« ElőzőTovább »
his managerial dignity, so conglomerated our actor's The audience roared, and Kean, lying on the ideas, that he frequently fancied himself the mon- stage as the dead tyrant, muttered an emphatic arch he was repres ting. It has been said that he oath, which drew the attention of the front rows of offered to confer the dignity of knighthood upon the pit. his stage manager, steady John Cooper; but if the Elliston was told of his error. Upon the repetiproposal was ever made, it must have been when tion of the piece, Wilmot, the prompter, cautioned Elliston was most royally drunk. More than once him before he went on, and repeated the words of did he leave the crowd of kneeling courtiers, and the line to him that he might impress them upon advancing to the front of the stage, extend his arms his memory : “Not slain, sir, but living,—young toward the audience as if in the act of benediction, Stanley was not killed.” “No, no, -I know, sir,“God bless you, my people!"
I know," said Elliston; “d'ye think I am drunk, or So firmly was this impression of royalty fixed in a fool ?”. On he went, and inquired of the elder the mind of this eccentric man, or so agreeable was Stanley if his son was—missing! and Powell anthe assumption to his usual pomposity, that it would swered, with painful correctness: frequently appear, even in matters of business,
He is, niy liege, and safe in Leicester town. and in the early part of the day, too, when charity would lead us to suppose that the spiritual move- When the queen of ballad singers, Mrs. Bland, was ment could scarcely have commenced. A boy was unable to pursue ber professional exertions, Ellissent to him with a note from a friend, requesting a ton gave her a benefit at Drury Lane, and all the free admission for the evening. He waved his hand talent in the metropolis volunteered assistance to and said, in a dignified voice, Child, quit the help an old favorite. Mathews sang a couple of council chamber; we cannot now receive petitions.” songs. Through some fault in the arrangements,
This regal display procured him the title of King all the rest of the intermediate amusements were Robert William, and even his friends nick-named over before Mathews' first song came on. him His Majesty. A curious remark by old Spring, it, and was encored. “Now what next?” said the box-book keeper, added to the jeer. At this time Mathews. the rivalry between the two large houses was car- “Why, my dear boy,” replied Elliston, “my ried to extremes. An habitual frequenter met stupid blundering prompter has made a little misSpring in the lobby of Drury one evening, and ac- take,-a small error. We have nothing now but costed him with, Well, Spring, what sort of a your other song and the farce." house have you to-night?--pretty full, eh?” “Mid
it, sir," said Mathews, who was always dling, my dear, sir, middling; that is, not very good; irritable in business, “I can't and won't sing two but we don't grumble; indeed we have no right to comic songs close together. There must be somegrumble. God is very good to us, for they have a thing between them to relieve the thing. Nobody miserable house at Covent Garden.” The wags serves up two courses at dinner, exactly alike, one said, with more wit than reverence, that Drury was after the other; besides, I want to change my managed by a monarch, and patronized by Provi- dress.” dence.
“Never mind dressing, my dear boy; the same Richard the Third was reproduced under Elliston's dress will do for both.” management, with a revision of text, and a total “What do you mean, Mr. Elliston, by ‘Nerer alteration in the usual style of dress. Soane pro- mind dressing?' Sir, I always mind dressing. duced his authorities, and Kean jumped about in When you give a dinner, and send down the venian iron skull-cap and a “close-bodied gown, the son and the salmon to the cook, do you say “Never sleeves curiously cut," looking more like a Tartar mind the dressing,' or do you tell her that the same amazon than the Richard of our idea. Elliston ap- dressing will do for both. This stupid business is peared as Richmond in a new suit of shining armor, done on purpose to tease me. Hop on and sing a and strutted about the stage, - grasping a terrific long song, and then hop off. Encored, and hop on, pole-axe and a bright shield,-- very much to his and sing it again. Hop off, out of wind, fagged to own delight, Kean's annoyance, and the amusement death, and then you want me to hop on again, and of the audience. In the last scene, when Harry sing another d- -d long song." Tudor inquires of his friend, Lord Stanley, after his “But on a night like this—charityson, the safety of whose head had been threatened “Curse charity! Charity begins at home. I by the tyrant, Elliston should have said:
said I'd sing, and I will; but you don't want me to Pray tell me, is young George Stanley living? be all night singing, and hopping, and screeching, To which the grateful parent replies:
like a lame parrot. It's done on purpose. I did say
I'd never enter your plaguy patent theatres again.” IIe is, my liege, and safe in Leicester town.
