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matron; Israel, villain, appal, Horatio, wind : which you pronounced metron, Iserel, villin, appeal, Horetio ; and the word wind you pronounced short. I cannot imagine what your objection can be to the letter a that you should change it into e, both in the English language and the Latin ; or what fault can you find with the English word matron that you should be obliged to make it Greek. Does not Horatio sound much better than the little word Horetio ? It is said that Horatius Cocles, when he could no longer withstand the fury of his enemies, leaped into the Tiber. But what did he this for ? Was it not for a name? Yes, surely: but never for the name of Horetius. Should we in the Latin tongue generally change the letter a into e, the language would certainly lose much of its force and grandeur.
““ But above all things what I can least excuse is the absurd manner that some people have got of pronouncing the word wind. What reason can you allege for pronouncing the i short? Look into the poetry of the best English authors, and if you find any one example of it I shall readily acknowledge myself in the wrong: as well may you pronounce short the words mind, kind, blind, and many others that chime to them. I myself when a schoolboy, was a hero in a tragedy, and I remember at a rehearsal, when I repeated these words in my part, “That they pass by me as the idle wind, which I regard not,' notwithstanding my master had frequently told me of it, yet I pronounced the word wind short, upon which he, who understood polite learning as well as any person, and could not bear to hear the word abused, took up his rod and made my poor hand smart for it. 6" In these lines of Mr. Addison's,
Pleas'd the Almighty's orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.' I appeal to yourself, Sir, if the word whirlwind, when pronounced short, is half so expressive or carries that beauty in it that the verse deserves. I would beg that you would reform this entirely. I cannot believe, Sir, that it is allowed upon the English stage, so that you must certainly have learned it from the sailors in your passage from England hither.
““ I went the other night to see you perform the part of Hamlet, and do indeed think that you got a great deal of deserved applause. I doubt whether the famous Betterton did the part half so well the first time he attempted it. The character of Hamlet is no small test of a man's genius, where the action is inconsiderable, and the sentiment so prevailing and remarkable through the whole. I own that upon your first encounter with the Ghost, I observed with some astonishment that it was a considerable time before you spoke. I beg of you, Sir, to consider that these words Angels and ministers of
defend us!' follow upon the first surprize, and are the immediate effects of it. I grant you that a little pause after that is highly proper : but to repeat them at the same time and in the same tone of voice with the speech
* Be thou a spirit of health,' &c. is very improper, because they are by no means a part of that speech. You certainly kept the audience in a strange suspense, many of whom, I suppose, were afraid, as well as I, that you wanted the assistance of the prompter. There is one thing that I must mention, which I think has but
a very ridiculous appearance, although it has been practised by every one that I have seen in that character; and it is this: when the ghost beckons Hamlet to follow him, he, enraged at Horatio for detaining him, draws his sword, and in that manner follows the ghost; presently he returns, Hamlet. still following him, sword in hand, till the ghost says,
I am thy father's spirit!' at which words, Hamlet, with a very respectful bow, sheathes his sword : which is as much as to say, that if he had not been a ghost upon whom he could depend, he dare not have ventured to put up his sword.
The absurdity of this custom is plain from the nature of spirits, and from what Marcellus a little before says, that it is as the air invulnerable.' I think it would be much better if Hamlet should at these words
“By heaven ! I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!' only put his hand to his sword, and make an attempt to draw it.
"“ I do not understand your leaving aside that beautiful part, his directions to the players; and unless it was an unskilful person that was conscious to himself that he could not keep up to the nicety of his own rules, I know no reason for it; but that I am sure you need not fear.”'
Several very sprightly, but by no means interesting, letters from Mrs. Cibber to Garrick are given : and in a little time we light upon the following correspondence, which appears to have commenced the acquaintance, or rather the friendship, that afterwards subsisted between Garrick and Foote.
“ Mr. S. Foote to Mr. Garrick.
In 1749. “It is impossible for me to conceal a piece of intelligence I have received this minute, from either a friend or an enemy.
“I am told, that on the revival of a comedy called Friendship in Fashion,' a very contemptible friend of yours is to appear in the character of Malagene, habited like your humble servant. Now I think it is pretty evident, that I have as few apprehensions from the passive wit of Mr. Garrick, as the active humour and imitation of Mr. Woodward; but as we are to be in a state of nature, I do conceive that I have a plan for a short farce, that will be wormwood to some, entertaining to many,
beneficial to, Sir, yours,
6- SAMUEL Foote. €“ If your box-keeper for the future returns my name,
he will cheat you of a sum not very contemptible to you, viz. five shillings.
