Page images

heavy and dull. Quin was monotonous, Mossop wanted variety and ease. Barry had too much amenity for the terrible agonies of Macbeth: Garrick, alone, could comprehend and execute the complicated passions of this character; from the meeting of the witches to the last scene, he was animated and consistent: the impressions made upon his mind by these unnatural hags were, at all times, visible.

Of Garrick and Mrs. Pritchard, in this play, Davies gives an animated picture :—The commission of the murder was conducted in terrifying whispers : what they spoke was heard, but more was learned from the agitation of mind, in their action and deportment. The dark colouring, given to the short abrupt speeches, made the scene awfully tremendous. The wonderful expression of heartfelt horror, when he shewed his bloody hands, only can be conceived by those who beheld him. Wilkes had improperly given the part to Mills, while Booth and Powel were doomed to the characters of Banquo and Lennox. One evening, a country 'squire, being heartily tired with Mills, seeing his bottle companion, Powel, appear in the fourth act, loudly called “ For God's sake, George, give me a speech, and let me go home.”

weston's WILL.

Weston, the comedian, a few weeks before his death, said to his friend, " If you will write for me, I will make

my will.” His friend complied, and Weston dictated, not piety, but strong sense and keen satire. I, Thomas Weston, comedian, hating all form and ceremony, shall use none in my will, but proceed more immediately to the explanation of my intentions. Imprimis. As from Mr. Foote I derived all my consequence in life; and as it is the best thing I am in possession of, I would, in gratitude, at my decease, leave it to the said Mr. Foote; but I know he neither stands in need of it as an author, actor, nor as a man : the public have fully proved it in the two first, and his good nature and humanity have secured it to him in the last.

Item.- I owe some obligations to Mr. Garrick; I therefore bequeath him all the money I die possessed of, as there is nothing on earth he is so very fond of.

Item.—Though I owe no obligations to Mr. Harris, yet his having shewn a sincere regard for the performers of his Theatre (by assisting them in their necessities, and yet taking no advantage thereof, by drawing a Jew bargain at their signing

fresh articles), demands from me, as an actor, some acknowledgment. I therefore leave him the entire possession of that satisfaction, which must naturally result on reflecting that, during his management, he has never done any thing base or mean, to sully his character as an honest man, or a gentleman.

Item.--I have played under the manage. ment of Mr. Jefferson, at Richmond, and received from him every politeness. I therefore leave him all my stock of prudence, it being the only good quality I think he stands in need of.

Item.-I give to Mr. Reddish a grain of honesty; 'tis, indeed, a small legacy; but, being a rarity to him, I think he will not refuse to accept it.

Item.--I leave Mr. Yeates all my spirit. Item.--I leave Mrs. Yeates all my humility.

Item._Upon reflection, I think it wrong to give separate legacies to a man and his wife ; therefore I revoke the above bequests, and leave, to be enjoyed by them jointly, peace, harmony, and good nature.

Item.---Notwithstanding my illness, I think I shall outlive Ned Shuter; if I should not, I had thoughts of leaving him my example how to

live; but that, I am afraid, would be of little use to him ; I therefore leave him my' example how

to die.

" Item.--I leave Mr. Brereton a small portion of modesty. Too much of one thing is good for nothing

Item._Mr. Jacobs has been a long while eagerly waiting for dead men's shoes; I leave him two or three pairs (the worst I have); they being good enough, in all conscience, for him.

Item-Though the want of vanity be a proof of understanding, yet I would recommend to my old friend Baddeley, to make use of a little of the first, though it cost him more than he would willingly pay for it; it will increase not only his consequence with the public, but his salary with the managers: but, however, should his stomach turn against it as nauseous, he may use, as a succedaneum, a small quantity of opinion, and it will answer the purpose as well.

Item.—Mr. Quick has long laboured to obtain the applause of the public. The method he has taken is a vague one.

The surest method to obtain his end, is to copy Nature : experientia docet.

Item.-As I would not forget my friends,

particularly old ones, I leave Charles Bannister my portrait; to be taken when I am dead, and to be worn about his neck, as a memento to him, that regularity is among the most certain methods to procure health and long life.

" Item.--Dibble Davis claims something at my hands, from the length of our acquaintance. I therefore leave him my constitution ; but I am afraid, when I die, it will be scarcely better than his own.

Item.--I leave to the ladies in general, on the stage (if not in reality, yet), the appearance of modesty : 't will serve them on more occasions than they are aware of.

Item.—To the gentlemen of the stage, some show of prudence.

" Item.–To the authors of the present day, a smattering of humour.

Item.-To the public, a grateful heart."


This lady was kept so much in the back ground, by the gay, licentious life of her husband, that but little is known of her history, except that she was the very reverse of him. Mildness and forbearance seemed to have been the

« PreviousContinue »