Skip to main content

Full text of "A few memories"

See other formats

THE   GRAVE  OF  MRS. SIDDONS                 139
in the evening to place a few flowers upon the neglected grave of the great Sarah Siddons. It was late in the autumn of 1883. Londoners will recall the series of exceptionally fine sunsets of that year. The brilliant orange and crimson in the west, a silver crescent in the pale, turquoise sky, the crisp, white snow covering the ground and frosting the large tree over the tomb of the great actress, the yellow light of the lonely lamp hanging in the entrance to the church-yard, seemed to accentuate the desolation of the spot. The grave looked almost as uncared for as the sunken-in earth covering poor Haydon, the master of Landseer and friend of Wordsworth and Leigh Hunt, who sleeps in a suicide's grave hard by. The only sound to be heard there was the distant hum of the city or the barking of some stray dog. To leave that sad spot, where the greatest of England's actresses lies forgotten, in order to act before a brilliant and enthusiastic audience, seemed a mockery to my poor efforts; but it taught me of how little value is the greatest of earthly fame. I am glad to say that the Siddons Memorial has since then removed the reproach that rested on her lonely grave.
We made many interesting expeditions from