Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

fence, he run him through the body, and made his escape. The alarm of murder being given, the constable seized Lord Mohun, who, upon hearing that Hill had escaped, expressed great satisfaction, and said he did not care if he were hanged for him. When the evidences were ex amined at Hick's Hall, one Mr. Bencroft, who attended Mr. Mountford, swore that Mr. Mountford declared to him, as a dying man, that, while he was talking to Lord Mohun, Hill struck him with his left hand, and with his right run him through the body, before he had time to draw his sword.

Thus fell the unfortunate Mountford, by the hand of an assassin, without giving him any provocation, save that which his own jealousy had raised, and which could not reasonably be imputed to Mountford as a crime. Lord Mohun, as we have already observed, was tried and acquitted by his peers; as it did not appear, that he immediately assisted Hill in perpetrating the murder, or that they had concerted it before; for, though they were heard to vow revenge against Mountford, the word murder was never mentioned. Mr. Mountford, besides his extraordinary talents as an actor, was author of the following

VOL. III.

с

dramatic pieces: 1. "The Injured Lovers; or, the ambitious Father." 2. "The Successful Strangers," a tragi-comedy. 3. "Greenwich Park," a comedy. Besides these, he turned "The Life and Death of Dr. Faustus" into a farce, "With the Humours of Harlequin and Scaramouch," acted at the Queen's Theatre in Dorset Garden, and revived at the Theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, 1697. Mr. Mountford wrote many Prologues and Epilogues, scattered throughout Dryden's Miscellanies; and likewise several songs. He was killed in 1692; and lies buried in St. Clement's Danes.

Cibber, in his Apology, says of him," Of person he was tall, well made, fair, and of an agreeable aspect; his voice clear, full, and melodious; in tragedy he was the most affecting lover within my memory; his addresses had a resistless recommendation, from the very tone of his voice, which gave his words such softness, that, as Dryden says,

"Like flakes of feather'd snow,
They melted as they fell.'"

PORSON'S FAVOURITE QUOTATION.

PROFESSOR POrson constantly quoted the following passage from Sir Alexander (afterward

Lord) Sterling's tragedy of " Darius," as superior to Shakspeare's imitation of it in that celebrated passage in the "Tempest," and inscribed on his monument in Westminster Abbey. "Darius" was originally published in 1603. The Tempest" in 1623.

"

"Let greatness of her glassy sceptres vaunt;

Not sceptres-no-but reeds, soon bruis'd, soon broken; And let this worldly pomp our wits enchant :

All fades, and scarcely leaves behind a token. These golden palaces, these gorgeous halls, With furniture, superficiously fair;

Those stately courts, those sky-encount'ring walls,
Vanish, all; like vapour in the air."

THEATRICAL MISTAKES.

A LAUGHABLE blunder was made by Mrs. Gibbs, at Covent Garden Theatre, in the season of 1823, in the part of Miss Sterling, in "The Clandestine Marriage." When speaking of the conduct of Betty, who had locked the door of Miss Fanny's room, and walked away with the key, Mrs. G. said, "She had locked the key, and carried away the door in her pocket." Mrs. Davenport, as Mrs. Heidelberg, had previously excited a hearty laugh, by substituting for the original dialogue," I protest there's a candle coming

along the gallery, with a man in its hand;" but the mistake by Mrs. Gibbs seemed to be so unintentional, so unpremeditated, that the effect was irresistible; and the audience celebrated the joke with three rounds of applause.

GRIMALDI.

The following witty tribute to his powers is from the pen of one of the authors of that once popular satire, “ The Rejected Addresses."

“ Facetious mime! thou enemy of gloom,

Grandson of Momus, blithe and debonair ; Who, aping Pan, with an inverted broom,

Can'st brush the cobwebs from the brows of care ;

Our gallery gods immortalize thy soug;

Thy Newgate thefts impart ecstatic pleasure ; Thou bidst a Jew's harp charm a Christian throng,

A Gothic salt box teem with attic treasure.

When Harlequin, entangled in thy clue,

By magic, seeks to dissipate the strife, Thy furtive fingers snatch his faulchion too:

The luckless wizard loses wand and wife.

The fabled egg from thee obtains its gold;

Thou sett'st the mind from critic bondage loose, Where male and female cacklers, young and old,

Birds of a feather, hail the sacred goose.

E'en pious souls, from Bunyan's durance free,

At Sadler's Wells applaud thy agile wit; Forget old Care, while they remember thee;

Laugh the heart's laugh," and haunt the jovial pit. Long may'st thou guard the prize thy honour won;

Long hold thy court in pantomimic state ;
And from the equipoise of English fun,

Exalt the lowly, and bring down the great."
ACTORS OF FEMALE CHARACTERS BEFORE

THE RESTORATION. It is well known that, on the English stage, previous to the middle of the seventeenth century, the female characters were uniformly represented by boys, or young men. We also know, from several passages in classical authors, that the same practice prevailed in the Theatres of ancient Greece and Rome. This custom was, however, broken through, at an early period, by the nations of the Continent; and women performers were common throughout Italy and France, long before their introduction on the English stage. Nashe, in a pamphlet published in 1692, speaking in defence of the English stage, boasts that the London actors were not as the players beyond sea, a sort of squiating, bawdie comedians, that have wh--S and common courtezans to play women's partsa.

[ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »