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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, October 30, 1904, Image 38

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are competent stage-managers, and force artists to
give performances which the artists know to be un
convincing and absurd.
We had a bad season last year. We shall probably
have a worse condition of things during the present
season. Good plays, properly produced, have nothing
to fear. The remedy lies with the public, and the
public now has had the question forcibly in hand. It
has increasingly stayed at home or gone elsewhere. It
will not give up its money to false pretenses forever. Its
eggs are golden, but it is not a goose. It will no
longer pay to see "stars" who have no stellar radiance,
to see drama that is not dramatic. The truth is that
we have been afflicted with a tremendous rush of
capital into the theater, which has brought with it a
class of managers who have money but know nothing
about the theatrical profession. They have tried to
HOW CAESAR LOST HIS SWOR )
EVERY school-boy who reads "C;esar's
Commentaries" is interested in that
great hero's account of his two inva-
sions of Britain, in 55 and 54 B. C. The "Com
mentaries" wore written at the time, and are ac
cepted as trustworthy history. The British side of the
story was not written until iong afterward, and comes
down to us as a legend. Few pupils or teachers who
read the "Commentaries" know anything about the
British story, though it is one in which they would
be interested from tirst to last.
How much of truth there is in the British legends
which tell of these invasions we cannot determine.
They are as apt to be true as were the stories told
in Rome of the expeditions to Britain. Historians
scoff at the incident related by the Roman historian
l\>ly:rnus of Cesar's great war elephant which, in
its armor of iron plates with a high tower upon its
back, frightened the British horsemen on the banks
of the Thames. Caesar had no war elephant in Britain.
But what of his sword — that dreadful instrument
of disease and death which has figured in legend and
in poetry for so many centuries? Was it too a myth?
Let the reader judge of it for himself. Whether true
or not, it is ; nteresting.
Of all the gorgeous trappings of the great Roman
commander, this sword was at once the most famous
the most mysterious. Other swords had splendid
mountings, the hilts and scabbards being intrusted
with rare jewels. But even the blade of tins weapon
appeared to be of burnished gold It was not the
lightning Hash of polished steel, but the ilame of a
vivid fire that was reflected from it. It was a heavy
blade, Fuited to such a warrior. It seemed to possess
a charm. To be struck by it, however lightly, was
to die. All who were in the least wounded by it
perished miserably. To the physiologist of to-day
there could be only one reason for this: the sword
had a poisoned edge
or point. But to the
superstitious men of
old it seemed that
the brand possessed
a magic charm. No
Rom a n dared to
touch it. The Brit
ains learned to view
it with terror. To
wrest such a trophy
from the invader
would he a triumph
indeed! But who
c o u l d hope t o
achieve it }
Great swords, like
men, had name-; in
am -lent days The
name of ('icsar's
sword was : " ( 'rocca
Mors" ("The Yel
low Death"), (irini
and fearless iv,h 1 h<
great Cesar, as with
"The Yellow Death"
in hand he rode o\ c."
the field of bank
wielding deal bto aO
whom he strurk.
The King of Brit
ain at the time of
C;esar's invasions
was Cassivellaunus.
He was the 1 Mother
of King Lud, who is
remembered to this
day as the sovereign
for whom Ludgate
i n Lon d 0 n wa E
named. A not her
brother of the King
'TONIO»-By Theodosia Garrison
1 played all uay - the other children worked
Hard in the vineyard, and my father said:
" Hungry to-night shall 'Tonio go to bed ! "
And scolded. Where I hid I heard his words.
And laughed and ran. The leaves were gold and red.
And the wind whirled them through the woods
like birds.
All day I played— the sun and wind and I—
Between the trees and up and down the hfll ;
And the noon came, and H was still, so still !
And I stretched out full-length upon the grass;
And watched the clouds like white sails reach and fill
And catch the sun for freight, and drift and pass.
SUNDAY MAGAZINE for OCTOBER 30. 1904
treat the theater as a public necessity, to corner art
as if it was bread or t>eef. and they have partially
succeeded. The public, however, has shown them
emphatically that they are wrong.
This accidental economic factor of an excess of
capital cannot, however, permanently disturb the
great law of supply and demand, cannot alter theatrical
conditions as they exist in all countries, always have
existed, and always will exist. The public loves a
good play The "commercialization" of the drama is
a false condition which can have only a temporary
existence. I wish that I could limit its future existence
in point of time, but that is impossible at present.
Our general tendency is downward; we have no
standard, we are developing no stage-managers or
actors or actresses as they should be developed, except
in a few isolated endeavors by men who are struggling
By Hubert M. Skinner
was Nennius. a brave and noble prince who led in
some of the fiercest i harges of the Britons upon their
invading foes.
