Newspaper Page Text
1 ) The most bothersome animal in til but the best humored. By CHARLES R1NGLING. TO me ray circus Is my "menagerie." Somehow I always think in terms of animals instead of sawdust and some other things that are necessary to make a circus. And if ever I am inclined to wonder whether I am, after all, the sort of man I'd like to be, I go out to the "menagerie" and look my monkeys and tigers and lions and elephants in the face. It is mere x see my measure, u is mere x always may find the answer to my inner questioning. For, unless my animals like me I am a failure. Any man is a failure if animals do not like him. There is something wrong about him. So, as some men may have their fetishes, their standards and their self-created ideals, I have my beasts of the plain and mountain and jungle, and if they like me I am satisfied with myself. When a tiger snarls at me or an elenhrmi rri lrrtK It 1 a fl?llnV O nnahr UM'ft I'll n t* yuaub ?CO ill<9 uuun a uaov/ ?. .wu v/? a lion roars at me I stop quickly and look him in the face. If I see that he means it then I take stock of myself for the last day or two. What have I done I shouldn't do? If, after meeting my gaze for a moment or two, the beast turns away as if a bit ashamed?then I know he was just in a temper for the moment, and I am relieved. A strange whim? Not at all. An animal knows a man better than a man knows his own kind. He sees beneath the surface. The animal is quick with sympathy and quick with resentment. He understands a man's moods instantly. And that is why the watchword of my circus is, "Be kind to the cage people." There are many persons who think the circus and menagerie animals are unhappy because tbey are caged. As a rule they are not. We take good care that they have exercise and at leant a comforting measure of freedom. I could not look a tiger In the face if I knew I was making him unhappy. There Is but one secret to the Success we have In the circus in teaching the animals to perform the amazing^ tricks which are exhibited twice daily to the audiences. This is kindness-and patience. The animals, especially those of the cat kind, are suspicious at first and stubborn. They are the most sagacious of all and really are the easiest to train, but they are not dependable until they know that we are trying to be their friends and that we will reword their 7 VyA/tim The ^ebras ar< ^I good performance! mm with some especia kindness. *: A million per W sons have shud I dered at the cour I age of Miss Mabe | Stark, who walk unarmed into i m cage containing li twelve Bengal ti l marveloui > tricks, controlinj it mentgerit. themappar ently by her voici alone. The audience of course sees only thi performance. They hear the blare of thi band and see the slight young womai leap into the cage through an openei door which is quickly swung shut bebln< her by the ring attendants. They see thi tigers and the panther go through thi routine of their tricks, occasionally balk ing, but always succumbing to her stead) commands in the end. They do not set the hours and hours of time spent eacl day by Miss Stark in just "visiting" witt her "nets." She anas to their cares eacl morning before breakfast. She superin tends their feeding. She stands just ou' of paws' reach of. them for hours during the minings and she sees that they ar< given a bit of freedom now^and then ii the big exercise cages. They learn to look for her each morn ing. And if, as sometimes happens, sh< is ill and does not come the; are in ba( humor?until at last she appears. Gvei then, if she has dissappointed them ii the morning they are inclined to be sulk; and show off their temper in the cagi during the performance. Just recently, when the black panthe was a bit ugly durihg the matinee, I me her outside his cage in the outer tent am asked her: "Aren't you a bit afraid?" "Not at all Mr. Ringling," she replied. "He has i bad tooth. It has been bothering him foi a day or two. I am going to fix it to morrow morning." Just after breakfast the next mornini Miss Stark had the panther put into th< big ring and went in with him. She tool with her only a towel, some warm anc pome cold water and a bit of medicineand an instrument or two. I stood out side the ring watching her. She sat dowi against the iron bars awhile as if sh< were paying no attention at