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at the Yeldells, but luckily, Roger was home. Daddy went

source:Believe it or notedit:foodtime:2023-11-28 20:36:59

But I will advise you to remain in your own native town for a season, or at least the winter. You say you are afraid of remaining among people who know you. Don't have this feeling at all. You will have to be more particular in what you do, and the very feeling that you cannot be indifferent to your audience will make you take more pains. Beside this, you will be at home, which is much better for a time; for then at first you do not have to contend with a strange home as well as with a strange profession. I could talk to you a volume upon this matter, but it is difficult to write. At all events I hope you will take my counsel and remain at home this winter. It is the most wretched thing imaginable to go from home a novice into such a theatre as any of those in the principal towns.

at the Yeldells, but luckily, Roger was home. Daddy went

Only go on and work hard, and you will be sure to make a good position. With regard to your faults, what shall I say? Why, that you will try hard to overcome them. I don't think they would be perceived save by those who perhaps imagine that your attachment for me has induced you to join the profession. I have no mannerisms, I hope; therefore any imitation of me can only be in the earnest desire to do what you can do, as well as you can. Write to me often; ask of me what you will; my counsel is worth little, but you shall command it if you need it.

at the Yeldells, but luckily, Roger was home. Daddy went

... All that you say about your finding your own best expression in and through the little life which is confided to you is good and true, and I am so happy to see how you feel on the subject. I think a mother who devotes herself to her child, in watching its culture and keeping it from baleful influences, is educating and cultivating herself at the same time. No artist work is so high, so noble, so grand, so enduring, so important for all time, as the making of character in a child, You have your own work to do, the largest possible expression. No statue, no painting, no acting, can reach it, and it embodies each and all the arts, Clay of God's fashioning is given into your hands to mould to perfectness. Is this not something grand to think of? No matter about yourself--only make yourself worthy of God's sacred trust, and you will be doing His work--and that is all that human beings ought to care to live for. Am I right?

at the Yeldells, but luckily, Roger was home. Daddy went


There was a time, in my life of girlhood, when I thought I had been called upon to bear the very hardest thing that can come to a Woman. A very short time served to show me, in the harder battle of life Which was before me, that this had been but a spring storm, which was simply to help me to a clearer, better, richer, and more productive summer. If I had been spared this early trial, I should never have been so earnest and faithful in my art; I should have still been casting about for the "counterpart," and not given my entire self to my work, wherein and alone I have reached any excellence I have ever attained, and through which alone I have received my reward. God helped me in my art isolation, and rewarded me for recognising him and helping myself. This passed on; and this happened at a period in my life when most women (or children, rather) are looking to but one end in life--an end no doubt wisest and best for the largest number, but which would not have been wisest and best for my work, and so for God's work, for I know he does not fail to set me his work to do, and helps me to do it, and helps others to help me. (Do you see this tracing back, and then forward, to an eternity of good, and do you see how better and better one can become in recognising one's self as a minister of the Almighty to faithfully carry out our part of His great plan according to our strength and ability?) 0 believe we cannot live one moment for ourselves, one moment of selfish repining, and not be failing him at that moment, hiding the God-spark in us, letting the flesh conquer the spirit, the evil dominate the good.

Then after this first spring storm and hurricane of young disappointment came a lull--during which I actively pursued what became a passion,--my art. Then I lost my younger brother, upon whom I had begun to build most hopefully, as I had reason. He was by far the cleverest of my mother's children. He had been born into greater poverty than the others; he received his young impressions through a different atmosphere; he was keener, more artistic, more impulsive, more generous, more full of genius. I lost him by a cruel accident, and again the world seem to liquefy beneath my feet, and the waters went over my soul. It became necessary that I should suffer bodily to cure my heart-bleed. I placed myself professionally where I found and knew all my mortifications in my profession, which seemed for the time to strew ashes over the loss of my child-brother (for he was my child, and loved me best in all the world), thus conquering my art, which, God knows, has never failed me--never failed to bring me rich reward--never failed to bring me comfort. I conquered my grief and myself. Labour saved me then and always, and so I proved the eternal goodness of God. I digress too much; but you will see how, in looking back to my own early disappointments, I can recognise all the good which came out of them, and can ask you to lay away all repinings with our darling, and hope (as we must) in God's wisdom and goodness, and ask him to help us to a clearer vision and truer knowledge of his dealings with us; to teach us to believe that we are lifted up to him better through our losses than our gains. May it not be that heaven is nearer, the passage from earth less hard, and life less seductive to us, in consequence of the painless passing of this cherub to its true home, lent us but for a moment, to show how pure must be our lives to fit us for such companionship? And thus, although in one sense it would be well for us to put away the sadness of this thought if it would be likely to enervate us, in another sense, if we consider it rightly, if we look upon it worthily, we have an angel in God's house to help us to higher and purer thinkings, to nobler aspirations, to more sublime sacrifices than we have ever known before.

[In 1874 Miss Cushman bade farewell to New York at Booth's Theatre, after a performance as Lady Macbeth. William Cullen Bryant presented an ode in her honour. In the course of her response Miss Cushman said:]

Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks, but I thank you. Gentlemen, the heart has no speech; its only language is a tear or a pressure of the hand, and words very feebly convey or interpret its emotions. Yet I would beg you to believe that in the three little words I now speak, 'I thank you,' there are heart depths which I should fail to express better, though I should use a thousand other words. I thank you, gentlemen, for the great honour you have offered me. I thank you, not only for myself, but for my whole profession, to which, through and by me, you have paid this very grateful compliment. If the few words I am about to say savour of egotism or vainglory, you will, I am sure, pardon me, inasmuch as I am here only to speak of myself. You would seem to compliment me upon an honourable life. As I look back upon that life, it seems to me that it would have been impossible for me to have led any other. In this I have, perhaps, been mercifully helped more than are many of my more beautiful sisters in art. I was, by a press of circumstances, thrown at an early age into a profession for which I had received no special education or training; but I had already, though so young, been brought face to face with necessity. I found life sadly real and intensely earnest, and in my ignorance of other ways of study, I resolved to take therefrom my text and my watchword. To be thoroughly in earnest, intensely in earnest in all my thoughts and in all my actions, whether in my profession or out of it, became my one single idea. And I honestly believe herein lies the secret of my success in life. I do not believe that any great success in any art can he achieved without it....

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