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Full text of "A few memories"

CHAPTER XVII
AFTER so much kindness from the public, it seems ungrateful to confess that the practice of my art (not the study of it) had grown, as time went on, more and more distasteful to me. To quote Fanny Kemblc on the same subject: "Never" (in my case for the last three years of my public life) "have 1 presented myself before an audience without a feeling of reluctance, or withdrawn from their presence without thinking the excitement 1 had undergone unwholesome, and the personal exhibition odious." To be con-scsous that one's person was a target for any who paid to make it one; to live for months at a time in one groove* with uncongenial surroundings, and In an atmosphere seldom penetrated by the sun and air; and to be continually repeating tlie passions and thoughts in the same words— that the most part of my daily life, and became HO like slavery to me that I resolved after one more season's work to cut myself free fromtimes, that brilliant painter and incomparable friend and host, Alma-Tade-mat mentions my farewell to the London stage. I cannot do better than let his graphic words describe it for me: