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cook to Queen Anne,) that he soon after married her, and with hiin she lived happily until her decease, which happened December 1st, 1723.
EMERY, THE COMEDIAN. This admirable actor was, at one period of his career, celebrated for his personation of the incorruptible, but tender-hearted Sentinel, in “ Pizarro.”
One evening, « Pizarro" was advertised, and the audience, having waited beyond the usual time for the curtain to rise, became impatient; when, at length, an actor came forward, and informed the audience, that in consequence of the absence of a principal performer, they were obliged to request a few minutes longer indulgence. The actor was scarcely off the stage when Mr. John Kemble, dressed for Rolla, walked on and said,-" Ladies and Gentlemen, at the request of the principal performers in the play of this evening, I am to inform you, that the person alluded to is Mr. Emery!" The house received this explanation without any expression of disappointment. Scarcely had Mr. Kemble quitted the stage, when, dressed in a great coat, dirty boots, and a
face red with haste, and wet with perspiration, on rushed the culprit. Emery staid some moments before the audience, apparently much agitated and at length delivered himself to this effect“ Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the first time I have ever had occasion to appear before you as an apologist. As I have been the sole cause of the delay in your entertainment, allow me, shortly, to offer my excuse; when I am sure I shall obtain an acquittal, especially from the fair part of this brilliant assemblage. Ladies, (for you I must
I particularly address) my wife !"--and here the poor fellow's feelings almost overcame him“my wife was but an hour since brought to bed, and I"-thunders of applause interrupted the apology—“and I ran for the doctor.”_“You've
." said enough !” exclaimed a hundred tongues. “I could not leave her, ladies, until I knew she was safe."-"Bravo, Emery, you've said enough!"
” was re-echoed from all parts of the house. Emery was completely overpowered; and, after making another ineffectual attempt to proceed, retired ; having first placed his hand upon his heart, and bowed gratefully to all parts of the house.
The play proceeded without interruption, but it appeared that Emery had not forgotten his
obligation to Kemble ; for, in that scene before the prison in which Rolla tries to corrupt the sentinel by money, the following strange interruption occurred in the dialogue :
Rolla. Have you a wife? Sentinel. I have. Rolla. Children? Sentinel. I had two this morning--I have got three now.
Loud applause followed this retaliation, which continued so long, that the entire effect of the scene was lost; and Mr. Kemble, after waiting some time in awkward confusion, terminated it by abruptly rushing into the prison.
Sir Robert Walpole has the reputation of being the contriver of the Act of Parliament, for submitting theatrical performances to the inspection of the Lord Chamberlain, and, thereby, establishing a censorship on the drama, which would, at once, stop the voice of censure upon his long reign of power, from that quarter. The manner of effecting this purpose gave great offence.
An underling was procured to scribble a dra
matic piece, under the title of “ The Golden Rump," a farrago of obscenity, blasphemy, and political abuse; and, in short, a ridicuie of every moral and religious institution. It was then presented to Gifford, (one of the managers,) who, previously taught his part, brought it to the Minister. He, shocked at such a mass of enormity, carried it down to the House, recited some of the most exceptionable passages; and an act for submitting THE DRAMA, to the Lord Chamberlain's inspection, passed almost unanimously.
SHERIDAN, THOMSON, AND GARRICK. Mr. Thomas Sheridan, father of the celebrated Richard Brinsley Sheridan, used to relate the following anecdote:—When the famous Thomson, author of “ The Seasons," had his tragedy, called “ Tancred and Sigismunda,” performed at Drury Lane Theatre, several friends joined Mr. Sheridan to entreat Thomson to shorten speeches, which they foresaw would weary the audience : but they offended the poet, without effecting their purpose. Garrick, who played the part of Tancred, listened, and said nothing; but at rehearsals, though apparently perfect in his part, continued, occasionally, to take the prompter'
copy, and read. The first night, however, without a whisper of his intention, he curtailed his own part, wherever his judgment directed, and the applause he received was great; while Mr. Sheridan, and other actors, who had long and tedious parts, laboured on with great difficulty. The conduct of Garrick saved the piece; and Thomson, though enraged when he heard the first omissions, returned Garrick, in the end, his hearty thanks.
DEATH OF JOHN KEMBLE. An extract from a private letter from Lausanne, dated February 28, 1823, from which it appears, that he died in consequence of an attack of continued apoplexy, will best explain the particulars of the demise of this celebrated tragedian.
“Dear Sir, I have not forgotten your request, that, on my arrival at Lausanne, I should present your best recollections to your friend, Mr. Kemble. I came here on Monday evening, the 24th inst. and he died on the 26th inst. Our great tragedian is no more ; and he who, in histrionic art, could so well depict the final pangs of nature, has been called upon in turn to act the part in sad reality. On Sunday, the 23rd inst, he was, in his own estimation, so very comfortable, that he seemed, on that day, in particularly good spirits.
The next morning he arose, apparently quite well, breakfasted at nine, and, subsequently, went into an adjoining room