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244 A FEW MEMORIES
Hermione, and we read that in the statue scene she was very beautiful, but that the earlier parts dragged. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kean produced
it with much magnificence and a fine cast; yet we never hear of its running for more than thirty nights. In studying the play, the reason of its non-success appeared to me to be the undue prominence given to several of the less important characters, and the comparatively short and interrupted appearance of the two heroines, which breaks the continued interest of the spectator. The first difficulty was to cut these secondary parts without marring the beauty or meaning of the text; and the next, to keep alive the sympathies of the audience with both Hermione and Perdita from beginning to end.
Without the assistance of books and suggestions given to me by William Black, Henry Irving/ Lord Lytton, E. A. Abbey, and Thomas Hall I should never have dared to use the prun-ing-knife as freely as I did; and to them I owe hearty thanks for helping me over many rough places in this respect. As to keeping alive an unbroken interest in the mother and child (Hermione and Perdita) who are separated for the best part of two acts (sixteen years), I thought, after