca's operas for the season were _Faust_, _Traviata_, _L'Africaine_, _Fra Diavolo_ and _La Figlia del Regimento_. Mine were _Trovatore_, _Traviata_, _Crispano_, _Linda_ and _Martha_, and _Don Giovanni_. It was to Lucca's _Zerlina_ that I first sang Donna Anna in _Don Giovanni_; and, as in the big concert at the Coliseum my friends had felt some doubts as to the carrying power of my voice, so now many persons expected the _rôle_ to be too heavy for me. But I believe I succeeded in proving the contrary. When we did _Le Nozze di Figaro_, Lucca was the Cherubino, making the quaintest looking of boys and much resembling one of Raphael's cherubs in his painting of the _Sistine Madonna_. Personally, the relations between Lucca and myself were always amicable enough; but we had certain professional frictions, brought about, indeed, by Jarrett who, although he was nothing but an agent and an indifferent one at that, was generally regarded as an authority, and gave out critiques to the newspapers. It so happened that, without my knowledge, the monopoly of singing in _Faust_ was in her contract and I was so prevented from singing Marguerite once during our entire engagement. As Marguerite was my _rôle_ pre-eminently, by right of conquest, in America, I felt very hurt and angry about the matter and, at first, wanted to resign from the company, but, of course, was talked out of that attitude. Jarrett would not, however, consent to my even alternating with Lucca in the part; but possibly he was wise in this as Marguerite was never one of her best personations. She played a very impulsive and un-German Gretchen, in spite of herself, being an Austrian by birth. One of the newspapers said that "she fell in love with Faust at first sight and the Devil was a useless article!" Her characterisation of the part was somewhat devilish in itself; her work was striking, effective, and _piquant_, but not touched by much distinction. The difference between our presentations was said to be that I "convinced by a refined perfection of detail" and Lucca by more vivid qualities. Indeed, our voices and methods were so dissimilar that we never felt any personal rivalry, whatever the critics said to the contrary. As one man justly expressed it: "Neither Lucca nor Kellogg has the talent for quarrelling." There were, of course, rival factions in our public. A man one night sent a note behind the scenes to me containing this message: "Poor Kellogg! you have no chance at all with Lucca!" Two days later Mme. Lucca came to me laughing and said that some one had asked her: "How do you dare to sing on the same bill with Miss Kellogg, the American favourite?" [Illustration: =Newspaper Print of the Kellogg-Lucca Season= Drawn by Jos. Keppler] So interesting did our supposed rivalry become, however, as to excite considerable newspaper comment. In reply to one of these in _The Chicago Tribune_ a contributor answered: _To the Editor of The Chicago Tribune_: SIR: In your issue of this morning, there is an editorial headed "Operatic Failure," which is, in some respects, so unjust and one-sided as to call for an immediate protest against its injustice. Having taken your ideas from _The New York Herald_, and having no other source of information, it is not to be wondered at that you should fall into error. For reasons best known to Mr. James Gordon Bennett, _The New York Herald_, since the commencement of the Jarrett-Maretzek season, has undertaken to write up Madame Lucca at the expense of every other artist connected with the troupe; and it is because of _The Herald's_ fulsome laudations of Lucca, and its outrageously untruthful criticisms of Kellogg, that much of the trouble has occurred. Of the two ladies, Kellogg is by far the superior singer. Lucca has much dramatic force, but, in musical culture, is not equal to her sister artist, and there is no jealousy on the part of either lady of the other. The facts are these: The management, taking their cue from _The Herald_, and being afraid of the power of Mr. Bennett, tried to shelve Kellogg, and the result has been that the dear public would not permit the injustice, and they, the managers, as well as _The Herald_, are amazed and angered at the result of their dirty work. OPERA. Chicago, Oct. 28, 1872. Lucca and I gave _Mignon_ that season together, she playing the part of Mignon and I that of Felina, the cat. Mignon was always a favourite part of my own, a sympathetic _rôle_ filled with poetry and sentiment. When I first studied it, I most carefully read _Wilhelm Meister_, upon which it is founded. Regarding the part of Felina, I have often wondered that people have never been more perceptive than they appear to have been of the analogy between her name and her qualities, for she has all of the characteristics of the feline species. Our dual star bill in the opera was highly successful and effective in spite of Jarrett's continual attacks upon me through the press and in every way open to him. He did me a particularly cruel turn about Felina. I started off in the _rôle_, the opening night, in what I still believe to have been the correct interpretation. _Wilhelm Meister_ was set in a finicky period and its characters wore white wigs and minced about in their actions. My part was all comedy and the gestures should have been little and dainty and somewhat constrained. So I played it, until I saw this criticism, written by one of Jarrett's creatures, "Miss Kellogg has no freedom of movement in the _rôle_ of Felina, etc." My mother, always anxious for me to profit by criticism that might have value, said that perhaps the man was right. At any rate, between the two, I became so self-conscious that the next time I sang Felina I could not get into the mood of it at all. Not to seem restricted in gesture, I waved my arms as if I were in _Norma_; and the performance was a very poor one in consequence. Yet, in spite of Jarrett's machinations, it was said of me in the press of the day: " ...Her rendering of Felina was a magnificent success. From the first scene on the balcony until her light-hearted laughter dies away, she is a vision of beauty and grace, appealing to every high aesthetic emotion and charming all hearts with her sweetness." [Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg in _Mignon_= From a photograph by Mora] Furthermore, an eminent Shakespearean critic, writing then, said: As an actress, Miss Kellogg's superiority cannot justly be questioned. Some things are exquisitely represented by the fair Swede, Miss Nilsson, such as the dazed look, the stupefaction caused by a great shock, like that of the death of Valentin, for instance; such as the madness to which the distracting conflict of many selfish feelings and passions leads. But she is always circumscribed by her own consciousness. Her soul never passes beyond that limit--never surrounds her--filling the stage and infecting the audience with a magnetic atmosphere which is a part of herself, or herself transfused, if such expressions be allowable. In this respect Miss Kellogg is very different and greatly superior. Her sympathies are large. She conceives well the effects of the warmer and more generous passions upon the person who feels them. She can, by the force of her imagination, abandon herself to these influences, and, by her artistic skill, give them apt expression. She can cease to be self-conscious, and feel but the fictitious consciousness of the personage whom she represents, while the force of her own illusion magnetises her auditors till they respond like well-tuned harps to every chord of feeling which she strikes. Such notices, such critiques, were compensations! Taken as a whole, Felina was a successful part for me; largely on account of that piece of glittering generalities, the Polonaise. In this, according to one critic, "she aroused the admiration of her auditors to a condition that was really a tempestuous _furore_." So, as I say, there were compensations for Jarrett's unkindnesses. CHAPTER XXIV ENGLISH OPERA The idea of giving opera in English has always interested me. I never could understand why there were any more reasons against giving an English version of _Carmen_ in New York than against giving a French version of _Die Freischütz_ in Paris or a German version of _La Belle Hélène_ in Berlin. To be sure, it goes without saying, from a purist point of view it is a patent truth, that no libretto is ever so fine after it has been translated. Not only does the quality and spirit of the original evaporate in the process of translating, but, also, the syllables come wrong. Who has not suffered from the translations of foreign songs into which the translator has been obliged to introduce secondary notes to fit the extra syllables of the clumsily adapted English words? These are absolute objections to the performance of any operas or songs in a language other than the one to which the composer first set his music. Wagner in French is a joke; so is Goethe in Italian. A musician of my acquaintance once spoke of Strauss's _Salome_ as a case in point, although it is a queerly inverse one. "Oscar Wilde's French poem or play--whichever you like to call it--" he said, "was translated into German; and it was this translation, or so it is generally understood, that Strauss set to music. When the opera--a French opera in spirit, taken from French text that was most Frenchly treated--was given with Oscar Wilde's original French words, the music often seemed to go haltingly, as though it had been adopted to phrases for which it had not been composed." Several notable singers have recently entered a protest against giving opera in English. Miss Garden--admirable and spontaneous artist though she be--once wrote an article in which she cited _Madame Butterfly_ as an example of the inartistic effects of English librettos. I do not recall her exact words, but they referred to the scene in which Dick Pinkerton offers Sharpless a whiskey and soda. Miss Garden said, If I remember correctly, that the very words "whiskey and soda" were inartistic and spoiled the poetry and picturesqueness of the act. Personally, I do not see that it was the words that were inartistic, but, rather, the introduction of whiskey and soda at all into a grand opera. My point is that such objections obtain not more stringently against English translations than against German, French, or Italian translations. Furthermore, after all is said that can be said against translations into whatsoever language, the fact remains that countries and races are not nearly so different as they pretend to be; and a human sentiment, a dramatic situation, or a lovely melody will permeate the consciousness of a Frenchman, an Englishman, or a German in approximately the same manner and in the same length of time. Adaptations and translations are merely different means, poorer or better as the case may be, of facilitating such assimilations; and, so soon as the idea reaches the audience, the audience is going to receive it joyfully, no matter what nation it comes from or through what medium:--that is, if it is a good idea to begin with. Possibly this may be a little beside the point; but, at least, it serves to introduce the subject of English opera--or, rather, foreign grand opera given in English--the giving of which was an undertaking on which I embarked in 1873. I became my own manager and, with C. D. Hess, organised an English Opera Company that, by its success, brought the best music to the comprehension of the intelligent masses. I believe that the enterprise did much for the advancement of musical art in this country; and it, besides, gave employment to a large number of young Americans, several of whom began their careers in the chorus of the company and soon advanced to higher places in the musical world. Joseph Maas was one of the singers whom this company did much for; and George Conly was another. The former at first played small parts, but his chance came to him as Lorenzo in _Fra Diavolo_, when he made a big hit, and, eventually, he returned to England and became her greatest oratorio tenor. I myself made the versions of the standard operas used by us during the first season of English opera, translating them newly and directly from the Italian and the French and, in some instances, restoring the text to a better condition than is found in English opera generally. My enterprise met with a great deal of criticism and discussion. Usually, public opinion and the opinion of the press were favourable. One of my staunch supporters was Will Davis, the husband of Jessie Bartlett Davis. In _The Chicago Tribune_ he wrote: Unless the public can understand what is sung in opera or oratorio recital, song or ballad, no more than a passing interest can be awakened in the music-loving public. I do not agree with those who claim that language or thought is a secondary consideration to the enjoyment of vocal music. I believe that a superior writer of lyrics can fit words to the music of foreign operas that will not only be sensible but singable. I agree with _The Tribune_ that opera in the English language has never had a fair show, but I claim that the reason for this is because of the bad translations that have been given to the artists to sing. After our success had become assured, one of the press notices read: Never, in this country, has English opera been so creditably produced and so energetically managed as by the present Kellogg-Hess combination. All the business details being supervised by Mr. Hess, one of the longest-headed and hardest-working men of business to be found in even this age and nation, are thoroughly, systematically and promptly attended to; while all the artistic details, being under the direct personal care of Miss Clara Louise Kellogg, confessedly the best as well as the most popular singer America has produced, are brought to and preserved at the highest attainable musical standard. The performers embraced in the Hess-Kellogg English Opera Company comprise several artists of the first rank. The names of Castle, Maas, Peakes, Mrs. Seguin, Mrs. Van Zandt, and Miss Montague are familiar as household words to the musical world, while the _répertoire_ embraces not only all the old established favourites of the public, but many of the most recent or _recherche_ novelties, such as _Mignon_, and _The Star of the North_, in addition to such genuine English operas as _The Rose of Castille_. During the three seasons of our English Opera Company, we put on a great number of operas of all schools, from _The Bohemian Girl_ to _The Flying Dutchman_. The former is pretty poor stuff--cheap and insipid--I never liked to sing it. But--the houses it drew! People loved it. I believe there would be a large and sentimental public ready for it to-day. Its extraneous matter, the two or three popular ballads that had been introduced, formed a part of its attraction, perhaps. Our Devil's Hoof in _The Bohemian Girl_ was Ted Seguin who became quite famous in the part. His wife Zelda Seguin was our contralto and they were among the earliest people to travel with _The Beggar's Opera_ and other primitive performances. George A. Conly was our basso and a fine one. He was a printer by trade and he had his first chance with us at the Globe Theatre in Boston. He was our Deland, too, in _The Flying Dutchman_. Eventually, he was drowned; and I gave a benefit for his widow. Maurice Grau and Hess had gone to London to engage singers for my English Opera Company and had selected, among others, Wilfred Morgan for first tenor and Joseph Maas for second tenor. Morgan had been singing secondary _rôles_ for some time at Covent Garden. On our opening night of _Faust_ he gave out with a sore throat, and Maas took his place successfully. William Carlton once told me that when he was just starting out he bought the theatrical wardrobe of Alberto Lawrence, a baritone, and was looking at himself in a mirror, dressed in one of his second costumes, in the green room of the Academy of Music early during our English season, when Morgan came up to him and said: "Are you going on in those old rags?" Carlton had to go on in them. The critics next day gave him a couple of columns of praise; but Morgan, whose wardrobe was gorgeous, was a complete failure in his _début_. Our manager had finally to tell him that he could be second tenor or resign. In six weeks he was drawing seventy dollars less salary than Carlton, who was a baritone and a beginner. Carlton said that about this time Wilfred Morgan came up to him exclaiming, "Well, Bill, I wish I had your voice and you had my clothes!" William Carlton was a young Englishman, only twenty-three when he joined us; but he was already married and had two children. When we were rehearsing _The Bohemian Girl_, in the scene where the stolen daughter is recognised and Carlton had to take me in his arms, he said: "I ought to kiss you here." "Not lower than _this_!" said I, pointing to my forehead. He was much amused. Indeed, he was always laughing at my mother and me for our prudish ways; and my not marrying was always a joke between us. "It's a sin," he declared once, when we were talking on a train, "a woman who would make such a perfect wife!" "Louise," interrupted my mother sternly, "don't talk so much! You'll tire your voice!" My good mother! She was always ruffling up like an indignant hen about me. In one scene of another opera, I remember, the villain and I had been playing rather more strenuously than usual and he caught my arm with some force. I staggered a little as I came off the stage and my mother flew at him. "Don't you dare touch my daughter so roughly," she cried, much annoyed. Mr. Carlton has paid me a nice tribute when writing of those days and of me at that time. He has said: I have the most grateful memory of the sympathetic assistance I received from the gifted _prima donna_ when I arrived in this country under the management of Maurice Grau and C. D. Hess, who were conducting the business details of the Kellogg Grand Opera Company. Like many Englishmen, I was quite unprepared for the evidences of perfection which characterised the production of opera in the United States and, as I had not yet attained my twenty-fourth year, I was somewhat awed by the importance of the _rôles_ and the position I was imported to fulfil. It was in a great measure due to the gracious help I received from Miss Kellogg that, at my _début_ at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, as Valentine in _Faust_ to her Marguerite, I achieved a success which led up to my renewing the engagement for four consecutive years. In putting on grand opera in English I had, in each case, the tradition of two countries to contend with; but I endeavoured to secure some uniformity of style and usually rehearsed them all myself, sitting at the piano. The singers were, of course, hide-bound to the awful translations that were institutional and to them inevitable. None of them would have ever considered changing a word, even for the better. The translation of _Mignon_ was probably the most completely revolutionary of the many translations and adaptations I indulged in. I shall never forget one fearfully clumsy passage in _Trovatore_. "To the handle, To the handle, To the handle Strike the dagger!" There were two modifications possible, either of which was vastly preferable, and without actually changing a word. "Strike the dagger, Strike the dagger, Strike the dagger To the handle!" or, which I think was the better way, "Strike the dagger To the handle, Strike the dagger To the handle!" a simple and legitimate repetition of a phrase. This is a case in illustration of the meaningless absurdity and unintelligibility of the average libretto. Those were the days in which I devoutly appreciated my general sound musical training. The old stand-bys, _Fra Diavolo_, _Trovatore_, and _Martha_ were all very well. Most singers had been reared on them from their artistic infancy. But, for example, _The Marriage of Figaro_ was an innovation. To it I had to bring my best experience and judgment as cultivated in our London productions; and we finally gave a very creditable English performance of it. Then there were, besides, the new operas that had to be incepted and created and toiled over:--_The Talisman_ and _Lily o'Killarney_ among others. _The Talisman_ by Balfe, an opera of the Meyerbeerian school, was first produced at the Drury Lane in London, with Nilsson, Campanini, Marie Roze, Rota, and others. Our presentation of it was less pretentious, naturally, but we had an excellent cast, with Joseph Maas as Sir Kenneth, William Carlton as Coeur de Lion, Mme. Loveday as Queen Berengaria, and Charles Turner as De Vaux. I was Edith Plantaganet. When the opera was first put on in London, under the direction of Sir Jules Benedict, it was called _The Knight of the Leopard_. Later, it was translated into Italian under the title of _Il Talismano_, and from that finally re-translated by us and given the name of Sir Walter Scott's work on which it was based. It was not only Balfe's one real grand opera, but was also his last important work. _Lily o'Killarney_, by Sir Jules Benedict, was not a striking novelty. It had a graceful duet for the basso and tenor, and one pretty solo for the _prima donna_--"I'm Alone"--but, otherwise, it did not amount to much. But we scored in it because of our good artistry. Our company was a good one. Parepa Rosa did tremendous things with her English opera _tournées_; but I honestly think our work was more artistic as well as more painstaking. There were not many of us; but we did our best and pulled together; and I was very happy in the whole venture. Benedict's _Lily o'Killarney_ was written particularly for me, and was inspired by _Colleen Bawn_, Dion Boucicault's big London success. I have always understood that Oxenford wrote the libretto of that--a fine one as librettos go--but Grove's Dictionary says that Boucicault helped him. Perhaps this is as good a place as any in which to mention Sir George Grove and his dictionary. When I was in London I was told that young Grove--he was not "Sir" then--was compiling a dictionary; and, not having a very exalted idea of his ability, I am free to confess that, in a measure, I snubbed him. In his copiously filled and padded dictionary, he punished me by giving me less than half a column; considerably less space than is devoted in the corresponding column to one Michael Kelly "composer of wines and importer of music!" It is an accurate paragraph, however, and he heaped coals of fire on my head by one passage that is particularly suitable to quote in a chapter on English opera: She organised an English troupe, herself superintending the translation of the words, the _mise en scène_, the training of the singers and the rehearsals of the chorus. Such was her devotion to the project that, in the winter of '74-'75, she sang no fewer than one hundred and twenty-five nights. It is satisfactory to hear that the scheme was successful. Miss Kellogg's musical gifts are great.... She has a remarkable talent for business and is never so happy as when she is doing a good or benevolent action. I have never been able to determine to my own satisfaction whether the "remarkable talent for business" was intended as a compliment or not! The one hundred and twenty-five record is quite correct, a number of performances that tried my endurance to the utmost; but I loved all the work. This particular venture seemed more completely my own than anything on which I had yet embarked. We put on _The Flying Dutchman_, at the Academy of Music (New York), and it was a tremendous undertaking. It was another case of not having any traditions nor impressions to help us. No one knew anything about the opera and the part of Senta was as unexplored a territory for me as that of Marguerite had been. One thing I had particular difficulty in learning how to handle and that was Wagner's trick of long pauses. There is a passage almost immediately after the spinning song in _The Flying Dutchman_ during which Senta stands at the door and thinks about the Flying Dutchman, preceding his appearance. Then he comes, and they stand still and look at each other while a spell grows between them. She recognises Vanderdecken as the original of the mysterious portrait; and he is wondering whether she is the woman fated to save him by self-sacrifice. The music, so far as Siegfried Behrens, my director at the time, and I could see, had no meaning whatever. It was just a long, intermittent mumble, continuing for eighteen bars with one slight interruption of thirds. I had not yet been entirely converted to innovations such as this and did not fully appreciate the value of so extreme a pause. I knew, of course, that repose added dignity; but this seemed too much. "For heaven's sake, Behrens," said I, "what's the public going to do while we stand there? Can we hold their interest for so long while nothing is happening?" Behrens thought there might be someone at the German Theatre who had heard the opera in Germany and who could, therefore, give us suggestions; but no one could be found. Finally Behrens looked up Wagner's own brochure on the subject of his operas and came to me, still doubtful, but somewhat reassured. "Wagner says," he explained, "not to be disturbed by long intervals. If both singers could stand absolutely still, this pause would hold the public double the length of time." We tried to stand "absolutely still." It was an exceedingly difficult thing to do. In _rôles_ that have tense moments the whole body has to hold the tension rigidly until the proper psychological instant for emotional and physical relaxation. The public is very keen to feel this, without knowing how or why. A drooping shoulder or a relaxed hand will "let up" an entire situation. The first time I sang Senta it seemed impossible to hold the pause until those eighteen bars were over. "I have _got_ to hold it! I have _got_ to hold it!" I kept saying to myself, tightening every muscle as if I were actually pulling on a wire stretched between myself and the audience. I almost auto-hypnotized myself; which probably helped me to understand the Norwegian girl's own condition of auto-hypnotism! An inspiration led me to grasp the back of a tall Dutch chair on the stage. That chair helped me greatly and, as affairs turned out, I held the audience quite as firmly as I held the chair! Afterwards I learned the wonderful telling-power of these "waits" and the great dignity that they lend to a scene. There is no hurry in Wagner. His work is full of pauses and he has done much to give leisure to the stage. When I was at Bayreuth--that most beautiful monument to genius--I met many actors from the Théâtre Français who had journeyed there, as to a Mecca, to study this leisurely stage effect among others. Our production was a fair one but not elaborate. We had, I remember, a very good ship, but there were many shortcomings. There is supposed to be a transfiguration scene at the end in which Senta is taken up to heaven; but this was beyond us and _I_ was never thus rewarded for my devotion to an ideal! I liked Senta's clothes and make-up. I used to wear a dark green skirt, shining chains, and a wonderful little apron, long and of white woollen. For hair, I wore Marguerite's wig arranged differently. I should like to be able to put on a production of _Die Fliegende Holländer_ now! There is just one artist, and only one, whom I would have play the Dutchman--and that is Renaud, for the reason, principally, that he would have the necessary repose for the part. I had understudies as a matter of course. One of them was wall-eyed; and, on an occasion when I was ill, she essayed Senta. William Carlton, was, as usual, our Dutchman, and he had not been previously warned of Senta's infirmity. He came upon it so unexpectedly, indeed, and it was so startling to him, that he sang the whole opera without looking at her for fear that he would break down! CHAPTER XXV ENGLISH OPERA (_Continued_) No account of our English Opera would be complete without mention of Mike. He was an Irish lad with all the wit of his race, and his head was of a particularly classic type. He was only sixteen when he joined us, but he became an institution, and I kept track of him for years afterwards. His duties were somewhat arbitrary, and chiefly consisted of calling at the dressing-room of the chorus each night after the opera with a basket to collect the costumes. Beyond this, his principal occupation was watching my scenes and generally pervading the performances with genuine interest. He particularly favoured the third act of _Faust_, I remember; and absolutely considered himself a part of my career, constantly making use of the phrase "Me and Miss Kellogg." One of the operas we gave in English was my old friend _The Star of the North_. It was quite as much a success in English as it had been in the original. We chose it for our _gala_ performance in Washington when the Centennial was celebrated, and my good friends, President and Mrs. Grant, were in the audience. The King of Hawaii was also present, with his suite, and came behind the scenes and paid me extravagant compliments. His Hawaiian Majesty sent me lovely heliotropes, I remember,--my favourite flower and my favourite perfume. At one performance of _The Star of the North_ at a matinée in Booth's Theatre, New York, there occurred an incident that was reminiscent of my London experience with Sir Michael Costa's orchestra. It was in the third act, the camp scene. There is a quartette by Peter, Danilowitz and two _vivandières_ almost without accompaniment in the tent on the stage, and I, as Catherine, had to take up the note they left and begin a solo at its close. The orchestra was supposed to chime in with me, a simple enough matter to do if they had not fallen from the key. It is surprising how relative one's pitch is when suddenly appealed to. Even a very trained ear will often go astray when some one gives it a wrong keynote. Music more than almost any other art is dependent; every tone hangs on other tones. That particular quartette was built on a musical phrase begun by one of the sopranos and repeated by each. She started on the key. The mezzo took it up a shade flat. The tenor, taking the phrase from the mezzo, dropped a little more, and when the basso got through with it, they were a full semitone lower. Had I taken my _attaque_ from their pitch, imagine the situation when the orchestra came in! My heart sank as I saw ahead of us the inevitable discord. It came to the last note. I allowed a half-second of silence to obliterate their false pitch. Then I _concentrated_--and took up my solo in the _original and correct key_. That "absolute pitch" again! Behrens expressed his amazement after the curtain fell. The company, after that, was never tired of experimenting with my gift. It became quite a joke with them to cry out suddenly, at any sort of sound--a whistle, or a bell: "Now, what note is that? What key was that in, Miss Kellogg?" Most of our travelling on these big western tours of opera was very tiresome, although we did it as easily as we could and often had special cars put at our disposal by railroad directors. We were still looked upon as a species of circus and the townspeople of the places we passed through used to come out in throngs at the stations. I have said so much about the poor hotels encountered at various times while on the road that I feel I ought to mention the disastrous effect produced once by a really good hotel. It was at the end of our first English Opera season and, in spite of the fact that we were all worn out with our experiences, we proceeded to give an auxiliary concert trip. We had a special sleeper in which, naturally, no one slept much; and by the time we reached Wilkesbarre we were even more exhausted. The hotel happened to be a good one, the rooms were quiet, and the beds comfortable. Every one of us went promptly to bed, not having to sing until the next night, and William Carlton left word at the office that he was going to sleep: "and don't call me unless there's a fire!" he said. In strict accordance with these instructions nobody did call him and he slept twenty-four hours. When he awoke it was time to go to the theatre for the performance and--he found he couldn't sing! He had slept so much that his circulation had become sluggish and he was as hoarse as a crow. Consequently, we had to change the programme at the last moment. Carlton, like most nervous people, was very sensitive and easily put out of voice, even when he had not slept twenty-four consecutive hours. Once in _Trovatore_ he was seized with a sharp neuralgic pain in his eyes just as he was beginning to sing "Il Balen" and we had to stop in the middle of it. During this same performance, an unlucky one, Wilfred Morgan, who was Manrico, made both himself and me ridiculous. In the _finale_ of the first act of the opera, the Count and Manrico, rivals for the love of Leonora, draw their swords and are about to attack each other, when Leonora interposes and has to recline on the shoulder of Manrico, at which the attack of the Count ceases. Morgan was burly of build and awkward of movement and, for some reason, failed to support me, and we both fell heavily to the floor. It is so easy to turn a serious dramatic situation into ridicule that, really, it was very decent indeed of our audience to applaud the _contretemps_ instead of laughing. Ryloff, an eccentric Belgian, was our musical director for a short time. He was exceedingly fond of beer and used to drink it morning, noon, and night,--especially night. Even our rehearsals were not sacred from his thirst. In the middle of one of our full dress rehearsals he suddenly stopped the orchestra, laid down his baton, and said to the men: "Boys, I _must_ have some beer!" Then he got up and deliberately went off to a nearby saloon while we awaited his good pleasure. I have previously mentioned what a handsome and dashing Fra Diavolo Theodore Habelmann was, and naturally other singers with whom I sang the opera later have suffered by comparison. In discussing the point with a young girl cousin who was travelling with me, we once agreed, I remember, that it was a great pity no one could ever look the part like our dear old Habelmann. Castle was doing it just then, and doing it very well except for his clothes and general make-up. But he was so extremely sensitive and yet, in some ways, so opinionated, that it was impossible to tell him plainly that he did not look well in the part. At last, my cousin conceived the brilliant scheme of writing him an anonymous letter, supposed to be from some feminine admirer, telling him how splendid and wonderful and irresistible he was, but also suggesting how he could make himself even more fascinating. A description of Habelmann's appearance followed and, to our great satisfaction, our innocent little plot worked to a charm. Castle bought a new costume immediately and strutted about in it as pleased as Punch. He really did present a much more satisfactory appearance, which was a comfort to me, as it is really so deplorably disillusioning to see a man looking frumpy and unattractive while he is singing a gallant song like: [Illustration: Musical notation; Proud-ly and wide ... my stand-ard flies O'er dar-ing heads, a no-ble band!] Naturally these tours brought me all manner of adventures that I have long since forgotten--little incidents "along the road" and meetings with famous personages. Among them stand out two experiences, one grave and one gay. The former was an occasion when I went behind the scenes during a performance of _Henry VIII_ to see dear Miss Cushman (it must have been in the early seventies, but I do not know the exact date), who was playing Queen Katherine. She asked me if I would be kind enough to sing the solo for her. I was very glad to be able to do so, of course, and so, on the spur of the moment, complied. I have wondered since how many people in front ever knew that it was I who sang _Angels Ever Bright and Fair_ off stage, during the scene in which the poor, wonderful Queen was dying! The other experience of these days which I treasure was my meeting with Eugene Field. It was in St. Louis, where Field was a reporter on one of the daily papers. He came up to the old Lindell Hotel to interview me; but that was something I would _not_ do--give interviews to the press--so my mother went down to the reception room with her sternest air to dismiss him. She found the waiting young man very mild-mannered and pleasant, but she said to him icily: "My daughter never sees newspaper men." "Oh," said he, looking surprised, "I'm a singer and I thought Miss Kellogg might help me. I want to have my voice trained." (This is the phrase used generally by applicants for such favours.) Mother looked at the young man suspiciously and pointed to the piano. "Sing something," she commanded. Field obediently sat down at the instrument and sang several songs. He had a pleasing voice and an expressive style of singing, and my mother promptly sent for me. We spent some time with him in consequence, singing, playing, and talking. It was an excellent "beat" for his paper, and neither my mother nor I bore him any malice, we had liked him so much, when we read the interview next day. After that he came to see me whenever I sang where he happened to be and we always had a laugh over his "interview" with me--the only one, by the way, obtained by any reporter in St. Louis. On one concert tour--a little before the English Opera venture--we had arrived late one afternoon in Toledo where the other members of the company were awaiting me. Petrelli, the baritone, met me at the train and said immediately: "There is a strange-looking girl at the hotel waiting for you to hear her sing." "Oh, dear," I exclaimed, "another one to tell that she hasn't any ability!" "She's _very_ queer looking," Petrelli assured me. As I went to my supper I caught a glimpse of a very unattractive person and decided that Petrelli was right. She was exceedingly plain and colourless, and had a large turned-up nose. After supper, I went to my room to dress, as I usually did when on tour, for the theatre dressing-rooms were impossible, and presently there was a knock at the door and the girl presented herself. She was poorly clad. She owned no warm coat, no rubbers, no proper clothing of any sort. I questioned her and she told me a pathetic tale of privation and struggle. She lived by travelling about from one hotel to the next, singing in the public parlour when the manager would permit it, accompanying herself upon her guitar, and passing around a plate or a hat afterwards to collect such small change as she could. "I sang last night here," she told me, "and the manager of the hotel collected eleven dollars. That's all I've got--and I don't suppose he'll let me have much of that!" Of course I, who had been so protected, was horrified by all this. I could not understand how a girl could succeed in doing that kind of thing. She told me, furthermore, that she took care of her mother, brothers, and sisters. "I must go to the post-office now and see if there's a letter from mother!" she exclaimed presently, jumping up. It was pouring rain outside. "Show me your feet!" I said. She grinned ruefully as she exhibited her shoes, but she was off the next moment in search of her letter. When she came back to the hotel, I got hold of her again, gave her some clothes, and took her to the concert in my carriage. After I had sung my first song she rushed up to me. "Let me look down your throat," she cried excitedly, "I've got to see where it all comes from!" After the concert we made her sing for us and our accompanist played for her. She asked me frankly if I thought she could make her living by her voice and I said yes. Her poverty and her desire to get on naturally appealed to me, and I was instrumental in raising a subscription for her so that she could come East. My mother immediately saw the hotel proprietor and arranged that what money he had collected the night before should be turned over to her. It has been said that I am responsible for Emma Abbott's career upon the operatic stage, but I may be pardoned if I deny the allegation. My idea was that she intended to sing in churches, and I believe she did so when she first came to New York. She was the one girl in ten thousand who was really worth helping, and of course my mother and I helped her. When we returned from my concert tour, I introduced her to people and saw that she was properly looked out for. And she became, as every one knows, highly successful in opera--appearing in many of my own _rôles_. In a year's time from when I first met her, Emma Abbott was self-supporting. She was a girl of ability and I am glad that I started her off fairly, although, as a matter of fact, she would have got on anyway, whether I had done anything for her or not. Her way to success might have been a longer way, unaided, but she would have succeeded. She was eaten up with ambition. Yet there is much to respect in such a dogged determination to succeed. Of course, she was never particularly grateful to me. Of all the girls I have helped--and there have been many--only one has ever been really grateful, and she was the one for whom I did the least. Emma wrote me a flowery letter once, full of such sentences as "when the great _Prima Donna_ shined on me," and "I was almost in heaven, and I can remember just how you sang and looked," and "never can I forget all your goodness to me." But in the little ways that count she never actually evinced the least appreciation. Whenever we were in any way pitted against each other, she showed herself jealous and ungenerous. She made enemies in general by her lack of tact, and never could get on in London, for instance, although in her day the feeling there for American singers was becoming most kindly. Emma Abbott did appalling things with her art, of which one of the mildest was the introduction into _Faust_ of the hymn _Nearer My God to Thee_! It was in Italy that she did it, too. I believe she introduced it to please the Americans in the audience, many of whom applauded, although the Italians pointedly did not. And yet she was always trying to "purify" the stage and librettos! I have always felt about Emma Abbott that she had _too much_ force of character. Another thing that I never liked about her was the manner in which she puffed her own successes. She was reported to have made five times more than she actually did; but, at that, her earnings were considerable, for she would sacrifice much--except the character--to money-getting. Indeed, she was a very fine business woman. I have spoken about George Conly's tragic death by drowning and of the benefit the Kellogg-Hess English Opera Company gave for his widow. Conly had also sung with Emma Abbott and, when the benefit was given, she and I appeared on the same programme. She knew my baritone, Carlton, and sent for him before the performance. She explained that she wanted him to appear on the bill with her in _Maritana_ and, also, to see that all donations from my friends and colleagues were sent to her, so that her collection should be larger than mine. Carlton explained to her that he was singing with Miss Kellogg and so would send any money that he could collect to her. It seems incredible that any one could do so small an action, and I can only consider it one of many little attempts to be spiteful and to show me that my erstwhile _protégée_ was now at the "top of the ladder." Her thirst for profits finally was the indirect means of her death. When Utah was still a territory, the town of Ogden, where many travelling companies gave concerts, was very primitive. The concert hall had no dressing-room and was cold and draughty. I always refused outright to sing in such theatres, or else dressed in my hotel and drove to the concert warmly wrapped up. Emma Abbott was warned that the stage in the concert hall of the town of Ogden was bitterly cold. The house had sold well, however, and the receipts were considerable. Emma dressed in an improvised screened-off dressing-room, and, having a severe cold to begin with, she caught more on that occasion, and suddenly developed a serious case of pneumonia from which she died, a victim to her own indiscretion. CHAPTER XXVI AMATEURS--AND OTHERS In the seventies New York was interesting musically, chiefly because of its amateurs. This sounds something like a paradox, but at that time New York had a collection of musical amateurs who were almost as highly cultivated as professionals. It was a set that was extremely interesting and quite unique; and which bridged in a wonderful way the traditional gulf between art and society. Those of us who were fortunate enough to know New York then look about us with wonder and amazement now. It seems, with our standards of an earlier generation, as if there were no true social life to-day, just as there are left no great social leaders. As for music--but perhaps it behooves a retired _prima donna_ to be discreet in making comparisons. Mrs. Peter Ronalds; Mrs. Samuel Barlow; her daughter Elsie, who became Mrs. Stephen Henry Olin; May Callender; Minnie Parker--the granddaughter of Mrs. Hill and later the wife of M. de Neufville;--these and many others were the amateurs who combined music and society in a manner worthy of the great French hostesses and originators of _salons_. Mrs. Barlow was in advance of everybody in patronising music. She was cultivated and artistic, had travelled a great deal abroad, and had acquired a great many charming foreign graces in addition to her own good American brains and breeding, and her fine natural social tact. When I returned to New York after a sojourn on the other side, she came to see me one day, and said: "Louise, you've been away so much you don't know what our amateurs are doing. I want you to come to my house to-night and hear them sing." Like all professionals, I was a bit inclined to turn up my nose at the very word "amateur," but of course I went to Mrs. Barlow's that evening, and I have rarely spent a more enjoyable three hours. Elsie Barlow sang delightfully. She had a limited voice, but an unusual musical intelligence; I have seldom heard a public singer give a piece of music a more delicate and discriminating interpretation. Then Miss May Callender sang "Nobile Signor" from the _Huguenots_, and astonished me with her artistic rendering of that _aria_. Miss Callender could have easily been an opera singer, and a distinguished one, if she had so chosen. Eugene Oudin, a Southern baritone, also sang with charming effect. Minnie Parker, an eminent connoisseur in music, had her turn. She sang "Bel Raggio" from _Semiramide_ with fine execution and all the Rossini traditions. And I must not forget to mention Fanny Reed, Mrs. Paran Stevens's sister, who sang very agreeably an _aria_ from _Il Barbiere_. Altogether it was a most startling and illuminating evening, and I was proud of my country and of a society that could produce such amateurs. Mrs. Peter Ronalds was another charming singer of that group; as was, also, Mrs. Moulton, who was Lillie Greenough before her marriage. Both had delightful and well cultivated voices. Mrs. Moulton had studied abroad, but for the most part the amateurs of that day were purely American products. I often visited Mrs. Barlow at her country place at Glen Cove, L. I. She was the most tactful of hostesses, and in her house there was no fuss or formality, nothing but kind geniality and courtesy. She was the first hostess in the United States to ask her women guests to bring their maids; and she never once has asked me to sing when I was there. I did sing, of course, but she was too well-bred to let me feel under the slightest obligation. American hostesses are certainly sometimes very odd in this connection. I have mentioned Fanny Reed and Mrs. Stevens in Boston, and the time I had to play "Tommy Tucker" and sing for my supper; and I am now reminded of another occasion even more unpardonable, one that made me indirectly quite a bit of trouble. Once upon a time when I was visiting in Chicago, and was being made much of as an American _prima donna_ freshly arrived from European triumphs, some old friends of my father gave me a reception. I had been for nearly fourteen months abroad, and had come back with the associations and manners of the best people of the older countries: and this I particularly mention to suggest what a shock my treatment was to me. On the day of the reception I had one of my worst sick headaches. I did not want to go, naturally, but the husband of the woman giving the reception called for me and begged that I would show myself there, if only for a few moments. My mother also urged me to make an effort and go. I made it--and went. In view of what afterwards occurred, I want to say that my costume was a black velvet gown created by Worth, with a heavy, long, handsome coat and a black velvet hat. When I reached the house I was so ill that I could not stand at the door with my hostess to receive the guests, but remained seated, hoping that I would not groan aloud with the throbbing of my head. The ladies began arriving, and nearly every one of them was in full evening dress--_in the afternoon_! Mrs. Marshall Field, I remember, came in an elaborate point lace shawl, and no hat. I had not been there half an hour before I was asked to sing! I had brought no music, there was no accompanist, and I was so dizzy that I could hardly see the keys of the piano, yet, as the request was not altogether the fault of my hostess, I did my best, playing some sort of an accompaniment and singing something--very badly, I imagine. Then I went home and to bed. That episode was served up to me for eight years. I never went to Chicago without reading some reference to it in the newspapers, and my friends have told me that years later it was still discussed with bitterness. It was stated that I was "ungracious," "rude," and that I had "insulted the guests by my plain street attire" (shade of the great Worth!); that I only sang once and then with no attempt to do my best; that I did not eat the elaborate refreshments; did not rise from my chair when people were presented to me; and left the house inside an hour, although the reception was given for me. The bitterest attack was an article printed in one of the morning papers, an article written by a woman who had been among the guests. I never answered that or any other of the attacks because the host and hostess were old friends and felt very badly about the affair; but I have a memory of Chicago that will go with me to the grave. It was very different with the New York hostesses of whom Mrs. Barlow, Mrs. Ronalds, and Mrs. Gilder were the representatives. By them a singer was treated as a little more, not less, than an ordinary human being! O you unfortunate people of a newer day who have not the memory of that enchanting meeting-ground in East Fifteenth Street:--the delightful Gilder studio, the rebuilding of which from a carriage house into a studio-home was about the first piece of architectural work done by Stanford White. There was one big, beautiful room, drawing-room and sitting-room combined, with a fine fireplace in it. Many a time have I done some scene from an opera there, in the firelight, to a sympathetic few. Everybody went to the Richard Watson Gilders'--at least, everybody who was worth while. They were in New York already the power that they remained for so many years. Some pedantic enthusiast once said of them that, "The Gilders were empowered by divine right to put the _cachet_ of recognition upon distinction." Miss Jeannette Gilder came into my life as long ago as 1869. I was singing in a concert in Newark and she was in the wings, listening to my first song. My mother and my maid were near her and, when I came off the stage, as we were trying to find a certain song for an _encore_, the pile of music fell at her feet. Promptly the tall young stranger said: "Please let me hold them for you." Her whole personality expressed a species of beaming admiration. I looked at her critically; and from this small service began our friendship. The Gilders were then living in Newark. The father, who was a Chaplain in the 40th New York Volunteers, died during the Civil War. His sons, Richard Watson Gilder and William H. Gilder, were also soldiers in the Civil War. The Richard Watson Gilders were married in 1874. Mrs. Gilder was Miss Helena de Kay, granddaughter of Joseph Rodman Drake, who was the author of _The Culprit Fay_. I met many interesting people at the Fifteenth Street studio. Helen Hunt Jackson, I remember well. She was then Mrs. Hunt, long before she had married Mr. Jackson or had written _Ramona_. She was a most pleasing personality, just stout enough to be genuinely genial. And Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett I first met there, about the time her _Lass o'Lowrie's_ appeared, a story we all thought most impressive. George Cable was discovered by the Gilders, like so many other literary lights, and he and I used to sing Creole melodies before their big fireplace. His voice was queer and light, without colour, but correct and well in tune. He had only one bit of colour in him and that--the poetry of his nature--he gave freely and exquisitely in his tales of Creole life. At a much later time I saw something of the old French Quarter of New Orleans of which he wrote, the whole spirit of which was so lovely. I also first met John Alexander at the Gilders' after he came back from Paris; and John La Farge, who brought there with him Okakura, the Japanese art connoisseur. That was when I first met Okakura; and on the same occasion he was introduced to Modjeska, she and I being the first stage people he had ever met socially. Later, in '79-'80, I saw a good deal of the Gilders in Paris, where they had a studio in the Quartier Latin. At that time, Mr. Gilder arranged for Millet's autobiography which first made him widely known in America; and in their Paris studio I met Sargent and Bastien Le Page and many other notables. I recall how becomingly Rodman Gilder--then three or four years old--was always dressed, in "Little Lord Fauntleroy" fashion long before the days of his young lordship. It was at this same period that I went to Fontainebleau to study the Barbizon School and met the son of Millet, who was trying to paint and never succeeded. Speaking of the Gilders reminds me, albeit indirectly, of Helena Modjeska, whom I first saw in Sacramento, playing _Adrienne Lecouvreur_. I was simply enchanted and thought I had never seen such delicate and yet such forcible acting. One reason why I was so greatly impressed was that I had acquired the foreign standard of acting, and had been much disturbed when I came home to find such lack of elegance and ease upon the stage. She had the foreign manner--the grace and, at the same time, the authority of the great French and German players; and it seemed to me that she ought to be heard by the big critics. So I wrote home to Jeannette Gilder in New York an enthusiastic account of this actress who was being wasted on the Sacramento Valley. The public-spirited efforts of the Gilders in promoting anything artistic was so well and so long known that it is almost unnecessary to add that they interested themselves in the Polish artist and secured for her an opportunity to play in the East. She came, saw, and conquered; and I shall always feel, therefore, that I was definitely instrumental in launching Modjeska in theatrical New York. "Didn't I tell you so?" I said to Jeannette Gilder. There was always something very odd to me about Helena Modjeska. I never liked her personally half as much as I did as an actress. But she certainly was a wonderful actress. I once met John McCullough and talked with him about Modjeska, and he told me that she first acted in Polish to his English--Ophelia to his Hamlet--out West somewhere, I think it was in San Francisco. He said that he had been the first to urge her to learn English, and he was most enthusiastic about the wonderful effect she created even at that early time. As I had seen her in Sacramento during, approximately, the same period, I could discuss her with him sympathetically and intelligently. Although I never personally liked Helena Modjeska, I have liked as well as known many stage folk and have had, first and last, many real friends among them. It was my good fortune to know the elder Salvini in America. He happened to be stopping at the same hotel. He looked like a successful farmer; a very plain man,--very. He told me, among other interesting things, that no matter how small his part happened to be, he always played each succeeding act in a stronger colour, maintaining a steady _crescendo_, so that the last impression of all was the climax. I remember him in Othello, particularly his delicate and lovely _silent_ acting. When Desdémona came in and told the court how he had won her, Salvini only looked at her and spoke but the one word: "Desdémona!"