The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 449
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The Renaissance of the Galveston Theatre
on his acting. The player, it was observed, wore his hair accord-
ing to the custom of the historic period, but fell into the almost
universal error of wearing a moustache. Flake's could see no good
reason for violating the tradition of the smooth upper lip.
A week later, Miss Miles had recovered her strength sufficiently
to let the Galveston playgoers see her conception of the Dane.
Such a large crowd came to see the actress the first night that the
management thought it wise to repeat. Both performances-as the
New York Tribune critic, William Winter, might have said--
elicited prodigious enthusiasm. Flake's local declared that Miss
Miles was "the first lady we ever saw tred the stage gracefully in
male attire." He observed in her none of the awkwardness of the
great Charlotte Cushman; she had rather the grace and polish
of James E. Murdoch, who was then considered the pattern for
correct stage deportment. Had she worn doublet and hose all her
life she could not have been more at home in those garments.
After the words of favor for her charm of manner, the critic
found much good to say of her acting. "Miss Miles does not give
us a Hamlet that is insane; nor one that, while sane, counterfeits
insanity. She represents to us a noble mind unsettled by great
calamity." No portrayer of the exacting role could expect greater
praise than this; let us hope that the fair lady deserved the com-
The journal had not seen her equal in the power of the sus-
tained whisper, as in the ghost scene; in the first performance, a
delicacy and refinement of characterization was noted, but there
was a lack of intensity in what were termed the tragic passages, a
wanting of mental force. On the second night, with improved
health, Miss Miles seemed better able to bear the weight of her
A comment from Flake's Bulletin regarding the most familiar
of the soliloquies indicates the strength of the assumption:
Of the soliloquy, "To be or not to be " we must speak at
length. Some Hamlets there be who shoot this off as a stump speech
fired at the audience. Others deliver it much as a spectacled divine
would deliver a moral lecture to a theological class. The soliloquy
is neither. It is both passionate and reflective-passionate as the
expression of anguish wrung from a soul contemplating suicide; re-
flective as that soul thinks on the yet deeper possibilities of a future
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/546/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.