THE THEATRE OF MADAME
O2NE of the most agreeable theatres of Paris, the Gymnase, owed its prosperity, not to say its existence, to the high protection of Madame the Duchess of Berry. Our old men recall its vogue, at the time when they used to applaud Ferville, Gontier, Numa, Léontine Fay, Jenny Verspré, and when they used to gaze at the greatest ladies of the court, the most fashionable beauties; and they remember that on its façade, from the month of September, 1824, to the Revolution of 1830, there was this inscription in letters of gold: "Théâre de Madame." Placed under the patronage of the Princess, this fortunate theatre was a meeting-place of the most elegant society of Paris. It had the same audiences as the Opéra and the Italiens, and they enjoyed themselves as much in the entr'actes as during the acts. The spectacle was in the hall as well as on the stage.
The origin of the Gymnase goes back to 1820. According to the privilege accorded to the new stage under the Decazes ministry, it was to be only a gymnase composed of the young pupils of the Conservatoire, and other dramatic and lyric schools, and was