--but the way he said it "made the tears rise in your heart and gather to your eyes." Irving and Terry, always among my close friends, I first met in London, at the McHenrys' house in Holland Park. At that time the McHenrys' Sunday night dinners were an institution. Later, when they came to America, I saw a great deal of them; and I remember Ellen Terry saying once, after a luncheon given by me at Delmonico's, "What a splendid woman Jeannette Gilder is! You know--" and she gave me a rueful glance--"I am _always_ wrong about men,--but seldom about women!" Dear Ellen Terry! She has always been the freshest, the most wholesome, and the most spontaneous personality on the stage: a sweet and candid woman, with a sound, warm heart and a great genius. At Lady Macmillan's a number of people, most of them literary, were discussing that deadly worthy and respectable actress Madge Robertson--Mrs. Kendall. The morals of stage people was the subject, and Mrs. Kendall was cited as an example of propriety. One of the women present spoke up from her corner: "Well," said she, "all I can say is that if I were giving a party for young girls I would steer very clear of Mrs. Kendall and ask Miss Terry instead. The Kendall lady does nothing but tell objectionable stories that lead to the glorification of her own purity, but you will never in a million years hear an indelicate word from the lips of Ellen Terry!" The only complaint Henry Irving had to make against New York was that he "had no one to play with." He insisted, and quite justly, too, that New York had no leisure class: that cultivated Bohemia, the playground for people of intellectual tastes and varied interests, did not exist in New York. He used to say that after the theatre, and after supper, he could not find anybody at his club who would discuss with him either modern drama or the old dramatic traditions; or give him any exchange of ideas or intelligent comradeship. [Illustration: =Ellen Terry= From a photograph by Sarony] He and I had many delightful talks, and I wish now that I had made notes of the things he told me about stagecraft. He had a great deal to say about stage lighting, a subject he was for ever studying and about which he was always experimenting. It was his idea to do away with shadows upon the stage, and he finally accomplished his effect by lighting the wings very brilliantly. Until his radical reforms in this direction the theatres always used to be full of grotesque masses of light and shade. To-day the art of lighting may be said to have reached perfection. One of the most interesting things about Henry Irving was the way in which he made use of the smallest trifles that might aid him in getting his effects. He knew perfectly his own limitations, and was always seeking to compensate for them. For example, he was utterly lacking in any musical sense; like Dr. Johnson, he did not even possess an appreciation of sweet sounds, and did not care to go to either concerts or operas. But he knew how important music was in the theatre, and he knew instinctively--with that extraordinary stage-sense of his--what would appeal to an audience, even if it did not appeal to him. So, if he went anywhere and heard a melody or sequence of chords that he thought might fit in somewhere, he had it noted down at once, and collected bits of music in this way wherever he went. Sometime, he felt, the need for that particular musical phrase would arrive in some production he was putting on, and he would be ready with it. That was a wonderful thing about Irving--he was always prepared. Speaking of Irving and his statement about the lack of a cultivated leisure class in New York, reminds me of the Vanderbilts, who were shining examples of this very lack, for they were immensely wealthy and yet did not half understand, at that time, the possibilities of wealth. William H. Vanderbilt was always my very good friend. His father, Cornelius, the founder of the family, used to say of him that "Bill hadn't sense enough to make money himself--he had to have it left to him!" The old man was wont to add, "Bill's no good anyway!" The Vanderbilts were plain people in those days, but had the kindest hearts. "Bill" took a course in practical railroading, filling the position of conductor on the Hudson River Railroad, from which "job" he had just been promoted when I first knew him. He did turn out to be some "good" in spite of his father's pessimistic predictions. My mother and I spent many summers at "Clarehurst," my country home at Cold Spring on the Hudson. The Vanderbilts' railroad, the New York Central, ran through Cold Spring, so that my Christmas present from William H. Vanderbilt each year was an annual pass. He began sending it to me alone, and then included my mother, until it became a regular institution. We saw something of Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt at Saratoga also, which was then a fashionable resort, before Newport supplanted it with a higher standard of formality and extravagance. I remember I once started to ask William H. Vanderbilt's advice about investing some money. "You may know of some good security--" I began. "I don't! I don't!" he exclaimed with heat. Then he shook his finger at me impressively, saying: "Let me tell you something that my father always said, and don't you ever forget it. He said that 'it takes a smart man to make money, but a _damned sight smarter one to keep it_!'" My place at Cold Spring was where I went to rest between seasons, a lovely place with the wind off the Hudson River, and gorgeous oak trees all about. When the acorns dropped on the tin roof of the veranda in the dead of night they made an alarming noise like tiny ghostly footsteps. One day when I was off on an herb-hunting expedition, some highwaymen tried to stop my carriage, and that was the beginning of troublous times at Cold Spring. It developed that a band of robbers was operating in our neighbourhood, with headquarters in a cave on Storm King Mountain, just opposite us. They made a specialty of robbing trains, and were led by a small man with such little feet that his footprints were easily enough traced;--traced, but not easily caught up with! He never was caught, I believe. But he, or his followers, skulked about our place; and we were alarmed enough to provide ourselves with pistols. That was when I learned to shoot, and I used to have shooting parties for target practice. My father would prowl about after dark, firing off his pistol whenever he heard a suspicious sound, so that, for a time, what with acorns and pistols, the nights were somewhat disturbed. During the summers I drove all over the country and had great fun stopping my pony--he was a dear pony, too,--and rambling about picking flowers. I never passed a spring without stopping to drink from it. I've always had a passion for woods and brooks; and was the enterprising one of the family when it came to exploring new roads. Of the beaten track I can stand only just so much; then my spirit rises in rebellion. I love a cowpath. I used to be an adept, too, at finding flag-root, which was "so good to put in your handkerchief to take to church"! (We carried our handkerchiefs in our hands in those days.) Or dill, or fresh fennel, "to chew through the long service"! Now the dill flavour is called caraway seed; but it isn't the same, or doesn't seem so. And there was fresh, sweet, black birch! Could anything be more delicious than the taste of black birch? The present generation, with its tea-rooms and soda-water fountains, does not know the refreshment of those delicacies prepared by Nature herself. I feel sure that John Burroughs appreciates black birch, being, as he is, one of the survivals of the fittest! CHAPTER XXVII "THE THREE GRACES" In 1877, I embarked upon a venture that was destined, in spite of much success, to be one of the most unpleasant experiences of my professional career. Max Strakosch and Colonel Mapleson, the younger--Henry Mapleson--organised a Triple-Star Tour all over America, the three being Marie Roze, Annie Louise Cary, and Clara Louise Kellogg. The press called us "The Three Graces" and wrote much fulsome nonsense about "three pure and irreproachable women appearing together upon the operatic stage, etc." The classification was one I did not care for. Here, after many intervening years, I enter and put on record my protest. At the time it all served as advertising to boom the tour and, as it was most of it arranged for by Mapleson himself, I had to let it go by in dignified silence. Nor was Henry Mapleson any better than he should have been either, in his personal life or in his business relations, as his wives and I have reason to know. I say "wives" advisedly, for he had several. Marie Roze was never really married to him but, as he called her Mrs. Mapleson, she ought to be counted among the number. At the time of our "Three-Star Tour," she was playing the _rôle_ of Mapleson's wife and finding it somewhat perilous. She was a mild and gentle woman, very sweet-natured and docile and singularly stupid, frequently incurring her managerial "husband's" rage by doing things that he thought were impolitic, for he had always to manage every effect. She seldom complained of his treatment but nobody could know them without being sorry for her. Previous to this relation with Mapleson, Marie Roze had married an exceedingly fine man, a young American singer of distinction, who died soon after the marriage. She had two sons, one of whom, Raymond Roze, passed himself off as her nephew for years. I believe he is a musical director of position and success in London at the present day. Henry Mapleson did not inherit any of the strong points of his father, Col. J. M. Mapleson of London, who really did know something about giving opera, although he had his failings and was difficult to deal with. Henry Mapleson always disliked me and, over and over again, he put Marie in a position of seeming antagonism to me; but I never bore malice for she was innocent enough. She had some spirit tucked away in her temperament somewhere, only, when we first knew her, she was too intimidated to let it show. When she was singing _Carmen_ she was the gentlest mannered gypsy that was ever stabbed by a jealous lover--a handsome Carmen but too sweet and good for anything. Carlton was the Escamillo and he said to her quite crossly once at rehearsal, "You don't make love to me enough! You don't put enough devil into it!" Marie flared up for a second. "I can be a devil if I like," she informed him. But, in spite of this assertion, she never put any devil into anything she did--on the stage at least. [Illustration: =Colonel Henry Mapleson= From a photograph by Downey] Very few singers ever seem to get really inside Carmen. Some of the modern ones come closer to her; but in my day there was an unwritten law against realism in emotion. In most of the old standard _rôles_ it was all right to idealise impulses and to beautify the part generally, but Carmen is too terribly human to profit by such treatment. She cannot be glossed over. One can, if one likes, play _Traviata_ from an elegant point of view, but there is nothing elegant about Mérimée's Gypsy. Neither is there any sentiment. Carmen is purely--or, rather, impurely--elemental, a complete little animal. I used to love the part, though. When I was studying the part, I got hold of Prosper Mérimée's novel and read it and considered it until I really understood the girl's nature which, _en passant_, I may say is more than the critic of _The New York Tribune_ had done. I doubt if he had ever read Mérimée at all, for he said that my rendering of Carmen was too realistic! The same column spoke favourably in later years, of Mme. Calvé's performance, so it was undoubtedly a case of _autres temps, autres moeurs_! Carmen was, of course, too low for me. It was written for a low mezzo, and parts of it I could not sing without forcing my lower register. The Habanera went very well by being transposed half a tone higher; but the card-playing scene was another matter. The La Morte _encore_ lies very low and I could not raise it. Luckily the orchestra is quite light there and I could sing reflectively as if I were saying to myself, as I sat on the bales, "My time is coming!" [Illustration: Musical notation: Ri-pe-te-rà: l'av-el!....an-cor! au-cor!..La Morte n-cor!] In the fortune-telling quartette I arranged with one of the Gypsy girls--Frasquita, I think it was,--to sing my part and let me sing hers, which was very high, and thus relieve me. A _rôle_ in which I made my _début_ while I was with Marie Roze and Gary was Aïda. Mapleson was anxious that Roze should have it, but Strakosch gave it to me. One of Mapleson's critics wrote severely about my sitting on a low seat instead of on the steps of the dais during the return of Rhadames, I remember in this connection. But nothing could prevent Aïda from being a success and it became one of my happiest _rôles_. A year or two later when I sang it in London my success was confirmed. Gary was Amneris in it and ranked next to the Amneris for whom Verdi wrote it, although she rather over-acted the part. I have never seen an Amneris who did not. There is something about the part that goes to the head. Speaking of my new _rôles_ at that period, I must not forget to mention my mad scene from _Hamlet_; nor my one act of _Lohengrin_ that I added to my _répertoire_. Lucia had always been one of my successes; and I believe that one of the points that made my Senta interesting was that I interpreted her as a girl obsessed with what was almost a monomania. She was a highly abnormal creature and that was the way I played her. It was a satisfaction to me that a few people here and there really appreciated this rather subtle interpretation. In commendation of this interpretation there appeared an anonymous letter in _The Chicago Inter-Ocean_, a part of which read: "In her rendering of this strange character (Senta) Miss Kellogg keeps constantly true to the ideal of the great composer, Wagner. In her acting, as well as in her singing, we see nothing of the woman; only the abnormal manifestations of the subject of a monomania. The writer is informed by a physician whose observations of the insane, extending over many years, enable him to judge of Miss Kellogg's acting in this character, and he does not hesitate to say that she delineates truthfully the victim of a mind diseased. Such a delineation can only be the result of a careful study of the insane, aided by a wonderful intuitive faculty. The representation of the mad Ophelia in the last act of _Hamlet_, given by Miss Kellogg last Saturday, fully confirms the writer in the belief that no woman since Ristori possesses such power in rendering the manifestations of the insane." [Illustration: =Clara Louise Kellogg as Aïda= From a photograph by Mora] The portion of my tour with Roze and Cary under the management of Max Strakosch that took me to the far West, was particularly uncomfortable. Fortunately the financial results compensated in a large measure for the annoyances. Not only did I have Mapleson's influence and his determination to push Marie Roze at all costs to contend with, and the trying actions and personality of Annie Louise Cary, but I also was subjected to much embarrassment from a manager named Bianchi, with whom, early in my career, I had partially arranged to go to California. Our agreement had fallen through because he was unable to raise the sum promised me; so, when I did go, with Roze and Cary and Strakosch, he was exceedingly bitter against me. Annie Louise Cary was, strictly speaking, a contralto; yet she contrived to be considered as a mezzo and even had a try at regular soprano _rôles_ like _Mignon_. It is almost superfluous to state that she disliked me. So far as I was concerned, she would have troubled me very little indeed if she had been willing to let me alone. I would not know her socially, but professionally I always treated her with entire courtesy and would have been satisfied to hold with her the most amicable relations in the world, as I have with all singers with whom I have appeared in public. Annie Louise Cary, however, willed it otherwise. _The Tribune_ once printed a long editorial in which Max Strakosch was described as pacing up and down the room distractedly, crying: "Oh, what troubles! For God's sake, don't break up my troupe!" This was rather exaggerated; but I daresay there was more truth than fiction in it. Poor Max did have his troubles! Max Strakosch was an Austrian by birth and, having lived the greater part of twenty-five years in this country, considered himself an American. He began his career with Parodi, somewhere back in the rosy dawn of our operatic history. Parodi was a great dramatic singer--the only woman of her day--brought over as the rival of Jenny Lind. Later Max Strakosch was with Thalberg, after which he was connected with the importation of various opera troupes having in their lists such singers as Madame Gazzaniga, Madame Coulsen, Albertini, Stigelli, Brignoli, and Susini. In all these early enterprises he was associated with his brother Maurice. He would himself have become a musician, but Maurice advised differently. So, as he expressed it, he always engaged his artists "by ear"; that is, he had them sing to him and in that way judged of their availability. Maurice used to say to him, "If you are merely a technical musician you can only tell what will please musicians. If you have general musical culture, and know the public, you can tell what will please the public." And, as Max sometimes amplified, "I have discovered this to be correct in many cases. Jarrett, who acted as the agent of Nilsson and Lucca, is not a practical musician. Neither is Morelli, who is a great impresario; neither is Mapleson. But they know what the public want and they furnish it." After he separated from his brother in operatic management, Max travelled with Gottschalk, with Carlotta Patti, and first brought Nilsson to America. Capoul, Campanini, and Maurel all made their appearance on the American operatic stage under his guidance. Do you find your artists difficult to manage? [he was asked by a San Francisco reporter]. In some respects, yes, [was his reply]. They have certain operas which they wish to sing and they decline to learn others. The public get tired of these and demand novelty. With Miss Kellogg there is never this trouble. She knows forty operas and knows them well. She has a wonderful musical memory. She is a student, and learns everything new that is published. She has worked her way to her present high position step by step. She is sure of her position. She has an independent fortune, but loves her art and her country. But she is not obliged to confine herself to America. She has offers from London, Paris, and St. Petersburg, and will probably visit those places next season. She is just now at the zenith of her powers. She has learned _Paul and Virginia_, a very charming opera written for Capoul, and which will be given here for the first time in the United States. If we give our contemplated season of opera here she will sing Valentine in _The Huguenots_ for the first time. This same reporter has described Max as follows: He can be seen almost at any hour about the Palace Hotel when not engaged with a myriad of musicians--opera singers long ago stranded on this coast, young vocalists with voices to be tried, chorus singers seeking employment, players on instruments wanting to perform in his orchestra, and people who come on all imaginable errands--or looking at the objects of curiosity about the city. He is always in a state of vibration; has a tongue forever in motion and a body never at rest. He is as demonstrative as a Frenchman. He talks with all the oscillations, bobs, shrugs, and nervous twitchings of the most mercurial Parisian. He has a pronounced foreign accent. When speaking, his voice runs over the entire gamut, only stopping at _C_ sharp above the lines. In the dining-room he attracts the attention of guests and waiters by the eagerness of his manner. When interested in the subject of conversation, he throws his arms sideways, endangering the lives of his neighbours with his knife and fork, rises in his seat, makes extravagant gestures.... His greeting is always cordial, accompanied by a grasp of the hand like a patent vice or the gentle nip of a hay-press. Mlle. Ilma de Murska, "The Hungarian Nightingale," was with us part of the time on this tour. She was a well-known Amina in _Sonnambula_ and appeared in our all-star casts of _Don Giovanni_. She was said to have had five husbands. I know she had a chalk-white face, a belt of solid gold, and a menagerie of snakes and lizards that she carried about with her. This is all I remember with any vividness of Murska. It all seems long, long ago; and, I find, it is the ridiculously unimportant things that stand out most clearly in my memory. For instance, we gave extra concerts, of course, and one of them lasted so long, thanks to _encores_ and general enthusiasm, that Strakosch had to send word to hold the train by which we were leaving. But the audience wanted more, and yet more, and at last I had to go out on the stage and say: "There's a train waiting for me! If I sing again, I'll miss that train!" Then the people laughingly consented to let me go. Another funny little episode happened in San Francisco, when I did for once break down in the middle of a scene. It was--let me see--I think it must have been in our last season of English opera, instead of in "The Three Graces" tour, for it occurred in _The Talisman_, but speaking of California suggests it to me. We carried six Russian singers. They all joined the Greek Church choir later. One of them was a little man about five feet high, with a sweet voice, but an extremely nervous temperament. There was an unimportant _rôle_ in _The Talisman_ of a crusading soldier who had to rush on and sing a phrase to the effect that St. George's boats and horses were approaching from both sides; I do not recall the words. The only man who could sing the "bit" was our five-foot Russian friend. He had to wear a large Saracen helmet and carry a shield six feet high; and his entrance was a running one. I, playing Lady Edith Plantagenet, looked around to see the poor little chap come staggering along under the immense shield and to hear a very shaky and frightened voice gasp: "Sire, St. George's floats and boats, and flounts and mounts--" I tried to sing "A traitor! A traitor!" but got only as far as "A trai--" when I was overcome with an impulse of laughter and the curtain had to be rung down! I recall, too, a visit I had from a Chinese woman. I had bought something from a Chinese shop in San Francisco, and the wife of the merchant, dressed most ceremoniously and accompanied by four servants, came to see me and expressed her desire to have me call on her. So a cousin who was with me and I went, expecting to see a Chinese interior; but we found the most _banal_ of American furnishings and surroundings. Afterwards we visited Chinatown and one of the opium dens, where we saw the whole process of opium smoking by the men there, lying in bunks along the wall like shelves. It was on this trip, too, when going West, that, as we reached the Junction in Utah to branch off to Salt Lake City, we found the tracks were all filled up with the funeral train--flat decorated cars with seats--left from the funeral of Brigham Young. But the strongest recollection of all--yes, even than the troubles between Annie Louise Cary and myself--stands out, of that Western tour, the knowledge of the good friends I won, personally and professionally, a collective testimonial of which remains with me in the form of a large gold brooch shaped like a lyre, across which is an enamelled bar of music from _Faust_ delicately engraved in gold and with diamonds used as the notes. On the back is inscribed: "Farewell from friends who love thee." The same year I sang at the triennial festival of the Händel and Haydn Society of Boston. Emma Thursby, a high coloratura soprano, was with us. So were Charles Adams and M. W. Whitney. Gary also sang. It was a very brilliant musical event for the Boston of those days. It was in Boston, too, although a little later, that Von Bulow called on me and, speaking of practising on the piano, showed me his fingers, upon the tips of every one of which were very tough corns. In further conversation he remarked, with regard to Wagner, "Ah, he married my widow!" When singing in Boston one night, during "The Three Graces" tour, at a performance of _Mignon_, there was noted by one newspaper man who was present the somewhat curious fact that in singing that Italian opera only one of the principals sang in his or in her native tongue. Cary was an American, Roze a Frenchwoman, Tom Karl (Carroll) an Irishman, Verdi (Green) an American, and myself. The only Italian was Frapoli, the new tenor. [Illustration: =Faust Brooch Presented to Clara Louise Kellogg=] In 1878, on a Western trip, I remember my making a point, in some place in Kansas, of singing in an institute on Sunday for the pleasure of the inmates. We had done this sort of thing frequently before, notably in Utica. So we went to the prison to sing to the prisoners. I said to the company, "I am going to sing to give _pleasure_, and not a hymn is to be in the programme!" When I was told of the desperadoes in the place I was almost intimidated. The guards were particularly imposing. I played my own accompaniments and I sang negro melodies. I never had such an audience, of all my appreciative audiences. Never, I feel sure, have I given quite so much pleasure as to those lawless prisoners out in Kansas. CHAPTER XXVIII ACROSS THE SEAS AGAIN I was glad to be going again to England. My farewell to my native land was, however, more like an ovation than a farewell. One long table of the ship's grand saloon was heaped with flowers sent me by friends and "admirers." The list of my fellow passengers on this occasion was a distinguished one, including Bishop Littlejohn, Bishop Scarborough, Bishop Clarkson, and other Episcopal prelates who were going over to attend the conference in London; the Rev. Dr. John Hall; Maurice Grau, Max Strakosch, Henry C. Jarrett, John McCullough, Lester Wallack, General Rathbone of Albany, Colonel Ramsay of the British army, Frederick W. Vanderbilt, and Joseph Andrede, the Cape of Good Hope millionaire. I was interviewed by a _Sun_ reporter, on deck, and assured him that I was going abroad for rest only. "No," I said, "I shall not sing a note. How could I, after such a season--one hundred and fifty nights of constant labour. No; I shall breathe the sea air, and that of the mountains, and see Paris--delightful Paris! With such a lovely summer before me, it would be a little hard to have to work." It was like old times to be in England once more. Yet I found many changes. One of them was in the state of my old friend James McKenzie who had been in the East Indian trade and had a delightful place in Scotland adjoining that of the Queen, through which she used to drive with the incomparable John Brown. I had been invited up there on my first visit to England, but was not able to accept. When I asked for him this time I learned that he had been knighted for loaning money to the Prince of Wales. A girl I knew quite well told me, this year, a touching little story of a half-fledged romance which had taken place at Sir James's place in Scotland. The Prince who was known in England as "Collars and Cuffs" and who died young, was with the McKenzies for the hunting season and there met my friend,--such a pretty American girl she was! They fell in love with each other and, though of course nothing could come of it, they played out their pathetic little drama like any ordinary young lovers. "Come down early to dinner," the Prince would whisper. "I'll have a bit of heather for you!" And when they met in London, later, he took her to Marlborough House and showed her the royal nurseries and the shelves where his toys were still kept. The girl nearly broke down when she told me about it. I have thought of the little story more than once since. "He hated to have me courtesy to him," she said. "He used to whisper quite fiercely: 'don't you courtesy to me when you can avoid it--I can't bear to have you do it!'" My new _rôle_ in London that season was Aïda. For, of course, I was singing! It went so well that Mapleson (père) wanted to extend my engagement. But I was very, very tired and, for some reason--this, probably,--not in my usual "form," to borrow an Anglicism, so I decided to go to Paris and rest, meanwhile waiting for something to develop that I liked well enough to accept. Maurice Strakosch had been my agent in England, but it seemed to me that his methods were becoming somewhat antiquated. So I gave him up and decided that I would get along without any agent at all. I also gave up Colonel Mapleson. Mapleson owed me money--although, for that matter, he owed everybody. Poor Titjiens sang for years for nothing. So, when, as soon as I was fairly settled in Paris, the Colonel sent me earnest and prayerful summons to come back to London and go on singing _Aïda_, I turned a deaf ear and sent back word that I was too tired. My first appearance in London this season was at a Royal Concert at Buckingham Palace to which, as before, I was "commanded." There were present many royalties, any number of foreign ambassadors, dukes, duchesses, marquises, marchionesses, archbishops, earls, countesses, lords, and viscounts. Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales wore, I remember, a gown of crème satin brocade trimmed with point d'Alençon, trimmed with pansy-coloured velvet; and her jewels were diamonds, pearls, and sapphires. Her tiara was of diamonds and she was decorated with many orders. Said an American press notice: Miss Kellogg, it is a pleasure to say, achieved a complete triumph and received the congratulations of the Prince and Princess of Wales and of everyone present.... And not a whit behind this was the great triumph she gained on the evening of June 19th, in her character of Aïda, without doubt the most impressive and ambitious of her impersonations, and which has won for her in America the highest praise from musical people and public on account of the intensity of feeling which she throws into the dramatic action and music. The London _Times_ critic, who is undoubtedly the best in London, bestows praise in unequivocal language for the excellence of Miss Kellogg's interpretation. That Miss Kellogg has been so successful as a singer will be glad news to her friends, and that she has been so successful as an American singer will be still better news to those people who feel keenly for our national reputation as lovers and promoters of the fine arts. In an interview in London Max Strakosch was asked with regard to his plans for another season: "Why do you contemplate giving English opera instead of Italian?" "For two reasons," he replied. "The first is that English is very popular now and the great generality of people in England and America prefer it. This is especially the case in England. The second reason is that, although Kellogg is the equal of an Italian operatic star, fully as fine as Gerster, immeasurably superior to Hauck, people with set ideas will always have their favourites, and partisanship is possible; whereas in English opera Kellogg stands alone, unapproachable, the indisputable queen." "What is all this talk I hear about a lot of rich men coming to the front in New York to support Mapleson's operatic ventures with their money?" "Why, it is all talk; that's just it. That sort of talk has been talked for years back, but they never do anything. Why didn't these rich men that want opera in New York give me any money? I stood ready to bring out any artists they wanted if they would guarantee me against loss. But they never did anything of the kind, and I have brought out the leading artists of our times at my own risks. The only man who's worth anything of all that lot that's talking so much about opera now in New York is Mr. Bennett. He's got the _Herald_, and that has influence." "What do you think of Americans as an opera-going people?" he was asked. "While we have many music-lovers in America, it is nevertheless a difficult matter to cater to our public," Max replied. "Here in England there is such an immense constituency for opera; people who have solid fortunes, which nothing disturbs, and who want opera and all other beautiful and luxurious things, and will pay largely for them. In America hard times may set everybody to economising and, of course, one of the first things cut off is going to the opera." "Was all that gossip about disputes and jealousies between Kellogg and Gary last season a managerial dodge for notoriety?" "Dear me, no. I haven't the slightest idea how all that stuff and nonsense started. Kellogg and Gary were always good friends. If Gary wasn't pleased with her treatment last year, why should she engage with us again? Besides, what rivalry could there possibly be between a soprano and a contralto? The soprano is the _prima donna_ incontestably, the star of the troupe." In Paris my mother and I took an apartment on the Rue de Chaillot, just off the Champs Élysées. One of the first things I did in Paris was to refuse an offer to sing in Budapesth. While in Paris I, of course, did sing many times, but it was always unprofessionally. I had a wonderful stay in Paris, and went to everything from horse shows to operas. Those were the charming days when Mme. Adam had her _salon_. I met there some of the most gifted and brilliant people of the age. She was the editor of the _Nouvelle Revue_, and it was through her that I met Coquelin. He frequently recited at her receptions; and it was a great privilege to hear his wonderful French and his inimitable intonation in an _intime_ way. The house where I enjoyed visiting more than any other except the Adams', was that of Theodore Robin, who had married a rich American widow and had a beautiful home on Parc Monceau. His baritone voice was a very fine one, and he had studied at first with a view to making a career for himself; but he was naturally indolent and, having married money, his indolence never decreased. Valentine Black was another friend of ours and we spent many an evening at his house listening to Godard and Widor play their songs. Widor was the organist at Saint Sulpice and had composed some charming lyric music. Godard was a very small man, intensely musical. He had the curious gift of being able to copy another composer's style exactly. Few people know, for instance, that he wrote all the recitative music for _Carmen_. It is almost incredible that another brain than Bizet's should have so marvellously caught the spirit and the mood of that music. The Stanley Club gave me a dinner in the following March at which my mother and I were the only ladies present. Mr. Ryan was the President of the Club and represented the _New York Herald_. The foreign correspondents of the _Evening Post_ and the _Boston Advertiser_ were there, and next to Ryan sat Richard Watson Gilder who was representing the _Century Magazine_. There were also there several poets and writers, and more than one painter whose picture hung in the _Salon_ of that year. No one asked me to sing; but I felt that I wanted to and did so. After the "Jewel Song" and the "Polonaise," someone asked for "Way Down on the Suwanee River." I sang it, and was struck by the incongruous touch of the little negro melody, the brilliant Stanley Club, and all Paris outside. No one can live in the atmosphere of artistic Paris without being interested in other branches of art besides one's own. That is a charming trait of French people;--they are not a bit prejudiced when it comes to recognising forms of genius that are unfamiliar. The stupidest Parisian painter will weep over Tschaikowsky's _Pathétique Symphony_ or will wildly applaud one of the rather cumbersome Racine tragedies at the Théâtre Français. I knew Cabanel quite well (not, I hasten to add, that he would be apt to cultivate an artistic taste in anybody) and I met Jules Stewart at the Robins', whose father was the greatest collector of Fortuneys in the world. I think it was he who took me to the Loan Exhibition of the Barbizon School of Painting that year. The pictures were hung beautifully, I remember, so that one could see the stages of their development. It was about the same time that I first heard Josephine de Reszke in Paris. In any case it was somewhere in the seventies. She was a soprano with a beautiful voice but not an attractive personality. Her neck was exceptionally short and set so far down into her shoulders that she just escaped deformity. She was very much the blonde, northern type, and still a young woman. I have heard that she did not have to sing for monetary reasons. A few years later she married a wealthy Polish banker and left the stage. At the time I first heard her the de Reszke men were not singing. It was in _Le Roi de Lahore_ that I heard her, with Lascelle. I never listened to anything more magnificently done than Lascelle's singing of the big baritone _aria_. Maurel followed him as a baritone. He was a great artist also, with possibly more intelligence in his singing than Lascelle. Lascelle relied entirely on his glorious voice; in consequence he never realised all in his career that might have been possible. In reality, if you have one great gift, you have to develop as many other gifts as possible in order to present and to protect that one properly! A little later I heard Maurel in _Iago_. (This reminds me of _Othello_ in Munich, when Vogel, the tenor, sang out of tune and nearly spoiled Maurel's work). What an actor, and what an intelligence! One felt in Maurel a man who had studied his _rôles_ from the original plots. He played a great part in costuming, but, curiously enough, he could never play parts of what I call elemental picturesqueness. His Amonasro in _Aïda_ was good, but it was a bit too clean and tidy. He looked as if he were just out of a Turkish bath, immaculate, in spite of his uncivilised guise. He could, however, play a small part as if it were the finest _rôle_ in the piece; and he had an inimitable elegance and art, even with a certain primitive romantic quality lacking. But what days those were--of what marvellous singing companies! I hear no such vocalism now, in spite of the elaborate and expensive opera that is put on each year. In my mother's diary of this period I find: Louise presented to Verdi and we had no idea she would appear in any newspaper in consequence.... She went to hear the damnation of _Faust_ last Sunday and says the orchestra was _very_ fine. The singing is not so much. She went to hear _Aïda_ last night at the Grau Opera House with Verdi to conduct and Krauss as Aïda. Chorus and orchestra fine artists. _Well_--she was _disappointed_! Krauss sings so false and has not as much power as Louise. She came home quite proud of herself. Took her opera and marked everything. Says her _tempo_ was very nearly correct; but yet she was disappointed. Krauss changes her dress. Louise does not.... We went to Miss Van Zandt's _début_. She made a veritable success. Has a very light tone. The _Théâtre Comique_ is small. She is extremely slender and, if not worked too hard, will develop into a fine artist. Our box joined Patti's. I sat next to her and we lost no time in chatting over everything that was interesting to us both. She told me her whole story. I was very much interested; and had a most agreeable evening. Was glad I went. In a letter written by my mother to my father I find another mention of my meeting Verdi: "Louise was invited to breakfast with Verdi, the composer of _Aïda_. She said he was the most natural, unaffected, and the most amiable man (musical) she ever met." CHAPTER XXIX TEACHING AND THE HALF-TALENTED I have gone abroad nearly every summer and it was on one of these trips, in 1877, that I first met Lilian Nordica. It was at a garden party given by the Menier Chocolat people at their _usine_ just outside Paris, after she had returned from making a tour of Europe with Patrick Gilmore's band. A few years later she and I sang together in Russia; and we have always been good friends. At the time of the Gilmore tour she was quite a girl, but she dressed her hair in a fashion that made her look much older than she really was and that threw into prominence her admirably determined chin. She always attributed her success in life to that chin. Before becoming an opera singer she had done about everything else. She had been a book-keeper, had worked at the sewing machine, and sung in obscure choirs. The chin enabled her to surmount such drudgery. A young person with a chin so expressive of determination and perseverance could not be downed. She told me at that early period that she always kept her eyes fixed on some goal so high and difficult that it seemed impossible, and worked toward it steadily, unceasingly, putting aside everything that stood in the path which led to it. In later years she spoke again of this, evidently having kept the idea throughout her career. "When I sang Elsa," she said, "I thought of Brunhilde,--then Isolde,--" My admiration for Mme. Nordica is deep and abounding. Her breathing and tone production are about as nearly perfect as anyone's can be, and, if I wanted any young student to learn by imitation, I could say to her, "Go and hear Nordica and do as nearly like her as you can!" There are not many singers, nor have there ever been many, of whom one could say that. And one of the finest things about this splendid vocalism is that she has had nearly as much to do with it as had God Almighty in the first place. When I first knew her she had no dramatic quality above _G_ sharp. She could reach the upper notes, but tentatively and without power. She had, in fact, a beautiful mezzo voice; but she could not hope for leading _rôles_ in grand opera until she had perfect control of the upper notes needed to complete her vocal equipment. She went about it, moreover, "with so much judition," as an old man I know in the country says. But it was not until after the Russian engagement that she went to Sbriglia in Paris and worked with him until she could sing a high _C_ that thrilled the soul. That _C_ of hers in the Inflammatus in Rossini's _Stabat Mater_ was something superb. Not many singers can do it as successfully as Nordica, although they can all accomplish a certain amount in "manufactured" notes. Fursch-Nadi, also a mezzo, had to acquire upper notes as a business proposition in order to enlarge her _répertoire_. She secured the notes and the requisite _rôles_; yet her voice lost greatly in quality. Nordica's never did. She gained all and lost nothing. Her voice, while increasing in register, never suffered the least detriment in tone nor _timbre_. It was Nordica who first told me of Sbriglia, giving him honest credit for the help he had been to her. Like all truly big natures she has always been ready to acknowledge assistance wherever she has received it. Some people--and among them artists to whom Sbriglia's teaching has been of incalculable value--maintain a discreet silence on the subject of their study with him, preferring, no doubt, to have the public think that they have arrived at vocal perfection by their own incomparable genius alone. All of my training had been in my native country and I had always been very proud of the fact that critics and experts on two continents cited me as a shining example of what American musical education could do. All the same, when I was in Paris during an off season, I took advantage of being near the great teacher, Sbriglia, to consult him. I really did not want him actually to do anything to my voice as much as I wanted him to tell me there was nothing that needed doing. At the time I went to him I had been singing for twenty years. Sbriglia tried my voice carefully and said: "Mademoiselle, you have saved your voice by singing far _forward_." "That's because I've been worked hard," I told him, "and have had to place it so in self-defence. Many a night I've been so tired it was like _pumping_ to sing! Then I would sing 'way, _'way_ in front and, by so doing, was able to get through." "Ah, that's it!" said he. "You've sung against your teeth--the best thing in the world for the preservation of the voice. You get a _white_, flat sound that way." "Then I don't sing wrong?" I asked, for I knew that the first thing great vocal masters usually have to do is to tell one how not to sing. "Mademoiselle," said Sbriglia, "you breathe by the grace of God! Breathing is all of singing and I can teach you nothing of either." Sbriglia's method was the old Italian method known to teachers as _diaphragmatic_, of all forms of vocal training the one most productive of endurance and stability in a voice. I went several times to sing for him and, on one occasion, met Plançon who had been singing in Marseilles and, from a defective method, had begun to sing out of tune so badly that he resolved to come to Paris to see if he could find someone who might help him to overcome it. He was quite frank in saying that Sbriglia had "made him." I used to hear him practising in the Maestro's apartment and would listen from an adjoining room so that, when I met him, I was able to congratulate him on his improvement in tone production from day to day. Phrasing and expression are what make so many great French artists--that, and an inborn sense of the general effect. French actors and singers never forget to keep themselves picturesque and harmonious. They may get off the key musically but never _artistically_. Germans have not a particle of this sense. They are individualists, egoists, and are forever thinking of themselves and not of the whole. When I heard Slezak, I said to myself: "If only somebody would photograph that man and show him for once what he looks like!" The worst thing Sbriglia had to contend with was the obtuseness of people. They did not know when they were doing well or ill, and would not believe him when he told them. I remember being there one day while a young Canadian girl was making tones for the master. She had a good voice and could have made a really fine effect if she could only have heard herself with her brain. After he had been working with her for a time, she sang a delightful note properly placed. "Good!" exclaimed Sbriglia. "That was lovely," I put in. "_That?_ I wouldn't sing like that for anything! It sounded like an old woman's voice!" cried the girl, quite amazed. Sbriglia threw up his hands in a frenzy and ordered her out of the house. So that was an end of her as far as he was concerned. Sbriglia really loved to teach. It was a genuine joy to him to put the finishing touches on a voice; to do those things for it that, apparently, the Creator had not had time to do. I know one singer who, when complimented upon his vast improvement, replied without the slightest intention of impiety: "Yes, I am singing well now, thanks to Sbriglia,--and, of course, _le bon Dieu_!" he added as an after-thought. Everyone knows what Sbriglia did for Jean de Reszke, turning him from an unsuccessful baritone into the foremost tenor of the world. Sbriglia first met the Polish singer at some Paris party, where de Reszke told him that he was discouraged, that his career as a baritone had not been a fortunate one, and that he had about made up his mind to give it all up and leave the stage. He was a rich man and did not sing for a living like most professionals. Sbriglia had heard him sing. Said he: "M. de Reszke, you are not a baritone." "I am coming to that conclusion myself," said Monsieur ruefully. "No, you are not a baritone," repeated Sbriglia. "You are a tenor." Jean de Reszke laughed. A tenor? He? But it was absurd! Nevertheless Sbriglia was calmly assured; and he was the greatest master of singing in France, if not in the world. After a little conversation, he convinced M. de Reszke sufficiently, at least, to give the new theory a chance. "You need not pay me anything," said the great teacher to the young man. "Not one franc will I take from you until I have satisfied you that my judgment is correct. Study with me for six months only and then I will leave it to you--and the world!" That was the beginning of the course of study which launched Jean de Reszke upon his extraordinarily prosperous and brilliant career. Speaking of Sbriglia leads my thoughts from the study of singing in general to the struggle of young singers, first, for education, and, second, for recognition. I would like to impress upon those who think of trying to make a career or who would like to make one the benefit to be derived from reading the twenty-third and twenty-fourth chapters of George Eliot's _Daniel Deronda_, in which she makes clear how much early environment counts. There must have been some musical atmosphere, even if not of an advanced or educated kind. Music must be absorbed with the air one breathes and the food one eats, so as to form part of the blood and tissue. It is sad to see the number of girls with the idea that they are possessed of great gifts just ready to be developed by a short period of study, after which they will blossom out into successful singers. Injudicious friends--absolutely without judgment or musical discrimination--are responsible for the cruel disillusions that so frequently follow. I would like to cry out to them to reject the thought; or only to entertain it when encouraged by those capable by experience or training of truly judging their gifts. Many and many a girl comes out of a household where the highest musical knowledge has been the hand-organ in the street, and believes that she is going to take the world by storm. She is prepared to save and scrimp and struggle to go upon the stage when she really should be stopping at home, ironing the clothes and washing the dishes allotted her by a discriminating and judicious Providence. Said Klesner to Gwendolen who wants to go on the stage in _Daniel Deronda_: You have exercised your talents--you recite--you sing--from the drawing-room _Standpunkt_. My dear _Fräulein_, you must unlearn all that. You have not yet conceived what excellence is. You must unlearn your mistaken admirations. You must know what you have to strive for, and then you must subdue your mind and body to unbroken discipline. Your _mind_, I say. For you must not be thinking of celebrity. Put that candle out of your eyes and look only at excellence. You would, of course, earn nothing. You could get no engagement for a long while. You would need money for yourself and your family.... A mountebank's child who helps her father to earn shillings when she is six years old--a child that inherits a singing throat from a long line of choristers and learns to sing as it learns to talk--has a likelier beginning. Any great achievement in acting or in music grows with the growth. Whenever an artist has been able to say, "I came, I saw, I conquered," it has been at the end of patient practice. Genius at first is little more than a great capacity for receiving discipline. Singing and acting, like the fine dexterity of the juggler with his cups and balls, require a shaping of the organs toward a finer and finer certainty of effect. Your muscles--your whole frame--must go like a watch, true, true, true, to a hair. That is the work of springtime, before habits have been determined. This demonstrates what I cannot emphasise too heartily--the impossibility of taking people out of their normal environment and making anything worth while of them. There is a place in the world for everybody and, if everybody would stay in that place, there would be less confusion and fewer melancholy misfits. Singing is not merely vocal. It is spiritual. One must be _in_ music in some way; must hear it often, or, even, hear it talked about. Merely hearing it talked about gives one a chance to absorb some musical ideas while one's mental attitude is being moulded. Studying in classes supplies the musical atmosphere to a certain extent; and so does hearing other people sing, or reading biographies of musicians. All these are better than nothing--much better--and yet they can never take the place of really musical surroundings in childhood. Being brought up in a household where famous composers are known, loved, and discussed, where the best music is played on the piano and where certain critical standards are a part of the intellectual life of the inmates is a large musical education in itself. The young student will absorb thus more real musical feeling, and judgment, and knowledge, than in spending years at a conservatory. I have often and often received letters asking for advice and begging me to hear the voices of girls who have been told they have talent. It is a heart-breaking business. About one in sixty has had something resembling a voice and then, ten chances to one, she has not been in a position to cultivate herself. It is difficult to tell a girl that a woman must have many things besides a voice to make a success on the stage. It seems so--well!