[EDITOR'S NOTE: This items has not been previously republished elsewhere. It is included in this collection because of its potential to be the work of Clemens and is deserving of further research and consideration. Clemens wrote about the dispute between Opera House manager Thomas Maguire and Felicita Vestvali in letters to the Territorial Enterprise published on November 4 and December 1865.]
Vestvali, "the Magnificent," assuredly evinces a disposition to do things on a magnificent scale. She has disturbed the harmony of the "happy family" at the Opera House, by bringing an action against the "Napoleon of the Stage," in which she claims $30,000 damages for his breach of the engagement made with her. The action was commenced yesterday, in the Fifteenth District Court. The "Magnificent" alleges in her complaint that she was engaged for 100 nights, said 100 nights' performances to be completed within 130 days; that she fulfilled her part of the contract, so far as she has been permitted, but that Maguire and his stage-manager have placed all sorts of obstacles and embarrassments in her way; that Don Thomas has behaved badly, and contrary to all theatrical precedent, in engaging Herr Bandmann and Mr. Boniface while her engagement was going on; that she (plaintiff) has been for some time ready and willing to resume playing and to complete her engagement, but has been prevented by Don Thomas. But this is not at all -- nor is it by any means the worst. Vestvali directly alleges that she was most shamefully deceived by Maguire, and induced to come out here by false representations. She avers that Maguire's agent and wife assured her that Matilda Heron made from $50,000 to $60,000 during her engagement here, and that she (Vestvali) "should be supported by Charles Wheatleigh as a stock actor at $100 per week." This constitutes a serious "complaint" against our "Napoleon of the Stage," and if the fair plaintiff succeeds in establishing the facts averred, she will stand a reasonable chance of recovering a verdict for the damages she claims. As to "collecting" them, that is quite another matter.
[transcribed from microfilm.]
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