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222                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
own arms or design, by which it is called; and these are painted upon banners and lanterns, which are hung from a tower upon the roof of each establishment. We give as complement to the above description of the Matsmai theatre, the following picture of a leading theatre at Yeddo.
"The interior of the theatre forms a long square. There are two ranges of galleries, the upper containing the best places in the theatre. Numbers of ladies are to be seen there in full dress, that is to say, covered up to their eyes in crape dresses and silk mantles.* The whole of the remainder of the house is occupied exclusively by men.
The floor of the house as seen from a distance, resembles a draught board. It is divided into compartments containing irom eight to twelve places each, most of which are hired by the year by the citizens who take their children regularly to the play. There are no lobbies. Every one walks to his place on the planks which enclose the compartments at the height of the spectators' shoulders, who squat on their heels, or crouch on little stools. There is neither a ladder nor stair­case, by which to get down into the midst of them. The men hold out their arms to the women and children. The settling of the audience in its place forms a very picturesque part in the pre­liminaries of the representation. Tobacco and refreshments are served during the whole evening
•Worn one above the other. Sometimes six or seven dresses are worn in this manner by one lair fashionable.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III