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238                           A FEW MEMORIES
on a low seat, with his face between me and the candle that lighted his book, the rest of the room in darkness. The silhouette of his beautiful features is one of my most treasured mind-portraits.
Readers or reciters are, as a rule, wearisome. They look to the right when they speak the woman's part, to the left when the man speaks, or vice versa. There is often in their efforts an ostentatious attempt at acting; and when, as frequently happens, the right and left become confused, the listener is in a fog as to who is really speaking. The poet gave himself none of these manners. He simply sat in our midst, and told us his story of The Cup, Guinevere, Elaine, Maud, as the case might be. A rhythmic tolling of the death-bells and a cadence of martial music ran through his reading of the " Funeral Ode to Wellington," which made it most solemn and impressive. I have heard him read many of his shorter poems also, and have had more poetic pleasure in the darkened room, with only the swinging monotone of the poet's fine voice to break its stillness, than I have ever experienced in any theatre. He generally made interesting remarks between the pieces while quietly smoking his pipe. Though the tears often coursed down his cheeks in the