Roman Spring: Memoirs

By Mrs. Winthrop Chanler | Go to book overview

IV
THEATRICALS AND WEDDINGS

ONE winter (it must have been soon after the fall of Rome), the older sisters, Annie and Mimoli Crawford, organized some private theatricals, and a real stage was built in the ballroom; this added a great new interest to life. Madame Linard, our French visiting governess, trained us and our friends to act some of Madame de Genlis's plays ( Madame de Genlis was the royal gouvernante of Louis Philippe's children).

This was only moderately interesting, as the plays were dull; the real excitement lay in getting up plays of our own. I had been reading Schiller Jungfrau von Orleans, and was fired with the ambition to play the part of Joan of Arc. I arranged a simplified version of the piece and the family was invited to attend the performance. When the curtain went up I saw in the dark across the footlights a crowd of people whom the treacherous grown-ups had invited without telling us about it.

I remember the evening as one of great anxiety and sense of defeat, before insuperable difficulties. I naturally took the part of Joan: a shiny cuirass and helmet that Arturo had been given at Christmas were just the

-31-

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Roman Spring: Memoirs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • I - Roman Childhood 3
  • II - Palazzo Odescalchi 12
  • III - Villeggiatura 24
  • IV - Theatricals and Weddings 31
  • V - West Prussia in the Seventies 41
  • VI - Florence and Free Thought 56
  • VII - Enter Music 71
  • VIII - Americans in Rome 87
  • IX - The Western World 94
  • X - Californian Exile 104
  • XI - Americana 111
  • XII - Return to Italy 120
  • XIII - Sorrento 150
  • XIV - A Gay Cousin 159
  • XV - Roman Festivities 170
  • XVI - Vita Nuova on Hudson 180
  • XVII - Lodge and Roosevelt 191
  • XVIII - Washington Friends 204
  • XIX - Rome Revisited 214
  • XX - New York Society 230
  • XXI - New York's Compensations 250
  • XXII - Tuxedo Park 260
  • II - Ave Roma 270
  • XXIV - The Spanish War 284
  • XXV - Friendship of Henry Adams 291
  • XXVI - Tyrolese Summers 309
  • Index 315
  • Index 317
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