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Title: An Apology for the Life of Mr. Colley Cibber, Volume I (of 2) - Written by Himself. A New Edition with Notes and Supplement
Author: Cibber, Colley
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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COLLEY CIBBER, VOLUME I (OF 2)***


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      Internet Archive/American Libraries. See
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                     AN APOLOGY FOR THE LIFE OF

                          MR. COLLEY CIBBER.

                         _VOLUME THE FIRST._



                               _NOTE._

       _510 copies printed on this fine deckle-edge demy 8vo
       paper for England and America, with the portraits as
                   India proofs after letters._

         _Each copy is numbered, and the type distributed._

                             _No._ 368

                    [Illustration: COLLEY CIBBER.]



                      AN APOLOGY FOR THE LIFE OF

                          MR. COLLEY CIBBER

                         _WRITTEN BY HIMSELF_



               A NEW EDITION WITH NOTES AND SUPPLEMENT

                                 BY

                           ROBERT W. LOWE

          _WITH TWENTY-SIX ORIGINAL MEZZOTINT PORTRAITS BY
                 R. B. PARKES, AND EIGHTEEN ETCHINGS
                         BY ADOLPHE LALAUZE_


                          _IN TWO VOLUMES_
                          VOLUME THE FIRST



                               LONDON
                           JOHN C. NIMMO
                   14, KING WILLIAM STREET, STRAND
                            MDCCCLXXXIX



                           Chiswick Press

                PRINTED BY CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO.
               TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON. E.C.



PREFACE.


Colley Cibber's famous Autobiography has always been recognized as one
of the most delightful books of its class; but, to students of
theatrical history, the charm of its author's ingenuous frankness has
been unable altogether to overweigh the inaccuracy and vagueness of his
treatment of matters of fact. To remove this cause of complaint is the
principal object of the present edition. But correcting errors is only
one of an editor's duties, and by no means the most difficult. More
exacting, and almost equally important, are the illustration of the
circumstances surrounding the author, the elucidation of his references
to current events, and the comparison of his statements and theories
with those of judicious contemporaries. In all these particulars I have
interpreted my duty in the widest sense, and have aimed at giving, as
far as in me lies, an exhaustive commentary on the "Apology."

I am fortunate in being able to claim that my work contains much
information which has never before been made public. A careful
investigation of the MSS. in the British Museum, and of the Records of
the Lord Chamberlain's Office (to which my access was greatly
facilitated by the kindness of Mr. Edward F. S. Pigott, the Licenser of
Plays), has enabled me to give the exact dates of many transactions
which were previously uncertain, and to give references to documents of
great importance in stage history, whose very existence was before
unknown. How important my new matter is, may be estimated by comparing
the facts given in my notes regarding the intricate transactions of the
years 1707 to 1721, with any previous history of the same period. Among
other sources of information, I may mention the Cibber Collections in
the Forster Library at South Kensington, to which my attention was drawn
by the kindness of the courteous keeper, Mr. R. F. Sketchley; and I have
also, of course, devoted much time to contemporary newspapers.

In order to illustrate the "Apology," two tracts of the utmost rarity,
the "Historia Histrionica" and Anthony Aston's "Brief Supplement" to
Cibber's Lives of the Actors, are reprinted in this edition. The
"Historia Histrionica" was written, all authorities agree, by James
Wright, Barrister-at-Law, whose "History and Antiquities of the County
of Rutland" is quoted by Cibber in his first chapter (vol. i. p. 8). The
historical value of this pamphlet is very great, because it contains the
only formal account in existence of the generation of actors who
preceded Betterton, and because it gives many curious and interesting
particulars regarding the theatres and plays, as well as the actors,
before and during the Civil Wars. As Cibber begins his account of the
stage (see chap. iv.) at the Restoration, there is a peculiar propriety
in prefacing it by Wright's work; a fact which has already been
recognized, for the publisher of the third edition (1750) of the
"Apology" appended to it "A Dialogue on Old Plays and Old Players,"
which is simply a reprint of the "Historia Histrionica" under another
title, and without the curious preface.

Following the "Historia Histrionica" will be found a copy of the Patent
granted to Sir William Davenant, one of the most important documents in
English stage history. A similar grant was made to Thomas Killigrew, as
is noted on page 87 of this volume.

These documents form a natural introduction to Cibber's History of the
Stage and of his own career, which commences, as has been said, at the
Restoration, and ends, somewhat abruptly, with his retirement from the
regular exercise of his profession in 1733. To complete the record of
Cibber's life, I have added a Supplementary Chapter to the "Apology," in
which I have also noted briefly the chief incidents of theatrical
history up to the time of his death. In this, too, I have told with some
degree of minuteness the story of his famous quarrel with Pope; and to
this chapter I have appended a list of Cibber's dramatic productions,
and a Bibliography of works by, or relating to him.

Anthony Aston's "Brief Supplement to Colley Cibber, Esq; his Lives of
the late famous Actors and Actresses," of which a reprint is given with
this edition, is almost, if not quite, the rarest of theatrical books.
Isaac Reed, says Genest, "wrote his name in his copy of Aston's little
book, with the date of 1769--he says--'this Pamphlet contains several
circumstances concerning the Performers of the last century, which are
no where else to be found--it seems never to have been published'--he
adds-'Easter Monday, 1795--though I have now possessed this pamphlet 26
years, it is remarkable that I never have seen another copy of it.'" Of
Aston himself, little is known. According to his own account he came on
the stage about 1700, and we know that he was a noted stroller; but as
to when he was born, or when he died, there is no information. He is
supposed, and probably with justice, to be the "trusty Anthony, who has
so often adorned both the theatres in England and Ireland," mentioned in
Estcourt's advertisement of his opening of the Bumper Tavern, in the
"Spectator" of 28th and 29th December, 1711; and he was no doubt a
well-known character among actors and theatre-goers. He would thus be
well qualified for his undertaking as biographer of the actors of his
time; and, indeed, his work bears every mark of being the production of
a writer thoroughly well acquainted with his subject. This valuable
pamphlet has been, until now practically a sealed book to theatrical
students.

The three works which make up this edition--Cibber's "Apology," Wright's
"Historia Histrionica," and Aston's "Brief Supplement"--are reprinted
_verbatim et literatim;_ the only alterations made being the correction
of obvious errors. Among obvious errors I include the avalanche of
commas with which Cibber's printers overwhelmed his text. A more
grotesque misuse of punctuation I do not know, and I have struck out a
large number of these points, not only because they were unmeaning, but
also because, to a modern reader, they were irritating in the highest
degree. The rest of the punctuation I have not interfered with, and with
the single exception of these commas the present edition reproduces not
only the matter of the works reprinted, but the very manner in which
they originally appeared, the use of italics and capitals having
especially been carefully observed.

The "Apology" of Cibber has gone through six editions. I have reprinted
the text of the second, because it was certainly revised by the author,
and many corrections made. But I have carefully compared my text with that
of the first edition, and, wherever the correction is more than merely
verbal, I have indicated the fact in a note (_e. g._ vol. i. p. 72). The
only edition which has been annotated is that published in 1822, under the
editorship of Edmund Bellchambers. Whether the Notes were written by the
Editor or by Jacob Henry Burn, who annotated Dickens's "Grimaldi," is a
point which I have raised in my "Bibliographical Account of English
Theatrical Literature" (p. 373). I have been unable to obtain any
authentic information on the subject, so give Burn's claim for what it is
worth. The statement as to the latter's authorship was made in his own
handwriting on the back of the title-page of a copy of the book, sold by a
well-known bookseller some years ago. It was in the following terms:--

     "In 1821, while residing at No. 28, Maiden Lane, Covent
     Garden, the elder Oxberry, who frequently called in as he
     passed, found me one day adding notes in MS. to Cibber's
     'Apology.' Taking it up, he said he should like to reprint it;
     he wanted something to employ the spare time of his hands, and
     proferred to buy my copy, thus annotated. I think it was two
     pounds I said he should have it for; this sum he instantly
     paid, and the notes throughout are mine, not Bellchambers's,
     who having seen it through the press or corrected the proofs
     whilst printing, added his name as the editor.--J. H. BURN."

Whether Burn or Bellchambers be the author, the notes, I find, are by no
means faultlessly accurate. I have made little use of them, except that
the Biographies, which are by far the most valuable of the annotations,
are reprinted at the end of my second volume. Even in these, it will be
seen, I have corrected many blunders. Some of the memoirs I have
condensed slightly; and, as the Biographies of Booth, Dogget, and Wilks
were in all essential points merely a repetition of Cibber's narrative,
I have not reprinted them. In all cases where I have made any use of
Bellchambers's edition, or have had a reference suggested to me by it,
I have carefully acknowledged my indebtedness.

Among the works of contemporary writers which I have quoted, either in
illustration, in criticism, or in contradiction of Cibber, it will be
noticed that I make large drafts upon the anonymous pamphlet entitled
"The Laureat: or, the right side of Colley Cibber, Esq;" (1740). I have
done this because it furnishes the keenest criticism upon Cibber's
statements, and gives, in an undeniably clever style, the views of
Cibber's enemies upon himself and his works. I am unable even to guess
who was the author of this work, but he must have been a man well
acquainted with theatrical matters.

Another pamphlet from which I quote, "The Egotist: or, Colley upon
Cibber" (1743), is interesting as being, I think without doubt, the work
of Cibber himself, although not acknowledged by him.

Many of the works which I quote in my notes have gone through only one
edition, and my quotations from these are easily traced; but, for the
convenience of those who may wish to follow up any of my references to
books which have been more than once issued, I may mention that in the
case of Davies's "Dramatic Miscellanies" I have referred throughout to the
edition of 1785; that Dr. Birkbeck Hill's magnificent edition of Boswell's
"Life of Johnson" is that which I have quoted; and that the references to
Nichols's reprint of Steele's "Theatre," the "Anti-Theatre," &c., are to
the scarce and valuable edition in 2 vols. 12mo, 1791. My quotations from
the "Tatler" have been made from a set of the original folio numbers,
which I am fortunate enough to possess; and I have made my extracts from
the "Roscius Anglicanus" from Mr. Joseph Knight's beautiful facsimile
edition. The index, which will be found at the end of the second volume,
has been the object of my special attention, and I have spared no pains to
make it clear and exhaustive.

                                                       ROBERT W. LOWE.
  LONDON, _September, 1888_.



PUBLISHER'S PREFACE.


The twenty-six portraits and eighteen chapter headings in this new
edition of Colley Cibber's "Apology" are all newly engraved. The
portraits are copperplate mezzotints, engraved by R. B. Parkes from the
best and most authentic originals, in the selection of which great care
has been taken. Where more than one portrait exists, the least hackneyed
likeness has been chosen, and pains have been taken to secure those
pictures which are likely to be esteemed as rarities. The chapter
headings are etched by Adolphe Lalauze, and the subjects represent
scenes from plays illustrating the costumes, manner, and appearance of
the actors of Cibber's period, from contemporary authorities.

  LONDON, _October, 1888_.



                              CONTENTS.

                                                                  PAGE
  HISTORIA HISTRIONICA: AN HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE
  ENGLISH STAGE                                                    xix

  LETTERS PATENT FOR ERECTING A NEW THEATRE                       liii

  TITLE AND DEDICATION TO THE LIFE OF MR. COLLEY CIBBER          lxiii

                              CHAPTER I.

  THE INTRODUCTION. THE AUTHOR'S BIRTH, ETC.                         1

                              CHAPTER II.

  HE THAT TRITES OF HIMSELF NOT EASILY TIR'D, ETC.                  28

                              CHAPTER III.

  THE AUTHOR'S SEVERAL CHANCES FOR THE CHURCH, THE COURT, AND
  THE ARMY, ETC.                                                    55

                              CHAPTER IV.

  A SHORT VIEW OF THE STAGE, FROM THE YEAR 1660 TO THE
  REVOLUTION, ETC.                                                  86

                              CHAPTER V.

  THE THEATRICAL CHARACTERS OF THE PRINCIPAL ACTORS IN THE
  YEAR 1690, CONTINU'D, ETC.                                       119

                              CHAPTER VI.

  THE AUTHOR'S FIRST STEP UPON THE STAGE. HIS DISCOURAGEMENTS,
  ETC.                                                             180

                              CHAPTER VII.

  THE STATE OF THE STAGE CONTINUED, ETC.                           227

                              CHAPTER VIII.

  THE PATENTEE OF DRURY-LANE WISER THAN HIS ACTORS, ETC.           262

                              CHAPTER IX.

  A SMALL APOLOGY FOR WRITING ON, ETC.                             299



                     LIST OF MEZZOTINT PORTRAITS.

                    NEWLY ENGRAVED BY R. B. PARKES.

                          VOLUME THE FIRST.


                                                                  PAGE
     I. COLLEY CIBBER. After the painting by John Baptist
        Vanloo, 1740                                    _Frontispiece_

    II. CAIUS GABRIEL CIBBER, the sculptor, father of
        Colley Cibber. After the picture by Laroon and
        Christian Richter. (Collection of the Earl of
        Orford, Strawberry Hill)                                    18

   III. THOMAS BETTERTON. After the painting by Sir
        Godfrey Kneller                                             88

    IV. BENJAMIN JOHNSON, in the character of Ananias, in
        Ben Jonson's "Alchemist," act iii. After the
        picture by Peter Van Bleeck, 1738                          104

     V. EDWARD KYNASTON, comedian. After R. Cooper.                122

    VI. ANTHONY LEIGH, in the character of the Friar, in
        Dryden's tragi-comedy of "The Spanish Friar."
        After the painting by Sir Godfrey Kneller                  146

   VII. ELIZABETH BARRY. After the painting by Sir
        Godfrey Kneller, 1689. (Collection of the Earl
        of Orford, Strawberry Hill)                                160

  VIII. MRS. BRACEGIRDLE as "The Indian Queen," in the
        play by Sir R. Howard and J. Dryden. After the
        picture by J. Smith and W. Vincent                         188

    IX. WILLIAM BULLOCK. After the picture by Thomas
        Johnson. _Ad vivum pinxit et fecit_                        204

     X. WILLIAM PENKETHMAN. After the painting by
        R. Schmutz                                                 238

    XI. WILLIAM CONGREVE. After the painting by Sir
        Godfrey Kneller, 1709, "Kit-Cat Club"                      272

   XII. CHARLOTTE CHARKE. After a study by Henry
        Gravelot                                                   288

  XIII. SIR JOHN VANBRUGH. After the painting by Sir
        Godfrey Kneller, "Kit-Cat Club"                            306



                      LIST OF CHAPTER HEADINGS.

              NEWLY ETCHED FROM CONTEMPORARY DRAWINGS BY
                          ADOLPHE LALAUZE.

                          VOLUME THE FIRST.


     I. CAIUS GABRIEL CIBBER'S FIGURES OF RAVING AND
        MELANCHOLY MADNESS. From Bedlam Hospital.[1]

    II. SCENE ILLUSTRATING CROWNE'S "SIR COURTLY NICE."
        After the contemporary design by Arnold Vanhaecken.

   III. SCENE ILLUSTRATING ETHEREDGE'S "MAN OF MODE;
        OR, SIR FOPLING FLUTTER." After the design by Lud.
        du Guernier.

    IV. SCENE ILLUSTRATING CONGREVE'S "DOUBLE DEALER."
        After F. Hayman.

     V. GRIFFIN AND JOHNSON IN THE CHARACTERS OF TRIBULATION
        AND ANANIAS, Ben Jonson's "Alchemist," act iii.
        scene 2. Tribulation. "I do command thee (Spirit of
        Zeal, but Trouble) to peace, within him." After the
        original by Peter Van Bleeck, 1738.

    VI. SCENE ILLUSTRATING OTWAY'S "ORPHAN." After the
        contemporary etching by G. Vander Gucht.

   VII. MRS. PORTER, MILLS, AND CIBBER. After a contemporary
        engraving by J. Basire.

  VIII. SCENE ILLUSTRATING STEELE'S "FUNERAL, OR GRIEF À LA
        MODE." After the contemporary design by G. Vander
        Gucht.

    IX. MR. ESTCOURT AS "KITE" IN FARQUHAR'S "RECRUITING
        OFFICER." After the contemporary design by E. Knight
        and G. Vander Gucht.



                        HISTORIA HISTRIONICA:

                                 AN

                         Historical Account

                               OF THE

                           ENGLISH STAGE,

                               SHEWING

                     The ancient Use, Improvement,
            and Perfection, of Dramatick Representations,
                           in this Nation.

                                IN A

                  Dialogue, of _PLAYS_ and _PLAYERS._

                   ----_Olim meminisse juvabit._

                              _LONDON._

           Printed by _G. Croom,_ for _William Haws_ at the
                    Rose in _Ludgate-Street_. 1699.



THE PREFACE.

_Much has been Writ of late_ pro _and_ con, _about the Stage, yet the
Subject admits of more, and that which has not been hetherto toucht
upon; not only what that is, but what it was, about which some People
have made such a Busle. What it is we see, and I think it has been
sufficiently displayed in Mr._ Collier'_s Book; What it was in former
Ages, and how used in this Kingdom, so far back as one may collect any
Memorialls, is the Subject of the following Dialogue. Old Plays will be
always read by the_ Curious, _if it were only to discover the Manners
and Behaviour of several Ages; and how they alter'd. For Plays are
exactly like_ Portraits _Drawn in the Garb and Fashion of the time when
Painted. You see one Habit in the time of King_ Charles I. _another
quite different from that, both for Men and Women, in Queen_ Elizabeths
_time; another under_ Henry _the Eighth different from both; and so
backward all various. And in the several Fashions of Behaviour and
Conversation, there is as much Mutability as in that of cloaths.
Religion and Religious matters was once as much the Mode in publick
Entertainments, as the Contrary has been in some times since. This
appears in the different Plays of several Ages: And to evince this, the
following Sheets are an Essay or Specimen._

_Some may think the Subject of this Discourse trivial, and the persons
herein mention'd not worth remembering. But besides that I could name
some things contested of late with great heat, of as little, or less
Consequence, the Reader may know that the Profession of Players is not
so totally scandalous, nor all of them so reprobate, but that there has
been found under that Name, a Canonized Saint in the primitive Church;
as may be seen in the_ Roman Martyrology _on the_ 29th _of_ March; _his
name_ Masculas _a Master of Interludes_, (_the Latin is_ Archimimus,
_and the French translation_ un Maitre Comedien) _who under the
Persecution of the_ Vandals _in_ Africa, _by_ Geisericus _the_ Arian
_King, having endured many and greivious Torments and Reproaches for the
Confession of the Truth, finisht the Course of this glorious Combat.
Saith the said_ Martyrology.

_It appears from this, and some further Instances in the following
Discourse, That there have been Players of worthy Principles as to
Religion, Loyalty, and other Virtues; and if the major part of them fall
under a different Character, it is the general unhappiness of Mankind,
that the_ Most _are the_ Worst.



A DIALOGUE OF PLAYS and PLAYERS.


  LOVEWIT, TRUMAN.

LOVEW. Honest Old Cavalier! well met, 'faith I'm glad to see thee.

TRUM. Have a care what you call me. Old, is a Word of Disgrace among the
Ladies; to be Honest is to be Poor, and Foolish, (as some think) and
Cavalier is a Word as much out of Fashion as any of 'em.

LOVEW. The more's the pity: But what said the Fortune-Teller in _Ben.
Johnson_'s Mask of _Gypsies_, to the then _Lord Privy Seal_,

                          _Honest and Old!_
    _In those the_ Good _Part of a Fortune is told_.

TRUM. _Ben. Johnson?_ How dare you name _Ben. Johnson_ in these times?
When we have such a crowd of Poets of a quite different Genius; the
least of which thinks himself as well able to correct _Ben. Johnson_, as
he could a Country School Mistress that taught to Spell.

LOVEW. We have indeed, Poets of a different Genius; so are the Plays:
but in my Opinion, they are all of 'em (some few excepted) as much
inferior to those of former Times, as the Actors now in being (generally
speaking) are, compared to _Hart_, _Mohun_, _Burt_, _Lacy_, _Clun_, and
_Shatterel_; for I can reach no farther backward.

TRUM. I can; and dare assure you, if my Fancy and Memory are not partial
(for Men of my Age are apt to be over indulgent to the Thoughts of their
youthful Days) I say the Actors that I have seen before the Wars,
_Lowin_, _Tayler_, _Pollard_, and some others, were almost as far beyond
_Hart_ and his Company, as those were beyond these now in being.

LOVEW. I am willing to believe it, but cannot readily; because I have
been told, That those whom I mention'd, were Bred up under the others of
your Acquaintance, and follow'd their manner of Action, which is now
lost. So far, that when the Question has been askt, Why these Players do
not revive the _Silent Woman_, and some other of _Johnson_'s Plays,
(once of highest esteem) they have answer'd, truly, Because there are
none now Living who can rightly Humour those Parts; for all who related
to the _Black-friers_, (where they were Acted in perfection) are now
Dead, and almost forgotten.

TRUM. 'Tis very true, _Hart_ and _Clun_, were bred up Boys at the
_Black-friers_, and acted Womens Parts, _Hart_ was _Robinson_'s Boy or
Apprentice: He acted the Dutchess in the Tragedy of _the Cardinal_,
which was the first Part that gave him Reputation. _Cartwright_, and
_Wintershal_ belong'd to the private House in _Salisbury-court_, _Burt_
was a Boy first under _Shank_ at the _Black-friers_, then under
_Beeston_ at the _Cockpit_; and _Mohun_, and _Shatterel_ were in the
same Condition with him, at the last Place. There _Burt_ used to Play
the principal Women's Parts, in particular _Clariana_ in _Love's
Cruelty_; and at the same time _Mohun_ acted _Bellamente_, which Part he
retain'd after the Restauration.

LOVEW. That I have seen, and can well remember. I wish they had Printed
in the last Age (so I call the times before the Rebellion) the Actors
Names over against the Parts they Acted, as they have done since the
Restauration. And thus one might have guest at the Action of the Men, by
the Parts which we now Read in the Old Plays.

TRUM. It was not the Custome and Usage of those Days, as it hath been
since. Yet some few Old Plays there are that have the Names set against
the Parts, as, _The Dutchess of Malfy_; _the Picture_; _the Roman
Actor_; _the deserving Favourite_; _the Wild Goose Chace_, (at the
Black-friers) _the Wedding_; _the Renegado_; _the fair Maid of the
West_; _Hannibal and Scipio_; _King John and Matilda_; (at the Cockpit)
and _Holland's Leaguer_, (at Salisbury Court).

LOVEW. These are but few indeed: But pray Sir, hat Master-Parts can you
remember the Old _Black-friers_ Men to Act, in _Johnson_, _Shakespear_,
and _Fletcher_'s Plays.

TRUM. What I can at present recollect I'll tell you; _Shakespear_, (who
as I have heard, was a much better Poet, than Player) _Burbadge_,
_Hemmings_, and others of the Older sort, were Dead before I knew the
Town; but in my time, before the Wars, _Lowin_ used to Act, with mighty
Applause, _Falstaffe_, _Morose_, _Volpone_, and _Mammon_ in the
_Alchymist_; _Melancius_, in the _Maid's_ Tragedy, and at the same time
_Amyntor_ was Play'd by _Stephen Hammerton_, (who was at first a most
noted and beautiful Woman Actor, but afterwards he acted with equal
Grace and Applause, a Young Lover's Part); _Tayler_ Acted _Hamlet_
incomparably well, _Iago_, _Truewit_ in the _Silent Woman_, and _Face_
in the _Alchymist_; _Swanston_ used to Play _Othello_; _Pollard_, and
_Robinson_ were Comedians, so was _Shank_ who us'd to Act Sir _Roger_,
in _the Scornful Lady_. These were of the _Black-friers_. Those of
principal Note at the _Cockpit_, were, _Perkins_, _Michael Bowyer_,
_Sumner_, _William Allen_, and _Bird_, eminent Actors, and _Robins_ a
Comedian. Of the other Companies I took little notice.

LOVEW. Were there so many Companies?

TRUM. Before the Wars, there were in being all these Play-houses at the
same time. The _Black-friers_, and _Globe_ on the _Bankside_, a Winter
and Summer House, belonging to the same Company, called the King's
Servants; the _Cockpit_ or _Phoenix_, in _Drury-lane_, called the
Queen's Servants; the private House in _Salisbury-court_, called the
Prince's Servants; the _Fortune_ near _White-cross-street_, and the
_Red Bull_ at the upper end of St. _John's-street_: The two last were
mostly frequented by Citizens, and the meaner sort of People. All these
Companies got Money, and Liv'd in Reputation, especially those of the
_Black-friers_, who were Men of grave and sober Behaviour.

LOVEW. Which I admire at; That the Town much less than at present, could
then maintain Five Companies, and yet now Two can hardly subsist.

TRUM. Do not wonder, but consider, That tho' the Town was then, perhaps,
not much more than half so Populous as now, yet then the Prices were
small (there being no Scenes) and better order kept among the Company
that came; which made very good People think a Play an Innocent
Diversion for an idle Hour or two, the Plays themselves being then, for
the most part, more Instructive and Moral. Whereas of late, the
Play-houses are so extreamly pestered with Vizard-masks and their Trade,
(occasioning continual Quarrels and Abuses) that many of the more
Civilized Part of the Town are uneasy in the Company, and shun the
Theater as they would a House of Scandal. It is an Argument of the worth
of the Plays and Actors, of the last Age, and easily inferr'd, that they
were much beyond ours in this, to consider that they cou'd support
themselves meerly from their own Merit; the weight of the Matter, and
goodness of the Action, without Scenes and Machines: Whereas the present
Plays with all that shew, can hardly draw an Audience, unless there be
the additional Invitation of a _Signior Fideli_, a _Monsieur L'abbe_,
or some such Foreign Regale exprest in the bottom of the Bill.

LOVEW. To wave this Digression, I have Read of one _Edward Allin_, a Man
so famed for excellent Action, that among _Ben. Johnson_'s epigrams, I
find one directed to him, full of Encomium, and concluding thus,

    _Wear this Renown, 'tis just that who did give
    So many Poets Life, by one should Live._

Was he one of the _Black-friers_?

TRUM. Never, as I have heard; (for he was Dead before my time). He was
Master of a Company of his own, for whom he Built the _Fortune_
Playhouse from the Ground, a large, round Brick Building. This is he
that grew so Rich that he purchased a great estate in _Surrey_ and
elsewhere; and having no Issue, He built and largely endow'd _Dulwich_
College, in the Year 1619, for a Master, a Warden, Four Fellows, Twelve
aged poor People, and Twelve poor Boys, _&c._ A noble Charity.

LOVEW. What kind of Playhouses had they before the Wars?

TRUM. The _Black-friers_, _Cockpit_, and _Salisbury-court_, were called
Private Houses, and were very small to what we see now. The _Cockpit_
was standing since the Restauration, and _Rhode_'s Company Acted there
for some time.

LOVEW. I have seen that.

TRUM. Then you have seen the other two, in effect; for they were all
three Built almost exactly alike, for Form and Bigness. Here they had
Pits for the Gentry, and Acted by Candle-light. The _Globe_, _Fortune_
and _Bull_, were large Houses, and lay partly open to the Weather, and
there they alwaies Acted by Daylight.

LOVEW. But, prithee, _Truman_, what became of these Players when the
Stage was put down, and the Rebellion rais'd?

TRUM. Most of 'em, except _Lowin_, _Tayler_ and _Pollard_ (who
were superannuated) went into the King's Army, and like good Men
and true, Serv'd their Old Master, tho' in a different, yet more
honourable, Capacity. _Robinson_ was Kill'd at the Taking of a Place,
(I think _Basing House_) by _Harrison_, he that was after Hang'd at
_Charing-cross_, who refused him Quarter, and Shot him in the Head when
he had laid down his Arms; abusing Scripture at the same time, in
saying, _Cursed is he that doth the Work of the Lord negligently_.
_Mohun_ was a Captain, (and after the Wars were ended here, served in
_Flanders_ where he received Pay as a Major), _Hart_ was a Lieutenant of
Horse under Sir _Thomas Dallison_, in _Prince Rupert_'s Regiment, _Burt_
was Cornet in the same Troop, and _Shatterel_ Quarter-master. _Allen_ of
the _Cockpit_, was a Major, and Quarter Master General at _Oxford_. I
have not heard of one of these Players of any Note that sided with the
other Party, but only _Swanston_, and he profest himself a Presbyterian,
took up the Trade of a Jeweller, and liv'd in _Aldermanbury_, within the
Territory of Father _Calamy_. The rest either Lost, or expos'd their
Lives for their King. When the Wars were over, and the Royalists totally
Subdued, most of 'em who were left alive gather'd to _London_, and for a
Subsistence endeavour'd to revive their Old Trade, privately. They made
up one Company out of all the Scatter'd Members of Several; and in the
Winter before the King's Murder, 1648, they ventured to Act some Plays
with as much caution and privacy as you'd be, at the _Cockpit_. They
continu'd undisturbed for three or four Days; but at last as they were
presenting the Tragedy of the _Bloudy Brother_ (in which _Lowin_ Acted
Aubrey, _Tayler_ Rollo, _Pollard_ the Cook, _Burt_ Latorch, and I think
_Hart_ Otto) a Party of Foot Souldiers beset the House, surpriz'd 'em
about the midle of the Play, and carried 'em away in their habits, not
admitting them to shift, to _Hatton-house_, then a Prison, where having
detain'd them some time, they Plunder'd them of their Cloths and let 'em
loose again. Afterwards in _Oliver_'s time, they used to Act privately,
three or four Miles, or more, out of Town, now here, now there,
sometimes in Noblemens Houses, in particular _Holland-house_ at
_Kensington_, where the Nobility and Gentry who met (but in no great
Numbers) used to make a Sum for them, each giving a broad Peice, or the
like. And _Alexander Goffe_, the Woman Actor at _Black-friers_ (who had
made himself known to Persons of Quality) used to be the Jackal, and
give notice of Time and Place. At Christmass, and Bartlemew-fair, they
used to Bribe the Officer who Commanded the Guard at _Whitehall_, and
were thereupon connived at to Act for a few Days, at the _Red Bull_; but
were sometimes notwithstanding Disturb'd by Soldiers. Some pickt up a
little Money by publishing the Copies of Plays never before Printed, but
kept up in Manuscript. For instance, in the Year 1652, _Beaumont_ and
_Fletcher's Wild Goose Chace_ was Printed in Folio, _for the Public use
of all the Ingenious_, (as the Title-page says) _and private Benefit of_
John Lowin _and_ Joseph Tayler, _Servants to his late Majesty_; and by
them Dedicated _To the Honour'd few Lovers of Dramatick Poesy_: Wherein
they modestly intimate their Wants. And that with sufficient Cause; for
whatever they were before the Wars, they were, after, reduced to a
necessitous Condition. _Lowin_ in his latter Days, kept an Inn (the
three Pidgions) at _Brentford_, where he dyed very Old, (for he was an
Actor of eminent Note in the Reign of K. _James_ the first) and his
Poverty was as great as his Age. _Tayler_ Dyed at _Richmond_ and was
there Buried. _Pollard_ who Lived Single, and had a Competent Estate;
Retired to some Relations he had in the Country, and there ended his
Life. _Perkins_ and _Sumner_ of the _Cockpit_, kept House together at
_Clerkenwel_, and were there Buried. These all Dyed some Years before
the Restauration. What follow'd after, I need not tell you: You can
easily Remember.

LOVEW. Yes, presently after the Restauration, the King's Players Acted
publickly at the _Red Bull_ for some time, and then Removed to a
New-built Playhouse in _Vere-street_, by _Claremarket_. There they
continued for a Year or two, and then removed to the _Theater Royal_ in
_Drury-lane_, where they first made use of Scenes, which had been a
little before introduced upon the publick Stage by Sir _William
Davenant_ at the _Dukes Old Theater_ in _Lincolns-Inn-fields_, but
afterwards very much improved, with the Addition of curious Machines, by
Mr. _Betterton_ at the New _Theater_ in _Dorset-Garden_, to the great
Expence and continual Charge of the Players. This much impair'd their
Profit o'er what it was before; for I have been inform'd, (by one of
'em) That for several Years next after the Restauration, every whole
Sharer in Mr. _Hart_'s Company, got 1000_l. per an._ About the same time
that Scenes first enter'd upon the Stage at _London_, Women were taught
to Act their own Parts; since when, we have seen at both Houses several
excellent Actresses, justly famed as well for Beauty, as perfect good
Action. And some Plays (in particular _The Parson's Wedding_) have been
Presented all by Women, as formerly all by Men. Thus it continued for
about 20 Years, when Mr. _Hart_ and some of the Old Men began to grow
weary, and were minded to leave off; then the two Companies thought fit
to Unite; but of late, you see, they have thought it no less fit to
Divide again, though both Companies keep the same Name of his Majesty's
Servants. All this while the Play-house Musick improved Yearly, and is
now arrived to greater Perfection than ever I knew it. Yet for all these
Advantages, the Reputation of the Stage, and Peoples Affection to it,
are much Decay'd. Some were lately severe against it, and would hardly
allow Stage-Plays fit to be longer permitted. Have you seen Mr.
_Collier_'s book?

TRUM. Yes, and his Opposer's.

LOVEW. And what think you?

TRUM. In my mind Mr. _Collier_'s Reflections are Pertinent, and True in
the Main; the Book ingeniously Writ, and well Intended: But he has
over-shot himself in some Places; and his Respondents, perhaps, in more.
My Affection inclines me not to Engage on either side, but rather
Mediate. If there be Abuses relating to the Stage; (which I think is too
apparent) let the Abuse be Reformed, and not the use, for that Reason
only, Abolish'd. 'Twas an Old saying when I was a Boy,

    _Absit Abusus, non desit totaliter Usus._

I shall not run through Mr. _Collier_'s Book; I will only touch a little
on two or three general Notions, in which, I think he may be mistaken.
What he urges out of the Primitive Councils, and Fathers of the Church,
seems to me to be directed against the Heathen Plays, which were a sort
of Religious Worship with them, to the Honour of _Ceres_, _Flora_, or
some of their false Deities; they had always a little Altar on their
Stages, as appears plain enough from some places in _Plautus_. And Mr.
_Collier_ himself, p. 235, tells us out of _Livy_, that Plays were
brought in upon the Score of Religion, to pacify the Gods. No wonder
then, they forbid Christians to be present at them, for it was almost
the same as to be present at their Sacrifices. We must also observe that
this was in the Infancy of Christianity, when the Church was under
severe, and almost continual Persecutions, and when all its true Members
were of most strict and exemplary Lives, not knowing when they should be
call'd to the Stake, or thrown to Wild-Beasts. They communicated Daily,
and expected Death hourly; their thoughts were intent upon the next
World, they abstain'd almost wholly from all Diversions and pleasures
(though lawfull and Innocent) in this. Afterwards when Persecution
ceased, and the church flourisht, Christians being then freed from their
former Terrors, allow'd themselves, at proper times, the lawfull
Recreations of Conversation, and among other (no doubt) this of Shewes
and Representations. After this time, the Censures of the Church indeed,
might be continued, or revived, upon occasion, against Plays and
Players; tho' (in my Opinion) it cannot be understood generally, but
only against such Players who were of Vicious and Licencious Lives, and
represented profane Subjects, inconsistant with the Morals and probity
of Manners requisite to Christians; and frequented chiefly by such loose
and Debaucht People, as were much more apt to Corrupt than Divert those
who associated with them. I say, I cannot think the Canons and Censures
of the Fathers can be applyed to all Players, _quatenus_ Players; for if
so how could Plays be continued among the Christians, as they were, of
Divine Subjects, and Scriptural Stories? A late French Author, speaking
of the Original of the _Hotel de Bourgogne_ (a Play-house in _Paris_)
says that the ancient Dukes of that Name gave it to the Brotherhood of
the Passion, established in the Church of Trinity-Hospital in the _Rue
S. Denis_, on condition that they should represent here Interludes of
Devotion: And adds that there have been public Shews in this Place 600
Years ago. The Spanish and Portuguize continue still to have, for the
most part, such Ecclesiastical Stories, for the Subject of their Plays:
And, if we may believe _Gage_, they are Acted in their Churches in
_Mexico_, and the Spanish _West-Indies_.

LOVEW. That's a great way off, _Truman_; I had rather you would come
nearer Home, and confine your discourse to Old _England_.

TRUM. So I intend. The same has been done here in _England_; for
otherwise how comes it to be prohibited in the _88th_ Canon, among those
past in Convocation, 1603. Certain it is that our ancient Plays were of
Religious Subjects, and had for their Actors, (if not Priests) yet Men
relating to the Church.

LOVEW. How does that appear?

TRUM. Nothing clearer. _Stow_ in his Survey of _London_, has one Chapter
_of the Sports and Pastimes of old time used in this City_; and there he
tells us, That in the Year 1391 (which was 15 _R._ 2.) a Stage-Play was
play'd by the Parish-Clerks of _London_, at the _Skinner's-well_ beside
_Smithfield_, which Play continued, three Days together, the King,
Queen, and Nobles of the Realm being present. And another was play'd in
the Year 1409, (11 _H._ 4.) which lasted eight Days, and was of Matter
from the Creation of the World; whereat was present most part of the
Nobility and Gentry of _England_. Sir _William Dugdale_, in his
Antiquities of _Warwickshire_, p. 116, speaking of the _Gray-friers_ (or
_Franciscans_) at _Coventry_, says, Before the suppression of the
Monasteries, this City was very famous for the Pageants that were play'd
therein upon _Corpus-Christi_ Day; which Pageants being acted with
mighty State and Reverence by the Friers of this House, had Theatres for
the several Scenes very large and high, plac'd upon Wheels, and drawn to
all the eminent Parts of the City, for the better advantage of the
Spectators; and contain'd the Story of the New Testament, composed in
old English Rhime. An ancient Manuscript of the same is now to be seen
in the _Cottonian_ Library, _Sub Effig. Vespat. D._ 8. Since the
Reformation, in Queen _Elizabeth's_ time, Plays were frequently acted by
Quiristers and Singing Boys; and several of our old Comedies have
printed in the Title Page, _Acted by the Children of_ Paul's, (not the
School, but the Church) others, _By the Children of Her Majesty's
Chappel_; in particular, _Cinthias Revels_, and the _Poetaster_ were
play'd by them; who were at that time famous for good Action. Among
_Ben. Johnson_'s Epigrams you may find _An Epitaph on S. P._

(Sal Pavy) _one of the Children of Queen_ Elizabeth's _Chappel_, part of
which runs thus,

    _Years he counted scarce Thirteen
      When Fates turn'd Cruel,
    Yet three fill'd Zodiacks he had been
      The Stages Jewell;
    And did act (what now we moan)
      Old Men so duly,
    As, sooth, the_ Parcæ _thought him one,
      He play'd so truly._

Some of these Chappel Boys, when they grew Men, became Actors at the
_Black-friers_; such were _Nathan Feild_, and _John Underwood_. Now I
can hardly imagine that such Plays and Players as these, are included in
the severe Censure of the Councils and Fathers; but such only who are
truly within the Character given by _Didacus de Tapia_, cited by Mr.
_Collier_, p. 276, _viz. The Infamous Playhouse_; _a place of
contradiction to the strictness and sobriety of Religion_; _a place
hated by God, and haunted by the Devil_. And for such I have as great an
abhorrance as any man.

LOVEW. Can you guess of what Antiquity the representing of Religious
Matters, on the Stage, hath been in _England_?

TRUM. How long before the Conquest I know not, but that it was used in
_London_ not long after, appears by _Fitz-Stevens_, an Author who wrote
in the reign of King _Henry_ the Second. His words are, _Londonia pro
spectaculis theatralibus, pro ludis scenicis, ludos habet sanctiores,
Representationes miraculorum, quæ sancti Confessores operati sunt, seu
Representationes passionum quibus claruit constantia Martyrum_. Of this,
the Manuscript which I lately mention'd, in the _Cottonian_ Library, is
a notable instance. Sir _William Dugdale_ cites this Manuscript, by the
Title of _Ludus Coventriæ_; but in the printed Catalogue of that
Library, p. 113, it is named thus, _A Collection of Plays in old English
Metre,_ h. e. _Dramata sacra in quibus exhibentur historiæ Veteris & N.
Testamenti, introductis quasi in Scenam personis illic memoratis, quas
secum invicem colloquentes pro ingenio fingit Poeta. Videntur olim coram
populo, sive ad instruendum sive ad placendum, a fratribus mendicantibus
repræsentata._ It appears by the latter end of the Prologue, that these
Plays or Interludes, were not only play'd at _Coventry_, but in other
Towns and Places upon occasion. And possibly this may be the same Play
which _Stow_ tells us was play'd in the reign of King _Henry_ IV., which
lasted for Eight Days. The Book seems by the Character and Language to
be at least 300 Years old. It begins with a general Prologue, giving the
arguments of 40 Pageants or Gesticulations (which were as so many
several Acts or Scenes) representing all the Histories of both
Testaments, from the Creation, to the choosing of St. _Mathias_ to be an
Apostle. The Stories of the New Testament are more largely exprest,
_viz._ The Annunciation, Nativity, Visitation; but more especially all
Matters relating to the Passion very particularly, the Resurrection,
Ascention, the choice of St. _Mathias_: After which is also represented
the Assumption, and last Judgment. All these things were treated of in a
very homely style, (as we now think) infinitely below the Dignity of the
Subject: But it seems the Gust of that Age was not so nice and delicate
in these Matters; the plain and incurious Judgment of our Ancestors,
being prepared with favour, and taking every thing by the right and
easiest Handle: For example, in the Scene relating to the Visitation:

      _Maria._ But husband of oo thyng pray you most mekely,
    I haue knowing that our Cosyn Elizabeth with childe is,
    That it please yow to go to her hastyly,
    If ought we myth comfort her it wer to me blys.

      _Joseph._ A Gods sake, is she with child, sche?
    Than will her husband Zachary be mery.
    In Montana they dwelle, fer hence, so moty the,
    In the city of Juda, I know it verily;
    It is hence I trowe myles two a fifty,
    We ar like to be wery or we come at the same.
    I wole with a good will, blessyd wyff Mary;
    Now go we forth then in goddys name, &c.

            A little before the Resurrection:

  _Nunc dormient milites, & veniet anima Christi de inferno, cum_
          Adam & Eva, Abraham, John Baptist, _& aliis._

      _Anima Christi._ Come forth Adam, and Eve with the,
    And all my fryndes that herein be,
    In Paradys come forth with me
      In blysse for to dwelle.
    The fende of hell that is yowr foo
    He shall be wrappyd and woundyn in woo:
    Fro wo to welth now shall ye go,
      With myrth euer mor to melle.

      _Adam._ I thank the Lord of thy grete grace
    That now is forgiuen my gret trespace,
    Now shall we dwellyn in blyssful pace, &c.

The last Scene or Pageant, which represents the Day of Judgment, begins
thus:

      _Michael._ _Surgite_, All men aryse,
    _Venite ad judicium_,
    For now is set the High Justice,
    And hath assignyd the day of Dome:
    Kepe you redyly to this grett assyse,
    Both gret and small, all and sum,
    And of yowr answer you now advise,
    What you shall say when that yow com, &c.

These and such like, were the Plays which in former Ages were presented
publickly: Whether they had any settled and constant Houses for that
purpose, does not appear; I suppose not. But it is notorious that in
former times there was hardly ever any Solemn Reception of Princes, or
Noble Persons, but Pageants (that is Stages Erected in the open Street)
were part of the Entertainment. On which there were Speeches by one or
more Persons, in the nature of Scenes; and be sure one of the Speakers
must be some Saint of the same Name with the Party to whom the Honour is
intended. For instance, there is an ancient Manuscript at _Coventry_,
call'd the _Old Leet Book_, wherein is set down in a very particular
manner, (fo. 168) the reception of Queen _Margaret_, wife of _H._ 6, who
came to _Coventry_ (and I think, with her, her young Son, Prince
_Edward_) on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy-Cross, 35 _H._ 6.
(1456). Many Pageants and Speeches were made for her Welcome; out of all
which, I shall observe but two or three, in the Old English, as it is
Recorded.

      _St. Edward._ Moder of mekenes, Dame Margarete, princes most
          excellent,
    I King Edward wellcome you with affection cordial,
    Certefying to your highnes mekely myn entent,
    For the wele of the King and you hertily pray I shall,
    And for prince Edward my gostly chylde, who I love principal.
    Praying the, John Evangelist, my help therein to be,
    On that condition right humbly I giue this Ring to the.

      _John Evangelist._ Holy Edward crowned King, Brother in
          Verginity,
    My power plainly I will prefer thy will to amplefy.
    Most excellent princes of wymen mortal, your Bedeman will I be.
    I know your Life so vertuous that God is pleased thereby.
    The birth of you unto this Reme shall cause great Melody:
    The vertuous voice of Prince Edward shall dayly well encrease,
    St. Edward his Godfader and I shall pray therefore doubtlese.

      _St. Margaret._ Most notabul princes of wymen earthle,
    Dame Margarete, the chefe myrth of this Empyre,
    Ye be hertely welcome to this Cyte.
    To the plesure of your highnesse I wyll set my desyre;
    Both nature and gentlenesse doth me require,
    Seth we be both of one name, to shew you kindnesse;
    Wherefore by my power ye shall have no distresse.

      I shall pray to the Prince that is endlese
    To socour you with solas of his high grace;
    He will here my petition this is doubtlesse,
    For I wrought all my life that his will wace.
    Therefore, Lady, when you be in any dredfull case,
    Call on me boldly, thereof I pray you,
    And trust in me feythfully, I will do that may pay you.


In the next Reign (as appears in the same Book, fo. 221) an other
Prince _Edward_, Son of King _Edward_ the 4, came to _Coventry_ on the
28 of _April_, 14 _E._ 4, (1474) and was entertain'd with many Pageants
and Speeches, among which I shall observe only two: one was of St.
_Edward_ again, who was then made to speak thus,

      Noble Prince Edward, my Cousin and my Knight,
    And very Prince of our Line com yn dissent,
    I Saint Edward have pursued for your faders imperial Right,
    Whereof he was excluded by full furious intent.
    Unto this your Chamber as prince full excellent
    Ye be right welcome. Thanked be Crist of his sonde,
    For that that was ours is now in your faders honde.

The other Speech was from St. _George_; and thus saith the Book.

     ----Also upon the Condite in the Croscheping was St. George
     armed, and a kings daughter kneling afore him with a Lamb, and
     the fader and the moder being in a Towre aboven beholding St.
     George saving their daughter from the Dragon, and the Condite
     renning wine in four places, and Minstralcy of Organ playing,
     and St. George hauing this Speech under-written.

          O mighty God our all succour celestiall,
        Which this Royme hast given in dower
        To thi moder, and to me George protection perpetuall
        It to defend from enimys fer and nere,
        And as this mayden defended was here
        By thy grace from this Dragons devour,
        So, Lord preserve this noble prince, and ever be his socour.

LOVEW. I perceive these holy Matters consisted very much of Praying; but
I pitty poor St. _Edward_ the Confessor, who in the compass of a few
Years, was made to promise his favour and assistance to two young
Princes of the same Name indeed, but of as different and opposite
Interests as the two Poles. I know not how he could perform to both.

TRUM. Alas! they were both unhappy, notwithstanding these fine Shews and
seeming caresses of Fortune, being both murder'd, one by the Hand, the
other by the procurement of _Rich._ Duke of _Glocester_. I will produce
but one Example more of this sort of Action, or Representations, and
that is of later time, and an instance of much higher Nature than any
yet mentioned, it was at the marriage of Prince _Arthur_, eldest Son of
king _Henry 7_. to the Princess _Catherine_ of _Spain, An. 1501_. Her
passage through _London_ was very magnificent, as I have read it
described in an old M.S. Chronicle of that time. The Pageants and
Speeches were many; the Persons represented St. _Catherine_, St.
_Ursula_, a Senator, Noblesse, Virtue, an Angel, King _Alphonse_, _Job_,
_Boetius_, &c. among others one is thus described.

     When this Spech was ended, she held on her way tyll she cam
     unto the Standard in Chepe, where was ordeyned the fifth
     Pagend made like an hevyn, theryn syttyng a Personage
     representing the fader of hevyn, beyng all formyd of Gold, and
     brennying beffor his trone vii Candyilis of wax standyng in
     vii Candylstykis of Gold, the said personage beyng environed
     wyth sundry Hyrarchies off Angelis, and sytting in a Cope of
     most rich cloth of Tyssu, garnishyd wyth stoon and perle in
     most sumptuous wyse. Foragain which said Pagend upon the sowth
     syde of the strete stood at that tyme, in a hows wheryn that
     tyme dwellyd _William Geffrey_ habyrdasher, the king, the
     Quene, my Lady the Kingys moder, my Lord of _Oxynfford_, with
     many othir Lordys and Ladys, and Perys of this Realm, wyth
     also certayn Ambassadors of France lately sent from the French
     King; and so passyng the said Estatys, eyther guyvyng to
     other due and convenyent Saluts and Countenancs, so sone as
     hyr grace was approachid unto the sayd Pagend, the fadyr began
     his Spech as folowyth:

          _Hunc veneram locum, septeno lumine septum._
          _Dignumque_ Arthuri _totidem astra micant._

          I am begynyng and ende, that made ech creature
        My sylfe, and for my sylfe, but man esspecially
        Both male and female, made aftyr myne aun fygure,
        Whom I joyned togydyr in Matrimony
        And that in Paradyse, declaring opynly
        That men shall weddyng in my Chyrch solempnize,
        Fygurid and signifyed by the erthly Paradyze.

         In thys my Chyrch I am allway recydent
        As my chyeff tabernacle, and most chosyn place,
        Among these goldyn candylstikkis, which represent
        My Catholyk Chyrch, shynyng affor my face,
        With lyght of feyth, wisdom, doctryne, and grace,
        And mervelously eke enflamyd toward me
        Wyth the extyngwible fyre of Charyte.

         Wherefore, my welbelovid dowgthyr Katharyn,
        Syth I have made yow to myne awn semblance
        In my Chyrch to be maried, and your noble Childryn
        To regn in this land as in their enherytance,
        Se that ye have me in speciall remembrance:
        Love me and my Chyrch yowr spiritual modyr,
        For ye dispysing that oon, dyspyse that othyr.

         Look that ye walk in my precepts, and obey them well:
        And here I give you the same blyssyng that I
        Gave my well beloved chylder of Israell;
        Blyssyd be the fruyt of your bely;
        Yower substance and frutys I shall encrease and multyply;
        Yower rebellious Enimyes I shall put in yowr hand,
        Encreasing in honour both yow and yowr land.

LOVEW. This would be censured now a days as profane to the highest
degree.

TRUM. No doubt on't: Yet you see there was a time when People were not
so nicely censorious in these Matters, but were willing to take things
in the best sence: and then this was thought a noble Entertainment for
the greatest King in _Europe_ (such I esteem King _H._ 7. at that time)
and proper for that Day of mighty Joy and Triumph. And I must farther
observe out of the Lord _Bacon_'s History of _H._ 7. that the chief Man
who had the care of that Days Proceedings was Bishop _Fox_, a grave
Councelor for War or Peace, and also a good Surveyor of Works, and a
good Master of Cerimonies, and it seems he approv'd it. The said Lord
_Bacon_ tells us farther, That whosoever had those Toys in compiling,
they were not altogether Pedantical.

LOVEW. These things however are far from that which we understand by the
name of a Play.

TRUM. It may be so; but these were the Plays of those times. Afterwards
in the Reign of K. _H._ 8. both the Subject and Form of these Plays
began to alter, and have since varied more and more. I have by me, a
thing called _A merry Play between the Pardoner and the Frere, the
Curate and Neybour Pratte_. Printed the 5 of _April_ 1533, which was 24
_H._ 8. (a few Years before the Dissolution of Monasteries). The design
of this Play was to redicule Friers and Pardoners. Of which I'll give
you a taste. To begin it, the Fryer enters with these Words,

    Deus hic; the holy Trynyte
    Preserue all that now here be.
    Dere bretherne, yf ye will consyder
    The Cause why I am com hyder,
    Ye wolde be glad to knowe my entent;
    For I com not hyther for mony nor for rent,
    I com not hyther for meat nor for meale,
    But I com hyther for your Soules heale, &c.

After a long Preamble, he addresses himself to Preach, when the Pardoner
enters with these Words,

    God and St. Leonarde send ye all his grace
    As many as ben assembled in this place, &c.

And makes a long Speech, shewing his Bulls and his Reliques, in order to
sell his Pardons for the raising some Money towards the rebuilding,

    Of the holy Chappell of sweet saynt Leonarde,
    Which late by fyre was destroyed and marde.

Both these speaking together, with continual interruption, at last they
fall together by the Ears. Here the Curate enters (for you must know the
Scene lies in the Church)

      Hold your hands; a vengeance on ye both two
      That euer ye came hyther to make this ado,
      To polute my Chyrche, &c.

      _Fri._ Mayster Parson, I marvayll ye will give Lycence
    To this false knaue in this Audience
    To publish his ragman rolles with lyes.
    I desyred hym ywys more than ones or twyse
    To hold his peas tyll that I had done,
    But he would here no more than the man in the mone.

      _Pard._ Why sholde I suffre the, more than thou me?
    Mayster parson gaue me lycence before the.
    And I wolde thou knowest it I have relykes here,
    Other maner stuffe than thou dost bere:

    I wyll edefy more with the syght of it,
    Than will all thy pratynge of holy wryt;
    For that except that the precher himselfe lyve well,
    His predycacyon wyll helpe never a dell, &c.

      _Pars._ No more of this wranglyng in my Chyrch:
    I shrewe your hertys bothe for this lurche.
    Is there any blood shed here between these knaues?
    Thanked be god they had no stauys,
    Nor egotoles, for then it had ben wronge.
    Well, ye shall synge another songe.

Here he calls his Neighbour _Prat_ the Constable, with design to
apprehend 'em, and set 'em in the Stocks. But the Frier and Pardoner
prove sturdy, and will not be stockt, but fall upon the poor Parson and
Constable, and bang 'em both so well-favour'dly, that at last they are
glad to let 'em go at liberty: And so the Farce ends with a drawn
Battail. Such as this were the Plays of that Age, acted in Gentlemens
Halls at Christmas, or such like festival times, by the Servants of the
Family, or Strowlers who went about and made it a Trade. It is not
unlikely that[2] Lords in those days, and Persons of eminent Quality,
had their several Gangs of Players, as some have now of Fidlers, to whom
they give Cloaks and Badges. The first Comedy that I have seen that
looks like regular, is _Gammer Gurton's Needle_, writ I think in the
reign of King _Edward_ 6. This is composed of five Acts, the Scenes
unbroken, and the unities of Time and Place duly observed. It was acted
at _Christ_ Colledge in _Cambridge_; there not being as yet any settled
and publick Theaters.

LOVEW. I observe, _Truman_, from what you have said, that Plays in
_England_ had a beginning much like those of _Greece_, the Monologues
and the Pageants drawn from place to place on Wheels, answer exactly to
the Cart of _Thespis_, and the Improvements have been by such little
steps and degrees as among the Ancients, till at last, to use the Words
of Sir _George Buck_ (in his _Third University of_ England) _Dramatick
Poesy is so lively exprest and represented upon the publick Stages and
Theatres of this City, as_ Rome _in the_ Auge _(the highest pitch) of
her Pomp and Glory, never saw it better perform'd, I mean_ (says he) _in
respect of the Action and Art, and not of the Cost and Sumptiousness_.
This he writ about the Year 1631. But can you inform me _Truman_, when
publick Theaters were first erected for this purpose in _London_?

TRUM. Not certainly; but I presume about the beginning of Queen
_Elizabeths_ Reign. For _Stow_ in his Survey of _London_ (which Book was
first printed in the Year 1598) says, _Of late Years, in place of these
Stage-plays_ (i. e. those of Religious Matters) _have been used
Comedies, Tragedies, Interludes, and Histories, both true and feigned;
for the acting whereof certain publick Places, as the Theatre, the
Curtine, &c. have been erected_. And the continuator of _Stows_ Annals,
p. 1004, says, That in Sixty Years before the publication of that Book,
(which was _An. Dom. 1629_) no less than 17 publick Stages, or common
Playhouses, had been built in and about _London_. In which number he
reckons five Inns or Common Osteries, to have been in his time turned
into Play-houses, one Cockpit, St. _Paul_'s singing School, one in the
_Black-friers_, one in the _Whitefriers_, and one in former time at
_Newington_ Buts; and adds, before the space of 60 years past, I never
knew, heard, or read, of any such Theaters, set Stages, or Playhouses,
as have been purposely built within Man's Memory.

LOVEW. After all, I have been told, that Stage-Plays are inconsistant
with the Laws of this Kingdom, and Players made Rogues by Statute.

TRUM. He that told you so strain'd a point of Truth. I never met with
any Law wholly to suppress them: Sometimes indeed they have been
prohibited for a Season; as in times of _Lent_, general Mourning or
publick Calamities, or upon other occasions, when the Government saw
fit. Thus by Proclamation, 7 of _April_, in the first Year of Queen
_Elizabeth_, Plays and Interludes were forbid till _All hallow-tide_
next following. _Hollinshed_, p. 1184. Some Statutes have been made for
their Regulation or Reformation, not general suppression. By the Stat.
39 _Eliz._ c. 4, (which was made _for the suppressing of Rogues,
Vagabonds and sturdy Beggars_) it is enacted,

     S. 2, That all persons that be, or utter themselves to be,
     Proctors, Procurers, Patent gatherers, or Collectors for
     Gaols, Prisons or Hospitals, or Fencers, Barewards, common
     players of Interludes and Ministrels, wandering abroad, (other
     than Players of Interludes belonging to any Baron of this
     Realm, or any other honourable Personage of greater Degree, to
     be authoriz'd to play under the Hand and Seal of Arms of such
     Baron or Personage) All Juglers, Tinkers, Pedlers, and Petty
     chapmen, wandering abroad, all wandring Persons, &c. able
     in Body, using loytering, and refusing to work for such
     reasonable Wages as is commonly given, &c. These shall be
     ajudged and deemed Rogues, Vagabonds and sturdy Beggars, and
     punished as such.

LOVEW. But this priviledge of Authorizing or Licensing, is taken away by
the Stat. 1 _Ja._ 1. ch. 7, S. 1, and therefore all of them (as Mr.
_Collier_ says, p. 242) are expresly brought under the foresaid Penalty,
without distinction.

TRUM. If he means all Players, without distinction, 'tis a great
Mistake. For the force of the Queens Statute extends only to _wandring
Players_, and not to such as are the King or Queen's Servants, and
establisht in settled Houses by Royal Authority. On such, the ill
Character of vagrant Players (or as they are now called, Strolers) can
cast no more aspersion, than the wandring Proctors, in the same Statute
mentioned, on those of _Doctors-Commons_. By a Stat. made _3 Ja._ I. ch.
21. It was enacted,

     That if any person shall in any Stage-play, Enterlude, Shew,
     Maygame, or Pageant, jestingly or prophanely speak or use the
     holy name of God, Christ Jesus, the holy Ghost, or of the
     Trinity, he shall forfeit for every such offence, 10_l._

The Stat. 1 _Char._ I. ch. 1, enacts,

     That no Meetings, Assemblies, or concourse of People shall be
     out of their own Parishes, on the Lords day, for any Sports or
     Pastimes whatsoever, nor any Bear-bating, Bull-bating,
     Enterludes, Common Plays, or other unlawful Exercises and
     Pastimes used by any person or persons within their own
     Parishes.

These are all the Statutes that I can think of relating to the Stage and
Players; but nothing to suppress them totally, till the two Ordinances
of the Long Parliament, one of the 22 of _October 1647_, the other of
the 11 of _Feb. 1647_. By which all Stage-Plays and Interludes are
absolutely forbid; the Stages, Seats, Galleries, _&c._ to be pulled
down; all Players tho' calling themselves the King or Queens Servants,
if convicted of acting within two Months before such Conviction, to be
punished as Rogues according to Law; the Money received by them to go to
the Poor of the Parish; and every Spectator to Pay 5s. to the use of the
Poor. Also Cock-fighting was prohibited by one of _Oliver_'s Acts of _31
Mar. 1654_. But I suppose no body pretends these things to be Laws; I
could say more on this Subject, but I must break off here, and leave
you, _Lovewit_; my Occasions require it.

LOVE. Farewel, Old Cavalier.

TRUM. 'Tis properly said; we are almost all of us, now, gone and
forgotten.



LETTERS PATENT FOR ERECTING A NEW THEATRE


                                    15 January, 14 Car. II. 1662.

     A Copy of the LETTERS PATENTS then granted by King Charles II.
     under the Great Seal of England, to SIR WILLIAM D'AVENANT,
     KNT. his Heirs and Assigns, for erecting a new Theatre, and
     establishing of a company of actors in any place within London
     or Westminster, or the Suburbs of the same: And that no other
     but this company, and one other company, by virtue of a like
     Patent, to THOMAS KILLIGREW, ESQ.; should be permitted within
     the said liberties.

CHARLES the second, by the Grace of God, king of England, Scotland,
France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. to all to whom all these
presents shall come, greeting.

[Sidenote: Recites former patents, 14 Car. I. ann. 1639, to Sir Will.
D'avenant.]

Whereas our royal father of glorious memory, by his letters patents
under his great seal of England bearing date at Westminster the 26th day
of March, in the 14th year of his reign, did give and grant unto Sir
William D'avenant (by the name of William D'avenant, gent.) his heirs,
executors, administrators, and assigns, full power, licence, and
authority, That he, they, and every of them, by him and themselves, and
by all and every such person and persons as he or they should depute or
appoint, and his and their laborers, servants, and workmen, should and
might, lawfully, quietly, and peaceably, frame, erect, new build, and
set up, upon a parcel of ground, lying near unto or behind the Three
Kings ordinary in Fleet-street, in the parishes of St. Dunstan's in the
West, London; or in St. Bride's, London; or in either of them, or in any
other ground in or about that place, or in the whole street aforesaid,
then allotted to him for that use; or in any other place that was, or
then after should be assigned or allotted out to the said Sir William
D'avenant by Thomas Earl of Arundel and Surry, then Earl Marshal of
England, or any other commissioner for building, for the time being in
that behalf, a theatre or play-house, with necessary tiring and retiring
rooms, and other places convenient, containing in the whole forty yards
square at the most, wherein plays, musical entertainments, scenes, or
other the like presentments might be presented. And our said royal
father did grant unto the said Sir William D'avenant, his heirs,
executors, and administrators and assignes, that it should and might be
lawful to and for him the said Sir William D'avenant, his heirs,
executors, administrators, and assignes, from time to time, to gather
together, entertain, govern, privilege, and keep, such and so many
players and persons to exercise actions, musical presentments, scenes,
dancing, and the like, as he the said Sir William D'avenant, his heirs,
executors, administrators, or assignes, should think fit and approve for
the said house. And such persons to permit and continue, at and during
the pleasure of the said Sir William D'avenant, his heirs, executors,
administrators, or assignes, from time to time, to act plays in such
house so to be by him or them erected, and exercise musick, musical
presentments, scenes, dancing, or other the like, at the same or other
houses or times, or after plays are ended, peaceably and quietly,
without the impeachment or impediment of any person or persons
whatsoever, for the honest recreation of such as should desire to see
the same; and that it should and might be lawful to and for the said Sir
William D'avenant, his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, to
take and receive of such as should resort to see or hear any such plays,
scenes, and entertainments whatsoever, such sum or sums of money as was
or then after, from time to time, should be accustomed to be given or
taken in other play-houses and places for the like plays, scenes,
presentments, and entertainments as in and by the said letters patents,
relation being thereunto had, more at large may appear.

[Sidenote: 13 Car. II. exemplification of said letters patents.]

And whereas we did, by our letters patents under the great seal of
England, bearing date the 16th day of May, in the 13th year of our
reign, exemplifie the said recited letters patents granted by our royal
father, as in and by the same, relation being thereunto had, at large
may appear.

[Sidenote: Surrender of both to the king in the court of Chancery.]

And whereas the said Sir William D'avenant hath surrendered our letters
patents of exemplification, and also the said recited letters patents
granted by our royal father, into our Court of Chancery, to be
cancelled; which surrender we have accepted, and do accept by these
presents.

[Sidenote: New grant to Sir William D'avenant, his heirs and assignes.]

[Sidenote: To erect a theatre in London or Westminster, or the suburbs.]

Know ye that we of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and meer
motion, and upon the humble petition of the said Sir William D'avenant,
and in consideration of the good and faithful service which he the said
Sir William D'avenant hath done unto us, and doth intend to do for the
future; and in consideration of the said surrender, have given and
granted, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do
give and grant, unto the said Sir William D'avenant, his heirs,
executors, administrators, and assigns, full power, licence, and
authority, that he, they, and every one of them, by him and themselves,
and by all and every such person and persons as he or they should depute
or appoint, and his or their labourers, servants, and workmen, shall and
may lawfully, peaceably, and quietly, frame, erect, new build, and set
up, in any place within our cities of London and Westminster, or the
suburbs thereof, where he or they shall find best accommodation for
that purpose; to be assigned and allotted out by the surveyor of our
works; one theatre or play-house, with necessary tiring and retiring
rooms, and other places convenient, of such extent and dimention as the
said Sir William D'avenant, his heirs or assigns shall think fitting:
wherein tragedies, comedies, plays, operas, musick, scenes, and all
other entertainments of the stage whatsoever, may be shewed and
presented.

[Sidenote: And to entertain players, &c. to act without the impeachment
of any person.]

And we do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors, grant unto the said
Sir William D'avenant, his heirs and assigns, full power, licence, and
authority, from time to time, to gather together, entertain, govern,
priviledge and keep, such and so many players and persons to exercise
and act tragedies, comedies, plays, operas, and other performances of
the stage, within the house to be built as aforesaid, or within the
house in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, wherein the said Sir William D'avenant
doth now exercise the premises; or within any other house, where he or
they can best be fitted for that purpose, within our cities of London
and Westminster, or the suburbs thereof; which said company shall be the
servants of our dearly beloved brother, James Duke of York, and shall
consist of such number as the said Sir William D'avenant, his heirs or
assigns, shall from time to time think meet. And such persons to permit
and continue at and during the pleasure of the said Sir William
D'avenant, his heirs or assigns, from time to time, to act plays and
entertainments of the stage, of all sorts, peaceably and quietly,
without the impeachment or impediment of any person or persons
whatsoever, for the honest recreation of such as shall desire to see the
same.

And that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Sir William
D'avenant, his heirs and assigns, to take and receive of such our
subjects as shall resort to see or hear any such plays, scenes and
entertainments whatsoever, such sum or sums of money, as either have
accustomably been given and taken in the like kind, or as shall be
thought reasonable by him or them, in regard of the great expences of
scenes, musick, and such new decorations, as have not been formerly
used.

And further, for us, our heirs, and successors, we do hereby give and
grant unto the said Sir William D'avenant, his heirs and assigns, full
power to make such allowances out of that which he shall so receive, by
the acting of plays and entertainments of the stage, as aforesaid, to
the actors and other persons imployed in acting, representing, or in any
quality whatsoever, about the said theatre, as he or they shall think
fit; and that the said company shall be under the sole government and
authority of the said Sir William D'avenant, his heirs and assigns. And
all scandalous and mutinous persons shall from time to time be by him
and them ejected and disabled from playing in the said theatre.

[Sidenote: That no other company but this, and one other under Mr.
Killigrew, be permitted to act within London or Westminster or the
suburbs.]

And for that we are informed that divers companies of players have taken
upon them to act plays publicly in our said cities of London and
Westminster, or the suburbs thereof, without any authority for that
purpose; we do hereby declare our dislike of the same, and will and
grant that only the said company erected and set up, or to be erected
and set up by the said Sir William D'avenant, his heirs and assigns, by
virtue of these presents, and one other company erected and set up, or
to be erected and set up by Thomas Killigrew, Esq., his heirs or
assigns, and none other, shall from henceforth act or represent
comedies, tragedies, plays, or entertainments of the stage, within our
said cities of London and Westminster, or the suburbs thereof; which
said company to be erected by the said Thomas Killigrew, his heirs or
assigns, shall be subject to his and their government and authority, and
shall be stiled the Company of Us and our Royal Consort.

[Sidenote: No actor to go from one company to the other.]

And the better to preserve amity and correspondency betwixt the said
companies, and that the one may not incroach upon the other by any
indirect means, we will and ordain, That no actor or other person
employed about either of the said theatres, erected by the said Sir
William D'avenant and Thomas Killigrew, or either of them, or deserting
his company, shall be received by the governor or any of the said other
company, or any other person or persons, to be employed in acting, or in
any matter relating to the stage, without the consent and approbation of
the governor of the company, whereof the said person so ejected or
deserting was a member, signified under his hand and seal. And we do by
these presents declare all other company and companies, saving the two
companies before mentioned, to be silenced and suppressed.

[Sidenote: To correct plays, &c.]

And forasmuch as many plays, formerly acted, do contain several
prophane, obscene, and scurrilous passages; and the womens parts therein
have been acted by men in the habits of women, at which some have taken
offence: for the preventing of these abuses for the future, we do hereby
straitly charge and command and enjoyn, that from henceforth no new play
shall be acted by either of the said companies, containing any passages
offensive to piety and good manners, nor any old or revived play,
containing any such offensive passages as aforesaid, until the same
shall be corrected and purged, by the said masters or governors of the
said respective companies, from all such offensive and scandalous
passages, as aforesaid. And we do likewise permit and give leave that
all the womens parts to be acted in either of the said two companies for
the time to come, may be performed by women, so long as these
recreations, which, by reason of the abuses aforesaid, were scandalous
and offensive, may by such reformation be esteemed, not only harmless
delights, but useful and instructive representations of humane life, to
such of our good subjects as shall resort to see the same.

[Sidenote: These letters patents to be good and effectual in the law,
according to the true meaning of the same, although, &c.]

And these our letters patents, or the inrolment thereof, shall be in all
things good and effectual in the law, according to the true intent and
meaning of the same, any thing in these presents contained, or any law,
statute, act, ordinance proclamation, provision, restriction, or any
other matter, cause, or thing whatsoever to the contrary, in any wise
notwithstanding; although express mention of the true yearly value, or
certainty of the premises, or of any of them, or of any other gifts or
grants by us, or by any of our progenitors or predecessors, heretofore
made to the said Sir William D'avenant in these presents, is not made,
or any other statute, act, ordinance, provision, proclamation, or
restriction heretofore had, made, enacted, ordained, or provided, or any
other matter, cause, or thing whatsoever to the contrary thereof, in any
wise notwithstanding. In witness whereof, we have caused these our
letters to be made patents. Witness our self at Westminster, the
fifteenth day of January, in the fourteenth year of our reign.

                              By the King.
                                                       HOWARD.



                             AN APOLOGY
                          FOR THE LIFE OF
                   _Mr._ COLLEY CIBBER, _Comedian_,
                                AND
                 Late PATENTEE of the _Theatre-Royal_.

           _With an Historical View of the_ STAGE _during
                           his_ OWN TIME.

                         WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.

  ------------------------------_Hoc est
  Vivere bis, vitâ posse priore frui._           Mart. lib. 2.

  _When Years no more of active Life retain,
  'Tis Youth renew'd, to laugh 'em o'er again._  Anonym.


                         The SECOND EDITION.

                              _LONDON:_

                 Printed by JOHN WATTS for the AUTHOR:
             And Sold by W. LEWIS in _Russel-Street,_ near
                          _Convent--Garden._

                                MDCCXL.



TO A CERTAIN GENTLEMAN.[3]


_SIR,_

Because I know it would give you less Concern to find your Name in an
impertinent Satyr, than before the daintiest Dedication of a modern
Author, I conceal it.

Let me talk never so idly to you, this way; you are, at least, under no
necessity of taking it to yourself: Nor when I boast of your favours,
need you blush to have bestow'd them. Or I may now give you all the
Attributes that raise a wise and good-natur'd Man to Esteem and
Happiness, and not be censured as a Flatterer by my own or your Enemies.
----I place my own first; because as they are the greater Number, I am
afraid of not paying the greater Respect to them. Yours, if such there
are, I imagine are too well-bred to declare themselves: But as there is
no Hazard or visible Terror in an Attack upon my defenceless Station, my
Censurers have generally been Persons of an intrepid Sincerity. Having
therefore shut the Door against them while I am thus privately
addressing you, I have little to apprehend from either of them.

Under this Shelter, then, I may safely tell you, That the greatest
Encouragement I have had to publish this Work, has risen from the
several Hours of Patience you have lent me at the Reading it. It is
true, I took the Advantage of your Leisure in the Country, where
moderate Matters serve for Amusement; and there, indeed, how far your
Good-nature for an old Acquaintance, or your Reluctance to put the
Vanity of an Author out of countenance, may have carried you, I cannot
be sure; and yet Appearances give me stronger Hopes: For was not the
Complaisance of a whole Evening's Attention as much as an Author of more
Importance ought to have expected? Why then was I desired the next Day
to give you a second Lecture? Or why was I kept a third Day with you, to
tell you more of the same Story? If these Circumstances have made me
vain, shall I say, Sir, you are accountable for them? No, Sir, I will
rather so far flatter myself as to suppose it possible, That your having
been a Lover of the Stage (and one of those few good Judges who know the
Use and Value of it, under a right Regulation) might incline you to
think so copious an Account of it a less tedious Amusement, than it may
naturally be to others of different good Sense, who may have less
Concern or Taste for it. But be all this as it may; the Brat is now
born, and rather than see it starve upon the Bare Parish Provision, I
chuse thus clandestinely to drop it at your Door, that it may exercise
One of your Many Virtues, your Charity, in supporting it.

If the World were to know into whose Hands I have thrown it, their
Regard to its Patron might incline them to treat it as one of his
Family: But in the Consciousness of what I _am_, I chuse not, Sir, to
say who you _are_. If your Equal in Rank were to do publick Justice to
your Character, then, indeed, the Concealment of your Name might be an
unnecessary Diffidence: But am I, Sir, of Consequence enough, in any
Guise, to do Honour to Mr. ----? Were I to set him in the most laudable
Lights that Truth and good Sense could give him, or his own Likeness
would require, my officious Mite would be lost in that general Esteem
and Regard which People of the first Consequence, even of different
Parties, have a Pleasure in paying him. Encomiums to Superiors from
Authors of lower Life, as they are naturally liable to Suspicion, can
add very little Lustre to what before was visible to the publick Eye:
Such Offerings (to use the Stile they are generally dressed in) like
_Pagan_ Incense, evaporate on the Altar, and rather gratify the Priest
than the Deity.

But you, Sir, are to be approached in Terms within the Reach of common
Sense: The honest Oblation of a chearful Heart is as much as you desire
or I am able to bring you: A Heart that has just Sense enough to mix
Respect with Intimacy, and is never more delighted than when your rural
Hours of Leisure admit me, with all my laughing Spirits, to be my idle
self, and in the whole Day's Possession of you! Then, indeed, I have
Reason to be vain; I am, then, distinguish'd by a Pleasure too great to
be conceal'd, and could almost pity the Man of graver Merit that dares
not receive it with the same unguarded Transport! This Nakedness of
Temper the World may place in what Rank of Folly or Weakness they
please; but 'till Wisdom can give me something that will make me more
heartily happy, I am content to be gaz'd at as I am, without lessening
my Respect for those whose Passions may be more soberly covered.

Yet, Sir, will I not deceive you; 'tis not the Lustre of your publick
Merit, the Affluence of your Fortune, your high Figure in Life, nor
those honourable Distinctions, which you had rather deserve than be told
of, that have so many Years made my plain Heart hang after you: These
are but incidental Ornaments, that, 'tis true, may be of Service to you
in the World's Opinion; and though, as one among the Crowd, I may
rejoice that Providence has so deservedly bestow'd them; yet my
particular Attachment has risen from a meer natural and more engaging
Charm, The Agreeable Companion! Nor is my Vanity half so much gratified
in the _Honour_, as my Sense is in the _Delight_ of your Society! When I
see you lay aside the Advantages of Superiority, and by your own
Chearfulness of Spirits call out all that Nature has given me to meet
them; then 'tis I taste you! then Life runs high! I desire! I possess
you!

Yet, Sir, in this distinguish'd Happiness I give not up my farther Share
of that Pleasure, or of that Right I have to look upon you with the
publick Eye, and to join in the general Regard so unanimously pay'd to
that uncommon Virtue, your _Integrity_! This, Sir, the World allows so
conspicuous a Part of your Character, that, however invidious the Merit,
neither the rude License of Detraction, nor the Prejudice of Party, has
ever once thrown on it the least Impeachment or Reproach. This is that
commanding Power that, in publick Speaking, makes you heard with such
Attention! This it is that discourages and keeps silent the Insinuations
of Prejudice and Suspicion; and almost renders your Eloquence an
unnecessary Aid to your Assertions: Even your Opponents, conscious of
your _Integrity_, hear you rather as a Witness than an Orator--But
this, Sir, is drawing you too near the Light, _Integrity_ is too
particular a Virtue to be cover'd with a general Application. Let me
therefore only talk to you, as at _Tusculum_ (for so I will call that
sweet Retreat, which your own Hands have rais'd) where like the fam'd
Orator of old, when publick Cares permit, you pass so many rational,
unbending Hours: There! and at such Times, to have been admitted, still
plays in my Memory more like a fictitious than a real Enjoyment! How
many golden Evenings, in that Theatrical Paradise of water'd Lawns and
hanging Groves, have I walk'd and prated down the Sun in social
Happiness! Whether the Retreat of _Cicero_, in Cost, Magnificence, or
curious Luxury of Antiquities, might not out-blaze the _simplex
Munditiis_, the modest Ornaments of your _Villa_, is not within my
reading to determine: But that the united Power of Nature, Art, or
Elegance of Taste, could have thrown so many varied Objects into a more
delightful Harmony, is beyond my Conception.

When I consider you in this View, and as the Gentleman of Eminence
surrounded with the general Benevolence of Mankind; I rejoice, Sir, for
you and for myself; to see _You_ in this particular Light of Merit, and
myself sometimes admitted to my more than equal Share of you.

If this _Apology_ for my past Life discourages you not from holding me
in your usual Favour, let me quit this greater Stage, the World,
whenever I may, I shall think This the best-acted Part of any I have
undertaken, since you first condescended to laugh with,

    _SIR_,

        _Your most obedient_,

          _most obliged, and_

              _most humble Servant_,

                              COLLEY CIBBER.

  Novemb. 6.
    1739.



AN APOLOGY FOR THE LIFE OF MR. COLLEY CIBBER, &c. [4]



CHAPTER I.


[Illustration: Ad Lalauze, sc]

     _The Introduction. The Author's Birth. Various Fortune at
     School. Not lik'd by those he lov'd there. Why. A Digression
     upon Raillery. The Use and Abuse of it. The Comforts of Folly.
     Vanity of Greatness. Laughing, no bad Philosophy._

You know, Sir, I have often told you that one time or other I should
give the Publick some Memoirs of my own Life; at which you have never
fail'd to laugh, like a Friend, without saying a word to dissuade me
from it; concluding, I suppose, that such a wild Thought could not
possibly require a serious Answer. But you see I was in earnest. And now
you will say the World will find me, under my own Hand, a weaker Man
than perhaps I may have pass'd for, even among my Enemies.--With all my
Heart! my Enemies will then read me with Pleasure, and you, perhaps,
with Envy, when you find that Follies, without the Reproach of Guilt
upon them, are not inconsistent with Happiness.--But why make my Follies
publick? Why not? I have pass'd my Time very pleasantly with them, and I
don't recollect that they have ever been hurtful to any other Man
living. Even admitting they were injudiciously chosen, would it not be
Vanity in me to take Shame to myself for not being found a Wise Man?
Really, Sir, my Appetites were in too much haste to be happy, to throw
away my Time in pursuit of a Name I was sure I could never arrive at.

Now the Follies I frankly confess I look upon as in some measure
discharged; while those I conceal are still keeping the Account open
between me and my Conscience. To me the Fatigue of being upon a
continual Guard to hide them is more than the Reputation of being
without them can repay. If this be Weakness, _defendit numerus_, I have
such comfortable Numbers on my side, that were all Men to blush that are
not Wise, I am afraid, in Ten, Nine Parts of the World ought to be out
of Countenance:[5] But since that sort of Modesty is what they don't care
to come into, why should I be afraid of being star'd at for not being
particular? Or if the Particularity lies in owning my Weakness, will my
wisest Reader be so inhuman as not to pardon it? But if there should be
such a one, let me at least beg him to shew me that strange Man who is
perfect! Is any one more unhappy, more ridiculous, than he who is always
labouring to be thought so, or that is impatient when he is not thought
so? Having brought myself to be easy under whatever the World may say of
my Undertaking, you may still ask me why I give myself all this trouble?
Is it for Fame, or Profit to myself,[6] or Use or Delight to others? For
all these Considerations I have neither Fondness nor Indifference: If I
obtain none of them, the Amusement, at worst, will be a Reward that must
constantly go along with the Labour. But behind all this there is
something inwardly inciting, which I cannot express in few Words; I must
therefore a little make bold with your Patience.

A Man who has pass'd above Forty Years of his Life upon a Theatre, where
he has never appear'd to be Himself, may have naturally excited the
Curiosity of his Spectators to know what he really was when in no body's
Shape but his own; and whether he, who by his Profession had so long
been ridiculing his Benefactors, might not, when the Coat of his
Profession was off, deserve to be laugh'd at himself; or from his being
often seen in the most flagrant and immoral Characters, whether he might
not see as great a Rogue when he look'd into the Glass himself as when
he held it to others.

It was doubtless from a Supposition that this sort of Curiosity wou'd
compensate their Labours that so many hasty Writers have been encourag'd
to publish the Lives of the late Mrs. _Oldfield_, Mr. _Wilks_, and Mr.
_Booth_, in less time after their Deaths than one could suppose it cost
to transcribe them.[7]

Now, Sir, when my Time comes, lest they shou'd think it worth while to
handle my Memory with the same Freedom, I am willing to prevent its
being so odly besmear'd (or at best but flatly white-wash'd) by taking
upon me to give the Publick This, as true a Picture of myself as natural
Vanity will permit me to draw: For to promise you that I shall never be
vain, were a Promise that, like a Looking-glass too large, might break
itself in the making: Nor am I sure I ought wholly to avoid that
Imputation, because if Vanity be one of my natural Features, the
Portrait wou'd not be like me without it. In a Word, I may palliate and
soften as much as I please; but upon an honest Examination of my Heart,
I am afraid the same Vanity which makes even homely People employ
Painters to preserve a flattering Record of their Persons, has seduced
me to print off this _Chiaro Oscuro_ of my Mind.

And when I have done it, you may reasonably ask me of what Importance
can the History of my private Life be to the Publick? To this, indeed, I
can only make you a ludicrous Answer, which is, That the Publick very
well knows my Life has not been a private one; that I have been employ'd
in their Service ever since many of their Grandfathers were young Men;
And tho' I have voluntarily laid down my Post, they have a sort of Right
to enquire into my Conduct (for which they have so well paid me) and to
call for the Account of it during my Share of Administration in the
State of the Theatre. This Work, therefore, which I hope they will not
expect a Man of hasty Head shou'd confine to any regular Method: (For I
shall make no scruple of leaving my History when I think a Digression
may make it lighter for my Reader's Digestion.) This Work, I say, shall
not only contain the various Impressions of my Mind, (as in _Louis the
Fourteenth_ his Cabinet you have seen the growing Medals of his Person
from Infancy to Old Age,) but shall likewise include with them the
_Theatrical History of my Own Time_, from my first Appearance on the
Stage to my last _Exit_.[8]

If then what I shall advance on that Head may any ways contribute to the
Prosperity or Improvement of the Stage in Being, the Publick must of
consequence have a Share in its Utility.