--so _conceited_--to say to her: "My poor child, you must have presence and personality; good teeth and a knowledge of how to dress; grace of manner, dramatic feeling, high intelligence, and an aptitude for foreign languages besides a great many other essentials that are too numerous to mention but that you will discover fast enough if you try to go ahead without them!" An impulsive and warm-hearted friend was visiting me once when I received a letter from a young woman whom I will call "E. H.," asking permission to come and sing for me. I read the note in despair and threw it over to my friend. "What are you going to do about it?" she asked, after she had glanced through it. "Nothing. The girl has no talent." "How do you know that?" protested my friend. "By her letter. It is a crassly ignorant letter. I feel perfectly sure that she can't sing." "You are very unkind!" my friend reproached me. "You ought at least to hear her. You may be discouraging a genuine genius----" "Now see here," I interrupted, "'E. H.' is evidently ignorant and uneducated. She further admits that she is poor. These facts taken together make a terrible handicap. She'd have to be a miracle to make good in spite of them." "I will pay her expenses to come here and see you," declared my dear friend, obstinate in well-doing, like many another mistaken philanthropist. I told her that she might take that responsibility if she liked, but that I would have nothing to do with raising a girl's false hopes in any such way. "It's a little hard on her," I said, "to have to borrow money to take a journey simply to be told that she can't sing. However, have it your own way and bring her." She came. I saw her approaching up the driveway and simply pointed her out to my misguided friend. Anyone would have known the minute he saw "E. H." that she could not sing. She slouched and dragged her feet and was hopelessly ordinary, every inch of her. It was not merely a matter of plainness, but something far worse. She was quite hopeless. It turned out, poor soul, that she was a chambermaid in a hotel. People had heard her singing at her work and had told her that she ought to have her voice cultivated. It was, as usual, a case of injudicious friends, and, by the way, the very fact of being carried away by such praise is in itself a mark of a certain lack of intelligence. This girl had no temperament, no ear, no equipment, no taste, no advantages in the way of having heard music. I had to say to her: "You have a pretty voice but nothing else, and not a sign of a career. Dismiss it all, for you must have something more than a few sweet notes." She cried, and I did, too. I hate to be obliged to tell girls such disagreeable truths. Another girl came to me with her mother. She was full of herself and her mother equally wrapped up in her. She had taken part in small village affairs in the little Connecticut town where she lived. Her voice was not bad, but she produced her notes in a wrong manner. Her teacher had encouraged her and promised her success. But teachers do that, many of them! I do not know that they can altogether be blamed. "You don't breathe right," I said to this Connecticut girl. "You don't produce your tone right. You've no experience and, of course, you believe your teacher. But you forget one thing. Your teacher has to live and you pay him for stimulating you, even if he does so without justification." What I did not go on to say to her, although I longed to, was that she was not the _build_ of which _prime donne_ are made. A _prima donna_ has to be compactly, sturdily made, with a strong backbone to support her hard work and a _lifted_ chest to let the tones out freely. A niece of Bret Harte's, who appeared for a time in grand opera, drooped her chest as she exhausted her breath and, when I saw her do it, I said: "She sings well; but she won't sing long!" She didn't. My Connecticut girl was big and sloppy, a long-drawn-out person, such as is never, never gifted with a big voice. There is something else which is very necessary for every girl to consider in going on the operatic stage. Has she the means for experimenting, or does she have to earn her living in some way meanwhile? If the former is the case, it will do no harm for her to play about with her voice, burn her fingers if need be, and come home to her mother and father not much the worse for the experience. I sympathise somewhat with the teachers in not speaking altogether freely in cases like these. There is no reason why anyone should take from a girl even one remote chance if _she_ can afford to take it. But poor girls should be told the truth. So I said to my young Connecticut friend: "My dear, you are trying to support yourself and your mother, aren't you? Very well. Now, suppose you go on and find that you can't--what will you do then? What are you fitted for? What can you turn your hand to? What have you acquired? Look how few singers ever arrive and, if you are not one of the few, will you not merely have entirely unfitted yourself for the life struggle along other lines?" Herewith I say the same to four-fifths of all the girl singers who, in villages, in shops, in schools, everywhere, are all yearning to be great. They came to me in shoals in Paris and Milan, begging for just enough money to get home with. I have shipped many a failure back to America, and my soul has been sick for their disappointment and disillusionment. But they will _not_ be guided by advice or warning. They have got to learn actually and bitterly. Neither are they ever grateful for discouragement nor yet for encouragement. If you give them the former, they think you are a selfish pessimist; and if you give them the latter, they accept it as no more than their due. As I have previously mentioned, I have known only one grateful girl and she was of ordinary ability. Emma Abbott, for whom I certainly did a great deal, was only grateful because she knew it was expected of her by the world at large. I believe she really thought that all I did was to hasten her success a little and that she really had not needed my assistance. Possibly, she had not. But this other girl, to whom I gave a little, unimportant advice, wrote me afterwards a most appreciative letter, saying that my advice had been invaluable to her. It was the only word of genuine gratitude I ever received from a young singer; and I kept her letter as a curiosity. I believe there are, or were, more would-be _prime donne_ in Chicago than anywhere else on earth. I shall never forget appointing a Thursday afternoon in the Windy City to hear twelve aspirants to operatic fame--pretty, fresh, self-conscious, young girls for the most part. There was one of the number who was particularly pretty and particularly aggressive. She criticised the others lavishly, but hung back from singing herself. She talked a great deal about her voice, saying that she had sung for Theodore Thomas and that he had told her there was no hall big enough for it! Such colossal conceit prejudiced me in advance and I must confess I felt a little curiosity to hear this "phenomenal organ." It proved to be perfectly useless. She had neither power nor quality nor comprehension. She could, however, make a big noise, as I told her. On Sunday my friends began coming in to see me, full of an article that had appeared in one of the papers that morning. Everyone began with: "Good morning, Louise. My dear! Have you seen,"--etc. The article, that had quite openly been given the paper by the young lady whose voice had been so much admired by Theodore Thomas, described my unkindness to young singers, my jealous objection to praising aspirants, my discouragement of good voices! As a matter of fact, I have always been the friend of young girls, especially of young singers. So far from wishing to hurt or discourage them, I have often gone out of my way to help them along. And I believe that every time I have been obliged to tell a young and eager girl that there was no professional triumph ahead of her, it has cut me almost, if not quite, as deeply as it has cut her. For I always feel that I am maiming, even killing some beautiful thing in discouraging her,--even when I know it to be necessary and beneficial. Another thing that I wish young would-be artists would remember is that, if it is worth while to sing the music of a song, it is equally worth while to sing the words, and that you cannot sing the words really, unless you are singing their meaning. Do I make myself understood, I wonder? Once a girl with a sweetly pretty voice sang to me Nevin's _Mighty Lak a Rose_, the little negro song which Madame Nordica gave so charmingly. When the girl had finished, I said: "My dear, have you read those words?" She looked at me blankly. I know she thought I was crazy. "Because," I proceeded, "if you read the poetry over before you sing that song again, you'll find that it will help you." She had, I presume, "read" the words or she could not have actually pronounced them; but she had not made the slightest attempt to read the spirit of the little song. No picture had come to her of a rosy baby dropping asleep and of a loving mammy crooning over him. She had not read the _feeling_ of the song, even if she had memorised the syllables. Girls hate to work. They, even more than boys, want a short cut to efficiency and success. Labour and effort are cruel words to them. They want the glamour and the fun all at once. What would they say to the noble and inspiring example of old E. S. Jaffray, a merchant of sixty, whom I once knew, who, at that age, decided to learn Italian in order to read Dante in the original? The best way--as I have said before and as I insist on saying--for anyone to learn to sing is by imitation and assimilation. My friend Franceschetti, a Roman gentleman, poor but of noble family, has classes that I always attend when I am in the Eternal City, and wherein the instruction is most advantageously given. He criticises each student in the presence of the others and, if the others are listening at all intelligently, they must profit. But you must listen, and then listen, and then keep on listening, and finally begin to listen all over again. You must keep your ear ready, and your mind as well. Just as Faure, when he heard the bad baritone, said to himself, "that's my note! Now how does he do it?" so you must hold yourself ready to learn from the most humble as well as from the most unlikely sources. Never forget that Faure learned from the really poor singer what no good one had been able to teach him. Remember, too, that Patti learned one of her own flexible effects from listening to Faure himself: and that these great artists were not too proud to acknowledge it. I never went to hear Patti, myself, without studying the fine, forward placing of her voice and coming home immediately and trying to imitate it. Yet, after all one's efforts to help, one can only let the young singers find out for themselves. If we could profit by each other's experience, there would be no need for the doctrine of reincarnation. But I wish--oh, how I wish--that I could save some foolish girls from embarking on the ocean of art as half of them do with neither chart or compass, nor even a seaworthy boat. A better metaphor comes to me in my recollection of a famous lighthouse that I once visited. The rocks about were strewn with dead birds--pitiful, little, eager creatures that had broken their wings and beaten out their lives all night against the great revolving light. So the lighthouse of success lures the young, ambitious singers. And so they break their wings against it. CHAPTER XXX THE WANDERLUST AND WHERE IT LED ME That season of 1879 in Paris was certainly a wonderful one; and yet, before it was over, I caught that strange fever of unrest that sends birds migrating and puts the Romany tribes on the move. With me it came as a result of over-fatigue and ill-health; an instinctive craving for the medicine of change. The preceding London season had been exacting and, in Paris, I had not had a moment in which to really rest. Although the days had been filled most pleasantly and interestingly, they had been filled to over-flowing, and I was very, very tired. So, in the grip of the wanderlust, we packed our trunks and went to Aix-les-Bains. We had not the slightest idea what we would do next. My mother was not very well, either, and my coloured maid, Eliza, had to be in attendance upon her a good deal of the time, so that I was forced to consider the detail of proper chaperonage. We were in a French settlement and I was a _prima donna_, fair game for gossip and comment. Therefore, I invited a friend of mine, a charming young Englishwoman, down from Paris to visit me. She was very curious about America, I remember. She was always asking me about "the States" and was especially interested in my accounts of the anti-negro riots. The fact that they had been almost entirely instigated by the Irish Catholics in New York excited her so that she felt obliged to go and talk with a priest in Aix about it. It was she, also, who said something one day that I thought both amusing and significant. "My dear," she exclaimed, "tell me what are 'buttered nuts'?" "Never heard of them," I replied. "Oh, yes, my dear Louise, you must have! They are in all American books!" Of course she meant _butternuts_, as I laughingly explained. A moment later she observed meditatively, "you know, I never take up an American novel that I don't read some description of food!" I think what she said was quite true. I have remarked it since. Although I do not consider that we are a greedy nation in practice when it comes to food, we do love reading and hearing about good things to eat. Presently, as my mother felt better and had no real need of me, I decided to take a little trip, leaving her at Aix with Eliza. Not quite by myself, of course. I never reached such a degree of emancipation as that. But I asked my English friend to go with me, and one fine day she and I set out in search of whatever entertaining thing might come our way. I had been so held down to routine all my life, my comings and goings had been so ordered and so sensible, that I deeply desired to do a bit of real gypsy wandering without the handicap of a travelling schedule. No travelling is so delightful as this sort. Don Quixote it was, if I remember rightly, who let his horse wander whithersoever he pleased, "believing that in this consisted the very being of adventures." We went first to Geneva and so over the Simplon Pass into Italy. We dreamed among the lakes, reading guide-books to help us decide on our next stopping-point. So, on and on, until after a while we reached Vienna. Three hours after my arrival there Alfred Fischoff, the Austrian impresario, routed me out. "Where are you bound for?" he wanted to know. "Nowhere. That is just the beauty of it!" "Ah!" he commented understandingly. And then he asked, "How would you like to sing?" Even though I was on a pleasure trip the idea allured me, for I always like to sing. "Sing where?" I questioned. "Here, in Vienna." "I couldn't. I don't sing in German," I objected. "You could sing _als Gast_" (as a guest), he said. Finally it was so arranged and, I may add, I was the only _prima donna_ except Nilsson who had ever been permitted to sing in Italian at the Imperial Opera House, while the other artists sang in German. A letter from my mother to my father at that time discloses a light upon her point of view. "Louise telegraphed for Eliza and her costumes. I thought at first she was crazy, but it appears she was sane after all. A fine Vienna engagement...." It was an undertaking to travel in Germany in those days. The German railway officials spoke nothing but German and, furthermore, they are never adaptable and quick like the Italians. In France or Italy they understood you whether you spoke their language or not; but a Teuton has to have everything translated into his own untranslatable tongue. When my mother had finally gathered together my costumes, she wrote out a long document that she had translated into German, concerning all that Eliza was to do, and where she was to go, and gave it to her so that she could produce it along the way and be passed on to the next official without explanation or complication. And after this fashion Eliza and my costumes reached me safely. She was a good traveller and a good maid. She was also very popular in that part of the world. Negroes had no particular stigma attached to them on the Continent. Many of them were no darker of hue than the Hindu and Mohammedan royalties who journeyed there occasionally. So, wherever we went, my good, dark-skinned Eliza was a real belle. There was much to interest me in Vienna, not only as a foreign capital of note, but also as a curiosity. In a long life, and after many and diverse experiences, I never had been in a city so entirely bound up in its own interests and traditions. The luckless sinner battering vainly upon the gates of Heaven has a better fighting chance, all told, than has the ambitious outsider who aspires to social recognition by the Viennese aristocracy. If an American is ever heard to say that he or she has been received by Viennese society, those hearing the speech may laugh in their sleeve and wonder what society it was. The thing cannot be done. A handle to one's name, an estate, all the little earmarks of "nobility" are not only required but insisted on. I believe it to be a safe statement to make that no one without a title, and a title recognised by the Austrians as one of distinction, can be received into the inner circle. Even diplomatic representatives of republics are not exempt from this ruling. They may have the wealth of the Indies, and their wives may possess the beauty of Helen herself, and yet they are not admitted. For this reason Austria is a most difficult post for republican legations. Republican representatives do not stay there long. Usually, the report is that they are recalled for diplomatic reasons, or their health has failed, or some other pride-saving excuse to satisfy a democratic populace. Vienna was, and I suppose is, the dullest Court in the whole world. The German Court at one time had the distinction of being the dullest, but that has looked up a bit during the reign of the present Kaiser. But Austria! The society of Vienna has absolutely no interest in anything or anybody outside its own sacred Inner Circle. On one occasion I was guilty of a great breach of etiquette. Meyerbeer's son-in-law, a Baron of good lineage, was calling on me, and a correspondent from _The London Daily Telegraph_, whom I had met socially and not professionally, happened to be present. Although I knew from my foreign experiences that possibly it was hardly the correct thing to do, I, not unnaturally, presented them to each other. To my surprise the Baron became stiff and the young Englishman somewhat ill at ease. I must say, however, the Englishman carried it off better than the Baron did. When the Austrian had departed, my newspaper acquaintance told me that I had committed a social _faux pas_ in making them known to each other. Introductions are absolutely _taboo_ between titled persons and "commoners," as they are sternly called. A baron could not meet a newspaper man! As a case in point, an Englishman of very distinguished connections arrived in Vienna at the time of one of the Court balls. He applied at his Embassy for an invitation, but was told that such a thing would be quite impossible. Viennese etiquette was too rigid, etc. Therefore, he did not go to the ball. But it so chanced that, a little later, when he went to call on the British Ambassador, he mentioned, casually enough, that he had a courtesy title but never used it when travelling. "Why didn't you say so?" exclaimed the Ambassador. "I could have got you an invitation quite easily, if you had only explained that!" Even the opera was very official and imperial. The Court Theatre was a government house, and the manager of it an _Intendant_ and a rather grand person. In my time he was Baron Hoffman; and he and the Baroness asked me often to their home and placed boxes at the opera at my disposal, this last courtesy being one that the regular artists at the opera are never permitted to receive. The Imperial Opera House of Vienna is perhaps the most complete operatic organisation in existence and especially, at that time, was the company rich in fine _prime donne_. Mme. Materna was considered to be the greatest dramatic singer then living. Mlle. Bianchi was a marvellous _chanteuse légère_, the equal of Gerster. Mme. Ehn was the most poetical of _prime donne_ and not unlike Nilsson. Of Lucca's fame it is needless to speak again. I sang seven _rôles_ in Vienna: _Lucia_, the _Ballo in Maschera_, _Mignon_, _Traviata_, _Trovatore_, _Marta_, and one act of _Hamlet_,--the mad scene, of course. It was during _Marta_ that I had paid to me one of the most satisfying compliments of my life. Dr. Hanslick was then the greatest musical critic of Europe, a distinguished and highly cultivated musical scholar, even if he did war against Wagner and the new school. To the astonishment of the whole theatre, between the acts, he wandered in by himself behind the scenes to call upon me and offer his congratulations. Only one other singer had ever been thus honoured by him before. He was graciousness itself and, in his paper, the _Neue Frei Presse_, he wrote these memorable words: "Miss Kellogg is an artist of the first order--the only one to compare with Patti. It is the first time since Patti has gone that we have heard what one can call singing! I congratulate Vienna on having heard such a colossal artist!" Later, I was asked to the Hoffmans' again to meet Herr Hanslick and his wife; and they were only two of the many distinguished and interesting people that I met at the _Intendant's_ house. Sonnenthal was one of them, the great actor from the Hoftheatre. And Fanny Elssler was another. I wonder how many people to-day know even the name of Fanny Elssler, the dancer who captivated the young King of Rome and lived with him for so long? There is mention of her in _L'Aiglon_. When I met her she was seventy odd, and very quiet and dull. She was vastly respected in Austria and held an exceedingly dignified position. I learned enough German to be able to sing in German for the _Intendant_ and his friends, with I know not what sort of accent. They were very polite about it always, saying more than once to me, "what a gentle accent!" But my German was dealt with less kindly by my audience one night. The spoken dialogue in _Mignon_ simply had to be made comprehensible and therefore I had mastered it, as I thought, quite acceptably enough. But somewhere in it I came what our English friends call a most awful "cropper." I do not know to this day what dreadful thing I could have said, but it afforded the house an ecstasy of amusement. The whole audience laughed loudly and heartily and long; and I confess I was considerably disconcerted. But, all things considered, the Viennese audiences were satisfactory to sing to. They have one little custom, or mannerism, that is decidedly encouraging. When they like anything very much, they do not break the action by applauding, but, instead, a little soft "Ah!" goes all over the house. It was an indescribably comforting sound and spurred a singer on to do her best to please them. I sang Felina in _Mignon_, and the Viennese, to my eternal gratitude, liked me in the part. I remembered Jarrett and the "wooden gestures" he had fixed upon me in the _rôle_, and it was most satisfactory to have people in the Austrian Capitol declare that I was "an exquisite creation after Watteau!" Of course the Germans and Austrians were so wedded to Materna's rather heroic style of singing that I suppose any less strenuous methods might well have struck them as unforceful, but--_à propos_ of Materna and the inevitable comparison of my work with hers--the _Fremden Blatt_ was kind enough to print: "The grand voice, the powerful high tones, and the stupendously passionate accents were not heard. Yet she knows how to sing with a full, strong voice, with high tones, and with a graceful passionateness!" That expression "graceful passionateness" has remained in my vocabulary ever since, for it is a triumph of clumsy phraseology, even for a German paper. I want to quote Dr. Hanslick once more;--it is such a lovely and amazing thing to quote: "From her lips," said this illustrious critic, speaking of your humble servant, "we have heard Verdi's hardest and harshest melodies come forth refined and softened." Is this believable? Edward Hanslick did really apply the adjectives "hard" and "harsh" to Verdi's music! It has to be read to be believed, but what he said is on file. Speaking of "gentle accent," I had, on one occasion, the full beauty of the Teutonic language borne in upon me in a peculiarly striking form. It was in _Robert der Teufel_, that I heard in Vienna. The instance that struck me was in the great scene during which he practises magic in the cave and makes the dead to rise so that they can dance a _ballet_ later on. Alice is wandering around, and the devil is in a great state of mind lest she has seen or overheard something of his magic. "_Was hast du gesehen?_" says he. "_Nichts!_" she replies. "_Nichts?_" he repeats. "_Nichts_," insists she. That "_Nichts!_" was repeated over and over until the whole theatre echoed and resounded with "nichts-ts-ts-ts!" like spitting cats. There never was anything less musical. "Heavens, Alfred," said I to Fischoff, who was with me at the time, "can't they change it to '_Nein?_'" But he regarded me in a shocked manner at the very idea of so sacrilegiously altering the text! German scores are full of loud ringing passages, built on guttural, hissing, spitting consonants. But, then, we must remember that librettists the world over are apparently men of an inferior quality of intellect who know little about music or singing. I cannot help feeling that by nature and cultivation the German writers of the texts for opera suffer from an additional handicap of traditional density. Even one of the greatest of all operas, _Faust_, suffers from being built upon a German theme. At least, I should perhaps say, it suffers in sparkle, vivacity, dramatic glitter. In the deeper, poetic meanings it remains impervious alike to time, place, and individual view-point. I never fully appreciated the _rôle_ of Marguerite until I met the German people at close range. Then I learned by personal observation why she was so dull, and limited, and unimaginative. Such traits are, as I suddenly realised, not only individual; they are racial. Any middle-class girl of sixteen might of course have been deceived by Faust with the aid of Mephisto, but that Gretchen was German made the whole thing a hundred times simpler. CHAPTER XXXI PETERSBURG When I received my engagement to sing at the Opera in Petersburg I was much pleased. The opera seasons in Russia had for years been notably fine. Since then they have, I understand, gone off, and fewer and fewer stars of the first magnitude go there to sing. In 1880, however, it was a criterion of artistic excellence and position to have sung in the Petersburg Opera. My mother and I, a manager to represent me, my coloured maid Eliza, and some seventeen or eighteen trunks set out from Vienna; and we looked forward with pleasurable anticipation to our winter in the mysterious White Kingdom, not knowing then that it was to be one of the dreariest in our lives. Our troubles began just before we reached Warsaw, when we had to cross the frontier. We were, of course, stopped for the examination of passports and luggage and, although the former were all right, the latter was not, according to the views of the Russian officials. I had, personally, fifteen trunks, containing the costumes for my entire _repertoire_ and to watch those Russians inspect these trunks was a veritable study in suspicion. It was late at night. Unpleasant travelling incidents always happen late at night it would seem, when everything is most inconvenient and one is most tired. The Russians appeared ten times more official than the officials of any other nation ever did, and the lateness of the hour added to this impression. Indeed they were highly picturesque, with their high boots and the long skirts of their coats. The lanterns threw queer shadows, and the wind that swept the platform had in it already the chill of the _steppes_. I have no idea what they believed me to be smuggling, bombs or anarchistic literature, but they were not satisfied until they had gone through every trunk to its uttermost depths. Even then, when they had found nothing more dangerous than wigs and cloaks and laces, they still seemed doubtful. The trunks might look all right; but surely there must be something wrong with a woman who travelled with fifteen personal trunks! And I do not know that I altogether blame them. At all events they were not going to let me cross the frontier without further investigation, and I was rapidly falling into despair when, suddenly, I had a brilliant thought. I gave an order to my maid, who proceeded to scatter about the entire contents of one trunk and finally found for me a large, thin, official-looking document, with seals and signatures attached to it. The Russians stood about, watchful and mystified. Then I presented my talisman triumphantly. "The Czar!" they exclaimed in awed whispers; "the Czar's signature!" Whereupon several of them began bowing, almost genuflecting, to show their respect for anyone who possessed a paper signed by the Czar. It was only my contract. The singers at the Russian Opera are not engaged by an impresario, but by the Czar, and that document which served us so well on this occasion was a personal contract with His Imperial Majesty himself. So we succeeded in eventually crossing the frontier and getting into Russia, and, after that, the _espionage_ became a regular thing. The spy system in Russia is beyond belief. One is watched and tracked and followed and records are kept of one, and a species of censorship is maintained of everything that reaches one. At first, one hardly realises this, for the officials have had so much practice that it is done with the most consummate skill. Every letter was opened before it reached me and then sealed up again so cleverly that it was impossible to detect it except with the keenest and most suspicious eye. Every newspaper that I received, even those mailed to me by friends in England and France, had been gone over carefully, and every paragraph referring to Russia--the army, the government, the diplomacy policy, the Nihilistic agitations--had been stamped out in solid black. We stopped at the Hotel d'Europe, and one might think one would be free from surveillance there. Not a bit of it. We soon saw that if we wanted to talk with any freedom or privacy we should have to hang thick towels over the keyholes. And this is precisely what we did! As soon as we reached Petersburg, I was called for a rehearsal--merely a piano affair. I went to it garmented in a long fur cloak, some flannel-lined boots that I had once bought in America for a Canadian trip, and a little bonnet perched, in the awful fashion of the day, on the very top of my head. It was early in October at this time and not any colder than our normal winter climate in the United States of America. There is but little vibration of temperature in Russia, but there are days before November when the snow melts that are very trying. This was one of them. The first thing that happened to me at that rehearsal to which I went in my flannel-lined shoes and my little bonnet, was that a stern doctor confronted me and called me to account for the manner in which I was dressed! A doctor at a rehearsal was new to me; but it seemed that the thoughtful Czar employed two for this purpose. So many singers pretended to be ill when they really were not that His Majesty kept medical men on the spot to prove or disprove any excuses. The doctor who descended upon me was named Thomaschewski. He was the doctor mentioned in Marie Bashkirtseff's _Journal_; and he remained my friend and physician all the time I was in the city. Said he, brusquely, on this first meeting: "Never come out dressed like that again! Get some goloshes immediately, and a hat that comes over your forehead!" I did not understand at the moment why he insisted so strongly on the hat. I soon learned, however, what so few Americans are