Whatever Goes Up: The Hazardous Fortunes of a Natural Born Gambler

Whatever Goes Up: The Hazardous Fortunes of a Natural Born Gambler

Whatever Goes Up: The Hazardous Fortunes of a Natural Born Gambler

Whatever Goes Up: The Hazardous Fortunes of a Natural Born Gambler

Excerpt

Time flies faster, or at least more astonishingly, when it leaves behind a multitude of events to mark its course, like showering sparks behind a rocket. These sparks, dazzling for the moment of their life, fade quickly even from memory; but this is no more than a prelude to the observation that people now under the age of twenty-five can have but a faint idea of what the late American Theatre was like in its lifetime. A middle-aged business man paused at my door during a motoring tour last summer to talk over "old times" when he was a professional actor and played a youthful rôle in one of my plays; no one who heard him could forget the awe or the tragic mystification expressed in his lowered voice when he spoke of the theatre and said, "It's dead, old friend--it's dead!"

Yet so swift is time nowadays that it was only eight or nine years ago that I had an appointment in Milan with one of the great figures of that still living theatre. He was motoring down from Paris on one of his annual sweeps through the continent, long fast rangings that always included delays in his beloved Italy, and, as I was coming up from the south, he had telegraphed me to look for him in Milan about the middle of April. I did literally look for him there, in fact, since Milan is dimensional, not a point; and on the fifteenth of April was rewarded by the sight of certain appurtenances unmistakably his. In the street near . . .

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