Изображения страниц

says the Doctor, “ what is the price of a good stick?"_“Sixpence," said Tom. _“Then buy me a shilling one," added the Doctor; “for, on the night he does so, I'll be in the stage-box; and if the rascal attempts it, I'll do myself justice on his carcass, in face of that audience, who, witnessing my disgrace, shall also be spectators of his punishment.”—Foote, on hearing this, very wisely abandoned his project.


The characters of Sir Bashful Constant and his lady, in this play, are said to have actually been taken from real life. Mr. French, a cousin to Mr. Murphy, a gentleman of fortune, who resided in Hanover square, in the house afterwards occupied by Mrs. Piozzi, was much attached to his wife, but reluctant to show his conjugal affection. He amply supplied her with means, but affected to object to her numerous visitors of rank, though he never joined her evening parties; and was proud of seeing her looking-glasses adorned with cards of invitation from the nobility.

FARQUHAR'S LAST MOMENTS. FARQUHAR died during the successful run of the “ Beaux Stratagem.” Mr. Wilkes often visited him in his illness. On one of these visits, Wilkes told Farquhar, that Mrs. Oldfield thought that he dealt too freely with the character of Mrs. Sullen, in giving her to Archer without a proper divorce, which was not a security for her honour, To salve that," replied the author, “I'll get a real divorce.--I'll marry her myself, and give her

, my bond, she sball be a real widow in less than a fortnight.”



LAUGHTER is, by no means, an unequivocal symptom of a merry heart :- there is a remarkable anecdote of Carlini, the drollest buffoon ever known on the Italian stage, at Paris. A French physician, being consulted by a person who was subject to the most gloomy fits of melancholy, advised his patient to mix in scenes of gaiety ; and, particularly, to frequent the Italian theatre : “ And (said he) if Carlini does not dispel your gloomy complaint, your case must be desperate indeed!"_" Alas, Sir! (replied the patient,) I myself am Carlini: but while I divert all Paris with mirth, and make them almost die with laughter, I am, myself, actually dying with chagrin and melancholy !”

Immoderate laughter, like the immoderate use of strong cordials, gives only a temporary appearance of cheerfulness, which is soon terminated by an increased depression of spirits.


A LADY of this name was formerly an actress at the Hull Theatre, and between her and Mrs. Hudson, of the same company, violent quarrels and disputes were continually arising ; so much so, that each had a party distinguished by the appellations of the “ Montagues, and the Capulets.” On January 3, 1777, Henry II.” was appointed to be performed for Mrs. Hudson's benefit; Rosamond by Mrs. Hudson, and the Queen by Mrs. Montague. This was so repugnant to the inclination of the latter lady, that she sulked, and would not study the part. When the play was to have begun, an apology was made, stating that “illness had prevented Mrs. Montague from studying the part of Queen Elinor, and, therefore, she begged

[ocr errors]

to be permitted to read it.” Mrs. Hudson's friends were instantly inflamed; and, indeed, the whole of the audience declared that Mrs. M.must appear, and give an account of her conduct. At last, after a continued uproar and confusion, Queen Elinor appeared in a rage. She said, she would read, or she would not perform the part at all; illness, and study for her own benefit, had prevented her. The audience, with one voice, told her, that if she did not perform the part, as was her duty, she must depart that instant; for, rather than submit to such intentional insult and effrontery, they would desire the cook maid from the ale house to read it!—On which she placed herself in a tragic attitude, and having obtained, by this stratagem, a moment's truce, said aloud, " So, I may not be permitted to read the Queen?"-“ No, No, No! Off, Off, Off !"_"Well, then," said she, curse you

all!" Upon this, she threw the book into the pit, and made her exit, amid showers of disapprobation; but not entirely without laughter from those who smiled at the tumult, and enjoyed the storm.”

" DIDO." Of this tragedy, the production of Joseph Reed, author of the “Register Office,” Mr. Nicholls, in his “ Literary Anecdotes,” gives some curious particulars. He also relates an anecdote of Johnson concerning it. “ It happened that I was in Bolt Court on the day that Henderson, the justly celebrated actor, was first introduced to Dr. Johnson ; and the conversation turning on dramatic subjects, Henderson asked the Doctor's opinion of “ Dido," and its author.

Sir,” said Johnson, “ I never did the man an injury, yet he would read his tragedy to me.”

[ocr errors]

HELVIOT, THE FRENCH ACTOR. Helviot, a celebrated French actor, was one day walking on the Boulevards at Paris, accompanied by Baptiste and his lady, when they were attracted by the sounds of a harp, played by an old beggar. As the talent of the harper was not of the first order, he obtained but little notice from the Parisian promenaders. Helviot, however, was so much interested for him, that he stept aside with his companions, to propose rendering him a service. Madame Baptiste lowered her veil, and sat down to the harp; while her husband and Helviot accompanied her in a trial of their voices. The excellence of the performance

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »