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the goddesses keep up an unceasing fire during the whole evening."
On my first coming to town, about fifty years since, (says Dr. Burney,) I solicited a seat in Garrick's orchestra of Drury Lane Theatre, A musical friend kindly procured me an appointed interview with that little great man, at his house on the Adelphi Terrace. I had heard much of “Garrick's eye" at my dear native place, Exeter ; even to a proverb, of course, and I was prepared to have my eye on him. On being announced, this immortal, dapper, and compact personage, glided down stairs like a sylph, into his sitting parlour facing the Thames. But what was that
prospect at the moment, with all its grandeur, compared to the man in whose presence I fully felt myself to be? He was dressed neat, like what he was off the stage,-always as a private gentleman, with a little black scratch wig, and a pair of green horn mounted spectacles to assist his vision. There was every gesture in him calculated to inspire confidence and even hope ; but the green glasses were rolling on me. But they were only a pair of green spectacles, and no harm could
they do a poor professor of music,--an aspirant for favour and protection. I had no fear of being put on my moment of trial, for music was not David Garrick’s forte, as I had heard : that department he confided to the Arnes, Arnolds, and Dibdins of the day.
Indeed, I felt more dans mon centre, on seeing this extraordinary personage, than before I entered the enchanted seat of the Muses and the Graces. After many polite, and easy questions, he concluded thus, on taking off his green glasses, “Why, I'll tell ye, Mr. B.”-Gracious heavens, what a contrast!!! The glasses fell, but the eye rested! and such an eye as was surely equal to all Argus's hundred, that could penetrate into the centre of the earth.
His common conversation was inspiring, and his tone of voice melodious and flexible. I have ever considered this interview as an epoch in my long musical life.
Every muscle in his face was expressive of all he said and felt. I think the best off-the-stage likeness, and gentlemanly one, is that where he is contemplating his own dear Shakspeare's medal, as steward of the Stratford-upon-Avon jubilee. Every painter must have experienced
some difficulty in pourtraying this illustrious object of extreme admiration, for he ever seemed to me to vary in look (agreeable, or I may say, disagreeable) according to the subject on which he was reflecting or pronouncing. No man, perhaps, ever blended Nature and Art so happily, take him all in all. As I lived then in Great Queen Street, I often had the pleasure of seeing him, early in the morning, marching with firm step towards Lincoln's Inn Fields to meet the great Lord Camden, and they often encountered opposite my apartments. Oh, what a treat to have observed their mutual salutation !
Garrick, most undoubtedly, made the best setout of a little figure, for even his legs seemed to speak; and I remember, after his retirement to Hampton Court, seeing him come to town, strutting through the Strand on a wet day, in a large horseman's great coat, the very flaps and skirts of which seemed animated and in perpetual motion. But to have eyed him sitting in the orchestra of Drury Lane, on the debut of young Bannister (as it was then) anticipating every line and gesture, sometimes looking at his favourite élève, and sometimes giving a kind nod to his elegant friends in the dress boxes, in token
of approbation, and of future fame, every mortal must have been enchanted.
SHAKSPEARE'S CHARACTER OF DOGBERRY.
That industrious antiquary, Aubrey, informs us, that our great dramatist took the humour of Dogberry, in “ Much Ado about Nothing," from an actual occurrence, which happened at Crendon, in Bucks, during one of the poet's journeys between Stratford and London, and that the constable was living at Crendon, when Aubrey first went to Oxford, which was about the
A few days after Voltaire had been at the point of death, he found himself so much recovered, as to be present at the meeting of the academy, and at the play-house. On his arrival at the academy, he found in the court of the Louvre, two thousand people, who, clapping their hands, cried, “ long live M. de Voltaire.” The academy proceeded in a body to meet him, gave him the place of honour, requested him to preside, pronounced him director, by acclamation; and, in short, omitted nothing, that might testify to this Nestor of literature, their veneration and
regard. He charmed them all, by his politeness, the graces of his understanding, and the singular urbanity of his manners. From the academy, he went to the play house, followed by a numerous concourse of people. The applause on his entering the house, and during the representation of his tragedy of “ Irene,” was beyond all precedent. The actors came into the box where he sat, and placed a laurel crown upon his head, amidst the tumultuous applauses of the whole audience, crying, bravo ! bravo! and thundering with hands and feet. Between the performance of the play and farce, they brought forward his bust crowned with laurel, and then it was that the acclamations of the house were redoubled.
FOOTE, AND LORD TOWNSHEND.
Foote dining one day with Lord Townshend, after his duel with Lord Bellamont, the wine being bad, and the dinner ill dressed, made Foote observe, that he could not discover what reason could compel his Lordship to take up arms, when he might have effected his purpose another way, and with much more ease to himself. Why, how (replied his lordship) could I have acted otherwise?" " How ! (replied the wit) why, you