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and were not backward in bestowing upon to give a night's performance for the benefit her their well-merited applause.
of the General Infirmary and Public Charity The following summer called her again of that towi. This was accepted of, some to Dublin and Edinburgh ; and so great hundreds were raised, and her calumniators was the curiosity to see her become, that found it in vain to bring forward any further the Manager of a country theatre in the charges of avarice against her in that place. north of Ireland, whose greatest receipts Such, indeed, was the general impresperhaps had never amounted to 50l. per sion made by her public and private chanight, was induced to offer her that sum racter, that numberless anonymous preper night, for tea nights performance. To sents, some of them very valuable, were sent enable him to do this iu a small theatre, he to her; and a very elegant silver urn, with was obliged to raise the boxes from three the motto, “a reward to merit," was sent shillings to seven, to place the pit upon an after her to London, without her ever findequal footing, and to treble the admission ing out the generous donor. to the gallery ; yet such was the anxiety to On her arrival in London, her unjust and see her perform that he found it an excel- ungenerons enemies again attempted to in. Jent speculation. On the first night, in- jure lier in the public opinion, by false deed, the fear of a crowd kept so many statements of her conduct to an unhappy away, that she played almost to empty sister. In this too they were so far suc. benches, and very generously the next cessful as to excite the indignation of the morning offered to relieve the Manager London audience against her, and in confrom his engagement, but he determined to sequence she was not only hissed but rehazard another evening, on which and ceived with repeated cries of “ off! Off!!". every succeeding one, the crowd was so on her first appearance in the winter of great as to threaten suffocation ; nay, many 1784. To this illiberal attack she would were content to get in by bribery at eight undoubtedly have fallen a victim, had in the morning, and wait, patiently we will not both Mr. Siddoi:s and Mr. Kemble not say, until seven in the evening, the exerted their utmost efforts to obtain her usual liour of performance.
a hearing, when she calmly refuted every In this northeru excursion she was not charge, and by the potent voice of conscionly patronized, but actually accompanied ous innocence alone, convinced the public by her early patroness, Mrs. O'Neil, whose of the malignity and falsehood of her ene. husband had an ancient and elegant estate mies. in the neighbourhood; and the Irish were This was a contest from which many, proud of displaying to her on all occasions and those of the most virtuous, would their so much boasted hospitality.
have been glad to escape; perhaps Mrs. At this period Mrs. Siddons had many Siddons herself, from a conscious secling active enemies, who endeavoured, by ac of innocence, might have hanghtily shrunk cusations of avarice particularly, to injure from further debate ; indeed, so indignant her in her private character, when they | was her feelings that she had determined, could no longer do it in her public one. as soon as justice was done to her, to retire These envious personages even followed into Wales, and live upon the little fortune her through her various country engage- | she had already saved. The public, lowments, and even in the country town of ever, were now as eager to do her every Belfast, were active in disseminating that justice, as they had been perhaps too ready charge, which they knew was a high crime to listen to her calumniators, and they did and misdemeanour in the eye of the Irish not forget that in rendering justice to her, geutry. To this, however, she gave a they were doing justice to themselves, in severe rebuke by her conduct on leaving securing the possession of such an estimable the town; for, in a polite note addressed actress. She was accordingly prevailed to the chief magistrate, she expressed her upon by some well-judging friends, and ingratitude for the attentions which had been Auenced, doubtless, by a laudable desire to shewn her, and very handsomely offered provide for lier family, to renew her ens
gagements, aud in a short time all was collected, however, that the spirited conforgotten.
duct of Mrs. Siddons soon put a stop to The renewal of royal favour was suffi the malevolent attempts of calumny, not cient, indeed to put down every calumuy, | only to injure her fame, but to attack her and she was frequently honoured with in even in the private recesses of domestic vitations both to Buckingham-House and life. Of Mr. Siddons, however, the part. Windsor, for the purpose of reciting dra ner of her long and respectable life, the matic pieces, in which she and her brother chosen husband of her early youth, she was were considered to excel.
shortly after deprived; but her conduct as a Her winters were now spent on the widow has been as exemplary, as it had London boards, and her summers either hitherto been in the character of a wife in lucrative excursions to the provincial and mother., theatres, or in visits to many noble fa: Shortly after Mr. John Kemble becamex milies, with whom her private worth a proprietor and stage-manager of Coventand public merit had placed her upou | Garden, she transferred her services to that terms of the most friendly intimacy; and | theatre, greatly to its emolument, and not she was now better enabled than ever to less to her owl; but it is needless to recadedicate some portion of her time to pri- pitulate the common-place theatrical events vale friendship, as her arduous exertions, which have for the few latter years filled joined to a strict but praiseworthy eco up her life, sometimes on the metropolitan nomy, had realized a handsome inde- | boards, and at others at Edinubrgh, and pendence, which was first employed to the various provincial resorts of the Tragic make her a shareholder, and afterwards Muse.* converted into a mortgage on Drury-Lane Repeated attacks of ill health, and a na. theatre.