This, Sir, is the best Apology I can make for being my own Biographer.
Give me leave therefore to open the first Scene of my Life from the very
Day I came into it; and tho' (considering my Profession) I have no
reason to be asham'd of my Original; yet I am afraid a plain dry Account
of it will scarce admit of a better Excuse than what my brother _Bays_
makes for Prince _Prettyman_ in the _Rehearsal_, viz. _I only do it for
fear I should be thought to be no body's Son at all_;[9] for if I have
led a worthless Life, the Weight of my Pedigree will not add an Ounce to
my intrinsic Value. But be the Inference what it will, the simple Truth
is this.

I was born in _London_, on the _6th_ of _November 1671_,[10] in
_Southampton-Street_, facing _Southampton-House_.[11]

My Father, _Caius Gabriel Cibber_,[12] was a Native of _Holstein_, who
came into _England_ some time before the Restoration of King _Charles_
II. to follow his Profession, which was that of a Statuary, _&c._ The
_Basso Relievo_ on the Pedestal of the Great Column in the City, and the
two Figures of the _Lunaticks_, the _Raving_ and the _Melancholy_, over
the Gates of _Bethlehem-Hospital_,[13] are no ill Monuments of his Fame
as an artist. My Mother was the Daughter of _William Colley_, Esq; of a
very ancient Family of _Glaiston_ in _Rutlandshire_, where she was born.
My Mother's Brother, _Edward Colley_, Esq; (who gave me my Christian
Name) being the last Heir Male of it, the Family is now extinct. I shall
only add, that in _Wright's_ History of _Rutlandshire_, publish'd in
1684, the _Colley's_ are recorded as Sheriffs and Members of Parliament
from the Reign of _Henry_ VII. to the latter End of _Charles_ I., in
whose Cause chiefly Sir _Antony Colley_, my Mother's Grandfather, sunk
his Estate from Three Thousand to about Three Hundred _per Annum_.[14]

In the Year 1682, at little more than Ten Years of Age, I was sent to
the Free-School of _Grantham_ in _Lincolnshire_, where I staid till I
got through it, from the lowest Form to the uppermost. And such Learning
as that School could give me is the most I pretend to (which, tho' I
have not utterly forgot, I cannot say I have much improv'd by Study) but
even there I remember I was the same inconsistent Creature I have been
ever since! always in full Spirits, in some small Capacity to do right,
but in a more frequent Alacrity to do wrong; and consequently often
under a worse Character than I wholly deserv'd: A giddy Negligence
always possess'd me, and so much, that I remember I was once whipp'd for
my _Theme_, tho' my Master told me, at the same time, what was good of
it was better than any Boy's in the Form. And (whatever Shame it may be
to own it) I have observ'd the same odd Fate has frequently attended the
course of my later Conduct in Life. The unskilful openness, or in plain
Terms, the Indiscretion I have always acted with from my Youth, has
drawn more ill-will towards me, than Men of worse Morals and more Wit
might have met with. My Ignorance and want of Jealousy of Mankind has
been so strong, that it is with Reluctance I even yet believe any Person
I am acquainted with can be capable of Envy, Malice, or Ingratitude:[15]
And to shew you what a Mortification it was to me, in my very boyish
Days, to find myself mistaken, give me leave to tell you a School Story.

A great Boy, near the Head taller than myself, in some wrangle at Play
had insulted me; upon which I was fool-hardy enough to give him a Box on
the Ear; the Blow was soon return'd with another that brought me under
him and at his Mercy. Another Lad, whom I really lov'd and thought a
good-natur'd one, cry'd out with some warmth to my Antagonist (while I
was down) Beat him, beat him soundly! This so amaz'd me that I lost all
my Spirits to resist, and burst into Tears! When the Fray was over I
took my Friend aside, and ask'd him, How he came to be so earnestly
against me? To which, with some glouting[16] Confusion, he reply'd,
Because you are always jeering and making a Jest of me to every Boy in
the School. Many a Mischief have I brought upon myself by the same Folly
in riper Life. Whatever Reason I had to reproach my Companion's
declaring against me, I had none to wonder at it while I was so often
hurting him: Thus I deserv'd his Enmity by my not having Sense enough to
know I _had_ hurt him; and he hated me because he had not Sense enough
to know that I never _intended_ to hurt him.

As this is the first remarkable Error of my Life I can recollect, I
cannot pass it by without throwing out some further Reflections upon it;
whether flat or spirited, new or common, false or true, right or wrong,
they will be still my own, and consequently like me; I will therefore
boldly go on; for I am only oblig'd to give you my _own,_ and not a
_good_ Picture, to shew as well the Weakness as the Strength of my
Understanding. It is not on what I write, but on my Reader's Curiosity I
relie to be read through: At worst, tho' the Impartial may be tir'd, the
Ill-natur'd (no small number) I know will see the bottom of me.

What I observ'd then, upon my having undesignedly provok'd my
School-Friend into an Enemy, is a common Case in Society; Errors of this
kind often sour the Blood of Acquaintance into an inconceivable
Aversion, where it is little suspected. It is not enough to say of your
Raillery that you intended no offence; if the Person you offer it to has
either a wrong Head, or wants a Capacity to make that distinction, it
may have the same effect as the Intention of the grossest Injury: And in
reality, if you know his Parts are too slow to return it in kind, it is
a vain and idle Inhumanity, and sometimes draws the Aggressor into
difficulties not easily got out of: Or to give the Case more scope,
suppose your Friend may have a passive Indulgence for your Mirth, if you
find him silent at it; tho' you were as intrepid as _Cæsar_, there can
be no excuse for your not leaving it off. When you are conscious that
your Antagonist can give as well as take, then indeed the smarter the
Hit the more agreeable the Party: A Man of chearful Sense among Friends
will never be grave upon an Attack of this kind, but rather thank you
that you have given him a Right to be even with you: There are few Men
(tho' they may be Masters of both) that on such occasions had not rather
shew their Parts than their Courage, and the Preference is just; a
Bull-Dog may have one, and only a Man can have the other. Thus it
happens that in the coarse Merriment of common People, when the Jest
begins to swell into earnest; for want of this Election you may observe,
he that has least wit generally gives the first Blow. Now, as among the
Better sort, a readiness of Wit is not always a Sign of intrinsick
Merit; so the want of that readiness is no Reproach to a Man of plain
Sense and Civility, who therefore (methinks) should never have these
lengths of Liberty taken with him. Wit there becomes absurd, if not
insolent; ill-natur'd I am sure it is, which Imputation a generous
Spirit will always avoid, for the same Reason that a Man of real Honour
will never send a Challenge to a Cripple. The inward Wounds that are
given by the inconsiderate Insults of Wit to those that want it, are as
dangerous as those given by Oppression to Inferiors; as long in healing,
and perhaps never forgiven. There is besides (and little worse than
this) a mutual Grossness in Raillery that sometimes is more painful to
the Hearers that are not concern'd in it than to the Persons engaged. I
have seen a couple of these clumsy Combatants drub one another with as
little Manners or Mercy as if they had two Flails in their Hands;
Children at Play with Case-knives could not give you more Apprehension
of their doing one another a Mischief. And yet, when the Contest has
been over, the Boobys have look'd round them for Approbation, and upon
being told they were admirably well match'd, have sat down (bedawb'd as
they were) contented at making it a drawn Battle. After all that I have
said, there is no clearer way of giving Rules for Raillery than by
Example.

There are two Persons now living, who tho' very different in their
manner, are, as far as my Judgment reaches, complete Masters of it; one
of a more polite and extensive Imagination, the other of a Knowledge
more closely useful to the Business of Life: The one gives you perpetual
Pleasure, and seems always to be taking it; the other seems to take none
till his Business is over, and then gives you as much as if Pleasure
were his only Business. The one enjoys his Fortune, the other thinks it
first necessary to make it; though that he will enjoy it then I cannot
be positive, because when a Man has once pick'd up more than he wants,
he is apt to think it a Weakness to suppose he has enough. But as I
don't remember ever to have seen these Gentlemen in the same Company,
you must give me leave to take them separately.[17]

The first of them, then, has a Title, and----no matter what; I am not
to speak of the great, but the happy part of his Character, and in this
one single light; not of his being an illustrious, but a delightful
Companion.

In Conversation he is seldom silent but when he is attentive, nor ever
speaks without exciting the Attention of others; and tho' no Man might
with less Displeasure to his Hearers engross the Talk of the Company, he
has a Patience in his Vivacity that chuses to divide it, and rather
gives more Freedom than he takes; his sharpest Replies having a mixture
of Politeness that few have the command of; his Expression is easy,
short, and clear; a stiff or studied Word never comes from him; it is in
a simplicity of Style that he gives the highest Surprize, and his Ideas
are always adapted to the Capacity and Taste of the Person he speaks to:
Perhaps you will understand me better if I give you a particular
Instance of it. A Person at the University, who from being a Man of Wit
easily became his Acquaintance there, from that Acquaintance found no
difficulty in being made one of his Chaplains: This Person afterwards
leading a Life that did no great Honour to his Cloth, obliged his Patron
to take some gentle notice of it; but as his Patron knew the Patient was
squeamish, he was induced to sweeten the Medicine to his Taste, and
therefore with a smile of good humour told him, that if to the many
Vices he had already, he would give himself the trouble to add one more,
he did not doubt but his Reputation might still be set up again. Sir
_Crape_, who could have no Aversion to so pleasant a Dose, desiring to
know what it might be, was answered, _Hypocrisy, Doctor, only a little
Hypocrisy_! This plain Reply can need no Comment; but _ex pede
Herculem_, he is every where proportionable. I think I have heard him
since say, the Doctor thought Hypocrisy so detestable a Sin that he dy'd
without committing it. In a word, this Gentleman gives Spirit to Society
the Moment he comes into it, and whenever he leaves it they who have
Business have then leisure to go about it.

Having often had the Honour to be my self the But of his Raillery, I
must own I have received more Pleasure from his lively manner of raising
the Laugh against me, than I could have felt from the smoothest flattery
of a serious Civility. Tho' Wit flows from him with as much ease as
common Sense from another, he is so little elated with the Advantage he
may have over you, that whenever your good Fortune gives it against him,
he seems more pleas'd with it on your side than his own. The only
advantage he makes of his Superiority of Rank is, that by always waving
it himself, his inferior finds he is under the greater Obligation not to
forget it.

When the Conduct of social Wit is under such Regulations, how delightful
must those _Convivia,_ those Meals of Conversation be, where such a
Member presides; who can with so much ease (as _Shakespear_ phrases it)
_set the Table in a roar_.[18] I am in no pain that these imperfect
Out-lines will be apply'd to the Person I mean, because every one who
has the Happiness to know him must know how much more in this particular
Attitude is wanting to be like him.

The other Gentleman, whose bare Interjections of Laughter have humour in
them, is so far from having a Title that he has lost his real name,
which some Years ago he suffer'd his Friends to railly him out of; in
lieu of which they have equipp'd him with one they thought had a better
sound in good Company. He is the first Man of so sociable a Spirit that
I ever knew capable of quitting the Allurements of Wit and Pleasure for
a strong Application to Business; in his Youth (for there was a Time
when he was young) he set out in all the hey-day Expences of a modish
Man of Fortune; but finding himself over-weighted with Appetites, he
grew restiff, kick'd up in the middle of the Course, and turn'd his back
upon his Frolicks abroad, to think of improving his Estate at home: In
order to which he clapt Collars upon his Coach-Horses, and that their
Mettle might not run over other People, he ty'd a Plough to their Tails,
which tho' it might give them a more slovenly Air, would enable him to
keep them fatter in a foot pace, with a whistling Peasant beside them,
than in a full trot, with a hot-headed Coachman behind them. In these
unpolite Amusements he has laugh'd like a Rake and look'd about him like
a Farmer for many Years. As his Rank and Station often find him in the
best Company, his easy Humour, whenever he is called to it, can still
make himself the Fiddle of it.

And tho' some say he looks upon the Follies of the World like too severe
a Philosopher, yet he rather chuses to laugh than to grieve at them; to
pass his time therefore more easily in it, he often endeavours to
conceal himself by assuming the Air and Taste of a Man in fashion; so
that his only Uneasiness seems to be, that he cannot quite prevail with
his Friends to think him a worse Manager than he really is; for they
carry their Raillery to such a height that it sometimes rises to a
Charge of downright Avarice against him. Upon which Head it is no easy
matter to be more merry upon him than he will be upon himself. Thus
while he sets that Infirmity in a pleasant Light, he so disarms your
Prejudice, that if he has it not, you can't find in your Heart to wish
he were without it. Whenever he is attack'd where he seems to lie so
open, if his Wit happens not to be ready for you, he receives you with
an assenting Laugh, till he has gain'd time enough to whet it sharp
enough for a Reply, which seldom turns out to his disadvantage. If you
are too strong for him (which may possibly happen from his being oblig'd
to defend the weak side of the Question) his last Resource is to join in
the Laugh till he has got himself off by an ironical Applause of your
Superiority.

If I were capable of Envy, what I have observ'd of this Gentleman would
certainly incline me to it; for sure to get through the necessary Cares
of Life with a Train of Pleasures at our Heels in vain calling after us,
to give a constant Preference to the Business of the Day, and yet be
able to laugh while we are about it, to make even Society the
subservient Reward of it, is a State of Happiness which the gravest
Precepts of moral Wisdom will not easily teach us to exceed. When I
speak of Happiness, I go no higher than that which is contain'd in the
World we now tread upon; and when I speak of Laughter, I don't simply
mean that which every Oaf is capable of, but that which has its sensible
Motive and proper Season, which is not more limited than recommended by
that indulgent Philosophy,

    _Cum ratione insanire._[19]

When I look into my present Self, and afterwards cast my Eye round all
my Hopes, I don't see any one Pursuit of them that should so reasonably
rouze me out of a Nod in my Great Chair, as a call to those agreeable
Parties I have sometimes the Happiness to mix with, where I always
assert the equal Liberty of leaving them, when my Spirits have done
their best with them.

[Illustration: CAIUS CIBBER.]

Now, Sir, as I have been making my way for above Forty Years through a
Crowd of Cares, (all which, by the Favour of Providence, I have honestly
got rid of) is it a time of Day for me to leave off these Fooleries, and
to set up a new Character? Can it be worth my while to waste my Spirits,
to bake my Blood, with serious Contemplations, and perhaps impair my
Health, in the fruitless Study of advancing myself into the better
Opinion of those very--very few Wise Men that are as old as I am? No,
the Part I have acted in real Life shall be all of a piece,

    ----_Servetur ad imum,
    Qualis ab incepto processerit._      Hor.[20]

I will not go out of my Character by straining to be wiser than I _can_
be, or by being more affectedly pensive than I _need_ be; whatever I am,
Men of Sense will know me to be, put on what Disguise I will; I can no
more put off my Follies than my Skin; I have often try'd, but they stick
too close to me; nor am I sure my Friends are displeased with them; for,
besides that in this Light I afford them frequent matter of Mirth, they
may possibly be less uneasy at their _own_ Foibles when they have so old
a Precedent to keep them in Countenance: Nay, there are some frank
enough to confess they envy what they laugh at; and when I have seen
others, whose Rank and Fortune have laid a sort of Restraint upon their
Liberty of pleasing their Company by pleasing themselves, I have said
softly to myself,----Well, there is some Advantage in having neither
Rank nor Fortune! Not but there are among them a third Sort, who have
the particular Happiness of unbending into the very Wantonness of
Good-humour without depreciating their Dignity: He that is not Master of
that Freedom, let his Condition be never so exalted, must still want
something to come up to the Happiness of his Inferiors who enjoy it. If
_Socrates_ cou'd take pleasure in playing at _Even or Odd_ with his
Children, or _Agesilaus_ divert himself in riding the Hobby-horse with
them, am I oblig'd to be as eminent as either of them before I am as
frolicksome? If the Emperor _Adrian_, near his death, cou'd play with
his very Soul, his _Animula_, &c. and regret that it cou'd be no longer
companionable; if Greatness at the same time was not the Delight he was
so loth to part with, sure then these chearful Amusements I am
contending for must have no inconsiderable share in our Happiness; he
that does not chuse to live his own way, suffers others to chuse for
him. Give me the Joy I always took in the End of an old Song,

    _My Mind, my Mind is a Kingdom to me!_[21]

If I can please myself with my own Follies, have not I a plentiful
Provision for Life? If the World thinks me a Trifler, I don't desire to
break in upon their Wisdom; let them call me any Fool but an Unchearful
one; I live as I write; while my Way amuses me, it's as well as I wish it;
when another writes better, I can like him too, tho' he shou'd not like
me. Not our great Imitator of _Horace_ himself can have more Pleasure in
writing his Verses than I have in reading them, tho' I sometimes find
myself there (as _Shakespear_ terms it) _dispraisingly_[22] spoken of:[23]
If he is a little free with me, I am generally in good Company, he is as
blunt with my Betters; so that even here I might laugh in my turn. My
Superiors, perhaps, may be mended by him; but, for my part, I own myself
incorrigible: I look upon my Follies as the best part of my Fortune, and
am more concern'd to be a good Husband of Them, than of That; nor do I
believe I shall ever be rhim'd out of them. And, if I don't mistake, I am
supported in my way of thinking by _Horace_ himself, who, in excuse of a
loose Writer, says,

    _Prætulerim scriptor delirus, inersque videri,
    Dum mea delectent mala me, vel denique fallant,
    Quam sapere, et ringi_----[24]

which, to speak of myself as a loose Philosopher, I have thus ventur'd
to imitate:

    _Me, while my laughing Follies can deceive,
    Blest in the dear Delirium let me live,
    Rather than wisely know my Wants and grieve._

We had once a merry Monarch of our own, who thought chearfulness so
valuable a Blessing, that he would have quitted one of his Kingdoms
where he cou'd not enjoy it; where, among many other Conditions they had
ty'd him to, his sober Subjects wou'd not suffer him to laugh on a
_Sunday_; and tho' this might not be the avow'd Cause of his
Elopement,[25] I am not sure, had he had no other, that this alone
might not have serv'd his turn; at least, he has my hearty Approbation
either way; for had I been under the same Restriction, tho' my staying
were to have made me his Successor, I shou'd rather have chosen to
follow him.

How far his Subjects might be in the right is not my Affair to
determine; perhaps they were wiser than the Frogs in the Fable, and
rather chose to have a Log than a Stork for their King; yet I hope it
will be no Offence to say that King _Log_ himself must have made but a
very simple Figure in History.

The Man who chuses never to laugh, or whose becalm'd Passions know no
Motion, seems to me only in the quiet State of a green Tree; he
vegetates, 'tis true, but shall we say he lives? Now, Sir, for
Amusement--Reader, take heed! for I find a strong impulse to talk
impertinently; if therefore you are not as fond of seeing, as I am of
shewing myself in all my Lights, you may turn over two Leaves together,
and leave what follows to those who have more Curiosity, and less to do
with their Time, than you have.--As I was saying then, let us, for
Amusement, advance this, or any other Prince, to the most glorious
Throne, mark out his Empire in what Clime you please, fix him on the
highest Pinnacle of unbounded Power; and in that State let us enquire
into his degree of Happiness; make him at once the Terror and the Envy
of his Neighbours, send his Ambition out to War, and gratify it with
extended Fame and Victories; bring him in triumph home, with great
unhappy Captives behind him, through the Acclamations of his People, to
repossess his Realms in Peace. Well, when the Dust has been brusht from
his Purple, what will he do next? Why, this envy'd Monarch (who we will
allow to have a more exalted Mind than to be delighted with the trifling
Flatteries of a congratulating Circle) will chuse to retire, I presume,
to enjoy in private the Contemplation of his Glory; an Amusement, you
will say, that well becomes his Station! But there, in that pleasing
Rumination, when he has made up his new Account of Happiness, how much,
pray, will be added to the Balance more than as it stood before his last
Expedition? From what one Article will the Improvement of it appear?
Will it arise from the conscious Pride of having done his weaker Enemy
an Injury? Are his Eyes so dazzled with false Glory that he thinks it a
less Crime in him to break into the Palace of his Princely Neighbour,
because he gave him time to defend it, than for a Subject feloniously to
plunder the House of a private Man? Or is the Outrage of Hunger and
Necessity more enormous than the Ravage of Ambition? Let us even suppose
the wicked Usage of the World as to that Point may keep his Conscience
quiet; still, what is he to do with the infinite Spoil that his imperial
Rapine has brought home? Is he to sit down and vainly deck himself with
the Jewels which he has plunder'd from the Crown of another, whom
Self-defence had compell'd to oppose him? No, let us not debase his
Glory into so low a Weakness. What Appetite, then, are these shining
Treasures food for? Is their vast Value in seeing his vulgar Subjects
stare at them, wise Men smile at them, or his Children play with them?
Or can the new Extent of his Dominions add a Cubit to his Happiness? Was
not his Empire wide enough before to do good in? And can it add to his
Delight that now no Monarch has such room to do mischief in? But
farther; if even the great _Augustus_, to whose Reign such Praises are
given, cou'd not enjoy his Days of Peace free from the Terrors of
repeated Conspiracies, which lost him more Quiet to suppress than his
Ambition cost him to provoke them: What human Eminence is secure? In
what private Cabinet then must this wondrous Monarch lock up his
Happiness that common Eyes are never to behold it? Is it, like his
Person, a Prisoner to its own Superiority? Or does he at last poorly
place it in the Triumph of his injurious Devastations? One Moment's
Search into himself will plainly shew him that real and reasonable
Happiness can have no Existence without Innocence and Liberty. What a
Mockery is Greatness without them? How lonesome must be the Life of
that Monarch who, while he governs only by being fear'd, is restrain'd
from letting down his Grandeur sometimes to forget himself and to
humanize him into the Benevolence and Joy of Society? To throw off his
cumbersome Robe of Majesty, to be a Man without disguise, to have a
sensible Taste of Life in its Simplicity, till he confess from the sweet
Experience that _dulce est desipere in loco_[26] was no Fool's
Philosophy. Or if the gawdy Charms of Pre-eminence are so strong that
they leave him no Sense of a less pompous, tho' a more rational
Enjoyment, none sure can envy him but those who are the Dupes of an
equally fantastick Ambition.

My Imagination is quite heated and fatigued in dressing up this Phantome
of Felicity; but I hope it has not made me so far misunderstood, as not
to have allow'd that in all the Dispensations of Providence the Exercise
of a great and virtuous Mind is the most elevated State of Happiness:
No, Sir, I am not for setting up Gaiety against Wisdom; nor for
preferring the Man of Pleasure to the Philosopher; but for shewing that
the Wisest or greatest Man is very near an unhappy Man, if the unbending
Amusements I am contending for are not sometimes admitted to relieve
him.

How far I may have over-rated these Amusements let graver Casuists
decide; whether they affirm or reject what I have asserted hurts not my
Purpose; which is not to give Laws to others; but to shew by what Laws I
govern myself: If I am mis-guided, 'tis Nature's Fault, and I follow her
from this Persuasion; That as Nature has distinguish'd our Species from
the mute Creation by our Risibility, her Design must have been by that
Faculty as evidently to raise our Happiness, as by our _Os Sublime_[27]
(our erected Faces) to lift the Dignity of our Form above them.

Notwithstanding all I have said, I am afraid there is an absolute Power
in what is simply call'd our Constitution that will never admit of other
Rules for Happiness than her own; from which (be we never so wise or
weak) without Divine Assistance we only can receive it; So that all this
my Parade and Grimace of Philosophy has been only making a mighty Merit
of following my own Inclination. A very natural Vanity! Though it is
some sort of Satisfaction to know it does not impose upon me. Vanity
again! However, think It what you will that has drawn me into this
copious Digression, 'tis now high time to drop it: I shall therefore in
my next Chapter return to my School, from whence I fear I have too long
been Truant.



CHAPTER II.


[Illustration: Ad Lalauze, sc]

     _He that writes of himself not easily tir'd. Boys may give Men
     Lessons. The Author's Preferment at School attended with
     Misfortunes. The Danger of Merit among Equals. Of Satyrists
     and Backbiters. What effect they have had upon the Author.
     Stanzas publish'd by himself against himself._

It often makes me smile to think how contentedly I have set myself down
to write my own Life; nay, and with less Concern for what may be said of
it than I should feel were I to do the same for a deceased Acquaintance.
This you will easily account for when you consider that nothing gives a
Coxcomb more delight than when you suffer him to talk of himself; which
sweet Liberty I here enjoy for a whole Volume together! A Privilege
which neither cou'd be allow'd me, nor wou'd become me to take, in the
Company I am generally admitted to;[28] but here, when I have all the
Talk to myself, and have no body to interrupt or contradict me, sure, to
say whatever I have a mind other People shou'd know of me is a Pleasure
which none but Authors as vain as myself can conceive.----But to my
History.

However little worth notice the Life of a School-boy may be supposed to
contain, yet, as the Passions of Men and Children have much the same
Motives and differ very little in their Effects, unless where the elder
Experience may be able to conceal them: As therefore what arises from
the Boy may possibly be a Lesson to the Man, I shall venture to relate a
Fact or two that happen'd while I was still at School.

In _February, 1684-5_, died King _Charles_ II. who being the only King I
had ever seen, I remember (young as I was) his Death made a strong
Impression upon me, as it drew Tears from the Eyes of Multitudes, who
looked no further into him than I did: But it was, then, a sort of
School-Doctrine to regard our Monarch as a Deity; as in the former Reign
it was to insist he was accountable to this World as well as to that
above him. But what, perhaps, gave King _Charles_ II. this peculiar
Possession of so many Hearts, was his affable and easy manner in
conversing; which is a Quality that goes farther with the greater Part
of Mankind than many higher Virtues, which, in a Prince, might more
immediately regard the publick Prosperity. Even his indolent Amusement
of playing with his Dogs and feeding his Ducks in St. _James's Park_,
(which I have seen him do) made the common People adore him, and
consequently overlook in him what, in a Prince of a different Temper,
they might have been out of humour at.

I cannot help remembring one more Particular in those Times, tho' it be
quite foreign to what will follow. I was carry'd by my Father to the
Chapel in _Whitehall_; where I saw the King and his royal Brother the
then Duke of _York_, with him in the Closet, and present during the
whole Divine Service. Such Dispensation, it seems, for his Interest, had
that unhappy Prince from his real Religion, to assist at another to
which his Heart was so utterly averse.----I now proceed to the Facts I
promis'd to speak of.

King _Charles_ his Death was judg'd by our School-master a proper
Subject to lead the Form I was in into a higher kind of Exercise; he
therefore enjoin'd us severally to make his Funeral Oration: This sort
of Task, so entirely new to us all, the Boys receiv'd with Astonishment
as a Work above their Capacity; and tho' the Master persisted in his
Command, they one and all, except myself, resolved to decline it. But I,
Sir, who was ever giddily forward and thoughtless of Consequences, set
myself roundly to work, and got through it as well as I could. I
remember to this Hour that single Topick of his Affability (which made
me mention it before) was the chief Motive that warm'd me into the
Undertaking; and to shew how very childish a Notion I had of his
Character at that time, I raised his Humanity, and Love of those who
serv'd him, to such Height, that I imputed his Death to the Shock he
receiv'd from the Lord _Arlington's_ being at the point of Death about a
Week before him.[29] This Oration, such as it was, I produc'd the next
Morning: All the other Boys pleaded their Inability, which the Master
taking rather as a mark of their Modesty than their Idleness, only
seem'd to punish by setting me at the Head of the Form: A Preferment
dearly bought! Much happier had I been to have sunk my Performance in
the general Modesty of declining it. A most uncomfortable Life I led
among them for many a Day after! I was so jeer'd, laugh'd at, and hated
as a pragmatical Bastard (School-boys Language) who had betray'd the
whole Form, that scarce any of 'em wou'd keep me company; and tho' it
so far advanc'd me into the Master's Favour that he wou'd often take me
from the School to give me an Airing with him on Horseback, while they
were left to their Lessons; you may be sure such envy'd Happiness did
not encrease their Good-will to me: Notwithstanding which my Stupidity
cou'd take no warning from their Treatment. An Accident of the same
nature happen'd soon after, that might have frighten'd a Boy of a meek
Spirit from attempting any thing above the lowest Capacity. On the 23d
of _April_ following, being the Coronation-Day of the new King, the
School petition'd the Master for leave to play; to which he agreed,
provided any of the Boys would produce an _English_ Ode upon that
Occasion.----The very Word, _Ode_, I know makes you smile already; and
so it does me; not only because it still makes so many poor Devils turn
Wits upon it, but from a more agreeable Motive; from a Reflection of how
little I then thought that, half a Century afterwards, I shou'd be
call'd upon twice a year, by my Post,[30] to make the same kind of
Oblations to an _unexceptionable_ Prince, the serene Happiness of whose
Reign my halting Rhimes are still so unequal to----This, I own, is
Vanity without Disguise; but _Hæc olim meminisse juvat_:[31] The
remembrance of the miserable prospect we had then before us, and have
since escaped by a Revolution, is now a Pleasure which, without that
Remembrance, I could not so heartily have enjoy'd.[32] The Ode I was
speaking of fell to my Lot, which in about half an Hour I produc'd. I
cannot say it was much above the merry Style of _Sing! Sing the Day, and
sing the Song_, in the Farce: Yet bad as it was, it serv'd to get the
School a Play-day, and to make me not a little vain upon it; which last
Effect so disgusted my Play-fellows that they left me out of the Party I
had most a mind to be of in that Day's Recreation. But their Ingratitude
serv'd only to increase my Vanity; for I consider'd them as so many
beaten Tits that had just had the Mortification of seeing my Hack of a
_Pegasus_ come in before them. This low Passion is so rooted in our
Nature that sometimes riper Heads cannot govern it. I have met with much
the same silly sort of Coldness, even from my Contemporaries of the
Theatre, from having the superfluous Capacity of writing myself the
Characters I have acted.

Here, perhaps, I may again seem to be vain; but if all these Facts are
true (as true they are) how can I help it? Why am I oblig'd to conceal
them? The Merit of the best of them is not so extraordinary as to have
warn'd me to be nice upon it; and the Praise due to them is so small a
Fish, it was scarce worth while to throw my Line into the Water for it.
If I confess my Vanity while a Boy, can it be Vanity, when a Man, to
remember it? And if I have a tolerable Feature, will not that as much
belong to my Picture as an Imperfection? In a word, from what I have
mentioned, I wou'd observe only this; That when we are conscious of the
least comparative Merit in ourselves, we shou'd take as much care to
conceal the Value we set upon it, as if it were a real Defect: To be
elated or vain upon it is shewing your Money before People in want; ten
to one but some who may think you to have too much may borrow, or pick
your Pocket before you get home. He who assumes Praise to himself, the
World will think overpays himself. Even the Suspicion of being vain
ought as much to be dreaded as the Guilt itself. _Cæsar_ was of the same
Opinion in regard to his Wife's Chastity. Praise, tho' it may be our
due, is not like a _Bank-Bill_, to be paid upon Demand; to be valuable
it must be voluntary. When we are dun'd for it, we have a Right and
Privilege to refuse it. If Compulsion insists upon it, it can only be
paid as Persecution in Points of Faith is, in a counterfeit Coin: And
who ever believ'd Occasional Conformity to be sincere? _Nero_, the most
vain Coxcomb of a Tyrant that ever breath'd, cou'd not raise an
unfeigned Applause of his Harp by military Execution; even where Praise
is deserv'd, Ill-nature and Self-conceit (Passions that poll a majority
of Mankind) will with less reluctance part with their Mony than their
Approbation. Men of the greatest Merit are forced to stay 'till they
die before the World will fairly make up their Account: Then indeed you
have a Chance for your full Due, because it is less grudg'd when you are
incapable of enjoying it: Then perhaps even Malice shall heap Praises
upon your Memory; tho' not for your sake, but that your surviving
Competitors may suffer by a Comparison.[33] 'Tis from the same Principle
that _Satyr_ shall have a thousand Readers where _Panegyric_ has one.
When I therefore find my Name at length in the Satyrical Works of our
most celebrated living Author, I never look upon those Lines as Malice
meant to me, (for he knows I never provok'd it) but Profit to himself:
One of his Points must be, to have many Readers: He considers that my
Face and Name are more known than those of many thousands of more
consequence in the Kingdom: That therefore, right or wrong, a Lick at
the _Laureat_[34] will always be a sure Bait, _ad captandum vulgus_, to
catch him little Readers: And that to gratify the Unlearned, by now and
then interspersing those merry Sacrifices of an old Acquaintance to
their Taste, is a piece of quite right Poetical Craft.[35]

But as a little bad Poetry is the greatest Crime he lays to my charge, I
am willing to subscribe to his opinion of _it_.[36] That this sort of
Wit is one of the easiest ways too of pleasing the generality of
Readers, is evident from the comfortable subsistence which our weekly
Retailers of Politicks have been known to pick up, merely by making bold
with a Government that had unfortunately neglected to find their Genius
a better Employment.

Hence too arises all that flat Poverty of Censure and Invective that so
often has a Run in our publick Papers upon the Success of a new Author;
when, God knows, there is seldom above one Writer among hundreds in
Being at the same time whose Satyr a Man of common Sense ought to be
mov'd at. When a Master in the Art is angry, then indeed we ought to be
alarm'd! How terrible a Weapon is Satyr in the Hand of a great Genius?
Yet even there, how liable is Prejudice to misuse it? How far, when
general, it may reform our Morals, or what Cruelties it may inflict by
being angrily particular,[37] is perhaps above my reach to determine. I
shall therefore only beg leave to interpose what I feel for others whom
it may personally have fallen upon. When I read those mortifying Lines
of our most eminent Author, in his Character of _Atticus_[38]
(_Atticus_, whose Genius in Verse and whose Morality in Prose has been
so justly admir'd) though I am charm'd with the Poetry, my Imagination
is hurt at the Severity of it; and tho' I allow the Satyrist to have had
personal Provocation, yet, methinks, for that very Reason he ought not
to have troubled the Publick with it: For, as it is observed in the 242d
_Tatler_, "In all Terms of Reproof, when the Sentence appears to arise
from Personal Hatred or Passion, it is not then made the Cause of
Mankind, but a Misunderstanding between two Persons." But if such kind
of Satyr has its incontestable Greatness; if its exemplary Brightness
may not mislead inferior Wits into a barbarous Imitation of its
Severity, then I have only admir'd the Verses, and expos'd myself by
bringing them under so scrupulous a Reflexion: But the Pain which the
Acrimony of those Verses gave me is, in some measure, allay'd in
finding that this inimitable Writer, as he advances in Years, has since
had Candour enough to celebrate the same Person for his visible Merit.
Happy Genius! whose Verse, like the Eye of Beauty, can heal the deepest
Wounds with the least Glance of Favour.

Since I am got so far into this Subject, you must give me leave to go
thro' all I have a mind to say upon it; because I am not sure that in a
more proper Place my Memory may be so full of it. I cannot find,
therefore, from what Reason Satyr is allow'd more Licence than Comedy,
or why either of them (to be admir'd) ought not to be limited by Decency
and Justice. Let _Juvenal_ and _Aristophanes_ have taken what Liberties
they please, if the Learned have nothing more than their Antiquity to
justify their laying about them at that enormous rate, I shall wish they
had a better excuse for them! The Personal Ridicule and Scurrility
thrown upon _Socrates_, which _Plutarch_ too condemns; and the Boldness
of _Juvenal_, in writing real Names over guilty Characters, I cannot
think are to be pleaded in right of our modern Liberties of the same
kind. _Facit indignatio versum_[39] may be a very spirited Expression,
and seems to give a Reader hopes of a lively Entertainment: But I am
afraid Reproof is in unequal Hands when Anger is its Executioner; and
tho' an outrageous Invective may carry some Truth in it, yet it will
never have that natural, easy Credit with us which we give to the
laughing Ironies of a cool Head. The Satyr that can smile _circum
præcordia ludit_, and seldom fails to bring the Reader quite over to his
Side whenever Ridicule and folly are at variance. But when a Person
satyriz'd is us'd with the extreamest Rigour, he may sometimes meet with
Compassion instead of Contempt, and throw back the Odium that was
designed for him, upon the Author. When I would therefore disarm the
Satyrist of this Indignation, I mean little more than that I would take
from him all private or personal Prejudice, and wou'd still leave him as
much general Vice to scourge as he pleases, and that with as much Fire
and Spirit as Art and Nature demand to enliven his Work and keep his
Reader awake.

Against all this it may be objected, That these are Laws which none but
phlegmatick Writers will observe, and only Men of Eminence should give.
I grant it, and therefore only submit them to Writers of better
Judgment. I pretend not to restrain others from chusing what I don't
like; they are welcome (if they please too) to think I offer these Rules
more from an Incapacity to break them than from a moral Humanity. Let it
be so! still, That will not weaken the strength of what I have asserted,
if my Assertion be true. And though I allow that Provocation is not apt
to weigh out its Resentments by Drachms and Scruples, I shall still
think that no publick Revenge can be honourable where it is not limited
by justice; and if Honour is insatiable in its Revenge it loses what it
contends for and sinks itself, if not into Cruelty, at least into
Vain-glory.

This so singular Concern which I have shewn for others may naturally
lead you to ask me what I feel for myself when I am unfavourably treated
by the elaborate Authors of our daily Papers.[40] Shall I be sincere?
and own my frailty? Its usual Effect is to make me vain! For I consider
if I were quite good for nothing these Pidlers in Wit would not be
concern'd to take me to pieces, or (not to be quite so vain) when they
moderately charge me with only Ignorance or Dulness, I see nothing in
That which an honest Man need be asham'd of:[41] There is many a good
Soul who from those sweet Slumbers of the Brain are never awaken'd by
the least harmful Thought; and I am sometimes tempted to think those
Retailers of Wit may be of the same Class; that what they write proceeds
not from Malice, but Industry; and that I ought no more to reproach them
than I would a Lawyer that pleads against me for his Fee; that their
Detraction, like Dung thrown upon a Meadow, tho' it may seem at first to
deform the Prospect, in a little time it will disappear of itself and
leave an involuntary Crop of Praise behind it.

When they confine themselves to a sober Criticism upon what I write; if
their Censure is just, what answer can I make to it? If it is unjust,
why should I suppose that a sensible Reader will not see it, as well as
myself? Or, admit I were able to expose them by a laughing Reply, will
not that Reply beget a Rejoinder? And though they might be Gainers by
having the worst on't in a Paper War, that is no Temptation for me to
come into it. Or (to make both sides less considerable) would not my
bearing Ill-language from a Chimney-sweeper do me less harm than it
would be to box with him, tho' I were sure to beat him? Nor indeed is
the little Reputation I have as an Author worth the trouble of a
Defence. Then, as no Criticism can possibly make me worse than I really
am; so nothing I can say of myself can possibly make me better: When
therefore a determin'd Critick comes arm'd with Wit and Outrage to take
from me that small Pittance I have, I wou'd no more dispute with him
than I wou'd resist a Gentleman of the Road to save a little
Pocket-Money.[42] Men that are in want themselves seldom make a
Conscience of taking it from others. Whoever thinks I have too much is
welcome to what share of it he pleases: Nay, to make him more merciful
(as I partly guess the worst he can say of what I now write) I will
prevent even the Imputation of his doing me Injustice, and honestly say
it myself, viz. That of all the Assurances I was ever guilty of, this of
writing my own Life is the most hardy. I beg his Pardon!----Impudent is
what I should have said! That through every Page there runs a Vein of
Vanity and Impertinence which no _French Ensigns memoires_ ever came up
to; but, as this is a common Error, I presume the Terms of _Doating
Trifler_, _Old Fool_, or _Conceited Coxcomb_ will carry Contempt enough
for an impartial Censor to bestow on me; that my style is unequal, pert,
and frothy, patch'd and party-colour'd like the Coat of an _Harlequin_;
low and pompous, cramm'd with Epithets, strew'd with Scraps of
second-hand _Latin_ from common Quotations; frequently aiming at Wit,
without ever hitting the Mark; a mere Ragoust toss'd up from the offals
of other authors: My Subject below all Pens but my own, which, whenever
I keep to, is flatly daub'd by one eternal Egotism: That I want nothing
but Wit to be as accomplish'd a Coxcomb here as ever I attempted to
expose on the Theatre: Nay, that this very Confession is no more a Sign
of my Modesty than it is a Proof of my Judgment, that, in short, you may
roundly tell me, that----_Cinna_ (or _Cibber_) _vult videri Pauper, et
est Pauper_.

    _When humble_ Cinna _cries_, I'm poor and low,
    _You may believe him----he is really so_.

Well, Sir Critick! and what of all this? Now I have laid myself at your
Feet, what will you do with me? Expose me? Why, dear Sir, does not every
Man that writes expose himself? Can you make me more ridiculous than
Nature has made me? You cou'd not sure suppose that I would lose the
Pleasure of Writing because you might possibly judge me a Blockhead, or
perhaps might pleasantly tell other People they ought to think me so
too. Will not they judge as well from what _I_ say as what _You_ say? If
then you attack me merely to divert yourself, your Excuse for writing
will be no better than mine. But perhaps you may want Bread: If that be
the Case, even go to Dinner, i' God's name![43]

If our best Authors, when teiz'd by these Triflers, have not been
Masters of this Indifference, I should not wonder if it were disbeliev'd
in me; but when it is consider'd that I have allow'd my never having
been disturb'd into a Reply has proceeded as much from Vanity as from
Philosophy,[44] the Matter then may not seem so incredible: And tho' I
confess the complete Revenge of making them Immortal Dunces in Immortal
Verse might be glorious; yet, if you will call it Insensibility in me
never to have winc'd at them, even that Insensibility has its happiness,
and what could Glory give me more?[45] For my part, I have always had
the comfort to think, whenever they design'd me a Disfavour, it
generally flew back into their own Faces, as it happens to Children when
they squirt at their Play-fellows against the Wind. If a Scribbler
cannot be easy because he fancies I have too good an Opinion of my own
Productions, let him write on and mortify; I owe him not the Charity to
be out of temper myself merely to keep him quiet or give him Joy: Nor,
in reality, can I see why any thing misrepresented, tho' believ'd of me
by Persons to whom I am unknown, ought to give me any more Concern than
what may be thought of me in _Lapland:_ 'Tis with those with whom I am
to _live_ only, where my Character can affect me; and I will venture to
say, he must find out a new way of Writing that will make me pass my
Time _there_ less agreeably.

You see, Sir, how hard it is for a Man that is talking of himself to
know when to give over; but if you are tired, lay me aside till you have
a fresh Appetite; if not, I'll tell you a Story.

In the Year 1730 there were many Authors whose Merit wanted nothing but
Interest to recommend them to the vacant _Laurel_, and who took it ill
to see it at last conferred upon a Comedian; insomuch, that they were
resolved at least to shew specimens of their superior Pretensions, and
accordingly enliven'd the publick Papers with ingenious Epigrams and
satyrical Flirts at the unworthy Successor;[46] These Papers my Friends
with a wicked Smile would often put into my Hands and desire me to read
them fairly in Company: This was a Challenge which I never declin'd,
and, to do my doughty Antagonists Justice, I always read them with
as much impartial Spirit as if I had writ them myself. While I was
thus beset on all sides, there happen'd to step forth a poetical
Knight-Errant to my Assistance, who was hardy enough to publish some
compassionate Stanzas in my Favour. These, you may be sure, the Raillery
of my Friends could do no less than say I had written to myself. To deny
it I knew would but have confirmed their pretended Suspicion: I
therefore told them, since it gave them such Joy to believe them my own,
I would do my best to make the whole Town think so too. As the Oddness
of this Reply was I knew what would not be easily comprehended, I
desired them to have a Days patience, and I would print an Explanation
to it: To conclude, in two Days after I sent this Letter, with some
doggerel Rhimes at the Bottom,

     _To the Author of the_ Whitehall Evening-Post.

     SIR,

     _The Verses to the Laureat in yours of_ Saturday _last have
     occasion'd the following Reply, which I hope you'll give a
     Place in your next, to shew that we can be quick as well as
     smart upon a proper Occasion: And, as I think it the lowest
     Mark of a Scoundrel to make bold with any Man's Character in
     Print without subscribing the true Name of the Author; I
     therefore desire, if the Laureat is concern'd enough to ask
     the Question, that you will tell him my Name and where I live;
     till then, I beg leave to be known by no other than that of,_

       Your Servant,
            FRANCIS FAIRPLAY.

      Monday, Jan. 11, 1730.

These were the Verses.[47]

                     I.

    _Ah, hah! Sir_ Coll, _is that thy Way,
      Thy own dull Praise to write?
    And wou'd'st thou stand so sure a Lay?
      No, that's too stale a Bite._

                     II.

    _Nature and Art in thee combine,
      Thy Talents here excel:
    All shining Brass thou dost outshine,
      To play the Cheat so well._

                    III.

    _Who sees thee in_ Iago's _Part,
    But thinks thee such a Rogue?
    And is not glad, with all his Heart,
      To hang so sad a Dog?_

                     IV.

    _When_ Bays _thou play'st, Thyself thou art;
      For that by Nature fit,
    No Blockhead better suits the Part,
      Than such a Coxcomb Wit._

                     V.

    _In_ Wronghead _too, thy Brains we see,
      Who might do well at Plough;
    As fit for Parliament was he,
      As for the Laurel, Thou._

                     VI.

    _Bring thy protected Verse from Court,
      And try it on the Stage;
    There it will make much better Sport,
      And set the Town in Rage._

                    VII.

    _There Beaux and Wits and Cits and Smarts,
      Where Hissing's not uncivil,
    Will shew their Parts to thy Deserts,
      And send it to the Devil._

                    VIII.

    _But, ah! in vain 'gainst Thee we write,
      In vain thy Verse we maul!
    Our sharpest Satyr's thy Delight,
      [48]For_----Blood! thou'lt stand it all.

                     IX.

    _Thunder, 'tis said, the Laurel spares;
      Nought but thy Brows could blast it:
    And yet----O curst, provoking Stars!
      Thy Comfort is, thou_ hast _it._

This, Sir, I offer as a Proof that I was seven Years ago[49] the same
cold Candidate for Fame which I would still be thought; you will not
easily suppose I could have much Concern about it, while, to gratify the
merry Pique of my Friends, I was capable of seeming to head the Poetical
Cry then against me, and at the same Time of never letting the Publick
know 'till this Hour that these Verses were written by myself: Nor do I
give them you as an Entertainment, but merely to shew you this
particular Cast of my Temper.

When I have said this, I would not have it thought Affectation in me
when I grant that no Man worthy the Name of an Author is a more faulty
Writer than myself; that I am not Master of my own Language[50] I too
often feel when I am at a loss for Expression: I know too that I have
too bold a Disregard for that Correctness which others set so just a
Value upon: This I ought to be ashamed of, when I find that Persons,
perhaps of colder Imaginations, are allowed to write better than myself.
Whenever I speak of any thing that highly delights me, I find it very
difficult to keep my Words within the Bounds of Common Sense: Even when
I write too, the same Failing will sometimes get the better of me; of
which I cannot give you a stronger Instance than in that wild Expression
I made use of in the first Edition of my Preface to the _Provok'd
Husband_; where, speaking of Mrs. _Oldfield's_ excellent Performance in
the Part of Lady _Townly_, my Words ran thus, _viz. It is not enough to
say, that here she outdid_ her usual _Outdoing_.[51]--A most vile
Jingle, I grant it! You may well ask me, How could I possibly commit
such a Wantonness to Paper? And I owe myself the Shame of confessing I
have no Excuse for it but that, like a Lover in the Fulness of his
Content, by endeavouring to be floridly grateful I talk'd Nonsense. Not
but it makes me smile to remember how many flat Writers have made
themselves brisk upon this single Expression; wherever the Verb,
_Outdo_, could come in, the pleasant Accusative, _Outdoing_, was sure to
follow it. The provident Wags knew that _Decies repetita placeret_:[52]
so delicious a Morsel could not be serv'd up too often! After it had
held them nine times told for a Jest, the Publick has been pester'd with
a tenth Skull thick enough to repeat it. Nay, the very learned in the
Law have at last facetiously laid hold of it! Ten Years after it first
came from me it served to enliven the eloquence of an eloquent Pleader
before a House of Parliament! What Author would not envy me so
frolicksome a Fault that had such publick Honours paid to it?

After this Consciousness of my real Defects, you will easily judge, Sir,
how little I presume that my Poetical Labours may outlive those of my
mortal _Cotemporaries_.[53]

At the same time that I am so humble in my Pretensions to Fame, I would
not be thought to undervalue it; Nature will not suffer us to despise
it, but she may sometimes make us too fond of it. I have known more than
one good Writer very near ridiculous from being in too much Heat about
it. Whoever intrinsically deserves it will always have a proportionable
Right to it. It can neither be resign'd nor taken from you by Violence.
Truth, which is unalterable, must (however his Fame may be contested)
give every Man his Due: What a Poem weighs it will be worth; nor is it
in the Power of Human Eloquence, with Favour or Prejudice, to increase
or diminish its Value. Prejudice, 'tis true, may a while discolour it;
but it will always have its Appeal to the Equity of good Sense, which
will never fail in the End to reverse all false Judgment against it.
Therefore when I see an eminent Author hurt, and impatient at an
impotent Attack upon his Labours, he disturbs my Inclination to admire
him; I grow doubtful of the favourable Judgment I have made of him, and
am quite uneasy to see him so tender in a Point he cannot but know he
ought not himself to be judge of; his Concern indeed at another's
Prejudice or Disapprobation may be natural; but to own it seems to me a
natural Weakness. When a Work is apparently great it will go without
Crutches; all your Art and Anxiety to heighten the Fame of it then
becomes low and little.[54] He that will bear no Censure must be often
robb'd of his due Praise. Fools have as good a Right to be Readers as
Men of Sense have, and why not to give their Judgments too? Methinks it
would be a sort of Tyranny in Wit for an Author to be publickly putting
every Argument to death that appear'd against him; so absolute a Demand
for Approbation puts us upon our Right to dispute it; Praise is as much
the Reader's Property as Wit is the Author's; Applause is not a Tax paid
to him as a Prince, but rather a Benevolence given to him as a Beggar;
and we have naturally more Charity for the dumb Beggar than the sturdy
one. The Merit of a Writer and a fine Woman's Face are never mended by
their talking of them: How amiable is she that seems not to know she is
handsome!

To conclude; all I have said upon this Subject is much better contained
in six Lines of a Reverend Author, which will be an Answer to all
critical Censure for ever.

    _Time is the Judge; Time has nor Friend nor Foe;
    False Fame must wither, and the True will grow.
    Arm'd with this Truth all Criticks I defy;
    For, if I fall, by my own Pen I die;
    While Snarlers strive with proud but fruitless Pain,
    To wound Immortals, or to slay the Slain._[55]



CHAPTER III.


[Illustration: Ad Lalauze, sc]

     _The Author's several Chances for the Church, the Court, and
     the Army. Going to the University. Met the Revolution at
     Nottingham. Took Arms on that Side. What he saw of it. A few
     Political Thoughts. Fortune willing to do for him. His Neglect
     of her. The Stage preferr'd to all her Favours. The Profession
     of an Actor consider'd. The Misfortunes and Advantages of it._

I am now come to that Crisis of my Life when Fortune seem'd to be at a
Loss what she should do with me. Had she favour'd my Father's first
Designation of me, he might then, perhaps, have had as sanguine Hopes of
my being a Bishop as I afterwards conceived of my being a General when I
first took Arms at the Revolution. Nay, after that I had a third Chance
too, equally as good, of becoming an Under-propper of the State. How at
last I came to be none of all these the Sequel will inform you.

About the Year 1687 I was taken from School to stand at the Election of
Children into _Winchester_ College; my being by my Mother's Side a
Descendant[56] of _William_ of _Wickam_, the Founder, my Father (who
knew little how the World was to be dealt with) imagined my having that
Advantage would be Security enough for my Success, and so sent me simply
down thither, without the least favourable Recommendation or Interest,
but that of my naked Merit and a pompous Pedigree in my Pocket. Had he
tack'd a Direction to my Back, and sent me by the Carrier to the Mayor
of the Town, to be chosen Member of Parliament there, I might have had
just as much Chance to have succeeded in the one as the other. But I
must not omit in this Place to let you know that the Experience which my
Father then bought, at my Cost, taught him some Years after to take a
more judicious Care of my younger Brother, _Lewis Cibber_, whom, with
the Present of a Statue of the Founder, of his own making, he
recommended to the same College. This Statue now stands (I think) over
the School Door there,[57] and was so well executed that it seem'd to
speak----for its Kinsman. It was no sooner set up than the Door of
Preferment was open to him.

Here one would think my Brother had the Advantage of me in the Favour of
Fortune, by this his first laudable Step into the World. I own I was so
proud of his Success that I even valued myself upon it; and yet it is
but a melancholy Reflection to observe how unequally his Profession and
mine were provided for; when I, who had been the Outcast of Fortune,
could find means, from my Income of the Theatre, before I was my
own Master there, to supply in his highest Preferment his common
Necessities. I cannot part with his Memory without telling you I had as
sincere a Concern for this Brother's Well-being as my own. He had lively
Parts and more than ordinary Learning, with a good deal of natural Wit
and Humour; but from too great a disregard to his Health he died a
Fellow of _New College_ in _Oxford_ soon after he had been ordained by
Dr. _Compton_, then Bishop of _London_. I now return to the State of my
own Affair at _Winchester_.

After the Election, the Moment I was inform'd that I was one of the
unsuccessful Candidates, I blest myself to think what a happy Reprieve I
had got from the confin'd Life of a School-boy! and the same Day took
Post back to _London_, that I might arrive time enough to see a Play
(then my darling Delight) before my Mother might demand an Account of my
travelling Charges. When I look back to that Time, it almost makes me
tremble to think what Miseries, in fifty Years farther in Life, such an
unthinking Head was liable to! To ask why Providence afterwards took
more Care of me than I did of myself, might be making too bold an
Enquiry into its secret Will and Pleasure: All I can say to that Point
is, that I am thankful and amazed at it![58]

'Twas about this time I first imbib'd an Inclination, which I durst
not reveal, for the Stage; for besides that I knew it would disoblige
my Father, I had no Conception of any means practicable to make my
way to it. I therefore suppress'd the bewitching Ideas of so sublime
a Station, and compounded with my Ambition by laying a lower Scheme,
of only getting the nearest way into the immediate Life of a
Gentleman-Collegiate. My Father being at this time employ'd at
_Chattsworth_ in _Derbyshire_ by the (then) Earl of _Devonshire_, who
was raising that Seat from a _Gothick_ to a _Grecian_ Magnificence, I
made use of the Leisure I then had in _London_ to open to him by Letter
my Disinclination to wait another Year for an uncertain Preferment at
_Winchester_, and to entreat him that he would send me, _per saltum_, by
a shorter Cut, to the University. My Father, who was naturally indulgent
to me, seem'd to comply with my Request, and wrote word that as soon as
his Affairs would permit, he would carry me with him and settle me in
some College, but rather at _Cambridge_, where (during his late
Residence at that Place, in making some Statues that now stand upon
_Trinity_ College New Library) he had contracted some Acquaintance with
the Heads of Houses, who might assist his Intentions for me.[59] This I
lik'd better than to go discountenanc'd to _Oxford_, to which it would
have been a sort of Reproach to me not to have come elected. After some
Months were elaps'd, my Father, not being willing to let me lie too long
idling in _London_, sent for me down to _Chattsworth_, to be under his
Eye, till he cou'd be at leisure to carry me to _Cambridge_. Before I
could set out on my Journey thither, the Nation fell in labour of the
Revolution, the News being then just brought to _London_ That the Prince
of _Orange_ at the Head of an Army was landed in the _West_.[60] When I
came to _Nottingham_, I found my Father in Arms there, among those
Forces which the Earl of _Devonshire_ had rais'd for the Redress of our
violated Laws and Liberties. My Father judg'd this a proper Season for a
young Strippling to turn himself loose into the Bustle of the World; and
being himself too advanc'd in Years to endure the Winter Fatigue which
might possibly follow, entreated that noble Lord that he would be
pleas'd to accept of his Son in his room, and that he would give him (my
Father) leave to return and finish his Works at _Chattsworth_. This was
so well receiv'd by his Lordship that he not only admitted of my
Service, but promis'd my Father in return that when Affairs were
settled he would provide for me. Upon this my Father return'd to
_Derbyshire_, while I, not a little transported, jump'd into his Saddle.
Thus in one Day all my Thoughts of the University were smother'd in
Ambition! A slight Commission for a Horse-Officer was the least View I
had before me. At this Crisis you cannot but observe that the Fate of
King _James_ and of the Prince of _Orange_, and that of so minute a
Being as my self, were all at once upon the Anvil: In what shape they
wou'd severally come out, tho' a good _Guess_ might be made, was not
then _demonstrable_ to the deepest Foresight; but as my Fortune seem'd
to be of small Importance to the Publick, Providence thought fit to
postpone it 'till that of those great Rulers of Nations was justly
perfected. Yet, had my Father's Business permitted him to have carried
me one Month sooner (as he intended) to the University, who knows but by
this time that purer Fountain might have wash'd my Imperfections into a
Capacity of writing (instead of Plays and Annual Odes) Sermons and
Pastoral Letters. But whatever Care of the Church might so have fallen
to my share, as I dare say it may be now in better Hands, I ought not to
repine at my being otherwise disposed of.[61]

You must now consider me as one among those desperate Thousands, who,
after a Patience sorely try'd, took Arms under the Banner of Necessity,
the natural Parent of all Human Laws and Government. I question if in
all the Histories of Empire there is one Instance of so bloodless a
Revolution as that in _England_ in 1688, wherein Whigs, Tories, Princes,
Prelates, Nobles, Clergy, common People, and a Standing Army, were
unanimous. To have seen all _England_ of one Mind is to have liv'd at a
very particular Juncture. Happy Nation! who are never divided among
themselves but when they have least to complain of! Our greatest
Grievance since that Time seems to have been that we cannot all govern;
and 'till the Number of good Places are equal to those who think
themselves qualified for them there must ever be a Cause of Contention
among us. While Great Men want great Posts, the Nation will never want
real or seeming Patriots; and while great Posts are fill'd with Persons
whose Capacities are but Human, such Persons will never be allow'd to be
without Errors; not even the Revolution, with all its Advantages, it
seems, has been able to furnish us with unexceptionable Statesmen! for
from that time I don't remember any one Set of Ministers that have not
been heartily rail'd at; a Period long enough one would think (if all of
them have been as bad as they have been call'd) to make a People despair
of ever seeing a good one: But as it is possible that Envy, Prejudice,
or Party may sometimes have a share in what is generally thrown upon
'em, it is not easy for a private Man to know who is absolutely in the
right from what is said against them, or from what their Friends or
Dependants may say in their Favour: Tho' I can hardly forbear thinking
that they who have been _longest_ rail'd at, must from that Circumstance
shew in some sort a Proof of Capacity.----But to my History.

It were almost incredible to tell you, at the latter end of King
_James's_ Time (though the Rod of Arbitrary Power was always shaking
over us) with what Freedom and Contempt the common People in the open
Streets talk'd of his wild Measures to make a whole Protestant Nation
Papists; and yet, in the height of our secure and wanton Defiance of
him, we of the Vulgar had no farther Notion of any Remedy for this Evil
than a satisfy'd Presumption that our Numbers were too great to be
master'd by his mere Will and Pleasure; that though he might be too hard
for our Laws, he would never be able to get the better of our Nature;
and that to drive all _England_ into Popery and Slavery he would find
would be teaching an old Lion to dance.[62]

But happy was it for the Nation that it had then wiser Heads in it, who
knew how to lead a People so dispos'd into Measures for the Publick
Preservation.

Here I cannot help reflecting on the very different Deliverances
_England_ met with at this Time and in the very same Year of the Century
before: Then (in 1588) under a glorious Princess, who had at heart the
Good and Happiness of her People, we scatter'd and destroy'd the most
formidable Navy of Invaders that ever cover'd the Seas: And now (in
1688) under a Prince who had alienated the Hearts of his People by his
absolute Measures to oppress them, a foreign Power is receiv'd with open
Arms in defence of our Laws, Liberties, and Religion, which our native
Prince had invaded! How widely different were these two Monarchs in
their Sentiments of Glory! But, _Tantum religio potuit suadere
malorum_.[63]

When we consider in what height of the Nation's Prosperity the Successor
of Queen _Elizabeth_ came to this Throne, it seems amazing that such a
Pile of _English_ Fame and Glory, which her skilful Administration had
erected, should in every following Reign down to the Revolution so
unhappily moulder away in one continual Gradation of Political Errors:
All which must have been avoided, if the plain Rule which that wise
Princess left behind her had been observed, _viz. That the Love of her
People was the surest Support of her Throne_. This was the Principle by
which she so happily govern'd herself and those she had the Care of. In
this she found Strength to combat and struggle thro' more Difficulties
and dangerous Conspiracies than ever _English_ Monarch had to cope with.
At the same time that she profess'd to _desire_ the People's Love, she
took care that her Actions shou'd _deserve_ it, without the least
Abatement of her Prerogative; the Terror of which she so artfully
covered that she sometimes seem'd to flatter those she was determin'd
should obey. If the four following Princes had exercis'd their Regal
Authority with so visible a Regard to the Publick Welfare, it were hard
to know whether the People of _England_ might have ever complain'd of
them, or even felt the want of that Liberty they now so happily enjoy.
'Tis true that before her Time our Ancestors had many successful
Contests with their Sovereigns for their _ancient Right_ and _Claim_ to
it; yet what did those Successes amount to? little more than a
Declaration that there was such a Right in being; but who ever saw it
enjoy'd? Did not the Actions of almost every succeeding Reign shew there
were still so many Doors of Oppression left open to the Prerogative
that (whatever Value our most eloquent Legislators may have set upon
those ancient Liberties) I doubt it will be difficult to fix the Period
of their having a real Being before the Revolution: Or if there ever was
an elder Period of our unmolested enjoying them, I own my poor Judgment
is at a loss where to place it. I will boldly say then, it is to the
Revolution only we owe the full Possession of what, 'till then, we never
had more than a perpetually contested Right to: And, from thence, from
the Revolution it is that the Protestant Successors of King _William_
have found their Paternal Care and Maintenance of that Right has been
the surest Basis of their Glory.[64]

These, Sir, are a few of my Political Notions, which I have ventur'd to
expose that you may see what sort of an _English_ Subject I am; how wise
or weak they may have shewn me is not my Concern; let the weight of
these Matters have drawn me never so far out of my Depth, I still
flatter myself that I have kept a simple, honest Head above Water. And
it is a solid Comfort to me to consider that how insignificant soever my
Life was at the Revolution, it had still the good Fortune to make one
among the many who brought it about; and that I now, with my Coævals,
as well as with the Millions since born, enjoy the happy Effects of it.

But I must now let you see how my particular Fortune went forward with
this Change in the Government; of which I shall not pretend to give you
any farther Account than what my simple Eyes saw of it.

We had not been many Days at _Nottingham_ before we heard that the
Prince of _Denmark_, with some other great Persons, were gone off from
the King to the Prince of _Orange_, and that the Princess _Anne_,
fearing the King her Father's Resentment might fall upon her for her
Consort's Revolt, had withdrawn her self in the Night from _London_, and
was then within half a Days Journey of _Nottingham_; on which very
Morning we were suddenly alarm'd with the News that two thousand of the
King's Dragoons were in close pursuit to bring her back Prisoner to
_London_: But this Alarm it seems was all Stratagem, and was but a part
of that general Terror which was thrown into many other Places about the
Kingdom at the same time, with design to animate and unite the People in
their common defence; it being then given out that the _Irish_ were
every where at our Heels to cut off all the Protestants within the Reach
of their Fury. In this Alarm our Troops scrambled to Arms in as much
Order as their Consternation would admit of, when, having advanc'd some
few Miles on the _London_ Road, they met the Princess in a Coach,
attended only by the Lady _Churchill_ (now Dutchess Dowager of
_Marlborough_) and the Lady _Fitzharding_, whom they conducted into
_Nottingham_ through the Acclamations of the People: The same Night all
the Noblemen and the other Persons of Distinction then in Arms had the
Honour to sup at her Royal Highness's Table; which was then furnish'd
(as all her necessary Accommodations were) by the Care and at the Charge
of the Lord _Devonshire_. At this Entertainment, of which I was a
Spectator, something very particular surpriz'd me: The noble Guests at
the Table happening to be more in number than Attendants out of Liveries
could be found for, I being well known in the Lord _Devonshire_'s
Family, was desired by his Lordship's _Maitre d'Hotel_ to assist at it:
The Post assign'd me was to observe what the Lady _Churchill_ might call
for. Being so near the Table, you may naturally ask me what I might have
heard to have pass'd in Conversation at it? which I should certainly
tell you had I attended to above two Words that were utter'd there, and
those were, _Some Wine and Water_. These I remember came distinguish'd
and observ'd to my Ear, because they came from the fair Guest whom I
took such Pleasure to wait on: Except at that single Sound, all my
Senses were collected into my Eyes, which during the whole Entertainment
wanted no better Amusement, than of stealing now and then the Delight of
gazing on the fair Object so near me: If so clear an Emanation of
Beauty, such a commanding Grace of Aspect struck me into a Regard that
had something softer than the most profound Respect in it, I cannot see
why I may not without Offence remember it; since Beauty, like the Sun,
must sometimes lose its Power to chuse, and shine into equal Warmth the
Peasant and the Courtier.[65] Now to give you, Sir, a farther Proof of
how good a Taste my first hopeful Entrance into Manhood set out with, I
remember above twenty Years after, when the same Lady had given the
World four of the loveliest Daughters that ever were gaz'd on, even
after they were all nobly married, and were become the reigning Toasts
of every Party of Pleasure, their still lovely Mother had at the same
time her Votaries, and her Health very often took the Lead in those
involuntary Triumphs of Beauty. However presumptuous or impertinent
these Thoughts might have appear'd at my first entertaining them, why
may I not hope that my having kept them decently secret for full fifty
Years may be now a good round Plea for their Pardon? Were I now
qualify'd to say more of this celebrated Lady, I should conclude it
thus: That she has liv'd (to all Appearance) a peculiar Favourite of
Providence; that few Examples can parallel the Profusion of Blessings
which have attended so long a Life of Felicity. A Person so attractive!
a Husband so memorably great! an Offspring so beautiful! a Fortune so
immense! and a Title which (when Royal Favour had no higher to bestow)
she only could receive from the Author of Nature; a great Grandmother
without grey Hairs! These are such consummate Indulgencies that we might
think Heaven has center'd them all in one Person, to let us see how far,
with a lively Understanding, the full Possession of them could
contribute to human Happiness.--I now return to our Military Affairs.

From _Nottingham_ our Troops march'd to _Oxford_; through every Town we
pass'd the People came out, in some sort of Order, with such rural and
rusty Weapons as they had, to meet us, in Acclamations of Welcome and
good Wishes. This I thought promis'd a favourable End of our Civil War,
when the Nation seem'd so willing to be all of a Side! At _Oxford_ the
Prince and Princess of _Denmark_ met for the first time after their late
Separation, and had all possible Honours paid them by the University.
Here we rested in quiet Quarters for several Weeks, till the Flight of
King _James_ into _France_; when the Nation being left to take care of
it self, the only Security that could be found for it was to advance the
Prince and Princess of _Orange_ to the vacant Throne. The publick
Tranquillity being now settled, our Forces were remanded back to
_Nottingham_. Here all our Officers who had commanded them from their
first Rising receiv'd Commissions to confirm them in their several
Posts; and at the same time such private Men as chose to return to their
proper Business or Habitations were offer'd their Discharges. Among the
small number of those who receiv'd them, I was one; for not hearing that
my Name was in any of these new Commissions, I thought it time for me to
take my leave of Ambition, as Ambition had before seduc'd me from the
imaginary Honours of the Gown, and therefore resolv'd to hunt my Fortune
in some other Field.[66]

From _Nottingham_ I again return'd to my Father at _Chattsworth_, where
I staid till my Lord came down, with the new Honours[67] of Lord Steward
of his Majesty's Houshold and Knight of the Garter! a noble turn of
Fortune! and a deep Stake he had play'd for! which calls to my Memory a
Story we had then in the Family, which though too light for our graver
Historians notice, may be of weight enough for my humble Memoirs. This
noble Lord being in the Presence-Chamber in King _James_'s time, and
known to be no Friend to the Measures of his Administration, a certain
Person in favour there, and desirous to be more so, took occasion to
tread rudely upon his Lordship's Foot, which was return'd with a sudden
Blow upon the Spot: For this Misdemeanour his Lordship was fin'd thirty
thousand Pounds; but I think had some time allow'd him for the
Payment.[68] In the Summer preceding the Revolution, when his Lordship
was retir'd to _Chattsworth_, and had been there deeply engag'd with
other Noblemen in the Measures which soon after brought it to bear, King
_James_ sent a Person down to him with Offers to mitigate his Fine upon
Conditions of ready Payment, to which his Lordship reply'd, That if his
Majesty pleas'd to allow him a little longer time, he would rather
chuse to play _double_ or _quit_ with him: The time of the intended
Rising being then so near at hand, the Demand, it seems, came too late
for a more serious Answer.

However low my Pretensions to Preferment were at this time, my Father
thought that a little Court-Favour added to them might give him a Chance
for saving the Expence of maintaining me, as he had intended, at the
University: He therefore order'd me to draw up a Petition to the Duke,
and, to give it some Air of Merit, to put it into _Latin_, the Prayer of
which was, That his Grace would be pleas'd to do something (I really
forget what) for me.----However the Duke, upon receiving it, was so good
as to desire my Father would send me to _London_ in the Winter, where he
would consider of some Provision for me. It might, indeed, well require
time to consider it; for I believe it was then harder to know what I was
really fit for, than to have got me any thing I was not fit for:
However, to _London_ I came, where I enter'd into my first State of
Attendance and Dependance for about five Months, till the _February_
following. But alas! in my Intervals of Leisure, by frequently seeing
Plays, my wise Head was turn'd to higher Views, I saw no Joy in any
other Life than that of an Actor, so that (as before, when a Candidate
at _Winchester_) I was even afraid of succeeding to the Preferment I
sought for: 'Twas on the Stage alone I had form'd a Happiness preferable
to all that Camps or Courts could offer me! and there was I determin'd,
let Father and Mother take it as they pleas'd, to fix my _non
ultra_.[69] Here I think my self oblig'd, in respect to the Honour of
that noble Lord, to acknowledge that I believe his real Intentions to do
well for me were prevented by my own inconsiderate Folly; so that if my
Life did not then take a more laudable Turn, I have no one but my self
to reproach for it; for I was credibly inform'd by the Gentlemen of his
Houshold, that his Grace had, in their hearing, talk'd of recommending
me to the Lord _Shrewsbury_, then Secretary of State, for the first
proper Vacancy in that Office. But the distant Hope of a Reversion was
too cold a Temptation for a Spirit impatient as mine, that wanted
immediate Possession of what my Heart was so differently set upon. The
Allurements of a Theatre are still so strong in my Memory, that perhaps
few, except those who have felt them, can conceive: And I am yet so far
willing to excuse my Folly, that I am convinc'd, were it possible to
take off that Disgrace and Prejudice which Custom has thrown upon the
Profession of an Actor, many a well-born younger Brother and Beauty of
low Fortune would gladly have adorn'd the Theatre, who by their not
being able to brook such Dishonour to their Birth, have pass'd away
their Lives decently unheeded and forgotten.

Many Years ago, when I was first in the Menagement of the Theatre, I
remember a strong Instance, which will shew you what degree of Ignominy
the Profession of an Actor was then held at.--A Lady, with a real Title,
whose female Indiscretions had occasion'd her Family to abandon her,
being willing, in her Distress, to make an honest Penny of what Beauty
she had left, desired to be admitted as an Actress; when before she
could receive our Answer, a Gentleman (probably by her Relation's
Permission) advis'd us not to entertain her, for Reasons easy to be
guess'd. You may imagine we cou'd not be so blind to our Interest as to
make an honourable Family our unnecessary Enemies by not taking his
Advice; which the Lady, too, being sensible of, saw the Affair had its
Difficulties, and therefore pursu'd it no farther. Now, is it not hard
that it should be a doubt whether this Lady's Condition or ours were the
more melancholy? For here you find her honest Endeavour to get Bread
from the Stage was look'd upon as an Addition of new Scandal to her
former Dishonour! so that I am afraid, according to this way of
thinking, had the same Lady stoop'd to have sold Patches and Pomatum in
a Band-box from Door to Door, she might in that Occupation have starv'd
with less Infamy than had she reliev'd her Necessities by being famous
on the Theatre. Whether this Prejudice may have arisen from the Abuses
that so often have crept in upon the Stage, I am not clear in; tho' when
that is grossly the Case, I will allow there ought to be no Limits set
to the Contempt of it; yet in its lowest Condition in my time, methinks
there could have been no Pretence of preferring the Band-box to the
Buskin. But this severe Opinion, whether merited or not, is not the
greatest Distress that this Profession is liable to.

I shall now give you another Anecdote, quite the reverse of what I have
instanc'd, wherein you will see an Actress as hardly us'd for an Act of
Modesty (which without being a Prude, a Woman, even upon the Stage, may
sometimes think it necessary not to throw off.) This too I am forc'd to
premise, that the Truth of what I am going to tell you may not be
sneer'd at before it be known. About the Year 1717, a young Actress of a
desirable Person, sitting in an upper Box at the Opera, a military
Gentleman thought this a proper Opportunity to secure a little
Conversation with her, the Particulars of which were probably no more
worth repeating than it seems the _Damoiselle_ then thought them worth
listening to; for, notwithstanding the fine Things he said to her, she
rather chose to give the Musick the Preference of her Attention: This
Indifference was so offensive to his high Heart, that he began to change
the Tender into the Terrible, and, in short, proceeded at last to treat
her in a Style too grosly insulting for the meanest Female Ear to endure
unresented: Upon which, being beaten too far out of her Discretion, she
turn'd hastily upon him with an angry Look, and a Reply which seem'd to
set his Merit in so low a Regard, that he thought himself oblig'd in
Honour to take his time to resent it: This was the full Extent of her
Crime, which his Glory delay'd no longer to punish than 'till the next
time she was to appear upon the Stage: There, in one of her best Parts,
wherein she drew a favourable Regard and Approbation from the Audience,
he, dispensing with the Respect which some People think due to a polite
Assembly, began to interrupt her Performance with such loud and various
Notes of Mockery, as other young Men of Honour in the same Place have
sometimes made themselves undauntedly merry with: Thus, deaf to all
Murmurs or Entreaties of those about him, he pursued his Point, even to
throwing near her such Trash as no Person can be suppos'd to carry about
him unless to use on so particular an Occasion.

A Gentleman then behind the Scenes, being shock'd at his unmanly
Behaviour, was warm enough to say, That no Man but a Fool or a Bully
cou'd be capable of insulting an Audience or a Woman in so monstrous a
manner. The former valiant Gentleman, to whose Ear the Words were soon
brought by his Spies, whom he had plac'd behind the Scenes to observe
how the Action was taken there, came immediately from the Pit in a Heat,
and demanded to know of the Author of those Words if he was the Person
that spoke them? to which he calmly reply'd, That though he had never
seen him before, yet, since he seem'd so earnest to be satisfy'd, he
would do him the favour to own, That indeed the Words were his, and that
they would be the last Words he should chuse to deny, whoever they might
fall upon. To conclude, their Dispute was ended the next Morning in
_Hyde-Park_, where the determin'd Combatant who first ask'd for
Satisfaction was oblig'd afterwards to ask his Life too; whether he
mended it or not, I have not yet heard; but his Antagonist in a few
Years after died in one of the principal Posts of the Government.[70]

Now, though I have sometimes known these gallant Insulters of Audiences
draw themselves into Scrapes which they have less honourably got out of,
yet, alas! what has that avail'd? This generous publick-spirited Method
of silencing a few was but repelling the Disease in one Part to make it
break out in another: All Endeavours at Protection are new Provocations
to those who pride themselves in pushing their Courage to a Defiance of
Humanity. Even when a Royal Resentment has shewn itself in the behalf of
an injur'd Actor, it has been unable to defend him from farther Insults!
an Instance of which happen'd in the late King _James_'s time. Mr.
_Smith_[71] (whose Character as a Gentleman could have been no way
impeach'd had he not degraded it by being a celebrated Actor) had the
Misfortune, in a Dispute with a Gentleman behind the Scenes, to receive
a Blow from him: The same Night an Account of this Action was carry'd to
the King, to whom the Gentleman was represented so grosly in the wrong,
that the next Day his Majesty sent to forbid him the Court upon it. This
Indignity cast upon a Gentleman only for having maltreated a Player, was
look'd upon as the Concern of every Gentleman; and a Party was soon
form'd to assert and vindicate their Honour, by humbling this favour'd
Actor, whose slight Injury had been judg'd equal to so severe a Notice.
Accordingly, the next time _Smith_ acted he was receiv'd with a Chorus
of Cat-calls, that soon convinc'd him he should not be suffer'd to
proceed in his Part; upon which, without the least Discomposure, he
order'd the Curtain to be dropp'd; and, having a competent Fortune of
his own, thought the Conditions of adding to it by his remaining upon
the Stage were too dear, and from that Day entirely quitted it.[72] I
shall make no Observation upon the King's Resentment, or on that of his
good Subjects; how far either was or was not right, is not the Point I
dispute for: Be that as it may, the unhappy Condition of the Actor was
so far from being reliev'd by this Royal Interposition in his favour,
that it was the worse for it.

While these sort of real Distresses on the Stage are so unavoidable, it
is no wonder that young People of Sense (though of low Fortune) should
be so rarely found to supply a Succession of good Actors. Why then may
we not, in some measure, impute the Scarcity of them to the wanton
Inhumanity of those Spectators, who have made it so terribly mean to
appear there? Were there no ground for this Question, where could be the
Disgrace of entring into a Society whose Institution, when not abus'd,
is a delightful School of Morality; and where to excel requires as ample
Endowments of Nature as any one Profession (that of holy Institution
excepted) whatsoever? But, alas! as _Shakespear_ says,

  _Where's that Palace, whereinto, sometimes
  Foul things intrude not?_[73]

Look into St. _Peter_'s at _Rome_, and see what a profitable Farce is
made of Religion there! Why then is an Actor more blemish'd than a
Cardinal? While the Excellence of the one arises from his innocently
seeming what he is not, and the Eminence of the other from the most
impious Fallacies that can be impos'd upon human Understanding? If the
best things, therefore, are most liable to Corruption, the Corruption of
the Theatre is no Disproof of its innate and primitive Utility.

In this Light, therefore, all the Abuses of the Stage, all the low,
loose, or immoral Supplements to wit, whether in making Virtue
ridiculous or Vice agreeable, or in the decorated Nonsense and
Absurdities of Pantomimical Trumpery, I give up to the Contempt of every
sensible Spectator, as so much rank Theatrical Popery. But cannot still
allow these Enormities to impeach the Profession, while they are so
palpably owing to the deprav'd Taste of the Multitude. While Vice and
Farcical Folly are the most profitable Commodities, why should we wonder
that, time out of mind, the poor Comedian, when real Wit would bear no
Price, should deal in what would bring him most ready Money? But this,
you will say, is making the Stage a Nursery of Vice and Folly, or at
least keeping an open Shop for it.----I grant it: But who do you expect
should reform it? The Actors? Why so? If People are permitted to buy it
without blushing, the Theatrical Merchant seems to have an equal Right
to the Liberty of selling it without Reproach. That this Evil wants a
Remedy is not to be contested; nor can it be denied that the Theatre is
as capable of being preserv'd by a Reformation as Matters of more
Importance; which, for the Honour of our National Taste, I could wish
were attempted; and then, if it could not subsist under decent
Regulations, by not being permitted to present any thing there but what
were _worthy_ to be there, it would be time enough to consider, whether
it were necessary to let it totally fall, or effectually support it.

Notwithstanding all my best Endeavours to recommend the Profession of
an Actor to a more general Favour, I doubt, while it is liable to such
Corruptions, and the Actor himself to such unlimited Insults as I have
already mention'd, I doubt, I say, we must still leave him a-drift, with
his intrinsick Merit, to ride out the Storm as well as he is able.

However, let us now turn to the other side of this Account, and see what
Advantages stand there to balance the Misfortunes I have laid before
you. There we shall still find some valuable Articles of Credit, that
sometimes overpay his incidental Disgraces.

First, if he has Sense, he will consider that as these Indignities are
seldom or never offer'd him by People that are remarkable for any one
good Quality, he ought not to lay them too close to his Heart: He will
know too, that when Malice, Envy, or a brutal Nature, can securely hide
or fence themselves in a Multitude, Virtue, Merit, Innocence, and even
sovereign Superiority, have been, and must be equally liable to their
Insults; that therefore, when they fall upon him in the same manner, his
intrinsick Value cannot be diminish'd by them: On the contrary, if, with
a decent and unruffled Temper, he lets them pass, the Disgrace will
return upon his Aggressor, and perhaps warm the generous Spectator into
a Partiality in his Favour.

That while he is conscious, That, as an Actor, he must be always in the
Hands of Injustice, it does him at least this involuntary Good, that it
keeps him in a settled Resolution to avoid all Occasions of provoking
it, or of even offending the lowest Enemy, who, at the Expence of a
Shilling, may publickly revenge it.

That, if he excells on the Stage, and is irreproachable in his Personal
Morals and Behaviour, his Profession is so far from being an Impediment,
that it will be oftner a just Reason for his being receiv'd among People
of condition with Favour; and sometimes with a more social Distinction,
than the best, though more profitable Trade he might have follow'd,
could have recommended him to.

That this is a Happiness to which several Actors within my Memory, as
_Betterton_, _Smith_, _Montfort_, Captain _Griffin_,[74] and Mrs.
_Bracegirdle_ (yet living) have arriv'd at; to which I may add the late
celebrated Mrs. _Oldfield_. Now let us suppose these Persons, the Men,
for example, to have been all eminent Mercers, and the Women as famous
Milliners, can we imagine that merely as such, though endow'd with the
same natural Understanding, they could have been call'd into the same
honourable Parties of Conversation? People of Sense and Condition could
not but know it was impossible they could have had such various
Excellencies on the Stage, without having something naturally valuable
in them: And I will take upon me to affirm, who knew them all living,
that there was not one of the Number who were not capable of supporting
a variety of Spirited Conversation, tho' the Stage were never to have
been the Subject of it.

That to have trod the Stage has not always been thought a
Disqualification from more honourable Employments; several have had
military Commissions; _Carlile_,[75] and _Wiltshire_[76] were both
kill'd Captains; one in King _William_'s Reduction of _Ireland;_ and
the other in his first War in _Flanders_; and the famous _Ben. Johnson_,
tho' an unsuccessful Actor, was afterwards made Poet-Laureat.[77]

To these laudable Distinctions let me add one more; that of Publick
Applause, which, when truly merited, is perhaps one of the most
agreeable Gratifications that venial Vanity can feel. A Happiness almost
peculiar to the Actor, insomuch that the best Tragick Writer, however
numerous his separate Admirers may be, yet, to unite them into one
general Act of Praise, to receive at once those thundring Peals of
Approbation which a crouded Theatre throws out, he must still call in
the Assistance of the skilful Actor to raise and partake of them.

In a Word, 'twas in this flattering Light only, though not perhaps so
thoroughly consider'd, I look'd upon the Life of an Actor when but
eighteen Years of Age; nor can you wonder if the Temptations were too
strong for so warm a Vanity as mine to resist; but whether excusable or
not, to the Stage at length I came, and it is from thence, chiefly, your
Curiosity, if you have any left, is to expect a farther Account of me.



CHAPTER IV.


