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but as he had a view only to what he had obtained, namely, a supper and a bed, he felt not the smallest inclination to dare “ the tented field.”
He, therefore, quitted his military friends somewhat abruptly, choosing rather to enlist under the banners of Melpomene than those of Mars, and, that evening, proceeded on his journey, and reached Woodstock. Here he applied at one or two public houses for lodging, but in vain ; no doubt his appearance betrayed his poverty. Again his good genius relieved him from distress, as, at a house, where he was making his request, he was recognized by a person, who had left Liverpool a few weeks before, in consequence of a law suit, in which a verdict had been given against him. At Liverpool this man had followed the business of a gardener, which he quitted on the above occasion, and had fled to this place, where, in the magnificent gardens of Blenheim, he again wielded the spade.
Much pleased at meeting Munden, owing to a grateful remembrance of services which our actor had rendered him, during the time he was a clerk to the gentleman who defended his suit, he ministered to his wants, and gave our ad. venturer a comfortable proof that good offices are not always forgotten. In the morning he pursued his journey. Nothing material happened till he fortunately met a friend near Acton, to whom he had written from Oxford, to meet him on the road with money,--fortunately, it may be said for a second day's travels and fasting had nearly exhausted his strength, and he was just sinking beneath the pressure of hunger and fatigue.
Of all the trees that I have known,
Of pippin, nonpareil, and warden,
The Vocal Tree of Covent Garden.
That dances with the elfin train,
And seek the Tree of Drury Lane.
RACINE AND THE YOUNG AUTHOR.
Adherbal, Roi de Numidie," is a tragedy written by La Graige Chancel, of which he gives the following interesting anecdotes: > "When I supposed I had finished my tragedy, I ventured to lay it before the Princess de Continotwithstanding the many defects, the Princess found enough in it to attract her attention, and therefore sent to the celebrated Racine, and kindly begged him to read a piece, written by a young gentleman, a page in her service, and freely and unequivocally to give her his opinion of it. Racine kept it a week, then returned it to the princess, and told her that he had read my tragedy withi astonishment. That, to be sure, it was defective in many respects, but that if her highness would suffer me sometimes to come and advise with him, it would shortly be in such a state as to be successfully represented. I failed not, therefore, to be with him every day; and I can truly affirm, that I learned more from him than from all the books I had read. He sometimes took a pleasure in conversing on the different subjects, fabulous and historical, which he had considered, and in which he discovered interesting situations; failing not to acquaint me with them. My tragedy being finished, it was presented and received. Instead of “ Jugurtha," under which title a tragedy, by Pechantré, had been lately condemned, it was determined to call it“ Adherbal.” The Prince de Conti, who was kind enough to be present at the first representation, placed me beside himself upon the stage,
saying that my youth would shut the mouth of criticism. Racine, who, from devotion, or from motives of policy, no longer frequented the Theatre, (the King having prescribed the same privation to himself,) was, however, present the first time of performance, and seemed to take extreme pleasure, every time I was applauded.”
THE CURTAIN THEATRE.
IF the Globe is celebrated for its connexion with the imperishable name of Shakspeare, the Curtain is no less honoured by the circumstance of Ben Jonson having acted there, before he attained celebrity as an author. One of the best of the clowns of the age of Elizabeth, the inimitable Tarleton, whose appearance was always hailed by the spectators with shouts of laughter, even before he had uttered a word, and who was famous for his extempore wit, also belonged to this Theatre. Notwithstanding their powerful attractions, the Curtain never seems to have attained above a secondary rank ; for Aubrey, who wrote in 1678, speaks of it as a kind of nursery, or obscure Play House, called the “Green Curtain,' situated in the suburbs towards Shoreditch.” Its situation, as well as that of another house called, par excellence, the Theatre, is clearly ascertained by the following passage in Stowe's Survey, which appears entirely to have escaped the notice of Theatrical critics, who have, one after another, without rhyme or reason, assigned different and even opposite parts of the town for the situation of the latter.
- There was," says Stowe,” formerly, in this neighbourhood, a famous well called Holy-well, (the name of which still survives in Holywell Lane,) and a very ancient building, called the Priory of St. John the Baptist, which being pulled down, on the suppression of the Monasteries, &c. in the reign of Henry the Eighth, many houses were erected there for the lodging of Noblemen; and near thereunto are builded two public houses for acting comedies, tragedies, and histories whereof the one is called the Curtain, the other the Theatre, both standing on the south-west side, towards the fields."
This Theatre, to judge from its name, was probably the first building erected in or near the metropolis, for the exhibition of plays; and the Curtain probably derived its name from its being the first 10 adopt that very necessary appendage to the stage. The Curtain Road took its name from this