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and is a favourable specimen of his wit and ingenuity.
MR. LISTON TO THE EDITOR.
Sın,-My benefit takes place this evening at Covent Garden Theatre, and, I doubt not, will be splendidly attended ; several parties in the first circle of fashion were made the moment it was announced. I shall perform Fogrum in « The Slave,' and Leporello in “ The Libertine;" and in the delineation of those arduous characters, I shall display much feeling and discrimination, together with inuch taste in my dresses and elegance in my manner.
The audience will be delighted with my exertions, and testify, by rapturous applause, their most decided approbation.
When we consider, in addition to my professional merits, the loveliness of my person, and the fascinations of my face, .which are only equalled by the amiability of my private character, having never “ pinched my children, nor kicked my wife out of bed,” there is no doubt but this puff will not be inserted in vain.
I am, Sir,
J. Liston. 28, King Street, June 10, 1817.
CHARLES Hulet was apprentice to the famous Edmund Curl, the bookseller, and learned, very early, the art of stage murders; for, acting the part of Alexander, in the kitchen, with an elbowchair for his Clytus, and a poker for his javelin,
he was so transported with histrionic fury, as to demolish the chair, with such noise and violence, that Curl called from the parlour to know what was the matter. “ Nothing, Sir," answered the --pprentice,“ but Alexander has killed Clytus.” Such being the turn of his head and the strength of his arm, it is no wonder that, after serving two years of his apprenticeship, his master allowed him to try his fortune on the stage of Lincoln's Inn Fields, where he remained for several years under the patronage of Quin. His income, however, not equalling his expenses, he embraced an offer of a larger salary from Gifford, and acted, at Goodman's Fields, several principal characters, as Henry VIII. Falstaff, Othello, Clytus, and Cassius. His performance of Clytus is considered by Davis to have been superior to Quin's representation of the same character.
Hulet was exceedingly corpulent, and this has been attributed to his drinking large quantities of porter and ale. He was a great feeder, and indolent to excess; careless of his dress, not to say sordidly 'negligent of his person. In conversation he was lively and facetious, extremely good-natured, and a most excellent mimic; but this talent, unlike many of its possessors, he
never exercised to the disadvantage of his fellowcomedians.
This valuable actor was lost to the public in the thirty-fifth year of his age, in rather a singular manner. He was happy, says Davies, in a fine, strong, clear, melodious pipe, and acted Macheath in an admirable style. His being too sensible of the great power of his voice, was the immediate cause of his death ; he took an idle pleasure in stealing unperceived on a person, and deafening him with a loud hem, to show the strength and firmness of his lungs. As he was practising this trick one morning, at rehearsal, by an extraordinary effort he broke a blood vessel, of which accident he died at the end of twenty-four hours, his case being judged desperate, and two eminent physicians, who were sent for on the occasion, refusing (it is said) to prescribe.
FARINELLI. AFTER this celebrated singer had left England, Philip, the then King of Spain, was languishing under a complaint for which there was no cure but music. Farinelli repaired to Madrid without delay, where he ingratiated himself with the Court to such a degree, that in a short time
he received a pension of three hundred pounds per annum, with a coach and equipage kept for bim at the King's expense.
Ferdinand continued that attachment so eminently displayed by Philip, and even went beyond his predecessor in liberality. This fortunate foreigner was honoured with the Cross of Calatrava, one of the most ancient orders of Knighthood in Spain. Whilst he was undergoing the ceremony of the investiture, and the spurs were being fixed to his heels, according to the custom of the knighthood, an old Spanish noble, disgusted by the prostitution of such honour, could not forbear exclaiming: “ Well!
, every country has its customs-in England, they arm their game-cocks with spurs-in Spain, I find they put them upon capons."
INTERPOLATIONS OF ACTORS.
That particular class of actors, who have received the appropriate name of " low comedians," have, åt times, been justly blamed, for adding to the author's text, and, in the words of Shakspeare, “ speaking more than is set down for them.”
Tarleton and 'Kempe, the two best Clowns of our early stage, were men of exceeding ready wit
and flowing humour, which often carried them away from the business of the scene. Such, however, was the estimation in which they were held by the audience of those days, that this practice, which would at present be considered a gross indecency and an insult to the spectators, was then, and for many years afterwards, not only tolerated, but applauded.
Will. Pinkethman, of merry memory, who flourished rather more than a century ago, was guilty of this fault to a great excess, and held such full possession of the galleries, that he would frequently maintain a discourse with them of several minutes' duration. To fine him for this offence was useless; he could not abandon his propensity, and the managers were too generous to curtail his income of “ its fair proportions." He and Wilks, at length, came to the following whimsical agreement upon the subject; that whenever Pinkethman was guilty of corresponding with the gods, he should receive on his back three smart strokes of Wilks's cane. This fine was in all probability never exacted. One instance of his unseasonable drollery will suffice.
In the “ Recruiting Officer," Wilks was the Captain Plume (one of his best characters) and