[Illustration: Ad Lalauze, sc]

     _A short View of the Stage, from the Year 1660 to the
     Revolution. The King's and Duke's Company united, composed the
     best Set of_ English _Actors yet known. Their several
     Theatrical Characters._

Tho' I have only promis'd you an Account of all the material Occurrences
of the Theatre during my own Time, yet there was one which happen'd not
above seven Years before my Admission to it, which may be as well worth
notice as the first great Revolution of it, in which, among numbers, I
was involv'd. And as the one will lead you into a clearer View of the
other, it may therefore be previously necessary to let you know that.

King _Charles_ II. at his Restoration granted two Patents, one to Sir
_William Davenant_,[78] and the other to _Thomas Killigrew_, Esq.,[79]
and their several Heirs and Assigns, for ever, for the forming of two
distinct Companies of Comedians: The first were call'd the _King's
Servants,_ and acted at the Theatre-Royal in _Drury-Lane_;[80] and the
other the _Duke's Company_, who acted at the Duke's Theatre in
_Dorset-Garden_.[81] About ten of the King's Company were on the Royal
Houshold-Establishment, having each ten Yards of Scarlet Cloth, with a
proper quantity of Lace allow'd them for Liveries; and in their Warrants
from the Lord Chamberlain were stiled _Gentlemen of the Great
Chamber_.[82] Whether the like Appointments were extended to the Duke's
Company, I am not certain; but they were both in high Estimation with
the Publick, and so much the Delight and Concern of the Court, that
they were not only supported by its being frequently present at their
publick _Presentations_, but by its taking cognizance even of their
private Government, insomuch that their particular Differences,
Pretentions, or Complaints were generally ended by the _King_ or
_Duke_'s Personal Command or Decision. Besides their being thorough
Masters of their Art, these Actors set forwards with two critical
Advantages, which perhaps may never happen again in many Ages. The one
was, their immediate opening after the so long Interdiction of Plays
during the Civil War and the Anarchy that followed it. What eager
Appetites from so long a Fast must the Guests of those Times have had to
that high and fresh variety of Entertainments which _Shakespear_ had
left prepared for them? Never was a Stage so provided! A hundred Years
are wasted, and another silent Century well advanced, and yet what
unborn Age shall say _Shakespear_ has his equal! How many shining Actors
have the warm Scenes of his Genius given to Posterity? without being
himself in his Action equal to his Writing! A strong Proof that Actors,
like Poets, must be born such. Eloquence and Elocution are quite
different Talents: _Shakespear_ could write _Hamlet,_ but Tradition
tells us That the _Ghost_, in the same Play, was one of his best
Performances as an Actor: Nor is it within the reach of Rule or Precept
to complete either of them. Instruction, 'tis true, may guard them
equally against Faults or Absurdities, but there it stops; Nature must
do the rest: To excel in either Art is a self-born Happiness which
something more than good Sense must be the Mother of.

[Illustration: THOMAS BETTERTON.]

The other Advantage I was speaking of is, that before the Restoration no
Actresses had ever been seen upon the _English_ Stage.[83] The
Characters of Women on former Theatres were perform'd by Boys, or young
Men of the most effeminate Aspect. And what Grace or Master-strokes of
Action can we conceive such ungain Hoydens to have been capable of? This
Defect was so well considered by _Shakespear_, that in few of his Plays
he has any greater Dependance upon the Ladies than in the Innocence and
Simplicity of a _Desdemona_, an _Ophelia_, or in the short Specimen of a
fond and virtuous _Portia_. The additional Objects then of real,
beautiful Women could not but draw a Proportion of new Admirers to the
Theatre. We may imagine, too, that these Actresses were not ill chosen,
when it is well known that more than one of them had Charms sufficient
at their leisure Hours to calm and mollify the Cares of Empire.[84]
Besides these peculiar Advantages, they had a private Rule or Agreement,
which both Houses were happily ty'd down to, which was, that no Play
acted at one House should ever be attempted at the other. All the
capital Plays therefore of _Shakespear_, _Fletcher_, and _Ben. Johnson_
were divided between them by the Approbation of the Court and their own
alternate Choice.[85] So that when _Hart_[86] was famous for _Othello,
Betterton_ had no less a Reputation for _Hamlet_. By this Order the
Stage was supply'd with a greater Variety of Plays than could possibly
have been shewn had both Companies been employ'd at the same time upon
the same Play; which Liberty, too, must have occasion'd such frequent
Repetitions of 'em, by their opposite Endeavours to forestall and
anticipate one another, that the best Actors in the World must have
grown tedious and tasteless to the Spectator: For what Pleasure is not
languid to Satiety?[87] It was therefore one of our greatest
Happinesses (during my time of being in the Menagement of the Stage)
that we had a certain Number of select Plays which no other Company had
the good Fortune to make a tolerable Figure in, and consequently could
find little or no Account by acting them against us. These Plays
therefore for many Years, by not being too often seen, never fail'd to
bring us crowded Audiences; and it was to this Conduct we ow'd no little
Share of our Prosperity. But when four Houses[88] are at once (as very
lately they were) all permitted to act the same Pieces, let three of
them perform never so ill, when Plays come to be so harrass'd and
hackney'd out to the common People (half of which too, perhaps, would as
lieve see them at one House as another) the best Actors will soon feel
that the Town has enough of them.

I know it is the common Opinion, That the more Play-houses the more
Emulation; I grant it; but what has this Emulation ended in? Why, a
daily Contention which shall soonest surfeit you with the best Plays;
so that when what _ought_ to please can no _longer_ please, your
Appetite is again to be raised by such monstrous Presentations as
dishonour the Taste of a civiliz'd People.[89] If, indeed, to our
several Theatres we could raise a proportionable Number of good Authors
to give them all different Employment, then perhaps the Publick might
profit from their Emulation: But while good Writers are so scarce, and
undaunted Criticks so plenty, I am afraid a good Play and a blazing Star
will be equal Rarities. This voluptuous Expedient, therefore, of
indulging the Taste with several Theatres, will amount to much the same
variety as that of a certain Oeconomist, who, to enlarge his
Hospitality, would have two Puddings and two Legs of Mutton for the same
Dinner.[90]--But to resume the Thread of my History.

These two excellent Companies were both prosperous for some few Years,
'till their Variety of Plays began to be exhausted: Then of course the
better Actors (which the King's seem to have been allowed) could not
fail of drawing the greater Audiences. Sir _William Davenant_,
therefore, Master of the Duke's Company, to make Head against their
Success, was forced to add Spectacle and Musick to Action; and to
introduce a new Species of Plays, since call'd Dramatick Opera's, of
which kind were the _Tempest_, _Psyche_, _Circe_, and others, all set
off with the most expensive Decorations of Scenes and Habits, with the
best Voices and Dancers.[91]

This sensual Supply of Sight and Sound coming in to the Assistance of
the weaker Party, it was no Wonder they should grow too hard for Sense
and simple Nature, when it is consider'd how many more People there are,
that can see and hear, than think and judge. So wanton a Change of the
publick Taste, therefore, began to fall as heavy upon the King's Company
as their greater Excellence in Action had before fallen upon their
Competitors: Of which Encroachment upon Wit several good Prologues in
those Days frequently complain'd.[92]

But alas! what can Truth avail, when its Dependance is much more upon
the Ignorant than the sensible Auditor? a poor Satisfaction, that the
due Praise given to it must at last sink into the cold Comfort
of--_Laudatur & Alget_.[93] Unprofitable Praise can hardly give it a
_Soup maigre_. Taste and Fashion with us have always had Wings, and fly
from one publick Spectacle to another so wantonly, that I have been
inform'd by those who remember it, that a famous Puppet-shew[94] in
_Salisbury_ Change (then standing where _Cecil-Street_ now is) so far
distrest these two celebrated Companies, that they were reduced to
petition the King for Relief against it: Nor ought we perhaps to think
this strange, when, if I mistake not, _Terence_ himself reproaches the
_Roman_ Auditors of his Time with the like Fondness for the _Funambuli_,
the Rope-dancers.[95] Not to dwell too long therefore upon that Part of
my History which I have only collected from oral Tradition, I shall
content myself with telling you that _Mohun_[96] and _Hart_ now growing
old (for, above thirty Years before this Time, they had severally born
the King's Commission of Major and Captain in the Civil Wars), and the
younger Actors, as _Goodman_,[97] _Clark_,[98] and others, being
impatient to get into their Parts, and growing intractable,[99] the
Audiences too of both Houses then falling off, the Patentees of each, by
the King's Advice, which perhaps amounted to a Command, united their
Interests and both Companies into one, exclusive of all others, in the
Year 1682.[100] This Union was, however, so much in favour of the Duke's
Company, that _Hart_ left the Stage upon it, and _Mohun_ survived not
long after.

One only Theatre being now in Possession of the whole Town, the united
Patentees imposed their own Terms upon the Actors; for the Profits of
acting were then divided into twenty Shares, ten of which went to the
Proprietors, and the other Moiety to the principal Actors, in such
Sub-divisions as their different Merit might pretend to. These Shares of
the Patentees were promiscuously sold out to Money-making Persons,
call'd Adventurers,[101] who, tho' utterly ignorant of Theatrical
Affairs, were still admitted to a proportionate Vote in the Menagement
of them; all particular Encouragements to Actors were by them, of
Consequence, look'd upon as so many Sums deducted from their private
Dividends. While therefore the Theatrical Hive had so many Drones in it,
the labouring Actors, sure, were under the highest Discouragement, if
not a direct State of Oppression. Their Hardship will at least appear in
a much stronger Light when compar'd to our later Situation, who with
scarce half their Merit succeeded to be Sharers under a Patent upon five
times easier Conditions: For as they had but half the Profits divided
among ten or more of them; we had three fourths of the whole Profits
divided only among three of us: And as they might be said to have ten
Task-masters over them, we never had but one Assistant Menager (not an
Actor) join'd with us;[102] who, by the Crown's Indulgence, was
sometimes too of our own chusing. Under this heavy Establishment then
groan'd this United Company when I was first admitted into the lowest
Rank of it. How they came to be relieved by King _William_'s Licence in
1695, how they were again dispersed early in Queen _Anne_'s Reign, and
from what Accidents Fortune took better care of Us, their unequal
Successors, will be told in its Place: But to prepare you for the
opening so large a Scene of their History, methinks I ought (in Justice
to their Memory too) to give you such particular Characters of their
Theatrical Merit as in my plain Judgment they seem'd to deserve.
Presuming then that this Attempt may not be disagreeable to the Curious
or the true Lovers of the Theatre, take it without farther Preface.

In the Year 1690, when I first came into this Company, the principal
Actors then at the Head of it were,

     Of Men.                             Of Women.
  Mr. _Betterton_,              Mrs. _Betterton_,
  Mr. _Monfort_,                Mrs. _Barry_,
  Mr. _Kynaston_,               Mrs. _Leigh_,
  Mr. _Sandford_,               Mrs. _Butler_,
  Mr. _Nokes_,                  Mrs. _Monfort_, and
  Mr. _Underhil_, and           Mrs. _Bracegirdle_.
  Mr. _Leigh_.

These Actors whom I have selected from their Cotemporaries were all
original Masters in their different Stile, not meer auricular Imitators
of one another, which commonly is the highest Merit of the middle Rank,
but Self-judges of Nature, from whose various Lights they only took
their true Instruction. If in the following Account of them I may be
obliged to hint at the Faults of others, I never mean such Observations
should extend to those who are now in Possession of the Stage; for as I
design not my Memoirs shall come down to their Time, I would not lie
under the Imputation of speaking in their Disfavour to the Publick,
whose Approbation they must depend upon for Support.[103] But to my
Purpose.

_Betterton_ was an Actor, as _Shakespear_ was an Author, both without
Competitors! form'd for the mutual Assistance and Illustration of each
others Genius! How _Shakespear_ wrote, all Men who have a Taste for
Nature may read and know--but with what higher Rapture would he still be
_read_ could they conceive how _Betterton play'd_ him! Then might they
know the one was born alone to speak what the other only knew to write!
Pity it is that the momentary Beauties flowing from an harmonious
Elocution cannot, like those of Poetry, be their own Record! That the
animated Graces of the Player can live no longer than the instant Breath
and Motion that presents them, or at best can but faintly glimmer
through the Memory or imperfect Attestation of a few surviving
Spectators. Could _how Betterton_ spoke be as easily known as _what_ he
spoke, then might you see the Muse of _Shakespear_ in her Triumph, with
all her Beauties in their best Array rising into real Life and charming
her Beholders. But alas! since all this is so far out of the reach of
Description, how shall I shew you _Betterton_? Should I therefore tell
you that all the _Othellos_, _Hamlets_, _Hotspurs_, _Mackbeths_, and
_Brutus_'s whom you may have seen since his Time, have fallen far short
of him; this still would give you no Idea of his particular Excellence.
Let us see then what a particular Comparison may do! whether that may
yet draw him nearer to you?

You have seen a _Hamlet_ perhaps, who, on the first Appearance of his
Father's Spirit, has thrown himself into all the straining Vociferation
requisite to express Rage and Fury, and the House has thunder'd with
Applause; tho' the mis-guided Actor was all the while (as _Shakespear_
terms it) tearing a Passion into Rags[104]----I am the more bold to
offer you this particular Instance, because the late Mr. _Addison_,
while I sate by him to see this Scene acted, made the same Observation,
asking me, with some Surprize, if I thought _Hamlet_ should be in so
violent a Passion with the Ghost, which, tho' it might have astonish'd,
it had not provok'd him? for you may observe that in this beautiful
Speech the Passion never rises beyond an almost breathless Astonishment,
or an Impatience, limited by filial Reverence, to enquire into the
suspected Wrongs that may have rais'd him from his peaceful Tomb! and a
Desire to know what a Spirit so seemingly distrest might wish or enjoin
a sorrowful Son to execute towards his future Quiet in the Grave? This
was the Light into which _Betterton_ threw this Scene; which he open'd
with a Pause of mute Amazement! then rising slowly to a solemn,
trembling Voice, he made the Ghost equally terrible to the Spectator as
to himself![105] and in the descriptive Part of the natural Emotions
which the ghastly Vision gave him, the boldness of his Expostulation was
still govern'd by Decency, manly, but not braving; his Voice never
rising into that seeming Outrage or wild Defiance of what he naturally
rever'd.[106] But alas! to preserve this medium, between mouthing and
meaning too little, to keep the Attention more pleasingly awake by a
temper'd Spirit than by meer Vehemence of Voice, is of all the
Master-strokes of an Actor the most difficult to reach. In this none yet
have equall'd _Betterton_. But I am unwilling to shew his Superiority
only by recounting the Errors of those who now cannot answer to them,
let their farther Failings therefore be forgotten! or rather, shall I in
some measure excuse them? For I am not yet sure that they might not be
as much owing to the false Judgment of the Spectator as the Actor. While
the Million are so apt to be transported when the Drum of their Ear is
so roundly rattled; while they take the Life of Elocution to lie in the
Strength of the Lungs, it is no wonder the Actor, whose end is Applause,
should be also tempted at this easy rate to excite it. Shall I go a
little farther? and allow that this Extreme is more pardonable than its
opposite Error? I mean that dangerous Affectation of the Monotone, or
solemn Sameness of Pronounciation, which, to my Ear, is insupportable;
for of all Faults that so frequently pass upon the Vulgar, that of
Flatness will have the fewest Admirers. That this is an Error of ancient
standing seems evident by what _Hamlet_ says, in his Instructions to the
Players, _viz._

  _Be not too tame, neither,_ &c.

The Actor, doubtless, is as strongly ty'd down to the Rules of _Horace_
as the Writer.

  _Si vis me flere, dolendum est
  Primum ipsi tibi_----[107]

He that feels not himself the Passion he would raise, will talk to a
sleeping Audience: But this never was the Fault of _Betterton_; and it
has often amaz'd me to see those who soon came after him throw out, in
some Parts of a Character, a just and graceful Spirit which _Betterton_
himself could not but have applauded. And yet in the equally shining
Passages of the same Character have heavily dragg'd the Sentiment along
like a dead Weight, with a long-ton'd Voice and absent Eye, as if they
had fairly forgot what they were about: If you have never made this
Observation, I am contented you should not know where to apply it.[108]

A farther Excellence in _Betterton_ was, that he could vary his Spirit
to the different Characters he acted. Those wild impatient Starts, that
fierce and flashing Fire, which he threw into _Hotspur_, never came from
the unruffled Temper of his _Brutus_ (for I have more than once seen a
_Brutus_ as warm as _Hotspur_): when the _Betterton Brutus_ was provok'd
in his Dispute with _Cassius,_ his Spirit flew only to his Eye; his
steady Look alone supply'd that Terror which he disdain'd an
Intemperance in his Voice should rise to. Thus, with a settled Dignity
of Contempt, like an unheeding Rock he repelled upon himself the Foam of
_Cassius_. Perhaps the very Words of _Shakespear_ will better let you
into my Meaning:

    _Must I give way and room to your rash Choler?
    Shall I be frighted when a Madman stares?_

And a little after,

    _There is no Terror,_ Cassius, _in your Looks_! &c.

Not but in some part of this Scene, where he reproaches _Cassius,_ his
Temper is not under this Suppression, but opens into that Warmth which
becomes a Man of Virtue; yet this is that _Hasty Spark_ of Anger which
_Brutus_ himself endeavours to excuse.

But with whatever strength of Nature we see the Poet shew at once the
Philosopher and the Heroe, yet the Image of the Actor's Excellence will
be still imperfect to you unless Language could put Colours in our Words
to paint the Voice with.

_Et, si vis similem pingere, pinge sonum_,[109] is enjoyning an
impossibility. The most that a _Vandyke_ can arrive at, is to make his
Portraits of great Persons seem to _think;_ a _Shakespear_ goes farther
yet, and tells you _what_ his Pictures thought; a _Betterton_ steps
beyond 'em both, and calls them from the Grave to breathe and be
themselves again in Feature, Speech, and Motion. When the skilful
Actor shews you all these Powers at once united, and gratifies at once
your Eye, your Ear, your Understanding: To conceive the Pleasure rising
from such Harmony, you must have been present at it! 'tis not to be told
you!

[Illustration: BENJAMIN JOHNSON.]

There cannot be a stronger Proof of the Charms of harmonious Elocution
than the many even unnatural Scenes and Flights of the false Sublime it
has lifted into Applause. In what Raptures have I seen an Audience at
the furious Fustian and turgid Rants in _Nat. Lee's Alexander the
Great_! For though I can allow this Play a few great Beauties, yet it is
not without its extravagant Blemishes. Every Play of the same Author has
more or less of them. Let me give you a Sample from this. _Alexander_,
in a full Crowd of Courtiers, without being occasionally call'd or
provok'd to it, falls into this Rhapsody of Vain-glory.

    _Can none remember? Yes, I know all must!_

And therefore they shall know it agen.

    _When Glory, like the dazzling Eagle, stood
    Perch'd on my Beaver, in the Granic Flood,
    When Fortune's Self my Standard trembling bore,
    And the pale Fates stood frighted on the Shore,
    When the Immortals on the Billows rode,
    And I myself appear'd the leading God._[110]

When these flowing Numbers came from the Mouth of a _Betterton_ the
Multitude no more desired Sense to them than our musical _Connoisseurs_
think it essential in the celebrate Airs of an _Italian_ Opera. Does not
this prove that there is very near as much Enchantment in the
well-govern'd Voice of an Actor as in the sweet Pipe of an Eunuch? If I
tell you there was no one Tragedy, for many Years, more in favour with
the Town than _Alexander_, to what must we impute this its command of
publick Admiration? Not to its intrinsick Merit, surely, if it swarms
with passages like this I have shewn you! If this Passage has Merit, let
us see what Figure it would make upon Canvas, what sort of Picture would
rise from it. If _Le Brun_, who was famous for painting the Battles of
this Heroe, had seen this lofty Description, what one Image could he
have possibly taken from it? In what Colours would he have shewn us
_Glory perch'd upon a Beaver_? How would he have drawn _Fortune
trembling_? Or, indeed, what use could he have made of _pale Fates_ or
_Immortals_ riding upon _Billows_, with this blustering _God_ of his own
making at the _head_ of them?[111] Where, then, must have lain the Charm
that once made the Publick so partial to this Tragedy? Why plainly, in
the Grace and Harmony of the Actor's Utterance. For the Actor himself is
not accountable for the false Poetry of his Author; That the Hearer is
to judge of; if it passes upon him, the Actor can have no Quarrel to it;
who, if the Periods given him are round, smooth, spirited, and
high-sounding, even in a false Passion, must throw out the same Fire and
Grace as may be required in one justly rising from Nature; where those
his Excellencies will then be only more pleasing in proportion to the
Taste of his Hearer. And I am of opinion that to the extraordinary
Success of this very Play we may impute the Corruption of so many Actors
and Tragick Writers, as were immediately misled by it. The unskilful
Actor who imagin'd all the Merit of delivering those blazing Rants lay
only in the Strength and strain'd Exertion of the Voice, began to tear
his Lungs upon every false or slight Occasion to arrive at the same
Applause. And it is from hence I date our having seen the same Reason
prevalent for above fifty Years. Thus equally mis-guided, too, many a
barren-brain'd Author has stream'd into a frothy flowing Style,
pompously rolling into sounding Periods signifying----roundly nothing;
of which Number, in some of my former Labours, I am something more than
suspicious that I may myself have made one. But to keep a little closer
to _Betterton_.

When this favourite Play I am speaking of, from its being too frequently
acted, was worn out, and came to be deserted by the Town, upon the
sudden Death of _Monfort_, who had play'd _Alexander_ with Success for
several Years, the Part was given to _Betterton_, which, under this
great Disadvantage of the Satiety it had given, he immediately reviv'd
with so new a Lustre that for three Days together it fill'd the
House;[112] and had his then declining Strength been equal to the
Fatigue the Action gave him, it probably might have doubled its Success;
an uncommon Instance of the Power and intrinsick Merit of an Actor. This
I mention not only to prove what irresistable Pleasure may arise from a
judicious Elocution, with scarce Sense to assist it; but to shew you
too, that tho' _Betterton_ never wanted Fire and Force when his
Character demanded it; yet, where it was not demanded, he never
prostituted his Power to the low Ambition of a false Applause. And
further, that when, from a too advanced Age, he resigned that toilsome
Part of _Alexander_, the Play for many Years after never was able to
impose upon the Publick;[113] and I look upon his so particularly
supporting the false Fire and Extravagancies of that Character to be a
more surprizing Proof of his Skill than his being eminent in those of
_Shakespear_; because there, Truth and Nature coming to his Assistance,
he had not the same Difficulties to combat, and consequently we must be
less amaz'd at his Success where we are more able to account for it.

Notwithstanding the extraordinary Power he shew'd in blowing _Alexander_
once more into a blaze of Admiration, _Betterton_ had so just a sense of
what was true or false Applause, that I have heard him say, he never
thought any kind of it equal to an attentive Silence; that there were
many ways of deceiving an Audience into a loud one; but to keep them
husht and quiet was an Applause which only Truth and Merit could arrive
at: Of which Art there never was an equal Master to himself. From these
various Excellencies, he had so full a Possession of the Esteem and
Regard of his Auditors, that upon his Entrance into every Scene he
seem'd to seize upon the Eyes and Ears of the Giddy and Inadvertent! To
have talk'd or look'd another way would then have been thought
Insensibility or Ignorance.[114] In all his Soliloquies of moment, the
strong Intelligence of his Attitude and Aspect drew you into such an
impatient Gaze and eager Expectation, that you almost imbib'd the
Sentiment with your Eye before the Ear could reach it.

As _Betterton_ is the Centre to which all my Observations upon Action
tend, you will give me leave, under his Character, to enlarge upon that
Head. In the just Delivery of Poetical Numbers, particularly where the
Sentiments are pathetick, it is scarce credible upon how minute an
Article of Sound depends their greatest Beauty or Inaffection. The Voice
of a Singer is not more strictly ty'd to Time and Tune, than that of an
Actor in Theatrical Elocution:[115] The least Syllable too long or too
slightly dwelt upon in a Period depreciates it to nothing; which very
Syllable if rightly touch'd shall, like the heightening Stroke of Light
from a Master's Pencil, give Life and Spirit to the whole. I never
heard a Line in Tragedy come from _Betterton_ wherein my Judgment, my
Ear, and my Imagination were not fully satisfy'd; which, since his Time,
I cannot equally say of any one Actor whatsoever: Not but it is possible
to be much his Inferior, with great Excellencies; which I shall observe
in another Place. Had it been practicable to have ty'd down the
clattering Hands of all the ill judges who were commonly the Majority of
an Audience, to what amazing Perfection might the _English_ Theatre have
arrived with so just an Actor as _Betterton_ at the Head of it! If what
was Truth only could have been applauded, how many noisy Actors had
shook their Plumes with shame, who, from the injudicious Approbation of
the Multitude, have bawl'd and strutted in the place of Merit? If
therefore the bare speaking Voice has such Allurements in it, how much
less ought we to wonder, however we may lament, that the sweeter Notes
of Vocal Musick should so have captivated even the politer World into
an Apostacy from Sense to an Idolatry of Sound. Let us enquire from
whence this Enchantment rises. I am afraid it may be too naturally
accounted for: For when we complain that the finest Musick, purchas'd at
such vast Expence, is so often thrown away upon the most miserable
Poetry, we seem not to consider, that when the Movement of the Air and
Tone of the Voice are exquisitely harmonious, tho' we regard not one
_Word_ of what we hear, yet the Power of the Melody is so busy in the
Heart, that we naturally annex Ideas to it of our own Creation, and, in
some sort, become our selves the Poet to the Composer; and what Poet is
so dull as not to be charm'd with the Child of his own Fancy? So that
there is even a kind of Language in agreeable Sounds, which, like the
Aspect of Beauty, without Words speaks and plays with the Imagination.
While this Taste therefore is so naturally prevalent, I doubt to propose
Remedies for it were but giving Laws to the Winds or Advice to
Inamorato's: And however gravely we may assert that Profit ought always
to be inseparable from the Delight of the Theatre; nay, admitting that
the Pleasure would be heighten'd by the uniting them; yet, while
Instruction is so little the Concern of the Auditor, how can we hope
that so choice a Commodity will come to a Market where there is so
seldom a Demand for it?

It is not to the Actor, therefore, but to the vitiated and low Taste of
the Spectator, that the Corruptions of the Stage (of what kind soever)
have been owing. If the Publick, by whom they must live, had Spirit
enough to discountenance and declare against all the Trash and Fopperies
they have been so frequently fond of, both the Actors and the Authors,
to the best of their Power, must naturally have serv'd their daily Table
with sound and wholesome Diet.[116]----But I have not yet done with my
Article of Elocution.

As we have sometimes great Composers of Musick who cannot sing, we have
as frequently great Writers that cannot read; and though without the
nicest Ear no Man can be Master of Poetical Numbers, yet the best Ear in
the World will not always enable him to pronounce them. Of this Truth
_Dryden_, our first great Master of Verse and Harmony, was a strong
Instance: When he brought his Play of _Amphytrion_ to the Stage,[117] I
heard him give it his first Reading to the Actors, in which, though it
is true he deliver'd the plain Sense of every Period, yet the whole was
in so cold, so flat, and unaffecting a manner, that I am afraid of not
being believ'd when I affirm it.

On the contrary, _Lee_, far his inferior in Poetry, was so pathetick a
Reader of his own Scenes, that I have been inform'd by an Actor who was
present, that while _Lee_ was reading to Major _Mohun_ at a Rehearsal,
_Mohun_, in the Warmth of his Admiration, threw down his Part and said,
Unless I were able to _play_ it as well as you _read_ it, to what
purpose should I undertake it? And yet this very Author, whose Elocution
rais'd such Admiration in so capital an Actor, when he attempted to be
an Actor himself, soon quitted the Stage in an honest Despair of ever
making any profitable Figure there.[118] From all this I would infer,
That let our Conception of what we are to speak be ever so just, and the
Ear ever so true, yet, when we are to deliver it to an Audience (I will
leave Fear out of the question) there must go along with the whole a
natural Freedom and becoming Grace, which is easier to conceive than to
describe: For without this inexpressible Somewhat the Performance will
come out oddly disguis'd, or somewhere defectively unsurprizing to the
Hearer. Of this Defect, too, I will give you yet a stranger Instance,
which you will allow Fear could not be the Occasion of: If you remember
_Estcourt_,[119] you must have known that he was long enough upon the
Stage not to be under the least Restraint from Fear in his Performance:
This Man was so amazing and extraordinary a Mimick, that no Man or
Woman, from the Coquette to the Privy-Counsellor, ever mov'd or spoke
before him, but he could carry their Voice, Look, Mien, and Motion,
instantly into another Company: I have heard him make long Harangues and
form various Arguments, even in the manner of thinking of an eminent
Pleader at the Bar,[120] with every the least Article and Singularity of
his Utterance so perfectly imitated, that he was the very _alter ipse_,
scarce to be distinguish'd from his Original. Yet more; I have seen upon
the Margin of the written Part of _Falstaff_ which he acted, his own
Notes and Observations upon almost every Speech of it, describing the
true Spirit of the Humour, and with what Tone of Voice, Look, and
Gesture, each of them ought to be delivered. Yet in his Execution upon
the Stage he seem'd to have lost all those just Ideas he had form'd of
it, and almost thro' the Character labour'd under a heavy Load of
Flatness: In a word, with all his Skill in Mimickry and Knowledge of
what ought to be done, he never upon the Stage could bring it truly into
Practice, but was upon the whole a languid, unaffecting Actor.[121]
After I have shewn you so many necessary Qualifications, not one of
which can be spar'd in true Theatrical Elocution, and have at the same
time prov'd that with the Assistance of them all united, the whole may
still come forth defective; what Talents shall we say will infallibly
form an Actor? This I confess is one of Nature's Secrets, too deep for
me to dive into; let us content our selves therefore with affirming,
That _Genius_, which Nature only gives, only can complete him. This
_Genius_ then was so strong in _Betterton_, that it shone out in every
Speech and Motion of him. Yet Voice and Person are such necessary
Supports to it, that by the Multitude they have been preferr'd to
_Genius_ itself, or at least often mistaken for it. _Betterton_ had a
Voice of that kind which gave more Spirit to Terror than to the softer
Passions; of more Strength than Melody.[122] The Rage and Jealousy of
_Othello_ became him better than the Sighs and Tenderness of
_Castalio_:[123] For though in _Castalio_ he only excell'd others, in
_Othello_ he excell'd himself; which you will easily believe when you
consider that, in spite of his Complexion, _Othello_ has more natural
Beauties than the best Actor can find in all the Magazine of Poetry to
animate his Power and delight his Judgment with.

The Person of this excellent Actor was suitable to his Voice, more manly
than sweet, not exceeding the middle Stature, inclining to the
corpulent; of a serious and penetrating Aspect; his Limbs nearer the
athletick than the delicate Proportion; yet however form'd, there arose
from the Harmony of the whole a commanding Mien of Majesty, which the
fairer-fac'd or (as _Shakespear_ calls 'em) the _curled_ Darlings of his
Time ever wanted something to be equal Masters of. There was some Years
ago to be had, almost in every Print-shop, a _Metzotinto_ from
_Kneller_, extremely like him.[124]

In all I have said of _Betterton_, I confine myself to the Time of his
Strength and highest Power in Action, that you may make Allowances from
what he was able to execute at Fifty, to what you might have seen of him
at past Seventy; for tho' to the last he was without his Equal, he might
not then be equal to his former Self; yet so far was he from being ever
overtaken, that for many Years after his Decease I seldom saw any of his
Parts in _Shakespear_ supply'd by others, but it drew from me the
Lamentation of _Ophelia_ upon _Hamlet_'s being unlike what she had seen
him.

    ----_Ah! woe is me!
    T'have seen what I have seen, see what I see!_

The last Part this great Master of his Profession acted was _Melantius_
in the _Maid's Tragedy_, for his own Benefit;[125] when being suddenly
seiz'd by the Gout, he submitted, by extraordinary Applications, to
have his Foot so far reliev'd that he might be able to walk on the Stage
in a Slipper, rather than wholly disappoint his Auditors. He was
observ'd that Day to have exerted a more than ordinary Spirit, and met
with suitable Applause; but the unhappy Consequence of tampering with
his Distemper was, that it flew into his Head, and kill'd him in three
Days, (I think) in the seventy-fourth Year of his Age.[126]

I once thought to have fill'd up my Work with a select Dissertation upon
Theatrical Action,[127] but I find, by the Digressions I have been
tempted to make in this Account of _Betterton_, that all I can say upon
that Head will naturally fall in, and possibly be less tedious if
dispers'd among the various Characters of the particular Actors I have
promis'd to treat of; I shall therefore make use of those several
Vehicles, which you will find waiting in the next Chapter, to carry you
thro' the rest of the Journey at your Leisure.



CHAPTER V.


[Illustration: Ad Lalauze, sc apres Peter Van Bleeck]

     _The Theatrical Characters of the Principal Actors in the Year
     1690, continu'd._

     _A few Words to Critical Auditors._

Tho', as I have before observ'd, Women were not admitted to the Stage
'till the Return of King _Charles_, yet it could not be so suddenly
supply'd with them but that there was still a Necessity, for some time,
to put the handsomest young Men into Petticoats;[128] which _Kynaston_
was then said to have worn with Success; particularly in the Part of
_Evadne_ in the _Maid's Tragedy_, which I have heard him speak of, and
which calls to my Mind a ridiculous Distress that arose from these sort
of Shifts which the Stage was then put to.----The King coming a little
before his usual time to a Tragedy, found the Actors not ready to begin,
when his Majesty, not chusing to have as much Patience as his good
Subjects, sent to them to know the Meaning of it; upon which the Master
of the Company came to the Box, and rightly judging that the best Excuse
for their Default would be the true one, fairly told his Majesty that
the Queen was not _shav'd_ yet: The King, whose good Humour lov'd to
laugh at a Jest as well as to make one, accepted the Excuse, which
serv'd to divert him till the male Queen cou'd be effeminated. In a
word, _Kynaston_ at that time was so beautiful a Youth that the Ladies
of Quality prided themselves in taking him with them in their Coaches
to _Hyde-Park_ in his Theatrical Habit, after the Play; which in those
Days they might have sufficient time to do, because Plays then were us'd
to begin at four a-Clock: The Hour that People of the same Rank are now
going to Dinner.----Of this Truth I had the Curiosity to enquire, and
had it confirm'd from his own Mouth in his advanc'd Age: And indeed, to
the last of him, his Handsomeness was very little abated; even at past
Sixty his Teeth were all sound, white, and even, as one would wish to
see in a reigning Toast of Twenty. He had something of a formal Gravity
in his Mien, which was attributed to the stately Step he had been so
early confin'd to, in a female Decency. But even that in Characters of
Superiority had its proper Graces; it misbecame him not in the Part of
_Leon_, in _Fletcher's Rule a Wife, &c._ which he executed with a
determin'd Manliness and honest Authority well worth the best Actor's
Imitation. He had a piercing Eye, and in Characters of heroick Life a
quick imperious Vivacity in his Tone of Voice that painted the Tyrant
truly terrible. There were two Plays of _Dryden_ in which he shone with
uncommon Lustre; in _Aurenge-Zebe_ he play'd _Morat_, and in _Don
Sebastian, Muley Moloch_; in both these Parts he had a fierce, Lion-like
Majesty in his Port and Utterance that gave the Spectator a kind of
trembling Admiration!

Here I cannot help observing upon a modest Mistake which I thought the
late Mr. _Booth_ committed in his acting the Part of _Morat_. There are
in this fierce Character so many Sentiments of avow'd Barbarity,
Insolence, and Vain-glory, that they blaze even to a ludicrous Lustre,
and doubtless the Poet intended those to make his Spectators laugh while
they admir'd them; but _Booth_ thought it depreciated the Dignity of
Tragedy to raise a Smile in any part of it, and therefore cover'd these
kind of Sentiments with a scrupulous Coldness and unmov'd Delivery, as
if he had fear'd the Audience might take too familiar a notice of
them.[129] In Mr. _Addison's Cato, Syphax_[130] has some Sentiments of
near the same nature, which I ventur'd to speak as I imagin'd
_Kynaston_ would have done had he been then living to have stood in the
same Character. Mr. _Addison_, who had something of Mr. _Booth_'s
Diffidence at the Rehearsal of his Play, after it was acted came into my
Opinion, and own'd that even Tragedy on such particular Occasions might
admit of a _Laugh_ of _Approbation_.[131] In _Shakespear_ Instances of
them are frequent, as in _Mackbeth_, _Hotspur_, _Richard the Third_, and
_Harry the Eighth_,[132] all which Characters, tho' of a tragical Cast,
have sometimes familiar Strokes in them so highly natural to each
particular Disposition, that it is impossible not to be transported into
an honest Laughter at them: And these are those happy Liberties which,
tho' few Authors are qualify'd to take, yet, when justly taken, may
challenge a Place among their greatest Beauties. Now, whether _Dryden_,
in his _Morat, feliciter Audet_,[133]----or may be allow'd the Happiness
of having hit this Mark, seems not necessary to be determin'd by the
Actor, whose Business, sure, is to make the best of his Author's
Intention, as in this Part _Kynaston_ did, doubtless not without
_Dryden_'s Approbation. For these Reasons then, I thought my good
Friend, Mr. _Booth_ (who certainly had many Excellencies) carry'd his
Reverence for the Buskin too far, in not following the bold Flights of
the Author with that Wantonness of Spirit which the Nature of those
Sentiments demanded: For Example! _Morat_ having a criminal Passion for
_Indamora_, promises, at her Request, for one Day to spare the Life of
her Lover _Aurenge-Zebe_: But not chusing to make known the real Motive
of his Mercy, when _Nourmahal_ says to him,

    _'Twill not be safe to let him live an Hour!_

_Morat_ silences her with this heroical _Rhodomontade_,

    _I'll do't, to shew my Arbitrary Power_.[134]

_Risum teneatis?_ It was impossible not to laugh and reasonably too,
when this Line came out of the Mouth of _Kynaston_,[135] with the stern
and haughty Look that attended it. But above this tyrannical, tumid
Superiority of Character there is a grave and rational Majesty in
_Shakespear's Harry the Fourth_, which, tho' not so glaring to the
vulgar Eye, requires thrice the Skill and Grace to become and support.
Of this real Majesty _Kynaston_ was entirely Master; here every
Sentiment came from him as if it had been his own, as if he had himself
that instant conceiv'd it, as if he had lost the Player and were the
real King he personated! a Perfection so rarely found, that very often,
in Actors of good Repute, a certain Vacancy of Look, Inanity of Voice,
or superfluous Gesture, shall unmask the Man to the judicious Spectator,
who, from the least of those Errors, plainly sees the whole but a Lesson
given him to be got by Heart from some great Author whose Sense is
deeper than the Repeater's Understanding. This true Majesty _Kynaston_
had so entire a Command of, that when he whisper'd the following plain
Line to _Hotspur_,

    _Send us your Prisoners, or you'll hear of it_![136]


He convey'd a more terrible Menace in it than the loudest Intemperance
of Voice could swell to. But let the bold Imitator beware, for without
the Look and just Elocution that waited on it an Attempt of the same
nature may fall to nothing.

[Illustration: KYNASTON.]

But the Dignity of this Character appear'd in _Kynaston_ still more
shining in the private Scene between the King and Prince his Son: There
you saw Majesty in that sort of Grief which only Majesty could feel!
there the paternal Concern for the Errors of the Son made the Monarch
more rever'd and dreaded: His Reproaches so just, yet so unmix'd with
Anger (and therefore the more piercing) opening as it were the Arms of
Nature with a secret Wish, that filial Duty and Penitence awak'd, might
fall into them with Grace and Honour. In this affecting Scene I thought
_Kynaston_ shew'd his most masterly Strokes of Nature; expressing all
the various Motions of the Heart with the same Force, Dignity and
Feeling, they are written; adding to the whole that peculiar and
becoming Grace which the best Writer cannot inspire into any Actor that
is not born with it. What made the Merit of this Actor and that of
_Betterton_ more surprizing, was that though they both observ'd the
Rules of Truth and Nature, they were each as different in their manner
of acting as in their personal Form and Features. But _Kynaston_ staid
too long upon the Stage, till his Memory and Spirit began to fail him. I
shall not therefore say any thing of his Imperfections, which, at that
time, were visibly not his own, but the Effects of decaying Nature.[137]

_Monfort_,[138] a younger Man by twenty Years, and at this time in his
highest Reputation, was an Actor of a very different Style: Of Person he
was tall, well made, fair, and of an agreeable Aspect: His Voice clear,
full, and melodious: In Tragedy he was the most affecting Lover within
my Memory. His Addresses had a resistless Recommendation from the very
Tone of his Voice, which gave his Words such Softness that, as _Dryden_
says,

    ----_Like Flakes of feather'd Snow,
    They melted as they fell_![139]

All this he particularly verify'd in that Scene of _Alexander_, where
the Heroe throws himself at the Feet of _Statira_ for Pardon of his past
Infidelities. There we saw the Great, the Tender, the Penitent, the
Despairing, the Transported, and the Amiable, in the highest Perfection.
In Comedy he gave the truest Life to what we call the _Fine Gentleman_;
his Spirit shone the brighter for being polish'd with Decency: In Scenes
of Gaiety he never broke into the Regard that was due to the Presence of
equal or superior Characters, tho' inferior Actors play'd them; he
fill'd the Stage, not by elbowing and crossing it before others, or
disconcerting their Action, but by surpassing them in true masterly
Touches of Nature. He never laugh'd at his own Jest, unless the Point
of his Raillery upon another requir'd it.--He had a particular Talent in
giving Life to _bons Mots_ and _Repartees_: The Wit of the Poet seem'd
always to come from him _extempore_, and sharpen'd into more Wit from
his brilliant manner of delivering it; he had himself a good Share of
it, or what is equal to it, so lively a Pleasantness of Humour, that
when either of these fell into his Hands upon the Stage, he wantoned
with them to the highest Delight of his Auditors. The _agreeable_ was so
natural to him, that even in that dissolute Character of the
_Rover_[140] he seem'd to wash off the Guilt from Vice, and gave it
Charms and Merit. For tho' it may be a Reproach to the Poet to draw such
Characters not only unpunish'd but rewarded, the Actor may still be
allow'd his due Praise in his excellent Performance. And this is a
Distinction which, when this Comedy was acted at _Whitehall_, King
_William_'s Queen _Mary_ was pleas'd to make in favour of _Monfort_,
notwithstanding her Disapprobation of the Play.

He had, besides all this, a Variety in his Genius which few capital
Actors have shewn, or perhaps have thought it any Addition to their
Merit to arrive at; he could entirely change himself; could at once
throw off the Man of Sense for the brisk, vain, rude, and lively
Coxcomb, the false, flashy Pretender to Wit, and the Dupe of his own
Sufficiency: Of this he gave a delightful Instance in the Character of
_Sparkish_ in _Wycherly's Country Wife_. In that of Sir _Courtly
Nice_[141] his Excellence was still greater: There his whole Man, Voice,
Mien, and Gesture was no longer _Monfort_, but another Person. There,
the insipid, soft Civility, the elegant and formal Mien, the drawling
Delicacy of Voice, the stately Flatness of his Address, and the empty
Eminence of his Attitudes were so nicely observ'd and guarded by him,
that he had not been an entire Master of Nature had he not kept his
Judgment, as it were, a Centinel upon himself, not to admit the least
Likeness of what he us'd to be to enter into any Part of his
Performance, he could not possibly have so completely finish'd it. If,
some Years after the Death of _Monfort_, I my self had any Success in
either of these Characters, I must pay the Debt I owe to his Memory, in
confessing the Advantages I receiv'd from the just Idea and strong
Impression he had given me from his acting them. Had he been remember'd
when I first attempted them my Defects would have been more easily
discover'd, and consequently my favourable Reception in them must have
been very much and justly abated. If it could be remembred how much he
had the Advantage of me in Voice and Person, I could not here be
suspected of an affected Modesty or of over-valuing his Excellence: For
he sung a clear Counter-tenour, and had a melodious, warbling Throat,
which could not but set off the last Scene of Sir _Courtly_ with an
uncommon Happiness; which I, alas! could only struggle thro' with the
faint Excuses and real Confidence of a fine Singer under the
Imperfection of a feign'd and screaming Trebble, which at best could
only shew you what I would have done had Nature been more favourable to
me.

This excellent Actor was cut off by a tragical Death in the 33d Year of
his Age, generally lamented by his Friends and all Lovers of the
Theatre. The particular Accidents that attended his Fall are to be found
at large in the Trial of the Lord _Mohun_, printed among those of the
State, in _Folio_.[142]

_Sandford_ might properly be term'd the _Spagnolet_ of the Theatre, an
excellent Actor in disagreeable Characters: For as the chief Pieces of
that famous Painter were of Human Nature in Pain and Agony, so
_Sandford_ upon the Stage was generally as flagitious as a _Creon_, a
_Maligni_, an _Iago_, or a _Machiavil_[143] could make him. The Painter,
'tis true, from the Fire of his Genius might think the quiet Objects of
Nature too tame for his Pencil, and therefore chose to indulge it in its
full Power upon those of Violence and Horror: But poor _Sandford_ was
not the Stage-Villain by Choice, but from Necessity; for having a low
and crooked Person, such bodily Defects were too strong to be admitted
into great or amiable Characters; so that whenever in any new or revived
Play there was a hateful or mischievous Person, _Sandford_ was sure to
have no Competitor for it: Nor indeed (as we are not to suppose a
Villain or Traitor can be shewn for our Imitation, or not for our
Abhorrence) can it be doubted but the less comely the Actor's Person the
fitter he may be to perform them. The Spectator too, by not being misled
by a tempting Form, may be less inclin'd to excuse the wicked or immoral
Views or Sentiments of them. And though the hard Fate of an _Oedipus_
might naturally give the Humanity of an Audience thrice the Pleasure
that could arise from the wilful Wickedness of the best acted _Creon,_
yet who could say that _Sandford_ in such a Part was not Master of as
true and just Action as the best Tragedian could be whose happier
Person had recommended him to the virtuous Heroe, or any other more
pleasing Favourite of the Imagination? In this disadvantageous Light,
then, stood _Sandford_ as an Actor; admir'd by the Judicious, while the
Crowd only prais'd him by their Prejudice.[144] And so unusual had it
been to see _Sandford_ an innocent Man in a Play, that whenever he was
so, the Spectators would hardly give him credit in so gross an
Improbability. Let me give you an odd Instance of it, which I heard
_Monfort_ say was a real Fact. A new Play (the Name of it I have forgot)
was brought upon the Stage, wherein _Sandford_ happen'd to perform the
Part of an honest Statesman: The Pit, after they had sate three or four
Acts in a quiet Expectation that the well-dissembled Honesty of
_Sandford_ (for such of course they concluded it) would soon be
discover'd, or at least, from its Security, involve the Actors in the
Play in some surprizing Distress or Confusion, which might raise and
animate the Scenes to come; when, at last, finding no such matter, but
that the Catastrophe had taken quite another Turn, and that _Sandford_
was really an honest Man to the end of the Play, they fairly damn'd it,
as if the Author had impos'd upon them the most frontless or incredible
Absurdity.[145]

It is not improbable but that from _Sandford_'s so masterly personating
Characters of Guilt, the inferior Actors might think his Success chiefly
owing to the Defects of his Person; and from thence might take occasion,
whenever they appear'd as Bravo's or Murtherers, to make themselves as
frightful and as inhuman Figures as possible. In King _Charles_'s time,
this low Skill was carry'd to such an Extravagance, that the King
himself, who was black-brow'd and of a swarthy Complexion, pass'd a
pleasant Remark upon his observing the grim Looks of the Murtherers in
_Mackbeth_; when, turning to his People in the Box about him, _Pray,
what is the Meaning_, said he, _that we never see a Rogue in a Play,
but, Godsfish! they always clap him on a black Perriwig? when it is well
known one of the greatest Rogues in_ England _always wears a fair one_?
Now, whether or no Dr. _Oates_ at that time wore his own Hair I cannot
be positive: Or, if his Majesty pointed at some greater Man then out of
Power, I leave those to guess at him who may yet remember the changing
Complexion of his Ministers.[146] This Story I had from _Betterton_, who
was a Man of Veracity: And I confess I should have thought the King's
Observation a very just one, though he himself had been fair as
_Adonis_. Nor can I in this Question help voting with the Court; for
were it not too gross a Weakness to employ in wicked Purposes Men whose
very suspected Looks might be enough to betray them? Or are we to
suppose it unnatural that a Murther should be thoroughly committed out
of an old red Coat and a black Perriwig?

For my own part, I profess myself to have been an Admirer of _Sandford_,
and have often lamented that his masterly Performance could not be
rewarded with that Applause which I saw much inferior Actors met with,
merely because they stood in more laudable Characters. For, tho' it may
be a Merit in an Audience to applaud Sentiments of Virtue and Honour;
yet there seems to be an equal Justice that no Distinction should be
made as to the Excellence of an Actor, whether in a good or evil
Character; since neither the Vice nor the Virtue of it is his own, but
given him by the Poet: Therefore, why is not the Actor who shines in
either equally commendable?--No, Sir; this may be Reason, but that is
not always a Rule with us; the Spectator will tell you, that when
Virtue is applauded he gives part of it to himself; because his Applause
at the same time lets others about him see that he himself admires it.
But when a wicked Action is going forward; when an _Iago_ is meditating
Revenge and Mischief; tho' Art and Nature may be equally strong in the
Actor, the Spectator is shy of his Applause, lest he should in some sort
be look'd upon as an Aider or an Abettor of the Wickedness in view; and
therefore rather chuses to rob the Actor of the Praise he may merit,
than give it him in a Character which he would have you see his Silence
modestly discourages. From the same fond Principle many Actors have made
it a Point to be seen in Parts sometimes even flatly written, only
because they stood in the favourable Light of Honour and Virtue.[147]

I have formerly known an Actress carry this Theatrical Prudery to such a
height, that she was very near keeping herself chaste by it: Her
Fondness for Virtue on the Stage she began to think might perswade the
World that it had made an Impression on her private Life; and the
Appearances of it actually went so far that, in an Epilogue to an
obscure Play, the Profits of which were given to her, and wherein she
acted a Part of impregnable Chastity, she bespoke the Favour of the
Ladies by a Protestation that in Honour of their Goodness and Virtue she
would dedicate her unblemish'd Life to their Example. Part of this
Vestal Vow, I remember, was contain'd in the following Verse:

    _Study to live the Character I play_.[148]

But alas! how weak are the strongest Works of Art when Nature besieges it?
for though this good Creature so far held out her Distaste to Mankind that
they could never reduce her to marry any one of 'em; yet we must own she
grew, like _Cæsar_, greater by her Fall! Her first heroick Motive to a
Surrender was to save the Life of a Lover who in his Despair had vow'd to
destroy himself, with which Act of Mercy (in a jealous Dispute once in my
Hearing) she was provoked to reproach him in these very Words: _Villain!
did not I save your Life?_ The generous Lover, in return to that first
tender Obligation, gave Life to her First-born,[149] and that pious
Offspring has since raised to her Memory several innocent Grandchildren.

So that, as we see, it is not the Hood that makes the Monk, nor the Veil
the Vestal; I am apt to think that if the personal Morals of an Actor
were to be weighed by his Appearance on the Stage, the Advantage and
Favour (if any were due to either side) might rather incline to the
Traitor than the Heroe, to the _Sempronius_ than the _Cato_, or to the
_Syphax_ than the _Juba_: Because no Man can naturally desire to cover
his Honesty with a wicked Appearance; but an ill Man might possibly
incline to cover his Guilt with the Appearance of Virtue, which was the
Case of the frail Fair One now mentioned. But be this Question decided
as it may, _Sandford_ always appear'd to me the honester Man in
proportion to the Spirit wherewith he exposed the wicked and immoral
Characters he acted: For had his Heart been unsound, or tainted with the
least Guilt of them, his Conscience must, in spite of him, in any too
near a Resemblance of himself, have been a Check upon the Vivacity of
his Action. _Sandford_ therefore might be said to have contributed his
equal Share with the foremost Actors to the true and laudable Use of the
Stage: And in this Light too, of being so frequently the Object of
common Distaste, we may honestly stile him a Theatrical Martyr to
Poetical Justice: For in making Vice odious or Virtue amiable, where
does the Merit differ? To hate the one or love the other are but leading
Steps to the same Temple of Fame, tho' at different Portals.[150]

This Actor, in his manner of Speaking, varied very much from those I
have already mentioned. His Voice had an acute and piercing Tone, which
struck every Syllable of his Words distinctly upon the Ear. He had
likewise a peculiar Skill in his Look of marking out to an Audience
whatever he judg'd worth their more than ordinary Notice. When he
deliver'd a Command, he would sometimes give it more Force by seeming to
slight the Ornament of Harmony. In _Dryden_'s Plays of Rhime, he as
little as possible glutted the Ear with the Jingle of it, rather
chusing, when the Sense would permit him, to lose it, than to value it.

Had _Sandford_ liv'd in _Shakespear_'s Time, I am confident his Judgment
must have chose him above all other Actors to have play'd his _Richard
the Third_: I leave his Person out of the Question, which, tho'
naturally made for it, yet that would have been the least Part of his
Recommendation; _Sandford_ had stronger Claims to it; he had sometimes
an uncouth Stateliness in his Motion, a harsh and sullen Pride of
Speech, a meditating Brow, a stern Aspect, occasionally changing into an
almost ludicrous Triumph over all Goodness and Virtue: From thence
falling into the most asswasive Gentleness and soothing Candour of a
designing Heart. These, I say, must have preferr'd him to it; these
would have been Colours so essentially shining in that Character, that
it will be no Dispraise to that great Author to say, _Sandford_ must
have shewn as many masterly Strokes in it (had he ever acted it) as are
visible in the Writing it.[151]

When I first brought _Richard the Third_[152] (with such Alterations
as I thought not improper) to the Stage, _Sandford_ was engaged
in the Company then acting under King _William_'s Licence in
_Lincoln's-Inn-Fields_; otherwise you cannot but suppose my Interest
must have offer'd him that Part. What encouraged me, therefore, to
attempt it myself at the _Theatre-Royal_, was that I imagined I knew how
_Sandford_ would have spoken every Line of it: If, therefore, in any
Part of it I succeeded, let the Merit be given to him: And how far I
succeeded in that Light, those only can be Judges who remember him. In
order, therefore, to give you a nearer Idea of _Sandford_, you must give
me leave (compell'd as I am to be vain) to tell you that the late Sir
_John Vanbrugh_, who was an Admirer of _Sandford_, after he had seen me
act it, assur'd me That he never knew any one Actor so particularly
profit by another as I had done by _Sandford_ in _Richard the Third_:
_You have_, said he, _his very Look, Gesture, Gait, Speech, and every
Motion of him, and have borrow'd them all only to serve you in that
Character_. If, therefore, Sir _John Vanbrugh_'s Observation was just,
they who remember me in _Richard the Third_ may have a nearer Conception
of _Sandford_ than from all the critical Account I can give of him.[153]

I come now to those other Men Actors, who at this time were equally
famous in the lower Life of Comedy. But I find myself more at a loss to
give you them in their true and proper Light, than those I have already
set before you. Why the Tragedian warms us into Joy or Admiration, or
sets our Eyes on flow with Pity, we can easily explain to another's
Apprehension: But it may sometimes puzzle the gravest Spectator to
account for that familiar Violence of Laughter that shall seize him at
some particular Strokes of a true Comedian. How then shall I describe
what a better Judge might not be able to express? The Rules to please
the Fancy cannot so easily be laid down as those that ought to govern
the Judgment. The Decency, too, that must be observed in Tragedy,
reduces, by the manner of speaking it, one Actor to be much more like
another than they can or need be supposed to be in Comedy: There the
Laws of Action give them such free and almost unlimited Liberties to
play and wanton with Nature, that the Voice, Look, and Gesture of a
Comedian may be as various as the Manners and Faces of the whole Mankind
are different from one another. These are the Difficulties I lie under.
Where I want Words, therefore, to describe what I may commend, I can
only hope you will give credit to my Opinion: And this Credit I shall
most stand in need of, when I tell you, that:

_Nokes_[154] was an Actor of a quite different Genius from any I have
ever read, heard of, or seen, since or before his Time; and yet his
general Excellence may be comprehended in one Article, _viz._ a plain
and palpable Simplicity of Nature, which was so utterly his own, that he
was often as unaccountably diverting in his common Speech as on the
Stage. I saw him once giving an Account of some Table-talk to another
Actor behind the Scenes, which a Man of Quality accidentally listening
to, was so deceived by his Manner, that he ask'd him if that was a new
Play he was rehearsing? It seems almost amazing that this Simplicity, so
easy to _Nokes_, should never be caught by any one of his Successors.
_Leigh_ and _Underhil_ have been well copied, tho' not equall'd by
others. But not all the mimical Skill of _Estcourt_ (fam'd as he was for
it) tho' he had often seen _Nokes_, could scarce give us an Idea of him.
After this perhaps it will be saying less of him, when I own, that
though I have still the Sound of every Line he spoke in my Ear, (which
us'd not to be thought a bad one) yet I have often try'd by myself, but
in vain, to reach the least distant Likeness of the _Vis Comica_ of
_Nokes_. Though this may seem little to his Praise, it may be negatively
saying a good deal to it, because I have never seen any one Actor,
except himself, whom I could not at least so far imitate as to give you
a more than tolerable Notion of his manner. But _Nokes_ was so singular
a Species, and was so form'd by Nature for the Stage, that I question if
(beyond the trouble of getting Words by Heart) it ever cost him an
Hour's Labour to arrive at that high Reputation he had, and deserved.

The Characters he particularly shone in, were Sir _Martin Marr-all_,
_Gomez_ in the _Spanish Friar_, Sir _Nicolas Cully_ in _Love in a
Tub_,[155] _Barnaby Brittle_ in the _Wanton Wife_, Sir _Davy Dunce_ in
the _Soldier's Fortune_, _Sosia_ in _Amphytrion_,[156] &c. &c. &c. To
tell you how he acted them is beyond the reach of Criticism: But to tell
you what Effect his Action had upon the Spectator is not impossible:
This then is all you will expect from me, and from hence I must leave
you to guess at him.

He scarce ever made his first Entrance in a Play but he was received
with an involuntary Applause, not of Hands only, for those may be, and
have often been partially prostituted and bespoken, but by a General
Laughter which the very Sight of him provoked and Nature cou'd not
resist; yet the louder the Laugh the graver was his Look upon it; and
sure, the ridiculous Solemnity of his Features were enough to have set a
whole Bench of Bishops into a Titter, cou'd he have been honour'd (may
it be no Offence to suppose it) with such grave and right reverend
Auditors. In the ludicrous Distresses which, by the Laws of Comedy,
Folly is often involv'd in, he sunk into such a mixture of piteous
Pusillanimity and a Consternation so ruefully ridiculous and
inconsolable, that when he had shook you to a Fatigue of Laughter it
became a moot point whether you ought not to have pity'd him. When he
debated any matter by himself, he would shut up his Mouth with a dumb
studious Powt, and roll his full Eye into such a vacant Amazement, such
a palpable Ignorance of what to think of it, that his silent Perplexity
(which would sometimes hold him several Minutes) gave your Imagination
as full Content as the most absurd thing he could say upon it. In the
Character of Sir _Martin Marr-all_, who is always committing Blunders to
the Prejudice of his own Interest, when he had brought himself to a
Dilemma in his Affairs by vainly proceeding upon his own Head, and was
afterwards afraid to look his governing Servant and Counsellor in the
Face, what a copious and distressful Harangue have I seen him make with
his Looks (while the House has been in one continued Roar for several
Minutes) before he could prevail with his Courage to speak a Word to
him! Then might you have at once read in his Face _Vexation_--that his
own Measures, which he had piqued himself upon, had fail'd. _Envy_--of
his Servant's superior Wit--_Distress_--to retrieve the Occasion he had
lost. _Shame_--to confess his Folly; and yet a sullen Desire to be
reconciled and better advised for the future! What Tragedy ever shew'd
us such a Tumult of Passions rising at once in one Bosom! or what
buskin'd Heroe standing under the Load of them could have more
effectually mov'd his Spectators by the most pathetick Speech, than poor
miserable _Nokes_ did by this silent Eloquence and piteous Plight of his
Features?

His Person was of the middle size, his Voice clear and audible; his
natural Countenance grave and sober; but the Moment he spoke the settled
Seriousness of his Features was utterly discharg'd, and a dry, drolling,
or laughing Levity took such full Possession of him that I can only
refer the Idea of him to your Imagination. In some of his low
Characters, that became it, he had a shuffling Shamble in his Gait, with
so contented an Ignorance in his Aspect and an aukward Absurdity in his
Gesture, that had you not known him, you could not have believ'd that
naturally he could have had a Grain of common Sense. In a Word, I am
tempted to sum up the Character of _Nokes_, as a Comedian, in a Parodie
of what _Shakespear_'s _Mark Antony_ says of _Brutus_ as a Hero.

    _His Life was Laughter, and the_ Ludicrous
    _So mixt in him, that Nature might stand up
    And say to all the World--This was an_ Actor.[157]

_Leigh_ was of the mercurial kind, and though not so strict an Observer of
Nature, yet never so wanton in his Performance as to be wholly out of her
Sight. In Humour he lov'd to take a full Career, but was careful enough to
stop short when just upon the Precipice: He had great Variety in his
manner, and was famous in very different Characters: In the canting, grave
Hypocrisy of the _Spanish_ Friar he stretcht the Veil of Piety so thinly
over him, that in every Look, Word, and Motion you saw a palpable, wicked
Slyness shine through it--Here he kept his Vivacity demurely confin'd till
the pretended Duty of his Function demanded it, and then he exerted it
with a cholerick sacerdotal Insolence. But the Friar is a Character of
such glaring Vice and so strongly drawn, that a very indifferent Actor
cannot but hit upon the broad Jests that are remarkable in every Scene of
it. Though I have never yet seen any one that has fill'd them with half
the Truth and Spirit of _Leigh_----_Leigh_ rais'd the Character as much
above the Poet's Imagination as the Character has sometimes rais'd other
Actors above themselves! and I do not doubt but the Poet's Knowledge of
_Leigh_'s Genius help'd him to many a pleasant Stroke of Nature, which
without that Knowledge never might have enter'd into his Conception.
_Leigh_ was so eminent in this Character that the late Earl of _Dorset_
(who was equally an Admirer and a Judge of Theatrical Merit) had a whole
Length of him, in the Friar's Habit, drawn by _Kneller_: The whole
Portrait is highly painted, and extremely like him. But no wonder _Leigh_
arriv'd to such Fame in what was so compleatly written for him, when
Characters that would make the Reader yawn in the Closet, have, by the
Strength of his Action, been lifted into the lowdest Laughter on the
Stage. Of this kind was the Scrivener's great boobily Son in the
_Villain_;[158] _Ralph_, a stupid, staring Under-servant, in Sir
_Solomon Single_.[159] Quite opposite to those were Sir _Jolly Jumble_ in
the _Soldier's Fortune_,[160] and his old _Belfond_ in the _Squire of
Alsatia_.[161] In Sir _Jolly_ he was all Life and laughing Humour, and
when _Nokes_ acted with him in the same Play, they returned the Ball so
dexterously upon one another, that every Scene between them seem'd but one
continued Rest[162] of Excellence----But alas! when those Actors were
gone, that Comedy and many others, for the same Reason, were rarely known
to stand upon their own Legs; by seeing no more of _Leigh_ or _Nokes_ in
them, the Characters were quite sunk and alter'd. In his Sir _William
Belfond_, _Leigh_ shew'd a more spirited Variety than ever I saw any
Actor, in any one Character, come up to: The Poet, 'tis true, had here
exactly chalked for him the Out-lines of Nature; but the high Colouring,
the strong Lights and Shades of Humour that enliven'd the whole and struck
our Admiration with Surprize and Delight, were wholly owing to the Actor.
The easy Reader might, perhaps, have been pleased with the Author without
discomposing a Feature, but the Spectator must have heartily held his
Sides, or the Actor would have heartily made them ach for it.

[Illustration: ANTHONY LEIGH.]

Now, though I observ'd before that _Nokes_ never was tolerably touch'd
by any of his Successors, yet in this Character I must own I have
seen _Leigh_ extremely well imitated by my late facetious Friend
_Penkethman_, who, tho' far short of what was inimitable in the
Original, yet, as to the general Resemblance, was a very valuable Copy
of him: And, as I know _Penkethman_ cannot yet be out of your Memory, I
have chosen to mention him here, to give you the nearest Idea I can of
the Excellence of _Leigh_ in that particular Light: For _Leigh_ had many
masterly Variations which the other cou'd not, nor ever pretended to
reach, particularly in the Dotage and Follies of extreme old Age, in the
Characters of _Fumble_ in the _Fond Husband_,[163] and the Toothless
Lawyer[164] in the _City Politicks_, both which Plays liv'd only by the
extraordinary Performance of _Nokes_ and _Leigh_.

There were two other Characters of the farcical kind, _Geta_ in the
_Prophetess_, and _Crack_ in Sir _Courtly Nice_, which, as they are less
confin'd to Nature, the Imitation of them was less difficult to
_Penkethman_,[165] who, to say the Truth, delighted more in the
whimsical than the natural; therefore, when I say he sometimes resembled
_Leigh_, I reserve this Distinction on his Master's side, that the
pleasant Extravagancies of _Leigh_ were all the Flowers of his own
Fancy, while the less fertile Brain of my Friend was contented to make
use of the Stock his Predecessor had left him. What I have said,
therefore, is not to detract from honest _Pinky_'s Merit, but to do
Justice to his Predecessor----And though, 'tis true, we as seldom see a
good Actor as a great Poet arise from the bare _Imitation_ of another's
Genius, yet if this be a general Rule, _Penkethman_ was the nearest to
an Exception from it; for with those who never knew _Leigh_ he might
very well have pass'd for a more than common Original. Yet again, as
my Partiality for _Penkethman_ ought not to lead me from Truth, I must
beg leave (though out of its Place) to tell you fairly what was the
best of him, that the superiority of _Leigh_ may stand in its due
Light----_Penkethman_ had certainly from Nature a great deal of comic
Power about him, but his Judgment was by no means equal to it; for he
would make frequent Deviations into the Whimsies of an _Harlequin_. By
the way, (let me digress a little farther) whatever Allowances are made
for the Licence of that Character, I mean of an _Harlequin_, whatever
Pretences may be urged, from the Practice of the ancient Comedy, for its
being play'd in a Mask, resembling no part of the human Species, I am
apt to think the best Excuse a modern Actor can plead for his continuing
it, is that the low, senseless, and monstrous things he says and does in
it no theatrical Assurance could get through with a bare Face: Let me
give you an Instance of even _Penkethman_'s being out of Countenance for
want of it: When he first play'd _Harlequin_ in the _Emperor_ of the
_Moon_,[166] several Gentlemen (who inadvertently judg'd by the Rules of
Nature) fancied that a great deal of the Drollery and Spirit of his
Grimace was lost by his wearing that useless, unmeaning Masque of a
black Cat, and therefore insisted that the next time of his acting that
Part he should play without it: Their Desire was accordingly comply'd
with----but, alas! in vain--_Penkethman_ could not take to himself the
Shame of the Character without being concealed--he was no more
_Harlequin_--his Humour was quite disconcerted! his Conscience could not
with the same _Effronterie_ declare against Nature without the cover of
that unchanging Face, which he was sure would never blush for it! no!
it was quite another Case! without that Armour his Courage could not
come up to the bold Strokes that were necessary to get the better of
common Sense. Now if this Circumstance will justify the Modesty of
_Penkethman_, it cannot but throw a wholesome Contempt on the low Merit
of an _Harlequin_. But how farther necessary the Masque is to that
Fool's Coat, we have lately had a stronger Proof in the Favour that the
_Harlequin Sauvage_ met with at _Paris_, and the ill Fate that followed
the same _Sauvage_ when he pull'd off his Masque in _London_.[167] So
that it seems what was Wit from an _Harlequin_ was something too
extravagant from a human Creature. If, therefore, _Penkethman_ in
Characters drawn from Nature might sometimes launch out into a few
gamesome Liberties which would not have been excused from a more correct
Comedian, yet, in his manner of taking them, he always seem'd to me in a
kind of Consciousness of the Hazard he was running, as if he fairly
confess'd that what he did was only as well as he _could_ do----That he
was willing to take his Chance for Success, but if he did not meet with
it a Rebuke should break no Squares; he would mend it another time, and
would take whatever pleas'd his Judges to think of him in good part; and
I have often thought that a good deal of the Favour he met with was
owing to this seeming humble way of waving all Pretences to Merit but
what the Town would please to allow him. What confirms me in this
Opinion is, that when it has been his ill Fortune to meet with a
_Disgraccia_, I have known him say apart to himself, yet loud enough to
be heard----_Odso!_ I believe I _am a little wrong here_! which once was
so well receiv'd by the Audience that they turn'd their Reproof into
Applause.[168]

Now, the Judgment of _Leigh_ always guarded the happier Sallies of his
Fancy from the least Hazard of Disapprobation: he seem'd not to court,
but to attack your Applause, and always came off victorious; nor did
his highest Assurance amount to any more than that just Confidence
without which the commendable Spirit of every good Actor must be abated;
and of this Spirit _Leigh_ was a most perfect Master. He was much
admir'd by King _Charles_, who us'd to distinguish him when spoke of by
the Title of _his Actor_: Which however makes me imagine that in his
Exile that Prince might have receiv'd his first Impression of good
Actors from the _French_ Stage; for _Leigh_ had more of that farcical
Vivacity than _Nokes_; but _Nokes_ was never languid by his more strict
Adherence to Nature, and as far as my Judgment is worth taking, if their
intrinsick Merit could be justly weigh'd, _Nokes_ must have had the
better in the Balance. Upon the unfortunate Death of _Monfort_, _Leigh_
fell ill of a Fever, and dy'd in a Week after him, in _December
1692_.[169]

_Underhil_ was a correct and natural Comedian, his particular Excellence
was in Characters that may be called Still-life, I mean the Stiff, the
Heavy, and the Stupid; to these he gave the exactest and most expressive
Colours, and in some of them look'd as if it were not in the Power of
human Passions to alter a Feature of him. In the solemn Formality of
_Obadiah_ in the _Committee_, and in the boobily Heaviness of _Lolpoop_
in the _Squire of Alsatia_, he seem'd the immoveable Log he stood for! a
Countenance of Wood could not be more fixt than his, when the Blockhead
of a Character required it: His Face was full and long; from his Crown
to the end of his Nose was the shorter half of it, so that the
Disproportion of his lower Features, when soberly compos'd, with an
unwandering Eye hanging over them, threw him into the most lumpish,
moping Mortal that ever made Beholders merry! not but at other times he
could be wakened into Spirit equally ridiculous----In the course,
rustick Humour of Justice _Clodpate_, in _Epsome Wells_,[170] he was a
delightful Brute! and in the blunt Vivacity of Sir _Sampson_, in _Love
for Love_, he shew'd all that true perverse Spirit that is commonly seen
in much Wit and Ill-nature. This Character is one of those few so well
written, with so much Wit and Humour, that an Actor must be the grossest
Dunce that does not appear with an unusual Life in it: But it will still
shew as great a Proportion of Skill to come near _Underhil_ in the
acting it, which (not to undervalue those who soon came after him) I
have not yet seen. He was particularly admir'd too for the Gravedigger
in _Hamlet_. The Author of the _Tatler_ recommends him to the Favour of
the Town upon that Play's being acted for his Benefit, wherein, after
his Age had some Years oblig'd him to leave the Stage, he came on again,
for that Day, to perform his old Part;[171] but, alas! so worn and
disabled, as if himself was to have lain in the Grave he was digging;
when he could no more excite Laughter, his Infirmities were dismiss'd
with Pity: He dy'd soon after, a superannuated Pensioner in the List of
those who were supported by the joint Sharers under the first Patent
granted to Sir _Richard Steele_.

The deep Impressions of these excellent Actors which I receiv'd in my
Youth, I am afraid may have drawn me into the common Foible of us old
Fellows; which is a Fondness, and perhaps a tedious Partiality, for the
Pleasures we have formerly tasted, and think are now fallen off because
we can no longer enjoy them. If therefore I lie under that Suspicion,
tho' I have related nothing incredible or out of the reach of a good
Judge's Conception, I must appeal to those Few who are about my own Age
for the Truth and Likeness of these Theatrical Portraits.

There were at this time several others in some degree of Favour with the
Publick, _Powel_,[172] _Verbruggen_,[173] _Williams_,[174] &c. But as I
cannot think their best Improvements made them in any wise equal to
those I have spoke of, I ought not to range them in the same Class.
Neither were _Wilks_ or _Dogget_ yet come to the Stage; nor was _Booth_
initiated till about six Years after them; or Mrs. _Oldfield_ known till
the Year 1700. I must therefore reserve the four last for their proper
Period, and proceed to the Actresses that were famous with _Betterton_
at the latter end of the last Century.

Mrs. _Barry_ was then in possession of almost all the chief Parts in
Tragedy: With what Skill she gave Life to them you will judge from the
Words of _Dryden_ in his Preface to _Cleomenes_,[175] where he says,

     _Mrs._ Barry, _always excellent, has in this Tragedy excell'd
     herself, and gain'd a Reputation beyond any Woman I have ever
     seen on the Theatre_.

I very perfectly remember her acting that Part; and however unnecessary
it may seem to give my Judgment after _Dryden_'s, I cannot help saying I
do not only close with his Opinion, but will venture to add that (tho'
_Dryden_ has been dead these Thirty Eight Years) the same Compliment to
this Hour may be due to her Excellence. And tho' she was then not a
little past her Youth, she was not till that time fully arriv'd to her
maturity of Power and Judgment: From whence I would observe, That the
short Life of Beauty is not long enough to form a complete Actress. In
Men the Delicacy of Person is not so absolutely necessary, nor the
Decline of it so soon taken notice of. The Fame Mrs. _Barry_ arriv'd to
is a particular Proof of the Difficulty there is in judging with
Certainty, from their first Trials, whether young People will ever make
any great Figure on a Theatre. There was, it seems, so little Hope of
Mrs. _Barry_ at her first setting out, that she was at the end of the
first Year discharg'd the Company, among others that were thought to be
a useless Expence to it. I take it for granted that the Objection to
Mrs. _Barry_ at that time must have been a defective Ear, or some
unskilful Dissonance in her manner of pronouncing: But where there is a
proper Voice and Person, with the Addition of a good Understanding,
Experience tells us that such Defect is not always invincible; of which
not only Mrs. _Barry_, but the late Mrs. _Oldfield_ are eminent
Instances. Mrs. _Oldfield_ had been a Year in the Theatre-Royal before
she was observ'd to give any tolerable Hope of her being an Actress; so
unlike to all manner of Propriety was her Speaking![176] How
unaccountably, then, does a Genius for the Stage make its way towards
Perfection? For, notwithstanding these equal Disadvantages, both these
Actresses, tho' of different Excellence, made themselves complete
Mistresses of their Art by the Prevalence of their Understanding. If
this Observation may be of any use to the Masters of future Theatres, I
shall not then have made it to no purpose.[177]

Mrs. _Barry_, in Characters of Greatness, had a Presence of elevated
Dignity, her Mien and Motion superb and gracefully majestick; her Voice
full, clear, and strong, so that no Violence of Passion could be too
much for her: And when Distress or Tenderness possess'd her, she
subsided into the most affecting Melody and Softness. In the Art of
exciting Pity she had a Power beyond all the Actresses I have yet seen,
or what your Imagination can conceive. Of the former of these two great
Excellencies she gave the most delightful Proofs in almost all the
Heroic Plays of _Dryden_ and _Lee_; and of the latter, in the softer
Passions of _Otway's Monimia_ and _Belvidera_.[178] In Scenes of Anger,
Defiance, or Resentment, while she was impetuous and terrible, she
pour'd out the Sentiment with an enchanting Harmony; and it was this
particular Excellence for which _Dryden_ made her the above-recited
Compliment upon her acting _Cassandra_ in his _Cleomenes_. But here I am
apt to think his Partiality for that Character may have tempted his
Judgment to let it pass for her Master-piece, when he could not but know
there were several other Characters in which her Action might have given
her a fairer Pretence to the Praise he has bestow'd on her for
_Cassandra_; for in no Part of that is there the least ground for
Compassion, as in _Monimia_, nor equal cause for Admiration, as in
the nobler Love of _Cleopatra_, or the tempestuous Jealousy of
_Roxana_.[179] 'Twas in these Lights I thought Mrs. _Barry_ shone with a
much brighter Excellence than in _Cassandra_. She was the first Person
whose Merit was distinguish'd by the Indulgence of having an annual
Benefit-Play, which was granted to her alone, if I mistake not, first in
King _James_'s time,[180] and which became not common to others 'till
the Division of this Company after the Death of King _William_'s Queen
_Mary_. This great Actress dy'd of a Fever towards the latter end of
Queen _Anne_; the Year I have forgot; but perhaps you will recollect it
by an Expression that fell from her in blank Verse, in her last Hours,
when she was delirious, _viz_.

   _Ha, ha! and so they make us Lords, by Dozens!_[181]

Mrs. _Betterton_, tho' far advanc'd in Years, was so great a Mistress
of Nature that even Mrs. _Barry_, who acted the Lady _Macbeth_ after
her, could not in that Part, with all her superior Strength and Melody
of Voice, throw out those quick and careless Strokes of Terror from the
Disorder of a guilty Mind, which the other gave us with a Facility in
her Manner that render'd them at once tremendous and delightful. Time
could not impair her Skill, tho' he had brought her Person to decay. She
was, to the last, the Admiration of all true Judges of Nature and Lovers
of _Shakespear_, in whose Plays she chiefly excell'd, and without a
Rival. When she quitted the Stage several good Actresses were the better
for her Instruction. She was a Woman of an unblemish'd and sober life,
and had the Honour to teach Queen _Anne_, when Princess, the Part of
_Semandra_ in _Mithridates_, which she acted at Court in King
_Charles_'s time. After the Death of Mr. _Betterton_, her Husband, that
Princess, when Queen, order'd her a Pension for Life, but she liv'd not
to receive more than the first half Year of it.[182]

[Illustration: ELIZABETH BARRY.]

Mrs. _Leigh_, the Wife of _Leigh_ already mention'd, had a very droll
way of dressing the pretty Foibles of superannuated Beauties. She had in
her self a good deal of Humour, and knew how to infuse it into the
affected Mothers, Aunts, and modest stale Maids that had miss'd their
Market; of this sort were the Modish Mother in the _Chances_, affecting
to be politely commode for her own Daughter; the Coquette Prude of an
Aunt in Sir _Courtly Nice_, who prides herself in being chaste and cruel
at Fifty; and the languishing Lady _Wishfort_ in _The Way of the World_:
In all these, with many others, she was extremely entertaining, and
painted in a lively manner the blind Side of Nature.[183]

Mrs. _Butler_, who had her Christian Name of _Charlotte_ given her by
King _Charles_, was the Daughter of a decay'd Knight, and had the Honour
of that Prince's Recommendation to the Theatre; a provident Restitution,
giving to the Stage in kind what he had sometimes taken from it: The
Publick at least was oblig'd by it; for she prov'd not only a good
Actress, but was allow'd in those Days to sing and dance to great
Perfection. In the Dramatick Operas of _Dioclesian_ and that of _King
Arthur_, she was a capital and admired Performer. In speaking, too, she
had a sweet-ton'd Voice, which, with her naturally genteel Air and
sensible Pronunciation, render'd her wholly Mistress of the Amiable in
many serious Characters. In Parts of Humour, too, she had a manner of
blending her assuasive Softness even with the Gay, the Lively, and the
Alluring. Of this she gave an agreeable Instance in her Action of the
(_Villiers_) Duke of _Buckingham_'s second _Constantia_ in the
_Chances_. In which, if I should say I have never seen her exceeded, I
might still do no wrong to the late Mrs. _Oldfield_'s lively Performance
of the same Character. Mrs. _Oldfield_'s Fame may spare Mrs. _Butler_'s
Action this Compliment, without the least Diminution or Dispute of her
Superiority in Characters of more moment.[184]

Here I cannot help observing, when there was but one Theatre in
_London_, at what unequal Sallaries, compar'd to those of later Days,
the hired Actors were then held by the absolute Authority of their
frugal Masters the Patentees; for Mrs. _Butler_ had then but Forty
Shillings a Week, and could she have obtain'd an Addition of Ten
Shillings more (which was refus'd her) would never have left their
Service; but being offer'd her own Conditions to go with Mr.
_Ashbury_[185] to _Dublin_ (who was then raising a Company of Actors for
that Theatre, where there had been none since the Revolution) her
Discontent here prevail'd with her to accept of his Offer, and he found
his Account in her Value. Were not those Patentees most sagacious
Oeconomists that could lay hold on so notable an Expedient to lessen
their Charge? How gladly, in my time of being a Sharer, would we have
given four times her Income to an Actress of equal Merit?

Mrs. _Monfort_, whose second Marriage gave her the Name of _Verbruggen_,
was Mistress of more variety of Humour than I ever knew in any one Woman
Actress. This variety, too, was attended with an equal Vivacity, which
made her excellent in Characters extremely different. As she was
naturally a pleasant Mimick, she had the Skill to make that Talent
useful on the Stage, a Talent which may be surprising in a Conversation
and yet be lost when brought to the Theatre, which was the Case of
_Estcourt_ already mention'd: But where the Elocution is round,
distinct, voluble, and various, as Mrs. _Monfort_'s was, the Mimick
there is a great Assistant to the Actor. Nothing, tho' ever so barren,
if within the Bounds of Nature, could be flat in her Hands. She gave
many heightening Touches to Characters but coldly written, and often
made an Author vain of his Work that in it self had but little Merit.
She was so fond of Humour, in what low Part soever to be found, that she
would make no scruple of defacing her fair Form to come heartily into
it;[186] for when she was eminent in several desirable Characters of Wit
and Humour in higher Life, she would be in as much Fancy when descending
into the antiquated _Abigail_[187] of _Fletcher_, as when triumphing in
all the Airs and vain Graces of a fine Lady; a Merit that few Actresses
care for. In a Play of _D'urfey's_, now forgotten, call'd _The Western
Lass_,[188] which Part she acted, she transform'd her whole Being, Body,
Shape, Voice, Language, Look, and Features, into almost another Animal,
with a strong _Devonshire_ Dialect, a broad laughing Voice, a poking
Head, round Shoulders, an unconceiving Eye, and the most bediz'ning,
dowdy Dress that ever cover'd the untrain'd Limbs of a _Joan Trot_. To
have seen her here you would have thought it impossible the same
Creature could ever have been recover'd to what was as easy to her, the
Gay, the Lively, and the Desirable. Nor was her Humour limited to her
Sex; for, while her Shape permitted, she was a more adroit pretty Fellow
than is usually seen upon the Stage: Her easy Air, Action, Mien, and
Gesture quite chang'd from the Quoif to the cock'd Hat and Cavalier in
fashion.[189] People were so fond of seeing her a Man, that when the
Part of _Bays_ in the _Rehearsal_ had for some time lain dormant, she
was desired to take it up, which I have seen her act with all the true
coxcombly Spirit and Humour that the Sufficiency of the Character
required.

