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Full text of "A few memories"

ACTING BEFORE  CHARLOTTE  CUSHMAN         39
man the next day. We accordingly awaited her in the large parlor of the hotel. Presently we heard a heavy, masculine tread, and a voice, too high for a man's, too low for a woman's, saying, " I am sorry to be late, but some of the actors were duller than usual this morning." She stood before us, her well-set figure simply clad, the short hair in her neck still in curling-pins, showing a delightful absence of vanity, for she had just come in from the street. She looked at me for a moment with the keenest interest in her kind, blue-gray eyes, then wrung my hand with unexpected warmth. " Come, come, let us lose no time," said she, in her brisk, business-like way. " Let us see what you can do. Richard ! Hamlet! Richelieu ! Schiller's Maid of Orleans! A curious selection for such a child to make. But begin, for I am pressed for time." It was trying to stand without preparation before so great a woman, but, with a determined effort to forget her, I acted scenes from " Richelieu" and "Jeanne d'Arc." When the trial was over, I stood before her in that state of flush and quiver which often follows our best efforts. Laying her hand kindly upon my shoulder, " My child," said she, " you have all the attributes that go to make a fine actress; too much force