«« To Mr. Garrick."
6" Mr. Garrick to Mr. Foote.
In 1749. ““I am very much surprised to find you so uneasy and hurt at the intelligence given to you last night, but as you were doubtful whether you received it from a friend or an enemy, I think, in prudence, you
should have considered twice before you had put pen to paper. The sudden feeling you had at the news (whether true or false) has hurried you a little into the unintelligible—for what you can mean by Woodward's active humour
and my passive wit, unless, like Bayes, for the sake of the antithesis, I cannot possibly comprehend. I assure you I neither have, nor will set my wit to yours, either in your active or passive sense, for I confess myself incapable of engaging with you at your usual weapons. I cannot but think you are very imprudent in saying Woodward is contemptible, for it is certainly lowering yourself to call him contemptible, who has made no contemptible figure as your antagonist. What he intends in the character of Malagene I am a stranger to; he has desired to be free with me, as other folks have been, and so little sensible am I of the consequence, that he has unlimited power to use me as he pleases ;-but pray, Sir, would you have me, supposing he has a design to be pleasant with you, interfere in the affair, while there is a mimical war betwixt you, and first declared on your side? If I did, would not he justly complain of unfair treatment, and say, that I am holding his hands, while you are beating him? But should he dress at you in the play, how can you be alarmed at it, or take it ill? The character of Malagene, exclusive of some little immoralities, which can never be applied to you, is that of a very smart, pleasant, conceited fellow, and a good mimic. If you really imagine, as you politely insinuate, that I have a great regard for five shillings, sure then my giving you the liberty of the house was still a greater favour, and therefore I wonder, or rather I do not wonder, that you should make me such a return for it; however, to convince you that you are a little mistaken in that particular, I promise you if the wormwood farce you mention in terrorem, should not prove so entertaining, or beneficial as you imagine, that I will pay to you or to your order, the aforesaid sum of five shillings, whenever you shall call or send for it. I am, &c. &c.
Garrick’s reply is remarkably well conceived ; it is calm, sensible, and poignant, and was exactly the epistle that answered the justice of the critical case. We shall turn to a later period of the acquaintance of these two distinguished men, and present them to the reader in a far more amiable state of relation than that in which we have just left them.
666 Mr. Garrick to Mr. Foote. «« My dear Sir,
Feb. 13, 1766. “ I had resolved, before I spoke to Mr. Bromfield, to send you my sincere condolement in a letter upon your late accident ;* but I was afraid lest you should put yourself to the trouble of answering me.
It gives me infinite pleasure to hear by Mr. Bromfield, that you have passed all danger, are in the best way, and in the highest spirits.
Notwithstanding the severity of your misfortune, yet it must be the greatest consolation to you, to hear how many have most cordially felt and lamented it. Among which number, my friend. Colman has particularly shown his regard to you : and if I could convince you of mine by any other proof than that of mere words, I should be proud and happy to show it on this occasion. All I shall say at present is, that should you be prevented from pursuing any plans for the theatre, I am wholly at your service, and
* He was at Lord Mexborough's, with the Duke of York, when this accident happened. Foote fell from his horse, and fractured his leg in so dreadful a way, that the amputation of the limb could alone save the sufferer.'—p. 221.
will labour at your vineyard for you, in any capacity, till you are able to do it so much better for yourself. I am, my dear Sir, with my best thanks for your kind wishes, and my warmest wishes for your recovery, “ Your most sincere friend and humble servant,
666 David GARRICK. "" P.S.-I have sent a paragraph to the papers to contradict the false reports about you. *" Mrs. Garrick presents her compliments and best wishes to you."
6“ Mr. Foote to Mr. Garrick.
666 Cannon Park, Feb. 26, 1766. 'I should have answered, my dear Sir, your kind and friendly letter, long before this, but Mr. Broomfield's substitutes, supposing that I had rather made too free a use of my pen, deprived me of it entirely. Nothing can be more generous and obliging, nor I am sure, at the same time, would be more beneficial for me, than your offers of assistance for my hovel in the Haymarket; but the stage to me at present is a very distant object, for, notwithstanding all the flattery of appearances, I look upon my hold in life to depend upon a very slender tenure; and besides, admitting the best that can happen, is a mutilated man, a miserable instance of the weakness and frailty of human nature, a proper object to excite those emotions which can only be produced from vacant minds, discharged of every melancholy or pensive taint.
