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STUDYING AT  HOME                          31
" He was the Jew That Shakespeare drew."
Would not Macklin himself have given him the palm for his portrayal of that great character? I am proud to owe my awakening to the possibilities of dramatic art to such a master.
His engagement over, I made a proposition to my mother, a promise rather, that I would apply myself earnestly to study if allowed to work at home, school having grown unbearable; I agreed that, if at the end of a month she saw no improvement, I would willingly return to the academy. After much consideration, she determined to give this new arrangement a trial, the old one having been far from successful. I selected for my study a small whitewashed carpetless room at the top of the house, where no one was likely to intrude; its only furniture a table and chair, a crucifix, a bust of Shakespeare, a small photograph of Edwin Booth, and a pair of foils, which I had learned to use with some skill. Bronson, Corn-stock, and Murdock on Elocution, Rush on the Voice, Plutarch's Lives, Homer's Iliad, and the beloved red-and-gold volume of Shakespeare were my only books; and these had been stolen by degrees from- the library below. After many