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Full text of "A few memories"

148                            A  FEW MEMORIES
their expression a touch of the ethereal. Mr. Gilbert did not agree with my conception of the classic meaning of Galatea's character—which seemed to me its strongest and most effective side—saying that the play was a nineteenth-century comedy dressed in Greek costume, " which," he added, " is the only classic thing about it." I had undertaken the part on condition that I should act it according to my own ideas; and painful and embarrassing as it was for me not to be versatile enough to carry out the brilliant author's wish that Galatea should speak certain comic speeches with a visible consciousness of their meaning, I felt convinced that my only hope of success was to stamp every word, look, tone, and movement with that ingenuousness which seemed to me the key-note of her nature. Another trouble during the dress rehearsals was my pose for the statue. My friend, Mr. Alma-Tadema, had suggested that I should be draped after some of those lovely Tanagra figurines; and he was good enough to arrange my draperies himself, going with Mr. Gilbert into the stalls to see the effect. The author insisted that Galatea looked like a stiff mediaeval saint; so the Tanagra idea was abandoned. At the last full-dress rehearsal matters grew worse.