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CONCERTS AND CONCERT SINGERS 67
Braham began his song, and before the second verse was finished sobs and screams were heard ringing through the theatre. Spring, who had been keeping an uneasy eye upon the box, rushed into the green-room for the water and smelling-salts, exclaiming as he passed Mathews in the wings, " Well now, sir, you are a conjurer ! The lady's in a fit and to the very minute too !" Ever afterwards Spring looked on Mathews as being possessed of some uncanny power of divining future events.
The careers of Incledon and Braham, more particularly the latter, bring us well into the period which is covered by the title of this book, and may thus be said to form a connecting link between the earlier and the later ballads. And it is something of a coincidence that the year in which Braham finally retired as a singer was the very year in which Sims Reeves made his first appearance in public. An apt illustration of the adage Le roi est mort ! Vive le roi !