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Full text of "A few memories"

120                            A FEW   MEMORIES
ways to feel for the time pain, anger, love, hate, or whatever passion one wishes to simulate.
About this time—1880-81—offers were received from several English managers, including one from Sir Augustus Harris. These were refused, together with Mr. Henry E. Abbey's proposal to take me across the Atlantic; for my heart failed at the thought of appearing before strangers. Some time after Mr. Abbey assured me that a rest from the usual yearly tour would be both wise and profitable, and I was induced to accept an eight months' engagement at the Lyceum Theatre, in London.
After the contract was signed I heard from many that American artists never succeeded in England, that they invariably lost money there, and that the English felt it a duty to crush aspiring Americans, socially as well as artistically. These reports were far from reassuring, but there was no escape from the contract. It seemed a year of torture was drawing near, and I suffered much at the mere thought of what was before me. My last performances before sailing for England were at the Dramatic Festival in Cincinnati, held at the Academy of Music, an enormous building with a seating capacity of over eight thou-