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Between The Scenes
Chronicle for October, 1846.
I HAVE retired into the bosom of my family. We are residing in the secluded
village of Ruswarp, on the banks of the Esk, about two miles inland from Whitby.
Our lodgings are comfortable, and we possess the additional blessing of a tidy
landlady. Mrs. Wragge and Miss Vanstone preceded me here, in accordance
with the plan I laid down for effecting our retreat from York. On the next day I
followed them alone, with the luggage. On leaving the terminus, I had the
satisfaction of seeing the lawyer's clerk in close confabulation with the detective
officer whose advent I had prophesied. I left him in peaceable possession of the
city of York, and the whole surrounding neighborhood. He has returned the
compliment, and has left us in peaceable possession of the valley of the Esk,
thirty miles away from him.
Remarkable results have followed my first efforts at the cultivation of Miss
Vanstone's dramatic abilities.
I have discovered that she possesses extraordinary talent as a mimic. She has
the flexible face, the manageable voice, and the dramatic knack which fit a
woman for character-parts and disguises on the stage. All she now wants is
teaching and practice, to make her sure of her own resources. The experience of
her, thus gained, has revived an idea in my mind which originally occurred to me
at one of the "At Homes" of the late inimitable Charles Mathews, comedian. I was
in the Wine Trade at the time, I remember. We imitated the Vintage-processes of
Nature in a back-kitchen at Brompton, and produced a dinner-sherry, pale and
curious, tonic in character, round in the mouth, a favorite with the Court of Spain,