But what found most Employment for her whole various Excellence at once,
was the Part of _Melantha_ in _Marriage-Alamode_.[190] _Melantha_ is as
finish'd an Impertinent as ever flutter'd in a Drawing-Room, and seems
to contain the most compleat System of Female Foppery that could
possibly be crowded into the tortured Form of a Fine Lady. Her
Language, Dress, Motion, Manners, Soul, and Body, are in a continual
Hurry to be something more than is necessary or commendable. And though
I doubt it will be a vain Labour to offer you a just Likeness of Mrs.
_Monfort_'s Action, yet the fantastick Impression is still so strong in
my Memory that I cannot help saying something, tho' fantastically, about
it. The first ridiculous Airs that break from her are upon a Gallant
never seen before, who delivers her a Letter from her Father
recommending him to her good Graces as an honourable Lover.[191] Here
now, one would think, she might naturally shew a little of the Sexe's
decent Reserve, tho' never so slightly cover'd! No, Sir; not a Tittle of
it; Modesty is the Virtue of a poor-soul'd Country Gentlewoman; she is
too much a Court Lady to be under so vulgar a Confusion; she reads the
Letter, therefore, with a careless, dropping Lip and an erected Brow,
humming it hastily over as if she were impatient to outgo her Father's
Commands by making a compleat Conquest of him at once; and that the
Letter might not embarrass her Attack, crack! she crumbles it at once
into her Palm and pours upon him her whole Artillery of Airs, Eyes, and
Motion; down goes her dainty, diving Body to the Ground, as if she were
sinking under the conscious Load of her own Attractions; then launches
into a Flood of fine Language and Compliment, still playing her Chest
forward in fifty Falls and Risings, like a Swan upon waving Water; and,
to complete her Impertinence, she is so rapidly fond of her own Wit that
she will not give her Lover Leave to praise it: Silent assenting Bows
and vain Endeavours to speak are all the share of the Conversation he is
admitted to, which at last he is relieved from by her Engagement to half
a Score Visits, which she _swims_ from him to make, with a Promise to
return in a Twinkling.

If this Sketch has Colour enough to give you any near Conception of her,
I then need only tell you that throughout the whole Character her
variety of Humour was every way proportionable; as, indeed, in most
Parts that she thought worth her care or that had the least Matter for
her Fancy to work upon, I may justly say, That no Actress, from her own
Conception, could have heighten'd them with more lively Strokes of
Nature.[192]

I come now to the last, and only living Person, of all those whose
Theatrical Characters I have promised you, Mrs. _Bracegirdle_; who, I
know, would rather pass her remaining Days forgotten as an Actress, than
to have her Youth recollected in the most favourable Light I am able to
place it; yet, as she is essentially necessary to my Theatrical History,
and as I only bring her back to the Company of those with whom she
pass'd the Spring and Summer of her Life, I hope it will excuse the
Liberty I take in commemorating the Delight which the Publick received
from her Appearance while she was an Ornament to the Theatre.

Mrs. _Bracegirdle_ was now but just blooming to her Maturity; her
Reputation as an Actress gradually rising with that of her Person; never
any Woman was in such general Favour of her Spectators, which, to the
last Scene of her Dramatick Life, she maintain'd by not being unguarded
in her private Character.[193] This Discretion contributed not a little
to make her the _Cara_, the Darling of the Theatre: For it will be no
extravagant thing to say, Scarce an Audience saw her that were less than
half of them Lovers, without a suspected Favourite among them: And tho'
she might be said to have been the Universal Passion, and under the
highest Temptations, her Constancy in resisting them served but to
increase the number of her Admirers: And this perhaps you will more
easily believe when I extend not my Encomiums on her Person beyond a
Sincerity that can be suspected; for she had no greater Claim to Beauty
than what the most desirable _Brunette_ might pretend to. But her Youth
and lively Aspect threw out such a Glow of Health and Chearfulness, that
on the Stage few Spectators that were not past it could behold her
without Desire. It was even a Fashion among the Gay and Young to have a
Taste or _Tendre_ for Mrs. _Bracegirdle_. She inspired the best Authors
to write for her, and two of them,[194] when they gave her a Lover in a
Play, seem'd palpably to plead their own Passions, and make their
private Court to her in fictitious Characters. In all the chief Parts
she acted, the Desirable was so predominant, that no Judge could be cold
enough to consider from what other particular Excellence she became
delightful. To speak critically of an Actress that was extremely good
were as hazardous as to be positive in one's Opinion of the best Opera
Singer. People often judge by Comparison where there is no Similitude in
the Performance. So that, in this case, we have only Taste to appeal to,
and of Taste there can be no disputing. I shall therefore only say of
Mrs. _Bracegirdle_, That the most eminent Authors always chose her for
their favourite Character, and shall leave that uncontestable Proof of
her Merit to its own Value. Yet let me say, there were two very
different Characters in which she acquitted herself with uncommon
Applause: If any thing could excuse that desperate Extravagance of Love,
that almost frantick Passion of _Lee's Alexander the Great_, it must
have been when Mrs. _Bracegirdle_ was his _Statira_: As when she acted
_Millamant_[195] all the Faults, Follies, and Affectations of that
agreeable Tyrant were venially melted down into so many Charms and
Attractions of a conscious Beauty. In other Characters, where Singing
was a necessary Part of them, her Voice and Action gave a Pleasure which
good Sense, in those Days, was not asham'd to give Praise to.

She retir'd from the Stage in the Height of her Favour from the
Publick, when most of her Cotemporaries whom she had been bred up with
were declining, in the Year 1710,[196] nor could she be persuaded to
return to it under new Masters upon the most advantageous Terms that
were offered her; excepting one Day, about a Year after, to assist her
good Friend Mr. _Betterton_, when she play'd _Angelica_ in _Love for
Love_ for his Benefit. She has still the Happiness to retain her usual
Chearfulness, and to be, without the transitory Charm of Youth,
agreeable.[197]

If, in my Account of these memorable Actors, I have not deviated from
Truth, which, in the least Article, I am not conscious of, may we not
venture to say, They had not their Equals, at any one Time, upon any
Theatre in _Europe_? Or, if we confine the Comparison to that of
_France_ alone, I believe no other Stage can be much disparag'd by being
left out of the question; which cannot properly be decided by the single
Merit of any one Actor; whether their _Baron_ or our _Betterton_ might
be the Superior, (take which Side you please) that Point reaches, either
way, but to a thirteenth part of what I contend for, _viz._ That no
Stage, at any one Period, could shew thirteen Actors, standing all in
equal Lights of Excellence in their Profession: And I am the bolder, in
this Challenge to any other Nation, because no Theatre having so
extended a Variety of natural Characters as the _English_, can have a
Demand for Actors of such various Capacities; why then, where they could
not be equally wanted, should we suppose them, at any one time, to have
existed?

How imperfect soever this copious Account of them may be, I am not
without Hope, at least, it may in some degree shew what Talents are
requisite to make Actors valuable: And if that may any ways inform or
assist the Judgment of future Spectators, it may as often be of service
to their publick Entertainments; for as their Hearers are, so will
Actors be; worse, or better, as the false or true Taste applauds or
discommends them. Hence only can our Theatres improve or must
degenerate.

There is another Point, relating to the hard Condition of those who
write for the Stage, which I would recommend to the Consideration of
their Hearers; which is, that the extreme Severity with which they damn
a bad Play seems too terrible a Warning to those whose untried Genius
might hereafter give them a good one: Whereas it might be a Temptation
to a latent Author to make the Experiment, could he be sure that, though
not approved, his Muse might at least be dismiss'd with Decency: But the
Vivacity of our modern Criticks is of late grown so riotous, that an
unsuccessful Author has no more Mercy shewn him than a notorious Cheat
in a Pillory; every Fool, the lowest Member of the Mob, becomes a Wit,
and will have a fling at him. They come now to a new Play like Hounds
to a Carcase, and are all in a full Cry, sometimes for an Hour together,
before the Curtain rises to throw it amongst them. Sure those Gentlemen
cannot but allow that a Play condemned after a fair Hearing falls with
thrice the Ignominy as when it is refused that common Justice.

But when their critical Interruptions grow so loud, and of so long a
Continuance, that the Attention of quiet People (though not so complete
Criticks) is terrify'd, and the Skill of the Actors quite disconcerted
by the Tumult, the Play then seems rather to fall by Assassins than by a
Lawful Sentence.[198] Is it possible that such Auditors can receive
Delight, or think it any Praise to them, to prosecute so injurious, so
unmanly a Treatment? And tho' perhaps the Compassionate, on the other
side (who know they have as good a Right to clap and support, as others
have to catcall, damn, and destroy,) may oppose this Oppression; their
Good-nature, alas! contributes little to the Redress; for in this sort
of Civil War the unhappy Author, like a good Prince, while his Subjects
are at mortal Variance, is sure to be a Loser by a Victory on either
Side; for still the Common-wealth, his Play, is, during the Conflict,
torn to pieces. While this is the Case, while the Theatre is so
turbulent a Sea and so infested with Pirates, what Poetical Merchant of
any Substance will venture to trade in it? If these valiant Gentlemen
pretend to be Lovers of Plays, why will they deter Gentlemen from giving
them such as are fit for Gentlemen to see? In a word, this new Race of
Criticks seem to me like the Lion-Whelps in the _Tower_, who are so
boisterously gamesome at their Meals that they dash down the Bowls of
Milk brought for their own Breakfast.[199]

As a good Play is certainly the most rational and the highest
Entertainment that Human Invention can produce, let that be my Apology
(if I need any) for having thus freely deliver'd my Mind in behalf of
those Gentlemen who, under such calamitous Hazards, may hereafter be
reduced to write for the Stage, whose Case I shall compassionate from
the same Motive that prevail'd on _Dido_ to assist the _Trojans_ in
Distress.

    _Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco._ Virg.[200]

Or, as _Dryden_ has it,

    _I learn to pity Woes so like my own_.

If those particular Gentlemen have sometimes made me the humbled Object
of their Wit and Humour, their Triumph at least has done me this
involuntary Service, that it has driven me a Year or two sooner into a
quiet Life than otherwise my own want of Judgment might have led me
to:[201] I left the Stage before my Strength left me, and tho' I came to
it again for some few Days a Year or two after, my Reception there not
only turn'd to my Account, but seem'd a fair Invitation that I would
make my Visits more frequent: But to give over a Winner can be no very
imprudent Resolution.[202]



CHAPTER VI.


[Illustration: Ad Lalauze, sc]

     _The Author's first Step upon the Stage. His Discouragements.
     The best Actors in_ Europe _ill us'd. A Revolution in their
     Favour. King_ William _grants them a Licence to act in_
     Lincoln's-Inn Fields. _The Author's Distress in being thought
     a worse Actor than a Poet. Reduc'd to write a Part for
     himself. His Success. More Remarks upon Theatrical Action.
     Some upon himself._

Having given you the State of the Theatre at my first Admission to it, I
am now drawing towards the several Revolutions it suffer'd in my own
Time. But (as you find by the setting out of my History) that I always
intended myself the Heroe of it, it may be necessary to let you know me
in my Obscurity, as well as in my higher Light, when I became one of the
Theatrical Triumvirat. The Patentees,[203] who were now Masters of this
united and only Company of Comedians, seem'd to make it a Rule that no
young Persons desirous to be Actors should be admitted into Pay under at
least half a Year's Probation, wisely knowing that how early soever they
might be approv'd of, there could be no great fear of losing them while
they had then no other Market to go to. But, alas! Pay was the least of
my Concern; the Joy and Privilege of every Day seeing Plays for nothing
I thought was a sufficient Consideration for the best of my Services. So
that it was no Pain to my Patience that I waited full three Quarters of
a Year before I was taken into a Salary of Ten Shillings _per_
Week;[204] which, with the Assistance of Food and Raiment at my
Father's House, I then thought a most plentiful Accession, and myself
the happiest of Mortals.

The first Thing that enters into the Head of a young Actor is that of
being a Heroe: In this Ambition I was soon snubb'd by the Insufficiency
of my Voice; to which might be added an uninform'd meagre Person, (tho'
then not ill made) with a dismal pale Complexion.[205] Under these
Disadvantages,[206] I had but a melancholy Prospect of ever playing a
Lover with Mrs. _Bracegirdle_, which I had flatter'd my Hopes that my
Youth might one Day have recommended me to. What was most promising in
me, then, was the Aptness of my Ear; for I was soon allow'd to speak
justly, tho' what was grave and serious did not equally become me. The
first Part, therefore, in which I appear'd with any glimpse of Success,
was the Chaplain[207] in the _Orphan_ of _Otway._ There is in this
Character (of one Scene only) a decent Pleasantry, and Sense enough to
shew an Audience whether the Actor has any himself. Here was the first
Applause I ever receiv'd, which, you may be sure, made my Heart leap
with a higher Joy than may be necessary to describe; and yet my
Transport was not then half so high as at what _Goodman_ (who had now
left the Stage) said of me the next Day in my hearing. _Goodman_ often
came to a Rehearsal for Amusement, and having sate out the _Orphan_ the
Day before, in a Conversation with some of the principal Actors enquir'd
what new young Fellow that was whom he had seen in the Chaplain? Upon
which _Monfort_ reply'd, _That's he, behind you. Goodman_ then turning
about, look'd earnestly at me, and, after some Pause, clapping me on the
Shoulder, rejoin'd, _If he does not make a good Actor, I'll be d----'d_!
The Surprize of being commended by one who had been himself so eminent
on the Stage, and in so positive a manner, was more than I could
support; in a Word, it almost took away my Breath, and (laugh, if you
please) fairly drew Tears from my Eyes! And, tho' it may be as
ridiculous as incredible to tell you what a full Vanity and Content at
that time possess'd me, I will still make it a Question whether
_Alexander_ himself, or _Charles the Twelfth_ of _Sweden,_ when at the
Head of their first victorious Armies, could feel a greater Transport in
their Bosoms than I did then in mine, when but in the Rear of this Troop
of Comedians. You see to what low Particulars I am forc'd to descend to
give you a true Resemblance of the early and lively Follies of my Mind.
Let me give you another Instance of my Discretion, more desperate than
that of preferring the Stage to any other Views of Life. One might think
that the Madness of breaking from the Advice and Care of Parents to turn
Player could not easily be exceeded: But what think you, Sir,
of----Matrimony? which, before I was Two-and-twenty, I actually
committed,[208] when I had but Twenty Pounds a Year, which my Father had
assur'd to me, and Twenty Shillings a Week from my Theatrical Labours,
to maintain, as I then thought, the happiest young Couple that ever
took a Leap in the Dark! If after this, to complete my Fortune, I
turn'd Poet too, this last Folly indeed had something a better
Excuse--Necessity: Had it never been my Lot to have come on the Stage,
'tis probable I might never have been inclin'd or reduc'd to have wrote
for it: But having once expos'd my Person there, I thought it could be
no additional Dishonour to let my Parts, whatever they were, take their
Fortune along with it.--But to return to the Progress I made as an
Actor.

Queen _Mary_ having commanded the _Double Dealer_ to be acted,
_Kynaston_ happen'd to be so ill that he could not hope to be able next
Day to perform his Part of the Lord _Touchwood_. In this Exigence, the
Author, Mr. _Congreve_, advis'd that it might be given to me, if at so
short a Warning I would undertake it.[209] The Flattery of being thus
distinguish'd by so celebrated an Author, and the Honour to act before a
Queen, you may be sure made me blind to whatever Difficulties might
attend it. I accepted the Part, and was ready in it before I slept; next
Day the Queen was present at the Play, and was receiv'd with a new
Prologue from the Author, spoken by Mrs. _Barry_, humbly acknowledging
the great Honour done to the Stage, and to his Play in particular: Two
Lines of it, which tho' I have not since read, I still remember.

    _But never were in_ Rome _nor_ Athens _seen,
    So fair a Circle, or so bright a Queen_.

After the Play, Mr. _Congreve_ made me the Compliment of saying, That I
had not only answer'd, but had exceeded his Expectations, and that he
would shew me he was sincere by his saying more of me to the
Masters.----He was as good as his Word, and the next Pay-day I found my
Sallary of fifteen was then advanc'd to twenty Shillings a Week. But
alas! this favourable Opinion of Mr. _Congreve_ made no farther
Impression upon the Judgment of my good Masters; it only serv'd to
heighten my own Vanity, but could not recommend me to any new Trials of
my Capacity; not a Step farther could I get 'till the Company was again
divided, when the Desertion of the best Actors left a clear Stage for
younger Champions to mount and shew their best Pretensions to Favour.
But it is now time to enter upon those Facts that immediately preceded
this remarkable Revolution of the Theatre.

You have seen how complete a Set of Actors were under the Government of
the united Patents in 1690; if their Gains were not extraordinary, what
shall we impute it to but some extraordinary ill Menagement? I was then
too young to be in their Secrets, and therefore can only observe upon
what I saw and have since thought visibly wrong.

Though the Success of the _Prophetess_[210] and _King Arthur_[211] (two
dramatic Operas, in which the Patentees had embark'd all their Hopes)
was in Appearance very great, yet their whole Receipts did not so far
balance their Expence as to keep them out of a large Debt, which it was
publickly known was about this time contracted, and which found Work for
the Court of Chancery for about twenty Years following, till one side of
the Cause grew weary. But this was not all that was wrong; every Branch
of the Theatrical Trade had been sacrific'd to the necessary fitting out
those tall Ships of Burthen that were to bring home the _Indies_. Plays
of course were neglected, Actors held cheap, and slightly dress'd, while
Singers and Dancers were better paid, and embroider'd. These Measures,
of course, created Murmurings on one side, and Ill-humour and Contempt
on the other. When it became necessary therefore to lessen the Charge, a
Resolution was taken to begin with the Sallaries of the Actors; and
what seem'd to make this Resolution more necessary at this time was the
Loss of _Nokes_, _Monfort_, and _Leigh_, who all dy'd about the same
Year:[212] No wonder then, if when these great Pillars were at once
remov'd, the Building grew weaker and the Audiences very much abated.
Now in this Distress, what more natural Remedy could be found than to
incite and encourage (tho' with some Hazard) the Industry of the
surviving Actors? But the Patentees, it seems, thought the surer way was
to bring down their Pay in proportion to the Fall of their Audiences. To
make this Project more feasible they propos'd to begin at the Head of
'em, rightly judging that if the Principals acquiesc'd, their Inferiors
would murmur in vain. To bring this about with a better Grace, they,
under Pretence of bringing younger Actors forward, order'd several of
_Betterton_'s and Mrs. _Barry_'s chief Parts to be given to young
_Powel_ and Mrs. _Bracegirdle_. In this they committed two palpable
Errors; for while the best Actors are in Health, and still on the Stage,
the Publick is always apt to be out of Humour when those of a lower
Class pretend to stand in their Places; or admitting at this time they
might have been accepted, this Project might very probably have
lessen'd, but could not possibly mend an Audience, and was a sure Loss
of that Time, in studying, which might have been better employ'd in
giving the Auditor Variety, the only Temptation to a pall'd Appetite;
and Variety is only to be given by Industry: But Industry will always be
lame when the Actor has Reason to be discontented. This the Patentees
did not consider, or pretended not to value, while they thought their
Power secure and uncontroulable: But farther their first Project did not
succeed; for tho' the giddy Head of _Powel_ accepted the Parts of
_Betterton_, Mrs. _Bracegirdle_ had a different way of thinking, and
desir'd to be excus'd from those of Mrs. _Barry_; her good Sense was not
to be misled by the insidious Favour of the Patentees; she knew the
Stage was wide enough for her Success, without entring into any such
rash and invidious Competition with Mrs. _Barry_, and therefore wholly
refus'd acting any Part that properly belong'd to her. But this
Proceeding, however, was Warning enough to make _Betterton_ be upon his
Guard, and to alarm others with Apprehensions of their own Safety, from
the Design that was laid against him: _Betterton_ upon this drew into
his Party most of the valuable Actors, who, to secure their Unity,
enter'd with him into a sort of Association to stand or fall
together.[213] All this the Patentees for some time slighted; but when
Matters drew towards a Crisis, they found it adviseable to take the
same Measures, and accordingly open'd an Association on their part; both
which were severally sign'd, as the Interest or Inclination of either
Side led them.

[Illustration: Mrs BRACEGIRDLE AS "THE INDIAN QUEEN."]

During these Contentions which the impolitick Patentees had rais'd
against themselves (not only by this I have mentioned, but by many other
Grievances which my Memory retains not) the Actors offer'd a Treaty of
Peace; but their Masters imagining no Consequence could shake the Right
of their Authority, refus'd all Terms of Accommodation. In the mean time
this Dissention was so prejudicial to their daily Affairs, that I
remember it was allow'd by both Parties that before _Christmas_ the
Patent had lost the getting of at least a thousand Pounds by it.

My having been a Witness of this unnecessary Rupture was of great use to
me when, many Years after, I came to be a Menager my self. I laid it
down as a settled Maxim, that no Company could flourish while the chief
Actors and the Undertakers were at variance. I therefore made it a
Point, while it was possible upon tolerable Terms, to keep the valuable
Actors in humour with their Station; and tho' I was as jealous of their
Encroachments as any of my Co-partners could be, I always guarded
against the least Warmth in my Expostulations with them; not but at the
same time they might see I was perhaps more determin'd in the Question
than those that gave a loose to their Resentment, and when they were
cool were as apt to recede.[214] I do not remember that ever I made a
Promise to any that I did not keep, and therefore was cautious how I
made them. This Coldness, tho' it might not please, at least left them
nothing to reproach me with; and if Temper and fair Words could prevent
a Disobligation, I was sure never to give Offence or receive it.[215]
But as I was but one of three, I could not oblige others to observe the
same Conduct. However, by this means I kept many an unreasonable
Discontent from breaking out, and both Sides found their Account in it.

How a contemptuous and overbearing manner of treating Actors had like to
have ruin'd us in our early Prosperity shall be shewn in its Place.[216]
If future Menagers should chance to think my way right, I suppose they
will follow it; if not, when they find what happen'd to the Patentees
(who chose to disagree with their People) perhaps they may think better
of it.

The Patentees then, who by their united Powers had made a Monopoly of
the Stage, and consequently presum'd they might impose what Conditions
they pleased upon their People, did not consider that they were all this
while endeavouring to enslave a Set of Actors whom the Publick (more
arbitrary than themselves) were inclined to support; nor did they
reflect that the Spectator naturally wish'd that the Actor who gave him
Delight might enjoy the Profits arising from his Labour, without regard
of what pretended Damage or Injustice might fall upon his Owners, whose
personal Merit the Publick was not so well acquainted with. From this
Consideration, then, several Persons of the highest Distinction espous'd
their Cause, and sometimes in the Circle entertain'd the King with the
State of the Theatre. At length their Grievances were laid before the
Earl of _Dorset_, then Lord Chamberlain, who took the most effectual
Method for their Relief.[217] The Learned of the Law were advised with,
and they gave their Opinion that no Patent for acting Plays, _&c._ could
tie up the Hands of a succeeding Prince from granting the like Authority
where it might be thought proper to trust it. But while this Affair was
in Agitation, Queen _Mary_ dy'd,[218] which of course occasion'd a
Cessation of all publick Diversions. In this melancholy Interim,
_Betterton_ and his Adherents had more Leisure to sollicit their
Redress; and the Patentees now finding that the Party against them was
gathering Strength, were reduced to make sure of as good a Company as
the Leavings of _Betterton_'s Interest could form; and these, you may be
sure, would not lose this Occasion of setting a Price upon their Merit
equal to their own Opinion of it, which was but just double to what they
had before. _Powel_ and _Verbruggen_, who had then but forty Shillings a
Week, were now raised each of them to four Pounds, and others in
Proportion: As for my self, I was then too insignificant to be taken
into their Councils, and consequently stood among those of little
Importance, like Cattle in a Market, to be sold to the first Bidder. But
the Patentees seeming in the greater Distress for Actors, condescended
to purchase me. Thus, without any farther Merit than that of being a
scarce Commodity, I was advanc'd to thirty Shillings a Week: Yet our
Company was so far from being full,[219] that our Commanders were forced
to beat up for Volunteers in several distant Counties; it was this
Occasion that first brought _Johnson_[220] and _Bullock_[221] to the
Service of the Theatre-Royal.

Forces being thus raised, and the War declared on both Sides,
_Betterton_ and his Chiefs had the Honour of an Audience of the _King_,
who consider'd them as the only Subjects whom he had not yet deliver'd
from arbitrary Power, and graciously dismiss'd them with an Assurance of
Relief and Support--Accordingly a select number of them were impower'd
by his Royal Licence[222] to act in a separate Theatre for themselves.
This great Point being obtain'd, many People of Quality came into a
voluntary Subscription of twenty, and some of forty Guineas a-piece,
for erecting a Theatre within the Walls of the Tennis-Court in
_Lincoln's-Inn-Fields_.[223] But as it required Time to fit it up,
it gave the Patentees more Leisure to muster their Forces, who
notwithstanding were not able to take the Field till the _Easter-Monday_
in _April_ following. Their first Attempt was a reviv'd Play call'd
_Abdelazar_, or the _Moor's Revenge_, poorly written, by Mrs. _Behn_.
The House was very full, but whether it was the Play or the Actors that
were not approved, the next Day's Audience sunk to nothing. However, we
were assured that let the Audiences be never so low, our Masters would
make good all Deficiencies, and so indeed they did, 'till towards the
End of the Season, when Dues to Ballance came too thick upon 'em. But
that I may go gradually on with my own Fortune, I must take this
Occasion to let you know, by the following Circumstance, how very low my
Capacity as an Actor was then rated: It was thought necessary at our
Opening that the Town should be address'd in a new Prologue; but to our
great Distress, among several that were offer'd, not one was judg'd fit
to be spoken. This I thought a favourable Occasion to do my self some
remarkable Service, if I should have the good Fortune to produce one
that might be accepted. The next (memorable) Day my Muse brought forth
her first Fruit that was ever made publick; how good or bad imports not;
my Prologue was accepted, and resolv'd on to be spoken. This Point being
gain'd, I began to stand upon Terms, you will say, not unreasonable;
which were, that if I might speak it my self I would expect no farther
Reward for my Labour: This was judg'd as bad as having no Prologue at
all! You may imagine how hard I thought it, that they durst not trust my
poor poetical Brat to my own Care. But since I found it was to be given
into other Hands, I insisted that two Guineas should be the Price of my
parting with it; which with a Sigh I received, and _Powel_ spoke the
Prologue: But every Line that was applauded went sorely to my Heart when
I reflected that the same Praise might have been given to my own
speaking; nor could the Success of the Author compensate the Distress of
the Actor. However, in the End, it serv'd in some sort to mend our
People's Opinion of me; and whatever the Criticks might think of it, one
of the Patentees[224] (who, it is true, knew no Difference between
_Dryden_ and _D'urfey_) said, upon the Success of it, that insooth! I
was an ingenious young Man. This sober Compliment (tho' I could have no
Reason to be vain upon it) I thought was a fair Promise to my being in
favour. But to Matters of more Moment: Now let us reconnoitre the Enemy.

After we had stolen some few Days March upon them, the Forces of
_Betterton_ came up with us in terrible Order: In about three Weeks
following, the new Theatre was open'd against us with a veteran Company
and a new Train of Artillery; or in plainer _English_, the old Actors
in _Lincoln's-Inn-Fields_ began with a new Comedy of Mr. _Congreve's_,
call'd _Love_ for _Love_;[225] which ran on with such extraordinary
Success that they had seldom occasion to act any other Play 'till the
End of the Season. This valuable Play had a narrow Escape from falling
into the Hands of the Patentees; for before the Division of the Company
it had been read and accepted of at the Theatre-Royal: But while the
Articles of Agreement for it were preparing, the Rupture in the
Theatrical State was so far advanced that the Author took time to pause
before he sign'd them; when finding that all Hopes of Accommodation were
impracticable, he thought it advisable to let it take its Fortune with
those Actors for whom he had first intended the Parts.

Mr. _Congreve_ was then in such high Reputation as an Author, that
besides his Profits from this Play, they offered him a whole Share with
them, which he accepted;[226] in Consideration of which he oblig'd
himself, if his Health permitted, to give them one new Play every
Year.[227] _Dryden_, in King _Charles's_ Time, had the same Share with
the King's Company, but he bound himself to give them two Plays every
Season. This you may imagine he could not hold long, and I am apt to
think he might have serv'd them better with one in a Year, not so
hastily written. Mr. _Congreve_, whatever Impediment he met with, was
three Years before, in pursuance to his Agreement, he produced the
_Mourning Bride_;[228] and if I mistake not, the Interval had been much
the same when he gave them the _Way of the World_.[229] But it came out
the stronger for the Time it cost him, and to their better support when
they sorely wanted it: For though they went on with Success for a Year
or two, and even when their Affairs were declining stood in much higher
Estimation of the Publick than their Opponents; yet in the End both
Sides were great Sufferers by their Separation; the natural Consequence
of two Houses, which I have already mention'd in a former Chapter.

The first Error this new Colony of Actors fell into was their
inconsiderately parting with _Williams_ and Mrs. _Monfort_[230] upon a
too nice (not to say severe) Punctilio; in not allowing them to be equal
Sharers with the rest; which before they had acted one Play occasioned
their Return to the Service of the Patentees. As I have call'd this an
Error, I ought to give my Reasons for it. Though the Industry of
_Williams_ was not equal to his Capacity; for he lov'd his Bottle better
than his Business; and though Mrs. _Monfort_ was only excellent in
Comedy, yet their Merit was too great almost on any Scruples to be added
to the Enemy; and at worst, they were certainly much more above those
they would have ranked them with than they could possibly be under
those they were not admitted to be equal to. Of this Fact there is a
poetical Record in the Prologue to _Love for Love_, where the Author,
speaking of the then happy State of the Stage, observes that if, in
Paradise, when two only were there, they both fell; the Surprize was
less, if from so numerous a Body as theirs, there had been any
Deserters.

    _Abate the Wonder, and the Fault forgive,
    If, in our larger Family, we grieve
    One falling_ Adam, _and one tempted_ Eve.[231]

These Lines alluded to the Revolt of the Persons above mention'd.

Notwithstanding the Acquisition of these two Actors, who were of more
Importance than any of those to whose Assistance they came, the Affairs
of the Patentees were still in a very creeping Condition;[232] they were
now, too late, convinced of their Error in having provok'd their People
to this Civil War of the Theatre! quite changed and dismal now was the
Prospect before them! their Houses thin, and the Town crowding into a
new one! Actors at double Sallaries, and not half the usual Audiences to
pay them! And all this brought upon them by those whom their full
Security had contemn'd, and who were now in a fair way of making their
Fortunes upon the ruined Interest of their Oppressors.

Here, tho' at this time my Fortune depended on the Success of the
Patentees, I cannot help in regard to Truth remembring the rude and
riotous Havock we made of all the late dramatic Honours of the Theatre!
all became at once the Spoil of Ignorance and Self-conceit! _Shakespear_
was defac'd and tortured in every signal Character--_Hamlet_ and
_Othello_ lost in one Hour all their good Sense, their Dignity and Fame.
_Brutus_ and _Cassius_ became noisy Blusterers, with bold unmeaning
Eyes, mistaken Sentiments, and turgid Elocution! Nothing, sure, could
more painfully regret[233] a judicious Spectator than to see, at our
first setting out, with what rude Confidence those Habits which actors
of real Merit had left behind them were worn by giddy Pretenders that so
vulgarly disgraced them! Not young Lawyers in hir'd Robes and Plumes at
a Masquerade could be less what they would seem, or more aukwardly
personate the Characters they belong'd to. If, in all these Acts of
wanton Waste, these Insults upon injur'd Nature, you observe I have not
yet charged one of them upon myself, it is not from an imaginary Vanity
that I could have avoided them; but that I was rather safe, by being too
low at that time to be admitted even to my Chance of falling into the
same eminent Errors: So that as none of those great Parts ever fell to
my Share, I could not be accountable for the Execution of them: Nor
indeed could I get one good Part of any kind 'till many Months after;
unless it were of that sort which no body else car'd for, or would
venture to expose themselves in.[234] The first unintended Favour,
therefore, of a Part of any Value, Necessity threw upon me on the
following Occasion.

As it has been always judg'd their natural Interest, where there are two
Theatres, to do one another as much Mischief as they can, you may
imagine it could not be long before this hostile Policy shew'd itself in
Action. It happen'd, upon our having Information on a _Saturday_ Morning
that the _Tuesday_ after _Hamlet_ was intended to be acted at the other
House, where it had not yet been seen, our merry menaging Actors, (for
they were now in a manner left to govern themselves) resolv'd at any
rate to steal a March upon the Enemy, and take Possession of the same
Play the Day before them: Accordingly, _Hamlet_ was given out that Night
to be Acted with us on _Monday._ The Notice of this sudden Enterprize
soon reach'd the other House, who in my Opinion too much regarded it;
for they shorten'd their first Orders, and resolv'd that _Hamlet_ should
to _Hamlet_ be opposed on the same Day; whereas, had they given notice
in their Bills that the same Play would have been acted by them the Day
after, the Town would have been in no Doubt which House they should have
reserved themselves for; ours must certainly have been empty, and
theirs, with more Honour, have been crowded: Experience, many Years
after, in like Cases, has convinced me that this would have been the
more laudable Conduct. But be that as it may; when in their _Monday_'s
Bills it was seen that _Hamlet_ was up against us, our Consternation was
terrible, to find that so hopeful a Project was frustrated. In this
Distress, _Powel_, who was our commanding Officer, and whose
enterprising Head wanted nothing but Skill to carry him through the
most desperate Attempts; for, like others of his Cast, he had murder'd
many a Hero only to get into his Cloaths. This _Powel_, I say,
immediately called a Council of War, where the Question was, Whether he
should fairly face the Enemy, or make a Retreat to some other Play of
more probable Safety? It was soon resolved that to act _Hamlet_ against
_Hamlet_ would be certainly throwing away the Play, and disgracing
themselves to little or no Audience; to conclude, _Powel_, who was vain
enough to envy _Betterton_ as his Rival, proposed to change Plays with
them, and that as they had given out the _Old Batchelor_, and had
chang'd it for _Hamlet_ against us, we should give up our _Hamlet_ and
turn the _Old Batchelor_ upon them. This Motion was agreed to, _Nemine
contradicente_; but upon Enquiry, it was found that there were not two
Persons among them who had ever acted in that Play: But that Objection,
it seems, (though all the Parts were to be study'd in six Hours) was
soon got over; _Powel_ had an Equivalent, _in petto_, that would
ballance any Deficiency on that Score, which was, that he would play the
_Old Batchelor_ himself, and mimick _Betterton_ throughout the whole
Part. This happy Thought was approv'd with Delight and Applause, as
whatever can be suppos'd to ridicule Merit generally gives joy to those
that want it: Accordingly the Bills were chang'd, and at the Bottom
inserted,


    _The Part of the_ Old Batchelor _to be perform'd
            in Imitation of the Original._

Printed Books of the Play were sent for in haste, and every Actor had
one to pick out of it the Part he had chosen: Thus, while they were each
of them chewing the Morsel they had most mind to, some one happening to
cast his Eye over the _Dramatis Personæ_, found that the main Matter was
still forgot, that no body had yet been thought of for the Part of
Alderman _Fondlewife_. Here we were all aground agen! nor was it to be
conceiv'd who could make the least tolerable Shift with it. This
Character had been so admirably acted by _Dogget_, that though it is
only seen in the Fourth Act, it may be no Dispraise to the Play to say
it probably ow'd the greatest Part of its Success to his Performance.
But, as the Case was now desperate, any Resource was better than none.
Somebody must swallow the bitter Pill, or the Play must die. At last it
was recollected that I had been heard to say in my wild way of talking,
what a vast mind I had to play _Nykin_, by which Name the Character was
more frequently call'd.[235] Notwithstanding they were thus distress'd
about the Disposal of this Part, most of them shook their Heads at my
being mention'd for it; yet _Powel_, who was resolv'd at all Hazards to
fall upon _Betterton_, and having no concern for what might become of
any one that serv'd his Ends or Purpose, order'd me to be sent for; and,
as he naturally lov'd to set other People wrong, honestly said before I
came, _If the Fool has a mind to blow himself up at once, let us ev'n
give him a clear Stage for it_. Accordingly the Part was put into my
Hands between Eleven and Twelve that Morning, which I durst not refuse,
because others were as much straitned in time for Study as myself. But I
had this casual Advantage of most of them; that having so constantly
observ'd _Dogget_'s Performance, I wanted but little Trouble to make me
perfect in the Words; so that when it came to my turn to rehearse, while
others read their Parts from their Books, I had put mine in my Pocket,
and went thro' the first Scene without it; and though I was more abash'd
to rehearse so remarkable a Part before the Actors (which is natural to
most young People) than to act before an Audience, yet some of the
better-natur'd encouraged me so far as to say they did not think I
should make an ill Figure in it: To conclude, the Curiosity to see
_Betterton_ mimick'd drew us a pretty good Audience, and _Powel_ (as far
as Applause is a Proof of it) was allow'd to have burlesqu'd him very
well.[236] As I have question'd the certain Value of Applause, I hope I
may venture with less Vanity to say how particular a Share I had of it
in the same Play. At my first Appearance one might have imagin'd by the
various Murmurs of the Audience, that they were in doubt whether
_Dogget_ himself were not return'd, or that they could not conceive what
strange Face it could be that so nearly resembled him; for I had laid
the Tint of forty Years more than my real Age upon my Features, and, to
the most minute placing of an Hair, was dressed exactly like him: When I
spoke, the Surprize was still greater, as if I had not only borrow'd his
Cloaths, but his Voice too. But tho' that was the least difficult Part
of him to be imitated, they seem'd to allow I had so much of him in
every other Requisite, that my Applause was, perhaps, more than
proportionable: For, whether I had done so much where so little was
expected, or that the Generosity of my Hearers were more than usually
zealous upon so unexpected an Occasion, or from what other Motive such
Favour might be pour'd upon me, I cannot say; but in plain and honest
Truth, upon my going off from the first Scene, a much better Actor might
have been proud of the Applause that followed me; after one loud
_Plaudit_ was ended and sunk into a general Whisper that seem'd still to
continue their private Approbation, it reviv'd to a second, and again to
a third, still louder than the former. If to all this I add, that
_Dogget_ himself was in the Pit at the same time, it would be too rank
Affectation if I should not confess that to see him there a Witness of
my Reception, was to me as consummate a Triumph as the Heart of Vanity
could be indulg'd with. But whatever Vanity I might set upon my self
from this unexpected Success, I found that was no Rule to other People's
Judgment of me. There were few or no Parts of the same kind to be had;
nor could they conceive, from what I had done in this, what other sort
of Characters I could be fit for. If I sollicited for any thing of a
different Nature, I was answered, _That was not in my Way_. And what
_was_ in my Way it seems was not as yet resolv'd upon. And though I
reply'd, _That I thought any thing naturally written ought to be in
every one's Way that pretended to be an Actor_; this was looked upon as
a vain, impracticable Conceit of my own. Yet it is a Conceit that, in
forty Years farther Experience, I have not yet given up; I still think
that a Painter who can draw but one sort of Object, or an Actor that
shines but in one Light, can neither of them boast of that ample Genius
which is necessary to form a thorough Master of his Art: For tho' Genius
may have a particular Inclination, yet a good History-Painter, or a good
Actor, will, without being at a loss, give you upon Demand a proper
Likeness of whatever nature produces. If he cannot do this, he is only
an Actor as the Shoemaker was allow'd a limited Judge of _Apelles_'s
Painting, but _not beyond his Last_. Now, tho' to do any one thing well
may have more Merit than we often meet with, and may be enough to
procure a Man the Name of a good Actor from the Publick; yet, in my
Opinion, it is but still the Name without the Substance. If his Talent
is in such narrow Bounds that he dares not step out of them to look upon
the Singularities of Mankind, and cannot catch them in whatever Form
they present themselves; if he is not Master of the _Quicquid agunt
homines_,[237] &c. in any Shape Human Nature is fit to be seen in; if he
cannot change himself into several distinct Persons, so as to vary his
whole Tone of Voice, his Motion, his Look and Gesture, whether in high
or lower Life, and, at the same time, keep close to those Variations
without leaving the Character they singly belong to; if his best Skill
falls short of this Capacity, what Pretence have we to call him a
complete Master of his Art? And tho' I do not insist that he ought
always to shew himself in these various Lights, yet, before we
compliment him with that Title, he ought at least, by some few Proofs,
to let us see that he has them all in his Power. If I am ask'd, who,
ever, arriv'd at this imaginary Excellence, I confess the Instances are
very few; but I will venture to name _Monfort_ as one of them, whose
Theatrical Character I have given in my last Chapter: For in his Youth
he had acted Low Humour with great Success, even down to _Tallboy_ in
the _Jovial Crew_; and when he was in great Esteem as a Tragedian, he
was, in Comedy, the most complete Gentleman that I ever saw upon the
Stage. Let me add, too, that _Betterton_, in his declining Age, was as
eminent in Sir _John Falstaff_, as in the Vigour of it, in his
_Othello_.

[Illustration: WILLIAM BULLOCK.]

While I thus measure the Value of an Actor by the Variety of Shapes he
is able to throw himself into, you may naturally suspect that I am all
this while leading my own Theatrical Character into your Favour: Why
really, to speak as an honest Man, I cannot wholly deny it: But in this
I shall endeavour to be no farther partial to myself than known Facts
will make me; from the good or bad Evidence of which your better
Judgment will condemn or acquit me. And to shew you that I will conceal
no Truth that is against me, I frankly own that had I been always left
to my own choice of Characters, I am doubtful whether I might ever have
deserv'd an equal Share of that Estimation which the Publick seem'd to
have held me in: Nor am I sure that it was not Vanity in me often to
have suspected that I was kept out of the Parts I had most mind to by
the Jealousy or Prejudice of my Cotemporaries; some Instances of which I
could give you, were they not too slight to be remember'd: In the mean
time, be pleas'd to observe how slowly, in my younger Days, my
Good-fortune came forward.

My early Success in the _Old Batchelor_, of which I have given so full
an Account, having open'd no farther way to my Advancement, was enough,
perhaps, to have made a young Fellow of more Modesty despair; but being
of a Temper not easily dishearten'd, I resolv'd to leave nothing
unattempted that might shew me in some new Rank of Distinction. Having
then no other Resource, I was at last reduc'd to write a Character for
myself; but as that was not finish'd till about a Year after, I could
not, in the Interim, procure any one Part that gave me the least
Inclination to act it; and consequently such as I got I perform'd with a
proportionable Negligence. But this Misfortune, if it were one, you are
not to wonder at; for the same Fate attended me, more or less, to the
last Days of my remaining on the Stage. What Defect in me this may have
been owing to, I have not yet had Sense enough to find out; but I soon
found out as good a thing, which was, never to be mortify'd at it:
Though I am afraid this seeming Philosophy was rather owing to my
Inclination to Pleasure than Business. But to my Point. The next Year I
produc'd the Comedy of _Love's last Shift_; yet the Difficulty of
getting it to the Stage was not easily surmounted; for, at that time, as
little was expected from me, as an Author, as had been from my
Pretensions to be an Actor. However, Mr. _Southern_, the Author of
_Oroonoko_, having had the Patience to hear me read it to him, happened
to like it so well that he immediately recommended it to the Patentees,
and it was accordingly acted in _January 1695_.[238] In this Play I gave
myself the Part of Sir _Novelty_, which was thought a good Portrait of
the Foppery then in fashion. Here, too, Mr. _Southern_, though he had
approv'd my Play, came into the common Diffidence of me as an Actor:
For, when on the first Day of it I was standing, myself, to prompt the
_Prologue_, he took me by the Hand and said, _Young Man! I pronounce thy
Play a good one; I will answer for its Success,[239] if thou dost not
spoil it by thy own Action_. Though this might be a fair _Salvo_ for his
favourable Judgment of the Play, yet, if it were his real Opinion of me
as an Actor, I had the good Fortune to deceive him: I succeeded so well
in both, that People seem'd at a loss which they should give the
Preference to.[240] But (now let me shew a little more Vanity, and my
Apology for it shall come after) the Compliment which my Lord _Dorset_
(then Lord-Chamberlain) made me upon it is, I own, what I had rather not
suppress, _viz. That it was the best First Play that any Author in his
Memory had produc'd; and that for a young Fellow to shew himself such an
Actor and such a Writer in one Day, was something extraordinary._ But as
this noble Lord has been celebrated for his Good-nature, I am contented
that as much of this Compliment should be suppos'd to exceed my Deserts
as may be imagin'd to have been heighten'd by his generous Inclination
to encourage a young Beginner. If this Excuse cannot soften the Vanity
of telling a Truth so much in my own Favour, I must lie at the Mercy of
my Reader. But there was a still higher Compliment pass'd upon me which
I may publish without Vanity, because it was not a design'd one, and
apparently came from my Enemies, _viz._ That, to their certain
Knowledge, _it was not my own_: This Report is taken notice of in my
Dedication to the Play.[241] If they spoke Truth, if they knew what
other Person it really belong'd to, I will at least allow them true to
their Trust; for above forty Years have since past, and they have not
yet reveal'd the Secret.[242]

The new Light in which the Character of Sir _Novelty_ had shewn me, one
might have thought were enough to have dissipated the Doubts of what I
might now be possibly good for. But to whatever Chance my Ill-fortune
was due; whether I had still but little Merit, or that the Menagers, if
I had any, were not competent Judges of it; or whether I was not
generally elbow'd by other Actors (which I am most inclin'd to think the
true Cause) when any fresh Parts were to be dispos'd of, not one Part of
any consequence was I preferr'd to 'till the Year following: Then,
indeed, from _Sir John Vanbrugh_'s favourable Opinion of me, I began,
with others, to have a better of myself: For he not only did me Honour
as an Author by writing his _Relapse_ as a Sequel or Second Part to
_Love's last Shift_, but as an Actor too, by preferring me to the chief
Character in his own Play, (which from Sir _Novelty_) he had ennobled by
the Style of Baron of _Foppington_. This Play (the _Relapse_) from its
new and easy Turn of Wit, had great Success, and gave me, as a Comedian,
a second Flight of Reputation along with it.[243]

As the Matter I write must be very flat or impertinent to those who have
no Taste or Concern for the Stage, and may to those who delight in it,
too, be equally tedious when I talk of no body but myself, I shall
endeavour to relieve your Patience by a Word or two more of this
Gentleman, so far as he lent his Pen to the Support of the Theatre.

Though the _Relapse_ was the first Play this agreeable Author produc'd,
yet it was not, it seems, the first he had written; for he had at that
time by him (more than) all the Scenes that were acted of the _Provok'd
Wife_; but being then doubtful whether he should ever trust them to the
Stage, he thought no more of it: But after the Success of the _Relapse_
he was more strongly importun'd than able to refuse it to the Publick.
Why the last-written Play was first acted, and for what Reason they were
given to different Stages, what follows will explain.

In his first Step into publick Life, when he was but an Ensign and had a
Heart above his Income, he happen'd somewhere at his Winter-Quarters,
upon a very slender Acquaintance with Sir _Thomas Skipwith_, to receive
a particular Obligation from him which he had not forgot at the Time I
am speaking of: When Sir _Thomas's_ Interest in the Theatrical Patent
(for he had a large Share in it, though he little concern'd himself in
the Conduct of it) was rising but very slowly, he thought that to give
it a Lift by a new Comedy, if it succeeded, might be the handsomest
Return he could make to those his former Favours; and having observ'd
that in _Love's last Shift_ most of the Actors had acquitted themselves
beyond what was expected of them, he took a sudden Hint from what he
lik'd in that Play, and in less than three Months, in the beginning of
_April_ following, brought us the _Relapse_ finish'd; but the Season
being then too far advanc'd, it was not acted 'till the succeeding
Winter. Upon the Success of the _Relapse_ the late Lord _Hallifax_, who
was a great Favourer of _Betterton_'s Company, having formerly, by way
of Family-Amusement, heard the _Provok'd Wife_ read to him in its looser
Sheets, engag'd Sir _John Vanbrugh_ to revise it and gave it to the
Theatre in _Lincolns-Inn Fields_. This was a Request not to be refus'd
to so eminent a Patron of the Muses as the Lord _Hallifax_, who was
equally a Friend and Admirer of Sir _John_ himself.[244] Nor was Sir
_Thomas Skipwith_ in the least disobliged by so reasonable a Compliance:
After which, Sir _John_ was agen at liberty to repeat his Civilities to
his Friend Sir _Thomas_, and about the same time, or not long after,
gave us the Comedy of _Æsop_, for his Inclination always led him to
serve Sir _Thomas_. Besides, our Company about this time began to be
look'd upon in another Light; the late Contempt we had lain under was
now wearing off, and from the Success of two or three new Plays, our
Actors, by being Originals in a few good Parts where they had not the
Disadvantage of Comparison against them, sometimes found new Favour in
those old Plays where others had exceeded them.[245]

Of this Good-fortune perhaps I had more than my Share from the two very
different chief Characters I had succeeded in; for I was equally
approv'd in _Æsop_ as the _Lord Foppington_, allowing the Difference to
be no less than as Wisdom in a Person deform'd may be less entertaining
to the general Taste than Folly and Foppery finely drest: For the
Character that delivers Precepts of Wisdom is, in some sort, severe upon
the Auditor by shewing him one wiser than himself. But when Folly is his
Object he applauds himself for being wiser than the Coxcomb he laughs
at: And who is not more pleas'd with an Occasion to commend than accuse
himself?

Though to write much in a little time is no Excuse for writing ill; yet
Sir _John Vanbrugh_'s Pen is not to be a little admir'd for its Spirit,
Ease, and Readiness in producing Plays so fast upon the Neck of one
another; for, notwithstanding this quick Dispatch, there is a clear and
lively Simplicity in his Wit that neither wants the Ornament of Learning
nor has the least Smell of the Lamp in it. As the Face of a fine Woman,
with only her Locks loose about her, may be then in its greatest Beauty;
such were his Productions, only adorn'd by Nature. There is something so
catching to the Ear, so easy to the Memory, in all he writ, that it has
been observ'd by all the Actors of my Time, that the Style of no Author
whatsoever gave their Memory less trouble than that of Sir _John
Vanbrugh_; which I myself, who have been charg'd with several of his
strongest Characters, can confirm by a pleasing Experience. And indeed
his Wit and Humour was so little laboured, that his most entertaining
Scenes seem'd to be no more than his common Conversation committed to
Paper. Here I confess my Judgment at a Loss, whether in this I give him
more or less than his due Praise? For may it not be more laudable to
raise an Estate (whether in Wealth or Fame) by Pains and honest Industry
than to be born to it? Yet if his Scenes really were, as to me they
always seem'd, delightful, are they not, thus expeditiously written, the
more surprising? let the Wit and Merit of them then be weigh'd by wiser
Criticks than I pretend to be: But no wonder, while his Conceptions were
so full of Life and Humour, his Muse should be sometimes too warm to
wait the slow Pace of Judgment, or to endure the Drudgery of forming a
regular Fable to them: Yet we see the _Relapse_, however imperfect in
the Conduct, by the mere Force of its agreeable Wit, ran away with the
Hearts of its Hearers; while _Love's last Shift_, which (as Mr.
_Congreve_ justly said of it) had only in it a great many things that
were _like_ Wit, that in reality were _not_ Wit: And what is still less
pardonable (as I say of it myself) has a great deal of Puerility and
frothy Stage-Language in it, yet by the mere moral Delight receiv'd from
its Fable, it has been, with the other, in a continued and equal
Possession of the Stage for more than forty Years.[246]

As I have already promis'd you to refer your Judgment of me as an Actor
rather to known Facts than my own Opinion (which I could not be sure
would keep clear of Self-Partiality) I must a little farther risque my
being tedious to be as good as my Word. I have elsewhere allow'd that
my want of a strong and full Voice soon cut short my Hopes of making any
valuable Figure in Tragedy; and I have been many Years since convinced,
that whatever Opinion I might have of my own Judgment or Capacity to
amend the palpable Errors that I saw our Tragedians most in favour
commit; yet the Auditors who would have been sensible of any such
Amendments (could I have made them) were so very few, that my best
Endeavour would have been but an unavailing Labour, or, what is yet
worse, might have appeared both to our Actors and to many Auditors the
vain Mistake of my own Self-Conceit: For so strong, so very near
indispensible, is that one Article of Voice in the forming a good
Tragedian, that an Actor may want any other Qualification whatsoever,
and yet have a better chance for Applause than he will ever have, with
all the Skill in the World, if his Voice is not equal to it. Mistake me
not; I say, for _Applause_ only--but Applause does not always stay for,
nor always follow intrinsick Merit; Applause will frequently open, like
a young Hound, upon a wrong Scent; and the Majority of Auditors, you
know, are generally compos'd of Babblers that are profuse of their
Voices before there is any thing on foot that calls for them. Not but, I
grant, to lead or mislead the Many will always stand in some Rank of a
necessary Merit; yet when I say a good Tragedian, I mean one in Opinion
of whose _real_ Merit the best Judges would agree.

Having so far given up my Pretensions to the Buskin, I ought now to
account for my having been, notwithstanding, so often seen in some
particular Characters in Tragedy, as _Iago_,[247] _Wolsey_, _Syphax_,
_Richard the Third_, &c. If in any of this kind I have succeeded,
perhaps it has been a Merit dearly purchas'd; for, from the Delight I
seem'd to take in my performing them, half my Auditors have been
persuaded that a great Share of the Wickedness of them must have been in
my own Nature: If this is true, as true I fear (I had almost said hope)
it is, I look upon it rather as a Praise than Censure of my Performance.
Aversion there is an involuntary Commendation, where we are only hated
for being like the thing we _ought_ to be like; a sort of Praise,
however, which few Actors besides my self could endure: Had it been
equal to the usual Praise given to Virtue, my Cotemporaries would have
thought themselves injur'd if I had pretended to any Share of it: So
that you see it has been as much the Dislike others had to them, as
Choice that has thrown me sometimes into these Characters. But it may be
farther observ'd, that in the Characters I have nam'd, where there is so
much close meditated Mischief, Deceit, Pride, Insolence, or Cruelty,
they cannot have the least Cast or Profer of the Amiable in them;
consequently, there can be no great Demand for that harmonious Sound, or
pleasing round Melody of Voice, which in the softer Sentiments of Love,
the Wailings of distressful Virtue, or in the Throws and Swellings of
Honour and Ambition, may be needful to recommend them to our Pity or
Admiration: So that, again, my want of that requisite Voice might less
disqualify me for the vicious than the virtuous Character. This too may
have been a more favourable Reason for my having been chosen for them--a
yet farther Consideration that inclin'd me to them was that they are
generally better written, thicker sown with sensible Reflections, and
come by so much nearer to common Life and Nature than Characters of
Admiration, as Vice is more the Practice of Mankind than Virtue: Nor
could I sometimes help smiling at those dainty Actors that were too
squeamish to swallow them! as if they were one Jot the better Men for
acting a good Man well, or another Man the worse for doing equal Justice
to a bad one! 'Tis not, sure, _what_ we act, but _how_ we act what is
allotted us, that speaks our intrinsick Value! as in real Life, the wise
Man or the Fool, be he Prince or Peasant, will in either State be
equally the Fool or the wise Man--but alas! in personated Life this is
no Rule to the Vulgar! they are apt to think all before them real, and
rate the Actor according to his borrow'd Vice or Virtue.

If then I had always too careless a Concern for false or vulgar
Applause, I ought not to complain if I have had less of it than others
of my time, or not less of it than I desired: Yet I will venture to say,
that from the common weak Appetite of false Applause, many Actors have
run into more Errors and Absurdities, than their greatest Ignorance
could otherwise have committed:[248] If this Charge is true, it will lie
chiefly upon the better Judgment of the Spectator to reform it.

But not to make too great a Merit of my avoiding this common Road to
Applause, perhaps I was vain enough to think I had more ways than one to
come at it. That, in the Variety of Characters I acted, the Chances to
win it were the stronger on my Side--That, if the Multitude were not in
a Roar to see me in _Cardinal Wolsey_, I could be sure of them in
Alderman _Fondlewife_. If they hated me in _Iago_, in Sir _Fopling_ they
took me for a fine Gentleman; if they were silent at _Syphax_, no
_Italian_ Eunuch was more applauded than when I sung in Sir _Courtly_.
If the Morals of _Æsop_ were too grave for them, Justice _Shallow_ was
as simple and as merry an old Rake as the wisest of our young ones could
wish me.[249] And though the Terror and Detestation raised by King
_Richard_ might be too severe a Delight for them, yet the more gentle
and modern Vanities of a Poet Bays, or the well-bred Vices of a Lord
_Foppington_, were not at all more than their merry Hearts or nicer
Morals could bear.

These few Instances out of fifty more I could give you, may serve to
explain what sort of Merit I at most pretended to; which was, that I
supplied with Variety whatever I might want of that particular Skill
wherein others went before me. How this Variety was executed (for by
that only is its value to be rated) you who have so often been my
Spectator are the proper Judge: If you pronounce my Performance to have
been defective, I am condemn'd by my own Evidence; if you acquit me,
these Out-lines may serve for a Sketch of my Theatrical Character.



CHAPTER VII.


[Illustration: Ad Lalauze, sc]

     _The State of the Stage continued. The Occasion of Wilks's
     commencing Actor. His Success. Facts relating to his
     Theatrical Talent. Actors more or less esteem'd from their
     private Characters._

The _Lincoln's-Inn-Fields_ Company were now, in 1693,[250] a
Common-wealth, like that of _Holland_, divided from the Tyranny of
_Spain_: But the Similitude goes very little farther; short was the
Duration of the Theatrical Power! for tho' Success pour'd in so fast upon
them at their first Opening that every thing seem'd to support it self,
yet Experience in a Year or two shew'd them that they had never been worse
govern'd than when they govern'd themselves! Many of them began to make
their particular Interest more their Point than that of the general: and
tho' some Deference might be had to the Measures and Advice of
_Betterton_, several of them wanted to govern in their Turn, and were
often out of Humour that their Opinion was not equally regarded--But have
we not seen the same Infirmity in Senates? The Tragedians seem'd to think
their Rank as much above the Comedians as in the Characters they severally
acted; when the first were in their Finery, the latter were impatient at
the Expence, and look'd upon it as rather laid out upon the real than the
fictitious Person of the Actor; nay, I have known in our own Company this
ridiculous sort of Regret carried so far, that the Tragedian has thought
himself injured when the _Comedian_ pretended to wear a fine Coat! I
remember _Powel_, upon surveying my first Dress in the _Relapse_, was out
of all temper, and reproach'd our Master in very rude Terms that he had
not so good a Suit to play _Cæsar Borgia_[251] in! tho' he knew, at the
same time, my Lord _Foppington_ fill'd the House, when his bouncing
_Borgia_ would do little more than pay Fiddles and Candles to it: And
though a Character of Vanity might be supposed more expensive in Dress
than possibly one of Ambition, yet the high Heart of this heroical Actor
could not bear that a Comedian should ever pretend to be as well dress'd
as himself. Thus again, on the contrary, when _Betterton_ proposed to set
off a Tragedy, the Comedians were sure to murmur at the Charge of it: And
the late Reputation which _Dogget_ had acquired from acting his _Ben_ in
_Love_ for _Love_, made him a more declared Male-content on such
Occasions; he over-valued Comedy for its being nearer to Nature than
Tragedy, which is allow'd to say many fine things that Nature never spoke
in the same Words; and supposing his Opinion were just, yet he should have
consider'd that the Publick had a Taste as well as himself, which in
Policy he ought to have complied with. _Dogget_, however, could not with
Patience look upon the costly Trains and Plumes of Tragedy, in which
knowing himself to be useless, he thought were all a vain Extravagance:
And when he found his Singularity could no longer oppose that Expence, he
so obstinately adhered to his own Opinion, that he left the Society of his
old Friends, and came over to us at the _Theatre-Royal_: And yet this
Actor always set up for a Theatrical Patriot. This happened in the Winter
following the first Division of the (only) Company.[252] He came time
enough to the _Theatre-Royal_ to act the Part of _Lory_ in the _Relapse_,
an arch Valet, quite after the _French_ cast, pert and familiar. But it
suited so ill with _Dogget_'s dry and closely-natural Manner of acting,
that upon the second Day he desired it might be disposed of to another;
which the Author complying with, gave it to _Penkethman_, who, tho' in
other Lights much his Inferior, yet this Part he seem'd better to become.
_Dogget_ was so immovable in his Opinion of whatever he thought was right
or wrong, that he could never be easy under any kind of Theatrical
Government, and was generally so warm in pursuit of his Interest that he
often out-ran it; I remember him three times, for some Years, unemploy'd
in any Theatre, from his not being able to bear, in common with others,
the disagreeable Accidents that in such Societies are unavoidable.[253]
But whatever Pretences he had form'd for this first deserting from
_Lincoln's-Inn-Fields_, I always thought his best Reason for it was, that
he look'd upon it as a sinking Ship; not only from the melancholy
Abatement of their Profits, but likewise from the Neglect and Disorder in
their Government: He plainly saw that their extraordinary Success at first
had made them too confident of its Duration, and from thence had slacken'd
their Industry--by which he observ'd, at the same time, the old House,
where there was scarce any other Merit than Industry, began to flourish.
And indeed they seem'd not enough to consider that the Appetite of the
Publick, like that of a fine Gentleman, could only be kept warm by
Variety; that let their Merit be never so high, yet the Taste of a Town
was not always constant, nor infallible: That it was dangerous to hold
their Rivals in too much Contempt;[254] for they found that a young
industrious Company were soon a Match for the best Actors when too
securely negligent: And negligent they certainly were, and fondly fancied
that had each of their different Schemes been follow'd, their Audiences
would not so suddenly have fallen off.[255]

But alas! the Vanity of applauded Actors, when they are not crowded to
as they may have been, makes them naturally impute the Change to any
Cause rather than the true one, Satiety: They are mighty loath to think
a Town, once so fond of them, could ever be tired; and yet, at one time
or other, more or less thin Houses have been the certain Fate of the
most prosperous Actors ever since I remember the Stage! But against this
Evil the provident Patentees had found out a Relief which the new House
were not yet Masters of, _viz._ Never to pay their People when the Money
did not come in; nor then neither, but in such Proportions as suited
their Conveniency. I my self was one of the many who for six acting
Weeks together never received one Day's Pay; and for some Years after
seldom had above half our nominal Sallaries: But to the best of my
Memory, the Finances of the other House held it not above one Season
more, before they were reduced to the same Expedient of making the like
scanty Payments.[256]

Such was the Distress and Fortune of both these Companies since their
Division from the _Theatre-Royal_; either working at half Wages, or by
alternate Successes intercepting the Bread from one another's
Mouths;[257] irreconcilable Enemies, yet without Hope of Relief from a
Victory on either Side; sometimes both Parties reduced, and yet each
supporting their Spirits by seeing the other under the same Calamity.

During this State of the Stage it was that the lowest Expedient was made
use of to ingratiate our Company in the Publick Favour: Our Master, who
had sometime practised the Law,[258] and therefore loved a Storm better
than fair Weather (for it was his own Conduct chiefly that had brought
the Patent into these Dangers) took nothing so much to Heart as that
Partiality wherewith he imagined the People of Quality had preferr'd the
Actors of the other House to those of his own: To ballance this
Misfortune, he was resolv'd, at least, to be well with their Domesticks,
and therefore cunningly open'd the upper Gallery to them _gratis_: For
before this time no Footman was ever admitted, or had presum'd to come
into it, till after the fourth Act was ended: This additional Privilege
(the greatest Plague that ever Play-house had to complain of) he
conceived would not only incline them to give us a good Word in the
respective Families they belong'd to, but would naturally incite them to
come all Hands aloft in the Crack of our Applauses: And indeed it so
far succeeded, that it often thunder'd from the full Gallery above,
while our thin Pit and Boxes below were in the utmost Serenity. This
riotous Privilege, so craftily given, and which from Custom was at last
ripen'd into Right, became the most disgraceful Nusance that ever
depreciated the Theatre.[259] How often have the most polite Audiences,
in the most affecting Scenes of the best Plays, been disturb'd and
insulted by the Noise and Clamour of these savage Spectators? From the
same narrow way of thinking, too, were so many ordinary People and
unlick'd Cubs of Condition admitted behind our Scenes for Money, and
sometimes without it: The Plagues and Inconveniences of which Custom we
found so intolerable, when we afterwards had the Stage in our Hands,
that at the Hazard of our Lives we were forced to get rid of them; and
our only Expedient was by refusing Money from all Persons without
Distinction at the Stage-Door; by this means we preserved to ourselves
the Right and Liberty of chusing our own Company there: And by a strict
Observance of this Order we brought what had been before debas'd into
all the Licenses of a Lobby into the Decencies of a Drawing-Room.[260]

About the distressful Time I was speaking of, in the Year 1696,[261]
_Wilks_, who now had been five Years in great Esteem on the _Dublin_
Theatre, return'd to that of _Drury-Lane_; in which last he had first
set out, and had continued to act some small Parts for one Winter only.
The considerable Figure which he so lately made upon the Stage in
_London_, makes me imagine that a particular Account of his first
commencing Actor may not be unacceptable to the Curious; I shall,
therefore, give it them as I had it from his own Mouth.

In King _James_'s Reign he had been some time employ'd in the
Secretary's Office in _Ireland_ (his native Country) and remain'd in it
till after the Battle of the _Boyn_, which completed the Revolution.
Upon that happy and unexpected Deliverance, the People of _Dublin_,
among the various Expressions of their Joy, had a mind to have a Play;
but the Actors being dispersed during the War, some private Persons
agreed in the best Manner they were able to give one to the Publick
_gratis_ at the _Theatre_. The Play was _Othello_, in which _Wilks_
acted the _Moor_; and the Applause he received in it warm'd him to so
strong an Inclination for the Stage, that he immediately prefer'd it to
all his other Views in Life: for he quitted his Post, and with the first
fair Occasion came over to try his Fortune in the (then only) Company of
Actors in _London_. The Person who supply'd his Post in _Dublin_, he
told me, raised to himself from thence a Fortune of fifty thousand
Pounds. Here you have a much stronger Instance of an extravagant Passion
for the Stage than that which I have elsewhere shewn in my self; I only
quitted my _Hopes_ of being preferr'd to the like Post for it; but
_Wilks_ quitted his actual _Possession_ for the imaginary Happiness
which the Life of an Actor presented to him. And, though possibly we
might both have better'd our Fortunes in a more honourable Station, yet
whether better Fortunes might have equally gratify'd our Vanity (the
universal Passion of Mankind) may admit of a Question.

Upon his being formerly received into the _Theatre-Royal_ (which was in
the Winter after I had been initiated) his Station there was much upon
the same Class with my own; our Parts were generally of an equal
Insignificancy, not of consequence enough to give either a Preference:
But _Wilks_ being more impatient of his low Condition than I was, (and,
indeed, the Company was then so well stock'd with good Actors that there
was very little hope of getting forward) laid hold of a more expeditious
way for his Advancement, and returned agen to _Dublin_ with Mr.
_Ashbury_, the Patentee of that Theatre, to act in his new Company
there: There went with him at the same time Mrs. _Butler_, whose
Character I have already given, and _Estcourt_, who had not appeared on
any Stage, and was yet only known as an excellent Mimick: _Wilks_ having
no Competitor in _Dublin_, was immediately preferr'd to whatever parts
his Inclination led him, and his early Reputation on that Stage as soon
raised in him an Ambition to shew himself on a better. And I have heard
him say (in Raillery of the Vanity which young Actors are liable to)
that when the News of _Monfort_'s Death came to _Ireland_, he from that
time thought his Fortune was made, and took a Resolution to return a
second time to _England_ with the first Opportunity; but as his
Engagements to the Stage where he was were too strong to be suddenly
broke from, he return'd not to the _Theatre-Royal_ 'till the Year
1696.[262]

Upon his first Arrival, _Powel_, who was now in Possession of all the
chief Parts of _Monfort_, and the only Actor that stood in _Wilks_'s
way, in seeming Civility offer'd him his choice of whatever he thought
fit to make his first Appearance in; though, in reality, the Favour was
intended to hurt him. But _Wilks_ rightly judg'd it more modest to
accept only of a Part of _Powel_'s, and which _Monfort_ had never acted,
that of _Palamede_ in _Dryden's Marriage Alamode_. Here, too, he had the
Advantage of having the Ball play'd into his Hand by the inimitable Mrs.
_Monfort_, who was then his _Melantha_ in the same Play: Whatever Fame
_Wilks_ had brought with him from _Ireland_, he as yet appear'd but a
very raw Actor to what he was afterwards allow'd to be: His Faults,
however, I shall rather leave to the Judgments of those who then may
remember him, than to take upon me the disagreeable Office of being
particular upon them, farther than by saying, that in this Part of
_Palamede_ he was short of _Powel_, and miss'd a good deal of the loose
Humour of the Character, which the other more happily hit.[263] But
however he was young, erect, of a pleasing Aspect, and, in the whole,
gave the Town and the Stage sufficient Hopes of him. I ought to make
some Allowances, too, for the Restraint he must naturally have been
under from his first Appearance upon a new Stage. But from that he soon
recovered, and grew daily more in Favour, not only of the Town, but
likewise of the Patentee, whom _Powel_, before _Wilks_'s Arrival, had
treated in almost what manner he pleas'd.

Upon this visible Success of _Wilks_, the pretended Contempt which
_Powel_ had held him in began to sour into an open Jealousy; he now
plainly saw he was a formidable Rival, and (which more hurt him) saw,
too, that other People saw it; and therefore found it high time to
oppose and be troublesome to him. But _Wilks_ happening to be as jealous
of his Fame as the other, you may imagine such clashing Candidates
could not be long without a Rupture: In short, a Challenge, I very well
remember, came from _Powel_, when he was hot-headed; but the next
Morning he was cool enough to let it end in favour of _Wilks_. Yet
however the Magnanimity on either Part might subside, the Animosity was
as deep in the Heart as ever, tho' it was not afterwards so openly
avow'd: For when _Powel_ found that intimidating would not carry his
Point; but that _Wilks_, when provok'd, would really give Battle,[264]
he (_Powel_) grew so out of Humour that he cock'd his Hat, and in his
Passion walk'd off to the Service of the Company in _Lincoln's-Inn
Fields_. But there finding more Competitors, and that he made a worse
Figure among them than in the Company he came from, he stay'd but one
Winter with them[265] before he return'd to his old Quarters in
_Drury-Lane_; where, after these unsuccessful Pushes of his Ambition, he
at last became a Martyr to Negligence, and quietly submitted to the
Advantages and Superiority which (during his late Desertion) _Wilks_ had
more easily got over him.

[Illustration: WILLIAM PENKETHMAN.]

However trifling these Theatrical Anecdotes may seem to a sensible
Reader, yet, as the different Conduct of these rival Actors may be of
use to others of the same Profession, and from thence may contribute to
the Pleasure of the Publick, let that be my Excuse for pursuing them. I
must therefore let it be known that, though in Voice and Ear Nature had
been more kind to _Powel_, yet he so often lost the Value of them by an
unheedful Confidence, that the constant wakeful Care and Decency of
_Wilks_ left the other far behind in the publick Esteem and Approbation.
Nor was his Memory less tenacious than that of _Wilks_; but _Powel_ put
too much Trust in it, and idly deferr'd the Studying of his Parts, as
School-boys do their Exercise, to the last Day, which commonly brings
them out proportionably defective. But _Wilks_ never lost an Hour of
precious Time, and was, in all his Parts, perfect to such an Exactitude,
that I question if in forty Years he ever five times chang'd or
misplac'd an Article in any one of them. To be Master of this uncommon
Diligence is adding to the Gift of Nature all that is in an Actor's
Power; and this Duty of Studying perfect whatever Actor is remiss in, he
will proportionably find that Nature may have been kind to him in vain,
for though _Powel_ had an Assurance that cover'd this Neglect much
better than a Man of more Modesty might have done, yet, with all his
Intrepidity, very often the Diffidence and Concern for what he was to
_say_ made him lose the Look of what he was to _be_: While, therefore,
_Powel_ presided, his idle Example made this Fault so common to others,
that I cannot but confess, in the general Infection, I had my Share of
it; nor was my too critical Excuse for it a good one, _viz._ That scarce
one Part in five that fell to my Lot was worth the Labour. But to shew
Respect to an Audience is worth the best Actor's Labour, and, his
Business consider'd, he must be a very impudent one that comes before
them with a conscious Negligence of what he is about.[266] But _Wilks_
was never known to make any of these venial Distinctions, nor, however
barren his Part might be, could bear even the Self-Reproach of favouring
his Memory: And I have been astonished to see him swallow a Volume
of Froth and Insipidity in a new Play that we were sure could not
live above three Days, tho' favour'd and recommended to the Stage by
some good person of Quality. Upon such Occasions, in Compassion to
his fruitless Toil and Labour, I have sometimes cry'd out with
_Cato----Painful Præeminence!_ So insupportable, in my Sense, was
the Task, when the bare Praise of not having been negligent was sure
to be the only Reward of it. But so indefatigable was the Diligence
of _Wilks_, that he seem'd to love it, as a good Man does Virtue, for
its own sake; of which the following Instance will give you an
extraordinary Proof.

In some new Comedy he happen'd to complain of a crabbed Speech in his
Part, which, he said, gave him more trouble to study than all the rest
of it had done; upon which he apply'd to the Author either to soften or
shorten it. The Author, that he might make the Matter quite easy to him,
fairly cut it all out. But when he got home from the Rehearsal, _Wilks_
thought it such an Indignity to his Memory that any thing should be
thought too hard for it, that he actually made himself perfect in that
Speech, though he knew it was never to be made use of. From this
singular Act of Supererogation you may judge how indefatigable the
Labour of his Memory must have been when his Profit and Honour were more
concern'd to make use of it.[267]

But besides this indispensable Quality of Diligence, _Wilks_ had the
Advantage of a sober Character in private Life, which _Powel_, not
having the least Regard to, labour'd under the unhappy Disfavour, not to
say Contempt, of the Publick, to whom his licentious Courses were no
Secret: Even when he did well that natural Prejudice pursu'd him;
neither the Heroe nor the Gentleman, the young _Ammon_[268] nor the
_Dorimant_,[269] could conceal from the conscious Spectator the True
_George Powel_. And this sort of Disesteem or Favour every Actor will
feel, and, more or less, have his Share of, as he _has_, or has _not_, a
due Regard to his private Life and Reputation. Nay, even false Reports
shall affect him, and become the Cause, or Pretence at least, of
undervaluing or treating him injuriously. Let me give a known Instance
of it, and at the same time a Justification of myself from an Imputation
that was laid upon me not many Years before I quitted the Theatre, of
which you will see the Consequence.

After the vast Success of that new Species of Dramatick Poetry, the
_Beggars Opera_,[270] The Year following I was so stupid as to attempt
something of the same Kind, upon a quite different Foundation, that of
recommending Virtue and Innocence; which I ignorantly thought might not
have a less Pretence to Favour than setting Greatness and Authority in a
contemptible, and the most vulgar Vice and Wickedness, in an amiable
Light. But behold how fondly I was mistaken! _Love in a Riddle_[271]
(for so my new-fangled Performance was called) was as vilely damn'd and
hooted at as so vain a Presumption in the idle Cause of Virtue could
deserve. Yet this is not what I complain of; I will allow my Poetry to
be as much below the other as Taste or Criticism can sink it: I will
grant likewise that the applauded Author of the _Beggars Opera_ (whom I
knew to be an honest good-natur'd Man, and who, when he had descended to
write more like one, in the Cause of Virtue, had been as unfortunate as
others of that Class;) I will grant, I say, that in his _Beggars Opera_
he had more skilfully gratify'd the Publick Taste than all the brightest
Authors that ever writ before him; and I have sometimes thought, from
the Modesty of his Motto, _Nos hæc novimus esse nihil_,[272] that
he gave them that Performance as a Satyr upon the Depravity of
their Judgment (as _Ben. Johnson_ of old was said to give his
_Bartholomew-Fair_ in Ridicule of the vulgar Taste which had disliked
his _Sejanus_[273]) and that, by artfully seducing them to be the
Champions of the Immoralities he himself detested, he should be amply
reveng'd on their former Severity and Ignorance. This were indeed a
Triumph! which even the Author of _Cato_ might have envy'd, _Cato!_ 'tis
true, succeeded, but reach'd not, by full forty Days, the Progress and
Applauses of the _Beggars Opera_. Will it, however, admit of a Question,
which of the two Compositions a good Writer would rather wish to have
been the Author of? Yet, on the other side, must we not allow that to
have taken a whole Nation, High and Low, into a general Applause, has
shown a Power in Poetry which, though often attempted in the same kind,
none but this one Author could ever yet arrive at? By what Rule, then,
are we to judge of our true National Taste? But to keep a little closer
to my Point,

The same Author the next Year had, according to the Laws of the Land,
transported his Heroe to the _West-Indies_ in a Second Part to the
_Beggars Opera_;[274] but so it happen'd, to the Surprize of the
Publick, this Second Part was forbid to come upon the Stage! Various
were the Speculations upon this act of Power: Some thought that the
Author, others that the Town, was hardly dealt with; a third sort, who
perhaps had envy'd him the Success of his first Part, affirm'd, when it
was printed, that whatever the Intention might be, the Fact was in his
Favour, that he had been a greater Gainer by Subscriptions to his Copy
than he could have been by a bare Theatrical Presentation. Whether any
Part of these Opinions were true I am not concerned to determine or
consider. But how they affected me I am going to tell you. Soon after
this Prohibition,[275] my Performance was to come upon the Stage, at a
time when many People were out of Humour at the late Disappointment,
and seem'd willing to lay hold of any Pretence of making a Reprizal.
Great Umbrage was taken that I was permitted to have the whole Town to
my self, by this absolute Forbiddance of what they had more mind to have
been entertain'd with. And, some few Days before my Bawble was acted, I
was inform'd that a strong Party would be made against it: This Report I
slighted, as not conceiving why it should be true; and when I was
afterwards told what was the pretended Provocation of this Party, I
slighted it still more, as having less Reason to suppose any Persons
could believe me capable (had I had the Power) of giving such a
Provocation. The Report, it seems, that had run against me was this:
That, to make way for the Success of my own Play, I had privately found
means, or made Interest, that the Second Part of the _Beggars Opera_
might be suppressed. What an involuntary Compliment did the Reporters of
this falshood make me? to suppose me of Consideration enough to
Influence a great Officer of State to gratify the Spleen or Envy of a
Comedian so far as to rob the Publick of an innocent Diversion (if it
were such) that none but that cunning Comedian might be suffered to give
it them.[276] This is so very gross a Supposition that it needs only
its own senseless Face to confound it; let that alone, then, be my
Defence against it. But against blind Malice and staring inhumanity
whatever is upon the Stage has no Defence! There they knew I stood
helpless and expos'd to whatever they might please to load or asperse me
with. I had not considered, poor Devil! that from the Security of a full
Pit Dunces might be Criticks, Cowards valiant, and 'Prentices Gentlemen!
Whether any such were concern'd in the Murder of my Play I am not
certain, for I never endeavour'd to discover any one of its Assassins; I
cannot afford them a milder Name, from their unmanly manner of
destroying it. Had it been heard, they might have left me nothing to say
to them: 'Tis true it faintly held up its wounded Head a second Day, and
would have spoke for Mercy, but was not suffer'd. Not even the Presence
of a Royal Heir apparent could protect it. But then I was reduced to be
serious with them; their Clamour then became an Insolence, which I
thought it my Duty by the Sacrifice of any Interest of my own to put an
end to. I therefore quitted the Actor for the Author, and, stepping
forward to the Pit, told them, _That since I found they were not
inclin'd that this Play should go forward, I gave them my Word that
after this Night it should never be acted agen: But that, in the mean
time, I hop'd they would consider in whose Presence they were, and for
that Reason at least would suspend what farther Marks of their
Displeasure they might imagine I had deserved._ At this there was a dead
Silence; and after some little Pause, a few civiliz'd Hands signify'd
their Approbation. When the Play went on, I observ'd about a Dozen
Persons of no extraordinary Appearance sullenly walk'd out of the Pit.
After which, every Scene of it, while uninterrupted, met with more
Applause than my best Hopes had expected. But it came too late: Peace to
its _Manes_! I had given my Word it should fall, and I kept it by giving
out another Play for the next Day, though I knew the Boxes were all lett
for the same again. Such, then, was the Treatment I met with: How much
of it the Errors of the Play might deserve I refer to the Judgment of
those who may have Curiosity and idle time enough to read it.[277] But
if I had no occasion to complain of the Reception it met with from its
_quieted_ Audience, sure it can be no great Vanity to impute its
Disgraces chiefly to that severe Resentment which a groundless Report of
me had inflam'd: Yet those Disgraces have left me something to boast of,
an Honour preferable even to the Applause of my Enemies: A noble Lord
came behind the Scenes, and told me, from the Box, where he was in
waiting, _That what I said to quiet the Audience was extremely well
taken there; and that I had been commended for it in a very obliging
manner_. Now, though this was the only Tumult that I have known to have
been so effectually appeas'd these fifty Years by any thing that could
be said to an Audience in the same Humour, I will not take any great
Merit to myself upon it; because when, like me, you will but humbly
submit to their doing you all the Mischief they can, they will at any
time be satisfy'd.

I have mention'd this particular Fact to inforce what I before observ'd,
That the private Character of an Actor will always more or less affect
his Publick Performance. And if I suffer'd so much from the bare
_Suspicion_ of my having been guilty of a base Action, what should not
an Actor expect that is hardy enough to think his whole private
Character of no consequence? I could offer many more, tho' less severe
Instances of the same Nature. I have seen the most tender Sentiment of
Love in Tragedy create Laughter, instead of Compassion, when it has been
applicable to the real Engagements of the Person that utter'd it. I have
known good Parts thrown up, from an humble Consciousness that something
in them might put an Audience in mind of--what was rather wish'd might
be forgotten: Those remarkable Words of _Evadne_, in the _Maid's
Tragedy--A Maidenhead_, Amintor, _at my Years_?--have sometimes been a
much stronger Jest for being a true one. But these are Reproaches which
in all Nations the Theatre must have been us'd to, unless we could
suppose Actors something more than Human Creatures, void of Faults or
Frailties. 'Tis a Misfortune at least not limited to the _English_
Stage. I have seen the better-bred Audience in _Paris_ made merry even
with a modest Expression, when it has come from the Mouth of an Actress
whose private Character it seem'd not to belong to. The Apprehension of
these kind of Fleers from the Witlings of a Pit has been carry'd so far
in our own Country, that a late valuable Actress[278] (who was conscious
her Beauty was not her greatest Merit) desired the Warmth of some Lines
might be abated when they have made her too remarkably handsome: But in
this Discretion she was alone, few others were afraid of undeserving the
finest things that could be said to them. But to consider this Matter
seriously, I cannot but think, at a Play, a sensible Auditor would
contribute all he could to his being well deceiv'd, and not suffer his
Imagination so far to wander from the well-acted Character before him,
as to gratify a frivolous Spleen by Mocks or personal Sneers on the
Performer, at the Expence of his better Entertainment. But I must now
take up _Wilks_ and _Powel_ again where I left them.

