FIRST HEARS THE NAME OF SHAKESPEARE 23
passed on a large picturesque farm, near which was a small graveyard, where the "rude forefathers " of the farmers slept. It was a wild, romantic spot, this little God's acre. I went there frequently, and worked myself into a sham sentimental sadness, actually shedding tears over the graves of the defunct farmers and their relics, never having seen nor heard of any of them, and knowing their virtues only through their friendly epitaphs. What actors we all are, little girls in particular!
Up to that time I had always been the chief of our small band—active, impulsive, full of initiative, and energetic to a fault Thought and feeling had scarcely been awakened. Even my religion was purely instinctive, though in hours of need my prayers were full of confidence and fervor.
At the age of twelve I first heard the name of him who was to awaken the serious side of my nature, and eventually shape my later career. One night Dr. Griffin, who had in his youth prided himself on his acting as an amateur, took down from the book-shelf a large, well-worn, red-and-gold volume.
" This," he said, " contains all the plays of William Shakespeare, and I mean to read to you the great master's masterpiece, * Hamlet.'" Though I