Cabbages and Kings HTML version

XVIII. The Vitagraphoscope
Vaudeville is intrinsically episodic and discontinuous. Its audiences do not demand
denouements. Sufficient unto each "turn" is the evil thereof. No one cares how many
romances the singing comedienne may have had if she can capably sustain the limelight
and a high note or two. The audiences reck not if the performing dogs get to the pound
the moment they have jumped through their last hoop. They do not desire bulletins about
the possible injuries received by the comic cyclist who retires head-first from the stage in
a crash of (property) china-ware. Neither do they consider that their seat coupons entitle
them to be instructed whether or no there is a sentiment between the lady solo banjoist
and the Irish monologist.
Therefore let us have no lifting of the curtain upon a tableau of the united lovers,
backgrounded by defeated villainy and derogated by the comic, osculating maid and
butler, thrown in as a sop to the Cerberi of the fifty-cent seats.
But our program ends with a brief "turn" or two; and then to the exits. Whoever sits the
show out may find, if he will, the slender thread that binds together, though ever so
slightly, the story that, perhaps, only the Walrus will understand.
~Extracts from a letter from the first vice-president of the Republic Insurance Company,
of New York City, to Frank Goodwin, of Coralio, Republic of Anchuria.~
~My Dear Mr. Goodwin:~--Your communication per Messrs. Howland and Fourchet, of
New Orleans, has reached us. Also their draft on N.Y. for $100,000, the amount
abstracted from the funds of this company by the late J. Churchill Wahrfield, its former
president.... The officers and directors unite in requesting me to express to you their
sincere esteem and thanks for your prompt and much appreciated return of the entire
missing sum within two weeks from the time of its disappearance.... Can assure you that
the matter will not be allowed to receive the least publicity.... Regret exceedingly the
distressing death of Mr. Wahrfield by his own hand, but... Congratulations on your
marriage to Miss Wahrfield... many charms, winning manners, noble and womanly nature
and envied position in the best metropolitan society....
~Cordially yours,
Lucius E. Applegate,~
~The Vitagraphoscope~
(Moving Pictures)
~The Last Sausage~
SCENE--An Artist's Studio. The artist, a young man of prepossessing appearance, sits in
a dejected attitude, amid a litter of sketches, with his head resting upon his hand. An oil