In the first day's battle there came to N'ennius an
opportunity to win immortal fame. l;esar, who
was generally surrounded by a strong body-guard, was
by some accident on the border of the group
when N'ennius chanced to be near. The latter saw
his opportunity by a .juick movement to deal one
Mow at least upon the great commander. But ere he
could do this, Ca-sar. with lighting speed, had rai» '1
"The Yellow Death" on high, and it descended upon
the helmet of the British prince. Again it flashed
in the sun. like the fangs of a dragon, and descended
with tremendous force. Nennius raised his lu-a v
shield to protect himself. The sword glanced down
from the helmet, which it striuk. and buried itself in
the shield of the Briton. All this was the work ot a
moment. On recovering from their astonishment,
those who had observed the encounter rushed forward
to separate the combatants. Each of the heroes
drew back lo his own men; but the Roman sword was
so firmly imbedded in the shield that Nennius by a
quick movement was able to wrench it from I'asar's
grasp. Tremendous shouts from the Britons greeted
the liero, who now bore proudly aloft as a trophy the
admired and dreaded "Yellow Death. "
For the rest of the day Nennius made use of this
destructive blade. It seemed to justify the popular
belief in its miraculous properties.
Ca-sar was so chagrined by the loss of his famous
weapon, which had become so identified with him as
to serve as a syml>ol of his power, and he was so moved
by the losses of his men. that he retired to his ships
on the following night, and sought counsel with his
against adverse- conditions. The enmity
artistic and the commercial manager i., a, •
it is unfortunate. It may n-.t endure t.~.
ever. Business is business, and since ?:.
one way to make money, practical men.
their obstinacy and prejudice, must me./i
to it. The truth cannot l>e fought sm.e
in time managers will learn what the pu!- 1 -.
Thus a better state of affairs may ev.-n.f:^
vene. There are few men whom -\u ; .-,,
broaden, and nearly all managers who >r
dally rise to higher ideals and a higher view
relation to the public to whose patronage ll •
their success Thus we may have .i ■••
powerful effort, sooner or later. :■> bnr- X'K '
productions, stage-managers jnd arti>ts •::
planes. We at least can >o hope
had sustained, that they urgetJ him V> l>n
the enterprise of conquering the Briton- -.j
return to Gaul. And this was then drenlr<! ; >n.
Then was great rejoicing among the Br* n
they learned of this. Nennius was the h- ■• •■it
hour, and was honored to his heart's contt-T •
But the rejoicing was soon turned to d- - -w.
Nennius had been slightly wounded by "'I, ■ Hum
Death." ere he had wrenched it from th > ■! of
Canar. The wound was a mere scratch, an n -he
excitement he probably had not noticed it. ha'!
forgotten it altogether. Soon, however, hr :■: ■ '• The
fatal burning and throbbing and misera! •:<■ kress
which told that he had been mortally sir: km. For
fifteen days he fingered as the fever bur I it his
young life, and when the last of these dre ■ r i .•. . !>se
he passed away.
London put on the deepest mourning. S»! • *ai ri
fices were offered, and priests in their wh : rubH
chanted the triads of the Druids in his htm •: Amid
imposing ceremonies his body was pl.i . in a
royal tomb, near the north gate of the eiti In the
tomb was placed his trophy, "The Yellow I<. .ith" of
Julius C:esar.
More than three hundred years ag«>. in *'■• days
of the majestic Elizabeth, the Poet Laurea* I Imund
Spenser, told the story of Xennius .in "T. K aerie
Queene." He declared that the sword of > .-..r was
still preserved in England as a trophy. I*r •>':■ . I? this
was intended as a poetic fiction, such as 1' ■ ' Baft in
"The Mikado" calls "merely corroN«ruti .. ■i • v.I "
History knows nothing of "The Yel! I 1I 1 i. —
nothing whatever. The whole story is j.ur-v -:ond
ary.
The ancient legends of the Britons •: •'. " .: to
Caaar'd is • ■ are
1 played all day. Oh, h was good to think
How hard my brothers worked while I went free?
" Hungry to-night goes 'Tonio," so said he ;
But I danced on the hilltop with the moon
A great red moon that came up merrily
And called the wind to pipe us both a tune.
" Hungry to-night shall 'Tonio go to bed ! "
Ah well, to-morrow I shall work and eat
And go to bed with aching hands and feet.
And sleep as oxen sleep that plow all day ;
To-night I shall sleep hungry, but dream sweet
I wish that I could always starve and play !
chieftains. The^e likewise were s<. -J
at the condition of affairs, and
fallen at the loss which their . >r
contaitn : r i.a'in
book writ! : . ' ■«••
lam >< i;; d
eight 11 • • ..jo
by Gcoffi .
mouth. • '• -
fessed t..
kited Ilk ■: a:\
ancient A -iti
book br<- ::'•
Brittany i : v
This tort <n
the cabin • ■ ft
»-ontro\i : -•> <■•
it was i>!.. ■■• I
as hotor* ..'
with the "... v
talcs of Ho: i
Vergil. •'■ : w
been wi ■ ■"■■*
gat i'il wit I , ' '
the reultn ■ k«
lore.
In t his
when folk -!«•:■ ti
tled for its <>\ •>. ',
and is n«>t «•• ■ • !
ed with trr.v v
history, tfcvrv • »
reason why • nM
not repeat a: v
the lijiili i
Britain a> ■ •'• '
those of a r t
• lrv»ve am!
without at • i "S
the imjH»ss! k
of ascertain '"••
much of Iml
really i • .i' it
foundation,

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