The newfangled curtain came down with a thunk, setting the dust in motion on the stage, then rose with a loud creaking of the lifting gears. Another performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, was over.
As I bowed in the back row of actors, I watched my father’s scarlet cape billow as he bowed in the front with the other lead players of the King’s Company. My famous father, James Hargraves, had often boasted that he could act better than any other man in London even in his sleep. Tonight he had proved once again that he could not do so in his cups. Too many glasses of gin had slurred his renowned voice, stumbled his celebrated gait, and, worst of all, caused him to mistime a sword thrust in the battle scene - a mistake which had drawn blood from the unfortunate actor in the path of father’s saber.
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