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He does not seem to have ever forgiven Garrick. Even in his later trouble with the jealous Henderson, he was whispering that Garrick had only made a feint of recommending him; which was refuted by one, who was present when Garrick praised his acting, and had warmly pressed on Sheridan the duty of engaging him at once. The "Life," by which he made money, was full of insidious strokes at his former patron, though at the end, when he came to sum up the character of his hero, he found himself obliged to do him justice.* Yet Garrick had generously allowed him a benefit night, for old acquaintance' sake, and he played Fainall, in "The Way of the World," when Mr. Taylor and many friends were present. He seemed "an old formal-looking man, with a dull gravity in his acting, and a hollow rumbling in his voice." He made a speech, owning his inability, but hoping his good will would be accepted. He seemed to decay gradually, and it was not a little
scription to Wanley." Garrick endorsed it "Mr. Davies-once an actornow a conceited bookseller; nor is that all, Anti-Mendax.”—(Bullock MSS.) “Anti-Mendax” was the signature to some personal attacks on him, in the We can conceive Garrick-knowing the secrets of these false friends and their false compliments-making this bitter endorsement. No man ever had such material for being sarcastic on human nature. Children alone he could except: kindness to them was always a feature in his character. Angelo, the fencing master's son, used to be invited for the day to Hampton, with a companion; and the good-natured actor-then en retraite—would read stories to them after dinner. In time he would fall asleep, and they recalled Mrs. Garrick cautiously and jealously guarding them against disturbing him, and fondly putting a handkerchief about his head. It was like Lady Easy in the comedy.
* He was greatly surprised that Mrs. Garrick was displeased at his attacks. The life was read aloud in portions to a select club of booksellers at the Devil Tavern. He was much dissatisfied at the curt notice of "The Gentleman's Magazine," and wrote to ask another,-which was given him, but did not satisfy him. He complained of being treated like "the old woman who tells her stories fluently with a pipe in her mouth." He died in 1785, in reduced circumstances, the "pretty wife" in 1801. It is said she became actually destitute, and spent her last days in the workhouse.
singular, that all those who had profited by Garrick's friendship, and then turned against him, should have gradually sunk and ended badly.*
Here was the odd "Dagger Marr," who thought himself equal to Garrick, and would fold his arms. scornfully, and look after him with a scowl, saying, if he had but his eyes, he would play him for any And here was the useful Cross, long prompter at Drury Lane and Hopkins, the stage-managerold retainers, who worshipped their captain with Waldron, who played in Scrub, and who, long after, in the Kemble days, used to praise that great actor -but always added: "But Mr. Garrick-bless my soul!-that was quite a different sort of thing!" Here was Havard, a good useful actor, with "an easy, vacant face," and Holland, who copied Garrick. 'Attitude, action, air, pause, start, sigh, groan, He borrowed and made use of as his own." Isaac Sparks, Packer and Ackman, were all humble and serviceable players, useful as rank and file.† Havard
As Steevens said of him, "A proud man who has a heart averse to honest obligation, will generally hate the person who has it in his power to serve him."
Here is a glimpse of the strange creatures that hung about Drury Lane. Garrick employed an oddity called Stone to pick up "supers," as they are called:
STONE TO GARRICK.
"SIR, Mr. Lacy turned me out of the lobby yesterday, and behaved very shabby to me. I only ax'd for my two guineas for the last bishop, and he swore I shouldn't have a farthing. I can't live upon air. I have a few Cupids you may have dirt cheap, as they belongs to a poor journeyman shoemaker who I drinks with now and then.-I am, your humble servant,
GARRICK TO STONE.
