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230                            A FEW MEMORIES
extraordinary physical control served me, while still very young, as a lessdn of how the will, backed by perseverance, may accomplish almost anything.
During that winter in Paris I undertook the responsibility of engaging the Lyceum for the following year, intending then to make my first effort at managing a theatre. But I had no play to produce. Many sketches and plays had been written for me, among them a scenario by W. G. Wills on "The Young Cleopatra," showing the life of the -Egyptian queen until her meeting with Marc Antony. Unfortunately this was not one of his happiest efforts. He also began a play from a plot furnished him by Mr. Wilson Barrett, the first acts of which were very good. The denouement, however, being commonplace, this was likewise abandoned. Mr. W. S. Gilbert read me his play," Brantingham Hall"; but, realizing that the chief character was not in my line, I declined it. In his usual amusing way the author asked rne whether my reason for doing so was because I found anything gross in it; "for," said he, " I hear that you hate gross things so much that you can hardly be induced to take your share of the gross receipts."