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happens, change can come only through reform or circumvention

source:Believe it or notedit:lawtime:2023-11-28 21:35:33

The best translations cannot convey to us the strength and exquisite delicacy of thought in its native garb, and he to whom such books are shut flounders about in outer darkness. I have suffered so much from the lack of that which my father could easily have given me in youth, and which he himself possessed, that I am all the more anxious you shall escape my punishment in that respect; that you may not, like me, dream of those advantages which others enjoy through any lack of opportunity or neglect of mine. Therefore, learn to love your Latin, your French, and your English grammar; standing firmly and securely on them, you have a solid foothold in the field of literature....

happens, change can come only through reform or circumvention

Think how interesting it will be hereafter to refer to your journal, and see the rapid development, not only of your mind, but of your moral growth; only do not fail to record all your shortcomings; they will not stand as reproaches, but as mere snags in the tortuous river of your life, to be avoided in succeeding trips farther down the stream. They beset us all along the route, from the cradle to the grave, and if we can only see them we can avoid many rough bumps.

happens, change can come only through reform or circumvention

... I am glad to know that baby has begun to crawl; don't put her on her feet too soon; consider her legs a _la bow_.... I closed my first week here with two enormous houses. A hard week's work has greatly tired me.... Jefferson called and left with me the manuscript of his reminiscences, which he has been writing. So far as he has written it, it is intensely interesting and amusing, and well written in a free and chatty style; it will be the best autobiography of any actor yet published if he continues it in its present form. I sent you some book notices from Lawrence Hutton's clippings for me.... In the article I send to-day you will see that I am gently touched up on the point of the "old school"; my reference was not to the old style of acting, but the old stock theatre as a school--where a beginner had the advantage of a great variety of experience in farces, as well as tragedies and comedies, and a frequent change of programme. There is no "school" now; there is a more natural style of acting, perhaps, but the novice can learn nothing from long runs of a single play ...

happens, change can come only through reform or circumvention

... As for God's reward for what I have done, I can hardly appreciate it; it is more like punishment for misdeeds (of which I've done many) than grace for good ones (if I've done any). Homelessness is the actor's fate; physical incapacity to attain what is most required and desired by such a spirit as I am a slave to. If there be rewards, I am certainly well paid, but hard schooling in life's thankless lessons has made we somewhat of a philosopher, and I've learned to take the buffets and rewards of fortune with equal thanks, and in suffering all to suffer--I won't say nothing, but comparatively little. Dick Stoddard wrote a poem called "The King's Bell," which fits my case exactly (you may have read it) . He dedicated it to Lorimer Graham, who never knew an unhappy day in his brief life, instead of to me, who never knew a really happy one. You mustn't suppose from this that I'm ill in mind or body: on the contrary, I am well enough in both; nor am I a pessimist. I merely wanted you to know that the sugar of my life is bitter-sweet; perhaps not more so than every man's whose experience has been above and below the surface.... Business has continued large, and increases a little every night; the play will run two weeks longer. Sunday, at four o'clock, I start for Baltimore, arriving there at ten o'clock....

To-morrow, a meeting of actors, managers, and artists at breakfast, to discuss and organise, if possible, a theatrical club[1] like the Garrick of London....

... Yes; it is indeed most gratifying to feel that age has not rendered my work stale and tiresome, as is usually the case with actors (especially tragedians) at my time. Your dear mother's fear was that I would culminate too early, as I seemed then to be advancing so rapidly. Somehow I can't rid myself of the belief that both she and my father helped me. But as for the compensation? Nothing of fame or fortune can compensate for the spiritual suffering that one possessing such qualities has to endure. To pass life in a sort of dream, where "nothing is but what is not"--a loneliness in the very midst of a constant crowd, as it were--is not a desirable condition of existence, especially when the body also has to share the "penalty of greatness," as it is termed. Bosh! I'd sooner be an obscure farmer, a hayseed from Wayback, or a cabinetmaker, as my father advised, than the most distinguished man on earth. But Nature cast me for the part she found me best fitted for, and I have had to play it, and must play it till the curtain falls. But you must not think me sad about it. No; I am used to it, and am contented.

I continue well, and act with a vigour which sometimes surprises myself, and all the company notice it, and comment upon it. I'm glad the babes had a jolly birthday. Bless 'em! Love for all.

THE PLAYERS, NEW YORK, March 22, 1891.

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