aware of, that it is through the forehead that one generally catches cold. As for the goloshes, it was self-evident that I needed them, and, after that morning, I never set foot out of doors in Russia without the regular protection worn by everyone in that climate. A big fur cap, tied on with a white woollen scarf arranged as we now arrange motor veils, completed the necessary outfit. Marcella Sembrich and Lillian Nordica were both in the opera company that year. Sembrich had a small, high, clear voice at that time; but she was always the musician and well up in the Italian vocal tricks. Scalchi was there, too, and Cotogni, the famous baritone. He was a masterful singer and an amusing man, with a quaint way of putting things. He is still living in Rome and has, I am sorry to say, fallen from his great estate upon hard times. The tenors were Masini and a Russian named Petrovitch, with whom I sang the _Ballo in Maschera_. They were all very frankly curious about "the American _prima donna_" and about everything concerning her. The _Intendant_ of the Imperial Opera was a man with the title of Baron Küster, the son of one of the Czar's gardeners. No one could understand why he had been made a Baron, but, for some reason, he was in high favour. My _début_ was in _Traviata_, as Violetta. There was an enormous audience and the American Minister was in a stage box. Throughout the performance I never lost a sense of isolation and of chill. The strangeness, the watchfulness, the sense of apprehension with which the air seemed charged, were all on my nerves. It was said that the Opera-House had been undermined by the Nihilists and was ready to explode if the Czar entered. This idea was hardly conducive to ease of mind or cheerfulness of manner. I was glad that it was not sufficiently a gala occasion for the Czar to be present. Never before had I ever sung without having friends in front, friends who could come behind the scenes between the acts and tell me how I was doing and, if need be, cheer me up a bit. I knew nobody in the audience that first night, which gave me a most forlorn feeling, as if the place were filled with unfriendliness as well as with strangers. At last I thought of the American Minister, Mr. Foster (our legation in Russia had not yet attained the dignity of an embassy). I sent my agent to the Fosters' box, asking them to call upon me in my _loge_ at the end of the opera. When he delivered the message, he was met by blank astonishment. "Of course we should be delighted--and it is very kind of Miss Kellogg," said Mr. Foster, "but there is not a chance that we should be allowed to do so!" And they were not. The vigilance, even on the stage, was something appalling. Every scene shifter and stage carpenter had a big brass number fastened conspicuously on his arm, strapped on, in fact, over his flannel shirt so that he could be easily checked off and kept track of. Everything in Russia is numbered. There are no individuals there--only units. I used to feel as if I must have a number myself; as if I, too, must soon be absorbed into that grim Monster System, and my feeling of helplessness and oppression steadily increased. I had over twenty curtain calls that evening--the largest number I ever had. But they did not entirely repay me for the heaviness of heart from which I suffered. Never before or since was I so unhappy during a performance. The house had been undoubtedly cold at first. As an American correspondent to one of the newspapers wrote home: "The house had small confidence in an operatic singer from America, for all history of that country is silent on the subject of _prime donne_, while there is no lack of account of such other persons as Indians, Aztecs, and emigrants from the lower orders of Europe!" In Russia they still reserve the right of hissing a singer that they do not like. It is lucky that I did not know this then, for it would have made me even more nervous than I was. My curtain calls were a real triumph. Even the ladies of the audience arose and waved their handkerchiefs, calling out many times: "Kellogg, _sola_!" They wanted me to receive the honours alone; and the gentlemen joined in their calls, "Kellogg! Kellogg! Kellogg!" until they were hoarse. The subscribers to the opera were divided into three classes in Petersburg; and, as a singer who was popular was demanded by all the subscribers for each of the three nights, it was a novel sensation to conquer an entirely new audience each night. In the Opera-House, as in every other house in Petersburg, one had to go through innumerable doors, one after the other. This architectural peculiarity is what makes the buildings so warm. Russians build for the cold weather as Italians build for warm. The result is that one can be colder in an Italian house than anywhere else on earth, and more correspondingly comfortable in a Russian. Even the Petersburg public Post-Office had to be approached through eight separate doorways. There were a number of other unusual features about that theatre. One was the custom of permitting the _isvoshiks_ (drivers) and _mujiks_ (servants) to come inside to stay while the opera was going on. It struck me as most inconsistent with the general strictness and red tape; but it was entertaining to see them stowed away in layers on ledges along the walls, sleeping peacefully until the people who had engaged them were ready to go home. Another odd thing was the odour that permeated the house. It was not an unpleasant odour; it seemed to me a little like Russia leather. I could not imagine what it was at first. Afterwards I found that it _did_ come from the sheep-skins worn by the _isvoshiks_. The skins are cured in some peculiar way which leaves them with this faint smell. The thing I particularly appreciated that first night was the honour and good fortune of making my _début_ with Masini, who, according to my opinion, was without exception the best tenor of his time. He would have pleased the most exacting of modern critics, for he was the true _bel canto_. It is told of him that, in the early years of his career, he sang so badly out of tune that no impresario would bother with him. So he retired, and worked, until he had not only overcome it but had also made himself into a very great artist. The night before I sang with him, I went to hear him. At first I thought his voice a trifle husky, but, before the evening was over, I did not know if it were husky or not, he sang so beautifully, his method was so perfect, his breath-control was so wonderful. It was a naturally enchanting voice besides. I have never heard a length of breath like his. No phrase ever troubled him; he had the necessary wind for anything. In _L'Africaine_ there is a passage in the big tenor solo needing very careful breathing. Masini did simply what he liked with it, swelling it out roundly and generously when it seemed as if his breath must be exhausted. When the breath of other tenors gave out, Masini only just began to draw on his. I am placing all this emphasis on his method because I know breathing to be the whole secret of singing--and of living, too! Masini was a grave, kind man, not a great actor, but with a stage presence of complete repose and dignity. His manner to me was charmingly thoughtful and considerate during our work together. Yet he was a man who never spoke. I mean this literally: I cannot recall the sound of his speaking voice, although I rehearsed with him for a whole season. His greatest _rôle_ was the Duke in _Rigoletto_ and there was no one I ever heard who could compare with him in it. Nordica was a young singer doing minor _rôles_ that season and, both being Americans, we saw a good deal of each other and exchanged sympathies, for we equally disliked Russia. Our Yankee independence was being constantly outraged by the Russian spy system, and we were always at odds with it. One night, when we were not singing ourselves, we had a box together to hear our fellow-artists, and invited Sir Frederick Hamilton to share it with us. As we knew there was sure to be a crowd after the opera, Nordica suggested that we should leave our wraps in an empty dressing-room behind the scenes and go out by that way when the performance was over. This we accordingly did, going behind through the house by the back door of the boxes, and as a matter of course we took Sir Frederick with us. We had momentarily forgotten that in Russia one never does what one wants to, or what seems the natural thing to do. When we were discovered bringing an Englishman behind the scenes, there was nearly a revolution in that theatre! I sang in _Traviata_ four or five times in Petersburg and in _Don Giovanni_ and in _Semiramide_. This last was the forty-fifth _rôle_ of my _répertoire_. The Russian Opera season was less brilliant than usual that year because the Czarina had recently died and the Court was in mourning. The situation was one that afforded me some amusement. The Czar, Alexander, who was killed that same winter, had for a long time lived with the Princess Dolgoruki, as is well known, and, when the Czarina died, he married the Dolgoruki within a few weeks. To be sure, the marriage did not really count, for she could never be a Czarina because she was not royal, but she was determined to establish her social position as his wife and insisted on keeping him in the country with her at one of the out-of-the-way places. And all the time the Czar went right on with his official mourning for the Czarina! There was something about this that strongly appealed to my American sense of humour. When the Czar did finally leave the country palace and come back to Petersburg, he was in such fear of the Nihilists that he did not dare come in state, but got off the train at a way-station and drove in. Fancy the Czar of all the Russias having to sneak into his own city like that! And the worst of it was that all that vigilance was proved soon after to have been justified. Because of the situation of affairs, the Royal Box at the Opera was never occupied. Even the Czarevitch and his wife (Dagmar of Denmark, sister of Alexandra of England) could not appear. I am inclined to believe that, on the whole, Petersburg society was rather glad of the dull season. As there were no Court functions, the individual social leaders did not have to keep up their end either, and it must have been a relief, for times were hard, owing to the recent Nihilistic panic, and Russians do not know how to entertain unless they can do it magnificently. As a result of the dull social season, I did not go out much in society. But I was much interested in such glimpses as I had of it, for "smart" Russia is most gorgeously picturesque. Many Americans visit Petersburg in summer when everyone is away and so never see the true Russian life. Indeed, it is a very stunning spectacle. The sleighs, the splendid liveries, the beautiful horses, the harnesses, the superb furs--it is all like a pageant. I loved to see the _troikas_ drawn by three horses, with great gold ornaments on the harnesses; and the _drozhkis_ in which the _isvoshiks_ drive standing up. The third horse of the _troika_ is one of the typically Russian features. He is attached to the pair that does the work, and his part is to play the fool. I remember a famous sleigh ride I had in a very smart _drozhki_, behind a horse belonging to one of the English Embassy secretaries. The horse was an extraordinarily fast one and the _drozhki_ was exceptionally light and small. The seat was so narrow that the secretary and I had to be literally buttoned into it to keep us from falling out. The _isvoshik's_ seat was so high that he was practically standing erect and nearly leaning back against it. Evidently the man's directions were to show off the horse's gait to the best advantage; and I know that the speed of that frail sleigh upon the icy snow crust became so terrific that I had to grip the sash of the _isvoshik_ in front of me to stay in the sleigh at all. And, oh, the flatness and mournfulness of those chill wastes of snow outside the city! It was of course bitterly cold, but one did not feel that so much on account of the fine dryness of the air. For me the light--or, rather, the lack of it,--was the most difficult thing to become accustomed to. But if I did not altogether realise the cold for myself, I certainly realised it for my poor horses. I had a splendid pair of blacks that winter and, when I was driven down to the theatre, they would be lathered with sweat. When I came out they would be covered with ice and as white as snow. There would be ice on the harness too, and the other horses we passed were in the same condition. I was much distressed at first, but it appeared that Russian horses were quite used to it and, so I was told, actually throve on it. Petersburg is full of little squares and in every square were heaps of logs, laid one across another like a funeral pyre, which were frequently lighted as a place for the _isvoshiks_ to warm themselves. The leaping flames and the men crowded about, in such contrast to the white snow, seemed so startling and theatrical in the heart of the city that nothing could have more sharply reminded us that we were in a strange and unknown land. The fact that the days were so unbelievably, gloomily short (dawn and bright noonday and the afternoon were unknown) grew to be very depressing. Coasting on the great ice-hills is a favourite Russian amusement, and it is a fine winter sport. But that, too, is shadowed by the strange half-light, which, to anyone accustomed to the long, bright days of more temperate lands, is always conducive to melancholy. There was no sun to speak of. Such as there was moved around in almost one place and stopped shining at four in the afternoon. I never had the least idea of the time; hardly knowing, in fact, whether it was day or night. CHAPTER XXXII GOOD-BYE TO RUSSIA--AND THEN? Prince Oldenburg, the Czar's cousin, was the only member of the Royal Family who could be called a patron of music and had himself composed more or less. On his seventy-fifth birthday the Imperial Opera organised a concert in his honour, that took place at the Winter Palace; and we were really quite _intriguée_, having heard of the Winter Palace for years. I said to Nordica: "If you'll find out how we get there, I'll send my carriage for you and we will go together." She found out, and we arranged to have the hotel people instruct the coachman as to the particular entrance of the palace to which he was to drive us, for he was a Russian and did not understand any other language. Once started, he had to go according to instructions or else turn around and take me back to the hotel for new directions and a fresh start. More than once have I found myself in such a dilemma. However, on this occasion, he seemed to be fairly clear as to our destination and showed gleams of intelligence when reminded that he must make no mistake, since there were only certain doors by which we could enter. The others were open only to the Royal Family and the nobility. Among the five _prime donne_ who had been invited, or, rather, commanded, to appear at this function, there had been some discussion as to our costumes. All of them except myself sent for special gowns, one to Paris, one to Vienna, one to Berlin, one to Dresden--for this concert was to be before members of the Imperial Family and extra preparations had to be made. "What are you going to wear?" Nordica asked me. "Well," said I, "I'll never be in Russia again--God permitting--and I shall wear a gown that I have, a creation of Worth's, made some years ago, without period or date." It was really a gorgeous affair and quite good enough, of an odd, warm, rust colour that was always very becoming to me. We arrived at the palace before anyone else and were driven to the door indicated. There we were not permitted to enter, but were directed to yet another entrance. Again we met with the same refusal and were sent on to another door. At last we drove in under a porte-cochère and an endless stream of lackeys came out and took charge of us. When they had escorted us inside, one took one golosh, and one took another, and then they took off our furs and wraps, and there was no escape for us except by mounting the beautiful red-carpeted marble staircase. At the top of it we were met by two very good-looking young men in uniform, who received us cordially and escorted us to the ballroom, leaving us only when the other artists arrived. The other artists looked cross, I thought. At any rate, they looked somewhat ill at ease and conscious of their elegant new clothes. It was the crackling, ample period, in which it was difficult to be graceful. About the middle of the evening Dr. Thomaschewski came up to me and said: "The Grand Duchess Olga desires me to ask who made Mlle. Kellogg's gown. She finds it the handsomest she ever saw!" So much for my old clothes! I was thankful to be able to say the gown was a creation of Worth's; and I did not add how many years before! The next day, after the affair of the concert was pleasantly over, Nordica came into my room like a whirlwind. "There's the d---- to pay down in the theatre!" she exclaimed breathlessly. "All the other _prime donne_ are threatening to resign! And, apparently, it is our fault!" "What have we done?" "It seems," she went on with an appreciative chuckle, "that we came up the Royal Staircase and were received as members of the Imperial Family, while they had to come in the back way as befitted poor dogs of artists!" "Nordica," said I, "isn't that just plain American luck! Such a thing could never happen to anybody but an American!" We learned in due course that our handsome young men, who had been so agreeable and courteous, were Grand Dukes! But the other _prime donne_ recovered from their mortification and thought better of their project of resigning. We began to be frightfully tired of Russian food. The Russian arrangement for cold storage was very primitive. They merely froze solid anything they wanted to keep and unfroze it when it was needed for use. The staple for every day, and all day, was _gelinotte_, some sort of game. We lived on it until we were ready to starve rather than ever taste it again. It was not so bad, really, in its way, if there had not been so much of it. Some of the Russian food was possible enough, however. The famous sour milk soup, for instance, made of curdled milk and cabbage and, I think, a little fish, was rather nice; and they had a pretty way of serving _bouchers_ between the soup and fish courses. But my mother and I began to feel that we should die if we did not have some plain American food. In fact, we both developed a vulgar craving for corned-beef. And, wonder of wonders! by inquiring at a little shop where garden tools were sold, we found the thing we longed for. As it turned out, the shop was kept by an American and his wife; so we got our corned-beef and my mother made delicious hash of it over our alcohol lamp. She was famous for getting up all manner of dainty and delicious food with a minute saucepan and a tiny spirit flame. The water everywhere was horrid and we were obliged to boil it always before we dared to take a swallow. And all these things told on my poor mother, whose health was becoming very wretched. She came to hate Russia and pined to get away. So I tried to break my contract and leave (considering my mother's health a sufficiently valid reason), but, although money was due me that I was willing to forfeit, I found I could not go until I had sung out the full term of my engagement. I was so wrathful at this that I went to see the American Minister about leaving in spite of everything; but even he was powerless to help us. Apparently the Russians were accustomed to having their country prove too much for foreign singers, for the Minister remarked meditatively: "Finland used to be open, but so many artists escaped that way that it is now closed!" It proved to be even harder to get out of Russia than it had been to get in. One mother and daughter whom I knew went to five hotels in twenty-four hours, trying to evade the officials, so as to leave without the usual red tape; but they were kept merciless track of everywhere and their passports sent for at every one of the five. Such proceedings must be rather expensive for the government. Some Russian friends of mine once came to Aix without notifying their governmental powers and were sent for to come back within twenty-four hours. Fancy being kept track of like that! I am devoutly thankful that I do not live under a _paternal_ government. In time, however, we did succeed in obtaining permission to leave Russia; and profoundly glad were we of it. I had but one desire before we left that dark and frigid land forever, and that was to see the Czar just once. My friends of the English Embassy told me that my best chance would be on the route between the Winter Palace and the Military Riding Academy, where the Czar went every Sunday to stimulate horsemanship. So I started out the following Sunday, alone, in my brougham. There were crowds of the faithful blocking the way everywhere--well interspersed with Nihilists, I have little doubt. Russian men are, on the whole, impressive in appearance; big and fierce and immensely virile. They are half-savage, anyway. The better class wear coats lined and trimmed with black or silver fur; while a crowd of soldiers and peasants make a most picturesque sight. On this occasion the cavalry and mounted police patrolled the route, and ranks of soldiers were drawn up on either side. Yet there was such a surging populace that, in spite of all the military surveillance, there was some confusion. I was driven up and down very slowly. Then I grew cold and got out of the carriage to walk for a short distance. I had gone but a little way and was turning back when I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was an official who informed me that I might drive but could not be permitted to walk! So I re-entered the brougham and was driven again, up and down, bowing sweetly each time to the officer who had halted me and dared to take me by the shoulder. And, finally, I caught only a glimpse of the Czar, through the hosts of guardians that surrounded him like a cloud. I could not believe that he cared for all that pomp and ceremony, for he was a weary-looking man and I felt sorry for him. I believe that he would have been as democratic as anyone could well be if he could only have had half a chance. The wife of the shop-keeper who sold garden tools told me that the Czar was perfectly accessible to them and very friendly. He liked new inventions and patents and ingenious farming implements and American machine inventions. A man I once knew had been trying for months to obtain an official introduction at Court in order to exploit a patent which he thought would interest His Majesty, and in vain. But, when he chanced to meet a friend of the Czar's in a picture gallery and told him about his idea, he had no further difficulty. His Minister, who had told him it was hopeless to try to get access to the Czar, was amazed to find him going about at the Court balls in the most intimate manner. "How did you do it?" he demanded. "How did you manage to reach the Czar?" "Just met him through a friend as I would any other fellow," was the reply. We were in Petersburg at the Christmas and New Year's celebrations, which are held two weeks later than ours are. The customs were odd and interesting--notably the one of driving out in a sleigh to "meet the New Year coming in." This pretty custom was always observed by Mme. Helena Modjeska and her husband, Count Bozenta, even in America. I went to services in several of the churches, where I heard divine singing, unaccompanied by any instrument. The vibrations were very slow and throbbed like the tones of an organ. Nothing can be more splendid than bass voices. The decorations of the churches were strange and barbaric to eyes accustomed to the Italian and French cathedrals. The savagery as well as the orientalism of the Russians comes out in a curious way in their ecclesiastical architecture. The walls were often inlaid with lapis and malachite, like the decorations of some Eastern temple, and the _ikons_ were painted gaudily upon metals. There were no pews of any sort; the populace dropped upon its knees and stayed there. The little wayside shrines erected over every spot where anything tragic had ever happened to a royal person are an interesting feature of worship in Russia. As the rulers of Russia have usually passed rather calamitous lives, there are plenty of these shrines, and loyal subjects always kneel and make them reverence. I could see one of these shrines from my window in the Hotel d'Europe and marvelled at the devout fervour of the kneeling men in their picturesque cloaks, praying for this or some other Emperor, with the thermometer far below zero. It was always the men who prayed. I do not remember ever seeing a woman on her knees in the snow. Our experiences in the shops of Petersburg were sometimes interesting. Of course in the larger ones French was spoken, and also German, but in the small places where "notions" were sold, or writing materials, only Russian was understood. To facilitate the shopping of foreigners, little pictures of every conceivable thing for sale were hung outside the shops. All one had to do was to point to the reproduction of a spool, or a safety pin, or an egg, or a trunk, and produce a pocketbook. One day my mother wanted some shoe buttons and we wagered that she could not buy them unaided. I felt sure there would be no painting of a shoe button on the shop wall. But she came back victoriously with the buttons, quite proud of herself because she had thought of pointing to her own boots instead of wasting time hunting among the pictures. It was the collection of Colonel Villiers that first awakened in me an interest in old silver, and the beginning I made in Russia that winter ended in my possessing a collection of value and beauty. Villiers was a member of the Duke of Buckingham's family and was a Queen's Messenger, a position of responsibility and trust. And I had several other friends at the British Embassy. Lord and Lady Dufferin I knew; and one of the secretaries, Mr. Alan, now Sir Alan Johnston, who married Miss Antoinette Pinchot, sister of Gifford Pinchot, I had first met in Vienna. The night that Villiers arrived in Petersburg (before I had met him) some of the English _attachés_ had been invited to dine with us; but the First Secretary arrived at the last moment to explain that the Queen's Messenger was expected with private letters and that they had to be received in person and handed in at Court promptly. "It's the only way they have of sending really private letters, you see," he explained. "Alexandra probably wants to tell Dagmar about the children's last attacks of indigestion, so we have to stay at home to receive the letters!" Well--the glad day did finally come when my mother and I turned our backs on Russia and its eternal twilight and repaired to Nice for a little amusement and recuperation after the Petersburg season. A number of our friends were there, and it was unusually gay. I was warmly welcomed and congratulated, for Petersburg had put the final _cachet_ upon my success. Although I might win other honours, I could win none that the world appraised more highly than those that had come to me that year. In a letter to my father, from Nice, my mother says: The Grand Duke Nicholas has been here in our hotel a month, and his two sons and suite, doctor, _Aide-de-camp_. and servants. There is an inside balcony running two sides of the hotel which is lovely: but the whole is square with other rooms--this width carpeted--sofa--chairs--table--a glass roof. We all assemble there after dinner, and sit around and talk, take _café_ and tea on little tables.... We sat every day after dinner close to the Grand Duke (the Czar's brother) and his suite; knew his doctor and finally the Duke and his sons. I was sitting on the balcony, because I could see everybody who came in or who went out, and I was looking down and saw the Grand Duke receive the despatch of the assassination--and the commotion and emotion was the most exciting thing I ever witnessed. The Grand Duke is a most amiable gentleman, sweet and good as a man can be; his son, sixteen, was the loveliest and most gentle and affectionate of sons. I looked at the Duke all the time. I was almost upset myself by the excitement. Despatches came every twenty minutes. I looked on--sat there _seven hours_. As the Russians outside heard of it they would come in--I saw two women cry--the Duke stayed in his room--I heard that he had fainted--he is in somewhat delicate health.... It seemed as if the others were looking around for their friends and for sympathy, as was natural. I had not talked much with the Doctor because I never felt equal to it in French--especially on ordinary subjects of conversation--but he looked up and saw me on the balcony and came directly to me. I took both his hands--the tears came into his eyes--and we _talked_--the words came to me, enough to show him we were his friends. I said America would sympathise with Russia. He seemed pleased and said, "Yes; but Angleterre, no!" I did not have much to say to that. But I did him good. He told Louise and me the particulars. We both knew the very spot near the bridge where the Czar had fallen. Our sympathy was mostly with the man whose brother had been murdered and his friends. There was a long book downstairs in which people who came in wrote their names from time to time. I do not understand it exactly, but Louise says it contains the names of those who feel an allegiance. Many Russians came in the day of the assassination and wrote their names. Our Consul wrote his, and a beautiful sentence of sympathy. He wanted to lower our flag, but dared not, quite. Louise and I went down and wrote ours--and, while standing, the Duke's physician said to us that there had not been one English name signed. The hotel is all English, nearly. It was an interesting, eventful day. The Duke was pleased when Louise told him his people had been very kind to her in Russia at Petersburg. They all left day before yesterday at 6 P.M. The assassination of the Czar took place three weeks to the day from that Sunday when I had seen him. It all came back to me very clearly, of course--the troops, the crowding people, and the snow. No wonder they were watchful of him, poor man! The bottom dropped out of the season at Nice and people began to flit away. The tragedy of the Czar's death spread a shadow over everything. Nobody felt much like merry-making or recreation, and, again, I was becoming restless--restless in a new way. "Mother," I said, "let's go back to America. I have had enough of Nice and Petersburg and Paris and Vienna and London. I'm tired to death of foreign countries and foreign ways and foreign audiences and foreign honours. I want to go home!" "Thank God!" said my mother. CHAPTER XXXIII THE LAST YEARS OF MY PROFESSIONAL CAREER At Villefranche, on our way to Nice, I had been given a formal reception by the officers of the flagship _Trenton_, that was then lying in the harbour. Admiral Dahlgren was in command, and the reception was more of a tribute to the _prima donna_ than a personal tribute. It was arranged under the auspices of Lieutenant Emory and Lieutenant Clover; and I did not sing. Emory was a natural social leader and the whole affair was perfect in detail. A much more interesting reception, however, arranged by Lieutenant Emory, was the informal one given me by the same hosts not long after. Although informal, it was conducted on the same lines of elegance that marked every social function with which Emory was ever connected. As soon as we appeared on the gun deck, accompanied by Lieutenant-Commander Gridley, to be presented to Captain Ramsay, the orchestra greeted us with the familiar strains of _Hail, Columbia!