On the other hand, it requires only a very slight acquaintance with the state of the drama in France at the time to see that these works, poor as they may now seem, must have struck the spectators as something new and surprising.
Its Stadt-Theater, rebuilt in 1874, has room for 1750 spectators and is particularly devoted to operatic performances; the Thalia-Theater dates from 1841, and holds 1700 to "Soo people, and the Schauspielhaus (for drama) from 1900 people, and there are some seven or eight minor establishments.
There are also the bull-ring, capable of accommodating 8000 spectators, the pelota court (el Trinquete) and several parks or gardens.
They may have contributed to the formation of the style of comedy which appears at the very outset much more mature than that of serious poetry, tragic or epic. They gave the name and some of the characteristics to that special literary product of the Roman soil, the satura, addressed to readers, not to spectators, which ultimately was developed into pure poetic satire in Lucilius, Horace, Persius and Juvenal, into the prose and verse miscellany of Varro, and into something approaching the prose novel in Petronius.
Richard Head in his Life and Death of Mother Shipton (1684) says, "the body was of indifferent height, her head was long, with sharp fiery eyes, her nose of an incredible and unproportionate length, having many crooks and turnings, adorned with many strange pimples of divers colours, as red, blue and dirt, which like vapours of brimstone gave such a lustre to her affrighted spectators in the dead time of the night, that one of them confessed several times in my hearing that her nurse needed no other light to assist her in her duties" Allowing for the absurdity of this account, it certainly seems (if any reliance is to be placed on the so-called authorities) that the child was phenomenally plain and deformed.