The Regent eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about The Regent.

“Not while I’m here, she won’t!” exclaimed Rose Euclid, standing up, and enunciating her words with marvellous clearness.

Edward Henry glanced at her, and then continued to read:  “Suggestions for headlines.  ‘Piquant quarrel between manager and star-actress.’  ‘Unparalleled situation.’  ‘Trouble at the Regent Theatre.’”

“Mr. Machin,” said Rose Euclid, “you are not a gentleman.”

“You’d hardly think so, would you?” mused Edward Henry, as if mildly interested in this new discovery of Miss Euclid’s.

“Maria,” said the star to her maid, “go and tell Mr. Marrier I’m coming.”

“And I’ll go back to the gallery,” said Edward Henry.  “It’s the place for people like me, isn’t it?  I daresay I’ll tear up this paper later, Miss Euclid—­we’ll see.”


On the next night a male figure in evening dress and a pale overcoat might have been seen standing at the corner of Piccadilly Circus and Lower Regent Street, staring at an electric sign in the shape of a shield which said, in its glittering, throbbing speech of incandescence: 





The figure crossed the Circus, and stared at the sign from a new point of view.  Then it passed along Coventry Street, and stared at the sign from yet another point of view.  Then it reached Shaftesbury Avenue and stared again.  Then it returned to its original station.  It was the figure of Edward Henry Machin, savouring the glorious electric sign of which he had dreamed.  He lit a cigarette, and thought of Seven Sachs gazing at the name of Seven Sachs in fire on the facade of a Broadway Theatre in New York.  Was not this London phenomenon at least as fine?  He considered it was.  The Regent Theatre existed—­there it stood!  (What a name for a theatre!) Its windows were all illuminated.  Its entrance-lamps bathed the pavement in light, and in this radiance stood the commissionaires in their military pride and their new uniforms.  A line of waiting automobiles began a couple of yards to the north of the main doors and continued round all sorts of dark corners and up all manner of back streets towards Golden Square itself.  Marrier had had the automobiles counted and had told him the number, but such was Edward Henry’s condition that he had forgotten.  A row of boards reared on the pavement against the walls of the facade said:  “Stalls Full,” “Private Boxes Full,” “Dress Circle Full,” “Upper Circle Full,” “Pit Full,” “Gallery Full.”  And attached to the ironwork of the glazed entrance canopy was a long board which gave the same information in terser form:  “House Full.”  The Regent had indeed been obliged to refuse quite a lot of money on its opening night.  After all, the inauguration of a new theatre was something, even in London!  Important personages had actually begged the privilege of buying seats at normal prices, and had been refused. 

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The Regent from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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