Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

wag.” He was then quietly placed on the bed with his imaginary Juliet, until the next morning, when he was discovered in his retreat, and conveyed home to his lodgings in a sedan chair. FOOTE'S BURLESQUE OF THE GRECIAN DRAMA.

Foote once told Lord Carlisle, that he had it in contemplation to bring out a piece, for the purpose of ridiculing the absurdities of the Grecian Drama.

The plan was as follows ;-He was to introduce but one character, who was to be a mock despotic monarch, to be attended by a chorus of tinkers, taylors, blacksmiths, musicians, bakers, &c. &c. The great personage was to strut about the stage, boast of the unlimited extent of his imperial power, threaten all with fire and sword, to take the city of London, storm the Tower, and even to threaten to dethrone the reigning sovereign himself. The chorus, terrified at these menaces and exploits, were then to fall upon their knees, tear their hair, beat their breasts, and supplicate his Most Imperial Highness, to spare the effusion of so much human blood; to which, after a conflict of contending passions, during the course of five acts, the hero was to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

agree, and then the piece was to conclude with a full hymn of thanksgiving for the deliverance of

individuals.

so many

GENEROSITY OF MR. KEAN. In the year 1817, when Mr. Kean was playing at Buxton, the prices were raised, and the house was quite full. Mr. K. was to have half of the money taken at the doors. Next day, the manager, as by agreement, carried the half to Mr. K.; but he being informed that the manager had experienced the frowns of fortune, refused to accept of it. * I'll have none of it,” (said he)" and my reason is this ; you have nine children to maintain, and I have only one."

[ocr errors]

PLOT OF A FARCE, ACTED BEFORE CHARLES IX.

OF FRANCE.

The following story will give the reader some idea of the Ancient Farce.

“ In the month of August, 1550, an advocate fell into such melancholy and alienation of mind, that he affirmed and believed himself to be dead. For this reason he would neither speak, laugh, eat, nor walk, but continued to lie in bed. He became, at last, so weak that it was every hour expected that he would expire, when a nephew of his wife hap

a

pened to arrive; who, after having endeavoured ineffectually to persuade his uncle to eat, began to think of effecting a cure by artifice : with this intent, he caused himself to be clothed in a winding sheet, in the manner of bodies about to be buried, except that his face was uncovered; and to be carried and placed on a table, with four lighted wax candles around him, in the chamber where his uncle was lying. Every thing was so well imitated, that no one who saw him could refrain from laughter; not even the very nurse of the sick advocate, afflicted as she was, nor the nephew himself, could forbear, he being moved by the strange grimaces of the persons around him endeavouring to contain themselves. The patient, for whom all this was done, asked his wife who was upon the table ? and she answered, • It is the corpse of your deceased nephew.'

Nay,' answered the sick man, how can he be dead, since I have just seen him laugh till his sides ached ? to which the wife answered, that the dead laughed. The advocate was desirous of making the experiment upon himself, ordered them to bring a looking glass, and tried whether he could laugh. Finding the thing very possible, he was persuaded that the dead had that faculty; and, with this, his cure began.

[ocr errors]

“The nephew, after having continued lying upon the table about three hours, asked for some food, that he might eat. A capon was presently brought to him, which he devoured, and likewise a pint of wine.

“Seeing this, the advocate asked whether the dead could eat? and being assured they could, and did, he then demanded some food, which was brought to him, and he ate with a good appetite. From this time, he continued to perform the actions of a man of sound understanding, and his melancholy went gradually. This history was made into a farce, then printed, and afterwards played before his Majesty, Charles IX."

[ocr errors]

MICHAEL STOPPELAER, THE ACTOR. This votary of the mimic art was a native of the Sister Isle, and had been educated at Trinity College, Dublin; but imbibing a love for acting, he quitted those academic bowers for the stage, in which pursuit he attained but little eminence. He was more celebrated for his blunders than for his acting, and for a singular faculty he possessed of uttering absurd speeches, and disagreeable truths, without any design to offend the party to whom they were addressed : one sample of his ability in that way will give the reader a more perfect idea of his character.

Rich was talking to some of his performers, when Stoppelaer was present, concerning the very disproportioned agreement he had just entered into with one of his tragedians, named Halland, when Stoppelaer stepped up to him and said, “ Upon my soul, sir, he got the blind side of you there.” Rich was somewhat nettled at this remark, and being apprehensive of hearing something from the same quarter still more offensive, he left the company. As soon as the manager was out of hearing, one of the party observed to Stoppelaer, that his speech was exceedingly improper, and greatly affronting, as every body knew that Mr. Rich had a great blemish in one

Upon my word (replied the un-. conscious Stoppelaer) I never heard of it before : I'll set the thing to rights, for I'll go immediately, and ask his pardon.”

EXTRAORDINARY PRECAUTION. At the end of “ Don Juan,” there is an air sung by the Don, in embracing one of his fair

In this air the words occur,“ Viva la Liberta!” not, of course, in the sense of politics, but in the sense of gallantry. It was thought

of his eyes.

ones.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »