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136                          *A FEW   MEMORIES
any English favorites, as " Ingomar" had not been done in London for years. When all was in full preparation several managers and critics assured us that it could not succeed, that its old-fashioned sentiment would be received with laughter. But Mr. Abbey trusted in my judgment, and their discouraging predictions did not alter my choice. At the dress rehearsals I hardly recognized the old piece with all its new and beautiful surroundings. After a month of alarms, doubts, and constant dreams of failure, the first night came. The thought that I was about to appear in the land of my greatest dramatic heroine, Sarah Siddons, near the very theatres that had rung with the voices., of Garrick, silver-tongued Barry, and Edmund Kean, set my heart beating so that I could hardly stand. The house was full, as is always the case on a first night at the Lyceum. After the applause on my first entrance (I had never received such a long and hearty greeting), I felt that the public of London, so dreaded for months before, had welcomed a stranger in the most friendly spirit. The excitement of the first scenes had evidently weakened me, for in the second act, while weaving garlands for the golden cups, a kindly voice from the pit