SHAKESPEARE AGAIN SELECTED 231
Herman Merrivale's "Charlotte Corday," Edgar Fawcett's "Major Andre," Bulwer Lytton's unpublished play of " Tarquin and Lucretia "—afterwards produced by Wilson Barrett—and many others, were for some reason found impracticable, and I was strongly tempted to produce a dramatization of Madame de Sta'el's " Corinne," by an American diplomat; but no doubt Shakespeare had made me over-critical, for I eventually gave that up also. In the midst of the dilemma, my old friend Thomas Hall suggested my undertaking Hermione and Perdita, in " The Winter's Tale.1' I decided to do so: and the feeling of comfort and joy at being again under the protecting wing of the great bard can well be imagined.
Years before, when in the same predicament, I sought advice on the subject from Boucicault and Joseph Jefferson. Their answer was, in substance, " Why worry about modern plays while you have Rosalind, Imogene; and Beatrice still before you ?" " And," Jefferson laughingly added, "besides, Shakespeare will not, like the modern author, worry you at rehearsals, nor demand his-percentage of the receipts."