all to th< boast. He stalked about her for a hal hour or no, somewhat puzzled. Occasion ally she would look up and speak to hin or wave her hand at him. Then she go to her feet and walked about the ring seemingly paying attention to every thing hut the brute. When, as If quite by accident she rami near him, she reached out and patted hit head and then went about her business She repeated this maneuver severs times. Finally T saw that black panthei actually following her about and trylnt to attract her attention. He was some what hurt because she did not seem t( want to play with him. She knew just when to turn to him He stood quietly while she went up t< him and felt with her hand his mouthon the side that did not hurt. Then sh< THE NEW YORK HERA /? HL mid J /in f - %"r " e somewhat treacherous?one never know do?says Mr. Ringling. s passed her hand to the other side1 where the bad tooth was. He snarled i bit and she showed him that this snar - drew her attention to his mouth. In a few moments she had that pan - ther's mouth open and was working awa; 1 T do 1rnA.? ...hnt ok at tuv tuutii. x uu uwi iviiu vv wuat au1 8 did. It must have hurt him a bit at firs 1 for suddenly she released him and backe< s away very carefully to the gate, keepinf " her eyes fixed upon him. He drew tau [ and snarled. As she leaped back througl " the gate that the attendants had opene< 1 for her he sprang. ' He was ugly when they forced hln B into the cage and took him back to hi: 1 place in the menagerie, but in half at 8 hour the pain was gone. f She remainet * outside the cage until the panther droppet to the floor of his cage and, pushing hii 9 paw a little way through the bcrs, as i: to reach out to her and shake hands wit! 9 her, fell asleep. Then she went back t( 8 her own room to rest up for the matinee 1 The panther was happy that afternooi 1 and went through his tricks most obe I diently. He knew. The monkeys are my especial care. ] always see that they are treated just as ] "My Life am Continued From Preceding Page. 1 times better than they ever were before * and I believe that in a year or a yeai t end a half I shall be able to come hom< S to you, darl'ng, with, if not a large, at B least a fortune. 1 "Darling, I have Just had your letter; (three) of September 30th, October Is and November 13th handed me. Thcj s terrify me to think how nearly I havt 1 lost you, my own true blessed wife. Wh?i i a brute I am to leave you all alone t< i light so hard a battle at home. And nov r I am afraid that most, if not all, thi e money due me for the last six month; has been paid toward my share of th< r expenses of our prospecting party. t have no time to And out before this mai 1 goes, but will see what I can do nex mall. I only get ?15 a month now am rations. The company will not pay hlgl ' salaries at first; they promise that in i a few months they shall be Increased ma r terlally. . . . "The post riders are waiting. Tell Be< that I have seen lots of lions and tigers too near to be exactly pleasant, but h?vi 5 not had to fight one yet. Perhaps I ma; e kill one some day and send him hoim t the skin. Tell him I have also seen som< tremendous elephants and hippopotami one of which I shot; ostriches, too, ar< - pretty plentiful. "One poo>* fellow was killed and eater j by lions the other day, and tbey hav< killed innumerable horses, oxen, sheep B Ac. Eight, lions have been shot abou 8 this place alone since the expedition ar f rived. . . - "This is a wonderful country. Good by, my own "Yours forever, PAT. "P. S.?Will write long, long letter nex mall, and try and send some money." This letter relieved my mind about Pat but did not help the financial difficulties My people became very anxious about my serious state of health. A dear nlec< of my brother-in-law took me first to Sit llutler Smyth, who found a patch on th< lung, and then to Sir Felix Semon, win at that time was throat physician to Kin? Edward. Neither Sir Felix nor I ever forgot oui first interview, for when he told me I hat phthisical laryngitis, that I must live abroad and give up my profession, I stoor up angrily and said, "You must be e tool" From that moment a warm friend LD, SUNDAY, MAY 14, 19 ik?fMe-i / ^ ... -rrf; i arPpWk I i what they will dfflft .. . _ .jjKlli ~ would treat my ' T* a own children. 