At the Boston Theater occurred an accident which shows the marvelous courage and power of endurance possessed by the young actress. In the play of “Meg Merrilies,” she had to appear suddenly in one scene at the top of a cliff, some fifteen feet above the stage. To avoid the danger of falling over, it was necessary to use a staff. Mary Anderson had managed to find one of Cushman’s, but the point having become smooth through use, she told one of the people of the theater to put a small nail at the bottom. Instead of this, he affixed a good-sized spike, and one night Mary Anderson, coming out as usual, drove this right through her foot, in her sudden stop on the cliffs brink. Without flinching, or moving a muscle, with Spartan fortitude she played the scene to the end, though almost fainting with pain, till on the fall of the curtain the spiked staff was drawn out, not without force. Longfellow was much concerned at this accident, and on nights she did not play would sit by her side in her box, and wrap the furred overcoat he used to wear carefully round her wounded foot.
From Boston Mary Anderson proceeded to New York to fulfill a two weeks’ engagement at the Fifth Avenue Theater. She opened with a good company in “The Lady of Lyons.” General Sherman had advised her to read no papers, but one morning to her great encouragement, some good friend thrust under her door a very favorable notice in the New York Herald. The engagement proved a great success, and was ultimately extended to six weeks, the actress playing two new parts, Juliet and The Daughter of Roland. She had passed the last ordeal successfully, and might rejoice as she stood on the crest of the hill of Fame that the ambition of her young life was at length realized. Her subsequent theatrical career in the States and Canada need not be recorded here. She had become America’s representative tragedienne; there was none to dispute her claims. Year after year she continued to increase an already brilliant reputation, and to amass one of the largest fortunes it has ever been the happy lot of any artist to secure.
FIRST VISIT TO EUROPE.
In the summer of 1879, was paid Mary Anderson’s first visit to Europe. It had long been eagerly anticipated. In the lands of the Old World was the cradle of the Art she loved so well, and it was with feelings almost of awe that she entered their portals. She had few if any introductions, and spent a month in London wandering curiously through the conventional scenes usually visited by a stranger. Westminster Abbey was among her favorite haunts; its ancient aisles, its storied windows, its thousand memories of a past which antedated by so many centuries the civilization of her native land, appealed deeply to the ardent imagination of the impassioned girl. Here was a world of which she had read and dreamed, but whose over-mastering, living influence was now