MRS HAMMERSTEIN'S OWN STORY
TODAY: Homage—and Snubs
—From London’s Aristocracy
Oscar's “Hello, King! Greeting to
George V; the Rebuff to Lady
Cunard; When an Outraged
Soprano’s Mamma Crushed
Although Thi* Photo of Mr*. Oscar Hammerstein Wai Taken When the Cloud*
of Disaster Hovered Near the Horizon, She Remained Gay and Hopeful. Here
You See the Proud, Defiant Smile That Encouraged Her Famous Husband it*
the Midst of His Troubles.
UlS is the fifth of a series of
* articles l>y Mrs. Oscar IInmnier -
stein. in which she nili of the
triumphs and disasters of her color
Hem i* the tragic story of a
unman, icho first married a wealthy
Chicago packer, then Was the wife
of the most famous impresario of
his time, and finally was found pen
niless and forgotten, drifting about
I Xetr York amid the scenes of her
' former glories.
0f MUX. OSt 411 HAMMhRSTliiX.
ONI)ON — the . glittering, fastidi
ous London of nearly two decades
ago— vvii' the background for the
dramatic turn of the tide in my own
and my husband's fortunes. To this
day I look back to that time as mark-,
htg the pinnacle and the beginning of
the descent'"in our triumphs.
It was there I met and fell in love,
with my husband ; it was there I saw
the full flowering of his genius, and.
ala,-! it .was also there 1 realized the
disastrous force of. his temperament
ahd the i kin caprices that motivated
his actions. 1 was to see hint treat the
King of Mngiam! in a most oiThand and
■usual Way, to openly rebulT the
aovierful Lady Cunard, and to turn his
back on the popular ex-King .Manuel, :
of Tortuga!, and the Duke of Argyic.
His egocentric and eccentric actions
overwhelmed me at time', but I soon
learned-—and, [ think, with a thrill of
pride—that Oscar Hammerstein pos
sessed a singular feeling of world inde
pendence. Yet, as I shall show you,
it was to ptove our undoing.
It was* after the Metropolitan Opera
Company eliminated Oscar from the
New York field that he looked about—
like a forlorn Alexander-—for other
operatic worlds to conquer. He de
cided upon London, and resolved to
make a great splurge there.
Then the stronghold of Covent
Garden, where the famous Sir Thomas
Beecham. ,%he pill king, reigned as di
rector, became active. Oscar had un
warily put his head into the jaws of
the British Hon. Covent Garden rose
from the very foundation of the Brit
ish throne, immovable, invincible, and,
above all, hostile to a foreign invader.
To patronize any other house would
have meant a slight to royalty itself.
But Oscar refused to be disturbed
by the frowns of royalty. He set up
a royal, entrance in his Kings way
Opera House, but over the door he had
chiseled, not the King’s effigy, hut the
effigy of Oscar Hammerstein! De
spite the special portal for the King’s
family, royalty never passed through it.
When King George did come, ft was
through the main entrance. He ig
nored the royal entrance, with its
SIGNPOST OF FAME
A Recent Snapshot Photo of
Mrs. Hammers tain Standing
Just Across the Street from
Where Her Husband's
Famous Victoria Theatre in
the Heart of the Times
Square District Stood.
effigy of Oscar looking mock
ingly down. The occasion
for the King's visit was one
of Queen Mary’s charity be
nefit.-.. Oscar was elated. -So
was I, of course. After all
i these months their Majesties
had at last consented to at
tend. Oscar, Wearing his in
imitable top hat, stood by the
entrance, awaiting the atrh a!
of the K i rig's, carriage.
-ws wing v.eorge aligMed
from his carriage and started, lor the
entrance .Oscar came forward with ex
tended hand and with all of the
heartiness in the world, entirely free
of the usual formality, cried out;
“Hello, King! Glad to see you l" The
King smiled with surprise and amuse
ment. and said, cordially, "1 am de
lighted to meet you, Mr. Hanimers'tei.n.'"
Oscar had tried to be very genial.
Of course, he was not used to the eti
quette of the court. I don’t suppose
that His Majesty, in his most unsus
pecting moments, had ever dreamed of
such a welcome. My husband mur
mured a quiet salutation to the Queen.
Of course, I never dared mention to
Oscar that his regard for a king was
not in keeping with custom.
However, the evening seemed to be
a triumph, and everybody, we thought,
was happy. But the King and Queen
never returned to Oscar’s opera house
after that incident. They let the insti
tution lapse into the doldrums of fail
ure without the slightest concern, in
fact, Oscar once said to me: “I kind
of think that King George and his
u. IIi.ttBI.lt I I..