1 They are fen- ' ^1 s 11 i v e crea- P^MP l" tures and are ^Sir y quick to appre- ( e elate gentle- y 0 t ness and sym1 pathy. I have 5 chimpanzee comedians of whom I am V t very proud. They are given French pas i tries and candies and once in a while I 1 take them in my own car for a motor drive. We have a merry-go-round with i the circus, and they delight in riding on 3 this. This treat is given them on every ? opportunity. 1 The Hon is, perhaps, the most danger1 ous of all the animals. He is something of s what the kids call a "fourfluBher," it is t true, but the trouble is he never lets one l know when he is "fourflushing" and when ) he is in earnest. I cannot say, exactly, that I like to go Into the lion tent and i rub the lions' noses, but I almost do that. * I like to lean over the rope that is [ stretched outside their cages and look at [ them. I feel as If I really hold converd Some Letter ship sprang up between us, and his wife, "Gustchen," with the singing voice of an . angel, also became a dear friend of mine. 5 By June, 1891, I had received more t cheerful letters from Pat, and my health had Improved. , I arranged with Mr. Ben Greet, through 5 \ I- Mrs. Percy Wyndham's promise to obtain f the patronage of royalty and rqany 3 friends of hers, to give a matinee of "As t You Like It" at the Shaftesbury Theater: > Shaftesbury Avenue, i Thursday, June 18th, 1891, s 2:30 P. M. 8 Under the distinguished patronage of 8 H. R. H. Princess Christian of Schleswig 1 Holstein. Duchess of Abercorn, 1 Earl Pembroke, 1 Countess of Pembroke, 1 Earl Brownlow, 1 Countess Brownlow, Countess Orosvenor, Countess Spencer, 3 Countess Yarborough, Lady BraBsey, 8 Lady Fitshardinge, ' Lady Alice Oaisford, 5 Hon. Percy Wyndhara, Hon. Mrs. Percy Wyndham, J Mrs. Grenfell of Taplow Court, Mrs. Grant of Glen Moriston. , Manager?Mr. Ben Greet. 3 Then came more cheery letters from r' Pat. which helped me to get better, and w gave me the courage to carry through this matinee. Affae moflnnn ? ?-? U'hl/ili I urou on generously and valiantly helped by Mrs. Percy Wyndham, I was engaged, on the t advice of Clement Scott and Mr. Ben Oreet, by the Messrs. Gatti to play at the , Adelphl In "The Trumpet Call," by Mr. . George R. 81ms and Mr. Robert Buchanan, t and "The Lights of Home," "The White ? Rose" and "The Black Domino" by the p same authors. , ? T was very delicate and often out of the * cast with the return of ldss of voice: ; cnce I was away for six weeks. Eventually I fell 111 with typhoid fever.. After my Illness It was necessary for I me to act again as soon an possible; so, > although I was still physically feeble, I white and fragile, my hair only just bei ginning to grow again, I couldn't refuse the Messrs. Gatti when they sent for me I 22. I ChasA Ira '' $ " iJI'^rnn I 1 I I I mi 8F &. wn especial pet"?the Polar bear thai nursemaid. sations with them, sometimes, they seen to look at me so intelligently. I always can tell when one of them is in a bad humor. will not look me in the eye, but will turn away and stalk his cage. It is as much as to say: ' Don't look at me that way, old man, I'm feeling as If I like to bite you and it isn't fair to make me look you in the eye with such an ambition." At other times the big fellows will lie down quietly, and poking their noses against the bars, look at me with the most friendly interest in their expression, and their great soft eyes almost reveal IIJ& me Bctieis iiiuueii uvaiiiu IUQIU. The lion trainers always talk to their animals. We have one trainer who likes to sit in the practice cage after putting his pets through an arduous rehearsal s"?By Mrs. to play the role of Clarice Burton in "The Black Domino" at a salary of ?8 a week The play was badly reviewed, and the Messrs. Gatti attributed the failure in great part to me, saying that my voice was weak, my gestures were ineffective, and nothing I said or did "got over the footlights." They gave me a fortnight's notice. It was a most tragic moment for me: money was urgently needed, my ill ness having cost so much?my children had to be properly cared for, and the load of debt to the doctor and chemist had tc be lifted. Circumstances were fiercely against me, but It will be seen Pate lent a hand to fight for-me. On a certain evening Mrs. Alexander and Graham Robertson came to the Adel phi Theater. Mrs. Alexander knew that