A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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io8             A CENTURY OF BALLADS
There is a story told of him, for which Beale is again my authority, which is a good illustration of the craze for popular stage favourites which some people, and members of the fair sex especially, are so apt to acquire. It appears that when The Bohemian Girl was produced at Drury Lane a noble marchioness fell in love, or imagined she did, with Harrison, and began sending him all sorts of costly presents. These were sometimes left at the stage-door of the theatre, and sometimes at his private house. At first they were sent anonymously, but as soon as Harrison discovered who the sender was he returned them. The fair donor persisted in her gifts for some time, but eventually gave it up as hopeless.
However, she did not even then leave Harrison alone. Having rented a box at Drury Lane, she had access to the theatre at any time, and when The Bondman was about to be produced she began assiduously attending rehearsals. Harrison got so anoyed at last by this persecution, that he refused to continue rehearsing while the lady was in the theatre. Bunn, the manager, at length got over the difficulty by having a curtain drawn across the box during the daytime, and so fixed it that it could not be undone from the inside. Even then the infatuated lady continued to come and sit behind the curtain, content to
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