Though the Contention for Superiority between them seem'd about this
time to end in favour of the former, yet the Distress of the Patentee
(in having his Servant his Master, as _Powel_ had lately been), was not
much reliev'd by the Victory; he had only chang'd the Man, but not the
Malady: For _Wilks_, by being in Possession of so many good Parts, fell
into the common Error of most Actors, that of over-rating their Merit,
or never thinking it is so thoroughly consider'd as it ought to be,
which generally makes them proportionably troublesome to the Master, who
they might consider only pays them to profit by them. The Patentee
therefore found it as difficult to satisfy the continual Demands of
_Wilks_ as it was dangerous to refuse them; very few were made that were
not granted, and as few were granted as were not grudg'd him: Not but
our good Master was as sly a Tyrant as ever was at the Head of a
Theatre; for he gave the Actors more Liberty, and fewer Days Pay, than
any of his Predecessors: He would laugh with them over a Bottle, and
bite[279] them in their Bargains: He kept them poor, that they might not
be able to rebel; and sometimes merry, that they might not think of it:
All their Articles of Agreement had a Clause in them that he was sure to
creep out at, _viz._ Their respective Sallaries were to be paid in such
manner and proportion as others of the same Company were paid; which in
effect made them all, when he pleas'd, but limited Sharers of Loss, and
himself sole Proprietor of Profits; and this Loss or Profit they only
had such verbal Accounts of as he thought proper to give them. 'Tis
true, he would sometimes advance them Money (but not more than he knew
at most could be due to them) upon their Bonds; upon which, whenever
they were mutinous, he would threaten to sue them. This was the Net we
danc'd in for several Years: But no wonder we were Dupes, while our
Master was a Lawyer. This Grievance, however, _Wilks_ was resolv'd, for
himself at least, to remedy at any rate; and grew daily more
intractable, for every Day his Redress was delay'd. Here our Master
found himself under a Difficulty he knew not well how to get out of: For
as he was a close subtle Man, he seldom made use of a Confident in his
Schemes of Government:[280] But here the old Expedient of Delay would
stand him in no longer stead; _Wilks_ must instantly be comply'd with,
or _Powel_ come again into Power! In a word, he was push'd so home, that
he was reduc'd even to take my Opinion into his Assistance: For he knew
I was a Rival to neither of them; perhaps, too, he had fancy'd that,
from the Success of my first Play, I might know as much of the Stage,
and what made an Actor valuable, as either of them: He saw, too, that
tho' they had each of them five good Parts to my one, yet the Applause
which in my few I had met with, was given me by better Judges than as
yet had approv'd of the best they had done. They generally measured the
goodness of a Part by the Quantity or Length of it: I thought none bad
for being short that were closely-natural; nor any the better for being
long, without that valuable Quality. But in this, I doubt, as to their
Interest, they judg'd better than myself; for I have generally observ'd
that those who do a great deal not ill, have been preferr'd to those who
do but little, though never so masterly. And therefore I allow that,
while there were so few good Parts, and as few good Judges of them, it
ought to have been no Wonder to me, that as an Actor I was less valued
by the Master or the common People than either of them: All the
Advantage I had of them was, that by not being troublesome I had more of
our Master's personal Inclination than any Actor of the male Sex;[281]
and so much of it, that I was almost the only one whom at that time he
us'd to take into his Parties of Pleasure; very often _tete à tete_, and
sometimes in a _Partie quarrèe_. These then were the Qualifications,
however good or bad, to which may be imputed our Master's having made
choice of me to assist him in the Difficulty under which he now
labour'd. He was himself sometimes inclin'd to set up _Powel_ again as
a Check upon the overbearing Temper of _Wilks_: Tho' to say truth, he
lik'd neither of them, but was still under a Necessity that one of them
should preside, tho' he scarce knew which of the two Evils to chuse.
This Question, when I happen'd to be alone with him, was often debated
in our Evening Conversation; nor, indeed, did I find it an easy matter
to know which Party I ought to recommend to his Election. I knew they
were neither of them Well-wishers to me, as in common they were Enemies
to most Actors in proportion to the Merit that seem'd to be rising in
them. But as I had the Prosperity of the Stage more at Heart than any
other Consideration, I could not be long undetermined in my Opinion, and
therefore gave it to our Master at once in Favour of _Wilks_. I, with
all the Force I could muster, insisted, "That if _Powel_ were preferr'd,
the ill Example of his Negligence and abandon'd Character (whatever his
Merit on the Stage might be) would reduce our Company to Contempt and
Beggary; observing, at the same time, in how much better Order our
Affairs went forward since _Wilks_ came among us, of which I recounted
several Instances that are not so necessary to tire my Reader with. All
this, though he allow'd to be true, yet _Powel_, he said, was a better
Actor than _Wilks_ when he minded his Business (that is to say, when he
was, what he seldom was, sober). But _Powel_, it seems, had a still
greater Merit to him, which was, (as he observ'd) that when Affairs
were in his Hands, he had kept the Actors quiet, without one Day's Pay,
for six Weeks together, and it was not every body could do that; for you
see, said he, _Wilks_ will never be easy unless I give him his whole
Pay, when others have it not, and what an Injustice would that be to the
rest if I were to comply with him? How do I know but then they may be
all in a Mutiny, and _mayhap_ (that was his Expression) with _Powel_ at
the Head of 'em?" By this Specimen of our Debate, it may be judg'd under
how particular and merry a Government the Theatre then labour'd. To
conclude, this Matter ended in a Resolution to sign a new Agreement with
_Wilks_, which entitled him to his full Pay of four Pounds a Week
without any conditional Deductions. How far soever my Advice might have
contributed to our Master's settling his Affairs upon this Foot, I never
durst make the least Merit of it to _Wilks_, well knowing that his great
Heart would have taken it as a mortal Affront had I (tho' never so
distantly) hinted that his Demands had needed any Assistance but the
Justice of them. From this time, then, _Wilks_ became first Minister, or
Bustle-master-general of the Company.[282] He now seem'd to take new
Delight in keeping the Actors close to their Business, and got every
Play reviv'd with Care in which he had acted the chief Part in _Dublin_:
'Tis true, this might be done with a particular View of setting off
himself to Advantage; but if at the same time it served the Company, he
ought not to want our Commendation: Now, tho' my own Conduct neither had
the Appearance of his Merit, nor the Reward that follow'd his Industry,
I cannot help observing that it shew'd me, to the best of my Power, a
more cordial Commonwealth's Man: His first Views in serving himself made
his Service to the whole but an incidental Merit; whereas, by my
prosecuting the Means to make him easy in his Pay, unknown to him, or
without asking any Favour for my self at the same time, I gave a more
unquestionable Proof of my preferring the Publick to my Private
Interest: From the same Principle I never murmur'd at whatever little
Parts fell to my Share, and though I knew it would not recommend me to
the Favour of the common People, I often submitted to play wicked
Characters rather than they should be worse done by weaker Actors than
my self: But perhaps, in all this Patience under my Situation, I
supported my Spirits by a conscious Vanity: For I fancied I had more
Reason to value myself upon being sometimes the Confident and Companion
of our Master, than _Wilks_ had in all the more publick Favours he had
extorted from him. I imagined, too, there was sometimes as much Skill to
be shewn in a short Part, as in the most voluminous, which he generally
made choice of; that even the coxcombly Follies of a Sir _John Daw_
might as well distinguish the Capacity of an Actor, as all the dry
Enterprizes and busy Conduct of a _Truewit_.[283] Nor could I have any
Reason to repine at the Superiority he enjoy'd, when I consider'd at how
dear a Rate it was purchased, at the continual Expence of a restless
Jealousy and fretful Impatience----These were the Passions that, in
the height of his Successes, kept him lean to his last Hour, while
what I wanted in Rank or Glory was amply made up to me in Ease and
Chearfulness. But let not this Observation either lessen his Merit or
lift up my own; since our different Tempers were not in our Choice, but
equally natural to both of us. To be employ'd on the Stage was the
Delight of his Life; to be justly excused from it was the Joy of mine: I
lov'd Ease, and he Pre-eminence: In that, he might be more commendable.
Tho' he often disturb'd me, he seldom could do it without more
disordering himself:[284] In our Disputes, his Warmth could less bear
Truth than I could support manifest Injuries: He would hazard our
Undoing to gratify his Passions, tho' otherwise an honest Man; and I
rather chose to give up my Reason, or not see my Wrong, than ruin our
Community by an equal Rashness. By this opposite Conduct our Accounts at
the End of our Labours stood thus: While he lived he was the elder Man,
when he died he was not so old as I am: He never left the Stage till he
left the World: I never so well enjoy'd the World as when I left the
Stage: He died in Possession of his Wishes; and I, by having had a less
cholerick Ambition, am still tasting mine in Health and Liberty. But as
he in a great measure wore out the Organs of Life in his incessant
Labours to gratify the Publick, the Many whom he gave Pleasure to will
always owe his Memory a favourable Report--Some Facts that will vouch
for the Truth of this Account will be found in the Sequel of these
Memoirs. If I have spoke with more Freedom of his quondam Competitor
_Powel_, let my good Intentions to future Actors, in shewing what will
so much concern them to avoid, be my Excuse for it: For though _Powel_
had from Nature much more than _Wilks_; in Voice and Ear, in Elocution
in Tragedy, and Humour in Comedy, greatly the Advantage of him; yet, as
I have observ'd, from the Neglect and Abuse of those valuable Gifts, he
suffer'd _Wilks_ to be of thrice the Service to our Society. Let me give
another Instance of the Reward and Favour which, in a Theatre, Diligence
and Sobriety seldom fail of: _Mills_ the elder[285] grew into the
Friendship of _Wilks_ with not a great deal more than those useful
Qualities to recommend him: He was an honest, quiet, careful Man, of as
few Faults as Excellencies, and _Wilks_ rather chose him for his second
in many Plays, than an Actor of perhaps greater Skill that was not so
laboriously diligent. And from this constant Assiduity, _Mills_, with
making to himself a Friend in _Wilks_, was advanced to a larger Sallary
than any Man-Actor had enjoy'd during my time on the Stage.[286] I
have yet to offer a more happy Recommendation of Temperance, which a
late celebrated Actor was warn'd into by the mis-conduct of _Powel_.
About the Year that _Wilks_ return'd from _Dublin_, _Booth_, who had
commenced Actor upon that Theatre, came over to the Company in
_Lincolns-Inn-Fields_:[287] He was then but an Under-graduate of the
Buskin, and, as he told me himself, had been for some time too frank a
Lover of the Bottle; but having had the Happiness to observe into what
Contempt and Distresses _Powel_ had plung'd himself by the same Vice, he
was so struck with the Terror of his Example, that he fix'd a Resolution
(which from that time to the End of his Days he strictly observ'd) of
utterly reforming it; an uncommon Act of Philosophy in a young Man! of
which in his Fame and Fortune he afterwards enjoy'd the Reward and
Benefit. These Observations I have not merely thrown together as a
Moralist, but to prove that the briskest loose Liver or intemperate Man
(though Morality were out of the Question) can never arrive at the
necessary Excellencies of a good or useful Actor.



CHAPTER VIII.


[Illustration: Ad Lalauze, sc]

     _The Patentee of_ Drury-Lane _wiser than his Actors_. _His
     particular Menagement. The Author continues to write Plays.
     Why. The best dramatick Poets censured by_ J. Collier, _in
     his_ Short View of the Stage. _It has a good Effect. The
     Master of the Revels, from that time, cautious in his
     licensing new Plays. A Complaint against him. His Authority
     founded upon Custom only. The late Law for fixing that
     Authority in a proper Person, considered._

Though the Master of our Theatre had no Conception himself of Theatrical
Merit either in Authors or Actors, yet his Judgment was govern'd by a
saving Rule in both: He look'd into his Receipts for the Value of a
Play, and from common Fame he judg'd of his Actors. But by whatever Rule
he was govern'd, while he had prudently reserv'd to himself a Power of
not paying them more than their Merit could get, he could not be much
deceived by their being over or under-valued. In a Word, he had with
great Skill inverted the Constitution of the Stage, and quite changed
the Channel of Profits arising from it; formerly, (when there was but
one Company) the Proprietors punctually paid the Actors their appointed
Sallaries, and took to themselves only the clear Profits: But our wiser
Proprietor took first out of every Day's Receipts two Shillings in the
Pound to himself; and left their Sallaries to be paid only as the less
or greater Deficiencies of acting (according to his own Accounts) would
permit. What seem'd most extraordinary in these Measures was, that at
the same time he had persuaded us to be contented with our Condition,
upon his assuring us that as fast as Money would come in we should all
be paid our Arrears: And that we might not have it always in our Power
to say he had never intended to keep his Word, I remember in a few Years
after this time he once paid us nine Days in one Week: This happen'd
when the _Funeral_, or _Grief à la Mode_,[288] was first acted, with
more than expected Success. Whether this well-tim'd Bounty was only
allow'd us to save Appearances I will not say: But if that was his real
Motive for it, it was too costly a frolick to be repeated, and was at
least the only Grimace of its kind he vouchsafed us; we never having
received one Day more of those Arrears in above fifteen Years Service.

While the Actors were in this Condition, I think I may very well be
excused in my presuming to write Plays: which I was forced to do for the
Support of my encreasing Family, my precarious Income as an Actor being
then too scanty to supply it with even the Necessaries of Life.

It may be observable, too, that my Muse and my Spouse were equally
prolifick; that the one was seldom the Mother of a Child, but in the
same Year the other made me the Father of a Play: I think we had a Dozen
of each Sort between us; of both which kinds, some died in their
Infancy, and near an equal Number of each were alive when I quitted the
Theatre--But it is no Wonder, when a Muse is only call'd upon by Family
Duty, she should not always rejoice in the Fruit of her Labour. To this
Necessity of writing, then, I attribute the Defects of my second Play,
which, coming out too hastily the Year after my first, turn'd to very
little Account. But having got as much by my first as I ought to have
expected from the Success of them both, I had no great Reason to
complain: Not but, I confess, so bad was my second, that I do not chuse
to tell you the Name of it; and that it might be peaceably forgotten, I
have not given it a Place in the two Volumes of those I publish'd in
Quarto in the Year 1721.[289] And whenever I took upon me to make some
dormant Play of an old Author to the best of my Judgment fitter for the
Stage, it was honestly not to be idle that set me to work; as a good
Housewife will mend old Linnen when she has not better Employment: But
when I was more warmly engag'd by a Subject entirely new, I only thought
it a good Subject when it seem'd worthy of an abler Pen than my own, and
might prove as useful to the Hearer as profitable to my self: Therefore,
whatever any of my Productions might want of Skill, Learning, Wit, or
Humour, or however unqualify'd I might be to instruct others who so ill
govern'd my self: Yet such Plays (entirely my own) were not wanting, at
least, in what our most admired Writers seem'd to neglect, and without
which I cannot allow the most taking Play to be intrinsically good, or
to be a Work upon which a Man of Sense and Probity should value himself:
I mean when they do not, as well _prodesse_ as _delectare_,[290] give
Profit with Delight! The _Utile Dulci_[291] was, of old, equally the
Point; and has always been my Aim, however wide of the Mark I may have
shot my Arrow. It has often given me Amazement that our best Authors of
that time could think the Wit and Spirit of their Scenes could be an
Excuse for making the Looseness of them publick. The many Instances of
their Talents so abused are too glaring to need a closer Comment, and
are sometimes too gross to be recited. If then to have avoided this
Imputation, or rather to have had the Interest and Honour of Virtue
always in view, can give Merit to a Play, I am contented that my Readers
should think such Merit the All that mine have to boast of--Libertines
of meer Wit and Pleasure may laugh at these grave Laws that would limit
a lively Genius: But every sensible honest Man, conscious of their Truth
and Use, will give these Ralliers Smile for Smile, and shew a due
Contempt for their Merriment.

But while our Authors took these extraordinary Liberties with their Wit,
I remember the Ladies were then observ'd to be decently afraid of
venturing bare-fac'd to a new Comedy 'till they had been assur'd they
might do it without the Risque of an Insult to their Modesty--Or, if
their Curiosity were too strong for their Patience, they took Care, at
least, to save Appearances, and rarely came upon the first Days of
Acting but in Masks, (then daily worn and admitted in the Pit, the side
Boxes, and Gallery[292]) which Custom, however, had so many ill
Consequences attending it, that it has been abolish'd these many Years.

These Immoralities of the Stage had by an avow'd Indulgence been
creeping into it ever since King _Charles_ his Time; nothing that was
loose could then be too low for it: The _London Cuckolds_, the most rank
Play that ever succeeded,[293] was then in the highest Court-Favour: In
this almost general Corruption, _Dryden_, whose Plays were more fam'd
for their Wit than their Chastity, led the way, which he fairly
confesses, and endeavours to excuse in his Epilogue to the _Pilgrim_,
revived in 1700 for his Benefit,[294] in his declining Age and
Fortune--The following Lines of it will make good my Observation.

    _Perhaps the Parson[295] stretch'd a Point too far,
    When with our Theatres he wag'd a War.
    He tells you that this very moral Age
    Receiv'd the first Infection from the Stage.
    But sure, a banish'd Court, with Lewdness fraught,
    The Seeds of open Vice returning brought.
    Thus lodg'd (as vice by great Example thrives)
    It first debauch'd the Daughters, and the Wives._
    London, _a fruitful Soil, yet never bore
    So plentiful a Crop of Horns before.
    The Poets, who must live by Courts or starve,
    Were proud so good a Government to serve.
    And mixing with Buffoons and Pimps profane,
    Tainted the Stage for some small snip of Gain.
    For they, like Harlots under Bawds profest,
    Took all th' ungodly Pains, and got the least.
    Thus did the thriving Malady prevail,
    The Court it's Head, the Poets but the Tail.
    The Sin was of our native Growth, 'tis true,
    The Scandal of the Sin was wholly new.
    Misses there were, but modestly conceal'd;_
    Whitehall _the naked_ Venus _first reveal'd.
    Who standing, as at_ Cyprus, _in her Shrine,
    The Strumpet was ador'd with Rites divine_, &c.

This Epilogue, and the Prologue to the same Play, written by _Dryden_, I
spoke myself, which not being usually done by the same Person, I have a
mind, while I think of it, to let you know on what Occasion they both
fell to my Share, and how other Actors were affected by it.

Sir _John Vanbrugh_, who had given some light touches of his Pen to the
_Pilgrim_ to assist the Benefit Day of _Dryden_, had the Disposal of the
Parts, and I being then as an Actor in some Favour with him, he read the
Play first with me alone, and was pleased to offer me my Choice of what
I might like best for myself in it. But as the chief Characters were not
(according to my Taste) the most shining, it was no great Self-denial in
me that I desir'd he would first take care of those who were more
difficult to be pleased; I therefore only chose for myself two short
incidental Parts, that of _the stuttering Cook_[296] and _the mad
Englishman_. In which homely Characters I saw more Matter for Delight
than those that might have a better Pretence to the Amiable: And when
the Play came to be acted I was not deceiv'd in my Choice. Sir _John_,
upon my being contented with so little a Share in the Entertainment,
gave me the Epilogue to make up my Mess; which being written so much
above the Strain of common Authors, I confess I was not a little
pleased with. And _Dryden_, upon his hearing me repeat it to him,
made me a farther Compliment of trusting me with the Prologue. This so
particular Distinction was looked upon by the Actors as something too
extraordinary. But no one was so impatiently ruffled at it as _Wilks_,
who seldom chose soft Words when he spoke of any thing he did not like.
The most gentle thing he said of it was, that he did not understand such
Treatment; that for his Part he look'd upon it as an Affront to all the
rest of the Company, that there shou'd be but one out of the Whole
judg'd fit to speak either a Prologue or an Epilogue! to quiet him I
offer'd to decline either in his Favour, or both, if it were equally
easy to the Author: But he was too much concern'd to accept of an Offer
that had been made to another in preference to himself, and which he
seem'd to think his best way of resenting was to contemn. But from that
time, however, he was resolv'd, to the best of his Power, never to let
the first Offer of a Prologue escape him: Which little Ambition
sometimes made him pay too dear for his Success: The Flatness of the
many miserable Prologues that by this means fell to his Lot, seem'd
wofully unequal to the few good ones he might have Reason to triumph in.

I have given you this Fact only as a Sample of those frequent Rubs and
Impediments I met with when any Step was made to my being distinguish'd
as an Actor; and from this Incident, too, you may partly see what
occasion'd so many Prologues, after the Death of _Betterton_, to fall
into the Hands of one Speaker: But it is not every Successor to a vacant
Post that brings into it the Talents equal to those of a Predecessor. To
speak a good Prologue well is, in my Opinion, one of the hardest Parts
and strongest Proofs of sound Elocution, of which, I confess, I never
thought that any of the several who attempted it shew'd themselves, by
far, equal Masters to _Betterton_. _Betterton_, in the Delivery of a
good Prologue, had a natural Gravity that gave Strength to good Sense, a
temper'd Spirit that gave Life to Wit, and a dry Reserve in his Smile
that threw Ridicule into its brightest Colours. Of these Qualities, in
the speaking of a Prologue, _Booth_ only had the first, but attain'd not
to the other two: _Wilks_ had Spirit, but gave too loose a Rein to it,
and it was seldom he could speak a grave and weighty Verse harmoniously:
His Accents were frequently too sharp and violent, which sometimes
occasion'd his eagerly cutting off half the Sound of Syllables that
ought to have been gently melted into the Melody of Metre: In Verses of
Humour, too, he would sometimes carry the Mimickry farther than the hint
would bear, even to a trifling Light, as if himself were pleased to see
it so glittering. In the Truth of this Criticism I have been confirm'd
by those whose Judgment I dare more confidently rely on than my own:
_Wilks_ had many Excellencies, but if we leave Prologue-Speaking out of
the Number he will still have enough to have made him a valuable Actor.
And I only make this Exception from them to caution others from
imitating what, in his time, they might have too implicitly admired----
But I have a Word or two more to say concerning the Immoralities of the
Stage. Our Theatrical Writers were not only accus'd of Immorality, but
Prophaneness; many flagrant Instances of which were collected and
published by a Nonjuring Clergyman, _Jeremy Collier_, in his _View of
the Stage_, &c. about the Year 1697.[297] However just his Charge
against the Authors that then wrote for it might be, I cannot but think
his Sentence against the Stage itself is unequal; Reformation he thinks
too mild a Treatment for it, and is therefore for laying his Ax to the
Root of it: If this were to be a Rule of Judgment for Offences of the
same Nature, what might become of the Pulpit, where many a seditious
and corrupted Teacher has been known to cover the most pernicious
Doctrine with the Masque of Religion? This puts me in mind of what the
noted _Jo. Hains_,[298] the Comedian, a Fellow of a wicked Wit, said
upon this Occasion; who being ask'd what could transport Mr. _Collier_
into so blind a Zeal for a general Suppression of the Stage, when only
some particular Authors had abus'd it? Whereas the Stage, he could not
but know, was generally allow'd, when rightly conducted, to be a
delightful Method of mending our Morals? "For that Reason," reply'd
_Hains_: "_Collier_ is by Profession a Moral-mender himself, and two of
Trade, you know, can never agree.[299]"

[Illustration: WILLIAM CONGREVE.]

The Authors of _the old Batchelor_ and of the _Relapse_ were those whom
_Collier_ most labour'd to convict of Immorality; to which they
severally publish'd their Reply; the first seem'd too much hurt to be
able to defend himself, and the other felt him so little that his Wit
only laugh'd at his Lashes.[300]

My first Play of the _Fool in Fashion_, too, being then in a Course of
Success; perhaps for that Reason only, this severe Author thought
himself oblig'd to attack it; in which I hope he has shewn more Zeal
than Justice, his greatest Charge against it is, that it sometimes uses
the Word _Faith!_ as an Oath, in the Dialogue: But if _Faith_ may as
well signify our given Word or Credit as our religious Belief, why might
not his Charity have taken it in the less criminal Sense? Nevertheless,
Mr. _Collier_'s Book was upon the whole thought so laudable a Work, that
King _William_, soon after it was publish'd, granted him a _Nolo
Prosequi_ when he stood answerable to the Law for his having absolved
two Criminals just before they were executed for High Treason. And it
must be farther granted that his calling our Dramatick Writers to this
strict Account had a very wholesome Effect upon those who writ after
this time. They were now a great deal more upon their guard; Indecencies
were no longer Wit; and by Degrees the fair Sex came again to fill the
Boxes on the first Day of a new Comedy, without Fear or Censure. But the
Master of the Revels,[301] who then licens'd all Plays for the Stage,
assisted this Reformation with a more zealous Severity than ever. He
would strike out whole Scenes of a vicious or immoral Character, tho' it
were visibly shewn to be reform'd or punish'd; a severe Instance of this
kind falling upon my self may be an Excuse for my relating it: When
_Richard the Third_ (as I alter'd it from _Shakespear_)[302] came from
his Hands to the Stage, he expung'd the whole first Act without sparing
a Line of it. This extraordinary Stroke of a _Sic volo_ occasion'd my
applying to him for the small Indulgence of a Speech or two, that the
other four Acts might limp on with a little less Absurdity! no! he had
not leisure to consider what might be separately inoffensive. He had an
Objection to the whole Act, and the Reason he gave for it was, that the
Distresses of King _Henry the Sixth_, who is kill'd by _Richard_ in the
first Act, would put weak People too much in mind of King _James_ then
living in _France_; a notable Proof of his Zeal for the Government![303]
Those who have read either the Play or the History, I dare say will
think he strain'd hard for the Parallel. In a Word, we were forc'd, for
some few Years, to let the Play take its Fate with only four Acts
divided into five; by the Loss of so considerable a Limb, may one not
modestly suppose it was robbed of at least a fifth Part of that Favour
it afterwards met with? For tho' this first Act was at last recovered,
and made the Play whole again, yet the Relief came too late to repay me
for the Pains I had taken in it. Nor did I ever hear that this zealous
Severity of the Master of the Revels was afterwards thought justifiable.
But my good Fortune, in Process of time, gave me an Opportunity to talk
with my Oppressor in my Turn.

The Patent granted by his Majesty King _George_ the First to Sir
_Richard Steele_ and his Assigns,[304] of which I was one, made us sole
Judges of what Plays might be proper for the Stage, without submitting
them to the Approbation or License of any other particular Person.
Notwithstanding which, the Master of the Revels demanded his Fee of
Forty Shillings upon our acting a new One, tho' we had spared him the
Trouble of perusing it. This occasion'd my being deputed to him to
enquire into the Right of his Demand, and to make an amicable End of our
Dispute.[305] I confess I did not dislike the Office; and told him,
according to my Instructions, That I came not to defend even our own
Right in prejudice to his; that if our Patent had inadvertently
superseded the Grant of any former Power or Warrant whereon he might
ground his Pretensions, we would not insist upon our Broad Seal, but
would readily answer his Demands upon sight of such his Warrant, any
thing in our Patent to the contrary notwithstanding. This I had reason
to think he could not do; and when I found he made no direct Reply to my
Question, I repeated it with greater Civilities and Offers of
Compliance, 'till I was forc'd in the end to conclude with telling him,
That as his Pretensions were not back'd with any visible Instrument of
Right, and as his strongest Plea was Custom, we could not so far extend
our Complaisance as to continue his Fees upon so slender a Claim to
them: And from that Time neither our Plays or his Fees gave either of us
any farther trouble. In this Negotiation I am the bolder to think
Justice was on our Side, because the Law lately pass'd,[306] by which
the Power of Licensing Plays, _&c._ is given to a proper Person, is a
strong Presumption that no Law had ever given that Power to any such
Person before.

My having mentioned this Law, which so immediately affected the Stage,
inclines me to throw out a few Observations upon it: But I must first
lead you gradually thro' the Facts and natural Causes that made such a
Law necessary.

Although it had been taken for granted, from Time immemorial, that no
Company of Comedians could act Plays, _&c._ without the Royal License or
Protection of some legal Authority, a Theatre was, notwithstanding,
erected in _Goodman's-Fields_ about seven Years ago,[307] where Plays,
without any such License, were acted for some time unmolested and with
Impunity. After a Year or two, this Playhouse was thought a Nusance too
near the City: Upon which the Lord-Mayor and Aldermen petition'd the
Crown to suppress it: What Steps were taken in favour of that Petition I
know not, but common Fame seem'd to allow, from what had or had not been
done in it, that acting Plays in the said Theatre was not evidently
unlawful.[308] However, this Question of Acting without a License a
little time after came to a nearer Decision in _Westminster-Hall_; the
Occasion of bringing it thither was this: It happened that the
Purchasers of the Patent, to whom Mr. _Booth_ and Myself had sold our
Shares,[309] were at variance with the Comedians that were then left to
their Government, and the Variance ended in the chief of those Comedians
deserting and setting up for themselves in the little House in the
_Hay-Market_, in 1733, by which Desertion the Patentees were very much
distressed and considerable Losers. Their Affairs being in this
desperate Condition, they were advis'd to put the Act of the Twelfth of
Queen _Anne_ against Vagabonds in force against these Deserters, then
acting in the _Hay-Market_ without License. Accordingly, one of their
chief Performers[310] was taken from the Stage by a Justice of Peace his
Warrant, and committed to _Bridewell_ as one within the Penalty of the
said Act. When the Legality of this Commitment was disputed in
_Westminster-Hall_, by all I could observe from the learned Pleadings on
both Sides (for I had the Curiosity to hear them) it did not appear to
me that the Comedian so committed was within the Description of the said
Act, he being a Housekeeper and having a Vote for the _Westminster_
Members of Parliament. He was discharged accordingly, and conducted
through the Hall with the Congratulations of the Crowds that attended
and wish'd well to his Cause.

The Issue of this Trial threw me at that time into a very odd Reflexion,
_viz._ That if acting Plays without License did not make the Performers
Vagabonds unless they wandered from their Habitations so to do, how
particular was the Case of Us three late Menaging Actors at the
_Theatre-Royal_, who in twenty Years before had paid upon an Averidge at
least Twenty Thousand Pounds to be protected (as Actors) from a Law that
has not since appeared to be against us. Now, whether we might certainly
have acted without any License at all I shall not pretend to determine;
but this I have of my own Knowledge to say, That in Queen _Anne_'s Reign
the Stage was in such Confusion, and its Affairs in such Distress, that
Sir _John Vanbrugh_ and Mr. _Congreve_, after they had held it about one
Year, threw up the Menagement of it as an unprofitable Post, after which
a License for Acting was not thought worth any Gentleman's asking for,
and almost seem'd to go a begging, 'till some time after, by the Care,
Application, and Industry of three Actors, it became so prosperous, and
the Profits so considerable, that it created a new Place, and a
_Sine-cure_ of a Thousand Pounds a Year,[311] which the Labour of those
Actors constantly paid to such Persons as had from time to time Merit or
Interest enough to get their Names inserted as Fourth Menagers in a
License with them for acting Plays, _&c._ a Preferment that many a Sir
_Francis Wronghead_ would have jump'd at.[312] But to go on with my
Story. This Endeavour of the Patentees to suppress the Comedians acting
in the _Hay-Market_ proving ineffectual, and no Hopes of a Reunion then
appearing, the Remains of the Company left in _Drury-Lane_ were reduced
to a very low Condition. At this time a third Purchaser, _Charles
Fleetwood_, Esq., stept in; who judging the best Time to buy was when
the Stock was at the lowest Price, struck up a Bargain at once for Five
Parts in Six of the Patent;[313] and, at the same time, gave the
revolted Comedians their own Terms to return and come under his
Government in _Drury-Lane_, where they now continue to act at very ample
Sallaries, as I am informed, in 1738.[314] But (as I have observ'd) the
late Cause of the prosecuted Comedian having gone so strongly in his
Favour, and the House in _Goodman's-Fields_, too, continuing to act with
as little Authority unmolested; these so tolerated Companies gave
Encouragement to a broken Wit to collect a fourth Company, who for some
time acted Plays in the _Hay-Market_, which House the united
_Drury-Lane_ Comedians had lately quitted: This enterprising Person, I
say (whom I do not chuse to name,[315] unless it could be to his
Advantage, or that it were of Importance) had Sense enough to know that
the best Plays with bad Actors would turn but to a very poor Account;
and therefore found it necessary to give the Publick some Pieces of an
extraordinary Kind, the Poetry of which he conceiv'd ought to be so
strong that the greatest Dunce of an Actor could not spoil it: He knew,
too, that as he was in haste to get Money, it would take up less time
to be intrepidly abusive than decently entertaining; that to draw the
Mob after him he must rake the Channel[316] and pelt their Superiors;
that, to shew himself somebody, he must come up to _Juvenal_'s Advice
and stand the Consequence:

    _Aude aliquid brevibus Gyaris, & carcere dignum
    Si vis esse aliquis_----          Juv. Sat. I.[317]

Such, then, was the mettlesome Modesty he set out with; upon this
Principle he produc'd several frank and free Farces that seem'd to knock
all Distinctions of Mankind on the Head: Religion, Laws, Government,
Priests, Judges, and Ministers, were all laid flat at the Feet of this
_Herculean_ Satyrist! This _Drawcansir_ in Wit,[318] that spared neither
Friend nor Foe! who to make his Poetical Fame immortal, like another
_Erostratus_, set Fire to his Stage by writing up to an Act of
Parliament to demolish it.[319] I shall not give the particular Strokes
of his Ingenuity a Chance to be remembred by reciting them; it may be
enough to say, in general Terms, they were so openly flagrant, that the
Wisdom of the Legislature thought it high time to take a proper Notice
of them.[320]

Having now shewn by what means there came to be four Theatres, besides
a fifth for Operas, in _London_, all open at the same time, and that
while they were so numerous it was evident some of them must have
starv'd unless they fed upon the Trash and Filth of Buffoonry and
Licentiousness; I now come, as I promis'd, to speak of that necessary
Law which has reduced their Number and prevents the Repetition of such
Abuses in those that remain open for the Publick Recreation.

[Illustration: CHARLOTTE CHARKE.]

While this Law was in Debate a lively Spirit and uncommon Eloquence was
employ'd against it.[321] It was urg'd That _one_ of the greatest Goods
we can enjoy is _Liberty_. (This we may grant to be an incontestable
Truth, without its being the least Objection to this Law.) It was said,
too, That to bring the Stage under the Restraint of a Licenser was
leading the way to an Attack upon the Liberty of the Press. This amounts
but to a Jealousy at best, which I hope and believe all honest
_Englishmen_ have as much Reason to think a groundless, as to fear it is
a just Jealousy: For the Stage and the Press, I shall endeavour to shew,
are very different Weapons to wound with. If a great Man could be no
more injured by being personally ridicul'd or made contemptible in a
Play, than by the same Matter only printed and read against him in a
Pamphlet or the strongest Verse; then, indeed, the Stage and the Press
might pretend to be upon an equal Foot of Liberty: But when the wide
Difference between these two Liberties comes to be explain'd and
consider'd, I dare say we shall find the Injuries from one capable of
being ten times more severe and formidable than from the other: Let us
see, at least, if the Case will not be vastly alter'd. Read what Mr.
_Collier_ in his _Defence_ of his _Short View of the Stage_, &c. Page
25, says to this Point; he sets this Difference in a clear Light. These
are his Words:

"The Satyr of a _Comedian_ and another _Poet_, have a different effect
upon Reputation. A Character of Disadvantage upon the _Stage_, makes a
stronger Impression than elsewhere. Reading is but Hearing at the second
Hand; Now Hearing at the best, is a more languid Conveyance than Sight.
For as _Horace_ observes,

    _Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem,
    Quam quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus._[322]

The Eye is much more affecting, and strikes deeper into the Memory than
the Ear. Besides, Upon the _Stage_ both the Senses are in Conjunction.
The Life of the Action fortifies the Object, and awakens the Mind to
take hold of it. Thus a dramatick Abuse is rivetted in the Audience, a
Jest is improv'd into an Argument, and Rallying grows up into Reason:
Thus a Character of Scandal becomes almost indelible, a Man goes for a
Blockhead upon _Content_; and he that's made a Fool in a _Play_, is
often made one for his Life-time. 'Tis true he passes for such only
among the prejudiced and unthinking; but these are no inconsiderable
Division of Mankind. For these Reasons, I humbly conceive the _Stage_
stands in need of a great deal of Discipline and Restraint: To give them
an unlimited Range, is in effect to make them Masters of all Moral
Distinctions, and to lay Honour and Religion at their Mercy. To shew
Greatness ridiculous, is the way to lose the use, and abate the value
of the Quality. Things made little in jest, will soon be so in earnest:
for Laughing and Esteem, are seldom bestow'd on the same Object."

If this was Truth and Reason (as sure it was) forty Years ago, will it
not carry the same Conviction with it to these Days, when there came to
be a much stronger Call for a Reformation of the Stage, than when this
Author wrote against it, or perhaps than was ever known since the
_English_ Stage had a Being? And now let us ask another Question! Does
not the general Opinion of Mankind suppose that the Honour and
Reputation of a Minister is, or ought to be, as dear to him as his Life?
Yet when the Law, in Queen _Anne_'s Time, had made even an unsuccessful
Attempt upon the Life of a Minister capital, could any Reason be found
that the Fame and Honour of his Character should not be under equal
Protection? Was the Wound that _Guiscard_ gave to the late Lord
_Oxford_, when a Minister,[323] a greater Injury than the Theatrical
Insult which was offer'd to a later Minister, in a more valuable Part,
his Character? Was it not as high time, then, to take this dangerous
Weapon of mimical Insolence and Defamation out of the Hands of a mad
Poet, as to wrest the Knife from the lifted Hand of a Murderer? And is
not that Law of a milder Nature which _prevents_ a Crime, than that
which _punishes_ it after it is committed? May not one think it amazing
that the Liberty of defaming lawful Power and Dignity should have been
so eloquently contended for? or especially that this Liberty ought to
triumph in a Theatre, where the most able, the most innocent, and most
upright Person must himself be, while the Wound is given, defenceless?
How long must a Man so injur'd lie bleeding before the Pain and Anguish
of his Fame (if it suffers wrongfully) can be dispell'd? or say he had
deserv'd Reproof and publick Accusation, yet the Weight and Greatness of
his Office never can deserve it from a publick Stage, where the lowest
Malice by sawcy Parallels and abusive Inuendoes may do every thing but
name him: But alas! Liberty is so tender, so chaste a Virgin, that it
seems not to suffer her to do irreparable Injuries with Impunity is a
Violation of her! It cannot sure be a Principle of Liberty that would
turn the Stage into a Court of Enquiry, that would let the partial
Applauses of a vulgar Audience give Sentence upon the Conduct of
Authority, and put Impeachments into the Mouth of a _Harlequin_? Will
not every impartial Man think that Malice, Envy, Faction, and Mis-rule,
might have too much Advantage over lawful Power, if the Range of such a
Stage-Liberty were unlimited and insisted on to be enroll'd among the
glorious Rights of an _English_ Subject?

I remember much such another ancient Liberty, which many of the good
People of _England_ were once extremely fond of; I mean that of
throwing Squibs and Crackers at all Spectators without Distinction upon
a Lord-Mayor's Day; but about forty Years ago a certain Nobleman
happening to have one of his Eyes burnt out by this mischievous
Merriment, it occasion'd a penal Law to prevent those Sorts of Jests
from being laugh'd at for the future: Yet I have never heard that the
most zealous Patriot ever thought such a Law was the least Restraint
upon our Liberty.

If I am ask'd why I am so voluntary a Champion for the Honour of this
Law that has limited the Number of Play-Houses, and which now can no
longer concern me as a Professor of the Stage? I reply, that it being a
Law so nearly relating to the Theatre, it seems not at all foreign to my
History to have taken notice of it; and as I have farther promised to
give the Publick a true Portrait of my Mind, I ought fairly to let them
see how far I am, or am not, a Blockhead, when I pretend to talk of
serious Matters that may be judg'd so far above my Capacity: Nor will it
in the least discompose me whether my Observations are contemn'd or
applauded. A Blockhead is not always an unhappy Fellow, and if the World
will not flatter us, we can flatter ourselves; perhaps, too, it will be
as difficult to convince us we are in the wrong, as that you wiser
Gentlemen are one Tittle the better for your Knowledge. It is yet a
Question with me whether we weak Heads have not as much Pleasure, too,
in giving our shallow Reason a little Exercise, as those clearer Brains
have that are allow'd to dive into the deepest Doubts and Mysteries; to
reflect or form a Judgment upon remarkable things _past_ is as
delightful to me as it is to the gravest Politician to penetrate into
what is _present_, or to enter into Speculations upon what is, or is not
likely to come. Why are Histories written, if all Men are not to judge
of them? Therefore, if my Reader has no more to do than I have, I have a
Chance for his being as willing to have a little more upon the same
Subject as I am to give it him.

When direct Arguments against this Bill were found too weak, Recourse
was had to dissuasive ones: It was said that _this Restraint upon the
Stage would not remedy the Evil complain'd of_: _That a Play refus'd to
be licensed would still be printed, with double Advantage, when it
should be insinuated that it was refused for some Strokes of Wit,_ &c.
_and would be more likely then to have its Effect among the People._
However natural this Consequence may seem, I doubt it will be very
difficult to give a _printed_ Satyr or Libel half the Force or Credit of
an _acted_ one. The most artful or notorious Lye or strain'd Allusion
that ever slander'd a great Man, may be read by some People with a Smile
of Contempt, or, at worst, it can impose but on one Person at once: but
when the Words of the same plausible Stuff shall be repeated on a
Theatre, the Wit of it among a Crowd of Hearers is liable to be
over-valued, and may unite and warm a whole Body of the Malicious or
Ignorant into a Plaudit; nay, the partial Claps of only _twenty_
ill-minded Persons among several hundreds of silent Hearers shall, and
often have been, mistaken for a general Approbation, and frequently draw
into their Party the Indifferent or Inapprehensive, who rather than be
thought not to understand the Conceit, will laugh with the Laughers and
join in the Triumph! But alas! the _quiet_ Reader of the same ingenious
Matter can only like for _himself_; and the Poison has a much slower
Operation upon the Body of a People when it is so retail'd out, than
when sold to a full Audience by wholesale. The _single_ Reader, too, may
happen to be a sensible or unprejudiced Person; and then the merry Dose,
meeting with the Antidote of a sound Judgment, perhaps may have no
Operation at all: With such a one the Wit of the most ingenious Satyr
will only by its intrinsick Truth or Value gain upon his Approbation; or
if it be worth an Answer, a printed Falshood may possibly be confounded
by printed Proofs against it. But against Contempt and Scandal,
heighten'd and colour'd by the Skill of an _Actor_ ludicrously infusing
it into a Multitude, there is no immediate Defence to be made or equal
Reparation to be had for it; for it would be but a poor Satisfaction at
last, after lying long patient under the Injury, that Time only is to
shew (which would probably be the Case) that the Author of it was a
desperate Indigent that did it for Bread. How much less dangerous or
offensive, then, is the _written_ than the _acted_ Scandal? The
Impression the Comedian gives to it is a kind of double Stamp upon the
Poet's Paper, that raises it to ten times the intrinsick Value. Might we
not strengthen this Argument, too, even by the Eloquence that seem'd to
have opposed this Law? I will say for my self, at least, that when I
came to read the printed Arguments against it, I could scarce believe
they were the same that had amaz'd and raised such Admiration in me when
they had the Advantage of a lively Elocution, and of that Grace and
Spirit which gave Strength and Lustre to them in the Delivery!

Upon the whole; if the Stage ought ever to have been reform'd; if to
place a Power _somewhere_ of restraining its Immoralities was not
inconsistent with the Liberties of a civiliz'd People (neither of which,
sure, any moral Man of Sense can dispute) might it not have shewn a
Spirit too poorly prejudiced, to have rejected so rational a Law only
because the Honour and Office of a Minister might happen, in some small
Measure, to be protected by it.[324]

But however little Weight there may be in the Observations I have made
upon it, I shall, for my own Part, always think them just; unless I
should live to see (which I do not expect) some future Set of upright
Ministers use their utmost Endeavours to repeal it.

And now we have seen the Consequence of what many People are apt to
contend for, Variety of Playhouses! How was it possible so many could
honestly subsist on what was fit to be seen? Their extraordinary Number,
of Course, reduc'd them to live upon the Gratification of such Hearers
as they knew would be best pleased with publick Offence; and publick
Offence, of what kind soever, will always be a good Reason for making
Laws to restrain it.

To conclude, let us now consider this Law in a quite different Light;
let us leave the political Part of it quite out of the Question; what
Advantage could either the Spectators of Plays or the Masters of
Play-houses have gain'd by its having never been made? How could the
same Stock of Plays supply four Theatres, which (without such additional
Entertainments as a Nation of common Sense ought to be ashamed of) could
not well support two? Satiety must have been the natural Consequence of
the same Plays being twice as often repeated as now they need be; and
Satiety puts an End to all Tastes that the Mind of Man can delight in.
Had therefore this Law been made seven Years ago, I should not have
parted with my Share in the Patent under a thousand Pounds more than I
received for it[325]----So that, as far as I am able to judge, both the
Publick as Spectators, and the Patentees as Undertakers, are, or might
be, in a way of being better entertain'd and more considerable Gainers
by it.

I now return to the State of the Stage, where I left it, about the Year
1697, from whence this Pursuit of its Immoralities has led me farther
than I first design'd to have follow'd it.



CHAPTER IX.


[Illustration: Ad Lalauze, sc]

     _A small Apology for writing on. The different State of the
     two Companies. _Wilks_ invited over from _Dublin_. _Estcourt_,
     from the same Stage, the Winter following. Mrs. _Oldfield_'s
     first Admission to the _Theatre-Royal_. Her Character. The
     great Theatre in the _Hay-Market_ built for _Betterton_'s
     Company. It Answers not their Expectation. Some Observations
     upon it. A Theatrical State Secret._

I now begin to doubt that the _Gayeté du Coeur_ in which I first
undertook this Work may have drawn me into a more laborious Amusement
than I shall know how to away with: For though I cannot say I have yet
jaded my Vanity, it is not impossible but by this time the most candid
of my Readers may want a little Breath; especially when they consider
that all this Load I have heap'd upon their Patience contains but seven
Years of the forty three I pass'd upon the Stage, the History of which
Period I have enjoyn'd my self to transmit to the Judgment (or Oblivion)
of Posterity.[326] However, even my Dulness will find somebody to do it
right; if my Reader is an ill-natur'd one, he will be as much pleased to
find me a Dunce in my old Age as possibly he may have been to prove me a
brisk Blockhead in my Youth: But if he has no Gall to gratify, and would
(for his simple Amusement) as well know how the Playhouses went on forty
Years ago as how they do now, I will honestly tell him the rest of my
Story as well as I can. Lest therefore the frequent Digressions that
have broke in upon it may have entangled his Memory, I must beg leave
just to throw together the Heads of what I have already given him, that
he may again recover the Clue of my Discourse.

Let him then remember, from the Year 1660 to 1682,[327] the various
Fortune of the (then) King's and Duke's two famous Companies; their
being reduced to one united; the Distinct Characters I have given of
thirteen Actors, which in the Year 1690 were the most famous then
remaining of them; the Cause of their being again divided in 1695, and
the Consequences of that Division 'till 1697; from whence I shall lead
them to our Second Union in----Hold! let me see----ay, it was in that
memorable Year when the two Kingdoms of _England_ and _Scotland_ were
made one. And I remember a Particular that confirms me I am right in my
Chronology; for the Play of _Hamlet_ being acted soon after, _Estcourt_,
who then took upon him to say any thing, added a fourth Line to
_Shakespear_'s Prologue to the Play, in that Play which originally
consisted but of three, but _Estcourt_ made it run thus:

    _For Us, and for our Tragedy,
    Here stooping to your Clemency,_
    [This being a Year of Unity,]
    _We beg your Hearing patiently._[328]

This new Chronological Line coming unexpectedly upon the Audience, was
received with Applause, tho' several grave Faces look'd a little out of
Humour at it. However, by this Fact, it is plain our Theatrical Union
happen'd in 1707.[329] But to speak of it in its Place I must go a
little back again.

From 1697 to this Union both Companies went on without any memorable
Change in their Affairs, unless it were that _Betterton_'s People
(however good in their Kind) were most of them too far advanc'd in Years
to mend; and tho' we in _Drury-Lane_ were too young to be excellent, we
were not too old to be better. But what will not Satiety depreciate? For
though I must own and avow that in our highest Prosperity I always
thought we were greatly their Inferiors; yet, by our good Fortune of
being seen in quite new Lights, which several new-written Plays had
shewn us in, we now began to make a considerable Stand against them. One
good new Play to a rising Company is of inconceivable Value. In
_Oroonoko_[330] (and why may I not name another, tho' it be my own?) in
_Love's last Shift_, and in the Sequel of it, the _Relapse_, several of
our People shew'd themselves in a new Style of Acting, in which Nature
had not as yet been seen. I cannot here forget a Misfortune that befel
our Society about this time, by the loss of a young Actor, _Hildebrand
Horden_,[331] who was kill'd at the Bar of the _Rose-Tavern_,[332] in a
frivolous, rash, accidental Quarrel; for which a late Resident at
_Venice_, Colonel _Burgess_, and several other Persons of Distinction,
took their Tryals, and were acquitted. This young Man had almost every
natural Gift that could promise an excellent Actor; he had besides a
good deal of Table-wit and Humour, with a handsome Person, and was every
Day rising into publick Favour. Before he was bury'd, it was observable
that two or three Days together several of the Fair Sex, well dress'd,
came in Masks (then frequently worn) and some in their own Coaches, to
visit this Theatrical Heroe in his Shrowd. He was the elder Son of Dr.
_Horden_, Minister of _Twickenham_, in _Middlesex_. But this Misfortune
was soon repair'd by the Return of _Wilks_ from _Dublin_ (who upon this
young Man's Death was sent for over) and liv'd long enough among us to
enjoy that Approbation from which the other was so unhappily cut off.
The Winter following,[333] _Estcourt_, the famous Mimick, of whom I have
already spoken, had the same Invitation from _Ireland_, where he had
commenc'd Actor: His first Part here, at the _Theatre-Royal_, was the
_Spanish Friar_, in which, tho' he had remembred every Look and Motion
of the late _Tony Leigh_ so far as to put the Spectator very much in
mind of him, yet it was visible through the whole, notwithstanding his
Exactness in the Out-lines, the true Spirit that was to fill up the
Figure was not the same, but unskilfully dawb'd on, like a Child's
Painting upon the Face of a _Metzotinto_: It was too plain to the
judicious that the Conception was not his own, but imprinted in his
Memory by another, of whom he only presented a dead Likeness.[334] But
these were Defects not so obvious to common Spectators; no wonder,
therefore, if by his being much sought after in private Companies, he
met with a sort of Indulgence, not to say Partiality, for what he
sometimes did upon the Stage.

In the Year 1699, Mrs. _Oldfield_ was first taken into the House, where
she remain'd about a Twelvemonth almost a Mute[335] and unheeded, 'till
Sir _John Vanbrugh_, who first recommended her, gave her the Part of
_Alinda_ in the _Pilgrim_ revis'd. This gentle Character happily became
that want of Confidence which is inseparable from young Beginners, who,
without it, seldom arrive to any Excellence: Notwithstanding, I own I
was then so far deceiv'd in my Opinion of her, that I thought she had
little more than her Person that appear'd necessary to the forming a
good Actress; for she set out with so extraordinary a Diffidence, that
it kept her too despondingly down to a formal, plain (not to say) flat
manner of speaking. Nor could the silver Tone of her Voice 'till after
some time incline my Ear to any Hope in her favour. But Publick
Approbation is the warm Weather of a Theatrical Plant, which will soon
bring it forward to whatever Perfection Nature has design'd it. However,
Mrs. _Oldfield_ (perhaps for want of fresh Parts) seem'd to come but
slowly forward 'till the Year 1703.[336] Our Company that Summer acted
at the _Bath_ during the Residence of Queen _Anne_ at that Place. At
that time it happen'd that Mrs. _Verbruggen_, by reason of her last
Sickness (of which she some few Months after dy'd) was left in _London_;
and though most of her Parts were, of course, to be dispos'd of, yet so
earnest was the Female Scramble for them, that only one of them fell to
the Share of Mrs. _Oldfield_, that of _Leonora_ in Sir _Courtly Nice_; a
Character of good plain Sense, but not over elegantly written. It was in
this Part Mrs. _Oldfield_ surpris'd me into an Opinion of her having all
the innate Powers of a good Actress, though they were yet but in the
Bloom of what they promis'd. Before she had acted this Part I had so
cold an Expectation from her Abilities, that she could scarce prevail
with me to rehearse with her the Scenes she was chiefly concern'd in
with Sir _Courtly_, which I then acted. However, we ran them over with a
mutual Inadvertency of one another. I seem'd careless, as concluding
that any Assistance I could give her would be to little or no purpose;
and she mutter'd out her Words in a sort of mifty[337] manner at my low
Opinion of her. But when the Play came to be acted, she had a just
Occasion to triumph over the Error of my Judgment, by the (almost)
Amazement that her unexpected Performance awak'd me to; so forward and
sudden a Step into Nature I had never seen; and what made her
Performance more valuable was, that I knew it all proceeded from her own
Understanding, untaught and unassisted by any one more experienc'd
Actor.[338] Perhaps it may not be unacceptable, if I enlarge a little
more upon the Theatrical Character of so memorable an Actress.[339]

[Illustration: SIR JOHN VANBRUGH.]

Though this Part of _Leonora_ in itself was of so little value, that
when she got more into Esteem it was one of the several she gave away
to inferior Actresses; yet it was the first (as I have observ'd) that
corrected my Judgment of her, and confirm'd me in a strong Belief that
she could not fail in very little time of being what she was afterwards
allow'd to be, the foremost Ornament of our Theatre. Upon this
unexpected Sally, then, of the Power and Disposition of so unforeseen an
Actress, it was that I again took up the two first Acts of the _Careless
Husband_, which I had written the Summer before, and had thrown aside in
despair of having Justice done to the Character of Lady _Betty Modish_
by any one Woman then among us; Mrs. _Verbruggen_ being now in a very
declining state of Health, and Mrs. _Bracegirdle_ out of my Reach and
engag'd in another Company: But, as I have said, Mrs. _Oldfield_ having
thrown out such new Proffers of a Genius, I was no longer at a loss for
Support; my Doubts were dispell'd, and I had now a new Call to finish
it: Accordingly, the _Careless Husband_[340] took its Fate upon the
Stage the Winter following, in 1704. Whatever favourable Reception this
Comedy has met with from the Publick, it would be unjust in me not to
place a large Share of it to the Account of Mrs. _Oldfield_; not only
from the uncommon Excellence of her Action, but even from her personal
manner of Conversing. There are many Sentiments in the Character of Lady
_Betty Modish_ that I may almost say were originally her own, or only
dress'd with a little more care than when they negligently fell from her
lively Humour: Had her Birth plac'd her in a higher Rank of Life, she
had certainly appear'd in reality what in this Play she only excellently
acted, an agreeably gay Woman of Quality a little too conscious of her
natural Attractions. I have often seen her in private Societies, where
Women of the best Rank might have borrow'd some part of her Behaviour
without the least Diminution of their Sense or Dignity. And this very
Morning, where I am now writing at the _Bath_, _November_ 11, 1738, the
same Words were said of her by a Lady of Condition, whose better
Judgment of her Personal Merit in that Light has embolden'd me to repeat
them. After her Success in this Character of higher Life, all that
Nature had given her of the Actress seem'd to have risen to its full
Perfection: But the Variety of her Power could not be known 'till she
was seen in variety of Characters; which, as fast as they fell to her,
she equally excell'd in. Authors had much more from her Performance than
they had reason to hope for from what they had written for her; and
none had less than another, but as their Genius in the Parts they
allotted her was more or less elevated.

In the Wearing of her Person she was particularly fortunate; her Figure
was always improving to her Thirty-sixth Year; but her Excellence in
acting was never at a stand: And the last new Character she shone in
(_Lady Townly_) was a Proof that she was still able to do more, if more
could have been done for _her_.[341] She had one Mark of good Sense,
rarely known in any Actor of either Sex but herself. I have observ'd
several, with promising Dispositions, very desirous of Instruction at
their first setting out; but no sooner had they found their least
Account in it, than they were as desirous of being left to their own
Capacity, which they then thought would be disgrac'd by their seeming to
want any farther Assistance. But this was not Mrs. _Oldfield_'s way of
thinking; for, to the last Year of her Life, she never undertook any
Part she lik'd without being importunately desirous of having all the
Helps in it that another could possibly give her. By knowing so much
herself, she found how much more there was of Nature yet needful to be
known. Yet it was a hard matter to give her any Hint that she was not
able to take or improve. With all this Merit she was tractable and less
presuming in her Station than several that had not half her Pretensions
to be troublesome: But she lost nothing by her easy Conduct; she had
every thing she ask'd, which she took care should be always reasonable,
because she hated as much to be _grudg'd_ as _deny'd_ a Civility. Upon
her extraordinary Action in the _Provok'd Husband_,[342] the Menagers
made her a Present of Fifty Guineas more than her Agreement, which never
was more than a Verbal one; for they knew she was above deserting them
to engage upon any other Stage, and she was conscious they would never
think it their Interest to give her cause of Complaint. In the last two
Months of her Illness, when she was no longer able to assist them, she
declin'd receiving her Sallary, tho' by her Agreement she was entitled
to it. Upon the whole she was, to the last Scene she acted, the Delight
of her Spectators: Why then may we not close her Character with the same
Indulgence with which _Horace_ speaks of a commendable Poem:

    _Ubi plura nitent_--_non ego paucis
    Offendar maculis_----[343]

    _Where in the whole such various Beauties shine,
    'Twere idle upon Errors to refine._[344]

What more might be said of her as an Actress may be found in the Preface
to the _Provok'd Husband_, to which I refer the Reader.[345]

With the Acquisition, then, of so advanc'd a Comedian as Mrs.
_Oldfield_, and the Addition of one so much in Favour as _Wilks_, and by
the visible Improvement of our other Actors, as _Penkethman_, _Johnson_,
_Bullock_, and I think I may venture to name myself in the Number (but
in what Rank I leave to the Judgment of those who have been my
Spectators) the Reputation of our Company began to get ground; Mrs.
_Oldfield_ and Mr. _Wilks_, by their frequently playing against one
another in our best Comedies, very happily supported that Humour and
Vivacity which is so peculiar to our _English_ Stage. The _French_, our
only modern Competitors, seldom give us their Lovers in such various
Lights: In their Comedies (however lively a People they are by nature)
their Lovers are generally constant, simple Sighers, both of a Mind, and
equally distress'd about the Difficulties of their coming together;
which naturally makes their Conversation so serious that they are seldom
good Company to their Auditors: And tho' I allow them many other
Beauties of which we are too negligent, yet our Variety of Humour has
Excellencies that all their valuable Observance of Rules have never yet
attain'd to. By these Advantages, then, we began to have an equal Share
of the politer sort of Spectators, who, for several Years, could not
allow our Company to stand in any comparison with the other. But
Theatrical Favour, like Publick Commerce, will sometimes deceive the
best Judgments by an unaccountable change of its Channel; the best
Commodities are not always known to meet with the best Markets. To this
Decline of the Old Company many Accidents might contribute; as the too
distant Situation of their Theatre, or their want of a better, for it
was not then in the condition it now is, but small, and poorly fitted up
within the Walls of a Tennis _Quaree_ Court, which is of the lesser
sort.[346] _Booth_, who was then a young Actor among them, has often
told me of the Difficulties _Betterton_ then labour'd under and
complain'd of: How impracticable he found it to keep their Body to that
common Order which was necessary for their Support;[347] of their
relying too much upon their intrinsick Merit; and though but few of them
were young even when they first became their own Masters, yet they were
all now ten Years older, and consequently more liable to fall into an
inactive Negligence, or were only separately diligent for themselves in
the sole Regard of their Benefit-Plays; which several of their
Principals knew, at worst, would raise them Contributions that would
more than tolerably subsist them for the current Year. But as these were
too precarious Expedients to be always depended upon, and brought in
nothing to the general Support of the Numbers who were at Sallaries
under them, they were reduc'd to have recourse to foreign Novelties;
_L'Abbeè_, _Balon_, and Mademoiselle _Subligny_,[348] three of the then
most famous Dancers of the _French_ Opera, were, at several times,
brought over at extraordinary Rates, to revive that sickly Appetite
which plain Sense and Nature had satiated.[349] But alas! there was no
recovering to a sound Constitution by those mere costly Cordials; the
Novelty of a Dance was but of a short Duration, and perhaps hurtful in
its consequence; for it made a Play without a Dance less endur'd than it
had been before, when such Dancing was not to be had. But perhaps their
exhibiting these Novelties might be owing to the Success we had met
with in our more barbarous introducing of _French_ Mimicks and Tumblers
the Year before; of which Mr. _Rowe_ thus complains in his Prologue to
one of his first Plays:

    _Must_ Shakespear, Fletcher, _and laborious_ Ben,
    _Be left for_ Scaramouch _and_ Harlequin?[350]

While the Crowd, therefore, so fluctuated from one House to another as
their Eyes were more or less regaled than their Ears, it could not be a
Question much in Debate which had the better Actors; the Merit of either
seem'd to be of little moment; and the Complaint in the foregoing Lines,
tho' it might be just for a time, could not be a just one for ever,
because the best Play that ever was writ may tire by being too often
repeated, a Misfortune naturally attending the Obligation to play every
Day; not that whenever such Satiety commences it will be any Proof of
the Play's being a bad one, or of its being ill acted. In a word,
Satiety is seldom enough consider'd by either Criticks, Spectators, or
Actors, as the true, not to say just Cause of declining Audiences to the
most rational Entertainments: And tho' I cannot say I ever saw a good
new Play not attended with due Encouragement, yet to keep a Theatre
daily open without sometimes giving the Publick a bad old one, is more
than I doubt the Wit of human Writers or Excellence of Actors will ever
be able to accomplish. And as both Authors and Comedians may have often
succeeded where a sound Judgment would have condemn'd them, it might
puzzle the nicest Critick living to prove in what sort of Excellence the
true Value of either consisted: For if their Merit were to be measur'd
by the full Houses they may have brought; if the Judgment of the Crowd
were infallible; I am afraid we shall be reduc'd to allow that the
_Beggars Opera_ was the best-written Play, and Sir _Harry Wildair_[351]
(as _Wilks_ play'd it) was the best acted Part, that ever our _English_
Theatre had to boast of. That Critick, indeed, must be rigid to a Folly
that would deny either of them their due Praise, when they severally
drew such Numbers after them; all their Hearers could not be mistaken;
and yet, if they were all in the right, what sort of Fame will remain to
those celebrated Authors and Actors that had so long and deservedly
been admired before these were in Being. The only Distinction I shall
make between them is, That to write or act like the Authors or Actors of
the latter end of the last Century, I am of Opinion will be found a far
better Pretence to Success than to imitate these who have been so
crowded to in the beginning of this. All I would infer from this
Explanation is, that tho' we had then the better Audiences, and might
have more of the young World on our Side, yet this was no sure Proof
that the other Company were not, in the Truth of Action, greatly our
Superiors. These elder Actors, then, besides the Disadvantages I have
mention'd, having only the fewer true Judges to admire them, naturally
wanted the Support of the Crowd whose Taste was to be pleased at a
cheaper Rate and with coarser Fare. To recover them, therefore, to their
due Estimation, a new Project was form'd of building them a stately
Theatre in the _Hay-Market_,[352] by Sir _John Vanbrugh_, for which he
raised a Subscription of thirty Persons of Quality, at one hundred
Pounds each, in Consideration whereof every Subscriber, for his own
Life, was to be admitted to whatever Entertainments should be publickly
perform'd there, without farther Payment for his Entrance. Of this
Theatre I saw the first Stone laid, on which was inscrib'd _The little
Whig_, in Honour to a Lady of extraordinary Beauty, then the celebrated
Toast and Pride of that Party.[353]

In the Year 1706,[354] when this House was finish'd, _Betterton_ and his
Co-partners dissolved their own Agreement, and threw themselves under
the Direction of Sir _John Vanbrugh_ and Mr. _Congreve_, imagining,
perhaps, that the Conduct of two such eminent Authors might give a more
prosperous Turn to their Condition; that the Plays it would now be their
Interest to write for them would soon recover the Town to a true Taste,
and be an Advantage that no other Company could hope for; that in the
Interim, till such Plays could be written, the Grandeur of their House,
as it was a new Spectacle, might allure the Crowd to support them: But
if these were their Views, we shall see that their Dependence upon them
was too sanguine. As to their Prospect of new Plays, I doubt it was not
enough consider'd that good ones were Plants of a slow Growth; and tho'
Sir _John Vanbrugh_ had a very quick Pen, yet Mr. _Congreve_ was too
judicious a Writer to let any thing come hastily out of his Hands: As to
their other Dependence, the House, they had not yet discover'd that
almost every proper Quality and Convenience of a good Theatre had been
sacrificed or neglected to shew the Spectator a vast triumphal Piece of
Architecture! And that the best Play, for the Reasons I am going to
offer, could not but be under great Disadvantages, and be less capable
of delighting the Auditor here than it could have been in the plain
Theatre they came from. For what could their vast Columns, their gilded
Cornices, their immoderate high Roofs avail, when scarce one Word in ten
could be distinctly heard in it? Nor had it then the Form it now stands
in, which Necessity, two or three Years after, reduced it to: At the
first opening it, the flat Ceiling that is now over the Orchestre was
then a Semi-oval Arch that sprung fifteen Feet higher from above the
Cornice: The Ceiling over the Pit, too, was still more raised, being one
level Line from the highest back part of the upper Gallery to the Front
of the Stage: The Front-boxes were a continued Semicircle to the bare
Walls of the House on each Side: This extraordinary and superfluous
Space occasion'd such an Undulation from the Voice of every Actor, that
generally what they said sounded like the Gabbling of so many People in
the lofty Isles in a Cathedral--The Tone of a Trumpet, or the Swell of
an Eunuch's holding Note, 'tis true, might be sweeten'd by it, but the
articulate Sounds of a speaking Voice were drown'd by the hollow
Reverberations of one Word upon another. To this Inconvenience, why may
we not add that of its Situation; for at that time it had not the
Advantage of almost a large City, which has since been built in its
Neighbourhood: Those costly Spaces of _Hanover_, _Grosvenor_, and
_Cavendish_ Squares, with the many and great adjacent Streets about
them, were then all but so many green Fields of Pasture, from whence
they could draw little or no Sustenance, unless it were that of a
Milk-Diet. The City, the Inns of Court, and the middle Part of the Town,
which were the most constant Support of a Theatre, and chiefly to be
relied on, were now too far out of the Reach of an easy Walk, and
Coach-hire is often too hard a Tax upon the Pit and Gallery.[355] But
from the vast Increase of the Buildings I have mention'd, the Situation
of that Theatre has since that Time received considerable Advantages; a
new World of People of Condition are nearer to it than formerly, and I
am of Opinion that if the auditory Part were a little more reduced to
the Model of that in _Drury-Lane_, an excellent Company of Actors would
now find a better Account in it than in any other House in this populous
City.[356] Let me not be mistaken, I say an excellent Company, and such
as might be able to do Justice to the best of Plays, and throw out those
latent Beauties in them which only excellent Actors can discover and
give Life to. If such a Company were now there, they would meet with a
quite different Set of Auditors than other Theatres have lately been
used to: Polite Hearers would be content with polite Entertainments; and
I remember the time when Plays, without the Aid of Farce or Pantomime,
were as decently attended as Opera's or private Assemblies, where a
noisy Sloven would have past his time as uneasily in a Front-box as in a
Drawing-room; when a Hat upon a Man's Head there would have been look'd
upon as a sure Mark of a Brute or a Booby: But of all this I have seen,
too, the Reverse, where in the Presence of Ladies at a Play common
Civility has been set at defiance, and the Privilege of being a rude
Clown, even to a Nusance, has in a manner been demanded as one of the
Rights of _English_ Liberty: Now, though I grant that Liberty is so
precious a Jewel that we ought not to suffer the least Ray of its Lustre
to be diminish'd, yet methinks the Liberty of seeing a Play in quiet has
as laudable a Claim to Protection as the Privilege of not suffering you
to do it has to Impunity. But since we are so happy as not to have a
certain Power among us, which in another Country is call'd the _Police_,
let us rather bear this Insult than buy its Remedy at too dear a Rate;
and let it be the Punishment of such wrong-headed Savages, that they
never will or can know the true Value of that Liberty which they so
stupidly abuse: Such vulgar Minds possess their Liberty as profligate
Husbands do fine Wives, only to disgrace them. In a Word, when Liberty
boils over, such is the Scum of it. But to our new erected Theatre.

Not long before this Time the _Italian_ Opera began first to steal into
_England_,[357] but in as rude a disguise and unlike it self as
possible; in a lame, hobling Translation into our own Language, with
false Quantities, or Metre out of Measure to its original Notes, sung by
our own unskilful Voices, with Graces misapply'd to almost every
Sentiment, and with Action lifeless and unmeaning through every
Character: The first _Italian_ Performer that made any distinguish'd
Figure in it was _Valentini_, a true sensible Singer at that time,
but of a Throat too weak to sustain those melodious Warblings for which
the fairer Sex have since idoliz'd his Successors. However, this Defect
was so well supply'd by his Action, that his Hearers bore with the
Absurdity of his singing his first Part of _Turnus_ in _Camilla_ all
in _Italian_, while every other Character was sung and recited to
him in _English_.[358] This I have mention'd to shew not only our
Tramontane Taste, but that the crowded Audiences which follow'd it
to _Drury-Lane_ might be another Occasion of their growing thinner in
_Lincolns-Inn-Fields_.

To strike in, therefore, with this prevailing Novelty, Sir _John
Vanbrugh_ and Mr. _Congreve_ open'd their new _Hay-Market Theatre_ with
a translated Opera to _Italian_ Musick, called the _Triumph of Love_,
but this not having in it the Charms of _Camilla_, either from the
Inequality of the Musick or Voices, had but a cold Reception, being
perform'd but three Days, and those not crowded. Immediately upon the
Failure of this _Opera_, Sir _John Vanbrugh_ produced his Comedy call'd
the _Confederacy_,[359] taken (but greatly improv'd) from the
_Bourgeois à la mode_ of _Dancour_: Though the Fate of this Play was
something better, yet I thought it was not equal to its Merit:[360] For
it is written with an uncommon Vein of Wit and Humour; which confirms me
in my former Observation, that the difficulty of hearing distinctly in
that then wide Theatre was no small Impediment to the Applause that
might have followed the same Actors in it upon every other Stage; and
indeed every Play acted there before the House was alter'd seemed to
suffer from the same Inconvenience: In a Word, the Prospect of Profits
from this Theatre was so very barren, that Mr. _Congreve_ in a few
Months gave up his Share and Interest in the Government of it wholly to
Sir _John Vanbrugh_.[361] But Sir _John_, being sole Proprietor of the
House, was at all Events oblig'd to do his utmost to support it. As he
had a happier Talent of throwing the _English_ Spirit into his
Translation of _French_ Plays than any former Author who had borrowed
from them, he in the same Season gave the Publick three more of that
kind, call'd the _Cuckold in Conceit_, from the _Cocu imaginaire_ of
_Moliere_;[362] _Squire Trelooby_, from his _Monsieur de Pourceaugnac_,
and the _Mistake_, from the _Dépit Amoureux_ of the same Author.[363]
Yet all these, however well executed, came to the Ear in the same
undistinguish'd Utterance by which almost all their Plays had equally
suffered: For what few could plainly hear, it was not likely a great
many could applaud.

It must farther be consider'd, too, that this Company were not now what
they had been when they first revolted from the Patentees in
_Drury-Lane_, and became their own Masters in _Lincolns-Inn-Fields_.
Several of them, excellent in their different Talents, were now dead; as
_Smith_, _Kynaston_, _Sandford_, and _Leigh_: Mrs. _Betterton_ and
_Underhil_ being, at this time, also superannuated Pensioners whose
Places were generally but ill supply'd: Nor could it be expected that
_Betterton_ himself, at past seventy, could retain his former Force and
Spirit; though he was yet far distant from any Competitor. Thus, then,
were these Remains of the best Set of Actors that I believe were ever
known at once in _England_, by Time, Death, and the Satiety of their
Hearers, mould'ring to decay.

It was now the Town-talk that nothing but a Union of the two Companies
could recover the Stage to its former Reputation,[364] which Opinion was
certainly true: One would have thought, too, that the Patentee of
_Drury-Lane_ could not have fail'd to close with it, he being then on
the Prosperous Side of the Question, having no Relief to ask for
himself, and little more to do in the matter than to consider what he
might safely grant: But it seems this was not his way of counting; he
had other Persons who had great Claims to Shares in the Profits of this
Stage, which Profits, by a Union, he foresaw would be too visible to be
doubted of, and might raise up a new Spirit in those Adventurers to
revive their Suits at Law with him; for he had led them a Chace in
Chancery several Years,[365] and when they had driven him into a
Contempt of that Court, he conjur'd up a Spirit, in the Shape of Six and
eight Pence a-day, that constantly struck the Tipstaff blind whenever he
came near him: He knew the intrinsick Value of Delay, and was resolv'd
to stick to it as the surest way to give the Plaintiffs enough on't. And
by this Expedient our good Master had long walk'd about at his Leisure,
cool and contented as a Fox when the Hounds were drawn off and gone home
from him. But whether I am right or not in my Conjectures, certain it
is that this close Master of _Drury-Lane_ had no Inclination to a Union,
as will appear by the Sequel.[366]

Sir _John Vanbrugh_ knew, too, that to make a Union worth his while he
must not seem too hasty for it; he therefore found himself under a
Necessity, in the mean time, of letting his whole Theatrical Farm to
some industrious Tenant that might put it into better Condition. This is
that Crisis, as I observed in the Eighth Chapter, when the Royal Licence
for acting Plays, _&c._ was judg'd of so little Value as not to have one
Suitor for it. At this time, then, the Master of _Drury-Lane_ happen'd
to have a sort of primier Agent in his Stage-Affairs, that seem'd in
Appearance as much to govern the Master as the Master himself did to
govern his Actors: But this Person was under no Stipulation or Sallary
for the Service he render'd, but had gradually wrought himself into the
Master's extraordinary Confidence and Trust, from an habitual Intimacy,
a cheerful Humour, and an indefatigable Zeal for his Interest. If I
should farther say, that this Person has been well known in almost every
Metropolis in _Europe_; that few private Men have, with so little
Reproach, run through more various Turns of Fortune; that, on the wrong
side of Three-score, he has yet the open Spirit of a hale young Fellow
of five and twenty; that though he still chuses to speak what he thinks
to his best Friends with an undisguis'd Freedom, he is, notwithstanding,
acceptable to many Persons of the first Rank and Condition; that any one
of them (provided he likes them) may now send him, for their Service, to
_Constantinople_ at half a Day's Warning; that Time has not yet been
able to make a visible Change in any Part of him but the Colour of his
Hair, from a fierce coal-black to that of a milder milk-white: When I
have taken this Liberty with him, methinks it cannot be taking a much
greater if I at once should tell you that this Person was Mr. _Owen
Swiney_,[367] and that it was to him Sir _John Vanbrugh_, in this
Exigence of his Theatrical Affairs, made an Offer of his Actors, under
such Agreements of Sallary as might be made with them; and of his House,
Cloaths, and Scenes, with the Queen's License to employ them, upon
Payment of only the casual Rent of five Pounds upon every acting Day,
and not to exceed 700_l._ in the Year. Of this Proposal Mr. _Swiney_
desir'd a Day or two to consider; for, however he might like it, he
would not meddle in any sort without the Consent and Approbation of his
Friend and Patron, the Master of _Drury Lane_. Having given the Reasons
why this Patentee was averse to a Union, it may now seem less a Wonder
why he immediately consented that _Swiney_ should take the _Hay-Market_
House, _&c._ and continue that Company to act against him; but the real
Truth was, that he had a mind both Companies should be clandestinely
under one and the same Interest, and yet in so loose a manner that he
might declare his Verbal Agreement with _Swiney_ good, or null and void,
as he might best find his Account in either. What flatter'd him that he
had this wholesome Project, and _Swiney_ to execute it, both in his
Power, was that at this time _Swiney_ happen'd to stand in his Books
Debtor to Cash upwards of Two Hundred Pounds: But here, we shall find,
he over-rated his Security. However, _Swiney_ as yet follow'd his
Orders; he took the _Hay-Market_ Theatre, and had, farther, the private
Consent of the Patentee to take such of his Actors from _Drury-Lane_
as either from Inclination or Discontent, might be willing to come over
to him in the _Hay-Market_. The only one he made an Exception of,
was myself: For tho' he chiefly depended upon his Singers and
Dancers,[368] he said it would be necessary to keep some one tolerable
Actor with him, that might enable him to set those Machines a going.
Under this Limitation of not entertaining me, _Swiney_ seem'd to
acquiesce 'till after he had open'd with the so recruited Company in
the _Hay-Market_: the Actors that came to him from _Drury-Lane_ were
_Wilks_, _Estcourt_,[369] _Mills_, _Keen_,[370] _Johnson_, _Bullock_,
Mrs. _Oldfield_, Mrs. _Rogers_, and some few others of less note: But
I must here let you know that this Project was form'd and put in
Execution all in very few Days, in the Summer-Season, when no Theatre
was open. To all which I was entirely a Stranger, being at this time
at a Gentleman's House in _Gloucestershire_, scribbling, if I mistake
not, the _Wife's Resentment_.[371]

The first Word I heard of this Transaction was by a Letter from
_Swiney_, inviting me to make One in the _Hay-Market_ Company, whom
he hop'd I could not but now think the stronger Party. But I confess
I was not a little alarm'd at this Revolution: For I consider'd, that
I knew of no visible Fund to support these Actors but their own Industry;
that all his Recruits from _Drury-Lane_ would want new Cloathing; and
that the warmest Industry would be always labouring up Hill under
so necessary an Expence, so bad a Situation, and so inconvenient a
Theatre. I was always of opinion, too, that in changing Sides, in
most Conditions, there generally were discovered more unforeseen
Inconveniencies than visible Advantages; and that at worst there would
always some sort of Merit remain with Fidelity, tho' unsuccessful. Upon
these Considerations I was only thankful for the Offers made me from
the _Hay-Market_, without accepting them, and soon after came to Town
towards the usual time of their beginning to act, to offer my Service to
our old Master. But I found our Company so thinn'd that it was almost
impracticable to bring any one tolerable Play upon the Stage.[372] When
I ask'd him where were his Actors, and in what manner he intended to
proceed? he reply'd, _Don't you trouble yourself, come along, and I'll
shew you_. He then led me about all the By-places in the House, and
shew'd me fifty little Back-doors, dark Closets, and narrow Passages; in
Alterations and Contrivances of which kind he had busied his Head most
part of the Vacation; for he was scarce ever without some notable
Joyner, or a Bricklayer extraordinary, in pay, for twenty Years. And
there are so many odd obscure Places about a Theatre, that his Genius in
Nook-building was never out of Employment; nor could the most
vain-headed Author be more deaf to an Interruption in reciting his
Works, than our wise Master was while entertaining me with the
Improvements he had made in his invisible Architecture; all which,
without thinking any one Part of it necessary, tho' I seem'd to approve,
I could not help now and then breaking in upon his Delight with the
impertinent Question of----_But, Master, where are your Actors?_ But
it seems I had taken a wrong time for this sort of Enquiry; his Head was
full of Matters of more moment, and (as you find) I was to come another
time for an Answer: A very hopeful Condition I found myself in, under
the Conduct of so profound a Vertuoso and so considerate a Master! But
to speak of him seriously, and to account for this Disregard to his
Actors, his Notion was that Singing and Dancing, or any sort of Exotick
Entertainments, would make an ordinary Company of Actors too hard for
the best Set who had only plain Plays to subsist on. Now, though I am
afraid too much might be said in favour of this Opinion, yet I thought
he laid more Stress upon that sort of Merit than it would bear; as I
therefore found myself of so little Value with him, I could not help
setting a little more upon myself, and was resolv'd to come to a short
Explanation with him. I told him I came to serve him at a time when many
of his best Actors had deserted him; that he might now have the Refusal
of me; but I could not afford to carry the Compliment so far as to
lessen my Income by it; that I therefore expected either my casual Pay
to be advanced, or the Payment of my former Sallary made certain for as
many Days as we had acted the Year before.--No, he was not willing to
alter his former Method; but I might chuse whatever Parts I had a mind
to act of theirs who had left him. When I found him, as I thought, so
insensible or impregnable, I look'd gravely in his Face, and told
him--He knew upon what Terms I was willing to serve him, and took my
leave. By this time the _Hay-Market_ Company had begun acting to
Audiences something better than usual, and were all paid their full
Sallaries, a Blessing they had not felt in some Years in either House
before. Upon this Success _Swiney_ press'd the Patentee to execute the
Articles they had as yet only verbally agreed on, which were in
Substance, That _Swiney_ should take the _Hay-Market_ House in his own
Name, and have what Actors he thought necessary from _Drury-Lane_, and
after all Payments punctually made, the Profits should be equally
divided between these two Undertakers. But soft and fair! Rashness was a
Fault that had never yet been imputed to the Patentee; certain Payments
were Methods he had not of a long, long time been us'd to; that Point
still wanted time for Consideration. But _Swiney_ was as hasty as the
other was slow, and was resolv'd to know what he had to trust to before
they parted; and to keep him the closer to his Bargain, he stood upon
his Right of having _Me_ added to that Company if I was willing to come
into it. But this was a Point as absolutely refus'd on one side as
insisted on on the other. In this Contest high Words were exchang'd on
both sides, 'till, in the end, this their last private Meeting came to
an open Rupture: But before it was publickly known, _Swiney_, by fairly
letting me into the whole Transaction, took effectual means to secure me
in his Interest. When the Mystery of the Patentee's Indifference to me
was unfolded, and that his slighting me was owing to the Security he
rely'd on of _Swiney_'s not daring to engage me, I could have no further
Debate with my self which side of the Question I should adhere to. To
conclude, I agreed, in two Words, to act with _Swiney_,[373] and from
this time every Change that happen'd in the Theatrical Government was a
nearer Step to that twenty Years of Prosperity which Actors, under the
Menagement of Actors, not long afterwards enjoy'd. What was the
immediate Consequence of this last Desertion from _Drury-Lane_ shall be
the Subject of another Chapter.



INDEX.


  Abbé, Monsieur L', a French dancer, i. xxvii., i. 316.

  Acting, excellence of, about, 1631, i. xlviii.;
    Cibber's views on versatility in, i. 209.

  Actors, their names not given in old plays, i. xxv.;
    join Charles I.'s army, i. xxix.;
    the prejudice against, i. 74-84;
    taken into society, i. 83;
    their delight in applause, i. 85;
    entitled Gentlemen of the Great Chamber, i. 88;
    must be born, not made, i. 89;
    their private characters influence audiences, i. 243-251;
    their arrangement with Swiney in 1706, ii. 9;
    refused Christian burial by the Romish Church, ii. 29;
    badly paid, ii. 64;
    dearth of young, ii. 221.

  ---- the old, played secretly during the Commonwealth, i. xxx.;
    arrested for playing, i. xxx.;
    bribed officers of guard to let them play, i. xxx.

  Actress (Miss Santlow), insulted, i. 76.

  Actresses, first English, i. 87, _note_ 1, i. 90, i. 119;
    who were Charles II.'s mistresses, i. 91;
    difficulty of getting good, ii. 222.

  Addison, Joseph, i. 245, ii. 36, _note_ 1, ii. 151, ii. 163, _note_ 1,
      ii. 251;
    Pope's attack on, i. 38;
    his opinion of Wilks's Hamlet, i. 100;
    his view regarding humour in tragedy, i. 123;
    his play of "Cato," ii. 120;
    its great success, ii. 127-133;
    presents the profits of "Cato" to the managers, ii. 129;
    its success at Oxford, ii. 137;
    his "Cato" quoted, ii. 238, _note_ 2.

  Admission to theatres, cheap, before 1642, i. xxvii.

  Adventurers--subscribers to the building of Dorset Garden Theatre,
      i. 97, _note_ 1;
    their interest in the Drury Lane Patent, ii. 32, _note_ 1;
    Rich uses them against Brett, ii. 57;
    names of the principal, ii. 57, _note_ 1.

  Agreement preliminary to the Union of 1682, ii. 324, ii. 328.

  "Albion Queens, The," ii. 14, _note_ 1.

  "Alexander the Great," by Lee, i. 105.

  Allen, William, an eminent actor, i. xxvi.;
    a major in Charles I.'s army, i. xxix.

  Alleyn, Edward, caused the Fortune Theatre to be built for his company,
      i. xxviii.;
    endowed Dulwich College, i. xxviii.;
    Ben Jonson's eulogium of, i. xxviii.

