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chamber, “ Sir,” said he,“ you don't know me; my name is Quin." Thomson replied, “ that though he could not boast the honour of a personal acquaintance, he was no stranger either to his name, or to his merit." Quin then told him he was come to sup with him, and that he had already ordered the cook to provide supper, which he hoped he would excuse. When supper was over, and the glass had gone briskly about, “ Let us talk upon business now," said Quin; “ now is the time.” Thomson declared that he was ready to serve him, as far as his capacity would reach, in any thing he should command (thinking he was come about some affairs relating to the drama). “Sir," said Quin, “ you mistake me.
I am in
debt. I owe you a hundred pounds, and am come to pay you.” Thomson, with a disconsolate air, replied, “that as he was a gentleman whom he never offended, he wondered that he should take advantage of such an opportunity to insult him in his misfortunes.” “ No," said Quin, raising his voice,
upon my honour, that is not my intention, and to prove my sincerity, there it is ;” (laying a banks, note of that value before him.) l'homson, in astonishment, begged he would explain himself.
“ Why," said Quin, “as to the debt which I have discharged, I'll tell you ;—this is the way it has been contracted. I read, the other day, your poem of The Seasons;' the pleasure which it gave me called forth my gratitude; it struck mc that as I had some property, I ought to make my will, and to make those the legatees to whom I was under some obligation. Consequently, I have bequeathed a hundred pounds to the author of the poem of The Seasons.' This morning, hearing that you were in this house, I thought I might as well have the pleasure of paying the money myself, as order my executors to pay it, when you would be no longer in need of it.” A present made in so delicate a manner, and under such circumstances, did not fail to be accepted; and Thomson left the house in company
with his benefactor.
THE BAD MECHANIST.
Hopkins, the Drury Lane prompter, once recommended to Garrick a man whom he wished to be engaged as a mechanist, to prepare the scenery for a new pantomime. To this application Garrick returned the following answer :.:“I tell you what, Hopkins, the man will never answer the purpose of the Theatre. In the first place, he cannot make a moon. I would not give threepence for a dozen such moons, as he shewed me to-day; and his suns are, if possible, worse: besides, I gave him directions about the clouds, and he made such as were never seen since the Flood. Desire the carpenter to knock the rainbow to pieces, 'tis execrable; his stars were the only things tolerable. I make no doubt of his honesty; but until he can make a good sun, moon, and rainbow, I must dispense with his services.
“ D. GARRICK.”
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER. The date of their first play is 1607, when Beaumont was in his twenty-first year; and it was probably acted some time before. He brought, however, into the firm, a genius uncommonly fertile and commanding. In all the editions of their plays, and in every notice of their joint productions, notwithstanding Fletcher's sincerity, the name of Beaumont always stands first. Their connection, from similarity of taste and studies, was very intimate, and, it would appear, at one time, very economical. Aubrey informs us, that “ there was a wonderful consimilarity of fancy between Francis Beaumont, and Mr. John Fletcher, which caused that dearness of friendship between them. I have heard Dr. John Earl, since Bishop of Sarum, say, who knew them, that his (Beaumont's) main business was to correct the overflowings of Mr. John Fletcher's wit. They lived together on the Bankside, not far from the play house, both bachelors; had one bench in the house between them, which they did so admire; the same clothes, cloak, &c., between them.
It is related of this extraordinary genius, that his father being one day very angry with him, he reprimanded him in the bitterest terms; to which Ludovico not only listened with patience, but with the most respectful attention, not offering a single word in his vindication; but, on the contrary, seeming to wish that the admonitory lecture had continued longer.
A friend of his, who was present at this most interesting scene, asked him, after his father was gone, what could be the meaning of his singular behaviour ? To which, Ariosto returned for answer, “ That he had been, for some days, at
work on a comedy, and, on that very morning, had been much perplexed how to write a scene of an angry father reprimanding his son; that, from the moment his father opened his mouth, it struck him that that was an admirable opportunity to examine his deportment with attention, that so he might paint the picture as closely as possible after nature; and that being thus absorbed in thought, he had only noticed the voice, the face, and the action, of his father, without paying the least attention to the truth or the falsity of the charge."
GEORGE STEEVENS, MRS. SIDDONS, AND MISS
With his critical acumen, and inexhaustible stores of knowledge relating to bards of the olden time, George Steevens united at times a malice still more rare than his talents or learning. Woe to those who chanced to become the objects of his dislike! Mrs. Siddons, it would seem, was in this last predicament, though, at one time, he pretended to idolize her. The following curious letter, extracted from the recently-published
* Afterwards, Mrs. Twiss.