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should have invited him to dine with
Lord ship, as you have done me, and poisoned him.”
PORTRAIT OF A PLAYER,
Drawn in the year 1630. Hee knows the right use of the world wherein he comes to play a part, and so away. His life is not idle ; for it is all action, and no man need be more wary in his doings, for the eyes of all men are upon him. His profession has in it a kind of contradiction, for none is more disliked, and none more applauded; and hee has this misfortune of some scholars,—too much witt makes him a fool. Hee is like our painted gentlewomen, seldom in his own face, seldomer in his own clothes, and hee pleases the better in counterfeit, except only when hee is disguised, with straw for gold lace. Hee does not only personate on the stage, but sometimes in the streete; for he is masked still in the habite of a gentleman. His partes find him oaths and good words, which he keeps for his use and discourse, and makes show with of a fashionable companion. Hee is tragical on the stage, but rampantin the tyring himself: and sweares oaths there, which he never could elsewhere. The waiting women, spectators, are over
eares in love with him ; he is their chiefe queste and imployment, and the sole businesse that makes them afternoon's men. The poet only is his tyrant, and hee is bound to make his friend's friend drunk at his charges. Shrove-Tuesday, he fears as much as the bawds; and Lent is more damage. He was never so much discredited as in one act, and that was of parliament, which give hostlers privilege over him, for which he abhors it more than a corrupt judge; but to give him his due-one well-furnish'd actor has enough in him for five common gentlemen; and if he have a good body for size, and for resolution, he shall challenge any Cato, for it has been his practice to die bravely."
Of this once celebrated actor, Davies, in his Life of Garrick, speaks as of one who was not without a great share of merit, but who was too apt to indulge himself in such an extension of voice, as approached to vociferation. He prided himself to such a degree, on the harmony and sweetness of his tones, that he was heard to say, in a kind of rapture, after throwing out some passionate speeches in a favourite part, that he wished he could salute the sweet echo. He formed
himself on the model of Booth; and, although decidedly inferior to his master, he was, in the opinion of Davies, “ the only performer in tragedy who, if he had survived, could have approached our great Roscius." His Lusignan is stated to have been scarcely inferior to that of Garrick; and in Mark Anthony, he had every thing in his favour which nature and art could bestow. In the celebrated harangue over Cæsar's body, he opened the preparatory part in a low but distinct and audible voice, and gradually rose to such a height, as not only to inflame the mimic populace upon the stage, but to touch the audience with a kind of enthusiastic rapture. “ It is scarcely to be conceived,” says a critic who had witnessed this performance, “ with what acclamations of applause his utterance of the following lines was accompanied :
But were I Brutus,
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny."