HAILED AS THE AMERICAN RACHEL 35
small household, usually from " Hamlet," " Richard," or Schiller's " Maid of Orleans."
Dr. Griffin was practising medicine at the time, and happened to be called in to see Mr. Henry Wouds,% the leading comedian of Macauley's Theatre. He spoke to the actor so continually and enthusiastically of my work, that the latter at last requested a reading from me. Richard was the part, I determined, would be the best, not to read, but to act for him. The interval before the day fixed for this trial was intensely exciting, and I was painfully nervous on seeing Mr. Wouds, accompanied by the stage and business managers of the theatre, coming towards our house. I had never before seen an actor off the stage; this was in itself a sensation, and I felt, besides, that my whole future depended on his judgment of my work. The acting began, and was continually applauded. When over, Mr. Wouds sprang towards me, and, taking both my hands, said, " Let me be the first to hail you as our American Rachel." "Those never-to-be-forgotten words from an actor whom I had so often admired left me speechless with gratitude; more to Heaven, how-
* A few years later, wearying of the stage, Mr. Wouds entered the Church, where his preaching was highly appreciated.