“I am greatly obliged to Mr. Colman for his friendly feelings on my late melancholy accident. I am no stranger to his philanthropy, nor how eagerly he has adopted one of the finest sentiments in his favourite author, Homo sum, et humani nihil à me alienum puto. I rejoice with him and the public on the success of his . Clandestine Marriage;' Lady Stanhope came here last night, gave me a very good account of it, and is vastly pleased. It has been my misfortune not to know Mrs. Garrick much"; but from what I have seen, and all that I have heard, you will have more to regret when either she or you die, than any man in the kingdom. I beg my most grateful compliments may be made her for the share she has generously taken in my calamity. I do not know whether the expression be clear in the last period but one; but I mean your separation, whichever occasions it. As to my present condition, for which I am sure your friendship will make you anxious, I wish I could meet you with a more favourable account; but I am in truth very weak, in pain, and can procure no sleep but by the aid of opiates. Oh! Sir, it is incredible all that I have suffered! and
you will believe me when I assure you, that the amputation was the least painful part of the whole. They flatter me with the thoughts of being able to get to town in three weeks : change of place to a man in my way is but of little importance, but for one reason I wish it, as it will give me an opportunity in person of expressing some part of my gratitude to dear Mr. Garrick, for all his attention and goodness to me, and of assuring him that no man can be more sincerely
6. His most obliged and devoted servant,
«« SAMUEL Foote.'”—pp. 221, 222. The following letter from Garrick to the celebrated Hogarth, blends good feeling with. practical sagacity to an extent that we too seldom observe in ordinary life.
We are, I
• Dear Hogarth, -Our friend Wilson hinted to me, the last time I saw him, that I had of late been remiss in my visits to you—it may be so, though upon my word I am not conscious of it; for such ceremonies I look upon as mere counters, where there is no remission of regard and good wishes. As Wilson is not an accurate observer of things, not even of those which concern him most, I must imagine that the hint came from you, and therefore, I shall say a word or two to you upon it.
"“ Montague, who was a good judge of human nature, takes notice that 'when friends grow exact and ceremonious, it is a certain sign of coolness, for that the spirit of friendship keeps no account of trifles. hope a strong exception to this rule. Poor Draper, whom I loved better than any man breathing, once asked me smiling how long is it, think you, since you were at my house ?' • How long ?-why a month or six weeks' A year and five days,' replied he, but don't imagine that I have kept an account; my wife told me so this morning, and bid me scold you for it.' If Mrs. Hogarth has observed my neglect, I am flattered by it: but if it is your observation, woe betide you! Could I follow my wishes I would see you every day in the week, and not care whether it was in Leicester Fields or in Southampton Street; but what with an indifferent state of health, and the care of a large family* in which there are many froward children, I have scarce half an hour to myself.
However, since you are grown a polite devil, and have a mind to play at Lords and Ladies, have at you. I will certainly call upon you soon, and if you should not be at home, I will leave
6“ D. GARRICK.” Here is an excellent letter from Warburton, in which all the shrewd sense, and some of the coarseness, of the author of the Divine Legation are displayed. 6- Dear Sir,
«« Prior Park, January 25, 1757. "The beginning of your letter, concerning your health, brought me ill news; which the end of it concerning Byng's condemnation did by no means compensate; for I feel with the humanity of our laws, that it is better twenty rogues should escape than one honest man suffer. And this maxim I transfer from man's government to God's, where I believe it is much better observed.
6" In the diversity of doctors' opinions, there is a safe rule to go by; and I think it very unsafe to neglect it; and that is to take no physic of them ás proper for the distemper they have decreed you, which they do not satisfy you is harmless in any other, from whence they allow it possible that your complaints may proceed.
““ It is not the ignorance of physicians which I complain of, but their sumption; that when God has put a ne plus ultra to the little knowledge to be gained in the art of healing, from experience (which was soon learnt, and to which no additions have been made, though many to anatomy, these two thousand years, they should act as if they knew nothing of this truth: for not to acknowledge it might be excusable. As there is no
* This is not to be taken in its literal sense. Garrick meant the very troublesome domestic circle of the Drury-Lane company.