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Full text of "A few memories"

96                            A   FEW   MEMORIES
entered my mind. The excitement of acting in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York was intense. My first character at the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, was Evadne. At the rehearsals everything was so much brisker and more business-like than what I had been accustomed to, and the whole atmosphere so entirely new, that I was weighed down with apprehension lest the audiences should be different also. Fortunately the familiar faces of some of the "metropolitan artists" who had been with me " barn-storming " made me feel less strange. My surprise at the night's performance, when double recalls continually greeted me, was only equalled by the pleasure I felt when the press verified the success of the night before. During that visit we saw much of R. Shelton McKenzie, the friend and biographer of Charles Dickens. He was as interesting in himself as in his reminiscences of Sheridan Knowles, Dickens, and many other eminent men, whose names and works had been familiar to me for years. He was a plump little man, with shining brown eyes, and a ruddy face surmounted by a wig of sleek, red hair, which often, in moments of excitement, got awry, causing him much annoyance. I remember how he used to jerk it into place, remark-