This document was originally published in The Drama: Its History, Literature and Influence on Civilization, vol. 7. ed. Alfred Bates. London: Historical Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 23-24.

In the beginning of the 17th century, the dearth of acceptable plays induced French theatres to turn their attention once more to the farce, a dramatic plant of native and vigorous growth. By doing so, the Hôtel de Bourgogne appears to have struck a mine of wealth, engaging the services of three clever and versatile actors, who, beginning life as baker's apprentices, had already become famous on the stage, under the names of Turlupin, Gros-Guillaume and Gaultier-Garguille. The favorite character of the first was a roguish valet, of the second a pedant, and of the third a supremely stupid old man. Turlupin was held to be unapproachable in the domain of broad comedy, and was of imposing presence. Gros-Guillaume, so called on account of his obesity, had a fund of rich humor, the effect of which was increased by his large black eyes and extremely mobile features. It is said that he kept the audience in a continuous ripple of laughter, even when suffering acutely, as he often did, from an internal malady which caused the tears to run down his face. Gaultier-Garguille was hardly less popular, though in a different way. A Norman by birth, he could imitate the Gascon to perfection, and all his farcical characters were either witty or dryly humorous. His success was partly due to a pair of remarkably thin and bandy legs, though he was always glad to hide this defect under a robe, especially the stage robe of a king. By him were composed nearly all the songs and prologues of the farces acted at the Hôtel de Bourgogne. These three farce-players were the firmest of friends.

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