tural wish for ease and retirement have seAbout this time a heavy domestic mis veral times induced her to form the resofortune, in the loss of an amiable and be
lution of quitting the stage for ever; but loved daughter, withdrew her for some the public voice, and perhaps a proper retime from the public eye; but her ardent gard for the interests of her young deaffection for the remaining branches of an scendants, have very fortunately hitherto estimable family, prevented her from sink- il prevented her from putting that design ing under this calamity, and induced her into execution : how far her present deagain to undertake her professional exer claration will be permitted to take place, tions.
remains to be decided at the close of the She was now arrived at a time of life that
present season. required some relaxation, and made it ue
In our next we shall enter into a critical cessary for her to regulate herexertions by a due regard to her health ; she therefore description of the professional character of made a new engagement with the Drury. if any can be found, her defects, in the
Mrs. Siddons; point out her merits, and, Lane proprietors, ou terms rather unusual,
wide range of characters which she has and which would only have been conceded to an actress of her merit and worth; this performed on the British stage. was, to be paid a stipulated sum for each night's performance, and these to be regulated in a great measure by her own con
* It is unnecessary here to enter on the late venience.
attack of Mrs G's, the public are already Though now past the meridian of life,
in possession of the facts. malice could not be at rest; it will be re
HYMENLA IN SEARCH OF A HUSBAND.
(Continued from Page 9.)
* My dear Hymenæa," said my aunt,
why could you prefer such a party? Lady Bellamont has invited us to-morrow What amusement do you seek in company to one of the most delightful parties in the so totally unlike you?" world; it is one more in the nature of our “I hear they are very prudent good kind country parties thau any of our fashionable of fashionable people," said my aunt; “aud
You must know, my dear, that a I have a desire to know what this kind of few miles from this there lives one of those people are." original antidiluvian characters which are The two gentlemen who accompanied now only visible once in a century, and me seemed to have no other purpose but to which are the remains of the last century | exhibit themselves off to the best advanperpetuated by the concurrence of humour tage. One of them was a coxcomb who and fortune. Have you never heard any had lately come from Russia; and in order mentiou of Sir Denpis O'Neal O'Carrol?" to shew that he was a travelled man, he had
“I have frequ tly heard this name," re suffered his whiskers to grow an inordinate plied I; “and it has always been mention- | length, and though in the height of sumed in a tone of respect, and at the same mer, wore a furred great coat. The other time with a smile, as if there were some- || gentleman was altogether as finical as the thing ludicrous about it.”
other was rough. He had a green coat, a “ You are right," said my aunt; "the white satin waistcoat, &c. and white silk charities, the general benevolence, the ho- stockings. He was an excellent poet, as I nest good-bumour of the worthy Baronet, | understood, and altogether a gentleman of have rendered him an object of the esteem very good learning and accomplishments, of every one, whilst his whimsicalities exist but, without being a fool, the most finished in a degree which would be humorous coxcomb I have ever seen. He was, moreeven on the stage."
over, a man of fortune, and much courted “ Be so kind as to describe him to me,” || for his poetical celebrity. said I.
“* It is a famous cold day," said he, rub“ No," replied my aunt; “I will not || bing his hands. spoil the treat of the comedy by auticipat
“A cold day!" said I; “ why, it is miding its piot.”
summer, Sir, and I think as fine a day as Shortly afterwards we were summoned jl ever shone in the heavens.” to our carriage; and two gentlemen having
“ Sir Charles and myself,” replied the requested permission to have seats in our gentleman, looking at his friend's great coach, had the goodness to entertain us by coat with an air of raillery, “ are unfortuthe way. Lady Bellamont and wyself, and nate enough to differ from you." the two above gentlemen, made up the “ Perhaps the gentleman is unwell,” said party in my aunt's carriage ; my aunt, for | Lady Bellamont. the sake of variety, which she sought in “I am lately from Russia, madam," reevery thing and at all times, having almost || plied Sir Charles. forced herself upon that of a gouty noble “ Yes, madam," said the other; “my man and his two maiden sisters.--" Good | friend was at St. Petersburgh this time Heaven! aunt,” exclaimed I, as she left three years, and in his terror of catching
cold he has worn this great coat ever “ Yes, madam, a second judgment of since."
Paris. My friend and myself both plead “ There is nothing like a prudent care," || guilty of the degree of coxcombry charged said I. " I knew a lady who had a cat upon us in our general reputation ; you are drowned in the Thames, and she never to determine between us, which has hit afterwards would allow a decanter of water upon the more agreeable kind. Ilere is to be put on the side-board for fear of acci. brother Bruin from Russia, ladies, and mydents.”
self from the Inns of Court, a Tem; lar at " He, he, he, that is very good," said the your service.” gentleman in the green coat.
