Изображения страниц

and received a salary from them for writing drolls, which were generally approved. He was also obliged, in his old age, to appear as a performer in these wretched theatrical exhibitions; and in a farce, called "St. George of England," acted a Dragon, inclosed in a case of green leather of his own invention. To this circumstance Dr. Young alludes, in the following lines in his epistle to Pope :

"Poor Elkanah, all other changes past,

For bread, in Smithfield, dragons hiss'd at last;
Spit streams of fire, to make the butchers gape,
And found his manners suited to his shape."


At last, he obtained admission to the Charter House, and died there, Feb. 12, 1723-4. writer of a periodical paper, entitled The Briton, speaks of him as then just dead; and adds," he was a man of tall stature, red face, short black hair, lived in the city, and had a numerous poetical issue, but shared the misfortune of several other gentlemen,-to survive them all."


MR. CERVETTI, the famous player on the violincello, so well known at the Theatres by the nickname of Nosey, one night, during his performance

in the Orchestra, received a violent blow on the nose with a potatoe, thrown from the upper gallery; being a man of spirit, he, with difficulty, contained himself till the conclusion of the piece, when running up into the gallery, and demanding who was the scoundrel that dared to assault him, the man being pointed out, Cervetti seized him by the collar, dragged him into the passage, and gave him a hearty thrashing.

Some years after, when returning from a ride, he met, near Paddington, a cart-load of convicts going to Tyburn. One of them, recognizing him, cried out, Nosey! and telling the surrounding populace that he had something of importance to say to Nosey; Cervetti was stopped, and his horse led up to the cart, where he soon recognized the man who had thrown the potatoe, who told him that being just about to leave the world, and wishing to die in peace with all mankind, he had taken the liberty of stopping him to ask his forgiveness for the offence he had formerly committed, and to assure him of his entire forgiveness, for the drubbing he had inflicted on him; then, wishing him a good day, he bid the carman drive This story was often related by Cervetti to his friends.




A SET of strolling players, in Cardinal Richelieu's time, had met with success in performing farces of the lowest kind, so that the company of the Hotel-de-Bourgogne complained of them to the Cardinal; who, being fond of every thing dramatic, sent for them to perform before him in the Palais Royal, which they did so much to his satisfaction that he would not forbid their performance.

The piece they exhibited before him is too curious to be omitted here. Gros Guillaume, one of the principal characters in this exhibition, who is represented to be as thick as he was long, and who often, by means of a dress with hoops stretched across, formed himself into the figure of a hogshead, was, in this farce, supposed to be the wife of Turlupin, who, jealous of Garguille, is determined to cut off her head. Infuriated with this idea, he seizes her by the hair, with a drawn sabre in his hand; while she, upon her knees, conjures him, by every thing that was tender, to abate his anger.

She first reminds him of their past loves and courtships-how she rubbed his back, when he

had the rheumatism; and his belly, when he had the gripes; and how particularly charmed she was with him when he wore his dear little flannel night cap, but all in vain! "Will nothing. move thee?" cried this amiable fair one, in a fit of the last despair" Then, O, thou barbarian! think of the bacon and cabbage I fried for your supper yesterday evening."-" Oh, the sorceress!" cried Turlupin,-" I can't resist her-she knows how to take me by my foible—the bacon! -the bacon quite unmans me; and the very fat is now rising in my stomach :-Live on, thou charmer fry cabbage, and be dutiful."



THE following is a succinct Analysis of this Morality; the main object of which was, to inculcate great reverence for Old Mother Church, and the superstitions which she had introduced.

The Subject of the piece is, the summoning of Man out of the World, by Death; and its Moral, that nothing will then avail him but a wellspent life, and the comforts of religion. This

Subject and Moralare opened by the Messenger, (for that was the name generally given by our ancestors to the Prologue, on their rude Stage.) Then, God is represented; who, after some general complaints on the degeneracy of mankind, calls for Death, and orders him to bring before his tribunal Every-man, for so is called the personage who represents the human race. Everyman appears, and receives the summons with all the marks of confusion and terror; and, when Death is withdrawn, he applies for relief in this distress to Fellowship, Kindred, and Goods, (or Riches,) but they all successively renounce and forsake him. In this disconsolate state, he betakes himself to Good-deeds, who, after upbraiding him with his long neglect of her, introduces him to her sister, Knowledge, and she leads him to the holy man, Confession, who appoints him penance; this he inflicts upon himself, on the Stage; and then withdraws to receive the Sacrament, of the Priest. On his return, he begins to wax faint; and after Strength, Beauty, Discretion, and Fivewits, have all taken their final leave of him, gradually expires upon the Stage; Good-deeds still accompanying him to the last. Then an Angel

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »