Page:Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field.djvu/239

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

That was Gene all over. If the cause was just he would as lief fight the battles of a man like Irving, who ignored him, as of his best friend.

Here is another illustration of that golden rule—by contrary.

He liked Ellen Terry, liked her immensely, but he did not fail to criticise her severely. You may remember Macbeth's line:

"What if we fail?"

Lady Macbeth answers:

"We fail—"

Now Terry pronounced these two words as if she meant to indicate—well if we fail there's an end to it.

"All wrong," said Gene. "She ought to pronounce it:

"We fail!"

"It ought to sound like: 'Failure is a thing not to be thought of.'"

"I will tell Terry about it when I see her," he said. Whether he carried out that intention or not I don't know. He always spoke about Ellen Terry as the wonderful woman on the stage. "Think what she makes her body do, how she makes it respond to the demands of every role. Her eyes are pale, her nose is too long, her mouth is only ordinary, yet she makes these faulty features tell on the stage, and the audience never knows how deficient she is as to mouth, eyes and nose. And her complexion isn't good—naturally that doesn't matter so much. Her