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i86                          A FEW  MEMORIES
combination of striking situations, literary excellence, and bold character drawing. It had but one weak spot—a serious one—its denouement. As in the opera, the Jewess in this play met her death by being thrown into a boiling cauldron. Such an ending would, we feared, tempt the gallery god to make irreverent remarks about the " potted heroine." The author finally resolved on doing away with this means of execution, and arranged to use a kind of Iron Virgin of Nuremberg in which to crush poor Rachel. Unfortunately, the managers had made their programme for the season, and refused to produce this work. During my last year upon the stage—having resolved, for certain financial reasons, to act one season more before retiring permanently into a long-dreamed-of seclusion—I had meant to produce "The Foresters," which Lord Tennyson had put into my hands, " The Cup," and the above play by Lord Lytton.
The demand for something new was caused, no doubt, by my acting such old-fashioned dramas as " Ingomar," " The Lady of Lyons," and " The Hunchback." The first two were successful in London, and the failure of "The Hunchback" was due to my mistake in trying to modernize the character of Julia. By transforming her into