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man, “I saw enough of him on the stage to make that unnecessary; he may be rich, as I dare say any man who lives like him must be, but-" and here the grocer delivered himself of a tremendous oath-"though he is your brother, Mr. Garrick, he is one of the shabbiest, meanest, most pitiful hounds, I ever saw in the whole course of my life." From such a circumstance having occurred in real life, it may be properly inferred that the intensity of Garrick's acting has not been exaggerated by Fielding. But it is in the criticism of Partridge, after the performance, that the happiest tribute is paid to the triumph of the art which conceals itself so effectually from the vulgar eye, that the player altogether disappears from the scene. "He the best player!" cries Partridge, with a contemptuous sneer; "Why, I could act as well as he myself. I am sure if I had seen a ghost, I should have looked in the very same manner, and done just as he did. And then, to be sure, in that scene, as you called it, between him and his mother, when you told me he acted so fine, why, Lord help me, any man-that is, any good man that had such a mother-would have done exactly the same. I know you are only joking with me; but indeed, madam, though I was never at a play in London, yet I have seen acting before in the country; and the king for my money; he speaks all his words distinctly, half as loud again as the other. Anybody may see he is an actor."
To another great genius inseparably associated with the age, whose manners he has so inimitably portrayed, Fielding, also, took occasion in his novel to pay a proper tribute of respect. The works of William Hogarth are often alluded to in "Tom Jones," and in more than one instance the novelist directly refers his reader to the artist for portraits of his characters. In describing the disinterested attachment of Captain Blifil for Miss Bridget Allworthy, the charms of that fair personage are thus set forth: "The lady, no more than her lover, was remarkable for beauty.
I would attempt to draw her picture, but that is done already, by a more able master, Mr. Hogarth himself, to whom she sat many years ago, and hath been lately exhibited by that gentleman in his print of a Winter's Morning, of which she was no improper emblem, and may be seen walking (for walk she doth in the print) to Covent Garden Church, with a starved foot-boy behind, carrying her Prayer-book." And that inexorable virago, Mistress Partridge, has her likeness pointed out in the same manner : "This woman was not very amiable in her person. ther she sat to my friend Hogarth or no, I will not determine; but she exactly resembled the young woman who is pouring out her mistress' tea in the third picture of the Harlot's Progress." Parson Thwackum, also, is described as very nearly resembling in countenance "that gentleman, who, in the Harlot's Progress, is seen correcting the ladies in Bridewell."
Whilst Fielding thus keenly relished the productions of "the moral satirist," it cannot escape observation that the two men had many qualities in common. Both of them are remarkable as minute painters of the habits of mankind, so far as those habits fell under their own scrutiny. The pen of the one was no less remarkable for the scrupulous accuracy of its delineations than the pencil of the other. Both were men of large experience and quick apprehension; of lively fancy, subtle wit, and a remarkable sense of humour. In both also, it must be admitted, there was a tendency to dwell too much on the disagreeable, the repulsive, and the low. That two such minds. could have existed in the same age and country, without being strongly attracted towards each other, was impossible. The admiration which each of them entertained for the other's genius naturally led to an intimacy, which subsisted without interruption until the fatal hour when inexorable death laid his cold hand on the novelist. Hogarth's regard for Fielding, however, stretched beyond
the grave. The sensitive sorrow which he felt for his departed friend frequently manifested itself; and when, upon one occasion, Garrick (whose powers of impersonation were almost miraculous) thoughtlessly attempted to frighten him, by appearing as the ghost of Fielding, whose manners and features the actor counterfeited to the life, the painter was dreadfully affected, and could never afterwards speak of the incident without evident emotion.1
(1) Macklin's Memoirs.
JUSTICE BUSINESS.-FIELDING'S PRIVATE LIFE DESCRIBED BY WALPOLE.-TREATISE ON ROBBERIES.-DENUNCIATION
WHILST the novel of "Tom Jones" was delighting the town, and affording unlimited satisfaction to every reader of taste, the author was busily engaged in the discharge of his responsible and multifarious duties. On the 12th of May, 1749, he was unanimously elected by the Middlesex magistrates to preside as chairman at the sessions, then, as now, held at Hicks' Hall, better known in modern parlance as the Clerkenwell Sessions House. This additional duty, whilst it afforded a higher scope for the exercise of his intellectual faculties, and the application of his extensive legal knowledge, imposed upon Fielding a considerable increase of labour. His mind-too active for his weakened and wasted frame-was now constantly occupied. On the Middlesex bench, and in the justice-room at Bow Street, he was equally distinguished as an efficient and conscientious magistrate. As the judge of a criminal court, he performed his duties with great propriety and ability. Of this we have a convincing proof in the excellent charge which he delivered to the grand jury of the Middlesex Sessions, on Thursday, the 29th of June, 1749, which is printed in all the editions of his collected works. This production is no less delightful to the lawyer than to the lay reader. The former will admire the depth and sound
(1) "Last Friday (12th of May, 1749), Henry Fielding, Esq., was unanimously chosen chairman of the sessions at Hicks' Hall, in the room of Thomas Lane, Esq., now one of the Masters in Chancery."-Newspaper paragraph.
ness of Fielding's legal learning, and his clear exposition of legal principles; whilst the latter will be both pleased and surprised to find how entertaining the dryest of disquisitions may be made by an accomplished master of elegant style and forcible diction. At the commencement of his address, the acute and able magistrate vindicates and eulogises the principle of jury-trial as the best guarantee of the subject's liberty, and as the noblest institution devised by the wisdom of our ancestors. He then defines
the functions of the grand, as distinguished from the petty, jury; particularly enlarging on the privilege enjoyed by the former of presenting notorious offences against religion, morality, and the laws. The observations which are made by Fielding in this portion of his charge, on the state of society and of public morals in 1749, are rather curious, particularly when the earlier incidents of his life are brought to recollection. With a zeal, which certainly savours much of inconsistency, he rebukes the personalities of Foote, whose performances at the Haymarket, in 1748-9, received a larger measure of popularity than had been formerly awarded to "Pasquin" and "The Register:"-" There is a great difference, gentlemen," says the magistrate (no longer a dramatist), "between a morose and over-sanctified spirit, which excludes all kinds of diversion, and a profligate disposition, which hurries us into the most vicious excesses of this kind. . . . . For the upper part of mankind, and in this town, there are many lawful amusements, abundantly sufficient for the recreation of any temperate and sober mind. But, gentlemen, so immoderate are the desires of many, so hungry is their appetite for pleasure, that they may be said to have a fury after it; and diversion is no longer the recreation or amusement, but the whole business of their lives. They are not content with three theatres, they must have a fourth; where the exhibitions are not only contrary to law, but contrary to good manners, and where the stage is reduced back again to that degree of licentiousness