It must be obvious to the least experienced that such a community as may be found in an artistic neighbourhood like Broadminster will take kindly to amateur theatricals. There are two dramatic clubs in Broadminster, and their performances are highly appreciated by the members and their friends. The rivalry between the two is quite amicable, for one set of amateurs devote themselves to the lighter forms of the drama and the other to the loftier, and perhaps they might be called without offence the heavier forms. It may be mentioned that the former are the more popular, but those persons who attend the representations of the latter consider themselves the more superior—as indeed they are; otherwise they would have accorded the tribute of a sunny smile to a little bit of dialogue, with accompanying action, which took place in a performance of King Renes Daughter which it was my privilege to attend.

At one place the King and the Moorish physician have had a long scene together, for the physician is certainly inclined to be long-winded. They go out together, and a couple of the courtiers enter the garden and express surprise not to find the others waiting for them. One of them says—

“The King is gone, nor can I see the leech.”

Now, if the amateur had simply said the words, his meaning, I believe, unless I am over-sanguine, would have been understood. But when, after shading his eyes with a hand while he gazed into the distance of stately trees and saying, “The King is gone,” he bent his eyes to the ground and moved a stone or two about with his toe before adding, “Nor can I see the leech,” I am inclined to think he puzzled some of his audience.

I had the curiosity to inquire what was in his mind when he sent his eyes roaming about the ground while he grubbed with his feet, and I learned that he thought it would be quite natural for any one searching for a leech to move the stones about to see if it was concealing itself in the earth.

He was evidently under the impression that the wise physician was habitually followed by a pet leech, or perhaps that he had brought it with him to try what effect it would have upon the Princess's eyes, and that it had escaped through a hole in his waistcoat pocket.

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