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four pounds a week, of which Cibber, in one of his economical fits, probably brought on by the loss of a considerable sum at the gaming-table, to which he was passionately devoted, determined to retrench one half. The man, who had a family, was shocked at this sudden diminution of his allowance; but, knowing whence his misfortune was derived, he waited on Cibber, and plainly told him, that as he could not subsist on the small sum to which he had reduced his salary, he must call the author of his distress to an account, for that it would be better for him to lose his life in that way, than to starve. The affrighted manager assured him that he should receive an answer from him on the next Saturday; and Bickerstaffe found, on applying for his week's salary, that his usual income was continued.
GARRICK AND LORD MANSFIELD.
LORD Mansfield met Garrick at dinner, one day, in company with several others, upon county business :-his Lordship said to Garrick, that he had heard much of his performance of Macbeth, but had never seen him in that character, and begged he would favour the company with the dagger soliloquy. Garrick, with
out refusing, observed, " It would not be easy, my lord, to repeat that soliloquy by itself; the dagger scene is the most impassioned scene in all Shakspeare; and the mind must be elevated to a great degree before the spectator can sympathize with the actor. It must be remembered that Macbeth is a nobleman highly honoured; that he has just received great favours from the king; that he is bound by gratitude to protect him as his guest, and yet he is on the way to his chamber, for the purpose of murdering him. Is this a dagger, which I see before me?"-continued the actor, sliding from his conversation into the way in which he usually pronounced the soliloquy, with an intention of giving it.. "That's all very true," said Lord Mansfield; "but, surely, you can give us a part of it."-" Impossible," answered Garrick. "Pray, my lord, when shall we hold our next meeting?"
DOGGET'S DRESSING OF A CHARACTER. CIBBER says, that in dressing a character to the greatest exactness, Dogget was remarkably skilful; the least article of whatever habit he wore, seemed, in some degree, to speak and mark the different humours he represented.
"6 This," adds the writer of "A General View of the Stage," published in 1759, "I have heard confirmed from one who performed with Dogget; and that he could also, with the greatest nicety, represent all the degrees of age, most distinctly; insomuch, that Sir Godfrey Kneller took occasion to tell him one day, at Button's, that he excelled him in painting; for that he could only copy Nature from the Originals before him, but that Dogget could vary them at pleasure, and yet preserve a close likeness."
In the part of Moneytrap, in the "Confederacy," we have a particular account of his dress, which perfectly corresponds with these statements. In this admirable representation of an old debauched usurer, he is said to have worn an old threadbare black coat, to which he had put new cuffs, pocket-lids, and buttons, on purpose to make its rustiness more conspicuous; the neck was stuffed so as to make him appear round-shouldered, and give his head the greater prominency; his square-toed shoes were large enough to buckle over those he wore in common, which made his legs appear much smaller than usual; and, altogether, his dress was calculated to give a proper idea of the character.
This great actor was, perhaps, the only one who made it his constant rule to confine himself to such characters as Nature seemed to have made him for. No temptation could allure him to step out of his own circle; and he reaped the full advantage of this self-denial in the never-failing applause with which his performances were uniformly hailed.
WIT OF THE OLD DRAMATISTS.
It is pleasant to hear Dryden and others of his age very gravely assure us, that it was impossible that the characters of our old Poets could talk like gentlemen, because the authors themselves kept low company. The Mermaid, the Devil, and the Boar, it seems, did not receive such pleasant and witty fellows, in the reign of Queen Bess, or of James the First, as those who frequented the Royal Oak, the Mitre, and the Roebuck, in the days of Charles the Second.
Beaumont, who, it must be allowed, was himself a gentleman, and no ill judge of mirth and good company, in an Epistle to Ben Jonson, talks with rapture of the rich banquet of wit and admirable conversation which they had
enjoyed at the Mermaid. Nor is it possible to think so meanly of Ben Jonson's club at the Devil, as Dryden affects to do; for that Society must have been far, indeed, from contemptible, of which Ben was at the head, with Shakspeare, Fletcher, and Beaumont for his associates; who were occasionally joined by Selden, Martin, Morley, afterwards Bishop of Winchester, Edmund Waller, and others of equal eminence. How different these meetings must have been from the mixed blasphemy and profaneness, and sovereign contempt for all order and decency, which characterized those of Dryden's day, for which the reader is referred to Antony Wood's history of a merry bout, at the Cock, in Bow Street, given in the Diary of his Life, the single expression in the elegant rules, drawn up by Ben Jonson for the regulation of his Club, "Proba fœminæ non repudiantur," will sufficiently evince. In Marmion's "Fine Companion," we have the following description of the meetings at which the "Delphic God," Ben Jonson, presided.
Careless. I am full
Of Oracles, I am come from Apollo.