A ROYAL LINE.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century the stage in America, after an experience of vicissitude extending over a period of about seventy years, had become an established institution, and by a considerable and influential class of the population it was esteemed and supported. No such attention, indeed, was bestowed upon it as a later time has accorded to it; but, relatively, its rank was respectable, its condition was moderately prosperous, and its prospect was good. Washington had sometimes attended the theatre, —allured thither by "The School for Scandal" and "The Poor Soldier," which seem to have been his favorite plays, and by little Mrs. Marshall's piquant acting, with which he was especially charmed,—and his example had been followed by persons of social distinction, though he had passed away. Theatres, most of them shabby in aspect