V SCIATICA i.r mount pain due to
some involvement of the sciatic
nerve. This nerve is the longest
rr> the body. It reaches front the spinal
•ord down to the knee joint. There it
branches off into two other nerves
which supply the lower part of the leg
and foot. As a matter of fact, the
sciatic is not really a single nerve but
i--: a combination of two nerves enclosed
in a tube of tissue in the same way that
ar, electric cord consists of two elec
trie wires surrounded by a tube of in
sulating fabric, Tit is through the me
dium of this nerve that the log receives
impulses so,that it tail, move at will. It
also receives sensations from the skin
arid transmits them to the spinal cord
and to the brain.
Kecause the nerve runs down the
biii-k part of the thigh, jt is there that
the pain is felt in sciatica. Sciatica is
r ot ad) lease in itself; it is a symptom.
In this respect it may be compared
to a headache which is merely a warn
ing that some abnormal condition is
existing in the body. Of course, it is
possible for the nerve to become in
flamed due to such causes as exposure
to cold for prolonged periods, extreme
muscular exertion, and u severe wet
ting in water much below body temper
ature. Oftentimes a mild degree of
.sciatica may result due to faulty pos
ture v lulu silting in which pressure is
(Phjiician and Surgeon )
The bourse of the Sciatic Nerve (X)
Down the Back of the Right Thigh, i»
■Shown at the Left, Dividing In Two
Branches at the Knee-Joint (1-2), At
Rich! (B) the Courses of the Two
Branches Below the Knee Are Shown.
made upon the nerve. Crossing of the
legs, or sitting too close to the edge of
a chair frequently gives rise to peculiar
sensations described as the leg or foot
“going to sleep."
Aside from these possibilities there
are more serious causes of sciatica.
Anything: which exerts a pressure upon
the nerve anywhere along its course
is painful. Tumors sometimes form in
the pelvis and press against or pinch
the nerve. Even an enlarged uterus,
due to pregnancy or tumors, may in
volve the sciatic nerve. Sciatica some
times appears suddenly following an
accident in which there is a dislocation
or fracture of the bones in the region
of the hip or knee, a bone being
jammed against the nerve.
Gout, rheumatism, excessive use of
alcohol, diabetes, flat feet and venefaJ
diseases have been held responsible for
sciatica. The possible causes are many
and varied. It is little wonder that
sciatica is obstinate to treatment. The
most painstaking search with the aid
of all known means of diagnosis may
fail to locate the underlying cause, jf
the cause is discovered, however, and
removed, the pain ceases as soon as
the nerve recovers from its injury.
How can one tell if the sciatic nerve
is involved when the leg is painful?
The following is a simple test. Lie
down flat on the back pending both
the hip and knee joints. Now slowly
stretch the knee so that the leg be
comes straight, pointing up in the air.
This movement places the sciatic nerve
on the stretch. If it is diseased of in
volved in any abnormal condition, pain
will be felt as the knee is straightened.
The distribution of the pain will follow
the course of the nerve, being prom
inently noticeable along the back ol
JUST A PAL
“A* King George started for the
entrance of the new opera house, Oscar
Hemmerstein cenie forward with
entended hand and cried out: "Hello,
King; glad to see you!”
v/if<• took me for n sucker. I was an
easy niark for them nil right. They
vised mv house for their chanty work,
but. they never thought of being char
itable toward me.”
But it was his self-ijuffieient attitude
which was destined to ruin him. Hi
hearty American methods were to
prove too uncouth for London’s oper
atic climate. The first severe blow
mine from hm patron, Lord Howard
do Walden. Oscar had put more than
$850,000 into the Kings way House,
and Lie Walden added the balance to
make it $1,000,000.
One day the British peer paid my
husband S SO,000 additional: to put on
one oi ms own
positions. It was
a a (1 f lop,
a n d O s c a r
urged him to
But soon after
ward his lord
»hip presented V
another opera for Oscar's con 'm
side ration and production. My 1
husband turned it down flat.
“But 1 will pay all. the ex
penses,” insisted De Walden, “no
matter what. they, might amount to
1 want it produced."
“No, siree!” said Oscar, and .1 had
difficulty in keeping from laughing
for, although in the background, I
could not heln overhearing the con
versation. “No more of your pieces
in my house,” Oscar continued. “You
can, take everything that; belongs to
you .and get out. if you think you -can
foist stuff like that on me,"
Lord de Walden’s feelings were
shocked. He never quite recovered
from the effect. Hi- pride was mor
tally wounded. The British peer imme
diately withdrew his patronage and the'
support of his followers. But the bil
t‘rest blow of all came one night,
toward the close of oUr. first London
season in 1.912,
On that night Mr. Hammerstein’ and
! were sitting in his box in the grand
circle of the opera house. We were
sweetheart.-, then, in the first bloom of
our romance. A boy came to our box
and said that Lady t’unard wished to
see Oscar. Previously he had pointed
her out to me. She was beautiful, and
fbiie of the most socially powerful
women in London.
