their use. The exposure of our little farmhouse [at Lawton's Valley
] was south and west, and its only north light was derived from a window at the top of the attic stairs.
Here was a platform just large enough to give room for a table two feet square.
The stairs were shut off from the rest of the house by a stout door.
And here, through the summer heats, and in spite of many wasps, I wrote my five-act drama, dreaming of the fine emphasis which Mr. Booth
would give to its best passages and of the beautiful appearance he would make in classic costume.
He, meanwhile, was growing into great fame and favor with the public, and was called hither and thither by numerous engagements.
The period of his courtship and marriage1
intervened, and a number of years elapsed between the completion of the play and his first reading of it.”
At last the time seemed ripe for the production of the play.
E. L. Davenport
, the actor manager of the Howard Athenaeum
, agreed to produce it: Charlotte Cushman
was to play Phaedra
Rehearsals began, the author's dream seemed close upon fulfilment.
Then came a slip never fully explained: the manager suddenly discovered that the subject of the play was a painful one; other reasons were given, but none that appeared sufficient to author or actors.
“My dear,” said Miss Cushman
, “if Edwin Booth
and I had done nothing more than stand upon the stage and say ‘good evening’ to each other, the house would have been filled.”