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Records of a Girlhood eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 815 pages of information about Records of a Girlhood.

PART OF LETTER TO MRS. JAMESON.

NEW YORK, September 30, 1832.

I am not sure that, upon the whole, our acting is not rather too quiet—­tame, I suppose they would call it—­for our present public.  Ranting and raving in tragedy, and shrieks of unmeaning laughter in comedy, are not, you know, precisely our style, and I am afraid our audiences here may think us flat.  I was informed by a friend of mine who heard the remark, that one gentleman observed to another, after seeing my father in “Venice Preserved,” “Lord bless you! it’s nothing to Cooper’s acting—­nothing!  Why, I’ve seen the perspiration roll down his face like water when he played Pierre!  You didn’t see Mr. Kemble put himself to half such pains!” Which reminds me of the Frenchwoman’s commendation to her neighbor of a performance of Dupre, the great Paris tenor of his day:  “Ah! ce pauvre cher M. Dupre! ce brave homme! quel mal il se donne pour chanter cela!  Regardez donc, madame, il est tout en sueur!” But this order of criticism, of course, may be met with anywhere; and the stamp-and-stare-and-start-and-scream-school has had its admirers all the world over since the days of Hamlet the Dane.
I have not seen much of either places or people yet....  This city is picturesque and foreign-looking; trees are much intermixed with the houses, among them a great many fine willows, and these, together with the various colors of the houses, and the irregularity of the streets and buildings, form constantly “little bits” that would gladden the eye of a painter.  The sky here is beautiful; I find in it what you have seen in Italy, and I only in Angerstein’s Gallery, the orange sunsets of Claude Lorraine.

     We leave New York for Philadelphia after next week, and shall
     remain there three weeks.

I have read and noted much of your pretty book.  There are one or two points which shall “serve for sweet discourses” in our time to come.  I find great satisfaction in our discussions, for though I may not often confess to being convinced by your arguments in our differences (does any one ever do so?), I derive so much information from them, that they are as profitable as pleasant to me.  Are you going to be busy with your pen soon again?  Write me how the world is going on yonder, and believe me ever truly yours,

F. A. K.

NEW YORK, September 30, 1832.

DEAREST H——­,

...  Perhaps, as you say, it is morbid to dwell as I do upon the unreality of acting, because its tangible reality makes its appearance duly every morning with the “returns” of the preceding night; but I am not sure that it is morbid to consider wants exaggerated and necessities unreal which render insufficient earnings that would be ample for any one’s real need.  A livelihood, of course, we could make in England....  You speak of all the various strange things I
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