}ilan was to send his boats on cutting-out expeditions; and he has been often known to say to one nnd another of his officers, when cruising in the Adriatic, "There,—you have now an opportunity of making yourself a Captain;" pointing to some vessel of the enemy moored under the protection of a battery.

Sir William Hoste was one of the first disciplinarians in the service; his ship was a perfect "man-of-war." Sir William was beloved no less by his men than by his officers; as a proof of which, we have been told that after the action of Lissa, when a vacancy for a boatswain occurred in the squadron, and Sir William offered the warrant to David Buchanan, chief boatswain's mate of the Amphion, the honest fellow said, "No, thank you, Sir; if it's all the same to you, I'd rather serve as chief boatswain's mate with Captain Hoste, and spill my blood in the lee scuppers, as I've done before, than be boatswain of the finest first-rate in the service."

This gallant hero died on the 6th of December, 1828, in London, at the house of his brother-in-law, the Earl of Orford; at the age of 48. He was buried in St. John's Wood Chapel. The funeral was attended by many persons of distinction, particularly in the naval service, who had assembled on this melancholy occasion from remote parts; and it could not but have been highly gratifying to the friends and relations of the deceased, to witness the lively and affecting sympathy displayed during the mournful ceremony by the old companions who had served under him as Lieutenants. Among these were particularly noticed Captains David Dunn, O'Brien, and Phillott.

Sir William married, April 15. 1817, Lady Harriet Waipole, sister to the present Earl of Orford; and has left three sons and three daughters: 1. Sir William-Legge-George, who was born at Rome in 1818, and has succeeded to the baronetcy; 2. Theodore-Orford-Raphael, born at Lausanne in 1819; 3. Caroline-Harriet-Clementina; 4. Psyche-RoseElizabeth; 5. Priscilla-Ann; and, 6. Wyndham-HoratioNelson, born in February 1825.

The materials for the foregoing Memoir have been derived from "The Naval Chronicle," "Marshall's Royal Naval Biography," "The United Service Journal," and "The Gentleman's Magazine."

No. II.



Many females have risen from the lower and middle classes of society to exalted rank: some on account of their personal charms, others from fortuitous circumstances; but, unfortunately, too few by a union of superior beauty with virtuous conduct. To the subject of the present memoir, however, this high praise is justly due.

Miss Eliza Farren was born in the year 1759, and her family was respectable, though not opulent. Her father, Mr. George Farren, was a surgeon and apothecary in the city of Cork; her mother was the daughter of Mr. Wright, an eminent brewer at Liverpool; her paternal uncle was a captain in the 64th regiment of foot, and was a gentleman distinguished by his literary taste and talent. Mr. Farren grew, unhappily, too fond of gay society: he dissipated by irregular habits the little fortune which his wife had brought him, failed in his profession, became a provincial actor, died, and left a young and destitute family, at an early period of life. The children were educated by Mrs. Farren, who devoted herself indefatigably to their care; but whose circumstances compelled her to bring them up to the stage. Kitty, the eldest of seven, was considered clever in the parts of chambermaids; Eliza was equally successful in the personation of such characters as Edward the Fifth in " Richard the Third;" and Peggy, the youngest, was, many years afterwards, wellknown on the London boards as the wife of Mr. Knight, an exceedingly clever actor in light and elegant comedy.

Miss Eliza Farren made her first appearance on the Liverpool stage, in 1773, as Rosetta, in "Love in a Village," being at that time only fourteen years of age. She performed this and many other characters with great success, not only at Liverpool, but at Shrewsbury, Chester, and other places where the company usually performed. At length, by the kindness of Mr. Younger, the manager, she obtained a letter of introduction to the elder Colman, at whose theatre in the Haymarket she appeared in the summer of 1777, in the character of Miss Hardcastle, in Goldsmith's comedy of "She Stoops to Conquer." That excellent mimic Edwin first appeared the same night as Tony Lumpkin; and the celebrated Henderson also made his debut during that season. It may not be unamusing to quote a contemporary critic on the lady: "Miss Farren's first appearance on a London stage, appeared the most leading figure in this group, and from that circumstance is entitled to some indulgence from the critic pen. Her performance of Miss Hardcastle, though far short of Mrs. Bulkeley, who was the original barmaid, would not have disgraced either of our winter theatres. Her person is genteel, and above the middle stature; her countenance full of sensibility, and capable of expression; her voice clear, but rather sharp, and not sufficiently varied; her action not directly awkward; and her delivery emphatic and distinct."

On the 30th of August following, Miss Farren played the part of Rosina, in the " Spanish Barber," which was then first produced, and by her skilful performance greatly contributed to the success of the piece.

But the part which completely established her fame as an actress, was Lady Townley. Her first performance of that character was the result of the recommendation and entreaty of the inimitable Parsons, who removed every scruple which timidity on Miss Farren's part interposed, and at length prevailed upon her, though not without great difficulty, to try it for his benefit. The consequence was just what he had predicted: the whole house was enraptured with the performance; and Miss Farren was engaged that night for both the winter theatres, and played alternately at Drury Lane and Covent Garden, through the season, the first characters in tragedy, as well as in comedy.

It may be said that, throughout life, accidental circumstances greatly favoured Miss Farren. At Bath, Mr?. Siddons had played Almeida, in Pratt's tragedy of " The Fair Circassian," with great success. In bringing the piece forward at Drury Lane, it was Mr. Sheridan's intention that Mrs. Crawford should make her first appearance as the heroine. Through some disagreement, however, that lady was not engaged: the part of Almeida was consequently given to Miss Farren; and the piece had a nearly uninterrupted run of three-and-twenty nights. This was in the year 1780.

Mrs. Abingdon's desertion of Drury Lane for Covent Garden, was another fortunate circumstance, which at once placed Miss Farren, who succeeded her, in her proper sphere.

It was at about this period of her fame that the celebrated Charles Fox was observed to pay her particular attention, frequently dangling whole evenings behind the scenes for the sake of her company; but finding these attentions not meeting the success he anticipated, he gave up the pursuit to Lord Derby, who took every means in his power to promote her interest. He induced Lady Dorothea Thompson and Lady Cecilia Johnson to become her patronesses; by which means she was enabled to move in the first circles. She was naturally anxious to rival women of the highest rank and fortune in every female and polite accomplishment; and so indefatigable were the pains she took to improve, that Miss Farren was justly considered as a finished pattern of female elegance and fashion. The platonic affection that was said to exist between Miss Farren and Lord Derby was, of course, productive of a great many squibs, &c. among the would-be-wits and idlers about town; but their conduct was so guarded as to be free from the aspersions of the most censorious or

c *

« ElőzőTovább »