_ At the end of the _déjeuner_ the whole crew contemplated us from afar as I conversed with our hosts, and, realising what might be expected of me, I sang, as soon as the orchestra had adjusted their instruments, the solo of Violetta from _Traviata_: _Ah force e lui che l'anima_. As an _encore_ I sang _Down on the Suwanee River_. The orchestra not being able to accompany me, I accompanied myself on a banjo that happened to be handy. I was told afterwards that "the one sweet, familiar plantation melody was better to us than a dozen Italian cavatinas." After the _Suwanee River_, I sang yet another negro melody, _The Yaller Gal Dressed in Blue_, which was received with much appreciative laughter. On our way from Nice we went to Milan to visit the Exposition, which was an artistically interesting one, and at which we happened to see the father and mother of the present King of Italy. From Milan we went to Aix-les-Bains; and from there to Paris. I returned to America without an engagement; but on October 5th the Kellogg Concert Company, under the management of Messrs. Pond and Bachert, gave the first concert of a series in Music Hall, Boston. I was supported by Brignoli, the "silver-voiced tenor," Signer Tagliapietra, and Miss Alta Pease, contralto. With us, also, were Timothie Adamowski, the Polish violinist; Liebling, the pianist, and the Weber Quartette. My reception in America, after nearly two years' absence abroad, was, really, almost an ovation. But I want to say that Boston has always been particularly gracious and cordial to me. By way of showing how appreciative was my reception, I cannot resist giving an extract from the _Boston Transcript_ of the following morning: Her singing of her opening number, Filina's _Polonaise_ in _Mignon_, showed at once that she had brought back to us unimpaired both her voice and her exquisite art; that she is now, as formerly, the wonderfully finished singer with the absolutely beautiful and true soprano voice. Her stage experience during the past few years, singing taxing grand soprano parts, so different and more trying to the vocal physique than the light florid parts, the Aminas, Zerlinas, and Elviras, she began by singing, seems to have had no injurious effect upon the quality and trueness of her voice, which has ever been fine and delicate; just the sort of beautiful voice which one would fear to expose to much intense dramatic wear and tear. Its present perfect purity only proves how much may be dared by a singer who can trust to a thoroughly good method. In the following May I sang with Max Strakosch's opera company in Providence to an exceptionally large audience. One of the daily newspapers of the city said, in reference to this occasion: Miss Kellogg must take it as a compliment to herself personally, for the other artists were unknown here, and therefore it must have been her name that attracted so many. She has always been popular here, and has made many personal as well as professional friends. She must have added many more of the latter last night, for she never appeared to better advantage. She was well supported by Signor Giannini as Faust [we gave _Faust_ and I was Marguerite] and Signor Mancini as Mephistopheles. This same year, 1882, I went on a concert trip through the South. In New Orleans I had a peep into the wonderful pawnshops, large, spacious, all filled with beautiful things. I had long been a collector of pewter and silver and old furniture and, on this trip, took advantage of some of my opportunities. For instance, I bought the bureau that had belonged to Barbara Frietchie, and a milk jug and some spoons that had belonged to Henry Clay. Also, I visited Libby Prison and various other prisons, a battle-field, and several cemeteries. One cemetery was half filled with the graves of boys of seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen years of age, showing that in the Civil War the South could not have kept it up much longer. The sight was pitiful! In 1884 I went on a concert tour with Major Pond in the West, making of it so far as we could, as Pond said, something of a picnic. We crossed by the Northern Pacific, seeing, I remember, the ranch of the Duc de Morney, son of the Duc de Morney who was one of Louis Philippe's creations, and who had married the daughter of a wealthy ranchman, Baron von Hoffman. The house of his ancestor in the Champs Élysées and the house next door that he built for his mistress were points of interest in Paris when I first went there. In Miles City, on the way to Helena, Montana, we visited some of the gambling dens, and were interested in learning that the wildest and worst one in the place was run by a Harvard graduate. The streets of the town were strangely deserted and this we did not understand until a woman said to me: "Umph! they don't show themselves when respectable people come along!" My memory of the trip and of the Yellowstone Park consists of a series of strangely beautiful and primitive pictures. We passed through a prairie fire, when the atmosphere was so hot and dense that extra pressure of steam was put on our locomotive to rush our train through it. Never before had I seen Indian women carrying their papooses. I particularly recall one settlement of wigwams on a still, wonderful evening, the chiefs gorgeous in their blankets, when the fires were being lighted and the spirals of smoke were ascending straight up into the clear atmosphere. One day a couple of Indians ran after the train. They looked very fine as they ran and finally succeeded in getting on to the rear platform, where they rode for some distance. At Deer Lodge I sang all of one evening to two fine specimens of Indian manhood. We went down the Columbia River in a boat, greatly enjoying the impressive scenery. One of my most vivid mental impressions was that of an Indian fisherman, standing high out over the rushing waters, at least forty feet up, on a projection of some kind that had been built for the purpose of salmon fishing, his graceful, vigorous bronze form clearly silhouetted against the background of rock and foliage and sky. On the banks of the river farther along we saw a circus troupe boiling their supper in a huge caldron and smoking the _kalama_ or peace pipe. I was so hungry I wanted to eat of the caldron's contents but, on second thoughts, refrained. And we stopped at Astoria where the canning of salmon was done, a town built out over the river on piles. The forest fires had caused some confusion and, for one while, we could hardly breathe because of the smoke. Indeed we travelled days and days through that smoke. The first cowboy I ever saw drove me from the station of Livingston through Yellowstone Park. In Butte City my company went down into the Clarke Copper Mine, but I did not care to join them in the undertaking. Our first sight of Puget Sound was very beautiful. And it was at Puget Sound that I first saw half-, or, rather, quarter-breeds. I remember Pond saying how quickly the half-breeds die of consumption. Later, that same year, I went South again on another concert tour. All through the State of Mississippi there was a strange, horrible flavour to the food, I recall, and, so all-pervading was this flavour that finally I could hardly eat anything. The contralto and I were talking about it one day on the train and saying how glad we should be to get away from it. There being no parlour-cars, we were in an ordinary coach, and a woman who sat in front of me and overheard us, turned around and said: "_I_ know what you mean! _I_ can tell you what it is. It's cotton seed. Everything tastes of cotton seed in this country. They feed their cows on it, and their chickens. _Everything_ tastes of it; eggs, butter, biscuits, milk!" This was true. The only thing, it seems, that could not be raised on cotton seed was fruit; and unfortunately it was not a fruit season when I was there. The recollection of this trip necessitates my saying a little something of Southern hospitality. I was not satisfied with any of the arrangements that had been made for me. I had also taken a severe cold, and, when we reached Charlottesville, where we were to give a concert, I said I would not go on. This brought matters to a climax. I simply would not and could not sing in the condition I was; and declared I would not be subjected to any such treatment at the insistence of the management. The end of it was that I took my maid and started for New York. The trip at first promised to be a very uncomfortable one. Travelling accommodations were poor; food was difficult to obtain, and I was nearly ill. At one point, where the opening of a new bridge had just taken place, we stopped, and I noticed a private car attached to our train, which I coveted. Imagine my gratitude and pleasure, therefore, when the porter presently came to me and said courteously that "Colonel Cawyter" sent his compliments and invited me into his private car. I accepted, of course. But this was not all. As I was making inquiries about train connections and facilities for food, of one of the gentlemen in the car, he realised what was before me, and said that I could go to his home where his wife would care for me. I protested, but he insisted and gave me his card. When we reached the station, I took a carriage and drove to the house, where I was received very courteously. It was a simple household of a mother, grandmother, and children, and they had already lunched when I got there. But they piled on more coal, and in a very short time made me a lunch that was simply delicious--all so easily, simply, and naturally, in spite of the haphazard fashion in which they seemed to live, as to quite win my admiration. And this incident of Southern hospitality enabled me to proceed on my way nourished and restored. Another incident that I recall was of a similar nature in its fundamental kindness. I had no money with which to pay for my berth, and was asking the conductor if there was anyone who would cash a check for me, when a perfect stranger offered me the amount I needed. At first I refused, but finally consented to accept the loan in the same spirit in which it had been offered. On the reorganised version of this trip we went down into Texas, giving concerts in Waco, Dallas, Cheyenne, San Antonio, and Galveston, among other places. This was before the wonderful railroad had been built that runs for miles through the water; and before the tidal wave that wiped the old Galveston out of existence. At Cheyenne, I remember, we had to ford a river to keep our engagement. At Waco a negro was found under the bed of one of the company; a bridge was burning; and a _posse_ of men, with bloodhounds, was starting out to track the incendiaries. I remember speaking there with a negro woman who had a white child in her charge. The child was busily chewing gum and the woman told me that often the child would put her hand on her jaw saying, "Oh, I'm _so_ tired!" But she could not be induced to stop chewing! At Dallas we sang in a hall that had a tin roof, and, during the concert, a terrific thunderstorm came on, so that I had to stop singing. This is the only time, I believe, that the elements ever succeeded in drowning me out. I never before had seen adobe houses, and I found San Antonio very interesting, and drove as far as I could along the road of the old Spanish Missions that maintain the traditions and aspects of the Spanish in the New World. The Southern theatres are the dirtiest places that can be imagined; and I recall eating opossum that was served to us with great pride by my waiter. From this time on I did not contemplate any long engagements. I did not care for them, although I sometimes went to places to sing--and to collect pewter! I never formally retired from public life, but quietly stopped when it seemed to me the time had come. It was a Kansas City newspaper reporter who incidentally brought home to me the fact that I was no longer very young. I had a few grey hairs, and, after an interview granted to this representative of the press--a woman, by the way--I found, on reading the interview in print the next day, that my grey hairs had been mentioned. "They'll find that my voice is getting grey next," I said to myself. I really wanted to stop before everybody would be saying, "You ought to have heard her sing ten years ago!" [Illustration: =Carl Strakosch= From a photograph by H. W. Barnett] The last time I saw Patti I said to her: "Adelina, have you got through singing?" "Oh, I still sing for _mes pauvres_ in London," she replied; but she didn't explain who were her poor. On my last western concert tour I sang at Oshkosh. A special train of three cars on the Central brought down a large delegation for the occasion from Fond du Lac, Ripon, Neenah and Menasha, Appleton and other neighbouring towns. The audience was in the best of humour and a particularly sympathetic one. At the close of the concert I remarked that it was one of the finest audiences I ever sang to. And I added, by way of pleasantry, that, having sung at Oshkosh, I was now indeed ready to leave the stage! But there were even more serious reasons that influenced me in my decision, one of which was that my mother had for some time past been in a poor state of health. More than once, when I went to the theatre, I had the feeling that she might not be alive when I returned home; and this was a nervous strain to me that, combined with a severe attack of bronchitis, brought about a physical condition which might have had seriously lasting results if I had not taken care of myself in time. It was not easy to stop. When each autumn came around, it was very difficult not to go back to the public. I had an empty feeling. There is no sensation in the world like singing to an audience and knowing that you have it with you. I would not change my experience for that of any crowned head. The singer and the actor have, at least, the advantage over all other artists of a personal recognition of their success; although, of course, the painter and writer live in their work while the singer and the actor become only traditions. But such traditions! On the subject of the actor's traditions Edwin Booth has written: In the main, tradition to the actor is as true as that which the sculptor perceives in Angelo, the painter in Raphael, and the musician in Beethoven.... Tradition, if it be traced through pure channels and to the fountainhead, leads one as near to Nature as can be followed by her servant, Art. Whatever Quinn, Barton Booth, Garrick, and Cooke gave to stagecraft, or as we now term it, "business," they received from their predecessors; from Betterton and perhaps from Shakespeare himself, who, though not distinguished as an actor, well knew what acting should be; and what they inherited in this way they bequeathed in turn to their art and we should not despise it. Kean knew without seeing Cooke, who in turn knew from Macklin, and so back to Betterton, just what to do and how to do it. Their great Mother Nature, who reiterates her teachings and preserves her monotone in motion, form, and sound, taught them. There must be some similitude in all things that are True! The traditions of singing are not what they used to be, however, for the new school of opera does not require great finish, although it does demand greater dramatic art. It used to be that Tetrazzinis could make successes through coloratura singing alone; but to-day coloratura singing has no great hold on the public after the novelty has worn off. But it does very well in combination with heavier music, as in Mozart's _Magic Flute_ or _The Huguenots_, and so modern singers have to be both coloraturists and dramaticists. _A propos_ of singing and methods, I append a newspaper interview that a reporter had with me in Paris, 1887. He had been shown a new dinner dress of white _moire_ with ivy leaves woven into the tissue, and writes: [Illustration: =Letter from Edwin Booth to Clara Louise Kellogg=] I examined the rustling treasure critically and decided it was a complete success. The train was long, the stuff rich, the taste perfect, and yet--the great essential was wanting. I could not but reflect on the transformation which would come over that regal robe were it once hung on the shapely shoulders of the famous _prima donna_. "You see, there is nothing like singing to fill out dresses where they should be filled out, and conversely," said Sbriglia, who happened to be present as we came back into the _salon_; "consequently my advice to all ladies who wish to improve their figure is to take vocal lessons." "Yes," agreed Miss Kellogg, "if they can only find right instruction. But, unfortunately good teachers nowadays are rarer than good voices. Even the famous Paris Conservatory doesn't contain good vocal instruction. If there be any teaching in the world which is thoroughly worthless, it is precisely that given in the Rue Bergère. But I cannot do justice to the subject. Do give us your ideas, Professor, about the Paris Conservatory and the French School of voice culture." "As to any French vocal school," replied Sbriglia, "there is none. Each professor has a system of his own that is only less bad than the system of some rival professor. One man tells you to breathe up and down and another in and out. One claims that the musical tones are formed in the head, while another locates them in the throat. And when these gentlemen receive a fresh, untrained voice, their first care is to split it up into three distinct parts which they call registers, and for the arrangement of which they lay down three distinct sets of rules. "As to the Conservatory, it is a national disgrace; and I have no hesitation in saying that it not only does no good, but is actually the means of ruining hundreds of fine voices. Look at the results. It is from the Conservatory that the Grand Opera chooses its French singers, and the simple fact is that in the entire _personnel_ there are no great French artists. There are artists from Russia, Italy, Germany and America, but there are none from France. And yet the most talented students of the Conservatory make their _débuts_ there every year with fine voices and brilliant prospects; but, as a famous critic has well said, 'after singing for three years under the system which they have been taught, they acquire a perfect "style" and lose their voice.' "You ask me what I consider to be the correct method. I dislike very much the use of the word 'method,' because it seems to imply something artificial; whereas in all the vocal processes, there is only a single logical method and that is the one taught us all by nature at our birth. Watch a baby crying. How does he breathe? Simply by pushing the abdomen forward, thus drawing air into the lungs, to fill the vacuum produced, and then bringing it back again, which expels the air. And every one breathes that way, except certain advocates of theoretical nonsense, who have learned with great difficulty to exactly reverse this operation. Such singers make a bellows of the chest, instead of the abdomen, and, as the strain to produce long sounds is evidently greater in forcing the air out than in simply drawing it in, their inevitable tendency is to unduly contract the chest and to distend the abdomen." "Let me give you an illustration of the truth of M. Sbriglia's argument," said Miss Kellogg, rising from her seat. "Now watch me as I utter a musical note." And immediately the rich voice that has charmed so many thousands filled the apartment with a clear "a-a-a-a" as the note grew in volume. "You see Miss Kellogg has little to fear from consumption!" exclaimed Sbriglia. "And I am convinced that invalids with disorders of the chest would do well to stop taking drugs and study the art of breathing and singing." "And even those who have no voice," said Miss Kellogg, "would by this means not only improve in health and looks, but would also learn to read and speak correctly, for the same principles apply to all the vocal processes. It is astonishing how few people use the voice properly. For instance I could read in this tone all the afternoon without fatigue, but if I were to do this" (making a perceptible change in the position of her head), "I should begin to cough before finishing a column. Don't you notice the difference? In the one case the sounds come from here" (touching her chest) "and are free and musical; but in the other, I seem to speak in my throat, and soon feel an irritation there which makes me want the traditional glass of sugar and water." "The irritation which accompanies what you call 'speaking in the throat,'" explained Sbriglia, "is caused by pressing too hard upon the vocal cords, that become, in consequence, congested with blood, instead of remaining white as they should be. Persons who have this habit grow hoarse after very brief vocal exertion, and it is largely for that reason that American men rarely make fine singers. On the other hand, look at Salvini, who, by simply knowing how to place his voice, is able to play a tremendous part like Othello without the slightest sense of fatigue. "About the American 'twang'? Oh, no, it does not injure the voice. On the contrary, this nasal peculiarity, especially common among your women, is of positive value in a proper production of certain tones." CODA The Coda in music is, literally, the tail of the composition, the finishing off of the piece. The influence of Wagner did away with the Coda: yet, as my place in the history of opera is that of an exponent of the Italian rather than the German form, I feel that a Coda, or a last few words of farewell, is admissible. In some ways the Italian opera of my day seems banal. Yet Italian opera is not altogether the thing of the past that it is sometimes supposed to be. More and more, I believe, is it coming back into public favour as people experience a renewed realisation that melody is the perfect thing, in art as in life. I believe that _Mignon_ would draw at the present time, if a good cast could be found. But it would be difficult to find a good cast. Italian opera did what it was intended to do:--it showed the art of singing. It was never supposed to be but an accompaniment to the orchestra as German opera often is; an idea not very gratifying to a singer, and sometimes not to the public. Yet we can hardly make comparisons. Personally, I like German opera and many forms of music beside the Italian very much, even while convinced of the fact that German critics are not the whole audience. At least, the opera could not long be preserved on them alone. [Illustration: ="Elpstone"= New Hartford, Connecticut] It seems to me as I look back over the preceding pages that I have put into them all the irrelevant matter of my life and left out much that was important. Many of my dearest _rôles_ I have forgotten to mention, and many of my most illustrious acquaintances I have omitted to honour. But when one has lived a great many years, the past becomes a good deal like an attic: one goes there to hunt for some particular thing, but the chances are that one finds anything and everything except what one went to find. So, out of my attic, I have unearthed ever so many unimportant heirlooms of the past, leaving others, perhaps more valuable and more interesting, to be eaten by moths and corrupted by rust for all time. There is very little more for me to say. I do not want to write of my last appearances in public. Even though I did leave the operatic stage at the height of my success, there is yet something melancholy in the end of anything. As Richard Hovey says: There is a sadness in all things that pass; We love the moonlight better for the sun, And the day better when the night is near. The last look on a place where we have dwelt Reveals more beauty than we dreamed before, When it was daily ... In our big, young country of America there are the possibilities of many another singer greater than I have been. I shall be proud and grateful if the story of my high ambitions, hard work, and kindly treatment should chance to encourage one of these. For, while it is true that there is nothing that should be chosen less lightly than an artistic career, it is also true that, having chosen it, there is nothing too great to be given up for it. I have no other message to give; no further lesson to teach. I have lived and sung, and, in these memories, have tried to tell something of the living and the singing: but when I seek for a salient and moving word as a last one, I find that I am dumb. Yet I feel as I used to feel when I sang before a large audience. Somewhere out in the audience of the world there must be those who are in instinctive sympathy with me. My thoughts go wandering toward them as, long ago, my thoughts would wander toward the unknown friends sitting before me in the theatre and listening. So poignant is this sense within me that, halting as my message may have been, I feel quite sure that somehow, here and there, some one will hear it, responsive in the heart. INDEX Abbott, Emma, in _Camille_, 70; meeting with, 272-275; 320 Academy of Music, the, _début_ of Kellogg at, 33; stage conditions at, 37; director of, 40; winter season