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It was insisted by the little coterie that Mr. Hewson, the clergyman, when giving prayers at Shanklin, laid a special stress upon the words, "our gracious Queen Charlotte," to prevent his friends making any mistake as to the queen they were to pray for. Wherever they went, they always left behind them the same playful memories, and affectionate regard.
His mode of life seemed to change with these high pretensions. The visits multiplied. There were all sorts of entertainments at the new house. Mr. and Mrs. Garrick were seen at balls and masquerades-at Mrs. Cornely's famous one in 1770, where the great actor was seen dressed as a Macaroni Doctor, and his "lady" as an Italian peasant.
Now he was to be asked down to Wynnstay, in obedience to many a pressing invitation.* Going down to this house, he met some flattering proofs of his popularity. For at Shrewsbury the whole town was in a ferment, and the Raven Inn, where the party put up, was besieged with the curious. When he appeared, there was a crowd, who made free and rustic remarks on his person, eye, hair, &c. He travelled quite en seigneur, with six horses and four men-servants, which seems a state more befitting a man of rank than
A present of cheese came to him from Sir Watkyn, with some pleasant verses in answer to some of Garrick's :
"How filled were the Welchmen with envy and shame,
How each bard for his character feared,
When first they were told how immortal a name
They send you their compliments greeting,
That if you'll permit them to hear you declaim,
They'll stay from the next turnpike meeting," &c.
I also find among his papers, a parody on the well-known Welsh song, and beginning "Of a noble race was Sir Watkyn."
Whether it was that he was
even a wealthy player.* thus absorbed by fashion and pleasure, or that a real theatrical decay was slowly coming, the affairs of the theatre seem now to lose much interest.
* Forster MSS. In letter dated from Wynnstay. It is franked by Sir Watkyn Wynne. There are many little hints of this growing taste for gaiety -more verses, more letters. I have seen his hair-dresser's-Gast's-bill for the last year of his management, for wigs, dressings, "pomadums," and it is very large.-Bul. Col.
JUNIUS-KENRICK'S LIBEL-MURPHY-HAMLET, WITH
Now came an event, which to his sensitive soul must have been like a shock, and have robbed him of his rest, at nights. One day, a terrible letter reached him. It was only a few lines long, but it warned and threatened, and was signed "JUNIUS." When we know that in his heart he shrank from the cheapest, and meanest anonymous rascal, who wrote to him, we may imagine the effect of this awful power who was striking in the dark. He had done a foolish thing. Woodfall, the printer, had mentioned carelessly, in one of his letters, that Junius would write no more, and Mr. Garrick had sent this joyful news with all speed to the king, by one of the court pages, Ramus, whom he knew very well.* In fact he thought it so important, that there was scarcely a letter he wrote during that time, which he did not fill up with this interesting information. The king, however, mentioned the matter to his friends, and perhaps to those whom it most seriously concerned, and it thus speedily came to the knowledge of the unseen power. His warning to Garrick ran originally some
Woodfall receiving this SECRET, alarming warning: "Beware of David Garrick! He was sent to pump you, and went directly to Richmond to tell the king I would write no more.'
what in this shape: "I am very exactly informed of your impertinent inquiries, and of the information you so busily sent to Richmond, and with what triumph and satisfaction it was received. I knew every particular of it next day, through the indiscretion of one, who makes it a rule to betray everybody that confides in him. Now mark me, vagabond! Keep to your pantomimes, or be assured you shall hear of it. Meddle no more, thou busy informer! It is in my power to make you curse the hour in which you dared to interfere with JUNIUS."
Woodfall, who had some regard for Garrick, remonstrated humbly with the tremendous writer. But he received a stern order; "the letter to D. G. must go forward,”—all he allowed was, that "impertinent inquiries" should be changed into "practices." But Woodfall went further and cautiously took out the allusion to the king, through fear it would compromise himself. Garrick was aghast. "Mark me, vagabond!" was offensive enough, -a hint of an Act of Parliament, still in the statute book, and very significant. After some deliberation, he wrote to Woodfall curious letter, which was dignified and confident, and yet seemed to appeal to Junius's forbearance, with many artful compliments of superior strength, talents, &c. "However mighty may be the power with which he is pleased to threaten me, I trust with truth on my side and your assistance, to be able to parry the vigour of his arm, and oblige him to drop his point, not from want of force to overcome so feeble an adversary as I am." He then explains the matter, and justifies himself. "I beg you will assure Junius, that I have as proper an horror of an informer as he can
have, that have been honoured with the confidence of men of all parties. I have always declared that were I by any accident to discover Junius, no consideration should prevail on me to reveal a secret productive of so much mischief." This was sent forward by Woodfall, and it elicited a half-satisfied acceptance from Junius. "If he attacks me again, I will appeal to the public against him; if not, he may safely set me at defiance." This was thrown in contemptuously, in a letter full of more important subjects, but from such a quarter it seems a good deal, and must have comforted Garrick's sensitive heart. Junius alluded also to Wilkes, no friend of Garrick's, though he wrote him letters full of false bonhomie, and compliments, and a jovial affection. Horne Tooke accused him of having sent Garrick a threatening letter, telling him not to play "Jane Shore." Wilkes replied, denying the accusation. He said, indeed, that it was noticed that Mr. Garrick had altered his manner of playing Hastings, and leant with undue emphasis on certain passages which could be And also that some applied to Wilkes' case. friends talked of showing their disapproval, and had waited on Mr. Garrick. This looked very like "intimidation." Garrick replied, simply, and with spirit, that he had made no alteration, and continued to play the piece in the same way. This furnishes a glimpse of the true character of the demagogue, and of the sort of "liberty" that was meant by "Wilkes and Liberty." How Wilkes and Johnson could talk together over their dead friend has been seen.
All this was vexatious enough; but his enemies were now to be delighted with news of a fresh trouble, which