Ethel Barrymore and Co. (2).

This sketch was performed for the first time in 1882. It is old-fashioned, artificial at times, and the trick by which tears are wrung from the most hardened is as palpable as the players themselves, and yet it strikes home. It is a domestic tragedy showing how husband and wife, who still love each other, unconsciously drift apart, each one thinking the other careless and callous. Lady Gwendoline Bloomfield (Ethel Barrymore), after the loss of her child, turns to frivolous society for comfort, dawdling about with one Sir Anthony. Sir Geoffrey Bloomfield (Charles Dalton) is following in the wake of some Duchess or other. Husband and Wife seldom meet and a barrier seems to have grown up between them. They bicker and quarrel, when they do meet, and the house divided seems ready to fall. The woman, who has steeled her heart, and is ready to break the marriage tie to free herself from the mockery, is touched when she finds her husband has been sleeping in the nursery, which long since has been deserted by their only child. Coming from the opera, she decides to have a talk with Sir Geoffrey and asks him to get her some needlework that she may work for the Red Cross. By a mistake, while rummaging among parcels, he finds one containing two little silk shoes. And, herein are the tears. In the midst of the high quarrel the woman undoes the parcel, and, there before her eyes, are the shoes worn by the little feet that “have found the path to haven.” In the playing of this scene Miss Barrymore has perhaps never reached a higher mark. It hits the heart a blow that is irresistible. Mr. Dalton is effective as the husband, giving a fine, clean-cut performance.
Variety, Volume XXXVI, no.9, October 31, 1914.