Sunday November 15th

. I have been reading with some pleasure Ellen Terry’s autobiography, which, I think, is charmingly written and in admirable good taste. Two things have specifically interested me today in it, one when, as the girl-wife of G. F. Watts the painter, she heard Tennyson read aloud Browning’s ‘How we brought the good news to Ghent’. ÔÇ£He used to preserve the monotonous rhythm of the galloping horses. and made the words come out sharply like hoofs upon a road. It was a little comic, until one got used to it, but that fault lay in the ear of the hearer. It was the right way and the fine way to read that particular poemÔÇØ.

The other is a link with Sheridan, Charles Reade told Ellen Terry that his mother sat on stage with Sheridan during a rehearsal of ‘The School for Scandal’ with Mrs Abingdon the original Lady Teazle in the part. Mrs Abingdon, according to Charles Reade, who told the story, had just delivered the line ÔÇ£How dare you abuse my relations?ÔÇØ when Sheridan stopped the rehearsal ÔÇ£No, no that won’t do at all! It mustn’t be peltish — That’s shallow — shallow. You must go up the stage with ‘You are just what my cousin Sophy said you would be’, then turn and sweep down on him like a volcano ‘You are a great bear to abuse my relations! How dare you abuse my relations!’ÔÇØ

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