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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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              [newspaper clipping continued: first column]
evening.  When you have supposed all this, you
are prepared to witness the pantomime of
as our play-bill�we had plenty of them, properly
printed and set forth with a due proportion of ca-
pitals�grandiloquently denominated our dramatic
version of the famous story of Bluebeard.  And
this is how it was played.  I shall relate in the
present tense.
  Curtain rises for Act I.  Bluebeard is discov-
ered asleep on a divan (or sofa) in a magnificent
apartment of Oriental aspect.  He is gorgeously
gotten-up with respect to costume and beard; he
has wide trousers of true Turkish amplitude, red
gaiter-boots, a large bald head and portentious
moustaches, indeed he is so extremely Islamitish
in appearance, that only the initiated of the au-
dience recognize him as J.C.  The tyrant�s slum-
bers are not those of innocence.  He is restless,
he turns from side to side, occasionally snoring and
starting.  Enter Bibbo (THOMAS) Bluebeard�s
valet, attired as a French clown, a la Gabriel Ra-
vel.  He advances with felicitous gestulation and
a Turkish pipe, the latter of which he fills and ar-
ranges placing the mouthpiece within Bluebeard�s
reach.  Bibbo pauses, yawns, grimaces, shakes
his fist at his sleeping master, anon attempts to
arouse him.  He touches�shakes him, knocks over
a chair�no result.  He disappears, and presently
returns with a large dinner-bell, which he rings
directly over Bluebeard�s head.  This accidental
proceeding is highly effectual, and Bibbo, bowing
and salaaming, at once commences the duties of
the toilet.  All this time orchestra, or piano,
goes it merrily.
  While complacently ogling himself in a mirror,
Bluebeard�s head is shaved�Bibbo operating with
a wooden razor, three feet in length.  Subse-
quently his beard is combed, with a similar liber-
ally constructed instrument, and one would sup-
pose not with that degree of carefulness ordinarily
bestowed upon Eastern magnates, from his strug-
gles during the operation.  He then imbibes his
coffee and tobacco, and peruses, by the aid of a 
gigantic pair of spectacles, the morning papers,
being occasionally disturbed by the irreverent,
not to say positively disrespectful behavior of his
servant.  Having disposed of these ordinary ac-
companiments of a Turkish breakfast, Bluebeard
admires a circular minature, of about a foot in di-
ameter, which has been all along observed, like a
young warming-pan, at his susceptible breast.  It
represents Fatima, the object of his affections.
He forthwith commissions Bibbo with an amatory
message and invitation to her, expediting his de-
parture by cutting off, with his scimeter, about
two superfluous feet of pyramidal cap, which im-

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
pedes Bibbo�s exit through the doorway.  And
then the curtain comes down on Act I.
  Act 2.  Fatima�s chamber, a poor apartment.
The Beauteous One (NED) seated at a table, in
night cap and dressing-gown, is by the light of a
low candle discovered sewing a dress, beside her
a large work-basket.  She is wearied, exhausted.
Enter Sister Anne (JACK) who arouses and assists
her to dress, producing for that purpose a petti-
coat, a wig�technically knowsn as a �false front�
�artificial teeth, rough, eau de cologne, turban,
jewelry, etc.  Completing operations, the sisters
embrace, and Fatima, shedding tears, repairs the
damages thereby effected with a little more rouge.
Then they refresh themselves with GIN, from a
black bottle.  Anon Bibbo enters, bearing a stu-
pendous bouquet and brobdidnaggian letter from
Bluebeard.  The menial, after delivering his mes-
sage, has the presumption to telegraph love, on his
own account, to Sister Anne, which conduct pro-
vokes merited slaps and rebuke from the indignant
Fatima.  Friendly reciprocations of bouquet and
message, and end of Act 2.
  Act 3.  Sumptuous chamber in Bluebeard�s
palace.  Fatima and Sister Anne entertained by
Bluebeard.  A rich banquet of apples, peanuts,
sherbet (in tin mugs and lager beer glasses) and
similar Ottomanish delicacies, Bibbo in attend-
ance, as before.  The health of the peerless Fatima
proposed by Bluebeard.  Enter Ali, Fatima�s
brother (CHARLEY).  Proposition of marriage.
General consent and dance.  Curtain descends on
a lively jig, performed by the whole strength of
the company.
  Act. 4.  A large trunk and hat box, directed
�Bluebeard, Esq., New York,� shawl, overcoat,
and umbrella prominent.  Bluebeard and Fatima.
His loving farewell and his bride�s affection at
parting with him.  He confides to her his keys�
THE KEY of the Blue Chamber.  It is about four
feet long, and constructed of wood.  Bibbo in at-
tendance.  Bluebeard in traveling costume, hat,
shawl and overcoat, looking like something be-
tween Count Gurowski and Sinbad the Sailor.
Exit Bluebeard and Bibbo, after certain difficulties
with respect to carrying the baggage.  Fatima
secures doors and windows, resolving to disobey
her lord by penetrating the mystery of the Fatal
Chamber.  She applies her eye to the keyhole�
�ineffectually�the key with the opposite result.
Terrific tableau; a vista of headless wives seen by
the light of the red fire!  Swooning of Fatima, and
fall of the key upon the blood-stained pavement.
  Act. 5. Fatima exhibiting to Sister Anne the
incarnardined instrument.  Production of wash-
tub (as real as Mr. Crummles� ones), and endeav-
ors of the sisters to obliterate the tell-tale stain.
No success.  A knock at the door; alarm there-
upon.  Enter Bibbo knowingly, as cognizant of               
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