her husband was searching for an actress to play the part in Mr. Plnero's new play, "The Second Mrs. Tanqueray." It may have been chance that sent these two to the play that night, or Mrs. Alexander may have read in the paper that I was "beautiful" and "had a rare distinction, elegance and power" (I always thought myself scraggy and plain), this I cannot say. But in spite of my "weak voice" and "feeble gestures," what is called personality, or my looks, or some histrionic talent I possessed came across the foot lights, and sent these two bark to Mrs. Alexander and Mr. Plnero to tell them that an actress exactly suited to the new role was playing at the Adelphl Theater. And so It came about that Mr. Alexander made an appointment for me to see both him and Mr. Plnero. I think my will and my resolution were strengthened by the bitterness of my disappointment at having received my notice at the Adelphl. I know I dressed carefully. I remember only my little yellow Btraw bonnet trimmed wtlh cherries and a narrow black velvet ribbon under my chin tied under my left ear, with long, narrow ends accentuating the length of my neck. No doubt there was something strange and elusive about me owing to my Italian strain, the whiteness of my face and the mixture of fearlessness and fragility. In those days every woman hid her throat In folds of ecru net in the fashion if the lovely Marchioness of Oranhy, or In a linen collar. My throat was always ft x * iJlL fj IP 'S ?aL t would maek m good ? and recite poetry to them. He chooses poetry because, he says, it wearies bim i to think up words to say in such a one ( sided conversation. But he uses his ; inflections just as if he actually were addressing the lions, who as a rule, sit quietly on their pedestals or lie on the 1 ground soberly gazing at him. i FJe will talk thus for half an hour?or ' even an hour sometimes. Now and then i I see a lion's head rear to one side as if he was having difficulty hearing plainly. Sometimes they go to sleep. If a lion , ever sleeps in the cage with his trainer he is nearly sure to be over with all bad tricks forever. When he awakens and discovers that he has been asleep and is UIIIIUI'L U1S luuuucutc aim uuoi to wui plete. Pat Campbell bare, or in journalistic language, "sprang visibly from between her shoulders proud to bear her lovely head." My figure was tall and very slight; grace and confidence on the stage coming naturally to me, I think. After a few questions as to what I had done in the way of theatrical work Mr. Pinero read the part of Paula to me. He began at the famous moment when Paula enters after Mr. Tanqucray'i farewell i dinner to his friends, at which he has onnnnnAA/1 fn ham Kio Hotorml Tint Inn tf% r marry again. The reality of the play after the melodrama I had striven with at the Adelphi made my heart bound with joy, and no . doubt I showed some intelligent and vivid appreciation. Both Mr. Pinero and Mr. i Alexander looked at me with much Interest and were anxious to engage me. I heard afterward that more than one t manager had refused "The Second Mrs. Tanqueray," considering the play too risque. I was an amateur so far as trained technique went. T was willful, self uiiiiuuuaieu, BiiuiiKtiy Denature, tlent, easily offended, with my nerves strained by illness. T^ey no doubt hoped I was teachable. The first rehearsals were very difficult for me. A certain cold "official" manner, which was a peculiarity of Mr. Alexander's style, was very unsympathetic to me, while my unreasonable ways, wanting always to do instead of to listen, feeling impatiently that their wishes hindered my own imagination and taste, must have been tiresome beyond wuruo, They treated me as a child that must be taught its A B Cs. I was giveir no free rein. My passionate longing for beauty, my uncontrollable "sense of humor," or whatever it was that made me recognize in a flash the ludicrous and artificial, was snubbed. A snub shattered me, unless at the moment my spirits were high enough to give me the courage to unflinchingly go one better. Perhaps my youth, my lack of professional tricks and my disposition to Uugh and say funny things endeared me to the company. 1 know they were all affectionate and kind, and 1 felt them my friends. They knew, an I did, my career depended on how I* played the role of Paula Tanqucray.