"STONE,-You are the best fellow in the world. Bring the Cupids to the theatre to-morrow. If they are under six, and well made, you shall have a guinea apiece for them. Mr. Lacy will pay you himself for the Bishop. He
was one of his "old guard," and was always faithful and true, and when leaving the stage had the unusual grace to write his old master a grateful and kindly letter. He was linked with the old days. Garrick had been truly kind, and after his last benefit, made him a present of a horse. The grateful actor wrote to him in language not familiar to those whom Garrick was in the habit of loading with his favours. He had given him all thanks behind the scenes, yet he must formally, and upon paper, express all he felt. The style is that inflated style to which all actors have a leaning, and which they seem to catch from the scraps of dramatic "fine" language floating through their brain. "Believe me, sir," he said, "these feelings are wrote upon my heart, and must continue as long as the frail tenement that contains it. May your health, and Mrs. Garrick's continue perfect, at least with so small a difference that it may only add a relish to the future enjoyment of it, as the absence of friends the more endears their next meeting. May every circumstance of your lives be easy, and
is very penitent for what he has done. If you can get me two good murderers I will pay you handsomely, particularly for the spouting fellow who keeps the apple-stand on Tower-hill; the cut in his face is quite the thing. Pick me up an alderman or two for 'Richard,' if you can; and I have no objection to treat with you for a fat, comely mayor. The barber will not do for Brutus, although I think he may succeed as a thief, in 'The Beggar's Opera.'
The Bishop had rehearsed the part of the Bishop of Winchester in "Henry the Eighth," with such good effect, that Garrick often addressed him as "Cousin of Winchester." He however never played the part; the reader will see the reason from the two subjoined letters :
STONE TO GARRICK.
"SIR,-The Bishop of Winchester is getting drunk at the Bear, and swears he'll be d-d if he acts to-night.—I am yours,
"STONE, The Bishop may go to theexcept yourself.
-. I do not know a greater rascal, "D. G."
every wish completed! And now my heart is somewhat lighter." The prayer of this excellent old actor and really grateful retainer, is original and ingenious, namely, wishing one's friend only just so much inconvenience in the way of sickness as to give a whet to the enjoyment of health. This kind benediction could not, however, secure such a tempered indisposition for Garrick, who was to suffer acutely by-and-by.
Here too was Woodward, great master in "science of grimace," as Churchill a little unjustly puts it, taking only one side of his humour, which could be tempered by the sound association of the school around him, and exhibit fine comedy in such parts as Bobadil and the Copper Captain. Smith, "the genteel, the airy," was a type lost to us now, invaluable in those gay comedy gallants and men of fashion, who indeed are not on the stage now. "I fancy," says Elia, "he was more airy, and took the eye with a certain gaiety of person." King, too, that admirable and solid actor, Elia had seen, and admired for that artificial air which he imparted to Sir Peter.*
It would be tempting to dwell long on this fine cohort, as well-disciplined as they were fine. These little sketches will just give us a hint of what characters they were, who moved round Garrick.
"His acting left a taste on the palate sharp and sweet like a quince, with an old, hard, rough, withered face, like a john-apple, puckered up into a thousand wrinkles, with shrewd hints and tart replies." There is a perfect picture in this description.
IN THE GREEN-ROOM.
In those days, too, the principles which regulated the administration of the stage were of a dignified kind, and worthy of a great profession. Nothing, as I have said, was more surprising than the respect enjoyed by actors, or their importance. Garrick went regularly to Court; and this was expected, and commented on, if omitted.* Here was an official recognition of a great theatre, and the company whom the manager represented-the choicest, best-trained corps of comedians in the kingdom. Now there is no cohesion-a leading actor or a "star," is the Company; any stray atoms-shifting and changing-do for a corps the officer is the attraction; any cheap sweepings will do for "privates." In those days too, the Drury Lane players had a scarlet dress--as being attached to the Royal Household.†
The great actor's own behaviour showed the respect, that he felt was owing to himself, and to the public. In his in the intervals between his scenes, he never gossiped, but kept a little apart, as it were living
Even now the manager of the Dublin Theatre Royal is expected to present himself at levees.
† Dr. Doran mentions that Baddeley was the last who wore this uniform.