112 A FEW MEMORIES
for a stage career such training would be worse than none; but when one considers the weeks of study and rehearsal under poor direction — at least, as far as I have observed—the effect upon their young and impressionable natures is nothing short of lamentable. In saying that acting does not necessarily produce affectation, I mean in those whose characters are already formed. I do not allude to the young and undeveloped, who are wrongly taught the mere tfuter semblance of the art. Reading, on the contrary, is a charming and useful accomplishment, more easily acquired and less complicated in its possible results.
But, unconsciously, I have wandered far from the subject of this chapter. Our stay in Paris should have been rich in improvement, for I had frequently been in the coitlisses of the Fran9ais, conversing with many of its greatest artists and watching their various methods; but I doubt if much was gained in actual experience. A good effect of the trip abroad—the first holiday I had enjoyed since beginning to study for the stage, six years before — was that it brought back all the buoyancy of youth, which, as an exponent of tragic roles, I had felt it necessary to subdue. My greatest pleasure was in the Louvre. Rafael,