W.H. Davies (1871-1940)
From Literary Anecdotes About 20th Century Authors

Davies's grandmother, a Baptist by denomination, was of a more austere and religious turn of mind than her husband ... Davies once told me [Sitwell] that he remembered his grandmother smacking him severely after some manifestation of childish sin, and saying between blows,

`If—you—go—on—like—this,—you'll—be—no—better—than—that—young—Brodribb—cousin—of—yours,—who's—brought—disgrace—upon—the—family!'

That '—young—Brodribb—cousin' was, in fact, known to the theatre-going audiences all over the English-speaking world, as Henry Irving: but the old woman always referred to the stage as `The Devil's Playground', and that her relative was the idol of the whole country, acclaimed everywhere, to her signified nothing; indeed worse than nothing. The wages of sin were death, and not even a knighthood — the first ever conferred upon a member of his profession — could modify that well-known decree, or moderate the sentence of doom that it pronounced.

From Sitwell, Noble Essences, pp. 210-211.

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