at, 91; benefit at, 92; return to, 201; 258, 259, 263 Adam, Mme., 304 Adamowski, Timothie, 358 Adams, Charles, 298 Adams, Maud, in _Joan of Arc_, 66 Aïda, 292, 301, 302, 307 Albani, Mme., 235 Albertini, 294 Albites, suggestion of, 102 Alboni, Mme., Rovere and, 94; anecdote of, 175 Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, 47, 48 Alexander, John, 281 Amina, the _rôle_ of, 64; the opera of, 65; Murska as, 296 Amodio, 13; personal appearance of, 14; in _Don Giovanni_, 74 Amonasro, 307 Andrede, Joseph, 300 Annetta, 91; contrast between Marguerite and, 93; Malibran as, 94; Grisi as, 94; Kellogg as, 93, 94, 96 Anschutz, _Faust_ and, 78 Appleton, Tom, 46, 47 Arditi, 135, 138, 162-164, 168, 171, 173 Armitage, Sir George, 195-198 Association, Peace Jubilee, 235 Azucena, 249 Babcock, William, 7 Bachert, Pond and, 358 Balfe, 261, 262 _Ballo in Maschera_, 55, 62, 329, 338 Banjo, first mention of, 8; music of, 9; old man and the, 217, 218; accompaniment of, 358 _Barbiere, Il_, realistic performance of, 38; 56, 91, 97, 167, 277 Barbizon School, 306 Barlow, Judge Peter, 102 Barlow, Mrs. Samuel, 276-279 Bateman concerts, 101 Beecher, Henry Ward, 214 Beethoven, 78; Jubilee, 209; Okakura and music of, 219; reference to, 366 Behrens, Siegfried, 263, 264, 267 Bellini, 54; traditions of, 67; music of, 80 Benedict, Sir Jules, 6, 197, 261, 262 Bennett, James Gordon, 251, 303 Bennett, Mr., 164, 174, 238 Bentinck, Mrs. Cavendish, 190 Bernhardt, 208 _Beware_, Longfellow and, 46; singing of, 175, 178, 197 Bey, Khalil, 156, 157 Biachi as Mephistopheles, 86 Bianchi, Mlle., 329 Bierstadt, Albert, 160 Bizet, 305 Black, Valentine, 305 _Bohème, La_, 91 _Bohemian Girl, The_, 257, 259 Booth, Edwin, letter from, 16; on stage traditions, 366 Booth, Wilkes, 111 Borde, Mme. de la, in _Les Huguenots_, 13; voice of, 13 Borgia, Lucretia, Grisi as, 159 Bososio, Mlle., as Prascovia, 102 Boucicault, Dion, 15, 262 Brignoli, 13, 14; tour with, 22; temper of, 22, 23; origin of, 24; mascot of, 24, 165; point of view of, 24; anecdote of, 25; death of, 25; in _I Puritani_, 29; in opera with, 36; difficulties with, 41; in Boston with, 44; farewell performance for, 64; Americanisation of, 71; in _Poliuto_, 72; Gottschalk and, 107; mention of, 294, 358 Brougham, John, 15 Bulow, Von, 298 Burnett, Mrs. Frances Hodgson, 281 Burroughs, John, reference to, 288 Butterfly, Madame, 255 Cabanel, 306 Cable, George, 281 Callender, May, 276, 277 Calvé, 81; as Carmen, 291 _Camille_, Matilda Heron in, 15; public attitude toward, 69; mention of, 70; libretto of, 135 Campanini, Italo, 236, 237, 261, 295 Capoul, 184, 236, 237, 295 Carlton, William, 258-261, 265, 268, 275; Marie Roze and, 290 Carmen, 73, 91; Minnie Hauck as, 102; Kellogg in, 231, 236; in English, 254; Marie Roze as, 290; the _rôle_ of, 291; Calvé as, 291; music of, 305 Carvalho, Mme. Miolan-, 77; wig of, 82, 140; as Marguerite, 84 Cary, Annie Louise, 193; Kellogg and, 289, 292-294, 298, 304 _Castille, The Rose of_, 257 Castle, 257, 269, 270 Catherine, in _Star of the North_, 102; jewels for, 104; incident when singing, 267 Châtelet, Théâtre, 140 Christina, ex-Queen, 143, 144 Clarke, James Freeman, 50 Clarkson, Bishop, 300 Clover, Lieutenant, 357 Club, Stanley, 305 Colson, Pauline, tour with, 22; advice of, 26; example in costuming of, 27; illness of, 27 Combermere, Viscountess, 125; anecdote of, 128 Comédie Française, 15 Concerts, private, 168; Buckingham Palace, 179-186, 302; Benedict's, 197; tours, 200-203, 208, 227-230; trials of, 232-234; in Russia, 346 Conklin, Ellen, effect of slavery on, 58, 59 Conly, George, 256, 258, 275 Connaught, Duke of, 183, 184 Contessa, incident in Titjien's _rôle_ of, 169, 170, 239 Cook, W. H., 124 Coquelin, 304 Costa, Sir Michael, 169, 170, 194, 238, 267 Cotogni, 235, 337 Coulsen, 294 Crinkle, Nym, _see_ Wheeler _Crispino e la Comare_, 91, 94; Cobbler in, 94; mention of, 97, 249 _Curiose, Le Donne_, 91 Cushman, Charlotte, attendance at theatre by, 33; evening in Boston with, 50, 52; in Rome with, 160; as Queen Katherine, 270, 271 Cusins, 176, 178 Custer, 57, 58 Czar, the, Ronconi and, 95; daughter of, 182, 183; signature of, 335; physician of, 337; Nihilists and, 338, 343; mourning of, 342; sight of, 350, 351; assassination of, 354, 355 Dahlgren, Admiral, 183, 357 _Dame Blanche, La_, 96 D'Angri, 13 _Daniel Deronda_, quotation from, 315-316 Davidson, 167, 190, 195 Davis, Jefferson, at West Point, 19; son of, 19; wife of, 20 Davis, Will, 256 Debussy, 79 Deland, Conly as, 258 de Reszke, Jean, in _L'Africaine_, 40; Sbriglia and, 313, 314 de Reszke, Josephine, 306 _Diavolo, Fra_, 16, 91; benefit performance of, 92, 93; fondness for, 97; scenes from, 159; Lucca in, 174, 249; Conly in, 256; mention of, 261; Habelmann as, 269 Dickens, house of, 241 Donizetti, 56; opera of _Betly_ by, 68; _Poliuto_ by, 71; music of, 80 Donna Anna, _rôle_ of, 74, 137; Titjiens as, 169, 170, 173; Kellogg as, 249 Doria, Clara, 246 Douglass, William, 126, 203 Duc de Morney, 360 Dudley, Lord, 189 Dufferin, Lord and Lady, 353 Dukas, 79 Duse, 208 _Dutchman, The Flying_, 257, 258, 263-265 Eames, Mme., 83 Edinburgh, Duchess of, 182, 183 Edward, Miss, 121, 137 Ehn, Mme., 329 Elssler, Fanny, 330 Elvira, Donna, 137, 170, 173 Emerson, 45, 221 Emory, Lieutenant, 357 _Ernani_, Patti in, 148, 155 Errani, 11 Eugénie, Empress, 149, 150 Evans, Dr., 150 Fabri, Count, 244 Falstaff, 91 Farragut, Admiral, 157, 158 Farrar, Geraldine, as Marguerite, 81, 83, 89 Faure, 145, 147, 178, 179, 184, 235, 323 _Faust_, first suggestion of Kellogg in, 40; anecdote about, 46; public attitude toward, 68; decision of Maretzek about, 75; on the Continent, 77; criticism of 78; estimate of 79; early effect on public of, 81, 89; Alice Neilson in 82; _Poliuto_ and, 88; liberties with score of, 88, 89; Santley in, 132; French treatment of, 140; in America, 240; mention of, 244, 307; Lucca in, 249, 250; Carlton in, 260; Drury Lane and, 132, 135, 137, 162, 174, 189, 261; Mike and, 266; Emma Abbott in, 274; testimonial, 298; libretto of, 333; mention of, 359 Fechter, Mr., 168 Federici as Marguerite, 80 Felina, 251-253, 331, 358 Ferri, tour with, 22; as Rigoletto, 33; blindness of, 33, 41 Fidelio, Titjiens as, 169 Field, Eugene, 271 Field, Mrs. Marshall, 279 Fields, James T., home of, 45; anecdote of, 46; friends of, 47, 48; opinion of "copy" of Mrs. Stowe, 49; hospitality of, 50; letter to, 89 Fioretti, 195 Fischoff, 326, 332 Flotow, opera of _Martha_ by, 73 Flute, playing of, 2; Lanier and, 51; Wagner's use of, 52 _Flute, The Magic_, 74, 146, 366; song from _The Star_ in, 173 Foley, Walter, 131, 167, 236 Foster, Mr., 338, 339 Franceschetti, 322 Frapoli, 299 _Freischütz, Der_, 254 French, art of the, 140 Fursch-Nadi, 310 Gaiety, 93, 94; Italian, 160 Gannon, Mary, 15 Garden, Covent, 129, 135, 167, 171, 172, 178, 194-196, 235 Garden, Mary, artistic spirit of, 40; English opera and, 255 _Gazza Ladra, La_, 166-168, 173 Gazzaniga, Mme., 294 Gerster, 303, 329 Giatano, Nita, 242, 243 Gilda, study of the _rôle_ of, 29; appearance in, 34, 35, 63; comparison with Marguerite of, 79; Kellogg as, 81 Gilder, Jeannette, 193, 280, 282; Ellen Terry and, 283 Gilder, Richard Watson, 192, 219, 221; Mrs., 279, 281; studio of, 280-282 Gilder, Rodman, 281 Gilder, William H., 280 Gilmore, Patrick, 309 _Giovanni, Don_, 62; under Grau in, 74; at Her Majesty's, 137, 167, 170, 173, 174, 197, 198; mention of, 249, 296, 342 Godard, 305 Goddard, Mr., 190 Goethe, 254 Goodwin, 168, 197 _Götterdämmerung, Die_, 91 Gottschalk, 106, 107, 295 Gounod, new opera by, 75; as revolutionist, 78, 79; mention of, 132; reference to, 133; in London, 140, 240-244; Gounod, Madame, 243 Grange, Mme. de la, in _Les Huguenots_, 13; in _Sonnambula_, 38; in _The Star of the North_, 102 Grant, General, in Chicago, 114, 115; President and Mrs., 266 Grau, Maurice, 67; _Traviata_ and, 69; in Boston with, 74, 258, 259; mention of, 300; Opera House, 307 Greeley, Horace, funeral of, 209 Greenough, Lillie, 277 Gridley, Lieutenant-Commander, 357 Grisi, opportunity to hear, 14; opera costumier and, 85; as Annetta, 94; family of, 158; story of, 159 Grove, Sir George, 262 Gye, Mr., 129, 135, 171, 172 Habelmann, Theodor, in _Fra Diavolo_, 96, 269, 270 Hall, Dr. John, 300 Hamilton, Sir Frederick, 342 Hamilton, Gail, 50 Hamlet, in French, 141; Nilsson in, 145; Faure as, 147; McCullough as, 282; mad scene in, 292, 329 Handel, Festival, 172; _Messiah_ of, 209; and Haydn Society, 298 Hanslick, Dr., 195; complimented by, 329-331 Harrington, Earl of, 126; ice-box of, 127; daughter of, 127; at the opera, 198 Harte, Bret, niece of, 319 Hauck, Minnie, as Prascovia, 102, 103; characterisation of, 103; mention of, 303 Haute, M. De la, 159 Hawaii, King of, 266 Hawthorne, Julian, 49 Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 48 _Hélène, La Belle_, 254 Heron, Matilda, 15 Hess, C. D., 256-259; benefit of Kellogg, 275 Heurtly, Mrs., 190 Hinckley, Isabella, 41; in _Il Barbiere_, 56; in _Betly_, 68 Hissing, custom of, in Spain, 145 Hoey, Mrs. John, 15 Hoffman, Baron, 329, 330 Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 46; breakfasts with, 52; opinion of English women of, 53 Hosmer, Harriet, 160 Howe, Julia Ward, 46, 49, 61 Huger, General Isaac, son of, 18, 57 _Huguenots, Les_, 91, 174, 295, 366 _Iago_, 307 Irving, Henry, great strength of, 40; repose of, 234, 248; first meeting with, 282; complaint of, 284; reforms of, 284, 285 Jackson, Helen Hunt, 281 Jaffray, E. S., 322 Jarrett, 120, 162, 163; daughter of, 163, 164, 168, 173, 198; Colonel Stebbins and, 173; Gounod and, 241; mention of, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 294, 300, 331 Jerome, Leonard, 188 Johnston, Sir Alan, 353 Jordan, Jules, 206, 207 Juliet, saying of Modjeska about, 70; Patti as, 194, 198; Romeo and, 240; Gounod and, 244 Karl, Tom, 298 Katherine, Queen, 270, 271 Keene, Laura, 15 Kellogg, Clara Louise, first appearance of, 6; description as a child of, 7; dress of, 8, 25, 26, 39, 40, 70, 84, 85, 135, 136, 137, 210, 265, 347; Muzio and, 11, 12, 13; early singers heard by, 13; histrionic skill of, 15, 16; resemblance to Rachel of, 16; _début_ as Gilda of, 33; as Marguerite, 40, 75-92; hospitalities toward, 44, 45, 93, 100, 101, 278, 279, 362, 363; wig of, 82-84; in Opéra Comique, 91-98; jewelry of, 93, 104, 105, 298; as Flower Prima Donna, 103, 202; Lucca and, 245-252; in English Opera, 254-270; favourite flower of; 266; in "Three Graces" Tour, 289-304 Kellogg, George, flute of, 2; failure of, 9; Irish servants and, 61; in New Hartford with, 67; story of, 231 Keppel, Colonel, 133 Korbay, Francis, 219 Krauss, 307 Küster, Baron, 338 La Farge, John, 219, 221, 280 _L'Africaine_, de Reszke in, 40; Lucca in, 249; Masini in, 341 Lang, 190, 198 Lanier, Sidney, 50; anecdote of, 51 Lascelle, 306 Lawrence, Alberto, 258 _Lecouvreur, Adrienne_, 282 Leonora, Marie Willt as, 152; Lucca as, 179; Morgan and, 269 Le Page, Bastien, 281 Leporello, Rockitanski as, 170 _Le Roi de Lahore_, 306 Librettos, inartistic, 255; Emma Abbott and, 274; texts of, 332 Liebling, 358 _Lily o'Killarney_, 261, 262 Lincoln, Abraham, call for volunteers by, 54; anecdote of, 110; death of, 111; lying-in-state of, 112-114, 118 Lind, Jenny, 5, 6, 294 Linda di Chamounix, first public appearance of Kellogg in, 25; Boston's attitude toward, 36; origin of, 36; story of, 36, 37; costuming of, 38, 39; Susini, in, 42; Mme. Medori as, 42; Kellogg in Boston as, 43, 50, 54, 62; teaching of, 63; comparison with Marguerite of, 79; _Clara Louise Polka_ and, 88; Patti in, 129; mention of, 132, 249; at Her Majesty's, 135, 167, 236, 238 Liszt, saying of, 234 Littlejohn, Bishop, 300 _Lohengrin_, 292 Longfellow, 46, 47; poems of, 46, 47; anecdote of, 47; letter by, 89; reference to, 221 Lorenzo, Conly as, 256 Loveday, Mme., 261 Lowell, 46, 47 Lucca, Pauline, Piccolomini's resemblance to, 14; travelling of, 28; as Marguerite, 82; in _Fra Diavolo_, 174; at rehearsal, 178, 179; at Buckingham Palace, 184, 185; at Covent Garden, 196, 235; in America, 240; Kellogg and, 245-250; as Mignon, 251; mention of, 294, 329 Lucia, Patti in, 15, 62; comparison with Linda of, 73; standing of, 73; Kellogg in Chicago as, 113, 237; _rôle_ of, 292; Kellogg as, 329 Maas, Joseph, 256-258, 261 Macci, Victor, opera by, 68 Macmillan, Lady, 284 Maddox, 194, 195, 246, 247 Maeterlinck, Mme., saying of, 103 Malibran, 94 Manchester, Consuelo, Duchess of, 184 Mancini, 359 Mansfield, Richard, mother of, 165 Manzocchi, 11 Mapleson, Col. J. M., 120, 139, 162, 166, 168, 170, 171, 173, 174, 198, 200, 235, 236, 241, 301, 302 Mapleson, Henry, 289, 290, 292-294, 303 Maretzek, Max, at the Academy, 40; during the war, 55; decision with regard to _Faust_ of, 75, 77, 78; Colonel Stebbins and, 85; Mazzoleni and, 86; _Faust_ and, 87, 88; benefit custom and, 91, 92, 119; in Philadelphia with, 201; saying of, 215; management of, 240 Marguerite, interpretation of, 42; estimate of, 80-84, 333; Nilsson as, 82, 129; costume of, 84, 85; Patti as, in France, 140, 141; reference to, 243, 263; Lucca as, 249, 250; Kellogg as, 359 _Maria de Rohan_, Rovere in, 95 Mario, Grisi and, 14; mention of, 147, 167, 185, 195, 196 Martha, 62, 73, 74; comparison with Marguerite of, 79; _Faust_ and, 88; as Opéra Comique, 91; at Her Majesty's, 135; Nilsson as, 145; Kellogg as, 249, 261, 329 Martin, Mrs., 202-207 Masaniello, 96 Masini, 338, 340, 341 Materna, Mme., 329, 331 Matthews, Brander, wife of, 69; reception by father of, 100, 101 Maurel, 141, 295, 306, 307 Mazzoleni as Faust, 86, 87 McCook, Alec, 18, 57 McCreary, Lieutenant, 18, 57 McCullough, John, 282, 300 McHenry, 143, 145, 148, 158, 167, 190, 197, 198 McKenzie, Sir Edward, 190, 300, 301 McVickar, Commodore, 121, 126 Medori, Mme., as Linda, 42; in Don Giovanni, 74 _Meister, Wilhelm_, 251, 252 _Meistersinger, Die_, 91 Melodies, negro, 1, 9, 117, 146, 305, 357 Menier, Chocolat, 243, 309 Meyerbeer, 90; craze for, 101; a song of, 102; son-in-law of, 328 Mignon, effect on audience of, 59; Polonaise from, 183, 229, 305, 358; Lucca and Kellogg in, 251; in English, 257, 260; Cary as, 293; cast of, 298; Kellogg as, 329, 330, 331; reference to, 370 Mike, 266 Millet, 11; son of, 282 Mind, sub-conscious, 13; workings of the, 35, 169, 216 Minstrels, negro, 8 Mireille, 240, 243 Mistral, 240 Modjeska, Helena, in _Adrienne_ _Lecouvreur_, 59; in Camille 69; saying of, 70; Okakura and, 281; Kellogg and, 282, 283; custom of, 352 Moncrieff, Mrs., 243 Morelli, 294 Morgan, Wilfred, 258, 259, 269 Mother, first mention of, 2, 3, 4; attitude toward theatre of, 30, 31; presence at performance of Gilda of, 35; in Boston with, 44, 52; in New Hartford with, 67; _Faust_ and, 81; character of, 108; anecdote of, 128; in England, 137; in Paris, 139, 143; diary of, 154-157, 163, 164, 166-168, 173, 174, 178, 197, 198, 308, 326; mention of, 186, 188, 190, 194, 195, 200, 252, 259, 286, 304, 307, 334; Eugene Field and, 271; in Russia, 349, 352-356; health of, 365 Moulton, melody of _Beware_ by, 175 Moulton, Mrs., 277 Mowbray, J. P., _see_ Wheeler Mozart, operas of, 74; English and, 136; _arias_ of, 146; with Titjiens in operas of, 169; all-star casts of, 170; music of, 366 Munkacsy, 219 Murska, Mlle., Ilma de, 296 Muzio, 11; appearance of, 12; opinion of, 17; concert tour of Kellogg with, 22; Italian traditions and, 66; concert tour under, 72; polka by, 88 Napoleon III, 148, 149 Negroes, treatment of, 58; in New York during the war, 60; discussions regarding the, 60; anti-negro riots, 323 Neilson, Adelaide, 247 Neilson, Alice, in _Faust_, 82 Nevin, 322 Newcastle, Duchess of, 184, 188, 197 Newcastle, Duke of, 100, 125; in box of, 146, 167, 168, 173, 174, 188, 189, 191, 192; pin of the, 193, 194, 197, 198, 235 Newson, 6, 7 Nicolini, 130, 148, 184, 185 Night, Queen of the, Nilsson as, 146 Nilsson, Christine, as Marguerite, 82; in London, 129, 131, 132, 137, 169, 173, 235; as Martha, 145; voice of, 146, 147; superstition of, 165, 166; in opera with, 169; Sir Michael Costa and, 170; at Buckingham Palace, 184; friend of, 190; reference to, 196, 239, 252, 261, 294, 295, 326, 329 _Noces de Jeannette, Les_, 29, 62; libretto of, 68 Nordica, Lillian, 309, 310; Nevin's song and, 322; in Russia with, 337, 341, 347, 348 Norma, Grisi as, 158; reference to, 252 _Nozze di Figaro, Le_, 170, 171, 174, 197, 198, 249, 261 _Oh, had I Jubal's Lyre!_ 172 Okakura, 219-222, 281 Oldenburg, Prince, 346 Olin, Mrs. Stephen Henry, 276, 277 _Opera, The Beggar's_, 258 Opéra bouffe, 90 Opéra comique, 90, 91, 97; of Paris, 236 Opera, traditions of, 12, 77, 79, 263, 277; necessities of, 34; effect of war on, 55, 56; houses in America for, 68; early customs of, 84; innovations of, 87; benefit custom of, 91; Her Majesty's, 120, 129, 136, 171, 178, 235; French, 140, 141; English, 254-258, 260-303; translations of, 255, 256, 260, 261; Strakosch and, 303; Imperial, 326; in Petersburg, 334-342; preparation for, 367; province of Italian, 370 Ophelia, Modjeska as, 282; Kellogg as, 293 Othello, Salvini as, 283; in Munich 307 Oudin, Eugene, 277 Oxenford, 262 Palace, Buckingham, 176-179; concerts at, 179-186, 302 Palace, Crystal, 172, 174, 209 Palmer, Anna, 11 Paloma, La, 249 Parker, Minnie, 276, 277 Parodi, 294 _Pasquale, Don_, 96 Patey, Mme., 174 Patti, Adelina, 5; early appearance of, 15; as Marguerite, 82; voice of, 129, 130, 132, 323; in London 77, 129, 132, 135, 184, 185, 195-198, 235; sister of, 129; in Paris with, 308; comparison with, 330; questioning of, 365 Patti, Carlotta, 295 _Paul and Virginia_, 295 Peakes, 257 Pease, Miss Alta, 358 Pergolese, opera of _La Serva Padrona_ by, 14 Peto, Sir Morton, banquet of, 99 Petrelli, 272 Petrovitch, 338 Phillips, Adelaide, as Maddalena, 41; as Pierotto, 41, 248 Photography, new effects in, 208 Piccolomini, 14, 74 Pinchot, Gifford, sister of, 353 Pine, Louisa, 13 Pitch, absolute, 4, 165, 267; standard of, 231 Plançon, 312 Plantagenet, Lady Edith, 297 _Poliuto_, 62; plot of, 71; _Faust_ and, 88 _Polka, Clara Louise_, 88 Pond, Major, 360, 361 Pope Pius IX., 160 Porter, Ella, 11; in Paris, 84 Porter, General Horace, 19, 20, 57 Prascovia, Minnie Hauck as, 102, 103 Press, criticisms of the, 27, 35, 39, 42, 68, 70, 75, 78, 88, 89, 94, 97, 133, 135, 164, 200, 211, 215, 239, 240, 250, 252, 256, 258, 271, 279, 291, 358; standing of the, 328; in Vienna, 331; censorship in Russia of the, 336; interview, 366 Public, English, 136, 194, 237; American, 229, 230, 238; rival factions of the, 250; characteristics of the, 264, 296; Petersburg, 339; Boston, 358; charm of the, 365, 372 _Puritani, I_, Brignoli in, 29; Kellogg in, 54, 62, 63 Quinn, Dr., 168, 191, 235 Rachel, 16 Racine, 306 Rampolla, Cardinal, 161 Ramsay, Captain, 357 Ramsay, Col., 300 Randegger, 195 Rathbone, General, 300 Reed, Miss Fanny, in Boston, 45; in New York, 277, 278 Reeves, Sims, 174, 175 _Reggimento, La Figlia del_, 56, 58, 62; at close of Civil War, 114; Lucca in, 249 Renaud in opera, 40, 265 Rice brothers, 94 _Rigoletto_, 29, 34, 36; opinion of Boston of, 36; origin of, 36, 62; meaning of, 81, 167; Masini as, 341 Ristori, 16 Rivarde, 11 _Robert le Diable_, 86, 201, 332 Robertson, Agnes, 15 Robertson, Madge (Mrs. Kendall), 284 Robin, Theodore, 304-306 Rockitanski, 170 Ronalds, Mrs. Peter, 276, 277, 279 Ronconi, 94; The Czar and, 95; in _Fra Diavolo_, 95; anecdote of, 96 Rosa, Carl, 101 Rosa, Euphrosyne Parepa, 101, 209, 262 Rosina, 91, 93, 96, 97, 137 Rossini, 13, 97; reference to, 133; English and, 136; traditions of, 277; Nordica and, 310 Rossmore, Lady, 192, 198 Rota, 261 Rothschild, Baron Alfred de, 194, 198, 235 Rovere, 94 Roze, Marie, 236, 261, 289, 290, 292, 293, 298 Rubenstein, 246, 248 Rudersdorf, Mme. Erminie, 165 Ryan, Mr., 305 Ryloff, 269 _Salome_, suppression of, 69, 254 Salvini, 283 Sampson, Mr., 190, 198 Sandford, Wright, 126, 203 Santley, Ronconi and, 95; as Valentine, 132; kindness of, 134; as Almaviva, 137, 167, 168, 170, 173, 174, 184, 198 Sanz, 248, 249 Sargent, 281 Sbriglia, 310-313; Jean de Reszke and, 313, 314, 367-369 Scalchi, Sofia, 172, 185; in Petersburg, 337 Scarborough, Bishop, 300 Scola, lessons in acting from, 29, 38 Scott, Sir Walter, 261 Sebasti, 161 Seguin, Stella, 257, 258 Seguin, Ted, 258 Sembrich, Marcella, 337 Semiramide, 171, 277, 342 Senta, 263-265, 292 _Serenade, The Persian_, 223 Shakespeare in music, 141 Sherman, General, in Chicago, 114 Siebel, Miss Sulzer as, 87 Singing, methods of, 5; Grisi and, 158, 159; _prime donne_ and, 231; early, 307; Nordica and, 310; Sbriglia and, 311-321, 367-369; traditions of, 366 Sinico, Mme., 137 Sinnett, A. P., 189 Slezak, 312 Smith, Mark, 246 Society, Arion, 206 Somerset, Duchess of, 121-124; letters by, 125; beadwork of, 126, 137, 144, 197, 168, 188, 197 _Sonnambula, La_, 54, 62-64; teaching of, 65, 66; _aria_ from 67; Murska in, 296 Sonnenthal, 330 Southern, the elder, 15 Spofford, Harriet Prescott, 50 _Stabat Mater_, 310 Stackpoole, Major, 192, 197, 198 Stage, attitude toward, 11; Italian attitude toward, 12; English precedent of, 12; superstitions of, 24, 36, 165; primitive conditions of, 25, 27, 28, 37, 38, 87; in France, 140 Stanley, 189 _Star of the North, The_, 102; flute song of, 173; in English, 257, 266; quartette in, 267 _Star, The Evening_, 230 Stebbins, Colonel Henry G., 10; daughters of, 11; home of, 16; sister of, 33; _Faust_ and, 85; in England, 122-124, 137; in Scotland, 131; in France, 155, 158; daughter of, 160; friendship of, 171, 173, 174, 197, 198 Stevens, Mrs. Paran, in Boston, 44, 45, 278; sister of, 277 Stewart, Jules, 306 Stigelli, 33, 71, 294 Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 46, 49 Strakosch, Maurice, 130, 148; Napoleon and, 149; at Covent Garden with, 194, 198; Patti and, advice of, 294; methods of, 302 Strakosch, Max, 200, 201, 204, 205, 240, 289, 292, 294-296, 300, 303, 359 Strauss, 79, 254 Sulzer, Miss, 87 _Summer, The Last Rose of_, 135 Susanna, Kellogg as, 170, 240 Susini, name of, 22; as the Baron in _Linda_, 41; wife of, 41; sense of humour of, 42; salute of Grant and Sherman by, 115; mention of, 294 Tadema, Alma, 191 Tagliapietra, 358 _Talisman, The_, 261, 297 Talleyrand, Marquis de, 157, 158 _Tannhäuser_, 140, 230 Tennants, 189 Terry, Ellen, 234, 248; opinion of, 283, 284 Thalberg, 106; Strakosch and, 294 Theatre, in England, 131; in France, 140, 141; Her Majesty's 189, 235; traditions of the, 366 Theatre, Booth's, 267 Théâtre Comique, 307 Théâtre Français, 265, 306 Théâtre Lyrique, 145 Thomas, Ambrose, 146 Thomas, Theodore, at the Academy, 40; in Chicago, 321 Thomaschewski, Dr., 337, 347 Thompson troupe, Lydia, 69 _Thorough-base_, 2 Thursby, Emma, 298 Tilton, Mrs. Elizabeth, 214 Titjiens, in London, 77, 129, 132, 137, 139, 170, 173; pet of, 168, 169, 178, 179, 185, 196, 235, 239, 302 _Traviata_, Piccolomini in, 14; the part of Violetta in, 15, 62; libretto of, 68; public opinion of, 69, 70; Patti in, 130; at Her Majesty's, 135, 164; costume in, 136; rehearsal of, 163; success of, 164; Lucca in, 249; interpretation of, 291; Kellogg in 329, 338, 342; solo from, 357 Trebelli-Bettini, 236 Trentini, Emma, superstition of, 166 Trobriand, Baron de, opinions and stories of, 16 Trollope, Anthony, 46, 48 _Trovatore_, Mme. de la Grange in, 13; Marie Willt in, 153; Lucca in, 179; Kellogg in, 201, 249, 260, 261, 329; Carlton in, 268 Tschaikowsky, 306 Turner, Charles, 261 Valentine, Carlton as, 260; Kellogg as, 295 Vanderbilt, Frederick W., 300 Vanderbilt, William H., 197, 285, 286 Vane-Tempest, Lady Susan, 192, 197 Van Zandt, Miss, 307 Van Zandt, Mrs., 257 Verdi, mention of, 11; Falstaff of, 91; reference to, 133, 292, 298; meeting with, 307, 308; criticism of, 331 Vernon, Mrs., 15 Victoria, Queen, 177, 186, 301 Villiers, Colonel, 353 Violetta, 15; character of, 70; gowns of 70; jewels for, 104; Patti as, 130; costume of, 135; Kellogg as, 338; solo of, 357 Vogel, 307 Voltaire, house of, 143 Wagner, fondness of Kellogg for music of, 30; use of flute by, 52; as a revolutionist, 78, 263, 264, 265; reviewers and, 88; mention of, 90, 292; French idea of, 140, 253; von Bulow and, 298; Hanslick and, 329, 330 Walcot, Charles, 15 Wales, Prince of, 133, 164, 177, 178, 180-183; daughter of, 190, 192, 301, 302 Wales, Princess of, 178, 180-183, 302 Wallack, John, exclamation of, 16 Wallack, Lester, 300 _Waltz, The Kellogg_, 135, 138 War, Civil, West Point before the, 19; beginning of the, 54; attitude of public toward, 55; riots in New York during, 59-61; opera during the, 74, 75; close of, 110; after the, 201; reference to, 233, 359, 360 Wehli, James M., 201 Welldon, Georgina, 241-243 Werther, 91 West Point, primitive conditions of, 17; conspiracies at, 18 Wheeler, A. C., 42, 75 White, Stanford, 280 Whitney, M. W., 298 Widor, 305 Wieniawski, 246 Wig, for Marguerite, 82-84, 140; of Leuta, 265 Wilde, Oscar, 254, 255 Willt, Marie, anecdote of, 153 Witherspoon, Herbert, in Norfolk, 9; in New Hartford, 67 Wood, Mrs. John, 15 Worth, creations of, 136, 278, 279, 347, 348 Wyckoff, Chevalier, 148, 188 Yeats, Edmund, 246, 247 Young, Brigham, 298 Zerlina, Piccolomini as, 14; Kellogg as, 74, 91-93, 97, 137, 170; country of, 159; Lucca as, 249 * * * * * _A Selection from the Catalogue of_ G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS Complete Catalogue sent on application * * * * * "_A grab-bag of fascinations, for open the pages where one will, each chapter has its racy anecdote and astonishing story._" My Autobiography Madame Judith of the Comédie Française Edited by Paul G'Sell Translated by Mrs. Arthur Bull _With Photogravure Frontispiece. $3.50 net By mail, $3.75_ Madame Judith was not only a stage rival but a close friend of the great French actress, Rachel, and the intimate of Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset, Alexandra Dumas, Prince Napoleon, and many other men of letters and rank. Madame Judith's memories extend over an intensely interesting period of French history, commencing with the Revolution that ushered in the Second Empire, and ending with the foundation of the Republic after the Franco-Prussian War. Famous actors and actresses, poets, novelists, dramatists, members of the imperial family, statesmen, and minor actors in the drama of life flit across the canvas, their personalities being vividly realized by some significant anecdotes or telling characterizations. Kind-hearted, clear-headed, and brilliantly gifted, Madame Judith led an active and fascinating life, and it is to her credit that while she does not hesitate to tell of the weaknesses of others, she is equally ready to acknowledge her own. New York G. P. Putnam's Sons London * * * * * The Life of Henry Labouchere By Algar Labouchere Thorold _Authorized Edition. 2 vols. With 6 Photogravure Illustrations_ The authorized edition has been prepared by the nephew of Mr. Labouchere, who for the last ten years has been a close neighbor of, and in intimate and personal relation with him. Mr. Labouchere frequently communicated to Mr. Thorold many details of his early life, and discussed with him his numerous activities with great freedom. Mr. Thorold has, furthermore, sole access to a voluminous correspondence, including letters from King Edward VII. when Prince of Wales, Mr. Gladstone, Lord Morley, Sir William Harcourt, Mr. Parnell, Lord Randolph Churchill, and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, which shed a new and unexpected light upon his political and personal relations with the events and people of his time, in particular his connection with the Radical Party over a period of a considerable number of years. His life as a war correspondent during the siege of Paris and his action in connection with the Parnell Commission, culminating in the dramatic confession of Pigott, will be treated in full detail. 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The Empress confided to her many circumstances which this cautious ruler withheld from others close to her person. Her station at the Austrian Court has enabled her to tell many intimate and curiosity-arousing anecdotes concerning the noble families of Europe. Interesting and full of glamour as her life was, however, her place in history is assured primarily through her inadvertent connection with the amour which Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria carried on with the Baroness Mary Vetsera, and which culminated in the tragic death of the lovers at Meyerling. "_An amazing chronicle of imperial and royal scandals, which spares no member of the two august houses to which she is related._"--_N. Y. Tribune._ New York G. P. Putnam's Sons London *** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of an American Prima Donna" *** Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials. Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians. 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