  "Amphytrion," by Dryden, i. 113.

  Angel, a comedian, ii. 347.

  Anne, Queen (while Princess of Denmark), deserts her father, James II.,
      i. 67, i. 70;
    pensions Mrs. Betterton, i. 162;
    at the play, i. 185;
    forbids audience on the stage, i. 234, _note_ 2;
    her death, ii. 161.

  Applause, i. 221;
    the pleasure of, i. 85.

  Archer, William, his investigations regarding the truth of Diderot's
      "Paradoxe sur le Comédien," i. 103, _note_ 1;
    his "About the Theatre," i. 278, _note_ 1.

  Aristophanes, referred to, i. 39.

  Arlington, Earl of, his death, i. 31, _note_ 1.

  Arthur, son of Henry VII., pageants at his marriage, i. xliii.

  Ashbury, Joseph, the Dublin Patentee, i. 236, ii. 364;
    engages Mrs. Charlotte Butler, i. 165;
    memoir of, i. 165, _note_ 1.

  Aston, Anthony, quoted, i. 109, _note_ 1,
      i. 110, _note_ 1, i. 116, _note_ 1, i. 167, _note_ 1, i. 167,
      _note_ 2, ii. 354;
    on his own acting of Fondlewife, ii. 312;
    his "Brief Supplement" to Cibber's Lives of his Contemporaries,
      reprint of, ii. 297;
    his description of Mrs. Barry, ii. 302;
    Betterton, ii. 299;
    Mrs. Bracegirdle, ii. 303;
    Dogget, ii. 308;
    Haines, ii. 314;
    Mrs. Mountfort, ii. 313;
    Sandford, ii. 306;
    Underhill, ii. 307;
    Verbruggen, ii. 311.

  Audience on the stage, i. 234, ii. 246.

  Audiences rule the stage for good or evil, i. 112;
    authors discouraged by their severity, i. 176.

  Authors abusing managers and actors, ii. 249;
    managers' troubles with, ii. 249;
    Cibber censured for his treatment of, ii. 251, _note_ 1.


  Bacon, Lord, quoted, i. xlv.

  Baddeley, Robert, the last actor who wore the uniform of their
      Majesties' servants, i. 88, _note_ 3.

  Balon, Mons., a French dancer, i. 316.

  Banks, John, the excellence of his plots, ii. 15;
    his "Unhappy Favourite," ii. 244.

  Baron, Michael (French actor), i. 175.

  Barry, Mrs. Elizabeth, i. 98, i. 110, _note_ 1, i. 185, i. 188,
      i. 192, _note_ 1, i. 251, _note_ 1, ii. 300, ii. 302, ii. 306,
      ii. 320, ii. 337, ii. 365;
    Cibber's account of, i. 158-161;
    her great genius, i. 158;
    Dryden's compliment to, i. 158;
    her unpromising commencement as an actress, i. 159;
    her power of exciting pity, i. 160;
    her dignity and fire, i. 160;
    the first performer who had a benefit, i. 161;
    her death, i. 161;
    her retirement, ii. 69;
    Anthony Aston's description of, ii. 302;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 357.

  Beaumont and Fletcher's "Wild-Goose Chase," published for Lowin and
      Taylor's benefit, i. xxxi.

  Beeston, Christopher, ii. 326.

  "Beggar's Opera," i. 243, i. 318.

  Behn, Mrs. Aphra, i. 195.

  Bellchambers, Edmund, his edition of Cibber's "Apology" quoted,
      i. 5, _note_ 1, i. 14, _note_ 1, i. 35, _note_ 2, i. 41, _note_ 2,
      i. 58, _note_ 1, i. 71, _note_ 1, i. 106, _note_ 1, i. 123,
      _note_ 2, i. 133, _note_ 1, i. 141, _note_ 1, i. 146, _note_ 1,
      i. 152, _note_ 1, i. 161, _note_ 2, i. 163, _note_ 1, i. 170,
      _note_ 1, i. 179, _note_ 2, i. 183, _note_ 1, i. 197, _note_ 3,
      i. 202, _note_ 1, i. 251, _note_ 1, i. 278, _note_ 1, ii. 17,
      _note_ 1, ii. 51, _note_ 1, ii. 88, _note_ 1, ii. 185, _note_ 1,
      ii. 252, _note_ 1, ii. 254, _note_ 1;
    his memoir of Mrs. Barry, ii. 357;
    Betterton, ii. 333;
    Mrs. Betterton, ii. 359;
    W. Bullock, ii. 361;
    Estcourt, ii. 331;
    Goodman, ii. 329;
    Hart, ii. 322;
    B. Johnson, ii. 360;
    Keen, ii. 364;
    Kynaston, ii. 339;
    Anthony Leigh, ii. 349;
    John Mills, ii. 362;
    Mohun, ii. 326;
    Mountfort, ii. 341;
    James Nokes, ii. 346;
    Mrs. Oldfield, ii. 367;
    Pinkethman, ii. 348;
    Mrs. Porter, ii. 365;
    Powell, ii. 352;
    Sandford, ii. 346: Smith, ii. 319;
    Underhill, ii. 350;
    Verbruggen, ii. 354;
    Joseph Williams, ii. 356.

  Benefits, their origin, i. 161;
    Mrs. Elizabeth Barry the first performer to whom granted, i. 161,
      ii. 67;
    part confiscated by Rich, ii. 66;
    Rich ordered to refund the part confiscated, ii. 68;
    amounts realized by principal actors, ii. 78, _note_ 1.

  Betterton, Mrs. Mary, i. 98, i. 327, ii. 336;
    said to be the first English actress, i. 90, _note_ 1;
    Cibber's account of, i. 161-162;
    without a rival in Shakespeare's plays, i. 162;
    her unblemished character, i. 162;
    pensioned by Queen Anne, i. 162;
    her death, i. 162;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 359.

  ---- Thomas, i. 98, i. 162, i. 175, i. 181, _note_ 2, i. 187,
       _note_ 1, i. 188, ii. 64, _note_ 2, ii. 128, ii. 211, _note_ 1,
       ii. 215, ii. 237, ii. 244, _note_ 1, ii. 306, ii. 308, ii. 311,
       ii. 320, ii. 324, ii. 346, ii. 352, ii. 358. ii. 359, ii. 363,
       ii. 365;
    improves scenery, i. xxii.;
    taken into good society, i. 83;
    famous for Hamlet, i. 91;
    Cibber's eulogium of, i. 99-118;
    his supreme excellence, i. 100;
    description of his Hamlet, i. 100;
    Booth's veneration for, i. 101, _note_ 1;
    his Hotspur, i. 103;
    his Brutus, i. 103;
    the grace and harmony of his elocution, i. 106;
    his success in "Alexander the Great," i. 106, i. 108;
    his just estimate of applause, i. 109;
    his perfect elocution, i. 111;
    description of his voice and person, i. 116;
    Kneller's portrait of, i. 117;
    his last appearance, i. 117;
    his death, i. 118;
    the "Tatler's" eulogium of, i. 118, _note_ 1;
    Gildon's Life of, i. 118, _note_ 2, ii. 324, ii. 337, _note_ 1,
      ii. 358;
    Mrs. Bracegirdle returns to play for his benefit, i. 174;
    ill-treated by the Patentees, i. 188;
    makes a party against them, i. 189;
    obtains a licence in 1695, i. 192, _note_ 1, i. 194;
    mimicked by Powell, i. 205, i. 207, _note_ 1;
    his versatility, i. 211;
    his difficulty in managing at Lincoln's Inn Fields, i. 228;
    as a prologue-speaker, i. 271;
    inability to keep order in his Company, i. 315;
    said to be specially favoured by the Lord Chamberlain, ii. 18;
    declines management in, 1709, ii. 69;
    advertisement regarding his salary (1709), ii. 78, _note_ 1;
    his superiority to Wilks and Booth, ii. 245;
    Anthony Aston's description of, ii. 299;
    and the puppet-show keeper, ii. 301;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 333.

  Betterton's Company (1695 to, 1704), their decline, i. 314;
    disorders in, i. 315.

  Biblical narratives dramatized in the "Ludus Coventriæ," i. xxxvii.
      _et seq._

  Bibliography of Colley Cibber, ii. 289-296.

  Bickerstaffe, Isaac (author), ii. 288.

  Bickerstaffe, John (actor), ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 94, _note_ 1;
      threatens Cibber for reducing his salary, i. 71, _note_ 1.

  Bignell, Mrs., ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 129, _note_ 2.

  "Biographia Britannica," ii. 360.

  "Biographia Dramatica," i. 184, _note_ 1, i. 278, _note_ 1, i. 330,
       _note_ 1, ii. 14, _note_ 1, ii. 332, ii. 336, ii. 337, _note_ 1,
       ii. 359, _note_ 1.

  Bird, Theophilus, an eminent actor, i. xxvi.

  Blackfriar's Company, "men of grave and sober behaviour," i. xxvii.

  ---- Theatre, i. xxv., i. xxvi., i. xxviii., i. xlix.;
    its excellent company, i. xxiv., i. xxvi.

  Blanc, Abbé Le, his account of a theatre riot, i. 278, _note_ 1.

  "Blast upon Bays, A," ii. 266.

  "Bloody Brother, The," actors arrested while playing, i. xxx.

  Booth, Barton, i. 157, ii. 36, _note_ 1, ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 94,
      _note_ 1, ii. 95, _note_ 1, ii. 110, ii. 128, ii. 129, _note_ 2,
      ii. 167, ii. 230, ii. 232, ii. 320, ii. 361, ii. 363;
    Memoirs of, published immediately after his death, i. 5;
    story told by him of Cibber, i. 63, _note_ 1;
    his veneration for Betterton, i. 101, _note_ 1;
    his indolence alluded to by Cibber, i. 103;
    his reverence for tragedy, i. 121;
    his Morat, i. 122;
    his Life, by Theo. Cibber, quoted, i. 122, _note_ 1, i. 123, _note_ 2,
        ii. 130, _note_ 2, ii. 140, _note_ 1;
    his Henry VIII., i. 123, _note_ 2;
    is warned by Powell's excesses to avoid drinking, i. 260;
    as a prologue-speaker, i. 271;
    elects to continue at Drury Lane in 1709, ii. 70;
    his marriage, ii. 96, _note_ 1;
    the reason of the delay in making him a manager, ii. 114;
    his success as Cato, ii. 130-133;
    his claim to be made a manager on account of his success, ii. 130;
    supported by Lord Bolingbroke, ii. 130, _note_ 2;
    his name added to the Licence, ii. 140;
    the terms of his admission as sharer, ii. 144;
    his suffering from Wilks's temper, ii. 155;
    his connection with Steele during the dispute about Steele's patent,
        ii. 193, _note_ 1;
    Wilks's jealousy of, ii. 223;
    a scene with Wilks, ii. 234-237;
    and Wilks, their opinion of each other, ii. 240;
    his deficiency in humour, ii. 240;
    formed his style on Betterton, ii. 241;
    Cibber's comparison of Wilks and Booth, ii. 239-245;
    his Othello and Cato, ii. 243;
    memoir of, ii. 254, _note_ 1;
    Patent granted to him, Wilks, and Cibber, after Steele's death,
        ii. 257;
    sells half of his share of the Patent to Highmore, ii. 258.

  Booth, Mrs. Barton (see also Santlow, Hester), insulted by Capt.
      Montague, i. 76-78;
    sells the remainder of Booth's share to Giffard, ii. 259.

  Boswell, James, his "Life of Dr. Johnson," quoted, i. 36, _note_ 2,
      i. 46, _note_ 1, i. 215, _note_ 1, ii. 41, _note_ 2, ii. 163,
      _note_ 1.

  Bourgogne, Hotel de, a theatre originally used for religious plays,
      i. xxxv.

  Boutell, Mrs., mentioned, i. 161, _note_ 1, i. 167, _note_ 2.

  Bowen, James (singer), ii. 312.

  Bowman (actor), memoir of, ii. 211, _note_ 1;
    sings before Charles II., ii. 211.

  ---- Mrs., ii. 211, _note_ 1.

  Bowyer, Michael, an eminent actor, i. xxvi.

  Boy-actresses, i. 90;
    still played after the appearance of women, i. 119.

  Bracegirdle, Mrs. Anne, i. 98, i. 182, i. 188, i. 192, _note_ 1,
      ii. 300, ii. 302, ii. 312, ii. 337;
    admitted into good society, i. 83;
    Cibber's account of, i. 170-174;
    her good character, i. 170-172;
    her character attacked by Bellchambers, i. 170, _note_ 1;
    Tom Brown's scandal about her, i. 170, _note_ 1;
    attacked in "Poems on Affairs of State," i. 170, _note_ 1;
    her best parts, i. 173;
    her retirement, i. 174;
    memoir of her, i. 174, _note_ 2;
    her rivalry with Mrs. Oldfield, i. 174, _note_ 2;
    declines to play some of Mrs. Barry's parts, i. 188-9;
    her retirement, ii. 69;
    Anthony Aston's description of, ii. 303;
    her attempted abduction by Capt. Hill, ii. 342.

  Bradshaw, Mrs., ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 94, _note_ 1, ii. 303.

  Brett, Colonel Henry, a share in the Drury Lane Patent presented
      to him by Skipwith, ii. 32;
    his acquaintance with Cibber, ii. 33;
    Cibber's account of, ii. 34-42;
    admires Cibber's perriwig, ii. 35;
    and the Countess of Macclesfield, ii. 39-41;
    his dealings with Rich, ii. 42-49, ii. 56-60;
    makes Wilks, Estcourt, and Cibber his deputies in management,
      ii. 56, _note_ 1;
    gives up his share to Skipwith, ii. 59.

  ---- Mrs. (see also Miss Mason, and Countess of Macclesfield),
      Cibber's high opinion of her taste, ii. 41, _note_ 2;
    his "Careless Husband" submitted to her, ii. 41, _note_ 2;
    her judicious treatment of her husband, ii. 41, _note_ 2.

  Bridgwater (actor), ii. 260.

  Brown, Tom, ii. 348, ii. 350;
    his scandal on Mrs. Bracegirdle, i. 170, _note_ 1.

  Buck, Sir George, his "Third University of England," quoted, i. xlviii.

  Buckingham, Duke of, ii. 210.

  "Buffoon, The," an epigram on Cibber's admission into society, i.
      29, _note_ 1.

  Bullen, A. H., his "Lyrics from Elizabethan Song-books," i. 21,
      _note_ 1.

  Bullock, Christopher, ii. 169, _note_ 2.

  ---- Mrs. Christopher, i. 136, _note_ 2.

  ---- William, i. 194, i. 313, i. 332, ii. 169, _note_ 2, ii. 252,
         _note_ 1;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 361.

  Burbage, Richard, i. xxvi.

  Burgess, Colonel, killed Horden, an actor, i. 303;
    his punishment, i. 302, _note_ 2.

  Burlington, Earl of, ii. 209.

  Burnet, Bishop, his observations on Nell Gwynne, ii. 212;
    on Mrs. Roberts, ii. 212.

  Burney, Dr., his "History of Music," ii. 55, _note_ 1, ii. 89,
      _note_ 1;
    his MSS. in the British Museum, i. 174, _note_ 2, ii. 198,
      _note_ 1, ii. 224, _note_ 1.

  Burt (actor), superior to his successors, i. xxiv.;
    apprenticed to Shank, i. xxv.;
    and to Beeston, i. xxv.;
    a "boy-actress," i. xxv.;
    a cornet in Charles I.'s army, i. xxix.;
    arrested for acting, i. xxx.

  Butler, Mrs. Charlotte, i. 98, i. 237, ii. 262;
    Cibber's account of, i. 163-165;
    patronized by Charles II., i. 163;
    a good singer and dancer, i. 163;
    a pleasant and clever actress, i. 164;
    compared with Mrs. Oldfield, i. 164;
    goes to the Dublin theatre, i. 164;
    note regarding her, i. 164, _note_ 1.

  Byrd, William, his "Psalmes, Sonets, etc.," i. 21, _note_ 1.

  Byron, Lord, a practical joke erroneously attributed to him while at
      Cambridge, i. 59, _note_ 1.


  Cambridge. See Trinity College, Cambridge.

  "Careless Husband," cast of, i. 308, _note_ 1.

  Carey, Henry, deprived of the freedom of the theatre for bantering
      Cibber, ii. 226, _note_ 2.

  Carlile, James, memoir of, i. 84, _note_ 1;
    is killed at Aughrim, i. 84, _note_ 1, i. 85.

  Cartwright (actor), belonged to the Salisbury Court Theatre, i. xxiv.

  Castil-Blaze, Mons., his "La Danse et les Ballets" quoted, i. 316,
      _note_ 1.

  Catherine of Arragon, pageants at her marriage with Prince Arthur,
      i. xliii.

  "Cato," by Addison, cast of, ii. 120, _note_ 1;
    its success, ii. 127-133;
    at Oxford, ii. 137;
    its influence, ii. 26;
    Cibber's Syphax in, i. 122.

  Chalmers, George, his "Apology for the Shakspeare-Believers," i. 276,
      _note_ 1, i. 277, _note_ 1.

  "Champion" (by Henry Fielding), quoted, i. 1, _note_ 1, i. 38,
      _note_ 1, i. 50, _note_ 2, i. 63, _note_ 1, i. 69, _note_ 1,
      i. 93, _note_ 2, i. 288, _note_ 1, ii. 54, _note_ 2.

  Charke, Charlotte, ii. 285.

  ---- (musician), husband of Cibber's daughter, ii. 285.

  Charles II. mentioned, i. 120, i. 133;
    his escape from Presbyterian tyranny, i. 22;
    Cibber sees him at Whitehall, i. 30;
    writes a funeral oration on his death while still at school, i. 31;
    Patents granted by him to Davenant and Killigrew, i. 87;
    wittily reproved by Killigrew, i. 87, _note_ 2;
    called Anthony Leigh "his actor," i. 154;
    his Court theatricals, ii. 209;
    and Bowman the actor, ii. 211;
    his opinion of Sandford's acting, ii. 306.

  Chesterfield, Lord, his powers of raillery, i. 13, i. 14;
    refers ironically to Cibber in "Common Sense," i. 71, _note_ 1;
    opposes the Licensing Act of 1737, i. 289.

  Chetwood, William Rufus, Cibber acts for his benefit, ii. 265;
    his "History of the Stage," i. 165, _note_ 1, i. 207, _note_ 1,
      i. 244, _note_ 1, ii. 140, _note_ 1, ii. 169, _note_ 3, ii.
      319-320, ii. 331, ii. 356, ii. 364.

  "Children of her Majesty's Chapel," i. xxxvi.

  "Children of Paul's," i. xxxvi.

  Churchill, General, ii. 369, _note_ 2.

  ---- Lady (Duchess of Marlborough), i. 67;
    Cibber attends her at table, i. 68;
    his admiration of her, i. 68;
    her beauty and good fortune, i. 69.

  Cibber, Caius Gabriel, father of Colley Cibber, i. 7, _note_ 2;
    his statues and other works, i. 8;
    his marriage, i. 8, _note_ 1;
    his death, i. 8, _note_ 1;
    presents a statue to Winchester College, i. 56;
    employed at Chatsworth, i. 58;
    statues carved by him for Trinity College Library, Cambridge, i. 59.

  Cibber, Colley, Account of his Life:--
    His Apology written at Bath, i. 1, _note_ 1;
    his reasons for writing his own Life, i. 5, i. 6;
    his birth, i. 7;
    his baptism recorded, i. 7, _note_ 2;
    sent to school at Grantham, i. 9;
    his character at school, i. 9;
    writes an ode at school on Charles II.'s death, i. 31;
    and on James II.'s coronation, i. 33;
    his prospects in life, i. 55;
    his first taste for the stage, i. 58;
    stifles his love for the stage and desires to go to the University,
      i. 58;
    serves against James II. in 1688, i. 61;
    attends Lady Churchill at table, i. 68;
    his admiration of her, i. 68;
    disappointed in his expectation of receiving a commission in the
      army, i. 71;
    petitions the Duke of Devonshire for preferment, i. 73;
    determines to be an actor, i. 73;
    hangs about Downes the prompter, i. 74, _note_ 1;
    his account of his own first appearances, i. 180;
    his first salary, i. 181;
    description of his personal appearance, i. 182;
    his first success, i. 183;
    his marriage, i. 184;
    plays Kynaston's part in "The Double Dealer," i. 185;
    remains with Patentees in, 1695, i. 193;
    writes his first Prologue, i. 195;
    not allowed to speak it, i. 196;
    forced to play Fondlewife, i. 206;
    plays it in imitation of Dogget, i. 208;
    his slow advancement as an actor, i. 209, i. 215;
    writes his first play, "Love's Last Shift," i. 212;
    as Sir Novelty Fashion, i. 213;
    encouraged and helped by Vanbrugh, i. 215;
    begins to advance as an actor, i. 218;
    better in comedy than tragedy, i. 221;
    tragic parts played by him, i. 222;
    his Iago abused, i. 222, _note_ 1;
    description of his Justice Shallow, i. 224, _note_ 2;
    leaves Drury Lane for Lincoln's Inn Fields, i. 232, _note_ 1;
    returns to Drury Lane, i. 232, _note_ 1;
    his "Love in a Riddle" condemned, i. 244-250;
    accused of having Gay's "Polly" vetoed, i. 247;
    his Damon and Phillida, i. 249, _note_ 1;
    consulted by Rich on matters of management, i. 253;
    his disputes with Wilks, i. 258;
    his "Woman's Wit" a failure, i. 264;
    distinguished by Dryden, i. 269;
    attacked by Jeremy Collier, i. 274;
    his adaptation of "Richard III.," i. 139;
    his "Richard III." mutilated by the Master of the Revels, i. 275;
    attacked by George Chalmers, i. 276, _note_ 1, i. 277, _note_ 1;
    declines to pay fees to Killigrew, Master of Revels, i. 277;
    his surprise at Mrs. Oldfield's excellence, i. 307;
    writes "The Careless Husband" chiefly for Mrs. Oldfield, i. 308;
    finishes "The Provoked Husband," begun by Vanbrugh, i. 311, _note_ 1;
    invited to join Swiney at the Haymarket, i. 333;
    leaves Rich and goes to Swiney, i. 337;
    his "Lady's Last Stake," ii. 2;
    his "Double Gallant," ii. 3;
    his "Marriage à la Mode," ii. 5;
    declines to act on the same stage as rope-dancers, ii. 7;
    advises Col. Brett regarding the Patent, ii. 33, ii. 42;
    his first introduction to him, ii. 33;
    his account of Brett, 34-42;
    as Young Reveller in "Greenwich Park," ii. 41;
    made Deputy-manager by Brett, ii. 56, _note_ 1;
    advertisement regarding his salary, 1709, ii. 78, _note_ 1;
    made joint manager with Swiney and others in 1709, ii. 69;
    and his fellow-managers, Wilks and Dogget, ii. 110, ii. 117, ii.
      121, ii. 127;
    mediates between Wilks and Dogget, ii. 122;
    his troubles with Wilks, ii. 124;
    his views and conduct on Booth's claiming to become a manager, ii.
      131-133, ii. 140-143;
    his meetings with Dogget after their law-suit, ii. 150;
    his "Nonjuror," i. 177, _note_ 1, ii. 185-190;
    accused of stealing his "Nonjuror," ii. 186, _note_ 1;
    makes the Jacobites his enemies, ii. 185-187;
    reported dead by "Mist's Weekly Journal," ii. 188;
    his "Provoked Husband" hissed by his Jacobite enemies, ii. 189;
    his appointment as Poet Laureate in 1730, i. 32, _note_ 1;
    the reason of his being made Laureate, ii. 190;
    his "Ximena," ii. 163, _note_ 1;
    his suspension by the Duke of Newcastle, ii. 193, _note_ 1;
    his connection with Steele during the dispute about Steele's Patent,
      ii. 193, _note_ 1;
    his account of a suit brought by Steele against his partners, ii.
      196-208;
    his pleading in person in the suit brought by Steele, ii. 199-207;
    his success in pleading, ii. 198, _note_ 1, ii. 207;
    assisted Steele in his "Conscious Lovers," ii. 206;
    his playing of Wolsey before George I., ii. 216;
    admitted into good society, i. 29;
    elected a member of White's, i. 29, _note_ 1;
    an epigram on his admission into good society, i. 29, _note_ 1;
    Patent granted to Cibber, Wilks, and Booth after Steele's death,
      ii. 257;
    sells his share of the Patent to Highmore, ii. 258;
    his sale of his share in the Patent, i. 297;
    his shameful treatment of Highmore, ii. 259;
    his retirement, ii. 255;
    gives a reason for retiring from the stage, i. 178, i. 179,
      _note_ 1;
    his appearances after his retirement, ii. 261, ii. 263, ii.
      264, ii. 268;
    his remarks on his successful reappearances, i. 179;
    his last appearances, i. 6, _note_ 1;
    his adaptation of "King John," i. 6, _note_ 1;
    his "Papal Tyranny in the Reign of King John" withdrawn from
      rehearsal, ii. 263;
    his "Papal Tyranny" produced, ii. 268;
    its success, ii. 270;
    his quarrel with Pope, ii. 270-283;
    and Horace Walpole, ii. 284;
    his death and burial, ii. 284;
    list of his plays, ii. 286-287;
    bibliography of, ii. 289-296;
    Anthony Aston's "Supplement" to, ii. 297.

  Cibber, Colley, Attacks on him:--
    Commonly accused of cowardice, i. 71, _note_ 1;
    threatened by John Bickerstaffe, for reducing his salary, i. 71,
      _note_ 1;
    accused of "venom" towards Booth, i. 123, _note_ 2;
    abused by Dennis, i. 66, _note_ 1, ii. 168, _note_ 1;
    his offer of a reward for discovery of Dennis, i. 41, _note_ 1, ii.
      168, _note_ 1;
    charged with envy of Estcourt, i. 115, _note_ 2;
    Fielding's attacks upon, quoted (see under Fielding, Hy.);
    his galling retaliation on Fielding, i. 286;
    said to have been thrashed by Gay, i. 71, _note_ 1;
    "The Laureat's" attacks upon (see "Laureat");
    satirized on his appointment as Laureate, i. 46;
    epigrams on his appointment quoted, i. 46, _note_ 1;
    writes verses in his own dispraise, i. 47;
    his Odes attacked by Fielding, i. 36, _note_ 2;
    and by Johnson, i. 36, _note_ 2;
    charges against him of levity and impiety, i. 58, _note_ 1;
    accused of negligence in acting, i. 241, _note_ 1;
    attacked by the daily papers, i. 41;
    his disregard of them, i. 41, i. 44, _note_ 1;
    on newspaper attacks, ii. 167;
    on principle never answered newspaper attacks, ii. 168;
    his famous quarrel with Pope, ii. 270;
    "The Nonjuror" a cause of Pope's enmity to Cibber, ii. 189, _note_ 1;
    attacked by Pope for countenancing pantomimes, ii. 182, _note_ 1;
    his reply, ii. 182, _note_ 1;
    his first allusion to Pope's enmity, i. 21;
    his opinion of Pope's attacks, i. 35;
    his Odes, i. 36, _note_ 2;
    supposed to be referred to in Preface to Shadwell's "Fair Quaker of
      Deal," ii. 95, _note_ 1;
    attacked for mutilating Shakespeare, ii. 263;
    accused of stealing "Love's Last Shift," i. 214, and "The Careless
      Husband," i. 215, _note_ 1;
    satirized by Swift, i. 52, _note_ 2;
    his defence of his follies, i. 2, i. 19.

  Cibber, Colley, Criticisms of Contemporaries:--
    On the production of Addison's "Cato," ii. 120, ii. 127-133;
    his description of Mrs. Barry, i. 158-161;
    on the excellence of Betterton and his contemporaries, i. 175;
    his eulogium of Betterton, i. 99-118;
    his description of Mrs. Betterton, i. 161-162;
    his account of Booth and Wilks as actors, ii. 239-245;
    his description of Mrs. Bracegirdle, i. 170-174;
    his description of Mrs. Butler, i. 163-165;
    his high opinion of Mrs. Brett's taste, ii. 41, _note_ 2;
    submits every scene of his "Careless Husband" to Mrs. Brett, ii.
      41, _note_ 2;
    on his own acting, i. 220-226;
    his "Epilogue upon Himself," ii. 265;
    on Dogget's acting, ii. 158;
    his low opinion of Garrick, ii. 268;
    his description of Kynaston, i. 120-127;
    his description of Leigh, i. 145-154;
    his description of Mrs. Leigh, i. 162-3;
    his description of Mountfort, i. 127-130;
    his description of Mrs. Mountfort, i. 165-169;
    his praise of Nicolini, ii. 51;
    his description of Nokes, i. 141-145;
    his hyperbolical praise of Mrs. Oldfield's Lady Townly, i. 51, i.
      312, _note_ 3;
    on Rich's misconduct, ii. 46;
    his description of Sandford, i. 130;
    his description of Cave Underhill, i. 154-156;
    his unfairness to Verbruggen, i. 157, _note_ 2;
    his account of Wilks and Booth as actors, ii. 239-245;
    on Wilks's Hamlet, i. 100;
    praises Wilks's diligence, ii. 160, ii. 239;
    on Wilks's love of acting, ii. 225;
    on Wilks's temper, ii. 155, ii. 171;
    a scene with Wilks, 234-237.

  Cibber, Colley, Reflections and Opinions:--
    On acting, i. 209, i. 221;
    on acting villains, i. 131-135, i. 222;
    on the prejudice against actors, i. 74-84;
    his advice to dramatists, ii. 14;
    on applause, i. 221, ii. 214;
    on the severity of audiences, i. 175;
    on politeness in audiences, ii. 247;
    on troubles with authors, ii. 249;
    on the effect of comedy-acting, i. 140;
    on Court influence, ii. 103;
    on criticism, i. 52;
    on his critics, ii. 220;
    on humour in tragedy, i. 121;
    on the Italian Opera, ii. 50-55;
    on the difficulty of managing Italian singers, ii. 88;
    on laughter, i. 23;
    on the liberty of the stage, i. 289;
    on the validity of the Licence, i. 284;
    on the power of the Lord Chamberlain, ii. 10-23;
    his principles as manager, i. 190;
    on management, ii. 60;
    on judicious management, ii. 74;
    on the duties and responsibilities of management, ii. 199-207;
    on the success of his management, ii. 245;
    on morality in plays, i. 265, i. 272;
    on the power of music, i. 112;
    on Oxford theatricals, ii. 133-139;
    on pantomimes, i. 93, ii. 180;
    on prologue-speaking, i. 270;
    on the difficulties of promotion in the theatre, ii. 223;
    on the Queen's Theatre in the Haymarket, i. 322;
    on raillery, i. 11;
    on the Revolution of 1688, i. 60-63;
    on satire, i. 37;
    on the reformation of the
    on making the stage useful, ii. 24-31;
    on the benefit of only one theatre, i. 92, ii. 139, ii. 178-185;
    on the shape of the theatre, ii. 84;
    on his own vanity, ii. 182.

  ---- Miscellaneous:--
    Profit arising from his works, i. 3, _note_ 2;
    frequently the object of envy, i. 33;
    his obtrusive loyalty, i. 33, _note_ 1, i. 66;
    banters his critics by allowing his "Apology" to be impudent and
      ill-written, i. 43;
    his easy temper under criticism and abuse, i. 50;
    confesses the faults of his writing, i. 50;
    his "quavering tragedy tones," i. 110, _note_ 1;
    his playing of Richard III. an imitation of Sandford, i. 139;
    his "Careless Husband" quoted, i. 148, _note_ 1;
    his wigs, ii. 36, _note_ 1;
    his treatment of authors, ii. 37, _note_ 1;
    reproved by Col. Brett for his treatment of authors, ii. 37,
      _note_ 1;
    his dedication of the "Wife's Resentment" to the Duke of Kent,
      ii. 46;
    censured for his treatment of authors, ii. 251, _note_ 1;
    his satisfaction in looking back on his career, ii. 115;
    his acknowledgment of Steele's services to the theatre, ii. 162;
    his dedication of "Ximena" to Steele, ii. 163, _note_ 1;
    his omission of many material circumstances in the history of the
      stage, ii. 193, _note_ 1;
    Wilks his constant supporter and admirer, ii. 226, _note_ 1;
    his "Odes," ii. 283;
    hissed as Phorbas, ii. 309;
    Aston on Cibber's acting, ii. 312.

  Cibber, Mrs. Colley, her marriage, i. 184;
    her character, i. 184, _note_ 1;
    her father's objection to her marriage, i. 184, _note_ 1.

  ---- Lewis (brother of Colley), admitted to Winchester College, i. 56;
    Cibber's affection for, i. 57;
    his great abilities, i. 57;
    his death, i. 57.

  ---- Susanna Maria (wife of Theophilus), ii. 267, _note_ 1, ii. 270,
      ii. 285;
    her speaking described, i. 110, _note_ 1.

  ---- Theophilus, ii. 187, _note_ 1, ii. 262;
    mentioned ironically by Lord Chesterfield, i. 71, _note_ 1;
    in "Art and Nature," i. 152, _note_ 1;
    acts as his father's deputy in heads a mutiny against Highmore,
      ii. 259;
    account of him, ii. 285;
    his "Life of Booth" quoted, i. 122, _note_ 1, i. 123, _note_ 2,
      ii. 130, _note_ 2, ii. 140, _note_ 1.

  "Circe," an opera, i. 94.

  Civil War, the, closing of theatres during, i. 89.

  Clark, actor, memoir of, i. 96, _note_ 3.

  Cleveland, Duchess of, and Goodman, ii. 330.

  Clive, Mrs. Catherine, ii. 260, ii. 268, _note_ 1, ii. 269;
    her acting in "Love in a Riddle," i. 244, _note_ 1.

  Clun, a "boy-actress," i. xxiv.

  Cock-fighting prohibited in, 1654, i. lii.

  Cockpit, The (or Phoenix), i. xxv.;
    its company, i. xxvi., i. xxviii., i. xlix.;
    Rhodes's Company at, i. xxviii.;
    secret performances at, during the Commonwealth, i. xxx.

  Coke, Rt. Hon. Thomas, Vice-Chamberlain, his interference in Dogget's
    dispute with his partners, ii. 146.

  Coleman, Mrs., the first English actress, i. 90, _note_ 1.

  Colley, the family of, i. 8, i. 9.

  ---- Jane, mother of Colley Cibber, i. 8, _note_ 1.

  Collier, Jeremy, i. 170, _note_ 1, i. 268, _note_ 2, i. 273, i. 274,
      ii. 233, _note_ 2;
    his "Short View of the Profaneness, &c., of the English Stage," i.
      xxi., i. xxxiii., i. 272, i. 289;
    his arguments confuted, i. xxxiii.

  Collier, William, M.P., i. 97, _note_ 2, ii. 172, ii. 175;
    procures a licence for Drury Lane, ii. 91;
    evicts Rich, ii. 92;
    appoints Aaron Hill his manager, ii. 94, _note_ 1;
    his unjust treatment of Swiney, ii. 101, ii. 107;
    takes the control of the opera from Swiney, ii. 102;
    farms the opera to Aaron Hill, ii. 105;
    forces Swiney to resume the opera, ii. 107;
    made partner with Cibber, Wilks, and Dogget at Drury Lane, ii. 107;
    his shabby treatment of his partners, ii. 108, ii. 141;
    his downfall, ii. 109;
    replaced by Steele in the Licence, ii. 164.

  Comedy-acting, the effect of, i. 140.

  "Common Sense," a paper by Lord Chesterfield, quoted, i. 71, _note_ 1.

  "Comparison between the two Stages," by Gildon, i. 189, _note_ 1,
      i. 194, _note_ 1, i. 194, _note_ 5, i. 214, _note_ 1, i. 216,
      _note_ 1, i. 218, _note_ 2, i. 231, _note_ 2, i. 232, _note_ 2,
      i. 233, _note_ 1, i. 254, _note_ 1, i. 303, _note_ 1, i. 306,
      _note_ 1, i. 316, _note_ 2, ii. 328, _note_ 2, ii. 348, ii. 356,
      _note_ 1, ii. 362.

  Complexion, black, of evil characters on the stage, i. 133.

  Congreve, William, i. 185, i. 274, i. 284, ii. 36, _note_ 1, ii. 110,
      ii. 159, ii. 251, ii. 302;
    Memoir of, mentioned, i. 5, _note_ 1;
    his "Love for Love," i. 155, i. 197;
    scandal about him and Mrs. Bracegirdle, i. 170, _note_ 1;
    a sharer with Betterton in his Licence in 1695, i. 192, _note_ 1,
      i. 197;
    his "Mourning Bride," i. 199;
    his "Way of the World," i. 200;
    his opinion of "Love's Last Shift," i. 220;
    and Vanbrugh manage the Queen's Theatre, i. 320, i. 325;
    gives up his share in the Queen's Theatre, i. 326;
    and Mrs. Bracegirdle, ii. 304.

  Cooper, Lord Chancellor, ii. 149, ii. 174.

  Coquelin, Constant, his controversy with Henry Irving regarding
      Diderot's "Paradoxe sur le Comédien," i. 103, _note_ 1.

  Corelli, Arcangelo, ii. 247.

  Cory (actor), ii. 169, _note_ 2.

  Court, theatrical performances at, see Royal Theatricals;
    interference of the, in the management of the stage, i. 89.

  Covent Garden, Drury Lane theatre sometimes described as the theatre
      in, i. 88, _note_ 1.

  Covent Garden Theatre, i. 92, _note_ 1.

  Coventry, the old Leet Book of, i. xl.

  Craggs, Mr. Secretary, ii. 96, _note_ 1, ii. 165, ii. 333;
    chastises Captain Montague for insulting Miss Santlow, i. 77.

  Craufurd, David, his account of the disorders in Betterton's company,
      i. 315, _note_ 2.

  Crawley, keeper of a puppet-show, ii. 301.

  Creation, the, dramatized in the "Ludus Coventriæ," i. xxxviii.

  Cromwell, Lady Mary, i. 267, _note_ 1.

  Cross, Mrs., i. 334, _note_ 1.

  ---- Richard, prompter of Drury Lane, i. 181, _note_ 2.

  Crowne, John, his masque of "Calisto," ii. 209.

  Cumberland, Richard, his description of Mrs. Cibber's speaking, i.
      110, _note_ 1.

  Cunningham, Lieut.-Col. F., doubts if Ben Jonson was an unsuccessful
      actor, i. 85, _note_ 1.

  Curll, Edmund, his "History of the Stage," i. 96, _note_ 4, i. 174,
      _note_ 2, ii. 357;
    his "Life of Mrs. Oldfield," i. 305, _note_ 2;
    his memoirs of Wilks, i. 5, _note_ 1.

  Curtain Theatre, the, mentioned by Stow as recently erected, i. xlviii.

  Cuzzoni, Francesca, her rivalry with Faustina, ii. 89.

  "Cynthia's Revels," played by the Children of her Majesty's Chapel,
      i. xxxvi.


  "Daily Courant," quoted, ii. 175, _note_ 1.

  Daly, Augustin, his Company of Comedians, ii. 289.

  Dancers and singers introduced by Davenant, i. 94.

  Davenant, Alexander, ii. 32, _note_ 1;
    his share in the Patent, i. 181, _note_ 1.

  ---- Dr. Charles, ii. 324.

  ---- Sir William, i. 181, _note_ 1, i. 197, _note_ 3, ii. 179,
      _note_ 1, ii. 334;
    first introduces scenery, i. xxxii.;
    copy of his patent, i. liii.;
    Memoir of, i. 87, _note_ 1;
    Poet Laureate, i. 87, _note_ 1;
    receives a patent from Charles I., i. 87, _note_ 1;
    from Charles II., i. 87;
    his company worse than Killigrew's, i. 93;
    he introduces spectacle and opera to attract audiences, i. 94;
    unites with Killigrew's, i. 96;
    his "Macbeth," ii. 229, _note_ 1.

  Davies, Thomas, his "Dramatic Miscellanies," i. 3, _note_ 2, i. 41,
      _note_ 1, i. 58, _note_ 1, i. 71, _note_ 1, i. 74, _note_ 1, i.
      90, _note_ 1, i. 101, _note_ 1, i. 153, _note_ 1, i. 166, _note_ 1,
      i. 179, _note_ 1, i. 181, _note_ 2, i. 192, _note_ 1, i. 214,
      _note_ 2, i. 222, _note_ 1, i. 224, _note_ 2, i. 241, _note_ 1, i.
      273, _note_ 1, i. 274, _note_ 1, i. 302, _note_ 2, i. 330, _note_
      1, ii. 36, _note_ 1, ii. 211, _note_ 1, ii. 216, _note_ 1, ii. 226,
      _note_ 1, ii. 230, _note_ 1, ii. 233, _note_ 3, ii. 240, _note_ 1,
      ii. 263, _note_ 1, ii. 268, _note_ 1, ii. 325, _note_ 1, ii. 335.
      _note_ 1, ii. 351, ii. 352, ii. 354, ii. 355, _note_ 1. ii. 358,
      ii. 361, ii. 363, ii. 369;
    his "Life of Garrick," i. lv., _note_ 1, i. 283, _note_ 2, ii. 259.

  Davis, Mary (Moll), i. 91, _note_ 1.

  Denmark, Prince of, his support of William of Orange, i. 67, i. 70.

  Dennis, John, i. 41, _note_ 2, ii. 361;
    abuses Cibber for his loyalty, i. 66, _note_ 1;
    accuses Cibber of stealing his "Love's Last Shift," i. 215;
    his attacks on Steele and Cibber, ii. 168, _note_ 1, ii. 176,
      _note_ 1;
    attacks Wilks, ii. 226, _note_ 2;
    abuses one of the actors of his "Comic Gallant," ii. 252, _note_ 1.

  "Deserving Favourite, The," i. xxv.

  Devonshire, Duke of, ii. 305;
    his quarrel with James II., i. 72;
    Cibber presents a petition to, i. 73.

  Diderot, Denis, his "Paradoxe sur le Comédien," i. 103, _note_ 1.

  Dillworth, W. H., his "Life of Pope," ii. 278, _note_ 1.

  Dixon, a member of Rhodes's company, i. 163, _note_ 1.

  Dobson, Austin, his "Fielding" quoted, i. 286, _note_ 1, i. 287,
      _note_ 3, i. 288, _note_ 1.

  Dodington, Bubb, mentioned by Bellchambers, i. 14, _note_ 1.

  Dodsley, Robert, purchased the copyright of Cibber's "Apology," i. 3,
      _note_ 2.

  Dogget, Thomas, i. 157, ii. 110, ii. 227, ii. 314, ii. 361;
    his excellence in Fondlewife, i. 206;
    Cibber plays Fondlewife in imitation of, i. 208;
    his intractability in Betterton's Company, i. 229;
    deserts Betterton at Lincoln's Inn Fields, and comes to Drury Lane,
      i. 229;
    arrested for deserting Drury Lane, ii. 21;
    defies the Lord Chamberlain, ii. 21;
    wins his case, ii. 22;
    made joint manager with Swiney and others in 1709, ii. 69;
    his characteristics as a manager, ii. 111, ii. 117;
    his behaviour on Booth's claiming to become a manager, ii. 131,
      ii. 141;
    retires because of Booth's being made a manager, ii. 143;
    his refusal to come to any terms after Booth's admission, ii. 145;
    goes to law for his rights, ii. 149;
    the result, ii. 150;
    Wilks's temper, the real reason of his retirement, ii. 150-155;
    shows a desire to return to the stage, ii. 157;
    his final appearances, ii. 158;
    Cibber's account of his excellence, ii. 158;
    Anthony Aston's description of, ii. 308.

  Doran, Dr. John, his "Annals of the Stage," i. 88, _note_ 3, i. 130,
      _note_ 1, i. 161, _note_ 3, ii. 62, _note_ 1, ii. 284.

  Dorset, Earl of, ii. 305;
    has Leigh's portrait painted in "The Spanish Friar," i. 146;
    when Lord Chamberlain, supports Betterton in 1694-1695, i. 192;
    compliments Cibber on his first play, i. 214.

  Dorset Garden, Duke's Theatre, i. xxxii.

  ---- Theatre, built for Davenant's Company, i. 88, _note_ 2;
    the subscribers to, called Adventurers, i. 97, _note_ 1.

  "Double Dealer, The," i. 185, _note_ 1.

  "Double Gallant," cast of, ii. 3, _note_ 2.

  Downes, John, his "Roscius Anglicanus," i. 83, _note_ 1, i. 84,
      _note_ 1, i. 96, _note_ 3, i. 114, _note_ 1, i. 127, _note_ 2,
      i. 130, _note_ 1, i. 141, _note_ 1, i. 146, _note_ 1, i. 163,
      _note_ 1, i. 181, _note_ 2, i. 187, _note_ 2, i. 192, _note_ 1,
      i. 197, _note_ 1, i. 197, _note_ 2, i. 316, _note_ 2, i. 320,
      _note_ 2, i. 333, _note_ 1, ii. 158, _note_ 3, ii. 320, ii. 323,
      ii. 328, ii. 330, ii. 332, ii. 334, ii. 340, ii. 341, ii. 342,
      ii. 346, ii. 347, ii. 348, ii. 349, ii. 350, ii. 356, ii. 359,
      ii. 360, ii. 361, ii. 362;
    attended constantly by Cibber and Verbruggen in hope of employment
      on the stage, i. 74, _note_ 1;
    the "Tatler" publishes a supposed letter from, ii. 75.

  "Dramatic Censor," 1811, ii. 57, _note_ 1, ii. 79, _note_ 2.

  Dramatists, Cibber's advice to, ii. 14.

  Drury Lane Theatre, i. 92, _note_ 1;
    opened by King's Company, i. xxxii.;
    built for Killigrew's Company, i. 88;
    sometimes called "the theatre in Covent Garden," i. 88, _note_ 1;
    desertion from in 1733, i. 283;
    Company (1695), their improvement, i. 314;
    its Patent, ii. 31;
    its original construction, ii. 81;
    why altered, ii. 81;
    under W. Collier's management, 1709, ii. 91;
    report on its stability, ii. 176-177.

  Dryden, John, ii. 163, _note_ 1, ii. 210, ii. 251;
    his prologue on opening Drury Lane, 1674, i. 94, _note_ 2, i.
      322, _note_ 1;
    a bad elocutionist, i. 113;
    his Morat("Aurenge-Zebe"), i. 124;
    his high praise of Mrs. Elizabeth Barry, i. 158;
    his prologue to "The Prophetess," i. 187, _note_ 1;
    his "King Arthur," i. 187, _note_ 2;
    a sharer in the King's Company, i. 197;
    his address to the author of "Heroic Love" quoted, i. 231, _note_ 1,
      ii. 238, _note_ 3;
    his indecent plays, i. 267;
    his epilogue to "The Pilgrim," i. 268;
    his "Secular Masque," i. 268, _note_ 1;
    his prologue to "The Prophetess" vetoed, ii. 13;
    his prologues at Oxford, ii. 134, ii. 136, _note_ 1, ii. 137,
      _note_ 1;
    expensive revival of his "All for Love," ii. 175.

  Dublin, Wilks's success in, i. 235.

  "Duchess of Malfy," i. xxv.

  Dugdale, Sir William, his "Antiquities of Warwickshire" quoted,
      i. xxxvi.;
    mentions the "Ludus Coventriæ," i. xxxviii.

  Duke's Servants, The, i. 87, _note_ 1, i. 88.

  Duke's Theatre, ii. 336;
    first theatre to introduce scenery, i. xxxii.

  Dulwich College, built and endowed by Edward Alleyn, i. xxviii.

  "Dunciad, The," i. 36, _note_ 1, ii. 181, _note_ 1, ii. 182, _note_ 1,
      ii. 270;
    on Italian opera, i. 324, _note_ 1.

  Dyer, Mrs., actress, i. 136, _note_ 2.


  Edicts to suppress plays, 1647-1648, ii. 322.

  Edward, son of Henry VI., pageant played before, i. xl.

  ---- son of Edward IV., pageant played before, i. xlii.

  Edwin, John, his "Eccentricities" quoted, ii. 78, _note_ 1.

  E----e, Mr. [probably Erskine], his powers of raillery, i. 13, i. 14,
      _note_ 1, i. 16.

  Egerton, William, his memoirs of Mrs. Oldfield, i. 5, _note_ 1.

  "Egotist, The," i. lv., _note_ 1, i. 36, _note_ 2, i. 41, _note_ 2,
      i. 43, _note_ 1, i. 45, _note_ 1, i. 46, _note_ 1, i. 53, _note_ 1,
      ii. 265.

  Elephants on the stage, ii. 7, _note_ 1.

  Elizabeth, Queen, and the Spanish Armada, allusion to, i. 64;
    her rule of government, i. 65.

  Elocution, importance of, i. 110.

  Elrington, Thomas, his visit to Drury Lane in 1714, ii. 121, _note_ 1;
    Cibber said to have refused to let him play a certain character, ii.
      193, _note_ 1.

  Ely, Bishop of, and Joe Haines, ii. 315.

  Erskine, Mr., probably the person mentioned by Cibber, i. 13, i. 14,
      _note_ 1, i. 16.

  Estcourt, Richard, i. 166, i. 237. i. 332. i. 334, _note_ 1;
    a marvellous mimic, i. 114;
    yet not a good actor, i. 115;
    said to be unfairly treated by Cibber, i. 115, _note_ 2;
    could not mimic Nokes, i. 142;
    his "gag" on the Union of the Companies in, 1708, i. 301;
    his first coming to London, i. 304;
    made Deputy-manager by Brett, ii. 56, _note_ 1;
    advertisement regarding his salary, 1709, ii. 78, _note_ 1;
    his Falstaff, ii. 300;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 331.

  Eusden, Laurence, poet laureate, his death, i. 32, _note_ 1.

  Evans, John, his visit to Drury Lane in 1714, ii. 121, _note_ 1;
    his Falstaff, ii. 300.


  "Faction Display'd," ii. 233, _note_ 2.

  "Fair Maid of the West, The," i. xxv.

  Fairplay, Francis, a name assumed by Cibber on one occasion, i. 48.

  "Fairy Queen," preface to, quoted, i. 110, _note_ 1.

  Farinelli (singer), ii. 88.

  Farquhar, George, ii. 251, ii. 367, ii. 369.

  Fashionable nights, ii. 246.

  Faustina (Faustina Bordoni Hasse), her rivalry with Cuzzoni, ii. 89.

  Fees for performances at Court, ii. 218.

  Fenwick, Sir John, ii. 62.

  Fideli, Signor, i. xxvii.

  Field, Nathaniel, originally a "Chapel boy," i. xxxvii.

  Fielding, Henry, i. 202, _note_ 1, i. 287, _note_ 4, i. 288, _note_ 1,
      ii. 269; attacks Cibber in "The Champion," i. 1, _note_ 1, i. 38,
      _note_ 1, i. 50, _note_ 2, i. 63, _note_ 1, i. 69, _note_ 1, i.
      93, _note_ 2, i. 288, _note_ 1, ii. 54, _note_ 2;
    in "Joseph Andrews," i. 10, _note_ 1, i. 50, _note_ 2, i. 61,
      _note_ 1;
    in "Pasquin," i. 36, _note_ 2;
    attacks Cibber for mutilating Shakespeare, ii. 263;
    manager of a company at the Haymarket, i. 92, _note_ 1;
    Cibber's retaliation on, i. 286;
    Austin Dobson's memoir of, quoted, i. 286, _note_ 1, i. 287,
      _note_ 3, i. 288, _note_ 1;
    said to have caused the Licensing Act of 1737, i. 286.

  Fitzgerald, Percy, his "New History of the English Stage," i. 90,
      _note_ 1, i. 320, _note_ 1, ii. 11, _note_ 1, ii. 32, _note_ 1,
      ii. 49, _note_ 1, ii. 56, _note_ 1, ii. 79, _note_ 2;
    ii. 94, _note_ 1, ii. 148, _note_ 1.

  Fitzharding, Lady, i. 68.

  Fitzstephen, William, his "Description of the City of London,"
      i. xxxvii.

  Fleetwood, Charles, ii. 264;
    purchases from Highmore and Mrs. Wilks their shares of the Patent,
      i. 285, ii. 261;
    the deserters return to him, ii. 261.

  Fletcher, John, his plays, i. xxv.

  Footmen, admitted gratis to Drury Lane, i. 233;
    this privilege abolished, i. 234, _note_ 1.

  Fortune Theatre, i. xxvi., i. xxix.

  Fox, Bishop, had charge of pageants in which sacred persons were
      introduced, i. xlv.

  French actors at Lincoln's Inn Fields, ii. 180, _note_ 1.

  ---- audience, conduct of, ii. 247.

  "Funeral, The," i. 263.


  Gaedertz, Herr, his "Zur Kenntniss der altenglischen Bühne," ii. 84,
      _note_ 1.

  "Gammer Gurton's Needle," one of the earliest regular comedies, i.
      xlvii.

  Garrick, David, i. 110, _note_ 1, i. 278, _note_ 1, ii. 259, ii. 270;
    his influence in reforming the stage, ii. 263;
    Cibber plays against, ii. 268;
    Cibber's low opinion of, ii. 268;
    Davies's Life of, i. lv., _note_ 1, i. 283, _note_ 2, ii. 259.

  Gaussin, Jeanne Catherine, ii. 248.

  Gay, John, said to have thrashed Cibber, i. 71, _note_ 1;
    his "Beggar's Opera," i. 243;
    his "Polly" forbidden to be played, i. 246, i. 278, _note_ 1.

  Genest, Rev. John, his "Account of the English Stage," i. 83, _note_ 1,
      i. 88, _note_ 3, i. 91, _note_ 2, i. 91, _note_ 4, i. 97,
      _note_ 1, i. 110, _note_ 1, i. 149, _note_ 2, i. 156, _note_ 2,
      i. 174, _note_ 2, i. 203, _note_ 1, i. 220, _note_ 1, i. 230,
      _note_ 1, i. 267, _note_ 2, i. 268, _note_ 1, i. 269, _note_ 1,
      i. 296, _note_ 1, i. 326, _note_ 3, ii. 5, _note_ 1, ii. 7,
      _note_ 1, ii. 56, _note_ 1, ii. 79, _note_ 2, ii. 96, _note_ 1,
      ii. 98, _note_ 1, ii. 123, _note_ 1, ii. 165, _note_ 1, ii.
      169, _note_ 3, ii. 171, _note_ 1, ii. 186, _note_ 1, ii. 186,
      _note_ 2, ii. 187, _note_ 1, ii. 198, _note_ 1, ii. 210,
      _note_ 1, ii. 251, _note_ 1, ii. 267, ii. 269, ii. 324;
    his opinion of Cibber's Richard III., i. 139, _note_ 2.

  "Gentleman's Magazine," ii. 284.

  Gentlemen of the Great Chamber, actors entitled, i. 88.

  George I. has theatrical performances at Hampton Court, ii. 208;
    his amusement at a scene of "Henry VIII.," ii. 216;
    his present to the actors for playing at Court, ii. 218.

  ---- II., i. 32, ii. 219.

  Giffard, Henry, i. 92, _note_ 1, i. 283, _note_ 1;
    his theatre in Goodman's Fields, i. 282, _note_ 2;
    purchases half of Booth's share of the Patent, ii. 259.

  Gifford, William, doubts if Ben Jonson was an unsuccessful actor, i.
      85, _note_ 1.

  Gildon, Charles, his Life of Betterton, i. 118, _note_ 2, ii. 324,
      ii. 337, _note_ 1, ii. 358.

  Globe Theatre, i. xxvi., i. xxix.

  Goffe, Alexander, a "boy-actress," i. xxx.;
    employed to give notice of secret performances during the
      Commonwealth, i. xxx.

  "Golden Rump, The," a scurrilous play, i. 278, _note_ 1.

  Goodman, Cardell, mentioned, i. 83, _note_ 1, i. 96;
    prophesies Cibber's success as an actor, i. 183;
    a highway robber, ii. 61, ii. 63;
    his connection with the Fenwick and Charnock Plot, ii. 62;
    he and Captain Griffin have one shirt between them, ii. 63;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 329.

  Goodman's Fields, unlicensed theatre in, i. 281;
    attempt to suppress it, i. 282;
    Odell's theatre, i. 282, _note_ 1;
    Giffard's theatre, i. 282, _note_ 2.

  ---- Theatre, i. 92, _note_ 1;
    closed by Licensing Act (1737), i. 92, _note_ 1.

  Grafton, Duke of, ii. 260;
    blamed for making Cibber Laureate, i. 46, _note_ 1.

  Grantham, Cibber sent to school at, i. 9.

  Griffin, Captain (actor), i. 334, _note_ 1;
    admitted into good society, i. 83;
    memoir of, i. 83, _note_ 1;
    and Goodman have one shirt between them, ii. 63.

  Griffith, Thomas, his visit to Drury Lane in 1714, ii. 121, _note_ 1.

  "Grub Street Journal," ii. 258, _note_ 1.

  Guiscard, his attack on Lord Oxford referred to, i. 291.

  Gwyn, Nell, i. 91, _note_ 1, i. 182, _note_ 1, ii. 323;
    and Charles II., ii. 211;
    Bishop Burnet's opinion of, ii. 212.


  Haines, Joseph, ii. 252, _note_ 1;
    his _bon mot_ on Jeremy Collier, i. 273;
    account of his career, i. 273, _note_ 1;
    Aston's description of, ii. 314;
    his pranks, ii. 315, ii. 325;
    Life of, ii. 325, _note_ 1.

  Halifax, Lord, i. 217, ii. 311;
    a patron of the theatre, ii. 4;
    his testimonial to Mrs. Bracegirdle, ii. 305.

  Hamlet, incomparably acted by Taylor, i. xxvi.;
    Betterton as, i. 100;
    Wilks's mistakes in, i. 100.

  Hammerton, Stephen, a famous "boy-actress," i. xxvi.;
    played Amyntor, i. xxvi.

  Hampton Court, theatrical performances at, ii. 208, ii. 214, ii. 219.

  "Hannibal and Scipio," i. xxv.

  Harlequin, Cibber's low opinion of the character, i. 150-152;
    played without a mask by Pinkethman, i. 151.

  "Harlequin Sorcerer," a noted pantomime, ii. 181, _note_ 1.

  Harper, John, arrested as a rogue and vagabond, i. 283;
    trial, ii. 260;
    the result of his trial, i. 284;
    his Falstaff, ii. 300.

  Harris, ii. 334, ii. 346.

  Harrison, General, murders W. Robinson the actor, i. xxix.

  Hart, Charles, i. 125, _note_ 2, ii. 134, ii. 137, _note_ 1;
    superior to his successors, i. xxiv.;
    apprenticed to Robinson, i. xxiv.;
    A "boy-actress," i. xxiv.;
    a lieutenant in Charles I.'s army, i. xxix.;
    arrested for acting, i. xxx.;
    grows old and wishes to retire, i. xxxii.;
    his acting of the Plain Dealer, i. 83, _note_ 1;
    famous for Othello, i. 91;
    his retirement, i. 96;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 322.

  Haymarket, Little Theatre in the, i. 92, _note_ 1;
    opened by the mutineers from Highmore in 1733, ii. 259;
    closed by Licensing Act (1737), i. 92, _note_ 1.

  ---- the Queen's Theatre in the (now Her Majesty's), i. 319;
    its history, i. 319, _note_ 1;
    opened for Betterton's Company, i. 320;
    defects in its construction, i. 320, i. 326;
    inconvenience of its situation, i. 322.

  Hemming, John, i. xxvi.

  "Henry VIII.," ii. 215.

  Heron, Mrs., ii. 262.

  Hewett, Sir Thomas, his report on the stability of Drury Lane, ii. 177.

  Highmore, John, at variance with his actors, i. 283;
    his purchase of the Patent, i. 283, _note_ 1;
    the price he paid for the Patent, i. 297, _note_ 1;
    purchases half of Booth's share of the Patent, ii. 258;
    purchases Cibber's share, ii. 258: his actors mutiny, ii. 259;
    he summons Harper as a rogue and vagabond, ii. 260;
    sells his share in the Patent, ii. 261.

  Hill, Aaron, on "tone" in speaking, i. 110, _note_ 1;
    appointed by W. Collier to manage Drury Lane, ii. 94, _note_ 1;
    defied and beaten by his actors, ii. 94, _note_ 1;
    farms the opera from Collier, ii. 105;
    on Booth's lack of humour, ii. 240, _note_ 2.

  ---- Captain Richard, his murder of Mountfort, i. 130, _note_ 1,
      ii. 342.

  "Historia Histrionica," reprint of, i. xix.;
    preface to, i. xxi.

  "Historical Register for 1736," ii. 263.

  Hitchcock, Robert, his "Historical View of the Irish Stage," i. 165,
      _note_ 1.

  "Holland's Leaguer," i. xxv.

  Holt, Lord Chief Justice, ii. 22.

  Horden, Hildebrand, a promising actor, killed in a brawl, i. 302.

  Horton, Mrs., ii. 260.

  Howard, J. B., plays Iago in English to Salvini's Othello, i. 325,
      _note_ 1.

  ---- Sir Robert, i. 192, _note_ 1.

  Hughes, Margaret, said to be the first English actress, i. 90,
      _note_ 1.

  Hutton, Laurence, his "Literary Landmarks of London" quoted, i. 7,
      _note_ 3, ii. 284, _note_ 1.


  Irving, Henry, his controversy with Constant Coquelin regarding
      Diderot's "Paradoxe sur le Comédien," i. 103, _note_ 1;
    restores Shakespeare's "Richard III." to the stage, ii. 287.

  Italian Opera, introduced into England, i. 324;
    "The Dunciad" on, i. 324, _note_ 1.


  Jackson, John, his "History of the Scottish Stage" referred to, ii.
      181, _note_ 1.

  Jacobites attacked in Cibber's "Nonjuror," ii. 185;
    repay Cibber for his attack by hissing his plays, ii. 187;
    hiss his "Nonjuror," ii. 189.

  James II., ii. 134;
    Cibber, at school, writes an Ode on his coronation, i. 33;
    Cibber serves against, at the Revolution, i. 60;
    his flight to France, i. 70;
    his quarrel with the Duke of Devonshire, i. 72.

  Jekyll, Sir Joseph, ii. 198.

  Jevon, Thomas, i. 151, _note_ 1.

  Johnson, Benjamin (actor), i. 99, _note_ 1, i. 194, i. 313, i. 332,
      ii. 129, _note_ 2, ii. 252, _note_ 1, ii. 262, ii. 308;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 360.

  Johnson, Dr. Samuel, i. 215, _note_ 1, ii. 163, _note_ 1;
    his opinion of Cibber's Odes, i. 36, _note_ 2;
    his epigram on Cibber's Laureateship quoted, i. 46, _note_ 1;
    his "Life of Pope," ii. 275, ii. 276, ii. 280, _note_ 1, ii. 281,
      _note_ 1;
    his "Lives of the Poets," ii. 27, _note_ 1, ii. 128, _note_ 1, ii.
      370;
    his famous Prologue (1747) quoted, i. 113, _note_ 1.

  Jones, Inigo, ii. 209.

  Jonson, Ben, i. 245;
    out of fashion in 1699, i. xxiii.;
    no actors in 1699 who could rightly play his characters, i. xxiv.;
    his plays, i. xxv.;
    his epigram on Alleyn, i. xxviii.;
    on Sal Pavy, i. xxxvi.;
    said by Cibber to have been an unsuccessful actor, i. 85;
    this denied by Gifford and Cunningham, his editors, i. 85, _note_ 1;
    his Masques, ii. 209.

  Jordan, Thomas, his "Prologue to introduce the first woman that came
      to act on the stage," 1660, i. 90, _note_ 1, i. 119, _note_ 1.

  "Joseph Andrews" quoted, i. 10, _note_ 1, i. 50, _note_ 2, i. 61,
      _note_ 1.

  "Julius Cæsar," special revival of, in 1707, ii. 5.


  Keen, Theophilus, i. 332, ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 94, _note_ 1, ii.
      129, _note_ 2, ii. 169, _note_ 2;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 364.

  Kemble, John P., mentioned, i. lv., _note_ 1.

  Kent, Duke of, ii. 46.

  ---- Mrs., ii. 169, _note_ 2.

  Killigrew, Charles, ii. 32, _note_ 1;
    his share in the Patent, i. 181, _note_ 1.

  ---- Thomas, i. 181, _note_ 1, i. 197, _note_ 3;
    granted a Patent similar to Davenant's, i. liii., i. 87;
    memoir of, i. 87, _note_ 2;
    his witty reproof of Charles II., i. 87, _note_ 2;
    his Company better than Davenant's, i. 93;
    unites with Davenant's, i. 96.

  "King and no King," special revival of, in 1707, ii. 5.

  "King Arthur," i. 187.

  "King John" mutilated by Colley Cibber, ii. 268.

  "King John and Matilda," i. xxv.

  King's Servants, The, i. 87, _note_ 2, i. 88;
    before 1642, i. xxvi.;
    after the Restoration, i. xxxi.

  Kirkman, Francis, his "Wits," ii. 84, _note_ 1.

  Knap, ii. 169, _note_ 2.

  Kneller, Sir Godfrey, his portrait of Betterton, i. 117;
    his portrait of Anthony Leigh, i. 146, ii. 349;
    imitated by Estcourt, ii. 333.

  Knight, Mrs. Frances, ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 94, _note_ 1, ii. 169,
      _note_ 2.

  ---- Joseph, his edition of the "Roscius Anglicanus" referred to,
      i. 87, _note_ 1, i. 90, _note_ 1.

  Knip, Mrs., i. 182, _note_ 1.

  Kynaston, Edward, i. 98, i. 119, ii. 324, ii. 334, i. 185, i. 327;
    petted by ladies of quality, i. 120;
    the beauty of his person, i. 121;
    his voice and appearance, i. 121;
    his bold acting in inflated passages, i. 124;
    his majesty and dignity, i. 125-6;
    lingered too long on the stage, i. 126;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 339.


  Lacy, John, superior to his successors, i. xxiv.

  Lady of title, prevented by relatives from becoming an actress, i. 75.

  "Lady's Last Stake," cast of, ii. 3, _note_ 1.

  Langbaine, Gerard, his "Account of the English Poets," ii. 13, _note_ 1.

  Laughter, reflections on, i. 23.

  "Laureat, The" (a furious attack on Cibber), i. 3, _note_ 2, i. 14,
      _note_ 1, i. 35, _note_ 2, i. 48, _note_ 1, i. 78, _note_
      1, i. 101, _note_ 2, i. 122, _note_ 1, i. 123, _note_ 1, i. 140,
      _note_ 1, i. 157, _note_ 2, i. 174, _note_ 2, i. 182, _note_ 2,
      i. 191, _note_ 2, i. 222, _note_ 1, i. 224, _note_ 1, i. 238,
      _note_ 1, i. 239, _note_ 1, i. 242, _note_ 1, i. 256, _note_ 1,
      i. 258, _note_ 2, i. 264, _note_ 1, i. 273, _note_ 2, i. 300,
      _note_ 1, i. 312, _note_ 2, ii. 30, _note_ 1, ii. 37, _note_ 1,
      ii. 121, _note_ 1, ii. 148, _note_ 1, ii. 160, _note_ 1, ii.
      163, _note_ 1, ii. 251, _note_ 1, ii. 256, _note_ 1, ii. 335,
      _note_ 1, ii. 356.

  Lebrun, Charles, painter, alluded to, i. 106.

  Lee, Charles Henry, Master of the Revels, ii. 260.

  ---- Mrs. Mary, i. 163, _note_ 1.

  ---- Nathaniel, ii. 327;
    his "Alexander the Great," i. 105;
    a perfect reader of his own works, i. 113;
    Mohun's compliment to him, i. 114;
    failed as an actor, i. 114.

  Leigh, Anthony, i. 98, i. 142, i. 304, i. 327;
    Cibber's account of, i. 145-154;
    his exuberant humour, i. 145;
    in "The Spanish Friar," i. 145;
    painted in the character of the Spanish Friar, i. 146;
    his best characters, i. 146, i. 149;
    and Nokes, their combined excellence, i. 147, his superiority to
      Pinkethman, i. 149;
    the favourite actor of Charles II., i. 154;
    compared with Nokes, i. 154;
    his death, i. 154, i. 188;
    his "gag" regarding Obadiah Walker's change of religion, ii. 134;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 349.

  Leigh, Mrs. Elizabeth, i. 98;
    Cibber's account of, i. 162-163;
    her peculiar comedy powers, i. 162;
    note regarding her, i. 163, _note_ 1.

  ---- Francis, ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 94, _note_ 1, ii. 169, _note_ 2,
      ii. 170, _note_ 1.

  Leveridge, Richard, ii. 169, _note_ 3.

  Licence granted by King William in 1695, i. 98.

  Licensing Act of 1737, i. 278, _note_ 1, i. 286, i. 287, _note_ 4,
      ii. 262.

  "Lick at the Laureat," said to be the title of a pamphlet, i. 35,
      _note_ 2.

  Lincoln's Inn Fields, Duke's old Theatre in, i. xxxii., i. 88,
      _note_ 2.

  ---- Betterton's theatre in, i. 194;
    its opening, i. 196;
    its success at first, i. 227;
    its speedy disintegration, i. 228.

  ---- Rich's theatre in, ii. 79, ii. 100;
    its exact situation, ii. 101, _note_ 1;
    Rich's Patent revived at, ii. 165;
    its opening, ii. 166, _note_ 1, ii. 171, _note_ 1;
    actors desert Drury Lane to join, ii. 169.

  "London Cuckolds," i. 267.

  "London News-Letter," i. 302, _note_ 2.

  Lord Chamberlain, Cibber on the power of the, ii. 10-23, ii. 74;
    his name not mentioned in the Patents, ii. 10;
    Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane on the power of, ii. 11, _note_ 1;
    his power of licensing plays, ii. 11;
    plays vetoed by him, ii. 12-14;
    actors arrested by his orders, ii. 17-22;
    his edicts against desertions, ii. 17, _note_ 1, ii. 18,
      _note_ 1;
    said to favour Betterton at the expense of rival managers, ii. 18;
    various edicts regarding Powell, ii. 19, _note_ 1, ii. 20, _note_ 1,
      ii. 94, _note_ 1;
    warrant to arrest Dogget, ii. 21, _note_ 1;
    his edict separating plays and operas in 1707, ii. 49, _note_ 1;
    interferes on behalf of actors in their dispute with the Patentees
      in 1709, ii. 68;
    silences Patentees for contumacy, ii. 72;
    his order for silence, 1709, quoted, ii. 73, _note_ 1.

  Lord Chamberlain's Records, i. 229, _note_ 1, i. 315, _note_ 2, ii.
      17, _note_ 1, ii. 18, _note_ 1, ii. 19, _note_ 1, ii. 20,
      _note_ 1, ii. 21, _note_ 1, ii. 49, _note_ 1, ii. 50, _note_ 1,
      ii. 69, _note_ 1, ii. 73, _note_ 1, ii. 79, _note_ 2, ii. 94,
      _note_ 1, ii. 102, _note_ 1, ii. 108, _note_ 2, ii. 171,
      _note_ 1, ii. 193, _note_ 1, ii. 218, _note_ 1, ii. 219, _note_ 1,
      ii. 257, _note_ 1.

  Lorraine, Duke of, ii. 219.

  Louis XIV., mentioned, i. 6.

  ---- Prince, of Baden, ii. 228.

  "Love in a Riddle," cast of, i. 244, _note_ 1.

  Lovel (actor), ii. 347.

  Lovelace, Lord, ii. 304.

  "Love's Last Shift," cast of, i. 213, _note_ 1.

  Lowin, John, ii. 335;
    arrested for acting, i. xxx.;
    superior to Hart, i. xxiv.;
    his chief characters, i. xxvi.;
    too old to go into Charles I.'s army, i. xxix.;
    becomes an inn-keeper, and dies very poor, i. xxxi.

  "Lucius Junius Brutus," by Lee, vetoed, ii. 13.

  "Ludus Coventriæ," i. xxxviii.;
    these plays acted at other towns besides Coventry, i. xxxviii.;
    a description of them, i. xxxviii. _et seq._

  "Lunatick, The," ii. 252, _note_ 1.

  Luttrell's Diary quoted, i. 302, _note_ 2.


  Macaulay, Lord, his "History of England" referred to, ii. 134,
      _note_ 3.

  "Macbeth" _in the nature of an opera_, i. 94, _note_ 1;
    ii. 228, ii. 229, _note_ 1.

  Macclesfield, Countess of, ii. 39. See also Mrs. Brett.

  Macklin, Charles, ii. 270, ii. 362;
    his first coming to London, ii. 261;
    a great reformer, ii. 262.

  Macready, William C, mentioned, i. 135, _note_ 1.

  MacSwiney, Owen. See Swiney, Owen.

  "Maid's Tragedy" vetoed in Charles II.'s time, ii. 12;
    played with altered catastrophe, ii. 12.

  Mainwaring, Arthur, ii. 369, _note_ 2.

  Malone, Edmond, i. 185, _note_ 1, i. 197, _note_ 3, ii. 32, _note_ 1,
      ii. 138, _note_ 1.

  Management, Cibber on the duties and responsibilities of, ii. 199-207.

  Margaret, Queen of Henry VI., pageant played before her, i. xl.

  Marlborough, Duchess of. See Churchill, Lady.

  ---- Duke of, ii. 96, _note_ 1, ii. 130, ii. 164, ii. 228.

  "Marriage à la Mode," by Cibber, cast of, ii. 5, _note_ 1.

  Marshall, Anne, i. 161, _note_ 1;
    said to be the first English actress, i. 90, _note_ 1.

  ---- Julian, his "Annals of Tennis" quoted, i. 315, _note_ 1.

  Mary, the Virgin, and Joseph, characters in the "Ludus Coventriæ,"
      i. xxxix.

  ---- Queen, her death, i. 193.

  "Mary, Queen of Scotland," by Banks, vetoed, ii. 14.

  Masculus, a comedian, who was a Christian martyr, i. xxii.

  Masks, Ladies wearing, at the theatre, i. 266;
    ultimately the mark of a prostitute, i. 267, _note_ 1.

  Mason, Miss. See Countess of Macclesfield, and Mrs. Brett.

  Masques, enormous expense of, ii. 209.

  Master of the Revels. See Revels.

  Mathews, Charles (the elder), his powers of imitation referred to,
      i. 115, _note_ 1.

  Mathias, St., the choosing of, as an apostle, dramatized in the
      "Ludus Coventriæ," i. xxxviii.

  Matthews, Brander, ii. 289, _note_ 1.

  Maynard, Serjeant, a Whig lawyer, satirized, i. 149, _note_ 2.

  Medbourn, Matthew, ii. 346.

  Melcombe, Lord, mentioned, i. 14, _note_ 1.

  "Mery Play between the Pardoner and the Frere, the Curate and
      Neybour Pratte, A," described, i. xlv.

  Miller, James, his "Art and Nature" failed, i. 152, _note_ 1.

  ---- Josias (actor), ii. 262.

  Mills, John, i. 332, ii. 70, _note_ 2, ii. 129, _note_ 2, ii. 259,
      _note_ 1, ii. 262;
    his friendship with Wilks, i. 259, ii. 223;
    his honesty and diligence, i. 260;
    his large salary, i. 260;
    advertisement regarding his salary, 1709, ii. 78, _note_ 1;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 362;
    and the country squire, ii. 363.

  Milward, William, i. 224, _note_ 2.

  Mist, Nathaniel. See "Mist's Weekly Journal."

  "Mist's Weekly Journal," ii. 163, _note_ 1, ii. 167, ii. 187.

  Mohun, Lord, ii. 314;
    implicated in Mountfort's death, i. 130, _note_ 1, ii. 342.

  ---- Michael, superior to his successors, i. xxiv.;
    apprentice to Beeston, i. xxv.;
    acted Bellamente, i. xxv.;
    a captain in Charles I.'s army, i. xxix.;
    his death, i. 96;
    his admiration of Nat. Lee's elocution, i. 114;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 326.

  Montague, Captain, insults Miss Santlow, i. 76;
    chastised by Mr. Craggs, i. 77.

  Moore, Mrs., ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 94, _note_ 1.

  Morley, Professor Henry, his edition of the "Spectator," ii. 54,
      _note_ 1.

  Mountfort, William, i. 98, i. 108, i. 170, _note_ 1, i. 237, ii. 314;
    taken into good society, i. 83;
    Cibber's account of, i. 127-130;
    his voice and appearance, i. 127;
    his Alexander the Great, i. 127;
    his excellent acting of fine gentlemen, i. 127;
    his delivery of witty passages, i. 128;
    his Rover, i. 128;
    his versatility, i. 128, i. 210;
    his Sparkish ("Country Wife") and his Sir Courtly Nice, i. 129;
    copied by Cibber in Sir Courtly Nice, i. 129;
    his tragic death, i. 130, i. 188;
    memoir of him, i. 130, _note_ 1;
    Tom Brown on his connection with Mrs. Bracegirdle, i. 170, _note_ 1;
    his comedy of "Greenwich Park," ii. 41;
    copied by Wilks, ii. 241;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 341;
    full account of his death by the hands of Capt. Hill, ii. 342-345.

  ---- Mrs., i. 98, i. 237, ii. 343, ii. 367;
    Cibber's account of, i. 165-169;
    her variety of humour, i. 165;
    her artistic feeling, i. 166;
    her acting of the Western Lass, i. 166;
    in male parts, i. 167;
    plays Bayes with success, i. 167;
    the excellence of her Melantha, i. 167;
    memoir of, i. 169, _note_ 1;
    leaves Betterton's company in 1695, i. 200;
    her death, ii. 306;
    Anthony Aston's description of, ii. 313.

  Mountfort, Susanna, i. 334, _note_ 1.

  Music in the theatre, i. xxxii.


  Newcastle, Duke of, ii. 219;
    (Lord Chamberlain), his persecution of Steele, ii. 193, _note_ 1.

  Newington Butts, i. xlix.

  Newman, Thomas, actor, one of their Majesties' servants, i. 88,
      _note_ 3.

  Nichols, John, his "Theatre, Anti-Theatre, &c.," ii. 66, _note_ 2,
      ii. 168, _note_ 1, ii. 174, _note_ 2, ii. 176, _note_ 1, ii. 177,
      _note_ 1, ii. 193, _note_ 1.

  Nicolini (Nicolo Grimaldi), singer, ii. 48, ii. 51;
    Cibber's high praise of, ii. 51;
    praised by the "Tatler," ii. 52.

  Noblemen's companies of players, i. xlvii.

  Nokes, James, i. 98;
    Cibber's description of, i. 141-145;
    his natural simplicity, i. 141;
    could not be imitated, i. 142;
    his best characters, i. 142;
    his ludicrous distress, i. 143;
    his voice and person, i. 145;
    and Leigh, their combined excellence, i. 147;
    compared with Leigh, i. 154;
    his death, i. 188;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 346;
    why called "Nurse Nokes," ii. 348.

  Nokes, Robert, i. 141, _note_ 1, i. 143, _note_ 2, ii. 346.

  "Nonjuror, The," a line in the epilogue quoted, i. 49;
    cast of, ii. 185, _note_ 2.

  Norris, Henry, ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 94, _note_ 1.

  ---- Mrs., said to be the first English actress, i. 90, _note_ 1.

  Northey, Sir Edward, his "opinion" on the Patent, ii. 32, _note_ 1.


  Oates, Titus, i. 133.

  Odell, Thomas, his theatre in Goodman's Fields, i. 282, _note_ 1.

  "Old and New London," referred to, ii. 104, _note_ 1.

  Oldfield, Mrs. Anne, i. 157, i. 251, _note_ 1, i. 332, ii. 69, ii.
      129, _note_ 2, ii. 358;
    memoirs of, published immediately after her death, i. 5;
    her acting of Lady Townly praised in high-flown terms by Cibber,
      i. 51, i. 312, _note_ 3;
    admitted into good society, i. 83;
    her unpromising commencement as an actress, i. 159, i. 305;
    compared with Mrs. Butler, i. 164;
    her rivalry with Mrs. Bracegirdle, i. 174, _note_ 2;
    Cibber's account of, i. 305-312;
    her good sense, i. 310;
    her unexpected excellence, i. 306;
    Cibber writes "The Careless Husband" chiefly for her, i. 308;
    her perfect acting in it, i. 309;
    and Wilks playing in same pieces, i. 314;
    proposed to be made a manager, ii. 69;
    gets increased salary instead, ii. 71;
    advertisement regarding her salary, 1709, ii. 78, _note_ 1;
    riot directed against, ii. 166;
    settles a dispute between Wilks, Cibber, and Booth, ii. 236;
    her death, ii. 254;
    copied Mrs. Mountfort in comedy, ii. 313;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 367;
    and Richard Savage, ii. 369.

  Opera, i. 111;
    control of, given to Swiney, ii. 48.

  ---- Italian, account of its first separate establishment, ii. 50-55;
    decline of Italian, ii. 87-91.

  Otway, Thomas, his failure as an actor, i. 114, _note_ 1;
    his "Orphan," i. 116, _note_ 2.

  Oxford, visited by the actors in 1713, ii. 133, ii. 135;
    Dryden's Prologues at, ii. 134, ii. 136, _note_ 1;
    its critical discernment, ii. 136.

  ---- Lord, Guiscard's attack on, referred to, i. 291.


  Pack, George, ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 94, _note_ 1;
    account of, ii. 169, _note_ 3.

  Pageants formed part in receptions of princes, &c., i. xl. _et seq._

  Painting the face on the stage, i. 182, _note_ 1.

  Pantomimes, the origin of, ii. 180;
    Cibber's opinion of, ii. 180;
    "The Dunciad" on, ii. 181, _note_ 1.

  "Papal Tyranny in the Reign of King John," cast of, ii. 269, _note_ 1.

  Parish-clerks, play acted by, in 1391, i. xxxv.

  Parliamentary reports on the theatres, i. 278, _note_ 1.

  "Parson's Wedding, The," played entirely by women, i. xxxii.

  "Pasquin" quoted, i. 36, _note_ 2.

  Patent, copy of, granted to Sir William Davenant in 1663, i. liii.;
    Steele's, ii. 174.

  Patentees, the, their foolish parsimony, i. 164;
    their ill-treatment of Betterton and other actors, i. 187;
    the actors combine against them, i. 189;
    their deserted condition, i. 194. (For transactions of the Patentees,
      see also Rich, C.)

  Pavy, Sal, a famous child-actor, i. xxxvi.;
    Ben Jonson's epigram on, i. xxxvi.

  Pelham, Hon. Henry, Cibber's "Apology" dedicated to, i. lv., _note_ 1.

  Pembroke, Earl of, ii. 105, _note_ 1.

  Pepys, Samuel, his "Diary," i. 119, _note_ 1, i. 161, _note_ 2, i.
      182, _note_ 1, i. 267, _note_ 1, i. 303, _note_ 1.

  Percival (actor), i. 183, _note_ 1.

  Perkins, an eminent actor, i. xxvi.;
    his death, i. xxxi.

  Perrin, Mons. (of the Théâtre Français), ii. 221, _note_ 1, ii. 246,
      _note_ 1.

  Perriwigs, enormous, worn by actors, ii. 36, _note_ 1.

  Phoenix, the, or Cockpit, i. xxvi.

  "Picture, The," i. xxv.

  Pinkethman, William, i. 313, i. 334, _note_ 1, ii. 129, _note_ 2, ii.
      252, _note_ 1;
    his inferiority to Anthony Leigh, i. 149;
    his liberties with the audience, i. 152;
    hissed for them, i. 153, _note_ 1;
    his lack of judgment, i. 150;
    plays Harlequin without the mask, i. 151;
    his success as Lory in "The Relapse," i. 230;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 348.

  ---- the younger, ii. 349.