Through my opera glasses I watched
Oscar, and, suddenly, I saw the ex
pre. -ion 'on his face change. He said
something, and then two gentlemen in
l ady Cunard’s box rose angrily to their
feet. One was Manuel,.the ex-king of
Portugal, and the other the Duke of
Argvle. For a moment the two men
glared at Oscar. But he. looking ston
ily past them and at Lady Canard,
bowed and turned abruptly. As he
left the box he klamtned the door-.
It was with fear that he had done,
something rash that I awaited Oscar's
return to our box. When he ap
“Clear tlrodt angrily upon the itage, (winging Wl ennn
menacingly, Ha approached the offending loprano. But kaj
mother, who wa( (landing naarhy, picked up a heaey acorn of
‘Fauat’ from the piano, She raiiad it high in the air and
brought it down flat upon Oicar’i top-hat. The hat crumple*
unhappily on hia head."
pea; 0.1 1 asked -ifm what, the
•‘What do you think, eh?”
lie replied. “That Lady
Cunard tried to tdli me how to run
an opera house -my opera house!
After I have been in the opera
for forty years she Lies to tell me
how to run one, eh'.”'
Oscar was very angry, lie explained
tj me hoV he told Lady C anard he
didn’t need a guardian or her advice.
T said to her; '1 didn’t invite you
rr. l ou ramp
of your own free
will, and if, you
d on't care lo
come you don't
have to. I haven’t
pot time to be
h o t h e r ed with
people like you.”
E v p n lie fore
Oscar had finish
One liey Oscar sent for her but she
refused to see him until she had finished
her rehearsal. He dashed downstairs
in a fit. of anger. Bursting into the
auditorium, he saw the young woman
at the piano.
He strode angrily upon the stage,
swinging his Ane menacingly. He^ ap
proached the offending soprano. When
he demanded to know why she had not
answered his call she refused to reply.
But her mother, who was standing
nearby and had observed the phenome
non of the impresario upbraiding her
daughter, ventured to answer for her.
Picking Up a heavy score—of
"Faust,” 1 believe— from the piano,
she raised it high in the air and brought
it down fiat upon Oscar’s top Hat
Then the soprano and her mother left
Despite Urn vicissitudes he suffered
in London, Oscar kept his romantic
spirit aglow. Soon after I returned to
New York I received a letter from him,
H unhand a
Estate. At Right,
She la Seen
<-ti .speaking I .-aw. Lady. Canard and
her two famous companions leave
the ir box—•never to return. After that
I understood Lady Cunard took par
ticular pains to prevent arty of her
aristocratic coterie of friends from
attending and patronizing Oscar’s
operas. Hut her antagonism did not
seem to trouble him. He keep
right on without altering hia
tactics or his attitude.
However poor business was,
there were always plenty of
episodes to keen up a sort of bon
c»pnt. there was enough
color and, on most oc
casions I must say, there
was too much drama.
For instance, there was a
little-known American girl,
who used to sing at the
Manhattan Opera House
and was transplanted to
Oscar’s London house.
Chair |n W hich Oscar
Hammerstein Sat in the Wing*
of His New York Opera House
to View Performances. The
Cane Is the Last One Ha Used.
THE MUSIC MASTER
' Tbit Study of Otcar Hammeretein It
Hit Widow’# Favorite. It Wet Taken
a Few Yeart Before Hit Death and
Reveal# the Fine, Intellectual Feature#
of the Great Impretario.
which was both gentle and despondent.
He said he was "so miserable because
the future in London does not look
bright, and 1 am so tired of my loneli
ness and the stolid, unappreciative
English people, that I wish I had never
come here." Then he added: ,
“1 turned down invitations from
l ord de Walden and Cavalieri. The
city is like a morgue. Everybody out.
of ’ town. 1 am smoking myself to
death. I walked, walked, walked.
Everything is simply desolate. The
empty lounge—the empty existence.
"And then I thought of you. ‘Where
may she be today? Tonight? She
won’t stay in her room all day, Lone
liness is the strongest temptress in the
world. So kiss my picture every time
you look at it. Presene that spirit
Emma, have me before you all the
time, and think I am thinking of you,”
(To Be Concluded.) ,
JtfSO* Jaiera»ti<W4; F«»iur* bcrrtc®, Inc., 'Ur«»i Britain tUfbU iUiem-d.