128 A FEW MEMORIES
had already begun to be distasteful to me. The disappointments connected with the art itself— the painting one's pictures with one's own person, in the full gaze of the public, the dependence upon inartistic people (often compelled to use the theatre as a trade), for carrying out most cherished conceptions, and the constant crumbling of ideals— made me, young as I was, long to leave the stage for the peace and privacy of a domestic life.
I had a greater desire than ever to work, but away from the direct eye of the public. The life of a poet, composer, writer, or painter seemed ideal, for they could express their innermost thoughts and inspirations through the impersonal mediums of canvas, music, literature, and still be protected by that privacy which is so dear to most women.
But it was too late then to change, for many years of labor would have been lost if turned into other channels; all my studies had been directed to the accomplishment of the one end. Sol determined to bend all my energies towards perfecting that which I had already begun.
Mr. Abbey had taken the Lyceum for eight months, and having engaged no one but myself to fill the time, he meant to close the theatre in case I failed. The knowledge of this added to my