The True Tale of Trilby Tersely Told

Have you read Trilby?

A novel by George DeMaurier? (copyright 1895)

Illustrated by the Author.  For sale at all booksellers: Cloth $1.75

“A charming story with exquisite grace and tenderness” – N.Y. Tribune



Have you read the tale of “Trilby,”

  Have you seen the startling play

That is causing such excitement

  In the busy world to-day?


Have you studied out the story

  Of the great hypnotic power

Shown by mesmerist Svengali –

  The sensation of the hour?


In a studio in Paris,

  The three Englishmen are seen,

Artists all are, Little Billee,

  Taffy and the “Laird” serene.


Little Billee loves the model

  “Trilby” who his love returns,

Tho’ each of his artist comrades

  For her favors also yearns.


Loving also Little Billee,

  In his favor they retire,

Learning that he is the only

  One that Trilby can admire.


Then appears the knave Svengali,

  Music master, fiend as well,

Who, when Trilby has a headache,

  Cures her by his mystic spell.


Finding out his magic power,

  O’er the foolish little elf,

Then Svengali vows to use it,

  Just to benefit himself.


Making Trilby world-wide famous

  As a singer of renown,

And compels her to abandon

  Billee, and with him leave town.


So beneath his spell hypnotic,

  With Svengali she elopes,

Leaving all hers friends behind her,

  Dashing little Billee’s hopes.


Five years pass.  Her reputation

  As a singer of great worth,

Is acknowledged by each nation,

  Civilized throughout the earth.


She can sing with power and fervor,

  While Svengali holds the spell,

But without his aid she cannot

  One note from another tell!


And for years he has sustained her,

  Made her famous by her voice,

Princes Emperors and statesmen

  At her singing oft rejoice.


But one luckless night in Paris

  When the theatre is filled

With admirers of her singing

  Suddenly her voice is still’d!


For that moment in the foyer,

  Has Svengali met his fate,

The three Englishmen accuse him

  And he dies, expressing hate!


Trilby’s vocal powers leave her

  As Svengali’s life gives out,

Dazed and wild she stares about her,

  Brain-bewildered beyond doubt!


By degrees she recognizes

  Little Billee and her friends,

But the memory of Svengali,

  Kills her—and the story ends!


Yes, the world is full of Trilbys,

  Just as foolish, perhaps as she,

Who when troubled with a headache

  Seek some silly remedy.


Had she spurned Svengali’s offer

  When her headache made her sick,

And just taken Bromo-Seltzer,

  ‘Twould have cured her just as quick.


‘Twould have made her nervous system

  Strong enough to neutralize

All attempts of base Svengali,

  Her young will to hypnotize.


‘Twould have cleared her brain and freed her

  From dread headache’s awful pain,

Bromo-Seltzer is the soother

  Of mankind’s severest strain.




Copied from

1890s advertising booklet,  2x3”

Acquired by Richard K Riley,

December 9, 2005