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was in the habit of keeping a great many young ladies about her person, whose business was to write what she dictated. Some of them she made sleep in a room contiguous to that in which her Grace lay, that they might be ready, at the sound of her bell, to rise at any hour of the night, and note down any inspirations she might be favoured with.
Mr. Jacob says, that “ she was the most voluminous writer of all the female poets; that she had a great deal of wit, and a more than ordinary propensity to dramatic poetry.”
Mr. Langbaine also tells us, that “ all the language and plots of her plays were her own, which (says he) is a commendation preferable to fame built on other people's foundation, and will very well atone for some faults in her numerous productions.”
She died in London, in 1703, and lies buried in Westminster Abbey.
CHARLES THE FIRST, AT OXFORD.
WHILE Archbishop Laud was Chancellor of Oxford, he entertained Charles I. his Queen, and many of the nobility, in St. John's College library, and, after dinner, a play was exhibited
before them in the College Hall. “The college,” says Laud, was at that time so well furnished, as that they did not borrow any one actor from any college in town. The play ended, the King and Queen went to Christ Church, retired and supped privately, and, about 8 o'clock, went oùt into the hall to see another play, which was upon a piece of a Persian story, very well penned and acted, and the strangeness of the Persian habits gave great content; so that all men came forth from it
well satisfied. And the Queen liked it so well, that she afterwards sent to me to have the apparel sent to Hampton Court, that she might see her own players act it over again, and see whether they could do it as well as 'twas done in the university. I caused the university to send both the clothes and the perspectives of the stage, and the play was acted at Hampton Court in November fol lowing. And, by all men's confession, the players came short of the university actors. Then I humbly desired of the King and the Queen, that neither the play, nor clothes, nor stage, might come into the hands and use of the common players abroad, which was graciously granted."
COURAGEOUS TURK." A tragedy of this name, by Thomas Goff, was played by the students at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1632. Compared with the ranting absurdities of this piece, the tragedies of Lee are sober de. clamations. The hero, on the appearance of a comet, addressed the following question to the stars.
.“ How now, ye heavens! grow you So proud, that you must needs put on curl'd locks, And clothe yourselves in periwigs of fire?"
THOMSON AND QUIN.
Thomson, the poet, did not immediately enjoy a fortune equal to his merit and reputation. Upon his first arrival in London, he was in very narrow circumstances, and was many times distressed even for a dinner, and had been obliged to get into debt. On the publication of his “Seasons,” one of his creditors arrested him, thinking that a proper opportunity to get his money. The report of this misfortune reached the ears of Quin, who had read “The Seasons,” but had never seen the author; and he was told that Thomson was in a sponging house in Holborn. Thither Quin went; and, on being admitted to his
chamber, Sir,” said he,“ you don't know me; my name is Quin.” Thomson replied, though he could not boast the honour of a personal acquaintance, he was no stranger either to his name, or to his merit." Quin then told him he was come to sup with him, and that he had already ordered the cook to provide supper, which he hoped he would excuse. When supper was over, and the glass had gone briskly about, “ Let us talk upon business now," said Quin;
now is the time.” Thomson declared that he was ready to serve him, as far as his capacity would reach, in any thing he should command (thinking he was come about some affairs relating to the drama). “Sir," said Quin,“ you mistake me. I am in your debt. I owe you a hundred pounds, and am come to pay you." Thomson, with a disconsolate air, replied, “ that as he was a gentleman whom he never offended, he wondered that he should take advantage of such an opportunity to insult him in his misfortunes.” “ No," said Quin, raising his voice,
upon my honour, that is not my intention, and to prove my sincerity, there it is;" (laying a banknote of that value before him.) Thomson, in astonishment, begged he would explain himself.
Why,” said Quin, “as to the debt which I have discharged, I'll tell you ;-this is the way it has been contracted. I read, the other day, your poem of · The Seasons;' the pleasure which it gave me called forth my gratitude; it struck me that as I had some property, I ought to make my will, and to make those the legatees to whom I was under some obligation. Consequently, I have bequeathed a hundred pounds to the author of the poem of The Seasons. This morning, hearing that you were in this house, I thought I might as well have the pleasure of paying the money myself, as order my executors to pay it, when you would be no longer in need of it.” A present made in so delicate a manner, and under such circumstances, did not fail to be accepted; and Thomson left the house in company with his benefactor.
THE BAD MECHANIST.
HOPKINS, the Drury Lane prompter, once recommended to Garrick a man whom he wished to be engaged as a mechanist, to prepare the scenery for a new pantomime. To this application Garrick returned the following answer :
“I tell you what, Hopkins, the man will never