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Garden, to empty benches, he met Garrick, one morning, at the Bedford Coffee House. Having fallen into conversation, Garrick asked the Covent Garden manager, how much his house would hold, when crowded with company. master,” said Rich, “ I cannot well tell ; but if you will come and play Richard, for one night, I shall be able to give an accurate account.”
FOOTE, AND JUDGE ROBINSON. When Foote was tried in Dublin, for the libel upon George Faulkner, the printer, (whom he dramatised as Peter Paragraph,) the late Judge Robinson was one of the bench. This was an old, crabbed, peevish gentleman, who wore a wig of a singular shape, with his forehead very much disfigured with blotches, which, when in an ill temper, he was in the habit of picking off and throwing down upon the clerks, attornies, &c., beneath the bench. Shortly after his trial, Foote appeared upon the stage as Justice Midas, with a costume, wig, and countenance, so exactly like that of the judge, and with the blotches which he picked and distributed, with gestures so perfectly according with the model, that the whole audience, by most of whom he was known (especially in the gallery), were convulsed with laughter, and many cried out Robinson! Robinson !
Was a man that seemed to derive the chief of his fame from the oddity of his little formal figure, and his singular squeaking tone of voice, which were so remarkable, that his entrance into a coffee house, and calling to the waiter to bring a dish of coffee, in his soberest strain, always raised a smile on the face of the gravest man present. When Farquhar brought out his “Constant Couple," Norris was so universally admired in the part of Dicky, that, to the time of his death, he retained the name of Jubilee Dicky.
Quite worn out with age, as he lay bed-ridden, his relations would send for a physician, although contrary to his positive order: when the doctor came to his bed-side, he asked the patient the usual questions, to which Norris returned no answer; but, being pressed to speak, he turned his head, and significantly said, in his intuitively comic squeaking tone of voice, “ Doctor, pray can you tell how to make an old clock go, when all the wheels are worn out?”
MARGARET, DUTCHESS OF NEWCASTLE.
This lady, who wrote an abundance of plays - and poems, philosophical discourses, &c. &c.,
was in the habit of keeping a great many young ladies about her person, whose business was to write what she dictated. Some of them she made sleep in a room contiguous to that in which her Grace lay, that they might be ready, at the sound of her bell, to rise at any hour of the night, "and note down any inspirations she might be favoured with.
Mr. Jacob says, that " she was the most voluminous writer of all the female poets; that she had a great deal of wit, and a more than ordinary propensity to dramatic poetry.”
Mr. Langbaine also tells us, that “ all the language and plots of her plays were her own, which (says he) is a commendation preferable to fame built on other people's foundation, and will very well atone for some faults in her numerous productions."
She died in London, in 1703, and lies buried in Westminster Abbey.
CHARLES THE FIRST, AT OXFORD. WHILE Archbishop Laud was Chancellor of Oxford, he entertained Charles I. his Queen, and many of the nobility, in St. John's College library, and, after dinner, a play was exhibited
before them in the College Hall.
6. The college,” says Laud, was at that time so well furnished, as that they did not borrow any one actor from any college in town. The play ended, the King and Queen went to Christ Church, retired and supped privately, and, about 8 o'clock, went out into the hall to see another play, which was upon a piece of a Persian story.
It was very well penned and acted, and the strangeness of the Persian habits gave great content; so that all men came forth from it very well satisfied. And the Queen liked it so well, that she afterwards sent to me to have the apparel sent to Hampton Court, that she might see her own players act it over again, and see whether they could do it as well as 'twas done in the university. I caused the university to send both the clothes and the perspectives of the stage, and the play was acted at Hampton Court in November following. And, by all men's confession, the players came short of the university actors. Then I humbly desired of the King and the Queen, that neither the play, nor clothes, nor stage, might come into the hands and use of the common players abroad, which was graciously granted."
COURAGEOUS TURK." A tragedy of this name, by Thomas Goff, was played by the students at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1632. Compared with the ranting absurdities of this piece, the tragedies of Lee are sober declamations. The hero, on the appearance of a comet, addressed the following question to the stars.
_" How now, ye heavens! grow you So proud, that you must needs put on curl'd locks, And clothe yourselves in periwigs of fire?"
THOMSON AND QUIN.
THOMSON, the poet, did not immediately enjoy a fortune equal to his merit and reputation. Upon his first arrival in London, he was in very narrow circumstances, and was many times distressed even for a dinner, and had been obliged to get into debt. On the publication of his “ Seasons," one of his creditors arrested him, thinking that a proper opportunity to get his money. The report of this misfortune reached the ears of Quin, who had read “ The Seasons,” but had never seen the author; and he was told that Thomson was in a sponging house in Holborn. Thither Quin went; and, on being admitted to his