“If you ask me in jest," said I, “ I should “ And I kuew a gentleman,” said Sir answer you in the same way; but if you Charles, “who made a vow to walk in his really demand my opinion in earnest, I shirt, as an act of penance, every moon
should not hesitate to give it you ; but you light night in the month ; but his confessor must not expect that I should concur in had the consideration to change it to walk- || defending that mistaken estimate of maning in satin waistcoat and breeches every ners which you seem to have made. The day in the day time."
manners of a country are of infinitely Nay," replied the other, “ since you more consequence than it may appear to have so directly addressed yourself to me, superficial reasoners, and if those manners I will take these ladies as judges between are squared according to a mistaken rule, it us - Ladies, we have both the reputation, is impossible to say where the mischief will of being what the people term coxcombs; end. And you will pardon me for observand very ridiculous coxcombs too, by my ing, gentlemen, that the errors of men of faith. There is Sir Charles, for example, | sense are infinitely more dangerous than will any one deny that a more palpable
those of mere coxcombs. If young men, and egregious coxcomb ever issued from a I speak of very young men, spe any brile lady's band-box."
liant folly in a man esteemed of good sense, Sir Charles did not seem to relish this and talents, they usually adopt him as their kind of raillery.
example and model. The errors, or even “ And as to myself,” continued the vices, of known fools, do little mischief with gentleman, “ I plead guilty; I have lived | respect to examples; but when follies are long enough in the town and amongst the set off by a splendor which does uot inladies, to know that no character is more trinsically belong to them, a splendor which generally estimable and more universally they derive merely from the extraneous acceptable than that of the coxcomb. | circumstances with which they are conLady Mary Wortley Montague says in | nected, it is then that they become dangerone of her letters, that she would rather | ous." be a luxurious, gay, gallant Turkish Ba
“ You at the same time give these gentle. shaw, than Sir Isaac Newton; and for my
men a decent hit,” said Lady Bellamont, own part and Sir Charles's there, I will “and pay them a high compliment.” take upon myself to speak for both of us, This conversation was interrupted by ar, we would rather be agreeable coxcombs || riving at the door of Sir Dennis O'Neal in the eyes of the ladies, than orators as O'Carrol's park. The Lodge was a very celebrated as Cicero or Chatham."
ancient structure. It was at once a parkSir Charles here nodded assent.
gate and an inn, and seemed in better times “Then will you do us the favour," said to have been a castle of some ancicut Baron. the gentleman in green, “ to determine The park answered to the character of the this contest which has arisen between us." || lodge and to that of the owner.
It was a “ What contest?" said I; “
you seem very spacious meadow, on the east and perfectly to agree."
west side of which (the park lying orth “ The contest is, which is the most of a and south) were two very wide avenues, coxcomb,” said Lady Bellamont, “ if I through which the roads pass to the house, understand you right.”
These avenues were on each side lined by No. XXIX. Vol. V.-N.S.
trees which seemed as ancient as the an farmer-looking stout man, at some distance
which he has been educated. He has a “ This is a delightful solitude," said Lady | tremendous hatred of the town and of every Bellamont.
thing belonging to it. He has one parti“ Yes," replied one of the gentlemen ; || cular humour, and that is, of acting in a " there is not a more beautiful park in the kind of disguise. In this way, he says, he kingdom ; one at the same time so irregular can come to the truth of the conduct of his and beautiful in its surface and so well || servants and tenants, and whether they ina wooded."
jure those with whose interests they are “I can almost imagine myself in one of trusted. I will take upon me to say, that those woods so romantically described by
he is now talking to the gipsies in that chaour Shakespeare," said I; “ why might it
racter, and that they do not know to whom not be at such a stream as this that Jaques they are speaking; they think him at best moralized on the variety of beasts, and on some country farmer, and little imagine that the uncertainty of human life.
he is the owner of some thousand of acres “ Yes," replied Lady Bellamont; “but around him.” whence is it, Hymenæa, that Shakespeare Whilst my lady was saying this, the does not give half the pleasure on the stage Baronet suddenly turned his head, and seewhich we receive from him in the closet?" ing the coach in the act of drawing up to
“ It is," replied I, “ because no reality can his door, lie walked towards his house. We ever come up to the vigorous conception | saw enough to observe, that with all the of a poetic imagination. I have heard one rough external of a country farmer, bis of our best and most natural actresses de countenance and manner had the evident clare in a cursory conversation, that the impression of his actual condition in life. delight of her youth was the reading of He had a manly politeness, and a natural the Midsummer Night's Dream and As and unborrowed grace of manners which You Like It, of Shakespeare, and that no at once marked him off for the honest man thing so perfectly convinced her of the iu- 1 and the gentleman. He had something, comparable greatness and beauty of that however, boyish in his demeanour, for poet as the different feelings excited by though he was apparently walking gracereading him, and by seeing him represent- || fully towards the house, he would now and ed. The stage can give no adequate re then stop to take up a stone, and throw it at presentation of him. He can only be duly a crow which happened to cross bis way. appreciated by the imagination which he The gipsies hollowed aloud after him, callhas himself animated and awakened." ing him by the term of farmer, and telling
“Who is that gentleman talking to these | him if he would returu they would tell his gipsies?" said one of the gentlemen in our fortune. carriage, at the same time pointing to a
(To be continued.)