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the largest of Hot Springs three lakes and one of the cleanest

source:Believe it or notedit:persontime:2023-11-28 20:36:06

I had seven years' apprenticeship at it, during which most of my labour was in the field of comedy--"walking gentleman," burlesque, and low comedy parts--the while my soul was yearning for high tragedy. I did my best with all that I was cast for, however, and the unpleasant experience did me a world of good. Had I followed my own bent, I would have been, long ago, a "crushed tragedian."

the largest of Hot Springs three lakes and one of the cleanest

I will, as you request, give you a line to Mr. Palmer, and I hope you may obtain a position that will afford you the necessary practice. With best wishes. Truly yours,

the largest of Hot Springs three lakes and one of the cleanest

[Charlotte Cushman, a native of Boston, died in that city in 1876. No actress ever excelled her as Meg Merrilies, Queen Katherine, and Lady Macbeth. On the morning following her death, Mr. William Winter wrote in the New York _Tribune_:--

the largest of Hot Springs three lakes and one of the cleanest

... Charlotte Cushman was not a great actress merely, but she was a great woman. She did not possess the dramatic faculty apart from other faculties and conquer by that alone: but having that faculty in almost unlimited fulness, she poured forth through its channel such resources of character, intellect, moral strength, soul, and personal magnetism as marked her for a genius of the first order, while they made her an irresistible force in art. When she came upon the stage she filled it with the brilliant vitality of her presence. Every movement that she made was winningly characteristic. Her least gesture was eloquence, Her voice, which was soft or silvery, or deep or mellow, according as emotion affected it, used now and then to tremble, and partly to break, with tones that were pathetic beyond description. These were denotements of the fiery soul that smouldered beneath her grave exterior, and gave iridescence to every form of art that she embodied. Sometimes her whole being seemed to become petrified in a silent suspense more thrilling than any action, as if her imagination were suddenly inthralled by the tumult and awe of its own vast perceptions."

Her frlend, Emma Stebbins, the sculptor, edited a memorial volume, "Charlotte Cushman: Her Letters and Memories of Her Life," published in 1878. By permission of the publishers and owners of the copyright, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston, the pages that follow are offered.--ED.]

On one occasion [wrote Miss Cushman] when Henry Ware, pastor of the old Boston Meeting House, was taking tea with my mother, he sat at table talking, with his chin resting in his two hands, and his elbows on the table. I was suddenly startled by my mother exclaiming, "Charlotte, take your elbows off the table and your chin out of your hands; it is not a pretty position for a young lady!" I was sitting in exact imitation of the parson, even assuming the expression of his face.

Besides singing everything, I exercised my imitative powers in all directions, and often found myself instinctively mimicking the tones, movement, and expression of those about me. I'm afraid I was what the French call _un enfant terrible_--in the vernacular, an awful child! full of irresistible life and impulsive will; living fully in the present, looking neither before nor after; as ready to execute as to conceive; full of imagination--a faculty too often thwarted and warped by the fears of parents and friends that it means insincerity and falsehood, when it is in reality but the spontaneous exercise of faculties as yet unknown even to the possessor, and misunderstood by those so-called trainers of infancy.

This imitative faculty in especial I inherited from my grandmother Babbit, born Mary Saunders, of Gloucester, Cape Ann. Her faculty of imitation was very remarkable. I remember sitting at her feet on a little stool and hearing her sing a song of the period, in which she delighted me by the most perfect imitation of every creature belonging to the farmyard.

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