  Plays, value of old, for information on manners, i. xxi.;
    old, no actors' names given, i. xxv.;
    originally used for religious purposes, i. xxxiv., i. xxxv.;
    their early introduction, i. xxxvii.;
    began to alter in form about the time of Henry VIII., i. xlv.;
    origin of, in Greece and England, i. xlviii.;
    the alteration in their subjects noticed by Stow in 1598, i. xlviii.;
    temporarily suspended, i. xlix.;
    arranged to be divided between Davenant's and Killigrew's companies,
      i. 91;
    expenses of, i. 197, _note_ 3.

  Players defended regarding character, i. xxii.;
    not to be described as rogues and vagabonds, i. xlix.;
    entirely suppressed by ordinances of the Long Parliament, i. li.

  Playhouses, large number of, in 1629, i. xlix.

  "Poems on Affairs of State," quoted, i. 170, _note_ 1.

  "Poetaster, The," played by the Children of her Majesty's Chapel, i.
      xxxvi.

  Poet Laureate, Cibber appointed, 1730, i. 32, _note_ 1.

  Pollard, Thomas, a comedian, i. xxvi.;
    superior to Hart, i. xxiv.;
    too old to go into Charles I.'s army, i. xxix.;
    arrested for acting, i. xxx.;
    his retirement and death, i. xxxi.

  Pollixfen, Judge, ii. 315.

  Ponsonby-Fane, Sir Spencer, his memorandum on the power of the Lord
      Chamberlain, ii. 11, _note_ 1.

  Pope, Alexander, ii. 151;
    Cibber's "Letter" to, quoted, i. 3, _note_ 1;
    Cibber's first allusion to Pope's enmity, i. 21;
    an epigram comparing Pope and Cibber in society, i. 29, _note_ 1;
    Cibber's opinion of Pope's attacks, i. 35;
    some of Pope's attacks quoted, i. 36, _note_ 1;
    his attack on Atticus (Addison), i. 38;
    Cibber's "Letter" to, quoted, i. 44, _note_ 1, i. 45, _note_ 2;
    epigram attributed to him, on Cibber's Laureateship, i. 46, _note_ 1;
    his "Moral Essays," quoted, i. 307, _note_ 3;
    attacks Cibber for countenancing pantomimes, ii. 182, _note_ 1;
    "The Nonjuror" a cause of his enmity to Cibber, ii. 189, _note_ 1;
    his "Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot," ii. 189, _note_ 1;
    his quarrel with Cibber, ii. 270-283;
    Cibber's "Letter" to him, ii. 271;
    his famous adventure, ii. 278;
    Cibber's second "Letter" to, ii. 281;
    his portrait of Betterton, ii. 339;
    his attacks on Mrs. Oldfield, ii. 370. (See also "Dunciad.")

  Porter, Mrs. Mary, ii. 129, _note_ 2, ii. 303, ii. 368;
    Dogget plays for her benefit after his retirement, ii. 158;
    accident to, ii. 254, ii. 365;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 365.

  Portuguese, the, and religious plays, i. xxxv.

  "Post-Boy Rob'd of his Mail," i. 328, _note_ 1, i. 329, _note_ 1.

  Powell, George, i. 157, i. 193, i. 203, _note_ 1, i. 228, i. 259, i.
      334. _note_ 1, ii. 77, _note_ 1, ii. 94, _note_ 1, ii. 129,
     _note_ 2, ii. 238, ii. 301, ii. 311, ii. 363;
    offered some of Betterton's parts, i. 188;
    his indiscretion as a manager, i. 204;
    mimics Betterton, i. 205, i. 207, _note_ 1;
    the contest between him and Wilks for supremacy at Drury Lane, i.
      237-243, i. 251-256;
    his carelessness, i. 240, i. 243;
    deserts Drury Lane, i. 239;
    returns to Drury Lane, i. 239;
    arrested for deserting his manager, ii. 18;
    arrested for striking young Davenant, ii. 19;
    discharged for assaulting Aaron Hill in 1710, ii. 94, _note_ 1;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 352.

  Price, Joseph, account of him by Bellchambers, i. 146, _note_ 1.

  Prince's Servants, The, before, 1642, i. xxvi.

  Pritchard, Mrs., ii. 268, _note_ 1.

  Profits made by the old actors, i. xxxii.;
    of the theatre, how divided in 1682, i. 97.

  Prologue-speaking, the art of, i. 271.

  "Prophetess, The," i. 187.

  "Provoked Husband," cast of, i. 311, _note_ 1.

  "Provoked Wife," altered, ii. 233.

  "Psyche," an opera, i. 94.

  Puppet-show in Salisbury Change, i. 95.

  Purcell, Henry, i. 187, _note_ 1, ii. 312.


  Quantz, Mons., ii. 89, _note_ 1.

  Queen's Servants, The, before 1642, i. xxvi.

  ---- Theatre in the Haymarket, success of Swiney's company in, ii. 1;
    set aside for operas only, ii. 48;
    its interior altered, ii. 79;
    opened by the seceders from Drury Lane in 1709, ii. 87.

  Quin, James, i. 224, _note_ 2, ii. 259, _note_ 1;
    the chief actor at Garrick's appearance, ii. 262.


  Raftor, Catherine. See Clive.

  ---- James, i. 330, _note_ 1.

  Raillery, reflections on, i. 11.

  Raymond, his "opinion" on the Patent, ii. 32, _note_ 1.

  Red Bull Theatre, i. xxvi., i. xxix.;
    used by King's Company after the Restoration, i. xxxi.;
    drawing of the stage of the, ii. 84, _note_ 1.

  Reformation of the stage, Cibber on, i. 81.

  Rehan, Ada, a great comedian, ii. 289.

  Religion and the stage, i. xxi., i. xxxiii.

  "Renegado, The," i. xxv.

  Revels, Master of the, his unreasonableness to Cibber, i. 275;
    his fees refused to be paid, i. 277.

  Rhodes, the prompter, ii. 333, ii. 339;
    his company, at the Cockpit, i. xxviii.;
    his company of actors engaged by Davenant, i. 87, _note_ 1.

  Rich, Christopher, Patentee of Drury Lane, i. 181, _note_ 1, ii.
      336, ii. 361, ii. 367;
    description of, i. 233, _note_ 1;
    admits servants to theatre gratis, i. 233;
    his treatment of his actors, i. 252;
    consults Cibber on matters of management, i. 253;
    his principles of management, i. 262, ii. 6-8;
    his tactics to avoid settling with his partners, i. 328;
    his objections to an union of the two companies, i. 329;
    permits Swiney to rent the Queen's Theatre, i. 331;
    his foolish neglect of his actors, i. 334;
    declines to execute his agreement with Swiney, i. 336;
    wishes to bring an elephant on the stage, ii. 6;
    introduces rope-dancers at Drury Lane, ii. 7;
    silenced for receiving Powell, ii. 19, _note_ 1;
    his share in the Patent, ii. 32, _note_ 1, ii. 98;
    his dealings with Col. Brett, ii. 42-49, ii. 56-60;
    Cibber on his misconduct, ii. 46;
    his foolish mismanagement, ii. 60, ii. 65;
    confiscates part of his actors' benefits, ii. 66;
    ordered to refund this, ii. 68;
    silenced by the Lord Chamberlain (1709), ii. 72;
    his proceedings after being silenced, ii. 77, ii. 79, _note_ 2;
    an advertisement issued by him regarding actors' salaries in 1709,
      ii. 78, _note_ 1;
    evicted by Collier from Drury Lane (1709), ii. 92;
    his Patent revived in 1714, ii. 79, ii. 165;
    his extraordinary behaviour to the Lord Chamberlain, ii. 98;
    Genest's character of him, ii. 98, _note_ 1;
    rebuilds Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, ii. 100;
    his death, ii. 166, _note_ 1.

  Rich, John, ii. 79, ii. 98, _note_ 2;
    opens Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, ii. 166, _note_ 1;
    an excellent Harlequin, ii. 181, _note_ 1;
    manages the Lincoln's Inn Fields company, ii. 262;
    opens Covent Garden, ii. 262.

  "Richard III.," Cibber's adaptation of, i. 139;
    his playing in, i. 139, i. 275;
    cast of, ii. 288, _note_ 1.

  Richardson, Jonathan, ii. 276.

  Roberts, Mrs., one of Charles II.'s mistresses, ii. 212.

  Robins, a comedian, i. xxvi.

  Robinson, William, ii. 322;
    Hart apprenticed to, i. xxiv.;
    a comedian, i. xxvi.;
    murdered by Harrison, i. xxix.

  Rochester, Lord, ii. 138, _note_ 1, ii. 303.

  Rogers, Mrs., i. 332, ii. 129, _note_ 2, ii. 169, _note_ 2, ii. 353;
    her affectation of prudery, i. 135;
    becomes Wilks's mistress, i. 136;
    her eldest daughter, i. 136;
    riot caused by, ii. 166.

  Rogues and vagabonds, players not to be described as, i. xlix., i. 1.

  "Roman Actor, The," i. xxv.

  Roman Catholic religion, attacked by Cibber, i. 80.

  Rope-dancers on the stage, ii. 7.

  "Roscius Anglicanus." See Downes, John.

  Rose Tavern, the, i. 303, _note_ 1.

  Rowe, Nicholas, in love with Mrs. Bracegirdle, i. 172;
    complains of French dancers, i. 317.

  Royal Theatricals during George I.'s reign, ii. 208;
    during previous reigns, ii. 209;
    effect of audience on actors, ii. 214;
    fees for, ii. 218.

  Rymer, Thomas, ii. 324.


  Sacheverel, Doctor, his trial hurtful to the theatres, ii. 91.

  St. Giles's-in-the-Fields, Colley Cibber christened at, i. 7,
      _note_ 2.

  "St. James's Evening Post," ii. 198, _note_ 1.

  St. Paul's Singing School, i. xlix.

  Salisbury Court, the private theatre in, i. xxiv., i. xxvi., i.
      xxviii.

  Salvini, Tommaso, the great Italian tragedian, plays in Italian,
      while his company plays in English, i. 325, _note_ 1.

  Sandford, Samuel, i. 98, i. 327, ii. 244, _note_ 1;
    the "Spagnolet" of the theatre, i. 130;
    Cibber's account of him, i. 130-1;
    his personal appearance, i. 131;
    an actor of villains, i. 131, i. 137;
    his Creon ("OEdipus"), i. 131;
    the "Tatler" on his acting, i. 132, _note_ 1;
    anecdote of his playing an honest character, i. 132;
    "a theatrical martyr to poetical justice," i. 137;
    his voice and manner of speaking, i. 138;
    would have been a perfect Richard III., i. 138;
    Cibber plays Richard III. in imitation of, i. 139;
    Anthony Aston's description of, ii. 306;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 346.

  Santlow, Hester, her first appearance as an actress, ii. 95;
    her manner and appearance, ii. 95;
    her character, ii. 96, _note_ 1;
    her marriage with Booth, ii. 96, _note_ 1.
    (See also Booth, Mrs. Barton.)

  Satire, reflections on, i. 37;
    Cibber's opinion regarding a printed and an acted, i. 289.

  Saunderson, Mrs. See Betterton, Mrs.

  Savage, Richard, ii. 39, _note_ 1;
    and Mrs. Oldfield, ii. 369.

  Scenes, first introduced by Sir William Davenant, i. xxxii., i. 87,
      _note_ 1.

  "Secular Masque, The," i. 268, _note_ 1.

  Sedley, Sir Charles, Kynaston's resemblance to, ii. 341.

  Senesino (singer), ii. 53.

  Sewell, Dr. George, his "Sir Walter Raleigh," ii. 186, _note_ 1.

  Shadwell, Charles, his "Fair Quaker of Deal," ii. 95.

  ---- Thomas, his comedy of "The Squire of Alsatia," i. 148.

  Shaftesbury, first Earl of, i. 134, _note_ 1.

  Shakespeare, William (see also names of his plays), a better author
      than actor, i. xxv., i. 89;
    his plays, i. xxv.;
    his plays depend less on women than on men, i. 90;
    expenses of plays in his time, i. 197.

  "Sham Lawyer, The," ii. 252, _note_ 1.

  Shank, John, a comedian, i. xxvi.;
    played Sir Roger ("Scornful Lady"), i. xxvi.

  Shatterel, ii. 326;
    superior to his successors, i. xxiv.;
    apprentice to Beeston, i. xxv.;
    a quartermaster in Charles I.'s army, i. xxix.

  Shelton, Lady, ii. 303.

  Shore, John, brother-in-law of Colley Cibber, i. 184, _note_ 1.

  ---- Miss. See Cibber, Mrs. Colley, i. 184, _note_ 1.

  "Shore's Folly," i. 184, _note_ 1.

  "Silent Woman," i. xxiv.

  Singers and dancers introduced by Davenant, i. 94;
    difficulty in managing, ii. 88.

  Skipwith, Sir George, ii. 60.

  ---- Sir Thomas (one of the Patentees of Drury Lane), ii. 109;
    does Vanbrugh a service, i. 217;
    receives "The Relapse" in return, i. 217;
    a sharer in the Drury Lane Patent, ii. 31;
    assigns his share to Colonel Brett, ii. 32;
    his friendship for Brett, ii. 39;
    claims his share from Brett, ii. 59.

  Smith, William, i. 327, ii. 324, ii. 346;
    insulted by one of the audience, i. 79;
    defended by the King, i. 79;
    driven from the stage because of the King's support of him, i. 79;
    taken into good society, i. 83;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 319.

  Sophocles, his tragedies, ii. 29.

  Southampton House, Bloomsbury, i. 7, _note_ 3.

  Southerne, Thomas, ii. 311;
    prophesies the success of Cibber's first play, i. 212;
    his "Oroonoko," i. 216, _note_ 1.

  Spaniards, the, and religious plays, i. xxxv.

  "Spectator," ii. 353.

  Spiller, James, ii. 169, _note_ 2.

  Stage, and religion, i. xxi., i. xxxiii.;
    the, Cibber on the reformation of, i. 81;
    audience on, forbidden, i. 234;
    Cibber on the influence of, ii. 24-31;
    shape of the, described, ii. 84;
    doors, ii. 84, _note_ 1.

  Statute regarding rogues and vagabonds, i. 1.;
    against profanity on the stage, i. 1.;
    against persons meeting out of their own parishes on Sundays for
      sports, etc., i. 1.;
    entirely suppressing players, i. li.

  Steele, Sir Richard, i. 97, _note_ 2, i. 276, ii. 36, _note_ 1, ii.
      109, ii. 128, ii. 151, ii. 217, ii. 251, ii. 257;
    substituted for Collier in the Licence, ii. 162;
    the benefits he had conferred on Cibber and his partners, ii. 162;
    Dennis's attacks on, ii. 168, _note_ 1;
    receives a Patent, ii. 173;
    assigns equal shares in the Patent to his partners, ii. 174;
    account of his transactions in connection with the theatre which
      are ignored by Cibber, ii. 193, _note_ 1;
    persecuted by the Duke of Newcastle, then Lord Chamberlain, ii.
      193, _note_ 1;
    his Licence revoked, ii. 193, _note_ 1;
    restored to his position, ii. 193, _note_ 1;
    the expiry of his Patent, ii. 193, _note_ 1;
    assigns his share of the Patent, ii. 196;
    brings an action against his partners, ii. 196;
    account of the pleadings, ii. 196-208;
    his recommendation of Underhill's benefit, ii. 351.

  Stow, John, his "Survey of London" quoted, i. xxxv., i. xlviii.

  Strolling players, i. xl., i. xlvii., i. 1.

  Subligny, Madlle., a French dancer, i. 316.

  "Summer Miscellany, The," ii. 272, _note_ 1.

  Sumner, an eminent actor, i. xxvi.;
    his death, i. xxxi.

  Sunderland, Lady (the Little Whig), i. 320.

  Swan Theatre, drawing of the stage of the, ii. 84, _note_ 1.

  Swanston, Eliard, acted Othello, i. xxvi.;
    the only actor that took the Presbyterian side in the Civil War,
      i. xxix.

  Swift, Jonathan, an attack on Cibber by him in his "Rhapsody on
      Poetry" quoted, i. 52, _note_ 2.

  Swiney, Owen, i. 97, _note_ 2, ii. 43, ii. 223, ii. 267;
    his "Quacks," i. 247, _note_ 1;
    account of his character, i. 329;
    memoir of, i. 330, _note_ 1;
    rents the Queen's Theatre from Vanbrugh, i. 330. i. 333. _note_ 1;
    his agreement with Rich about renting the Queen's Theatre, i. 331;
    Rich declines to execute it, i. 336;
    his success at the Queen's Theatre in 1706-7, ii. 1;
    his arrangement with his actors in 1706, ii. 9;
    control of the opera given to, ii. 48;
    his gain by the opera in 1708, ii. 55;
    has joint control of plays and operas (1709), ii. 69;
    forced to hand over the opera to Collier, ii. 102;
    forced to resume the opera, ii. 107;
    goes abroad on account of debt, ii. 108;
    his return to England, ii. 108;
    Cibber plays for his benefit, ii. 262.


  "Tatler," the, i. 38, i. 132, _note_ 1, ii. 75, ii. 93, ii. 229,
      _note_ 1, ii. 244, _note_ 1, ii. 244, _note_ 2, ii. 328, ii.
      362, ii. 363;
    its eulogium of Betterton, i. 118, _note_ 1;
    recommends Cave Underhill's benefit, i. 155;
    praises Nicolini, ii. 52;
    its influence on audiences, ii. 162.

  Taylor, John, his "Records of my Life" quoted, i. lxv., _note_ 1.

  ---- Joseph, ii. 334;
    superior to Hart, i. xxiv.;
    his chief characters, i. xxvi.;
    too old to go into Charles I.'s army, i. xxix.;
    arrested for acting, i. xxx.;
    his death, i. xxxi.

  "Tempest, The," as an opera, i. 94;
    revival of, ii. 227.

  Theatre, the, mentioned by Stow as recently erected, i. xlviii.

  Théâtre Français, ii. 221, _note_ 1, ii. 246, _note_ 1.

  Theatres, number of, before 1642, i. xxvi.;
    more reputable before 1642, i. xxvii.;
    less reputable after the Restoration, i. xxvii.;
    evil, artistically, of multiplying, i. 92.

  Theobald, Lewis, deposed from the Throne of Dulness, ii. 280.

  Thomson, James, his "Sophonisba," ii. 368.

  Tofts, Mrs. Katherine, i. 334, _note_ 1, ii. 51;
    Cibber's account of, ii. 54.

  "Tone" in speaking, i. 110, _note_ 1.

  Trinity College, Cambridge, Caius Cibber's statues on the Library,
      i. 59;
    particulars regarding these, i. 59, _note_ 1.


  Underhill, Cave, i. 98, i. 142, i. 327, ii. 307, ii. 346, ii. 347,
      ii. 361;
    his chief parts, i. 154-155;
    Cibber's account of, i. 154-156;
    his particular excellence in stupid characters, i. 154;
    the peculiarity of his facial expression, i. 155;
    his retirement and last appearances, i. 155, _note_ 2;
    his death, i. 156;
    Anthony Aston's description of, ii. 307;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 350.

  Underwood, John, originally a "chapel boy," i. xxxvii.

  Union of Companies in 1682, i. xxxii., i. 96;
    in 1708, i. 301;
    causes that led up to, ii. 45, ii. 48.


  Valentini (Valentini Urbani), singer, i. 325, ii. 51, ii. 55.

  Vanbrugh, Sir John, i. 269, i. 274, i. 284, ii. 107, ii. 110, ii.
      190, ii. 337, ii. 353, ii. 367;
    his opinion of Cibber's acting of Richard III., i. 139;
    his "Relapse," i. 216, i. 218;
    his high opinion of Cibber's acting, i. 216;
    his "Provoked Wife," i. 216-217;
    in gratitude to Sir Thomas Skipwith presents him with "The Relapse,"
      i. 217;
    his "Æsop," i. 216, i. 218;
    his great ability, i. 219;
    alters his "Provoked Wife," ii. 233;
    his share in the "Provoked Husband," i. 311, _note_ 1;
    builds the Queen's Theatre, i. 319;
    and Congreve manage the Queen's Theatre, i. 320, i. 325;
    his "Confederacy," i. 325;
    "The Cuckold in Conceit" (attributed to him), i. 326;
    his "Squire Trelooby," i. 326;
    his "Mistake," i. 327;
    sole proprietor of the Queen's Theatre, i. 326;
    lets it to Swiney, i. 330, i. 333, _note_ 1.

  Vaughan, Commissioner, ii. 278, _note_ 1.

  "Venice Preserved," ii. 224, _note_ 1.

  Verbruggen, John, i. 108, _note_ 2;
    mentioned, i. 157, i. 193;
    hangs about Downes, the prompter, i. 74, _note_ 1;
    note regarding, i. 157, _note_ 2;
    Anthony Aston's description of, ii. 311;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 354.

  ---- Mrs. See Mrs. Mountfort.

  Vere Street, Clare Market, theatre in, i. xxxii.

  Versatility, Cibber's views on, i. 209.

  Victor, Benjamin, ii. 259;
    a story told by him of Cibber's cowardice, i. 71, _note_ 1;
    his "History of the Theatres," i. 110, _note_ 1, i. 297,
      _note_ 1, ii. 259, _note_ 2, ii. 260, _note_ 1, ii. 261,
      _note_ 1, ii. 264, ii. 270;
    his "Letters" quoted, i. 58, _note_ 1;
    his "Life of Booth," i. 5, _note_ 1, ii. 240, _note_ 2.

  Villains, Cibber's views on, i. 131;
    Macready's views on, referred to, i. 135, _note_ 1;
    E. S. Willard mentioned as famous for representing, i. 135,
      _note_ 1;
    on the acting of, i. 222.

  Vizard-masks (women of the town), i. xxvii. See also Masks.

  Voltaire, his "Zaïre," ii. 248.


  Walker, Obadiah, his change of religion, ii. 134.

  Waller, Edmund, altered the last act of the "Maid's Tragedy," ii. 12.

  Walpole, Horace, and Cibber, ii. 284.

  Warburton, Bishop, mentioned, i. 106, _note_ 1, ii. 281.

  Ward, Professor A. W., his "English Dramatic Literature," i. 187,
      _note_ 1.

  Warwick, Earl of, his frolic with Pope and Cibber, ii. 278.

  Weaver, John, his "Loves of Mars and Venus," ii. 180, _note_ 2.

  Webster, Benjamin, i. 88, _note_ 3.

  "Wedding, The," i. xxv.

  "Weekly Packet" quoted, ii. 171, _note_ 1.

  Welsted, Leonard, satirically mentioned by Swift, i. 52, _note_ 2.

  Westminster Bridge, difficulties in getting permission to build,
      ii. 104.

  Whig, the Little (Lady Sunderland), i. 320.

  White's Club, Cibber a member, i. 29, _note_ 1.

  Whitefriars, i. xlix.

  "Whitehall Evening Post," Cibber sends verses to, regarding himself,
      i. 47.

  Whitelocke's "Memorials," ii. 209, _note_ 2.

  Wigs. See Perriwigs.

  Wildair, Sir Harry, i. 318.

  "Wild-Goose Chase, The," i. xxv.

  Wilks, Robert, i. 108, _note_ 2, i. 157, i. 270, i. 332, ii. 36,
      _note_ 1, ii. 167, ii. 176, ii. 300, ii. 352, ii. 361, ii. 363,
      ii. 368;
    memoirs published immediately after his death, i. 5;
    mistakes in his Hamlet, i. 100, _note_ 1;
    lives with Mrs. Rogers, i. 136;
    distressed by Pinkethman's "gagging," i. 153, _note_ 1;
    his impetuous temper, i. 190, i. 191, _note_ 1, i. 191, _note_ 2,
      ii. 127, ii. 150-155, ii. 171;
    his return to Drury Lane from Dublin, i. 235;
    his commencing as actor, i. 235;
    the contest between him and Powell for supremacy at Drury Lane,
      i. 237-243, i. 251-256;
    his wonderful memory, i. 240, i. 242;
    his diligence and care, i. 240, ii. 160;
    his good character, i. 243;
    made chief actor at Drury Lane, under Rich, i. 256;
    his energy in managing, i. 257;
    his disputes with Cibber, i. 258;
    his friendship with Mills, i. 259;
    as a prologue-speaker, i. 271;
    the occasion of his coming to London, i. 304;
    and Mrs. Oldfield playing in same pieces, i. 314;
    made Deputy-manager by Brett, ii. 56, _note_ 1;
    made joint-manager with Swiney and others in 1709, ii. 69;
    advertisement regarding his salary, 1709, ii. 78, _note_ 1;
    his characteristics as a manager, ii. 111, ii. 117;
    his patronage of his friends, ii. 121;
    his behaviour on Booth's claiming to become a manager, ii. 131,
      ii. 141;
    his favour for Mills, ii. 223;
    his connection with Steele during the dispute about Steele's Patent,
      ii. 193, _note_ 1;
    his love of acting, ii. 225;
    a genuine admirer of Cibber, ii. 226, _note_ 1;
    attacked by Dennis, ii. 226, _note_ 2;
    his excellence as Macduff, ii. 228;
    gives the part to Williams, ii. 229;
    but withdraws it, ii. 230;
    complains of acting so much, ii. 232;
    a scene between him and his partners, ii. 234-237;
    benefits arising from his enthusiasm for acting, ii. 237;
    and Booth, their opinion of each other, ii. 240;
    formed his style on Mountfort's, ii. 241;
    Cibber's comparison of Booth and Wilks, ii. 239-245;
    his Othello, ii. 244;
    death of, ii. 254;
    memoir of, ii. 254, _note_ 4;
    Patent granted to him, Cibber, and Booth, after Steele's death,
      ii. 257.

  Wilks, Mrs., inherits Wilks's share in the Patent, ii. 258;
    delegates her authority to John Ellys, ii. 258;
    her share sold to Fleetwood, ii. 261.

  Willard, E. S., mentioned, i. 135, _note_ 1.

  William of Orange, Cibber a supporter of, at the Revolution, i. 60;
    made king, i. 70;
    gives a Licence to Betterton, i. 192, _note_ 1.

  Williams, Charles, Wilks gives him the part of Macduff, ii. 229;
    but withdraws it, ii. 230;
    hissed in mistake for Cibber, i. 179, _note_ 1.

  ---- Joseph, mentioned, i. 157, i. 200;
    Bellchambers's memoir of, ii. 356.

  Wiltshire (actor), leaves the stage for the army, i. 84;
    killed in Flanders, i. 85.

  Winchester College, Cibber stands for election to, and is
      unsuccessful, i. 56;
    his brother, Lewis Cibber, is afterwards successful, i. 56;
    his father presents a statue to, i. 56;
    communication from the Head Master of, i. 56, _note_ 2.

  Wintershal (actor), belonged to the Salisbury Court Theatre, i. xxiv.

  Woffington, Margaret, her artistic feeling, i. 166, _note_ 1;
    an anecdote wrongly connected with her, ii. 266.

  "Woman's Wit," cast of, i. 264, _note_ 1.

  Women, their first introduction on the stage, i. xxxii., i. 89,
      _note_ 1, i. 90.

  Wren, Sir Christopher, the designer of Drury Lane Theatre, ii. 82.

  Wright, James, his "History of Rutlandshire," i. 8;
    quoted, i. 9, _note_ 1;
    his "Historia Histrionica," i. xix.

  Wykeham, William of, Cibber connected with by descent, i. 56.


  "Ximena," cast of, ii. 163, _note_ 1.


  York, Duke of (James II.), at Whitehall, i. 30.

  Young, Dr. Edward, his "Epistle to Mr. Pope" quoted, i. 54, _note_ 1.

  Young actors, dearth of, ii. 221.



END OF VOL. I.



[Illustration: CHISWICK PRESS:-C. WHITTINGHAM AND CO., TOOKS COURT,
CHANCERY LANE.]



FOOTNOTES


[Footnote 1: Colley Cibber's "brazen brainless brothers." According to
Horace Walpole, "one of the Statues was the portrait of Oliver Cromwell's
porter, then in Bedlam."]


[Footnote 2: Till the 25 Year of Queen _Elizabeth_, the Queen had not
any Players; but in that Year 12 of the best of all those who belonged
to several Lords, were chosen & sworn her Servants, as Grooms of the
Chamber. Stow's _Annals_, p. 698.]


[Footnote 3: The Right Honourable Henry Pelham. Davies ("Life of
Garrick," ii. 377) says that the "Apology" was dedicated to "that wise
and honest minister," Pelham. John Taylor ("Records of my Life," i. 263)
writes: "The name of the person to whom the Dedication to the 'Apology'
was addressed is not mentioned, but the late Mr. John Kemble assured me
that he had authority for saying it was Mr. Pelham, brother to the Duke
of Newcastle." From the internal evidence it seems quite clear that this
is so. In the Verses to Cibber quoted in "The Egotist," p. 69, the
authoress writes:--

    "_Some praise a Patron and reveal him:
    You paint so true, you can't conceal him._
    Their _gaudy Praise undue but shames him,
    While_ your's _by Likeness only names him."_]


[Footnote 4: Cibber, in Chapter ix., mentions that he is writing his
Apology at Bath, and Fielding, in the mock trial of "_Col._ Apol." given
in "The Champion" of 17th May, 1740, indicts the Prisoner "for that you,
not having the Fear of Grammar before your Eyes, on the ---- of ---- at
a certain Place, called the _Bath_, in the County of _Somerset_, in
_Knights-Bridge_, in the County of _Middlesex_, in and upon the
_English_ Language an Assault did make, and then and there, with a
certain Weapon called a Goose-quill, value one Farthing, which you in
your left Hand then held, several very broad Wounds but of no Depth at
all, on the said _English_ Language did make, and so you the said Col.
_Apol._ the said _English_ Language did murder."]


[Footnote 5: This seems to be a favourite argument of Cibber. In his
"Letter" to Pope, 1742, he answers Pope's line, "And has not Colley
still his Lord and Whore?" at great length, one of his arguments being
that the latter accusation, "without some particular Circumstances to
aggravate the Vice, is the flattest Piece of Satyr that ever fell from
the formidable Pen of Mr. _Pope_: because (_defendit numerus_) take the
first ten thousand Men you meet, and I believe, you would be no Loser,
if you betted ten to one that every single Sinner of them, one with
another, had been guilty of the same Frailty."--p. 46.]


[Footnote 6: Cibber's "Apology" must have been a very profitable book.
It was published in one volume quarto in 1740, and in the same year the
second edition, one volume octavo, was issued. A third edition appeared
in 1750, also in one volume octavo. Davies ("Dramatic Miscellanies,"
iii. 506) says: "Cibber must have raised considerable contributions on
the public by his works. To say nothing of the sums accumulated by
dedications, benefits, and the sale of his plays singly, his dramatic
works, in quarto, by subscription, published 1721, produced him a
considerable sum of money. It is computed that he gained, by the
excellent Apology for his Life, no less than the sum of £1,500." "The
Laureat" (1740) is perhaps Davies's authority for his computation.
"_Ingenious indeed_, who from such a Pile of indigested incoherent Ideas
huddled together by the _Misnomer_ of a History, could raise a
Contribution on the Town (if Fame says true) of Fifteen hundred
Pounds."--"Laureat," p. 96.

Cibber no doubt kept the copyright of the first and second editions
in his own hands. In 1750 he sold his copyright to Robert Dodsley for
the sum of fifty guineas. The original assignment, which bears the
date "March ye 24th, 1749/50," is in the collection of Mr. Julian
Marshall.]


[Footnote 7: Of Mrs. Oldfield there was a volume of "Authentick Memoirs"
published in 1730, the year she died; and in 1731 appeared Egerton's
"Faithful Memoirs," and "The Lover's Miscellany," in which latter are
memoirs of Mrs. Oldfield's "Life and Amours." Three memoirs of Wilks
immediately followed his death, the third of which was written by Curll,
who denounces the other two as frauds. Benjamin Victor wrote a memoir of
Booth which was published in the year of his death, and there was one
unauthorized memoir issued in the same year. Bellchambers instances the
Life of Congreve as another imposition.]


[Footnote 8: From this expression it appears that Cibber did not
contemplate again returning to the stage. He did, however, make a few
final appearances, his last being to support his own adaptation of
Shakespeare's "King John," which he called "Papal Tyranny in the Reign
of King John," and which was produced at Covent Garden on 15th February,
1745.]


[Footnote 9: "The Rehearsal," act iii. sc. 4.]


[Footnote 10: The christening of Colley Cibber is recorded in the
Baptismal Register of the Church of St. Giles-in-the-Fields. The entry
reads:--

    "November 1671    Christnings
       20. Colly sonne of Caius Gabriell Sibber and Jane ux"]


[Footnote 11: Mr. Laurence Hutton, in his "Literary Landmarks of
London," page 52, says: "Southampton House, afterwards Bedford House,
taken down in the beginning of the present century, occupied the north
side of Bloomsbury Square. Evelyn speaks of it in his Diary, October,
1664, as in course of construction. Another and an earlier Southampton
House in Holborn, 'a little above Holborn Bars,' was removed some twenty
years before Cibber's birth. He was, therefore, probably born at the
upper or north end of Southampton Street, facing Bloomsbury Square,
where now are comparatively modern buildings, and not in Southampton
Street, Strand, as is generally supposed."]


[Footnote 12: Caius Gabriel Cibber, born at Flensborg in Holstein in
1630; married, as his second wife, Jane Colley, on 24th November, 1670;
died in 1700. He was, as Colley Cibber states, a sculptor of some note.]


[Footnote 13:

    "Where o'er the gates, by his fam'd father's hand,
    Great Cibber's brazen, brainless brothers stand."
          (Final edition of "The Dunciad," i. verses 31-2.)

Bellchambers notes that these figures were removed to the New Hospital
in St. George's Fields. They are now in South Kensington Museum.]


[Footnote 14: "It was found by office taken in the 13th year of H. 8.
that _John Colly_ deceased, held the Mannour and Advowson of Glaiston of
_Edward_ Duke of Buckingham, as of his Castle of Okeham by knights
service."--Wright's "History and Antiquities of the County of Rutland,"
p. 64.

"In the 26. _Car._ I. (1640) Sir _Anthony Colly_ Knight, then Lord of
this Mannor, joyned with his Son and Heir apparent, _William Colly_
Esquire, in a Conveyance of divers parcels of Land in Glaiston, together
with the Advowson of the Church there, to _Edward Andrews_ of Bisbroke
in this County, Esquire: Which Advowson is since conveyed over to
_Peterhouse_ in Cambridge."--_Ibid._ p. 65.]


[Footnote 15: Fielding ("Joseph Andrews," chap. iii.), writing of Parson
Adams, says: "Simplicity was his characteristic: he did, no more than
Mr. Colley Cibber, apprehend any such passions as malice and envy to
exist in mankind; which was indeed less remarkable in a country parson,
than in a gentleman who has passed his life behind the scenes--a place
which has been seldom thought the school of innocence."]


[Footnote 16: Glout is an obsolete word signifying "to pout, to look
sullen."]


[Footnote 17: Bellchambers suggests that these two persons were the Earl
of Chesterfield and "Bubb Doddington." As to the former he is no doubt
correct, but I cannot see a single feature of resemblance between the
second portrait and Lord Melcombe. "The Laureat" says (p. 18) that the
portraits were "L----d C----d and Mr. E----e" [probably Erskine].
Bellchambers seems to have supposed that "Bubb" was a nickname.]


[Footnote 18: "Set the table on a roar."--"Hamlet," act v. sc. 1.]


[Footnote 19: Ter. _Eun._ i. 1, 18.]


[Footnote 20: _Ars Poetica_, 126.]


[Footnote 21: In William Byrd's collection, entitled "Psalmes, Sonets, &
songs of sadnes and pietie," 1588, 4to., is the song to which Cibber
probably refers:--

    "My Minde to me a Kingdome is."

Mr. Bullen, in his "Lyrics from Elizabethan Song-books" (p. 78), quotes
it.]


[Footnote 22:

          "And so many a time,
    When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,
    Hath ta'en your part."--"Othello," act iii. sc. 3.]


[Footnote 23: This is Gibber's first allusion to Pope's enmity. It was
after the publication of the "Apology" that Pope's attacks became more
bitter.]


[Footnote 24: Horace, _Epis._ ii. 2, 126.]


[Footnote 25: Charles II.'s flight from his Scottish Presbyterian
subjects, at the end of 1650, to take refuge among his wild Highland
supporters, was caused by the insolent invectives of the rigid
Presbyterian clergymen, who preached long sermons at him, on his own
wickedness and that of his father and mother, and made his life
generally a burden.]


[Footnote 26: Hor. _Od._ iv. 12, 28.]


[Footnote 27: "Os homini sublime dedit."--Ovid, _Met._ i. 85.]


[Footnote 28: Cibber is pardonably vain throughout at the society he
moved in. His greatest social distinction was his election as a member
of White's. His admission to such society was of course the subject of
lampoons, such as the following:--

        "_The_ BUFFOON, _An_ EPIGRAM.

    Don't boast, prithee _Cibber_, so much of thy State,
    That like _Pope_ you are blest with the smiles of the Great;
    With both they Converse, but for different Ends,
    And 'tis easy to know their Buffoons from their Friends."]


[Footnote 29: Arlington did not, however, die till the 28th July, 1685,
surviving Charles II. by nearly six months.]


[Footnote 30: Cibber was appointed Poet-Laureate on the death of Eusden.
His appointment was dated 3rd December, 1730.]

[Footnote 31: "Forsan et hæc olim meminisse juvabit."--Virg. _Æneid_, i.
207.]


[Footnote 32: As Laureate, and as author of "The Nonjuror," Cibber is
bound to be extremely loyal to the Protestant dynasty.]


[Footnote 33: Curiously enough, Cibber's praise of his deceased
companion-actors has been attributed to something of this motive.]


[Footnote 34: Bellchambers prints these words thus: "Lick at the
Laureat," as if Cibber had referred to the title of a book; and notes:
"This is the title of a pamphlet in which some of Mr. Cibber's
peculiarities have been severely handled." But I doubt this, for there
is nothing in Cibber's arrangement of the words to denote that they
represent the title of a book; and, besides, I know no work with such a
title published before 1740. Bellchambers, in a note on page 114,
represents that he quotes from "Lick at the Laureat, 1730;" but I find
the quotation he gives in "The Laureat," 1740 (p. 31), almost
_verbatim_. As it stands in the latter there is no hint that it is
quoted from a previous work, nor, indeed, do the terms of it permit of
such an interpretation. I can, therefore, only suppose that Bellchambers
is wrong in attributing the sentence to a work called "A Lick at the
Laureat."]


[Footnote 35: The principal allusions to Cibber which, up to the time of
the publication of the "Apology," Pope had made, were in the
"Dunciad":--

    "How, with less reading than makes felons 'scape,
    Less human genius than God gives an ape,
    Small thanks to France and none to Rome or Greece,
    A past, vamp'd, future, old, reviv'd, new piece,
    'Twixt Plautus, Fletcher, Congreve, and Corneille,
    Can make a Cibber, Johnson, or Ozell."
        Second edition, Book i. 235-240.

    "Beneath his reign, shall Eusden wear the bays,
    Cibber preside, Lord-Chancellor of Plays."
        Second edition, Book iii. 319, 320.

In the "Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot" there were one or two passing
allusions to Cibber, one of them being the line:--

    "And has not Colley still his Lord and whore?"

for which Cibber retaliated in his "Letter" of 1742.

In the "First Epistle of the Second Book of Horace" (1737), Cibber is
scurvily treated. In it occur the lines:--

    "And idle Cibber, how he breaks the laws,
    To make poor Pinkey eat with vast applause!"]


[Footnote 36: Cibber's Odes were a fruitful subject of banter. Fielding
in "Pasquin," act ii. sc. 1, has the following passage:--

"_2nd Voter._ My Lord, I should like a Place at Court too; I don't much
care what it is, provided I wear fine Cloaths, and have something to do
in the Kitchen, or the Cellar; I own I should like the Cellar, for I am
a divilish Lover of Sack.

_Lord Place._ Sack, say you? Odso, you shall be Poet-Laureat.

_2nd Voter._ Poet! no, my Lord, I am no Poet, I can't make verses.

_Lord Place._ No Matter for that--you'll be able to make Odes.

_2nd Voter._ Odes, my Lord! what are those?

_Lord Place._ Faith, Sir, I can't tell well what they are; but I know
you may be qualified for the Place without being a Poet."

Boswell ("Life of Johnson," i. 402) reports that Johnson said, "His
[Cibber's] friends give out that he _intended_ his birth-day _Odes_
should be bad: but that was not the case, Sir; for he kept them many
months by him, and a few years before he died he shewed me one of them,
with great solicitude to render it as perfect as might be."

In "The Egotist" (p. 63) Cibber is made to say: "As bad Verses are the
Devil, and good ones I can't get up to----"]


[Footnote 37: "Champion," 29th April, 1740: "When he says (Fol. 23)
Satire is _angrily_ particular, every Dunce of a Reader knows that he
means angry with a particular Person."]


[Footnote 38: Cibber's allusion to Pope's treatment of Addison is a fair
hit.]


[Footnote 39: Juvenal, i. 79.]


[Footnote 40: Davies ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 511) says: "If we except the
remarks on plays and players by the authors of the Tatler and Spectator,
the theatrical observations in those days were coarse and illiberal,
when compared to what we read in our present daily and other periodical
papers."]


[Footnote 41: "_Frankly._ Is it not commendable in a Man of Parts, to be
warmly concerned for his Reputation?

_Author [Cibber]._ In what regards his Honesty or Honour, I will make
you some Allowances: But for the Reputation of his Parts, not one
Tittle!"--"The Egotist: or, Colley upon Cibber," p. 13.

Bellchambers notes here: "When Cibber was charged with moral offences of
a deeper dye, he thought himself at liberty, I presume, to relinquish
his indifference, and bring the libeller to account. On a future page
will be found the public advertisement in which he offered a reward of
ten pounds for the detection of Dennis."]


[Footnote 42: "_Frankly._ It will be always natural for Authors to
defend their Works.

_Author [Cibber]._ And would it not be as well, if their Works defended
themselves?"--"The Egotist: or, Colley upon Cibber," p. 15.]


[Footnote 43: In his "Letter to Pope," 1742, p. 7, Cibber says: "After
near twenty years having been libell'd by our Daily-paper Scriblers, I
never was so hurt, as to give them one single Answer."]


[Footnote 44: "_Frankly._ I am afraid you will discover yourself; and
your Philosophical Air will come out at last meer Vanity in Masquerade.

_Author [Cibber]._ O! if there be Vanity in keeping one's Temper; with
all my Heart."--"The Egotist: or, Colley upon Cibber," p. 13.]


[Footnote 45: In his "Letter to Pope," 1742, p. 9, Cibber says: "I
would not have even your merited Fame in Poetry, if it were to be
attended with half the fretful Solicitude you seem to have lain under
to maintain it."]


[Footnote 46: The best epigram is that which Cibber ("Letter," 1742, p.
39) attributes to Pope:--

    "In merry Old England, it once was a Rule,
    The King had his Poet, and also his Fool.
    But now we're so frugal, I'd have you to know it,
    That Cibber can serve both for Fool and for Poet."

Dr. Johnson also wrote an epigram, of which he seems to have been
somewhat proud:--

    "Augustus still survives in Maro's strain,
    And Spenser's verse prolongs Eliza's reign;
    Great George's acts let tuneful Cibber sing;
    For Nature form'd the Poet for the King."
                                Boswell, i. 149.

In "Certain Epigrams, in Laud and Praise of the Gentlemen of the
Dunciad," p. 8, is:--

                EPIGRAM XVI.
          _A Question by_ ANONYMUS.

    "Tell, if you can, which did the worse,
      _Caligula_, or _Gr--n's_ [Grafton's] Gr--ce?
    That made a Consul of a _Horse_,
      And this a Laureate of an _Ass_."

In "The Egotist: or, Colley upon Cibber," p. 49, Cibber is made to say:
"An _Ode_ is a Butt, that a whole Quiver of Wit is let fly at every
Year!"]


[Footnote 47: "The Laureat" says: "The Things he calls Verses, carry the
most evident Marks of their Parent _Colley_."--p. 24.]


[Footnote 48: _A Line in the Epilogue to the_ Nonjuror.]


[Footnote 49: This allusion to time shows that Cibber began his
"Apology" about 1737.]


[Footnote 50: Fielding has many extremely good attacks on Cibber's style
and language. For instance:--

"I shall here only obviate a flying Report ... that whatever Language it
was writ in, it certainly could not be _English_.... Now I shall prove
it to be _English_ in the following Manner. Whatever Book is writ in no
other Language, is writ in _English_. This Book is writ in no other
Language, _Ergo_, It is writ in _English_."--"Champion," 22nd April,
1740.

Again ("Joseph Andrews," book iii. chap. vi.), addressing the Muse or
Genius that presides over Biography, he says: "Thou, who, without the
assistance of the least spice of literature, and even against his
inclination, hast, in some pages of his book, forced Colley Cibber to
write English."]


[Footnote 51: In later editions the expression was changed to "She here
outdid her usual excellence."]


[Footnote 52: "Decies repetita placebit."--Horace, _Ars Poetica_, 365.]


[Footnote 53:

    "For instance: when you rashly think,
    No rhymer can like Welsted sink,
    His merits balanc'd, you shall find,
    The laureat leaves him far behind."
        Swift, _On Poetry: a Rhapsody_, l. 393.]


[Footnote 54: "_Frankly._ Then for your Reputation, if you won't bustle
about it, and now and then give it these little Helps of Art, how can
you hope to raise it?

_Author [Cibber]._ If it can't live upon simple Nature, let it die, and
be damn'd! I shall give myself no further Trouble about it."--"The
Egotist: or, Colley upon Cibber," p. 9.]


[Footnote 55: Young's second "Epistle to Mr. Pope."]


[Footnote 56: Indirectly surely, William of Wykeham being a priest.]


[Footnote 57: I am indebted to the courtesy of the Head Master of
Winchester College, the Rev. Dr. Fearon, for the information that this
statue, a finely designed and well-executed work, still stands over the
door of the big school. A Latin inscription states that it was presented
by Caius Gabriel Cibber in 1697.]


[Footnote 58: Bellchambers finds in this sentence "a levity, which
accords with the charges so often brought against Cibber of impiety and
irreligion;" and he quotes from Davies ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 506) two
stories--one, that Cibber spat at a picture of our Saviour; and the
other, that he endeavoured to enter into discussion with "honest Mr.
William Whiston" with the intention of insulting him. Both anecdotes
seem to me rather foolish. I do not suppose Cibber was in any sense a
religious man, but his works are far from giving any offence to
religion; and, as a paid supporter of a Protestant succession, I think
he was too prudent to be an open scoffer. A sentence in one of Victor's
"Letters" (i. 72), written from Tunbridge, would seem to show that
Cibber at least preserved appearances. He says, "Every one complies with
what is called the _fashion_--_Cibber_ goes constantly to _prayers_--and
the Curate (to return the compliment) as constantly, when prayers are
over, to the _Gaming table_!"]


[Footnote 59: By the kindness of a friend at Cambridge I am enabled to
give the following interesting extracts from a letter written by Mr.
William White, of Trinity College Library, regarding the statues here
referred to: "They occupy the four piers, subdividing the balustrade on
the east side of the Library, overlooking Neville's Court. The four
Statues represent Divinity, Law, Physic, and Mathematics. That these
were executed by Mr. Gabriel Cibber our books will prove. I will give
you two or three extracts from Grumbold's Account Book, kept in the
Library. He was Foreman of the Works when the Library was built. I think
Cibber cut the Statues here. It is quite certain he and his men were
here some time: no doubt they superintended the placing of them in their
positions, at so great a height.

'Payd for the Carridg of a Larg Block Stone Given by John Manning to ye
Coll. for one of ye Figures 01:00:00.'

'May 7, 1681. Pd to Mr Gabriell Cibber for cutting four statues
80:00:00.' '27 June. Pd to ye Widdo Bats for Mr Gabriel Cibbers and
his mens diatt 05: 18: 11. Pd to Mr Martin [for the same] 12: 03:
03.'"

In connection with these statues an amusing practical joke was played
while Byron was an undergraduate, which was attributed to him--unjustly,
however, I believe.]


[Footnote 60: 5th November, 1688.]


[Footnote 61: Fielding, in "Joseph Andrews," book i. chap. I: "How
artfully does the former [Cibber] by insinuating that he escaped being
promoted to the highest stations in the Church and State, teach us a
contempt of worldly grandeur! how strongly does he inculcate an absolute
submission to our Superiors!"]


[Footnote 62: Fielding ("Champion," 6th May, 1740): "Not to mention our
Author's Comparisons of himself to King _James_, the Prince of _Orange_,
_Alexander the Great_, _Charles_ the XIIth, and _Harry_ IV. of _France_,
his favourite Simile is a Lion, thus _page_ 39, we have a SATISFIED
PRESUMPTION, that _to drive_ England _into slavery is like teaching_ AN
OLD LION TO DANCE. 104. _Our new critics are like Lions Whelps that dash
down the Bowls of Milk &c._ besides a third Allusion to the same Animal:
and this brings into my Mind a Story which I once heard from _Booth_,
that our Biographer had, in one of his Plays in a Local Simile,
introduced this generous Beast in some Island or Country where Lions did
not grow; of which being informed by the learned _Booth_, the Biographer
replied, _Prithee tell me then, where there is a Lion, for God's Curse,
if there be a Lion in_ Europe, Asia, Africa, _or_ America, _I will not
lose my simile_."]


[Footnote 63: Lucretius, i. 102.]


[Footnote 64: John Dennis, in an advertisement to "The Invader of his
Country," 1720, says, "'tis as easy for Mr. _Cibber_ at this time of Day
to make a Bounce with his Loyalty, as 'tis for a Bully at Sea, who had
lain hid in the Hold all the time of the Fight, to come up and swagger
upon the Deck after the Danger is over."]


[Footnote 65: "Champion," 29th April, 1740: "When in _page_ 42, we read,
_Beauty_ SHINES _into equal Warmth the Peasant and the Courtier_, do we
not know what he means though he hath made a Verb active of SHINE, as in
_Page_ 117, he hath of REGRET, _nothing could more painfully regret a
judicious Spectator_."]


[Footnote 66: One of the commonest imputations made against Cibber was
that he was of a cowardly temper. In "Common Sense" for 11th June, 1737,
a paper attributed to Lord Chesterfield, there is a dissertation on
kicking as a humorous incident on the stage. The writer adds: "Of all
the Comedians who have appeared upon the Stage within my Memory, no one
has taking (_sic_) a Kicking with so much Humour as our present most
excellent Laureat, and I am inform'd his Son does not fall much short of
him in this Excellence; I am very glad of it, for as I have a Kindness
for the young Man, I hope to see him as well kick'd as his Father was
before him."

I confess that I am not quite sure how far this sentence is ironically
meant, but Bellchambers refers to it as conveying a serious accusation
of cowardice. He also quotes from Davies ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 487), who
relates, on the authority of Victor, that Cibber, having reduced
Bickerstaffe's salary by one-half, was waited upon by that actor, who
"flatly told him, that as he could not subsist on the small sum to which
he had reduced his salary, he must call the author of his distress to an
account, for that it would be easier for him to lose his life than to
starve. The affrighted Cibber told him, he should receive an answer from
him on Saturday next. Bickerstaffe found, on that day, his usual income
was continued." This story rests only on Victor's authority, but is, of
course, not improbable. There is also a vague report that Gay, in
revenge for Cibber's banter of "Three Hours after Marriage," personally
chastised him, but I know no good authority for the story.]


[Footnote 67: Cibber (1st ed.) wrote: "new Honours of Duke of
_Devonshire_, Lord Steward," &c. He corrected his blunder in 2nd ed.]


[Footnote 68: See Macaulay ("History," 1858, vol. ii. p. 251).]


[Footnote 69: Davies ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 444) says: "Cibber and
Verbruggen were two dissipated young fellows, who determined, in
opposition to the advice of friends, to become great actors. Much about
the same time, they were constant attendants upon Downes, the prompter
of Drury-Lane, in expectation of employment."]


[Footnote 70: "The Laureat" states that Miss Santlow (afterwards Mrs.
Barton Booth) was the actress referred to; that Captain Montague was her
assailant, and Mr. Secretary Craggs her defender.]


[Footnote 71: See memoir of William Smith at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 72: See memoir.]


[Footnote 73:

    "As where's that palace whereinto foul things
    Sometimes intrude not?"--"Othello," act iii. sc. 3.]

[Footnote 74: Captain Griffin was, no doubt, the Griffin who is
mentioned by Downes as entering the King's Company "after they had begun
at Drury Lane." This is of course very indefinite as regards time. Drury
Lane was opened in 1663, but the first character for which we can find
Griffin's name mentioned, is that of Varnish in "The Plain-Dealer,"
which was produced in 1674. At the Union in 1682, Griffin took a good
position in the amalgamated company, and continued on the stage till
about 1688, when his name disappears from the bills. During this time he
is not called _Captain,_ but in 1701 the name of Captain Griffin appears
among the Drury Lane actors. Genest says it is more probable that this
should be Griffin returned to the stage after thirteen years spent in
the army, than that Captain Griffin should have gone on the stage
without having previously been connected with it. In this Genest is
quite correct, for the anecdote of Goodman and Griffin, which Cibber
tells in Chap. XII. shows conclusively that _Captain_ Griffin was an
actor during Goodman's stage-career, which ended certainly before 1690.
He appears to have finally retired about the beginning of 1708. Downes
says "_Mr._ Griffin _so Excell'd in_ Surly. Sir Edward Belfond, _The_
Plain Dealer, _none succeeding in the 2 former have Equall'd him_, [nor
any] _except his Predecessor Mr._ Hart _in the latter_" (p. 40). I have
ventured to supply the two words "nor any" to make clear what Downes
must have meant.]


[Footnote 75: The "Biographia Dramatica" (i. 87) gives an account
of James Carlile. He was a native of Lancashire, and in his youth was
an actor; but he left the stage for the army, and was killed at the
battle of Aughrim, 11th July, 1691. Nothing practically is known of
his stage career. Downes (p. 39) notes that at the Union of the Patents
in 1682, "Mr. _Monfort_ and Mr. _Carlile_, were grown to the Maturity
of good _Actors_." I cannot trace Carlile's name in the bills any later
than 1685.]


[Footnote 76: Wiltshire seems to have been a very useful actor of the
second rank. In 1685 he also appears for the last time.]


[Footnote 77: That Ben Jonson was an unsuccessful actor is gravely
doubted by Gifford and by his latest editor, Lieut.-Col. Cunningham, who
give excellent reasons in support of their view. See memoir prefixed to
edition of Jonson, 1870, i. xi.]


[Footnote 78: Sir William Davenant was the son of a vintner and
innkeeper at Oxford. It was said that Shakespeare used frequently to
stay at the inn, and a story accordingly was manufactured that William
Davenant was in fact the son of the poet through an amour with Mrs.
Davenant. But of this there is no shadow of proof. Davenant went to
Oxford, but made no special figure as a scholar, winning fame, however,
as a poet and dramatist. On the death of Ben Jonson in 1637 he was
appointed Poet-Laureate, and in 1639 received a licence from Charles I.
to get together a company of players. In the Civil War he greatly
distinguished himself, and was knighted by the King for his bravery.
Before the Restoration Davenant was permitted by Cromwell to perform
some sort of theatrical pieces at Rutland House, in Charter-House Yard,
where "The Siege of Rhodes" was played about 1656. At the Restoration a
Patent was granted to him in August, 1660, and he engaged Rhodes's
company of Players, including Betterton, Kynaston, Underhill, and Nokes.
Another Patent was granted to him, dated 15th January, 1663, (see copy
of Patent given _ante,_) under which he managed the theatre in Lincoln's
Inn Fields till his death in 1668. Davenant's company were called the
Duke's Players. The changes which were made in the conduct of the stage
during Davenant's career, such as the introduction of elaborate scenery
and the first appearance of women in plays, make it one of the first
interest and importance. (See Mr. Joseph Knight's Preface to his recent
edition of the "Roscius Anglicanus.")]


[Footnote 79: Thomas Killigrew (not "Henry" Killigrew, as Cibber
erroneously writes) was a very noted and daring humorist. He was a
faithful adherent of King Charles I., and at the Restoration was made a
Groom of the Bedchamber. He also received a Patent, dated 25th April,
1662, to raise a company of actors to be called the King's Players.
These acted at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. Killigrew survived the
Union of the two Companies in 1682, dying on the 19th of March, 1683. He
cannot be said to have made much mark in theatrical history. The best
anecdote of Killigrew is that related by Granger, how he waited on
Charles II. one day dressed like a Pilgrim bound on a long journey. When
the King asked him whither he was going, he replied, "To Hell, to fetch
back Oliver Cromwell to take care of England, for his successor takes
none at all."]


[Footnote 80: It is curious to note that this theatre, which occupied
the same site as the present Drury Lane, was sometimes described as
Drury Lane, sometimes as Covent Garden.]


[Footnote 81: Should be Lincoln's Inn Fields. Dorset Garden, which was
situated in Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, was not opened till 1671.]


[Footnote 82: Genest (ii. 302) remarks on this: "How long this lasted
does not appear--it appears however that it lasted to Queen Anne's time,
as the alteration of 'Wit without Money' is dedicated to Thomas Newman,
Servant to her Majesty, one of the Gentlemen of the Great Chamber, and
Book-keeper and Prompter to her Majesty's Company of Comedians in the
Haymarket." Dr. Doran in his "Their Majesties' Servants" (1888 edition,
iii. 419), says that he was informed by Benjamin Webster that Baddeley
was the last actor who wore the uniform of scarlet and gold prescribed
for the Gentlemen of the Household, who were patented actors.]


[Footnote 83: The question of the identity of the first English actress
is a very intricate one. Mr. Percy Fitzgerald, in his "New History of
the English Stage," seems to incline to favour Anne Marshall, while Mr.
Joseph Knight, in his edition of the "Roscius Anglicanus," pronounces
for Mrs. Coleman. Davies says positively that "the first woman actress
was the mother of Norris, commonly called Jubilee Dicky." Thomas Jordan
wrote a Prologue "to introduce the first woman that came to act on the
stage," but as the lady's name is not given, this does not help us. The
distinction is also claimed for Mrs. Saunderson (afterwards Mrs.
Betterton) and Margaret Hughes. But since Mr. Knight has shown that the
performances in 1656 at Rutland House, where Mrs. Coleman appeared, were
for money, I do not see that we can escape from the conclusion that this
lady was the first English professional actress. Who the first actress
after the Restoration was is as yet unsettled.]


[Footnote 84: Meaning, no doubt, Nell Gwyn and Moll Davis.]


[Footnote 85: Genest points out (i. 404) that Cibber is not quite
accurate here. Shakespeare's and Fletcher's plays _may_ have been
shared; Jonson's certainly were not.]


[Footnote 86: See memoir of Hart at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 87: Genest says that this regulation "might be very proper at
the first restoration of the stage; but as a perpetual rule it was
absurd. Cibber approves of it, not considering that Betterton could
never have acted Othello, Brutus, or Hotspur (the very parts for which
Cibber praises him so much) if there had not been a junction of the
companies." Bellchambers, in a long note, also contests Cibber's
opinion.]


[Footnote 88: In the season 1735-6, in addition to the two Patent
Theatres, Drury Lane and Covent Garden, Giffard was playing at Goodman's
Fields Theatre, and Fielding, with his Great Mogul's Company of
Comedians, occupied the Haymarket. In 1736-7 Giffard played at the
Lincoln's-Inn-Fields Theatre, and Goodman's Fields was unused. The
Licensing Act of 1737 closed the two irregular houses, leaving only
Drury Lane and Covent Garden open.]


[Footnote 89: Cibber here refers to the Pantomimes, which he deals with
at some length in Chapter XV.]


[Footnote 90: Fielding ("Champion," 6th May, 1740): "Another Observation
which I have made on our Author's Similies is, that they generally have
an Eye towards the Kitchen. Thus, _page 56, Two Play-Houses are like
two_ PUDDINGS _or two_ LEGS OF MUTTON. _224. To plant young Actors is
not so easy as to plant_ CABBAGES. To which let me add a Metaphor in
_page 57_, where _unprofitable Praise can hardly give Truth a_ SOUP
MAIGRE."]


[Footnote 91: "Dramatic Operas" seem to have been first produced about
1672. In 1673 "The Tempest," made into an opera by Shadwell, was played
at Dorset Garden; "Pysche" followed in the next year, and "Circe" in
1677. "Macbeth," as altered by Davenant, was produced in 1672, "in the
nature of an Opera," as Downes phrases it.]


[Footnote 92: Dryden, in his "Prologue on the Opening of the New House"
in 1674, writes:--

    "'Twere folly now a stately pile to raise,
    To build a playhouse while you throw down plays;
    While scenes, machines, and empty operas reign----"

and the Prologue concludes with the lines:--

    "'Tis to be feared----
    That, as a fire the former house o'erthrew,
    Machines and Tempests will destroy the new."

The allusion in the last line is to the opera of "The Tempest," which I
have mentioned in the previous note.]


[Footnote 93:

    "Probitas laudatur et alget." Juvenal, i. 74.]


[Footnote 94: In the Prologue to "The Emperor of the Moon," 1687, the
line occurred: "There's nothing lasting but the Puppet-show."]


[Footnote 95:

    "Ita populus studio stupidus in funambulo
    Animum occuparat."
         Terence, _Prol. to "Hecyra,"_ line 4.]


[Footnote 96: See memoir of Michael Mohun at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 97: See memoir of Cardell Goodman at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 98: Of Clark very little is known. The earliest play in which
his name is given by Downes is "The Plain-Dealer," which was produced at
the Theatre Royal in 1674, Clark playing Novel, a part of secondary
importance. His name appears to Massina in "Sophonisba," Hephestion in
"Alexander the Great," Dolabella in "All for Love," Aquitius in
"Mythridates," and (his last recorded part) the Earl of Essex, the
principal character in "The Unhappy Favourite," Theatre Royal, 1682.
After the Union of the Companies in 1682 his name does not occur.
Bellchambers has several trifling errors in the memoir he gives of
this actor.]


[Footnote 99: Curll ("History of the English Stage," p. 9) says: "The
Feuds and Animosities of the KING'S _Company_ were so well improved, as
to produce an Union betwixt the two Patents."]


[Footnote 100: Cibber gives the year as 1684, but this is so obviously a
slip that I venture to correct the text.]


[Footnote 101: Genest (ii. 62) remarks: "The theatre in Dorset
Garden had been built by subscription--the subscribers were called
Adventurers--of this Cibber seems totally ignorant--that there were
any new Adventurers, added to the original number, rests solely on
his authority, and in all probability he is not correct."]


[Footnote 102: Cibber afterwards relates the connection of Owen Swiney,
William Collier, M.P., and Sir Richard Steele, with himself and his
actor-partners.]


[Footnote 103: The only one of Cibber's contemporaries of any note who
was alive when the "Apology" was published, was Benjamin Johnson. This
admirable comedian died in August, 1742, in his seventy-seventh year,
having played as late as the end of May of that year.]


[Footnote 104: The actor pointed at is, no doubt, Wilks. In the last
chapter of this work Cibber, in giving the theatrical character of
Wilks, says of his Hamlet: "I own the Half of what he spoke was as
painful to my Ear, as every Line that came from Betterton was
charming."]


[Footnote 105: Barton Booth, who was probably as great in the part of
the Ghost as Betterton was in Hamlet, said, "When I acted the Ghost with
Betterton, instead of my awing him, he terrified me. But divinity hung
round that man!"--"Dram. Misc.," iii. 32.]


[Footnote 106: "The Laureat" repeats the eulogium of a gentleman who had
seen Betterton play Hamlet, and adds: "And yet, the same Gentleman
assured me, he has seen Mr. _Betterton_, more than once, play this
Character to an Audience of twenty Pounds, or under" (p. 32).]


[Footnote 107: _Ars Poetica_, 102. This is the much discussed question
of Diderot's "Paradoxe sur le Comédien," which has recently been revived
by Mr. Henry Irving and M. Coquelin, and has formed the subject of some
interesting studies by Mr. William Archer.]


[Footnote 108: This is doubtless directed at Booth, who was naturally of
an indolent disposition, and seems to have been, on occasions, apt to
drag through a part.]


[Footnote 109: Ausonius, II, 8 (_Epigram_, xi.).]


[Footnote 110: "Alexander the Great; or, the Rival Queens,"
act ii. sc. 1.]


[Footnote 111: Bellchambers notes on this passage: "The criticisms of
Cibber upon a literary subject are hardly worth the trouble of
confuting, and yet it may be mentioned that Bishop Warburton adduced
these lines as containing not only the most sublime, but the most
judicious imagery that poetry can conceive. If Le Brun, or any other
artist, could not succeed in pourtraying the terrors of fortune, it
conveys, perhaps, the highest possible compliment to the powers of Lee,
to admit that he has mastered a difficulty beyond the most daring
aspirations of an accomplished painter." With all respect to Warburton
and Bellchambers, I cannot help remarking that this last sentence seems
to me perilously like nonsense.]


[Footnote 112: I can find no record of this revival, nor am I aware that
any other authority than Cibber mentions it. I am unable therefore even
to guess at a date.]


[Footnote 113: In 1706, in Betterton's own company at the Haymarket,
Verbruggen played Alexander. At Drury Lane, in 1704, Wilks had played
the part.]


[Footnote 114: Anthony Aston says that his voice "enforced universal
attention even from the Fops and Orange girls."]


[Footnote 115: Anthony Aston says of Mrs. Barry: "Neither she, nor any
of the Actors of those Times, had any Tone in their Speaking, (too much,
lately, in Use.)" But the line of criticism which Cibber takes up here
would lead to the conclusion that Aston is not strictly accurate; and,
moreover, I can scarcely imagine how, if these older actors used no
"tone," the employment of it should have been so general as it certainly
was a few years after Betterton's death. Victor ("History," ii. 164)
writes of "the good old Manner of singing and quavering out their tragic
Notes," and on the same page mentions Cibber's "quavering Tragedy
Tones." My view, also, is confirmed by the facts that in the preface to
"The Fairy Queen," 1692, it is said: "he must be a very ignorant Player,
who knows not there is a Musical Cadence in speaking; and that a Man may
as well speak out of Tune, as sing out of Tune;" and that Aaron Hill, in
his dedication of "The Fatal Vision," 1716, reprobates the "affected,
vicious, and unnatural tone of voice, so common on the stage at that
time." See Genest, iv. 16-17. An admirable description of this method of
reciting is given by Cumberland ("Memoirs," 2nd edition, i. 80): "Mrs.
Cibber in a key, high-pitched but sweet withal, sung, or rather
recitatived Rowe's harmonious strain, something in the manner of the
Improvisatories: it was so extremely wanting in contrast, that, though
it did not wound the ear, it wearied it." Cumberland is writing of Mrs.
Cibber in the earlier part of her career (1746), when the teaching of
her husband's father, Colley Cibber, influenced her acting: no doubt
Garrick, who exploded the old way of speaking, made her ultimately
modify her style. Yet as she was, even in 1746, a very distinguished
pathetic actress, we are forced to the conclusion that the old style
must have been more effective than we are disposed to believe.]


[Footnote 116: As Dr. Johnson puts it in his famous Prologue (1747):--

    "Ah! let no Censure term our Fate our Choice,
    The Stage but echoes back the public Voice;
    The Drama's Laws the Drama's Patrons give,
    For we, that live to please, must please to live."]


[Footnote 117: "Amphytrion" was played in 1690. The Dedication is dated
24th October, 1690.]


[Footnote 118: Downes ("Roscius Anglicanus," p. 34) relates Lee's
misadventure, which he attributes to stage-fright. He says of Otway the
poet, that on his first appearance "_the full House put him to such a
Sweat and Tremendous Agony, being dash't, spoilt him for an Actor. Mr._
Nat. Lee, _had the same Fate in Acting_ Duncan _in_ Macbeth, _ruin'd him
for an Actor too_."]


[Footnote 119: See memoir of Estcourt at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 120: It will be remembered that the Elder Mathews, the most
extraordinary mimic of modern times, had this same power in great
perfection. See his "Memoirs," iii. 153-156.]


[Footnote 121: Cibber has been charged with gross unfairness to
Estcourt, and his unfavourable estimate of him has been attributed to
envy; but Estcourt's ability seems to have been at least questionable.
This matter will be found treated at some length in the memoir of
Estcourt in the Appendix to this work.]


[Footnote 122: "His voice was low and grumbling."--Anthony Aston.]


[Footnote 123: In Otway's tragedy of "The Orphan," produced at Dorset
Garden in 1680, Betterton was the original Castalio.]


[Footnote 124: See memoir of Betterton at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 125: 13th April, 1710.]


[Footnote 126: In the "Tatler," No. 167, in which the famous criticism
of Betterton's excellencies is given, his funeral is stated to have
taken place on 2nd May, 1710.]


[Footnote 127: I do not know whether Cibber in making this remark had in
view Gildon's Life of Betterton, in which there are twenty pages of
memoir to one hundred and fifty of dissertation on acting.]


[Footnote 128: This seems to have been done to a very limited extent.
The first unquestionable date on which, after 1660, women appeared is
3rd January, 1661, when Pepys saw "The Beggar's Bush" at the Theatre,
that is, Killigrew's house, and notes, "and here the first time that
ever I saw women come upon the stage." At the same theatre he had seen
the same play on 20th November, 1660, the female parts being then played
by men. Thomas Jordan wrote "_A Prologue, to introduce the first woman
that came to act on the stage, in the tragedy called_ The Moor of
Venice" (quoted by Malone, "Shakespeare," 1821, iii. 128), and Malone
supposes justly as I think, that this was on 8th December, 1660; on
which date, in all probability, the first woman appeared on the stage
after the Restoration. Who she was we do not know. See _ante_, p. 90. On
7th January, 1661, Kynaston played Epicoene in "The Silent Woman," and
on 12th January, 1661, Pepys saw "The Scornful Lady," "now done by a
woman." On the 4th of the same month Pepys had seen the latter play with
a man in the chief part, so that it is almost certain that the
"boy-actresses" disappeared about the beginning of 1661.]


[Footnote 129: "The Laureat" (p. 33): "I am of Opinion, _Booth_ was not
wrong in this. There are many of the Sentiments in this Character, where
Nature and common Sense are outraged; and an Actor, who shou'd give the
full comic Utterance to them in his Delivery, would raise what they call
a _Horse-Laugh_, and turn it into Burlesque."

On the other hand, Theophilus Cibber, in his Life of Booth, p. 72,
supports his father's opinion, saying:--

"The Remark is just--Mr. _Booth_ would sometimes slur over such
bold Sentiments, so flightily delivered by the Poet. As he was
good-natured--and would 'hear each Man's Censure, yet reserve his
Judgment,'--I once took the Liberty of observing, that he had neglected
(as I thought) giving that kind of spirited Turn in the afore-mentioned
Character--He told me I was mistaken; it was not Negligence, but Design
made him so slightly pass them over:--For though, added he, in these
places one might raise a Laugh of Approbation in a few,--yet there is
nothing more unsafe than exciting the Laugh of Simpletons, who never
know when or where to stop; and, as the Majority are not always the
wisest Part of an Audience,--I don't chuse to run the hazard."]


[Footnote 130: A long account of the production of "Cato" is given by
Cibber in Chap. XIV. From the cast quoted in a note, it will be seen
that Cibber himself was the original Syphax.]


[Footnote 131: "The Laureat" (p. 33): "I have seen the Original _Syphax_
in _Cato_, use many ridiculous Distortions, crack in his Voice, and
wreathe his Muscles and his Limbs, which created not a Smile of
Approbation, but a loud Laugh of Contempt and Ridicule on the Actor." On
page 34: "In my Opinion, the Part of _Syphax_, as it was originally
play'd, was the only Part in _Cato_ not tolerably executed."]


[Footnote 132: Bellchambers on this passage has one of those aggravating
notes, in which he seems to try to blacken Cibber as much as possible. I
confess that I can see nothing of the "venom" he resents so vigorously.
He says:--

"Theophilus Cibber, in the tract already quoted, expressly states, that
Booth 'was not so scrupulously nice or timerous' in this character, as
in that to which our author has invidiously referred. I shall give the
passage, for its powerful antidote to Colley's venom:--

"Mr. _Booth_, in this part, though he gave full Scope to the Humour,
never dropped the Dignity of the Character--You laughed at _Henry_,
but lost not your Respect for him.--When he appeared most familiar,
he was by no means vulgar.--The People most about him felt the Ease
they enjoyed was owing to his Condescension.--He maintained the
Monarch.--_Hans Holbein_ never gave a higher Picture of him than did
the actor (_Booth_) in his Representation. When angry, his Eye spoke
majestic Terror; the noblest and the bravest of his Courtiers were
awe-struck--He gave you the full Idea of that arbitrary Prince, who
thought himself born to be obeyed;--the boldest dared not to dispute his
Commands:--He appeared to claim a Right Divine to exert the Power he
imperiously assumed.' (p. 75)." ]


[Footnote 133:

    "Spirat Tragicum satis et feliciter audet."
                       Hor. _Epis._ ii. I, 166.]


[Footnote 134: "Aurenge-Zebe; or, the Great Mogul," act iv.]


[Footnote 135: Kynaston was the original Morat at the Theatre Royal in
1675; Hart the Aurenge-Zebe.]


[Footnote 136: "King Henry IV.," First Part, act i. sc. 3.]


[Footnote 137: See memoir of Kynaston at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 138: Downes spells Mountfort's name Monfort and Mounfort.]


[Footnote 139: "Spanish Friar," act ii. sc. 1.]


[Footnote 140: Willmore, in Mrs. Behn's "Rover," of which Smith was the
original representative.]


[Footnote 141: In Crowne's "Sir Courtly Nice," produced at the Theatre
Royal in 1685.]


[Footnote 142: William Mountfort was born in 1659 or 1660. He became a
member of the Duke's Company as a boy, and Downes says that in 1682 he
had grown to the maturity of a good actor. In the "Counterfeits,"
licensed 29th August, 1678, the Boy is played by Young _Mumford_, and in
"The Revenge," produced in 1680, the same name stands to the part of
Jack, the Barber's Boy. After the Union in 1682 he made rapid progress,
for he played his great character of Sir Courtly Nice as early as 1685.
In this Cibber gives him the highest praise; and Downes says, "Sir
Courtly was so nicely Perform'd, that not any succeeding, but Mr.
_Cyber_ has Equall'd him." Mountfort was killed by one Captain Hill,
aided, it is supposed, by the Lord Mohun who died in that terrible duel
with the Duke of Hamilton, in 1712, in which they hacked each other to
death. Whether Hill murdered Mountfort or killed him in fair fight is a
doubtful point. (See Doran's "Their Majesties' Servants," 1888 edition,
i. 169-172; see also memoir at end of second volume.)]


[Footnote 143: Creon (Dryden and Lee's "OEdipus"); Malignii (Porter's
"Villain"); Machiavil (Lee's "Cæsar Borgia").]


[Footnote 144: The "Tatler," No. 134: "I must own, there is something
very horrid in the publick Executions of an _English_ Tragedy. Stabbing
and Poisoning, which are performed behind the Scenes in other Nations,
must be done openly among us to gratify the Audience.

When poor _Sandford_ was upon the Stage, I have seen him groaning upon a
Wheel, stuck with Daggers, impaled alive, calling his Executioners, with
a dying Voice, Cruel Dogs, and Villains! And all this to please his
judicious Spectators, who were wonderfully delighted with seeing a Man
in Torment so well acted."]


[Footnote 145: Bellchambers notes: "This anecdote has more vivacity
than truth, for the audience were too much accustomed to see Sandford
in parts of even a comic nature, to testify the impatience or
disappointment which Mr. Cibber has described." I may add that I have
been unable to discover any play to which the circumstances mentioned by
Cibber would apply. But it must not be forgotten that, if the play were
damned as completely as Cibber says, it would probably not be printed,
and we should thus in all probability have no record of it.]


[Footnote 146: Probably the Earl of Shaftesbury.]


[Footnote 147: Macready seems to have held something like this view
regarding "villains." At the present time we have no such prejudices,
for one of the most popular of English actors, Mr. E. S. Willard, owes
his reputation chiefly to his wonderfully vivid presentation of
villainy.]


[Footnote 148: The play in question is "The Triumphs of Virtue,"
produced at Drury Lane in 1697, and the actress is Mrs. Rogers, who
afterwards lived with Wilks. The lines in the Epilogue are:--

    "I'll pay this duteous gratitude; I'll do
    That which the play has done--I'll copy you.
    At your own virtue's shrine my vows I'll pay,
    Study to live the character I play."]


[Footnote 149: Chetwood gives a short memoir of this "first-born," who
became the wife of Christopher Bullock, and died in 1739. Mrs. Dyer was
the only child of Mrs. Bullock's mentioned by Chetwood.]


[Footnote 150: See memoir of Sandford at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 151: It is a very common mistake to state that Cibber founded
his playing of Richard III. on that of Sandford. He merely says that he
tried to act the part as he knew Sandford _would_ have played it.]


[Footnote 152: Cibber's adaptation, which has held the stage ever since
its production, was first played at Drury Lane in 1700. Genest (ii.
195-219) gives an exhaustive account of Cibber's mutilation. His opinion
of it may be gathered from these sentences: "One has no wish to disturb
Cibber's own Tragedies in their tranquil graves, but while our
indignation continues to be excited by the frequent representation of
Richard the 3d in so disgraceful a state, there can be no peace between
the friends of unsophisticated Shakspeare and Cibber." "To the advocates
for Cibber's Richard I only wish to make one request--that they would
never say a syllable in favour of Shakspeare."]


[Footnote 153: "The Laureat" (p. 35): "This same Mender of Shakespear
chose the principal Part, _viz. the King_, for himself; and accordingly
being invested with the purple Robe, he screamed thro' four Acts without
Dignity or Decency. The Audience ill-pleas'd with the Farce, accompany'd
him with a smile of Contempt, but in the fifth Act, he degenerated all
at once into Sir _Novelty_; and when in the Heat of the Battle at
_Bosworth Field_, the King is dismounted, our Comic-Tragedian came on
the Stage, really breathless, and in a seeming Panick, screaming out
this Line thus--_A Harse, a Harse, my Kingdom for a Harse_. This highly
delighted some, and disgusted others of his Auditors; and when he was
kill'd by _Richmond_, one might plainly perceive that the good People
were not better pleas'd that so _execrable a Tyrant_ was destroy'd, than
that so _execrable an Actor_ was silent."]


[Footnote 154: James Noke, or Nokes--not _Robert_, as Bellchambers
states. Of Robert Nokes little is known. Downes mentions both actors
among Rhodes's original Company, Robert playing male characters, and
James being one of the "boy-actresses." Downes does not distinguish
between them at all, simply mentioning "Mr. Nokes" as playing particular
parts. Robert Nokes died about 1673, so that we are certain that the
famous brother was James.]


[Footnote 155: "The Comical Revenge; or, Love in a Tub."]


[Footnote 156: Of these plays, "The Spanish Friar," "The Soldier's
Fortune," and "Amphytrion" were produced after Robert Nokes's death.]


[Footnote 157: See memoir of James Nokes at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 158: "_Coligni_, the character alluded to, at the original
representation of this play, was sustained, says Downs, 'by that
inimitable sprightly actor, Mr. Price,--especially in this part.' Joseph
Price joined D'Avenant's company on Rhodes's resignation, being one
of 'the new actors,' according to the 'Roscius Anglicanus,' who were
'taken in to complete' it. He is first mentioned for _Guildenstern_,
in 'Hamlet;' and, in succession, for _Leonel_, in D'Avenant's 'Love
and Honour,' on which occasion the Earl of Oxford gave him his
coronation-suit; for _Paris_, in 'Romeo and Juliet;' the _Corregidor_,
in Tuke's 'Adventures of five hours;' and _Coligni_, as already
recorded. In the year 1663, by speaking a 'short comical prologue' to
the 'Rivals,' introducing some 'very diverting dances,' Mr. Price
'gained him an universal applause of the town.' The versatility of this
actor must have been great, or the necessities of the company imperious,
as we next find him set down for _Lord Sands_, in 'King Henry the
Eighth.' He then performed _Will_, in the 'Cutter of Coleman-street,'
and is mentioned by Downs as being dead, in the year 1673."

The above is Bellchambers's note. He is wrong in stating that Price
played the Corregidor in Tuke's "Adventures of Five Hours;" his part was
Silvio. He omits, too, to mention one of Price's best parts, Dufoy, in
"Love in a Tub," in which Downes specially commends him in this queer
couplet:--

    "Sir Nich'las, Sir Fred'rick; Widow and Dufoy,
    Were not by any so well done, Mafoy."

Price does not seem to have acted after May, 1665, when the theatres
closed for the Plague, for his name is never mentioned by Downes after
the theatres re-opened in November, 1666, after the Plague and Fire.]


[Footnote 159: "Sir Solomon; or, the Cautious Coxcomb," by John Caryll.]


[Footnote 160: By Otway.]


[Footnote 161: By Shadwell.]


[Footnote 162: "Rest" is a term used in tennis, and seems to have meant
a quick and continued returning of the ball from one player to the
other--what is in lawn tennis called a "rally."

Cibber uses the word in his "Careless Husband," act iv. sc. 1.

"_Lady Betty_ [to Lord Morelove]. Nay, my lord, there's no standing
against two of you.

_Lord Foppington._ No, faith, that's odds at tennis, my lord: not but if
your ladyship pleases, I'll endeavour to keep your back-hand a little;
though upon my soul you may safely set me up at the line: for, knock me
down, if ever I saw a rest of wit better played, than that last, in my
life."

In the only dictionary in which I have found this word "Rest," it is
given as "A match, a game;" but, as I think I have shown, this is a
defective explanation. I may add that, since writing the above, I have
been favoured with the opinion of Mr. Julian Marshall, the distinguished
authority on tennis, who confirms my view.]


[Footnote 163: By Durfey.]


[Footnote 164: Bartoline. Genest suggests that this character was
intended for the Whig lawyer, Serjeant Maynard. The play was written by
Crowne.]


[Footnote 165: See memoir of Pinkethman at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 166: In this farce, written by Mrs. Behn, and produced in
1687, Jevon was the original Harlequin. Pinkethman played the part in
1702, and played it without the mask on 18th September, 1702. The "Daily
Courant" of that date contains an advertisement in which it is stated
that "At the Desire of some Persons of Quality ... will be presented a
Comedy, call'd, _The Emperor of the Moon_, wherein Mr. _Penkethman_ acts
the part of _Harlequin_ without a Masque, for the Entertainment of an
_African_ Prince lately arrived here."]


[Footnote 167: This refers to "Art and Nature," a comedy by James
Miller, produced at Drury Lane 16th February, 1738. The principal
character in "Harlequin Sauvage" was introduced into it and played by
Theophilus Cibber. The piece was damned the first night, but it must not
be forgotten that the Templars damned everything of Miller's on account
of his supposed insult to them in his farce of "The Coffee House."
Bellchambers says the piece referred to by Cibber was "The Savage," 8vo,
1736; but this does not seem ever to have been acted.]


