The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965

Sarah 'ermhardt ii (eas
C. RICHARD KING
T HE RAILWAY CAR "ELECTRA" ARRIVED IN DALLAS ON JAN-
uary 31, 1892. The special coach had ornaments of brass;
its floors were covered with lion and tiger skins and with
carpets from Smyrna; and on the walls hung tapestries from
Venice. Seated upon a "luxurious armchair of rattan" was a dimin-
utive woman dressed in a Nile green silk robe flowered with
Parisian gray. Her red-gold hair was fluffed in front, and a silk
and fur lined cloak was draped over her chair. Near her was a
Saint Bernard dog; in a cage was a gaily-plumaged parrot; in a
wire box was an Australian possum; and in a box were asps, used
in the play Cleopatra. In a second special car, "Coronet," were
four body servants and 140 trunks of various sized luggage, plas-
tered with labels of extensive travels.
At a time when traveling troups toured Texas, and such
luminaries as Edwin Booth, Frederick Warde, Charlotte Cush-
man, Helena Modjeska, Maurice Barrymore, Joe Jefferson, and
Lillie Langtry trod the boards, the stellar attraction, Sarah Bern-
hardt, had come to Texas. She walked from her special car in
front of the Farmers' Alliance building to the opera house for
rehearsal, a walk, as a reporter for the Dallas Morning News
described it, through "one of the shabbiest quarters of the city
to a visitor and she did not like the view."' After rehearsal
Madame Bernhardt retired to her quarters in the Windsor Hotel,
taking time out to predict that girdles with stones and big white
dogs would be the rage in Dallas. She declined to talk further
to reporters "being 'so vere veesy' that she did not have time but
she graciously permitted them to gaze on her countenance and
see the glories of her car."" In the same issue of the Dallas
Morning News was a review of the Bernhardt production of
Fedora, given the night before:
1Dallas Morning News, January g, 1892.
'Ibid., February 3, 1892.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed March 27, 2015.