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Today's Featured Biography

Sarah Bernhardt

      A little girl, as Sarcey relates, once presented herself at the Paris Conservatoire in order to pass the examination for admission. All she knew was the fable of the "Two Pigeons," but she had no sooner recited the lines--

      "Deux pigeons s'aimaient d'amour tendre,
      L'un d'eux, s'ennuyant au logis"--


      than Auber stopped her with a gesture. "Enough," he said. "Come here, my child." The little girl, who was pale and thin, but whose eyes gleamed with intelligence, approached him with an air of assurance. "Your name is Sarah?" he said.

      "Yes, sir." was the reply.

      "You are a Jewess?"

      "Yes, sir, by birth; but I have been baptized."

      "She has been baptized," said Auber, turning to his colleagues. "It would have been a pity if such a pretty child had not. She said her fable of the 'Two Pigeons' very well. She must be admitted."

      Thus Sarah Bernhardt, for it was she, entered the Conservatoire. She was a Jewess of French and Dutch parentage, and was born at Paris in 1844. Her father, after having her baptized, had placed her in a convent; but she had already secretly determined to become an actress. In her course of study at the Conservatoire she so distinguished herself that she received a prize which entitled her to a debut at the Theatre Francais. She selected the part of Iphigenie, in which she appeared on August 11, 1862; and at least one newspaper drew special...

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