[Footnote 168: This probably refers to the incident related by Davies in
his "Dramatic Miscellanies":--"In the play of the 'Recruiting Officer,'
Wilks was the Captain _Plume_, and Pinkethman one of the recruits. The
captain, when he enlisted him, asked his name: instead of answering as
he ought, Pinkey replied, 'Why! don't you know my name, Bob? I thought
every fool had known that!' Wilks, in rage, whispered to him the name of
the recruit, _Thomas Appletree_. The other retorted aloud, '_Thomas
Appletree_? Thomas Devil! my name is Will Pinkethman:' and, immediately
addressing an inhabitant of the upper regions, he said 'Hark you,
friend; don't you know my name?'--'Yes, Master Pinkey,' said a
respondent, 'we know it very well.' The play-house was now in an uproar:
the audience, at first, enjoyed the petulant folly of Pinkethman, and
the distress of Wilks; but, in the progress of the joke, it grew
tiresome, and Pinkey met with his deserts, a very severe reprimand in a
hiss; and this mark of displeasure he changed into applause, by crying
out, with a countenance as melancholy as he could make it, in a loud and
nasal twang, 'Odso! I fear I am wrong'" (iii. 89).]


[Footnote 169: See memoir of Leigh at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 170: By Shadwell.]


[Footnote 171: Underhill seems to have partially retired about the
beginning of 1707. He played Sir Joslin Jolley on 5th December, 1706,
but Bullock played it on 9th January, 1707, and, two days after, Johnson
played Underhill's part of the First Gravedigger. Underhill, however,
played in "The Rover" on 20th January, 1707. The benefit Cibber refers
to took place on 3rd June, 1709. Underhill played the Gravedigger again
on 23rd February, 1710, and on 12th May, 1710, for his benefit, he
played Trincalo in "The Tempest." Genest says he acted at Greenwich on
26th August, 1710. The advertisement in the "Tatler" (26th May, 1709)
runs: "Mr. Cave Underhill, the famous Comedian in the Reigns of K.
Charles ii. K. James ii. K. William and Q. Mary, and her present Majesty
Q. Anne; but now not able to perform so often as heretofore in the
Play-house, and having had losses to the value of near £2,500, is to
have the Tragedy of Hamlet acted for his Benefit, on Friday the third of
June next, at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane, in which he is to perform
his Original Part, the Grave-Maker. Tickets may be had at the
Mitre-Tavern in Fleet-Street." See also memoir of Underhill at end of
second volume.]


[Footnote 172: See memoir of Powel at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 173: John Verbruggen, whose name Downes spells "Vanbruggen,"
"Vantbrugg," and "Verbruggen," is first recorded as having played
Termagant in "The Squire of Alsatia," at the Theatre Royal, in 1688. His
name last appears in August, 1707, and he must have died not long after.
On 26th April, 1708, a benefit was announced for "a young orphan child
of the late Mr. and Mrs. Verbruggen." He seems to have been an actor of
great natural power, but inartistic in method. See what Anthony Aston
says of him. Cibber unfairly, as we must think, seems carefully to avoid
mentioning him as of any importance. "The Laureat," p. 58, says: "I
wonder, considering our Author's Particularity of Memory, that he hardly
ever mentions Mr. _Verbruggen_, who was in many Characters an excellent
Actor.... I cannot conceive why _Verbruggen_ is left out of the Number
of his excellent Actors; whether some latent Grudge, _alta Mente
repostum_, has robb'd him of his Immortality in this Work." See also
memoir of Verbruggen at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 174: See memoir of Williams at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 175: Produced at the Theatre Royal in 1692.]


[Footnote 176: In Chapter IX. of this work Cibber gives an elaborate
account of Mrs. Oldfield. He remarks there that, after her joining the
company, "she remain'd about a Twelvemonth almost a Mute, and
unheeded."]


[Footnote 177: See memoir of Mrs. Barry at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 178: In "The Orphan," produced at Dorset Garden in 1680, and
in "Venice Preserved," produced at the same theatre in 1682.]


[Footnote 179: In "The Rival Queens." Mrs. Marshall was the original
Roxana, at the Theatre Royal in 1677. So far as we know, Mrs. Barry had
not played Cleopatra (Dryden's "All for Love") when Dryden wrote the
eulogy Cibber quotes. Mrs. Boutell originally acted the part, Theatre
Royal, 1678.]


[Footnote 180: Bellchambers contradicts Cibber, saying that the
Agreement of 14th October, 1681 [see Memoir of Hart], shows that
benefits existed then. The words referred to are, "the day the young men
or young women play for their own profit only." But this day set aside
for the young people playing was, I think, quite a different matter from
a benefit to a particular performer. Pepys (21st March, 1667) says, "The
young men and women of the house ... having liberty to act for their own
profit on Wednesdays and Fridays this Lent." These were evidently
"scratch" performances on "off" nights; and it is to these, I think,
that the agreement quoted refers.]


[Footnote 181: As Dr. Doran points out ("Their Majesties' Servants,"
1888 edition, i. 160) this does not settle the question so easily as
Cibber supposes. Twelve Tory peers were created by Queen Anne in the
last few days of 1711, and Mrs. Barry did not die till the end of 1713.]


[Footnote 182: See memoir of Mrs. Betterton at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 183: Downes includes Mrs. Leigh among the recruits to the
Duke's Company about 1670. He does not give her maiden name, but Genest
supposes she may have been the daughter of Dixon, one of Rhodes's
Company. As there are two actresses of the name of Mrs. Leigh, and one
Mrs. Lee, and as no reliance can be placed on the spelling of names in
the casts of plays, it is practically impossible to decide accurately
the parts each played. This Mrs. Leigh seems to have been Elizabeth, and
her name does not appear after 1707, the Eli. Leigh who signed the
petition to Queen Anne in 1709 being probably a younger woman.
Bellchambers has a most inaccurate note regarding Mrs. Leigh, stating
that she "is probably not a distinct person from Mrs. Mary Lee."]


[Footnote 184: Mrs. Charlotte Butler is mentioned by Downes as entering
the Duke's Company about the year 1673. By 1691 she occupied an
important position as an actress, and in 1692 her name appears to the
part of La Pupsey in Durfey's "Marriage-Hater Matched." This piece must
have been produced early in the year, for Ashbury, by whom, as Cibber
relates, she was engaged for Dublin, opened his season on 23rd March,
1692. Hitchcock, in his "View of the Irish Stage," describes her as "an
actress of great repute, and a prodigious favourite with King Charles
the Second" (i. 21).]


[Footnote 185: Chetwood gives a long account of Joseph Ashbury. He was
born in 1638, and served for some years in the army. By the favour of
the Duke of Ormond, then Lord Lieutenant, Ashbury was appointed
successively Deputy-Master and Master of the Revels in Ireland. The
latter appointment he seems to have received in 1682, though Hitchcock
says "1672." Ashbury managed the Dublin Theatre with propriety and
success, and was considered not only the principal actor in his time
there, but the best teacher of acting in the three kingdoms. Chetwood,
who saw him in his extreme old age, pronounced him admirable both in
Tragedy and Comedy. He died in 1720, at the great age of eighty-two.]


[Footnote 186: This artistic sense was shown also by Margaret
Woffington. Davies ("Life of Garrick," 4th edition, i. 315) writes: "in
Mrs. Day, in the Committee, she made no scruple to disguise her
beautiful countenance, by drawing on it the lines of deformity and the
wrinkles of old age, and to put on the tawdry habiliments and vulgar
manners of an old hypocritical city vixen."]


[Footnote 187: In "The Scornful Lady."]


[Footnote 188: "The Bath; or, the Western Lass," produced at Drury Lane
in 1701.]


[Footnote 189: It is curious to compare with this Anthony Aston's
outspoken criticism on Mrs. Mountfort's personal appearance.]


[Footnote 190: Anthony Aston says "Melantha was her Master-piece."
Dryden's comedy was produced at the Theatre Royal in 1672, when Mrs.
Boutell played Melantha.]


[Footnote 191: Act ii. scene 1.]


[Footnote 192: Mrs. Mountfort, originally Mrs. (that is Miss) Percival,
and afterwards Mrs. Verbruggen, is first mentioned as the representative
of Winifrid, a young Welsh jilt, in "Sir Barnaby Whigg," a comedy
produced at the Theatre Royal in 1681. As Diana, in "The Lucky Chance"
(1687), Genest gives her name as Mrs. Mountfort, late Mrs. Percival; so
that her marriage with Mountfort must have taken place about the end of
1686 or beginning of 1687. Mountfort was killed in 1692, and in 1694 the
part of Mary the Buxom, in "Don Quixote," part first, is recorded by
Genest as played by Mrs. Verbruggen, late Mrs. Mountfort. In 1702, in
the "Comparison between the Two Stages," Gildon pronounces her "a
miracle." In 1703 she died. She was the original representative of,
among other characters, Nell, in "Devil of a Wife;" Belinda, in "The Old
Bachelor;" Lady Froth, in "The Double Dealer;" Charlott Welldon, in
"Oroonoko;" Berinthia, in "Relapse;" Lady Lurewell; Lady Brumpton, in
"The Funeral;" Hypolita, in "She Would and She Would Not;" and Hillaria,
in "Tunbridge Walks."]


[Footnote 193: Bellchambers has here a most uncharitable note, which I
quote as curious, though I must add that there is not a shadow of proof
of the truth of it.

"Mrs. Bracegirdle was decidedly not 'unguarded' in her conduct, for
though the object of general suspicion, no proof of positive unchastity
was ever brought against her. Her intrigue with Mountfort, who lost his
life in consequence of it,{A} is hardly to be disputed, and there is
pretty ample evidence that Congreve was honoured with a gratification of
his amorous desires.{B}

      {Subnote A: "'We had not parted with him as many minutes as
      a man may beget his likeness in, but who should we meet but
      Mountfort the player, looking as pale as a ghost, sailing
      forward as gently as a caterpillar 'cross a sycamore leaf,
      gaping for a little air, like a sinner just come out of the
      powdering-tub, crying out as he crept towards us, "O my back!
      Confound 'em for a pack of brimstones: O my back!"--"How now,
      _Sir Courtly_," said I, "what the devil makes thee in this
      pickle?"--"O, gentlemen," says he, "I am glad to see you; but
      I am troubled with such a weakness in my back, that it makes
      me bend like a superannuated fornicator." "Some strain," said
      I, "got in the other world, with overheaving yourself."--"What
      matters it how 'twas got," says he; "can you tell me anything
      that's good for it?" "Yes," said I; "get a warm girdle and tie
      round you; 'tis an excellent corroborative to strengthen the
      loins."--"Pox on you," says he, "for a bantering dog! how can
      a single _girdle_ do me good, when a _Brace_ was my
      destruction?"'--Brown's 'Letters from the Dead to the Living'
      [1744, ii. 186].}

      {Subnote B: "In one of those infamous collections known by the
      name of 'Poems on State Affairs' [iv. 49], there are several
      obvious, though coarse and detestable, hints of this
      connexion. Collier's severity against the stage is thus
      sarcastically deprecated, in a short piece called the
      'Benefits of a Theatre.'

        Shall a place be put down, when we see it affords
        _Fit wives for great poets_, and whores for great lords?
        Since _Angelica_, bless'd with a singular grace,
        Had, by her fine acting, preserv'd all his plays,
        In an amorous rapture, young _Valentine_ said,
        One so fit for his plays might be fit for his bed.

     "The allusion to Congreve and Mrs. Bracegirdle wants, of
     course, no corroboration; but the hint at their marriage,
     broached in the half line I have italicised, is a curious
     though unauthorized fact. From the verses I shall continue to
     quote, it will appear that this marriage between the parties,
     though thought to be private, was currently believed; it is an
     expedient that has often been used, in similar cases, to cover
     the nakedness of outrageous lust.

       He warmly pursues her, she yielded her charms,
       And bless'd the kind youngster in her kinder arms:
       But at length the poor nymph did for justice implore,
       And _he's married her now_, though he'd ---- her before.

     "On a subsequent page of the same precious miscellany, there
     is a most offensive statement of the cause which detached our
     great comic writer from the object of his passion. The thing
     is too filthy to be even described."}]


[Footnote 194: Rowe and Congreve.]


[Footnote 195: In Congreve's "Way of the World."]


[Footnote 196: Cibber's chronology is a little shaky here. Mrs.
Bracegirdle's name appeared for the last time in the bill of 20th
February, 1707. Betterton's benefit, for which she returned to the stage
for one night, took place on 7th April, 1709.]


[Footnote 197: Mrs. Anne Bracegirdle made her first appearance on the
stage as a very young child. In the cast of Otway's "Orphan," 1680, the
part of Cordelio, Polydore's Page, is said to be played by "the little
girl," who, Curll ("History," p. 26) informs us, was Anne Bracegirdle,
then less than six years of age. In 1688 her name appears to the part of
Lucia in "The Squire of Alsatia;" but it is not till 1691 that she can
be said to have regularly entered upon her career as an actress. She was
the original representative of some of the most famous heroines in
comedy: Araminta, in "The Old Bachelor;" Cynthia, in "The Double
Dealer;" Angelica, in "Love for Love;" Belinda, in "The Provoked Wife;"
Millamant; Flippanta, in "The Confederacy," and many others. Mrs.
Bracegirdle appears to have been a good and excellent woman, as well as
a great actress. All the scandal about her seems to have had no further
foundation than, to quote Genest, "the extreme difficulty with which an
actress at this period of the stage must have preserved her chastity."
Genest goes on to remark, with delicious _naïveté_, "Mrs. Bracegirdle
was perhaps a woman of a cold constitution." Her retirement from the
stage when not much over thirty is accounted for by Curll, by a story of
a competition between her and Mrs. Oldfield in the part of Mrs. Brittle
in "The Amorous Widow," in which the latter was the more applauded. He
says that they played the part on two successive nights; but I have
carefully examined Dr. Burney's MSS. in the British Museum for the
season 1706-7, and "The Amorous Widow" was certainly not played twice
successively. I doubt the story altogether. That Mrs. Bracegirdle
retired because Mrs. Oldfield was excelling her in popular estimation is
most likely, but I can find no confirmation whatever for Curll's story.
"The Laureat," p. 36, attributes her retirement to Mrs. Oldfield's being
"preferr'd to some Parts before her, by our very _Apologist_"; but
though the reason thus given is probably accurate, the person blamed is
as probably guiltless; for I do not think Cibber could have sufficient
authority to distribute parts in 1706-7. Mrs. Bracegirdle died
September, 1748, but was dead to the stage from 1709. Cibber's remark on
p. 99 had therefore no reference to her.]


[Footnote 198: Cibber writes here with feeling; for, after his
"Nonjuror" abused the Jacobites and Nonjurors, that party took every
opportunity of revenging themselves on him by maltreating his plays.]


[Footnote 199: See _ante_, p. 63, for an allusion to this passage by
Fielding in "The Champion."]


[Footnote 200: Æneid, i. 630.]


[Footnote 201: This is a curious statement, and has never, so far as I
know, been commented on; the cause of Cibber's retirement having always
been considered mysterious. I suppose this reference to ill-treatment
must be held as confirming Davies's statement that the public lost
patience at Cibber's continually playing tragic parts, and fairly hissed
him off the stage. Davies ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 471) relates the
following incident: "When Thomson's Sophonisba was read to the actors,
Cibber laid his hand upon Scipio, a character, which, though it appears
only in the last act, is of great dignity and importance. For two nights
successively, Cibber was as much exploded as any bad actor could be.
Williams, by desire of Wilks, made himself master of the part; but he,
marching slowly, in great military distinction, from the upper part of
the stage, and wearing the same dress as Cibber, was mistaken for him,
and met with repeated hisses, joined to the music of cat-cals; but, as
soon as the audience were undeceived, they converted their groans and
hisses to loud and long continued applause."]


[Footnote 202: Cibber retired in May, 1733. The reappearance he refers
to was not that he made in 1738, as Bellchambers states. He no doubt
alludes to his performances in 1734-35, when he played Bayes, Lord
Foppington, Sir John Brute, and other comedy parts. On the nights he
played, the compliment was paid him of putting no name in the bill but
his own.]


[Footnote 203: The original holders of the Patents, Sir William Davenant
and Thomas Killigrew, were dead in 1690; and their successors, Alexander
Davenant, to whom Charles Davenant had assigned his interest, and
Charles Killigrew, seem to have taken little active interest in the
management; for Christopher Rich, who acquired Davenant's share in 1691,
seems at once to have become managing proprietor.]


[Footnote 204: Davies ("Dramatic Miscellanies," iii. 444) gives the
following account of Cibber's first salary: "But Mr. Richard Cross, late
prompter of Drury-lane theatre, gave me the following history of Colley
Cibber's first establishment as a hired actor. He was known only, for
some years, by the name of Master Colley. After waiting impatiently a
long time for the prompter's notice, by good fortune he obtained the
honour of carrying a message on the stage, in some play, to Betterton.
Whatever was the cause, Master Colley was so terrified, that the scene
was disconcerted by him. Betterton asked, in some anger, who the young
fellow was that had committed the blunder. Downes replied, 'Master
Colley.'--'Master Colley! then forfeit him.'--'Why, sir,' said the
prompter, 'he has no salary.'--'No!' said the old man; 'why then put him
down ten shillings a week, and forfeit him 5_s._'"]


[Footnote 205: Complexion is a point of no importance now, and this
allusion suggests a theory to me which I give with all diffidence. We
know that actresses painted in Pepys's time ("1667, Oct. 5. But, Lord!
To see how they [Nell Gwynne and Mrs. Knipp] were both painted would
make a man mad, and did make me loathe them"), and we also know that
Dogget was famous for the painting of his face to represent old age. If,
then, complexion was a point of importance for a lover, as Cibber
states, it suggests that young actors playing juvenile parts did not use
any "make-up" or paint, but went on the stage in their natural
complexion. The lighting of the stage was of course much less brilliant
than it afterwards became, so that "make-up" was not so necessary.]


[Footnote 206: "The Laureat" (p. 103) describes Cibber's person thus:--

"He was in Stature of the middle Size, his Complexion fair, inclinable
to the Sandy, his Legs somewhat of the thickest, his Shape a little
clumsy, not irregular, and his Voice rather shrill than loud or
articulate, and crack'd extremely, when he endeavour'd to raise it.
He was in his younger Days so lean, as to be known by the Name of
_Hatchet Face_."]


[Footnote 207: Bellchambers notes that this part was originally played
by Percival, who came into the Duke's Company about 1673.]


[Footnote 208: Of Cibber's wife there is little record. In 1695 the name
of "Mrs. Cibbars" appears to the part of Galatea in "Philaster," and she
was the original Hillaria in Cibber's "Love's Last Shift" in 1696; but
she never made any great name or played any famous part. She was a Miss
Shore, sister of John Shore, "Sergeant-trumpet" of England. The
"Biographia Dramatica" (i. 117) says that Miss Shore's father was
extremely angry at her marriage, and spent that portion of his fortune
which he had intended for her in building a retreat on the Thames which
was called Shore's Folly.]


[Footnote 209: "The Double Dealer," 1693, was not very successful, and
when played at Lincoln's Inn Fields, 18th October, 1718, was announced
as not having been acted for fifteen years; so that this incident no
doubt occurred in the course of the first few nights of the play, which,
Malone says, was produced in November, 1693.]


[Footnote 210: "The Prophetess," now supposed to be mostly Fletcher's
work (see Ward's "English Dramatic Literature," ii. 218), was made into
an opera by Betterton, the music by Purcell. It was produced in 1690,
with a Prologue written by Dryden, which, for political reasons, was
forbidden by the Lord Chamberlain after the first night.]


[Footnote 211: "King Arthur; or, the British Worthy," a Dramatic Opera,
as Dryden entitles it, was produced in 1691. In his Dedication to the
Marquis of Halifax, Dryden says: "This Poem was the last Piece of
Service, which I had the Honour to do, for my Gracious Master, King
Charles the Second." Downes says "'twas very Gainful to the Company,"
but Cibber declares it was not so successful as it appeared to be.]


[Footnote 212: End of 1692.]


[Footnote 213: Betterton seems to have been a very politic person. In
the "Comparison between the two Stages" (p. 41) he is called, though not
in reference to this particular matter, "a cunning old Fox."]


[Footnote 214: This is no doubt a hit at Wilks, whose temper was
extremely impetuous.]


[Footnote 215: "The Laureat," p. 39: "He (Cibber) was always against
raising, or rewarding, or by any means encouraging Merit of any kind."
He had "many Disputes with _Wilks_ on this Account, who was impatient,
when Justice required it, to reward the Meritorious."]


[Footnote 216: This is a reference to the secession of seven or eight
actors in 1714, caused, according to Cibber, by Wilks's overbearing
temper. See Chapter XV.]


[Footnote 217: Downes and Davies give the following accounts of the
transaction:--

"Some time after, a difference happening between the United Patentees,
and the chief _Actors_: As Mr. _Betterton_; Mrs. _Barry_ and Mrs.
_Bracegirdle_; the latter complaining of Oppression from the former; they
for Redress, Appeal'd to my Lord of _Dorset_, then Lord Chamberlain, for
Justice; who Espousing the Cause of the Actors, with the assistance of Sir
_Robert Howard_, finding their Complaints just, procur'd from King
_William_, a Seperate License for Mr. _Congreve_, Mr. _Betterton_, Mrs.
_Bracegirdle_ and Mrs. _Barry_, and others, to set up a new Company,
calling it the New Theatre in _Lincolns-Inn-Fields_."--"Roscius
Anglicanus," p. 43.

"The nobility, and all persons of eminence, favoured the cause of the
comedians; the generous Dorset introduced Betterton, Mrs. Barry, Mrs.
Bracegirdle, and others, to the King, who granted them an audience....
William, who had freed all the subjects of England from slavery, except
the inhabitants of the mimical world, rescued them also from the
insolence and tyranny of their oppressors."--"Dram. Miscellanies,"
iii. 419.]


[Footnote 218: 28th December, 1694.]


[Footnote 219: The "Comparison between the two Stages" says (p. 7):
"'twas almost impossible in _Drury-Lane_, to muster up a sufficient
number to take in all the Parts of any Play."]


[Footnote 220: See memoir of Johnson at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 221: See memoir of Bullock at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 222: I do not think that the date of this Licence has ever
been stated. It was 25th March, 1695.]


[Footnote 223: "Comparison between the two Stages," p. 12: "We know what
importuning and dunning the Noblemen there was, what flattering, and
what promising there was, till at length, the incouragement they
received by liberal Contributions set 'em in a Condition to go on." This
theatre was the theatre in _Little_ Lincoln's Inn Fields. See further
details in Chap. XIII.]


[Footnote 224: No doubt, Rich.]


[Footnote 225: Downes says (p. 43), "the House being fitted up from a
Tennis-Court, they Open'd it the last Day of _April, 1695_."]


[Footnote 226: It will be noticed that Downes in the passage quoted by
me (p. 192, note 1) mentions Congreve as if he had been an original
sharer in the Licence; but the statement is probably loosely made.]


[Footnote 227: Bellchambers has here the following notes, the entire
substance of which will be found in Malone ("Shakespeare," 1821, iii.
170, _et seq._): "In Shakspeare's time the nightly expenses for lights,
supernumeraries, etc., was but forty-five shillings, and having deducted
this charge, the clear emoluments were divided into shares, (supposed to
be forty in number,) between the proprietors, and principal actors. In
the year 1666, the whole profit arising from acting plays, masques,
etc., at the King's theatre, was divided into twelve shares and three
quarters, of which Mr. Killegrew, the manager, had two shares and three
quarters, each share computed to produce about £250, net, per annum. In
Sir William D'Avenant's company, from the time their new theatre was
opened in Portugal-row, the total receipt, after deducting the nightly
expenses, was divided into fifteen shares, of which it was agreed that
ten should belong to D'Avenant, for various purposes, and the remainder
be divided among the male members of his troops according to their rank
and merit. I cannot relate the arrangement adopted by Betterton in
Lincoln's-inn-fields, but the share accepted by Congreve was, doubtless,
presumed to be of considerable value.

"Dryden had a share and a quarter in the king's company, for which he
bound himself to furnish not two, but three plays every season. The
following paper, which, after remaining long in the Killegrew family,
came into the hands of the late Mr. Reed, and was published by Mr.
Malone in his 'Historical Account of the English Stage,' incontestably
proves the practice alluded to. The superscription is lost, but it was
probably addressed to the lord-chamberlain, or the king, about the year
1678, 'OEdipus,' the ground of complaint, being printed in 1679:

"'Whereas upon Mr. Dryden's binding himself to write three playes a
yeere, hee the said Mr. Dryden was admitted and continued as a sharer
in the king's playhouse for diverse years, and received for his share
and a quarter three or four hundred pounds, communibus annis; but
though he received the moneys, we received not the playes, not one in
a yeare. After which, the house being burnt, the company in building
another, contracted great debts, so that shares fell much short of what
they were formerly. Thereupon Mr. Dryden complaining to the company
of his want of proffit, the company was so kind to him that they not
only did not presse him for the playes which he so engaged to write
for them, and for which he was paid beforehand, but they did also at
his earnest request give him a third day for his last new play called
_All for Love_; and at the receipt of the money of the said third
day, he acknowledged it as a guift, and a particular kindnesse of the
company. Yet notwithstanding this kind proceeding, Mr. Dryden has now,
jointly with Mr. Lee, (who was in pension with us to the last day of
our playing, and shall continue,) written a play called _Oedipus_,
and given it to the Duke's company, contrary to his said agreement,
his promise, and all gratitude, to the great prejudice and almost
undoing of the company, they being the only poets remaining to us. Mr.
Crowne, being under the like agreement with the duke's house, writt a
play called _The Destruction of Jerusalem_, and being forced by their
refusall of it, to bring it to us, the said company compelled us, after
the studying of it, and a vast expence in scenes and cloaths, to buy
off their clayme, by paying all the pension he had received from them,
amounting to one hundred and twelve pounds paid by the king's company,
besides near forty pounds he the said Mr. Crowne paid out of his owne
pocket.

"'These things considered, if notwithstanding Mr. Dryden's said
agreement, promise, and moneys freely giving him for his said last new
play, and the many titles we have to his writings, this play be judged
away from us, we must submit.

    (Signed) "'Charles Killigrew.
             "'Charles Hart.
             "'Rich. Burt.
             "'Cardell Goodman.
             "'Mic. Mohun.'"]


[Footnote 228: The interval between the two plays cannot have been quite
three years. The first was produced in April, 1695, the second some time
in 1697.]


[Footnote 229: Produced early in 1700.]


[Footnote 230: Mrs. Mountfort was now Mrs. Verbruggen.]


[Footnote 231: The passage is:--

    "The Freedom man was born to, you've restor'd,
    And to our World such Plenty you afford,
    It seems, like Eden, fruitful of its own accord.
    But since, in Paradise, frail Flesh gave Way,
    And when but two were made, both went astray;
    Forbear your Wonder, and the Fault forgive,
    If, in our larger Family, we grieve
    One falling Adam, and one tempted Eve."]


[Footnote 232: In his Preface to "Woman's Wit," Cibber says, "But
however a Fort is in a very poor Condition, that (in a Time of General
War) has but a Handful of raw young Fellows to maintain it." He also
talks of himself and his companions as "an uncertain Company."]


[Footnote 233: Bellchambers has here this note: "Mr. Cibber's usage of
the verb _regret_ here, may be said to confirm the censure of Fielding,
who urged, in reviewing some other of his inadvertencies, that it was
'needless for a great writer to understand his grammar.'" See note 1 on
page 69.]


[Footnote 234: Genest (ii. 65) has the following criticism of Cibber's
statement: "There can be no doubt but that the acting at the Theatre
Royal was miserably inferiour to what it had been--but perhaps Cibber's
account is a little exaggerated--he had evidently a personal dislike
to Powell--everything therefore that he says, directly or indirectly,
against him must be received with some grains of allowance--Powell
seems to have been eager to exhibit himself in some of Betterton's
best parts, whereas a more diffident actor would have wished to avoid
comparisons--we know from the Spectator that Powell was too apt to
tear a passion to tatters, but still he must have been an actor of
considerable reputation at this time, or he would not have been cast
for several good parts before the division of the Company."]


[Footnote 235: "Old Bachelor," act iv. sc. 4:--

"_Fondlewife._ Come kiss _Nykin_ once more, and then get you in--So--Get
you in, get you in. By by.

  _Lætitia._ By, _Nykin_.
  _Fondlewife._ By, Cocky.
  _Lætitia._ By, _Nykin_.
  _Fondlewife._ By, Cocky, by, by."]


[Footnote 236: Regarding Powell's playing in imitation of Betterton,
Chetwood ("History of the Stage," p. 155) says: "Mr. _George Powel_, a
reputable Actor, with many Excellencies, gave out, that he would perform
the part of Sir _John Falstaff_ in the manner of that very excellent
_English Roscius_, Mr. _Betterton_. He certainly hit his Manner, and
Tone of Voice, yet to make the Picture more like, he mimic'd the
Infirmities of Distemper, old Age, and the afflicting Pains of the Gout,
which that great Man was often seiz'd with."]


[Footnote 237:

    "Quicquid agunt homines, votum, timor, ira, voluptas,
    Gaudia, discursus, nostri est farrago libelli."
                                Juvenal, i. 85.]


[Footnote 238: That is, January, 1696. The cast was:--

  "Love's last Shift; or, the Fool in Fashion."

  SIR WILLIAM WISEWOUD .............. Mr. Johnson.
  LOVELESS .......................... Mr. Verbruggen.
  SIR NOVELTY FASHION ............... Mr. Cibber.
  ELDER WORTHY ...................... Mr. Williams.
  YOUNG WORTHY ...................... Mr. Horden.
  SNAP .............................. Mr. Penkethman.
  SLY ............................... Mr. Bullock.
  LAWYER ............................ Mr. Mills.
  AMANDA ............................ Mrs. Rogers.
  NARCISSA .......................... Mrs. Verbruggen.
  HILLARIA .......................... Mrs. Cibber.
  MRS. FLAREIT ...................... Mrs. Kent.
  AMANDA'S WOMAN .................... Mrs. Lucas.]


[Footnote 239: In the Dedication to this play Cibber says that "Mr.
_Southern_'s Good-nature (whose own Works best recommend his Judgment)
engaged his Reputation for the Success."]


[Footnote 240: Gildon praises this play highly in the "Comparison
between the two Stages," p. 25:--

     "_Ramble._ Ay, marry, that Play was the Philosopher's Stone; I
     think it did wonders.

     _Sullen._ It did so, and very deservedly; there being few
     Comedies that came up to't for purity of Plot, Manners and
     Moral: It's often acted now a daies, and by the help of the
     Author's own good action, it pleases to this Day."]


[Footnote 241: Davies ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 437) says: "So little was
hoped from the genius of Cibber, that the critics reproached him with
stealing his play. To his censurers he makes a serious defence of
himself, in his dedication to Richard Norton, Esq., of Southwick, a
gentleman who was so fond of stage-plays and players, that he has been
accused of turning his chapel into a theatre. The furious John Dennis,
who hated Cibber for obstructing, as he imagined, the progress of his
tragedy called the Invader of his Country, in very passionate terms
denies his claim to this comedy: 'When the Fool in Fashion was first
acted (says the critic) Cibber was hardly twenty years of age--how could
he, at the age of twenty, write a comedy with a just design,
distinguished characters, and a proper dialogue, who now, at forty,
treats us with Hibernian sense and Hibernian English?'"]


[Footnote 242: This same accusation was made against Cibber on other
occasions. Dr. Johnson, referring to one of these, said: "There was no
reason to believe that the _Careless Husband_ was not written by
himself."--Boswell's Johnson, ii. 340.]


[Footnote 243: "The Relapse; or, Virtue in Danger," was produced at
Drury Lane in 1697. Cibber's part in it, Lord Foppington, became one of
his most famous characters. The "Comparison between the two Stages," p.
32, says: "_Oronoko_, _Æsop_, and _Relapse_ are Master-pieces, and
subsisted _Drury-lane_ House, the first two or three Years."]


[Footnote 244: "The Provoked Wife" was produced at Lincoln's Inn Fields
in 1697; and, as Cibber states, "Æsop" was played at Drury Lane in the
same year. It seems (see Prologue to "The Confederacy") that Vanbrugh
gave his first three plays as presents to the Companies.]


[Footnote 245: "Comparison between the two Stages," p. 12: "In the
meantime the Mushrooms in _Drury-Lane_ shoot up from such a desolate
Fortune into a considerable Name; and not only grappled with their
Rivals, but almost eclipst 'em."]


[Footnote 246: The last performance of this comedy which Genest indexes
was at Covent Garden, 14th February, 1763.]


[Footnote 247: Davies ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 469) says: "The truth is,
Cibber was endured, in this and other tragic parts, on account of his
general merit in comedy;" and the author of "The Laureat," p. 41,
remarks: "I have often heard him blamed as a Trifler in that Part; he
was rarely perfect, and, abating for the Badness of his Voice and the
Insignificancy and Meanness of his Action, he did not seem to understand
either what he said or what he was about."]


[Footnote 248: "The Laureat," p. 44: "Whatever the Actors appear'd upon
the Stage, they were most of them _Barbarians_ off on't, few of them
having had the Education, or whose Fortunes could admit them to the
Conversation of Gentlemen."]


[Footnote 249: Davies praises Cibber in Fondlewife, saying that he "was
much and justly admired and applauded" ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 391); and in
the same work (i. 306) he gives an admirable sketch of Cibber as Justice
Shallow:--

"Whether he was a copy or an original in Shallow, it is certain no
audience was ever more fixed in deep attention, at his first appearance,
or more shaken with laughter in the progress of the scene, than at
Colley Cibber's exhibition of this ridiculous justice of peace. Some
years after he had left the stage, he acted Shallow for his son's
benefit. I believe in 1737, when Quin was the Falstaff, and Milward the
King. Whether it was owing to the pleasure the spectators felt on seeing
their old friend return to them again, _though for that night only_,
after an absence of some years, I know not; but, surely, no actor or
audience were better pleased with each other. His manner was so
perfectly simple, his look so vacant, when he questioned his cousin
Silence about the price of ewes, and lamented, in the same breath, with
silly surprise, the death of Old Double, that it will be impossible for
any surviving spectator not to smile at the remembrance of it. The want
of ideas occasions Shallow to repeat almost every thing he says.
Cibber's transition, from asking the price of bullocks, to trite, but
grave reflections on mortality, was so natural, and attended with such
an unmeaning roll of his small pigs-eyes, accompanied with an important
utterance of tick! tick! tick! not much louder than the balance of a
watch, that I question if any actor was ever superior in the conception
or expression of such solemn insignificancy."]


[Footnote 250: I presume Cibber means 1695. The Company was
self-governed from its commencement in 1695, and the disintegration
seems to have begun in the next season. See what Cibber says of Dogget's
defection a few pages on.]


[Footnote 251: In Lee's tragedy of "Cæsar Borgia," originally played at
Dorset Garden in 1680. Borgia was Betterton's part, and was evidently
one of those which Powell laid violent hands on.]


[Footnote 252: Among the Lord Chamberlain's Papers is a curious
Decision, dated 26 Oct. 1696, regarding this desertion. By it, Dogget,
who is stated to have been seduced from Lincoln's Inn Fields, is
permitted to act where he likes.]


[Footnote 253: Genest's list of Dogget's characters shows that he was
apparently not engaged 1698 to 1700, both inclusive; for the seasons
1706-7 and 1707-8; and for the season 1708-9. This would make the three
occasions mentioned by Cibber.]


[Footnote 254: Dryden, in his Address to Granville on his tragedy of
"Heroic Love" in 1698, says of the Lincoln's Inn Fields Company:--

  "Their setting sun still shoots a glimmering ray,
  Like ancient Rome, majestic in decay;
  And better gleanings their worn soil can boast,
  Than the crab-vintage of the neighbouring coast."]


[Footnote 255: "Comparison between the two Stages," p. 13: "But this
[the success of 'Love for Love'] like other things of that kind, being
only nine Days wonder, and the Audiences, being in a little time sated
with the Novelty of the _New-house_, return in Shoals to the Old."]


[Footnote 256: Cibber says nothing of his having been a member of the
Lincoln's Inn Fields Company. But he was, for he writes in his Preface
to "Woman's Wit": "during the Time of my writing the two first Acts I
was entertain'd at the New Theatre.... In the Middle of my Writing the
Third Act, not liking my Station there, I return'd again to the Theatre
Royal." Cibber must have joined Betterton, I should think, about the end
of 1696. It is curious that he should in his "Apology" have entirely
suppressed this incident. It almost suggests that there was something in
it of which he was in later years somewhat ashamed.]


[Footnote 257: "Comparison between the two Stages," p. 14: "The Town ...
chang'd their Inclinations for the two Houses, as they found 'emselves
inclin'd to Comedy or Tragedy: If they desir'd a Tragedy, they went to
_Lincolns-Inn-Fields_; if to Comedy, they flockt to _Drury-lane_."]


[Footnote 258: Christopher Rich, of whom the "Comparison between the two
Stages" says (p. 15): "_Critick_. In the other House there's an old
snarling Lawyer Master and Sovereign; a waspish, ignorant, pettifogger
in Law and Poetry; one who understands Poetry no more than Algebra; he
wou'd sooner have the Grace of God than do everybody Justice."]


[Footnote 259: This privilege seems to have been granted about 1697 or
1698. It was not abolished till 1737. On 5th May, 1737, footmen having
been deprived of their privilege, 300 of them broke into Drury Lane and
did great damage. Many were, however, arrested, and no attempt was made
to renew hostilities.]


[Footnote 260: Queen Anne issued several Edicts forbidding persons to be
admitted behind the scenes, and in the advertisements of both theatres
there appeared the announcement, "By Her Majesty's Command no Persons
are to be admitted behind the Scenes." Cibber here, no doubt, refers to
the Sign Manual of 13 Nov. 1711, a copy of which is among the
Chamberlain's Papers.]


[Footnote 261: Cibber is probably incorrect here. It seems certain from
the bills that Wilks did not re-appear in London before 1698.]


[Footnote 262: See note on page 235.]


[Footnote 263: "The Laureat," p. 44: "_Wilks_, in this Part of
_Palamede_, behav'd with a modest Diffidence, and yet maintain'd the
Spirit of his Part." The author says, on the same page, that Powel never
could appear a Gentleman. "His Conversation, his Manners, his Dress,
neither on nor off the Stage, bore any Similitude to that Character."]


[Footnote 264: "The Laureat," p. 44: "I believe he (Wilks) was obliged
to fight the Heroic _George Powel_, as well as one or two others, who
were piqued at his being so highly encouraged by the Town, and their
Rival, before he cou'd be quiet."]


[Footnote 265: Powell seems to have been at Lincoln's Inn Fields for two
seasons, those of 1702 and 1703, and for part of a third, 1703-4. He
returned to Drury Lane about June, 1704. For the arbitrary conduct of
the Lord Chamberlain, in allowing him to desert to Lincoln's Inn Fields
(or the Haymarket), but arresting him when he deserted back again to
Drury Lane, see after, in Chap. X.]


[Footnote 266: Cibber is here somewhat in the position of Satan
reproving sin, if Davies's statements ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 480) are
accurate. He says:--

"This attention to the gaming-table would not, we may be assured, render
him [Cibber] fitter for his business of the stage. After many an unlucky
run at Tom's Coffee-house [in Russell Street], he has arrived at the
playhouse in great tranquillity; and then, humming over an opera-tune,
he has walked on the stage not well prepared in the part he was to act.
Cibber should not have reprehended Powell so severely for neglect and
imperfect representation: I have seen him at fault where it was least
expected; in parts which he had acted a hundred times, and particularly
in Sir Courtly Nice; but Colley dexterously supplied the deficiency of
his memory by prolonging his ceremonious bow to the lady, and drawling
out 'Your humble servant, madam,' to an extraordinary length; then
taking a pinch of snuff, and strutting deliberately across the stage, he
has gravely asked the prompter, what is next?"]


[Footnote 267: "The Laureat," p. 45: "I have known him (Wilks) lay a
Wager and win it, that he wou'd repeat the Part of _Truewitt_ in the
_Silent Woman_, which consists of thirty Lengths of Paper, as they call
'em, (that is, one Quarter of a Sheet on both Sides to a Length) without
misplacing a single Word, or missing an (_and_) or an (_or_)."]


[Footnote 268: Alexander in "The Rival Queens."]


[Footnote 269: In "The Man of the Mode; or, Sir Fopling Flutter."]


[Footnote 270: Produced at Lincoln's Inn Fields, 29th January, 1728.]


[Footnote 271: "Love in a Riddle." A Pastoral. Produced at Drury Lane,
7th January, 1729.

  ARCAS........................................ Mr. Mills.
  ÆGON ........................................ Mr. Harper.
  AMYNTAS ..................................... Mr. Williams.
  IPHIS ....................................... Mrs. Thurmond.
  PHILAUTUS, a conceited Corinthian courtier... Mr. Cibber.
  CORYDON ..................................... Mr. Griffin.
  CIMON ....................................... Mr. Miller.
  MOPSUS ...................................... Mr. Oates.
  DAMON ....................................... Mr. Ray.
  IANTHE, daughter to Arcas ................... Mrs. Cibber.
  PASTORA, daughter to Ægon ................... Mrs. Lindar.
  PHILLIDA, daughter to Corydon ............... Mrs. Raftor.

_Mrs._ Raftor (at this time _Miss_ was not generally used) was
afterwards the famous Mrs. Clive. Chetwood, in his "History of the
Stage," 1749 (p. 128), says: "I remember the first night of _Love in a
Riddle_ (which was murder'd in the same Year) a Pastoral Opera wrote by
the _Laureat_, which the Hydra-headed Multitude resolv'd to worry
without hearing, a Custom with Authors of Merit, when Miss _Raftor_ came
on in the part of _Phillida_, the monstrous Roar subsided. A Person in
the Stage-Box, next to my Post, called out to his Companion in the
following elegant Style--'Zounds! _Tom!_ take Care! or this charming
little Devil will save all.'" Chetwood's "Post" was that of Prompter.]


[Footnote 272: Martial, xiii. 2, 8.]


[Footnote 273: Cibber should have written _Catiline_.]


[Footnote 274: This second part was called "Polly." In his Preface Gay
gives an account of its being vetoed. The prohibition undoubtedly was in
revenge for the political satire in "The Beggar's Opera." "Polly" was
published by subscription, and probably brought the author more in that
way than its production would have done. It was played for the first
time at the Haymarket, 19th June, 1777. It is, as Genest says, miserably
inferior to the first part.]


[Footnote 275: "Polly" was officially prohibited on 12th December, 1728.]


[Footnote 276: I know only one case in which a new piece is said to have
been prohibited because the other house was going to play one on the
same subject. This is Swiney's "Quacks; or, Love's the Physician,"
produced at Drury Lane on 18th March, 1705, after being twice vetoed.
Swiney in his Preface gives the above as the reason for the
prohibition.]


[Footnote 277: Cibber afterwards formed the best scenes of "Love in a
Riddle" into a Ballad Opera, called "Damon and Phillida."]


[Footnote 278: Bellchambers notes that this was probably Mrs. Oldfield.
But I think this more than doubtful, for this lady not only was fair,
but also, as Touchstone says, "had the gift to know it." It is, of
course, impossible to say decidedly to whom Cibber referred; but I fancy
that Mrs. Barry is the actress who best fulfils the conditions, though,
of course, I must admit that her having been dead for a quarter of a
century weakens my case.]


[Footnote 279: A "bite" is what we now term a "sell." In "The
Spectator," Nos. 47 and 504, some account of "Biters" is given: "a Race
of Men that are perpetually employed in laughing at those Mistakes which
are of their own Production."]


[Footnote 280: This is a capital sketch of Christopher Rich.]


[Footnote 281: Cibber's hint of Rich's weakness for the fair sex is
corroborated by the "Comparison between the two Stages," page 16:
"_Critick._ He is Monarch of the Stage, tho' he knows not how to govern
one Province in his Dominion, but that of Signing, Sealing, and
something else, that shall be nameless."]


[Footnote 282: "The Laureat," p. 48: "If _Minister Wilks_ was now alive
to hear thee prate thus, Mr. _Bayes,_ I would not give one Half-penny
for thy Ears; but if he were alive, thou durst not for thy Ears rattle
on in this affected _Matchiavilian_ stile."]


[Footnote 283: Characters in Ben Jonson's "Silent Woman."]


[Footnote 284: "The Laureat," p. 49: "Did you not, by your general
Misbehaviour towards Authors and Actors, bring an _Odium_ on your
Brother _Menagers_, as well as yourself; and were not these, with many
others, the Reasons, that sometimes gave Occasion to _Wilks_, to
chastise you, with his Tongue only."]


[Footnote 285: See memoir of John Mills at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 286: John Mills, in the advertisement issued by Rich, in 1709,
in the course of a dispute with his actors, is stated to have a salary
of "£4 a week for himself, and £1 a week for his wife, for little or
nothing." This advertisement is quoted by me in Chap. XII. Mills's
salary was the same as Betterton's. No doubt Cibber, Wilks, Dogget, and
Booth had ultimately larger salaries, but they, of course, were managers
as well as actors.]


[Footnote 287: Booth seems to have joined the Lincoln's Inn Fields
Company in 1700.]


[Footnote 288: Steele's comedy was produced at Drury Lane in 1702.
Cibber played Lord Hardy.]


[Footnote 289: The play was called "Woman's Wit; or, the Lady in
Fashion." It was produced at Drury Lane in 1697. It must have been in
the early months of that year, for in his Preface Cibber says, to excuse
its failure, that it was hurriedly written, and that "rather than lose a
Winter" he forced himself to invent a fable. "The Laureat," p. 50,
stupidly says that the name of the play was "_Perolla_ and _Isadora_."
The cast was:--

  LORD LOVEMORE ................................... Mr. Harland.
  LONGVILLE ....................................... Mr. Cibber.
  MAJOR RAKISH .................................... Mr. Penkethman.
  JACK RAKISH ..................................... Mr. Powel.
  MASS JOHNNY, Lady Manlove's Son, a schoolboy .... Mr. Dogget.
  FATHER BENEDIC .................................. Mr. Smeaton.
  LADY MANLOVE..................................... Mrs. Powel.
  LEONORA ......................................... Mrs. Knight.
  EMILIA .......................................... Mrs. Rogers.
  OLIVIA .......................................... Mrs. Cibber.
  LETTICE ......................................... Mrs. Kent.]


[Footnote 290:

    "Aut prodesse volunt aut delectare poetae." Hor. _Ars
    Poetica_, 333.]


[Footnote 291:

    "Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci." Hor.
    _Ars Poetica_, 343.]


[Footnote 292: Pepys (12th June, 1663) records that the Lady Mary
Cromwell at the Theatre, "when the House began to fill, put on her
vizard, and so kept it on all the play; which of late is become a great
fashion among the ladies, which hides their whole face." Very soon,
however, ladies gave up the use of the mask, and "Vizard-mask" became a
synonym for "Prostitute." In this sense it is frequently used in
Dryden's Prologues and Epilogues.]


[Footnote 293: Compare with Cibber's condemnation Genest's opinion of
this play. He says (i. 365): "If it be the province of Comedy, not to
retail morality to a yawning pit, but to make the audience laugh, and to
keep them in good humour, this play must be allowed to be one of the
best comedies in the English language."]


[Footnote 294: To "The Pilgrim," revived in 1700, as Cibber states,
Dryden's "Secular Masque" was attached. Whether the revival took place
before or after Dryden's death (1st May, 1700) is a moot point. See
Genest, ii. 179, for an admirable account of the matter. He thinks it
probable that the date of production was 25th March, 1700. Cibber is
scarcely accurate in stating that "The Pilgrim" was revived for Dryden's
benefit. It seems, rather, that Vanbrugh, who revised the play,
stipulated that, in consideration of Dryden's writing "The Secular
Masque," and also the Prologue and Epilogue, he should have the usual
author's third night. The B. M. copy of "The Pilgrim" is dated, in an
old handwriting, "Monday, the 5 of May."]


[Footnote 295: Jeremy Collier.]


[Footnote 296: Genest notes (ii. 181) that in the original play the
Servant in the 2nd act did not stutter.]


[Footnote 297: Collier's famous work, which was entitled "A Short View
of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage: together with
the sense of Antiquity upon this Argument," was published in 1698.
Collier was a Nonjuring clergyman. He was born on 23rd September, 1650,
and died in 1726. The circumstance to which Cibber alludes in the second
paragraph from the present, was Collier's attending to the scaffold Sir
John Friend and Sir William Perkins, who were executed for complicity in
plots against King William in 1696.]


[Footnote 298: The facetious Joe Haines was an actor of great
popularity, and seems to have excelled in the delivery of Prologues and
Epilogues, especially of those written by himself. He was on the stage
from about 1672 to 1700 or 1701, in which latter year (on the 4th of
April) he died. He was the original Sparkish in Wycherley's "Country
Wife," Lord Plausible in the same author's "Plain Dealer," and Tom
Errand in Farquhar's "Constant Couple." Davies ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 284)
tells, on Quin's authority, an anecdote of Haines's pretended conversion
to Romanism during James the Second's reign. He declared that the Virgin
Mary appeared to him in a vision. "Lord Sunderland sent for Joe, and
asked him about the truth of his conversion, and whether he had really
seen the Virgin?--Yes, my Lord, I assure you it is a fact.--How was it,
pray?--Why, as I was lying in my bed, the Virgin appeared to me, and
said, _Arise, Joe!_--You lie, you rogue, said the Earl; for, if it had
really been the Virgin herself, she would have said _Joseph_, if it had
been only out of respect to her husband." For an account of Haines, see
also Anthony Aston.]


[Footnote 299: "The Laureat" (p. 53) states that soon after the
publication of Collier's book, informers were placed in different parts
of the theatres, on whose information several players were charged with
uttering immoral words. Queen Anne, however, satisfied that the
informers were not actuated by zeal for morality, stopped the
inquisition. These informers were paid by the Society for the
Reformation of Manners.]


[Footnote 300: Congreve's answer to Collier was entitled "Amendments of
Mr. Collier's false and imperfect Citations, &c. from the Old
Batchelour, Double Dealer, Love for Love, Mourning Bride. By the Author
of those Plays." Vanbrugh called his reply, "A Short Vindication of the
Relapse and the Provok'd Wife, from Immorality and Prophaneness. By the
Author." Davies says, regarding Congreve ("Dram. Misc.," iii. 401):
"Congreve's pride was hurt by Collier's attack on plays which all the
world had admired and commended; and no hypocrite showed more rancour
and resentment, when unmasked, than this author, so greatly celebrated
for sweetness of temper and elegance of manners."]


[Footnote 301: Charles Killigrew, who died in 1725, having held the
office of Master of the Revels for over forty years.]


[Footnote 302: Produced at Drury Lane in 1700. For some account of
Cibber's playing of Richard, see _ante_, pp. 139, 140.]


[Footnote 303: Chalmers ("Apology for the Believers in the Shakspeare
Papers," page 535) comments unfavourably on Cibber's method of stating
this fact, saying, "Well might Pope cry out, _modest_ Cibber!" But
Chalmers is unjust to Colley, who is not expressing his own opinion of
his play's importance, but merely reporting the opinion of Killigrew.]


[Footnote 304: Steele's name first appears in a License granted 18th
October, 1714. His Patent was dated 19th January, 1715.]


[Footnote 305: Chalmers ("Apology for the Believers," page 536) says:
"The patentees sent Colley Cibber, as envoy-extraordinary, to negotiate
an amicable settlement with the Sovereign of the Revels. It is amusing
to hear, how this flippant negotiator explained his own pretensions, and
attempted to invalidate the right of his opponent; as if a subsequent
charter, under the great seal, could supersede a preceding grant under
the same authority. Charles Killigrew, who was now sixty-five years of
age, seems to have been oppressed by the insolent civility of Colley
Cibber." But this is an undeserved hit at Cibber, who had suffered the
grossest injustice at Killigrew's hands regarding the licensing of
"Richard III." See _ante_, p. 275. The dispute regarding fees must have
occurred about 1715.]


[Footnote 306: The Licensing Act of 1737. This Act was passed by Sir
Robert Walpole's government, and gave to the Lord Chamberlain the power
to prohibit a piece from being acted at all, by making it necessary to
have every play licensed. This power, however, had practically been
exercised by the Chamberlain before, as in the case of Gay's "Polly,"
which Cibber has already mentioned. The immediate cause of this Act of
1737 was a piece called "The Golden Rump," which was so full of
scurrility against the powers that were, that Giffard, the manager to
whom it was submitted, carried it to Walpole. In spite of the opposition
of Lord Chesterfield, who delivered a famous speech against it, the Bill
was passed, 21st June, 1737. The "Biographia Dramatica" hints plainly
that "The Golden Rump" was written at Walpole's instigation to afford an
excuse for the Act. Bellchambers has the following note on this
passage:--

"The Abbé Le Blanc,{A} who was in England at the time this law passed,
has the following remarks upon it in his correspondence:--

"'This act occasioned an universal murmur in the nation, and was openly
complained of in the public papers: in all the coffee-houses of London
it was treated as an unjust law, and manifestly contrary to the
liberties of the people of England. When winter came, and the
play-houses were opened, that of Covent-garden began with three new
pieces, which had been approved of by the Lord Chamberlain. There was a
crowd of spectators present at the first, and among the number myself.
The best play in the world would not have succeeded the first night.{B}
There was a resolution to damn whatever might appear, the word _hiss_
not being sufficiently expressive for the English. They always say, to
_damn_ a piece, to _damn_ an author, &c. and, in reality, the word is
not too strong to express the manner in which they receive a play which
does not please them. The farce in question was damned indeed, without
the least compassion: nor was that all, for the actors were driven off
the stage, and happy was it for the author that he did not fall into the
hands of this furious assembly.

"'As you are unacquainted with the customs of this country, you cannot
easily devise who were the authors of all this disturbance. Perhaps you
may think they were schoolboys, apprentices, clerks, or mechanics. No,
sir, they were men of a very grave and genteel profession; they were
lawyers, and please you; a body of gentlemen, perhaps less honoured, but
certainly more feared here than they are in France. Most of them live in
colleges,{C} where, conversing always with one another, they mutually
preserve a spirit of independency through the body, and with great ease
form cabals. These gentlemen, in the stage entertainments of London,
behave much like our footboys, in those at a fair. With us, your
party-coloured gentry are the most noisy; but here, men of the law have
all the sway, if I may be permitted to call so those pretended
professors of it, who are rather the organs of chicanery, than the
interpreters of justice. At Paris the cabals of the pit are only among
young fellows, whose years may excuse their folly, or persons of the
meanest education and stamp; here they are the fruit of deliberations in
a very grave body of people, who are not less formidable to the minister
in place, than to the theatrical writers.

"'The players were not dismayed, but soon after stuck up bills for
another new piece: there was the same crowding at Covent-garden, to
which I again contributed. I was sure, at least, that if the piece
advertised was not performed, I should have the pleasure of beholding
some very extraordinary scene acted in the pit.

"'Half an hour before the play was to begin, the spectators gave notice
of their dispositions by frightful hisses and outcries, equal, perhaps,
to what were ever heard at a Roman amphitheatre. I could not have known,
but by my eyes only, that I was among an assembly of beings who thought
themselves to be reasonable. The author, who had foreseen this fury of
the pit, took care to be armed against it. He knew what people he had to
deal with, and, to make them easy, put in his prologue double the usual
dose of incense that is offered to their vanity; for there is an
established tax of this kind, from which no author is suffered to
dispense himself. This author's wise precaution succeeded, and the men
that were before so redoubtable grew calm; the charms of flattery, more
strong than those of music, deprived them of all their fierceness.

"'You see, sir, that the pit is the same in all countries: it loves to
be flattered, under the more genteel name of being complimented. If a
man has tolerable address at panegyric, they swallow it greedily, and
are easily quelled and intoxicated by the draught. Every one in
particular thinks he merits the praise that is given to the whole in
general; the illusion operates, and the prologue is good, only because
it is artfully directed. Every one saves his own blush by the authority
of the multitude he makes a part of, which is, perhaps, the only
circumstance in which a man can think himself not obliged to be modest.

"'The author having, by flattery, begun to tame this wild audience,
proceeded entirely to reconcile it by the first scene of his
performance. Two actors came in, one dressed in the English manner very
decently, and the other with black eyebrows, a ribbon of an ell long
under his chin, a bag-peruke immoderately powdered, and his nose all
bedaubed with snuff. What Englishman could not know a Frenchman by this
ridiculous picture! The common people of London think we are indeed such
sort of folks, and of their own accord, add to our real follies all that
their authors are pleased to give us. But when it was found, that the
man thus equipped, being also laced down every seam of his coat, was
nothing but a cook, the spectators were equally charmed and surprised.
The author had taken care to make him speak all the impertinencies he
could devise, and for that reason, all the impertinencies of his farce
were excused, and the merit of it immediately decided. There was a long
criticism upon our manners, our customs, and above all, upon our
cookery. The excellence and virtues of English beef were cried up, and
the author maintained, that it was owing to the qualities of its juice,
that the English were so courageous, and had such a solidity of
understanding, which raised them above all the nations in Europe: he
preferred the noble old English pudding beyond all the finest ragouts
that were ever invented by the greatest geniuses that France has
produced; and all these ingenious strokes were loudly clapped by the
audience.

"'The pit, biassed by the abuse that was thrown on the French, forgot
that they came to damn the play, and maintain the ancient liberty of the
stage. They were friends with the players, and even with the court
itself, and contented themselves with the privilege left them, of
lashing our nation as much as they pleased, in the room of laughing at
the expense of the minister. The license of authors did not seem to be
too much restrained, since the court did not hinder them from saying all
the ill they could of the French.

"'Intractable as the populace appear in this country, those who know how
to take hold of their foibles, may easily carry their point. Thus is the
liberty of the stage reduced to just bounds, and yet the English pit
makes no farther attempt to oppose the new regulation. The law is
executed without the least trouble, all the plays since having been
quietly heard, and either succeeded, or not, according to their merit.'"

See article in Mr. Archer's "About the Theatre," p. 101, and
Parliamentary Reports, 1832 and 1866.

      {Subnote A: Mr. Garrick, when in Paris, refused to meet this
      writer, on account of the irreverence with which he had
      treated Shakspeare.}

      {Subnote B: The action was interrupted almost as soon as begun,
      in presence of a numerous assembly, by a cabal who had
      resolved to overthrow the first effect of this act of
      parliament, though it had been thought necessary for the
      regulation of the stage.}

      {Subnote C: Called here Inns of Court, as the two Temples,
      Lincoln's Inn, Gray's Inn, Doctor's Commons, &c.}]


[Footnote 307: The theatre in Goodman's Fields was opened in October,
1729, by Thomas Odell, who was afterwards Deputy Licenser under the 1737
Act. Odell, having no theatrical experience, entrusted the management to
Henry Giffard. Odell's theatre seems to have been in Leman Street.]


[Footnote 308: I can find no hint that plays were ever stopped at
Odell's theatre. There is a pamphlet, published in 1730, with the
following title: "A Letter to the Right Honourable Sir Richard Brocas,
Lord Mayor of London. By a Citizen," which demands the closing of the
theatre, but I do not suppose any practical result followed. In 1733 an
attempt by the Patentees of Drury Lane and Covent Garden to silence
Giffard's Company, then playing at his new theatre in Goodman's Fields,
was unsuccessful. This theatre was in Ayliffe Street.]


[Footnote 309: Half of Booth's share of the Patent was purchased by
Highmore, who also bought the whole of Cibber's share. Giffard was the
purchaser of the remainder of Booth's share.]


[Footnote 310: This was John Harper. Davies ("Life of Garrick," i. 40)
says that "The reason of the Patentees fixing on Harper was in
consequence of his natural timidity." His trial was on the 20th
November, 1733. Harper was a low comedian of some ability, but of no
great note.]


[Footnote 311: Cibber again alludes to this in Chap. XIII.]


[Footnote 312: Sir Francis Wronghead is a character in "The Provoked
Husband," a country squire who comes to London to seek a place at Court.
In Act iv. Sir Francis relates his interview with a certain great man:
"Sir Francis, says my lord, pray what sort of a place may you ha' turned
your thoughts upon? My lord, says I, beggars must not be chusers; but
ony place, says I, about a thousand a-year, will be well enough to be
doing with, till something better falls in--for I thowght it would not
look well to stond haggling with him at first."]


[Footnote 313: Giffard seems to have retained his sixth part.]


[Footnote 314: Some account of the entire dispute between Highmore and
his actors will be found in my Supplement to this book.]


[Footnote 315: This "broken Wit" was Henry Fielding, between whom and
Cibber there was war to the knife, Fielding taking every opportunity of
mocking at Colley and attacking his works.

Mr. Austin Dobson, in his "Fielding," page 66, writes: "When the
_Champion_ was rather more than a year old, Colley Cibber published his
famous _Apology_. To the attacks made upon him by Fielding at different
times he had hitherto printed no reply--perhaps he had no opportunity of
doing so. But in his eighth chapter, when speaking of the causes which
led to the Licensing Act, he takes occasion to refer to his assailant in
terms which Fielding must have found exceedingly galling. He carefully
abstained from mentioning his name, on the ground that it could do him
no good, and was of no importance; but he described him as 'a broken
Wit,'" &c.

Mr. Dobson, on page 69, gives his approval to the theory that "Fielding
had openly expressed resentment at being described by Cibber as 'a
broken wit,' without being mentioned by name."]


[Footnote 316: The use of "channel," meaning "gutter," is obsolete in
England; but I am sure that I have heard it used in that sense in
Scotland. Shakespeare in "King Henry the Sixth," third part, act ii. sc.
2, has,

    "As if a channel should be called the sea."

And in Marlowe's "Edward the Second," act i. sc. 1, occur the lines:--

    "Throw off his golden mitre, rend his stole,
    And in the channel christen him anew."]


[Footnote 317: Juvenal, i. 73.]


[Footnote 318: Mr. Dobson ("Fielding," page 67) says: "He [Cibber]
called him, either in allusion to his stature, or his pseudonym in the
_Champion_, a '_Herculean_ Satyrist,' a '_Drawcansir_ in Wit.'"]


[Footnote 319: Fielding's political satires, in such pieces as "Pasquin"
and "The Historical Register for 1736," contributed largely to the
passing of the Act of 1737, although "The Golden Rump" was the
ostensible cause.]


[Footnote 320: Fielding, in the "Champion" for Tuesday, April 22nd,
1740, says of Cibber's refusal to quote from "Pasquin"--"the good Parent
seems to imagine that he hath produced, as well as my Lord _Clarendon_,
a [Greek: Ktêma es aei]; for he refuses to quote anything out of
_Pasquin_, lest he should _give it a chance of being remembered_."

Mr. Dobson ("Fielding," page 69) says Fielding "never seems to have
wholly forgotten his animosity to the actor, to whom there are frequent
references in _Joseph Andrews_; and, as late as 1749, he is still found
harping on 'the withered laurel' in a letter to Lyttelton. Even in his
last work, the _Voyage to Lisbon_, Cibber's name is mentioned. The
origin of this protracted feud is obscure; but, apart from want of
sympathy, it must probably be sought for in some early misunderstanding
between the two in their capacities of manager and author."]


[Footnote 321: By Lord Chesterfield.]


[Footnote 322: Horace, _Ars Poetica_, 180.]


[Footnote 323: Guiscard's attack on Harley occurred in 1711.]


[Footnote 324: Genest (iii. 521) remarks, "If the power of the Licenser
had been laid _under proper regulations_, all would have been right."
The whole objection to the Licenser is simply that he is under no
regulations whatever. He is a perfectly irresponsible authority, and one
from whose decisions there is no appeal.]


[Footnote 325: Cibber received three thousand guineas from Highmore for
his share in the Patent (See Victor's "History," i. 8).]


[Footnote 326: "The Laureat," page 72: "Indeed, _Laureat_,
notwithstanding what thou may'st dream of the Immortality of this Work
of thine, and bestowing the same on thy Favourites by recording them
here; thou mayst, old as thou art, live to see thy precious Labours
become the vile Wrappers of Pastry-Grocers and Chandlery Wares." The
issue of the present edition of Cibber's "Apology" is sufficient
commentary on "The Laureat's" ill-natured prophecy.]


[Footnote 327: Cibber prints 1684, repeating his former blunder.
(See p. 96.)]


[Footnote 328: The first play acted by the United Company was "Hamlet."
In this Estcourt is cast for the Gravedigger, so that if Cibber's
anecdote is accurate, as no doubt it is, Estcourt must have "doubled"
the Gravedigger and the speaker of the Prologue.]


[Footnote 329: The first edition reads "1708," and in the next chapter
Cibber says 1708. In point of fact, the first performance by the United
Company took place 15th January, 1708. This does not make Estcourt's
"gag" incorrect, for though we now should not consider May, 1707, and
the following January in the same year, yet up to 1752, when the style
was changed in England, they were so.]


[Footnote 330: Southerne's "Oroonoko" was produced at Drury Lane
in 1696.]


[Footnote 331: Of Horden we know little more than Cibber tells us. He
seems to have been on the stage only for a year or two; and during 1696
only, at Drury Lane, does his name appear to important parts. Davies
("Dram. Misc.," iii. 443) says Horden "was bred a Scholar: he
complimented George Powell, in a Latin encomium on his Treacherous
Brothers."


"The London News-Letter," 20th May, 1696, says: "On _Monday_ Capt.
_Burges_ who kill'd Mr. _Fane_, and was found guilty of Manslaughter at
the _Old Baily_, kill'd Mr. _Harding_ a Comedian in a Quarrel at the
_Rose_ Tavern in _Hatton_ [should be _Covent_] _Garden_, and is taken
into custody."


In "Luttrell's Diary," on Tuesday, 19th May, 1696, is noted: "Captain
Burgesse, convicted last sessions of manslaughter for killing Mr. Fane,
is committed to the Gatehouse for killing Mr. Horden, of the Playhouse,
last night in Covent Garden."

And on Tuesday, 30th November, 1697, "Captain Burgesse, who killed Mr.
Horden the player, has obtained his majesties pardon."]


[Footnote 332: This tavern seems to have been very near Drury Lane
Theatre, and to have been a favourite place of resort after the play. In
the Epilogue to the "Constant Couple" the Rose Tavern is mentioned:--

   "Now all depart, each his respective way,
   To spend an evening's chat upon the play;
   Some to Hippolito's; one homeward goes,
   And one with loving she, retires to th' Rose."

In the "Comparison between the two Stages" one scene is laid in the Rose
Tavern, and from it we gather that the house was of a very bad
character:--

_"Ramb._ Defend us! what a hurry of Sin is in this House!

_Sull._ Drunkenness, which is the proper Iniquity of a Tavern, is here
the most excusable Sin; so many other Sins over-run it, 'tis hardly seen
in the crowd....

_Sull._ This House is the very Camp of Sin; the Devil sets up his black
Standard in the Faces of these hungry Harlots, and to enter into their
Trenches is going down to the Bottomless Pit according to the
letter."--_Comp._, p. 140.

Pepys mentions the Rose more than once. On 18th May, 1668, the first day
of Sedley's play, "The Mulberry Garden," the diarist, having secured his
place in the pit, and feeling hungry, "did slip out, getting a boy to
keep my place; and to the Rose Tavern, and there got half a breast of
mutton, off the spit, and dined all alone. And so to the play again."]


[Footnote 333: Cibber's chronology cannot be reconciled with what we
believe to be facts. Horden was killed in 1696; Wilks seems to have come
to England not earlier than the end of 1698, while it is, I should say,
certain that Estcourt did not appear before 1704. I can only suppose
that Cibber, who is very reckless in his dates, is here particularly
confused.]


[Footnote 334: For Leigh's playing of this character, see _ante_,
p. 145.]


[Footnote 335: Curll, in his "Life of Mrs. Oldfield," says that the only
part she played, previous to appearing as Alinda, was Candiope in
"Secret Love." She played Alinda in 1700.]


[Footnote 336: In 1702, Gildon, in the "Comparison between the two
Stages" (p. 200), includes Mrs. Oldfield among the "meer Rubbish that
ought to be swept off the Stage with the Filth and Dust."]


[Footnote 337: "Miff," a colloquial expression signifying "a slight
degree of resentment."]


[Footnote 338: Cibber is pleasantly candid in allowing that he had no
share in Mrs. Oldfield's success. The temptation to assume some credit
for teaching her something must have been great.]


[Footnote 339: Mrs. Anne Oldfield, born about 1683, was introduced to
Vanbrugh by Farquhar, who accidentally heard her reading aloud, and was
struck by her dramatic style. Cibber gives so full an account of her
that it is only necessary to add that she made her last appearance on
28th April, 1730, at Drury Lane, and that she died on the 23rd October
in the same year. It was of Mrs. Oldfield that Pope wrote the
often-quoted lines ("Moral Essays," Epistle I., Part iii.):--

    "Odious! in woollen! 'twould a saint provoke
    (Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke),
    No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace
    Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face:

    One would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead--
    And--Betty--give this cheek a little red."

I may note that, though Cibber enlarges chiefly on her comedy acting,
she acted many parts in tragedy with the greatest success.]


[Footnote 340: Produced 7th December, 1704, at Drury Lane.

         "The Careless Husband."
  LORD MORELOVE .............. Mr. Powel.
  LORD FOPPINGTON ............ Mr. Cibber.
  SIR CHARLES EASY ........... Mr. Wilks.
  LADY BETTY MODISH .......... Mrs. Oldfield.
  LADY EASY .................. Mrs. Knight.
  LADY GRAVEAIRS ............. Mrs. Moore.
  MRS. EDGING ................ Mrs. Lucas.]


[Footnote 341: Mrs. Oldfield played Lady Townly in the "Provoked
Husband," 10th January, 1728. I presume that Cibber means that this was
her last _important_ original part, for she was the original
representative of Sophonisba (by James Thomson) and other characters
after January, 1728.]


[Footnote 342:

        "The Provoked Husband."
  LORD TOWNLY ............... Mr. Wilks.
  LADY TOWNLY ............... Mrs. Oldfield.
  LADY GRACE ................ Mrs. Porter.
  MR. MANLEY ................ Mr. Mills, sen.
  SIR FRANCIS WRONGHEAD ..... Mr. Cibber, Sen.
  LADY WRONGHEAD ............ Mrs. Thurmond.
  SQUIRE RICHARD ............ Young Wetherelt.
  MISS JENNY ................ Mrs. Cibber.
  JOHN MOODY ................ Mr. Miller.
  COUNT BASSET .............. Mr. Bridgewater.
  MRS. MOTHERLY ............. Mrs. Moore.
  MYRTILLA .................. Mrs. Grace. MRS.
  TRUSTY .................... Mrs. Mills.

Vanbrugh left behind him nearly four acts of a play entitled "A Journey
to London," which Cibber completed, calling the finished work "The
Provoked Husband." It was produced at Drury Lane on 10th January, 1728.]


[Footnote 343:
    "Verum ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis
    Offendar maculis."--Horace, _Ars Poetica_, 351.]


[Footnote 344: "The Laureat," p. 57: "But I can see no Occasion you have
to mention any Errors. She had fewer as an Actress than any; and neither
you, nor I, have any Right to enquire into her Conduct any where else."]


[Footnote 345: The following is the passage referred to:--

"But there is no doing right to Mrs. Oldfield, without putting people in
mind of what others, of great merit, have wanted to come near her--'Tis
not enough to say, she here outdid her usual excellence. I might
therefore justly leave her to the constant admiration of those
spectators who have the pleasure of living while she is an actress. But
as this is not the only time she has been the life of what I have given
the public, so, perhaps, my saying a little more of so memorable an
actress, may give this play a chance to be read when the people of this
age shall be ancestors--May it therefore give emulation to our
successors of the stage, to know, that to the ending of the year 1727, a
cotemporary comedian relates, that Mrs. Oldfield was then in her
highest excellence of action, happy in all the rarely found requisites
that meet in one person to complete them for the stage. She was in
stature just rising to that height, where the graceful can only begin to
show itself; of a lively aspect, and a command in her mien, that like
the principal figure in the finest painting, first seizes, and longest
delights, the eye of the spectators. Her voice was sweet, strong,
piercing, and melodious; her pronunciation voluble, distinct, and
musical; and her emphasis always placed, where the spirit of the sense,
in her periods, only demanded it. If she delighted more in the higher
comic, than in the tragic strain, 'twas because the last is too often
written in a lofty disregard of nature. But in characters of modern
practised life, she found occasion to add the particular air and manner
which distinguished the different humours she presented; whereas, in
tragedy, the manner of speaking varies as little as the blank verse it
is written in.--She had one peculiar happiness from nature, she looked
and maintained the agreeable, at a time when other fine women only raise
admirers by their understanding--The spectator was always as much
informed by her eyes as her elocution; for the look is the only proof
that an actor rightly conceives what he utters, there being scarce an
instance, where the eyes do their part, that the elocution is known to
be faulty. The qualities she had acquired, were the genteel and the
elegant; the one in her air, and the other in her dress, never had her
equal on the stage; and the ornaments she herself provided (particularly
in this play) seemed in all respects the _paraphernalia_ of a woman of
quality. And of that sort were the characters she chiefly excelled in;
but her natural good sense, and lively turn of conversation, made her
way so easy to ladies of the highest rank, that it is a less wonder if,
on the stage, she sometimes was, what might have become the finest woman
in real life to have supported." [Bell's edition.]]


[Footnote 346: Mr. Julian Marshall, in his "Annals of Tennis," p. 34,
describes the two different sorts of tennis courts--"that which was
called _Le Quarré_, or the Square; and the other with the _dedans_,
which is almost the same as that of the present day." Cibber is thus
correct in mentioning that the court was one of the lesser sort.]


[Footnote 347: Interesting confirmation of Cibber's statement is
furnished by an edict of the Lord Chamberlain, dated 11th November,
1700, by which Betterton is ordered "to take upon him ye sole
management" of the Lincoln's Inn Fields company, there having been great
disorders, "for want of sufficient authority to keep them to their
duty." See David Craufurd's Preface to "Courtship à la Mode" (1700), for
an account of the disorganized state of the Lincoln's Inn Fields
Company. He says that though Betterton did his best, some of the actors
neither learned their parts nor attended rehearsals; and he therefore
withdrew his comedy and took it to Drury Lane, where it was promptly
produced.]


[Footnote 348: Mons. Castil-Blaze, in his "La Danse et les Ballets,"
1832, p. 153, writes: "Ballon danse avec énergie et vivacité;
mademoiselle de Subligny se fait généralement admirer pour sa danse
noble et gracieuse." Madlle. Subligny was one of the first women who
were dancers by profession. "La demoiselle Subligny parut peu de temps
après la demoiselle Fontaine [1681], et fut aussi fort applaudie pour sa
danse; mais elle quitta le théâtre, en 1705, et mourut après l'année
1736."--"Histoire de l'Opéra." Of Mons. L'Abbé I have been unable to
discover any critical notice.]


[Footnote 349: Downes ("Roscius Anglicanus," p. 46) says: "In the space
of Ten Years past, Mr. _Betterton_ to gratify the desires and Fancies of
the Nobility and Gentry; procur'd from Abroad the best Dances and
Singers, as Monsieur _L'Abbe_, Madam _Sublini_, Monsieur _Balon_,
_Margarita Delpine_, _Maria Gallia_ and divers others; who being
Exhorbitantly Expensive, produc'd small Profit to him and his Company,
but vast Gain to themselves."

Gildon, in the "Comparison between the two Stages," alludes to some of
these dancers:--

"_Sull._ The Town ran mad to see him [Balon], and the prizes were rais'd
to an extravagant degree to bear the extravagant rate they allow'd him"
(p. 49).

"_Crit._ There's another Toy now [Madame Subligny]--Gad, there's not a
Year but some surprizing Monster lands: I wonder they don't first show
her at _Fleet-bridge_ with an old Drum and a crackt Trumpet" (p. 67). ]


[Footnote 350: In the Prologue to "The Ambitious Stepmother," produced
at Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1701 (probably), Rowe writes:--

  "The Stage would need no Farce, nor Song nor Dance,
  Nor Capering Monsieur brought from Active France."

And in the Epilogue (not Prologue, as Cibber says):--

    "Show but a Mimick Ape, or French Buffoon,
    You to the other House in Shoals are gone,
    And leave us here to Tune our Crowds alone.
    Must Shakespear, Fletcher, and laborious Ben,
    Be left for Scaramouch and Harlaquin?"]


[Footnote 351: In "The Constant Couple," and its sequel, "Sir Harry
Wildair."]


[Footnote 352: This theatre, opened 9th April, 1705, was burnt down 17th
June, 1788; rebuilt 1791; again burnt in 1867. During its existence it
has borne the name of Queen's Theatre, Opera House, King's Theatre, and
its present title of Her Majesty's Theatre.]


[Footnote 353: The beautiful Lady Sunderland. Mr. Percy Fitzgerald ("New
History," i. 238) states that it was said that workmen, on 19th March,
1825, found a stone with the inscription: "April 18th, 1704. This
corner-stone of the Queen's Theatre was laid by his Grace Charles Duke
of Somerset."]


[Footnote 354: Should be 1705. Downes (p. 47) says: "About the end of
1704, Mr. _Betterton_ Assign'd his License, and his whole Company over
to Captain _Vantbrugg_ to _Act_ under HIS, at the Theatre in the _Hay
Market_." Vanbrugh opened his theatre on 9th April, 1705.]


[Footnote 355: In Dryden's Prologue at the opening of Drury Lane in
1674, in comparing the situation of Drury Lane with that of Dorset
Garden, which was at the east end of Fleet Street, he talks of

    "... a cold bleak road,
    Where bears in furs dare scarcely look abroad."

This is now the Strand and Fleet Street! No doubt the road westward to
the Haymarket was equally wild.]


[Footnote 356: This experiment was never tried. From the time Cibber
wrote, the house was used as an Opera House.]


[Footnote 357:

      "to Court,
    Her seat imperial Dulness shall transport.
    Already Opera prepares the way,
    The sure fore-runner of her gentle sway."
                   "Dunciad," iii. verses 301-303.

    "When lo! a harlot form soft sliding by,
    With mincing step, small voice, and languid eye;
    Foreign her air, her robe's discordant pride
    In patchwork fluttering, and her head aside;
    By singing peers upheld on either hand,
    She tripp'd and laugh'd, too pretty much to stand."
                      "Dunciad," iv. verses 45-50.]


[Footnote 358: Salvini, the great Italian actor, played in America with
an English company, he speaking in Italian, they answering in English: I
have myself seen a similar polyglot performance at the Edinburgh Lyceum
Theatre, where the manager, Mr. J. B. Howard, acted Iago (in English),
while Signor Salvini and his company played in Italian. I confess the
effect was not so startling as I expected.]


[Footnote 359: "The Confederacy" was not produced till the following
season--30th October, 1705.]


[Footnote 360: It was acted ten times.]


[Footnote 361: Genest (ii. 333) says that Congreve resigned his share at
the close of the season 1704-5.]


[Footnote 362: Cibber should have said "The Confederacy." "The Cuckold
in Conceit" has never been printed, and Genest doubts if it is by
Vanbrugh. Besides, it was not produced till 22nd March, 1707.]


[Footnote 363: "The Mistake" was produced 27th December, 1705. "Squire
Trelooby," which was first played in 1704, was revived 28th January,
1706, with a new second act.]


[Footnote 364: A junction of the companies seems to have been talked of
as early as 1701. In the Prologue to "The Unhappy Penitent" (1701), the
lines occur:--

    "But now the peaceful tattle of the town,
    Is how to join both houses into one."]


[Footnote 365: In "The Post-Boy Rob'd of his Mail," p. 342, some curious
particulars of the negotiations for a Union are given. One of Rich's
objections to it is that he has to consider the interests of his
Partners, with some of whom he has already been compelled to go to law
on monetary questions.]


[Footnote 366: In July, 1705, Rich was approached on behalf of Vanbrugh
regarding a Union, and the Lord Chamberlain supported the latter's
proposal. Rich, in declining, wrote: "I am concern'd with above forty
Persons in number, either as Adventurers under the two Patents granted
to Sir _William Davenant,_ and _Tho. Killigrew_, Esq.; or as Renters of
_Covent-Garden_ and _Dorset-Garden_ Theatres.... I am a purchaser under
the Patents, to above the value of two Thousand Pounds (a great part of
which was under the Marriage-Settlements of Dr. _Davenant_)."--"The
Post-Boy Rob'd of his Mail," p. 344.]


[Footnote 367: Owen Swiney, or Mac Swiney, was an Irishman. As is
related by Cibber in this and following chapters, he leased the
Haymarket from Vanbrugh from the beginning of the season 1706-7. At the
Union, 1707-8, the Haymarket was made over to him for the production of
operas; and when, at the end of 1708-9, Rich was ordered to silence his
company at Drury Lane, Swiney was allowed to engage the chief of Rich's
actors to play at the Haymarket, where they opened September, 1709. At
the beginning of season 1710-11, Swiney and his partners became managers
of Drury Lane, but Swiney was forced at the end of that season to resume
the management of the operas. After a year of the Opera-house (end of
1711-12), Swiney was ruined and had to go abroad. He remained abroad
some twenty years. On 26th February, 1735, he had a benefit at Drury
Lane, at which Cibber played for his old friend. The "Biographia
Dramatica" says that he received a place in the Custom House, and was
made Keeper of the King's Mews. He died 2nd October, 1754, leaving his
property to Mrs. Woffington. Davies, in his "Dramatic Miscellanies" (i.
232), tells an idle tale of a scuffle between Swiney and Mrs. Clive's
brother, which Bellchambers quotes at length, though it has no special
reference to anything.]


[Footnote 368: At Drury Lane this season (1706-7) very few plays were
acted, Rich relying chiefly on operas.]


[Footnote 369: Cibber seems to be wrong in including Estcourt in this
list. His name appears in the Drury Lane bills for 1706-7, and his great
part of Sergeant Kite ("Recruiting Officer") was played at the Haymarket
by Pack. On 30th November, 1706, it was advertised that "the true
Sergeant Kite is performed at Drury Lane."]


[Footnote 370: See memoir of Theophilus Keen at end of second volume.]


[Footnote 371: Downes (p. 50) gives the following account of the
transaction:--

"In this Interval Captain _Vantbrugg_ by Agreement with Mr. _Swinny_,
and by the Concurrence of my Lord Chamberlain, Transferr'd and Invested
his License and Government of the Theatre to Mr. _Swinny_; who brought
with him from Mr. _Rich_, Mr. _Wilks_, Mr. _Cyber_, Mr. _Mills_, Mr.
_Johnson_, Mr. _Keene_, Mr. _Norris_, Mr. _Fairbank_, Mrs. _Oldfield_
and others; United them to the Old Company; Mr. _Betterton_ and Mr.
_Underhill_, being the only remains of the Duke of _York's_ Servants,
from 1662, till the Union in _October_ 1706."]


[Footnote 372: The chief actors left at Drury Lane were Estcourt,
Pinkethman, Powell, Capt. Griffin, Mrs. Tofts, Mrs. Mountfort (that is,
the great Mrs. Mountfort's daughter), and Mrs. Cross: a miserably weak
company.]


[Footnote 373: Swiney's company began to act at the Haymarket on 15th
October, 1706. Cibber's first appearance seems to have been on 7th
November, when he played Lord Foppington in "The Careless Husband."]



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcription note:

The Index, originally printed in Volume II and covering both volumes,
has been copied to the end of this volume for the convenience of
the reader.

The original spelling and grammar have been retained. Footnotes have been
moved to the end of this work. Minor adjustments to hyphenation and other
punctuation have been made without annotation.

Typographical changes to this volume:

  pg lvi  (Sidenote) in London or Westmister[Westminster]
  pg liii Added heading [Letters Patent for Erecting a New Theatre]
  pg 84   had military Commissions; Carlisle [Carlile]
  pg 105  in a full rowd[Crowd] of Courtiers
  pg 105  nd[And] therefore they shall know
  pg 105  falls into this Rhapsody of Vain-lory[Vain-glory]
  pg 138  that would have been the [extra the] least Part
  pg 157  Likeness of these Theatrical Portraicts[Portraits]
  pg 331  he had this wholsom[wholesome]
  fn 91   played at Dorset Garden; "Pysche"["Psyche"] followed





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