Autobiography, with Letters

By William Lyon Phelps | Go to book overview

66
SOME EVENTS IN 1915-16

IN New York on New Year's Day I attended the first meeting of the newly-formed American Association of University and College Professors. It was voted to exclude Presidents.

On 18 January for the first time I heard King John. It was played by Robert Mantell. I have never had an opportunity to hear it again, but it is effective on the stage even if it was the cause of wit in Mr. Huneker, who said Mantell played the King as if he was afraid someone else was going to play the ace.

Our niece Carolyn Hubbard stayed with us most of the winter and taught me to dance. I had never learned. It seemed strange to begin dancing at fifty, but for the next twenty years I enjoyed it.

On 6 February in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mrs. Mary H. Gilbert gave me a copy of Anne Sedgwick novel The Encounter, which I regard as one of her best. It is unfortunate that it appeared in England during the early weeks of the outbreak of the war, for in ordinary times it would certainly have attracted much attention. In this novel the character Sachs says, 'If only strength is good, yet it is still more true to say that only goodness is strong.'

Harley Granville-Barker came to New York in February to produce plays and I had many good talks with him; an amazingly interesting personality. On 26 February I saw his production of Midsummer Night's Dream with the 'gold heads.' I shall always remember this as the best of

-617-

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