My short and inglorious acting career came to an end when I was fifteen. I had no talent for it, at least not on the stage. I was always wooden, self-conscious, and only too aware of all the eyes fixed upon me from somewhere in the black hole of the auditorium beyond the stage. From then on, I confined myself to going to the theater as one of the audience.

My last role was that of Florizel in The Winter’s Tale. Quite apart from my habitual inadequacies, there was the fact that I was not made to be a romantic prince, neither in manner nor appearance, besides which my Perdita had the most turned-up nose I have ever seen, so that whenever I looked at her all I could see was her nostrils. This was not an aid to reciting with conviction such lines as:

     were I crown’d the most imperial...


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