The next morning, amidst the flamboyant accounts of the subterranean explosion, and of the heroic conduct of Madame Margarita da Cordova, the famous Primadonna, in checking a dangerous panic at the Opera, all the papers found room for a long paragraph about Miss Ida H. Bamberger, who had died at the theatre in consequence of the shock her nerves had received, and who was to have married the celebrated capitalist and philanthropist, Mr. Van Torp, only two days later. There were various dramatic and heart-rending accounts of her death, and most of them agreed that she had breathed her last amidst her nearest and dearest, who had been with her all the evening.
But Mr. Griggs read these paragraphs thoughtfully, for he remembered that he had found her lying in a heap behind a red baize door which his memory could easily identify.
After all, the least misleading notice was the one in the column of deaths:—
Bamberger.—On Wednesday, of heart-failure from shock, Ida Hamilton, only child of Hannah moon by her former marriage with Isidore Bamberger. California papers please copy.
In the lives of professionals, whatever their profession may be, the ordinary work of the day makes very little impression on the memory, whereas a very strong and lasting one is often made by circumstances which a man of leisure or a woman of the world might barely notice, and would soon forget. In Margaret’s life there were but two sorts of days, those on which she was to sing and those on which she was at liberty. In the one case she had a cutlet at five o’clock, and supper when she came home; in the other, she dined like other people and went to bed early. At the end of a season in New York, the evenings on which she had sung all seemed to have been exactly alike; the people had always applauded at the same places, she had always been called out about the same number of times, she had always felt very much the same pleasure and satisfaction, and she had invariably eaten her supper with the same appetite. Actors lead far more emotional lives than singers, partly because they have the excitement of a new piece much more often, with the tremendous nervous strain of a first night, and largely because they are not obliged to keep themselves in such perfect training. To an actor a cold, an indigestion, or a headache is doubtless an annoyance; but to a leading singer such an accident almost always means the impossibility of appearing at all, with serious loss of money to the artist, and grave disappointment to the public. The result of all this is that singers, as a rule, are much more normal, healthy, and well-balanced people than other musicians, or than actors. Moreover they generally have very strong bodies and constitutions to begin with, and when they have not they break down young.