“Well, what time do you want?" Mr. Powel, a respectable veteran, played Lord
“Ten minutes to change my dress." Stanley. He was the usual representative of gray
“ You shall have it." headed pappies, quiet old guardians, and fifth act
“But how?—the curtain has been down five uncles. Ile was always scrupulously perfect, but minutes now; can't keep them waiting a quarter of could no more go out of his way, even to the altera- an horir, and nothing doing. They'll pull up the tion of a syllable, than he could have walked up a benches, -pelt me,-knock my eye out,rope stretched from the stage to the gallery, in the right, -Thad no business to come.” style of that god of grace and agility, Herr Cline. “Well, well, Mr. Mathews, go and dress; I'll Elliston, instead of asking Powell if young Stanley keep them in a good humor for you; I'll make a was living, said
speech !" young George Stanley slain?
Mathews went to his dressing room, and Elliston
took out his watch. He suffered three minutes more To which Powell replied, with his usual accuracy: to elapse, then, with his watch concealed in the
IIe is, my liege, and safe in Leicester town. palm of one hand, and his wbite handkerchief in
- serve me
the other, he gravely threw open the stage door, I their satisfaction; were his generous patrons but and walked slowly to the centre of the stage. A pleased, he cared not what time he spent in the round of applause, three dignified bows, and a task. (Ten minutes exactly.) Then winding up short pause. In his usual grandiloquent style, he with a splendid peroration, he bowed himself off thanked them for their presence on that evening, amidst thunders of applause. “There,” said he to in the name of their old favorite, Mrs. Bland, who Mathews, who had just arrived at the wing, and was was desirous of evincing her gratitude for their greeted with a hearty slap on the back,—“there, heart-cheering generosity. He glanced at his watch, listen to that-now, my grumbler, go on and sing. and to the wing; but as Mathews was not there, They are in a better humor than ever; my speech he felt bound to proceed. He spoke of the uncer- against your song for next week's receipts. tain tenure of an actor's prosperity,-many chances In the old Drury Lane theatre, many of the of dreadful vicissitudes,—no resource when faculties dressing-rooms were level with the landing beneath fail. Another glance at watch and wing. He ad- the stage. During the representation of some piece, verted to the extra talent he had the honor of wherein Dowton had to be lowered by means of a offering to their notice that evening, -instanced trap through the stage, his face being turned toMathews, who was the first on such occasions to wards the audience, Elliston and De Camp, who evince a promptitude truly praiseworthy. (“Curse were concealed below, had provided themselves him, he's not ready yet!") He then congratulated with small rattan canes, and as their brother actor, the audience upon seeing this popular comedian who was playing a serious part, was slowly descendonce more on the boards of a theatre royal; hoped ing to solemn music, they applied their sticks sharpthe arrangements of the evening were entirely to I ly and rapidly to the thinly-clad calves of his legs.
Poor Dowton, whose duty it was to look as digni- niture was cased in cotton covers, which covers fied and intrenchant as a ghost, smarting under the were again involuted by divers sheets of brown pain, could scarcely refrain the expression of it by paper, resembling the pendant patterns in a tailor's a positive screech, whilst he curveted with his shop. Every thing, according to him, was “to heels, like a horse in Duncan's arena.
wear even;" if he pulled this bell-rope on the first with rage, he was at length wholly let down, and occasion, he would bear in mind to handle that on being now completely out of sight of the audience, the second; every chair, tea-cup, and silver spoon, he looked earnestly round to discover the base per- had its day of labor and relaxation; and had he petrators of the violence. Elliston and his com- discovered that, by misadventure, he had worn a panion had of course absconded—it was to decamp pair of shoes or gray stockings out of turn, he would with each of them; but at this moment Charles positively have lost his stomach. Holland, dressed to the very finish of fashion, wor- In his dressing-room, he was constantly attended thy of Cibber himself, was crossing from one of by his two waiting-women; not that he actually rethe rooms. The enraged actor, mistaking his man, quired the services of both, but by such means the and believing, by Holland's imperturbability of man- reputation of each was kept in a state of preservaner, he was in fact the real offender, seized a mop tion; and, to conclude, whenever he retired to bed, at that moment immersed in most unseemly water, he invariably crept up the foot of it, that his linen and thrusting it in his face, utterly destroyed wig, might be without a wrinkle. ruffles, point lace, and every particular of his ela- It may not at once appear, how any sympathies borate attire. In vain Holland protested his inno- could have existed between a Milesian like Elliston cence, and implored for mercy — his cries only and such a character as this; but Mr. Sims was by whetted the appetite of the other's revenge, and no means an ascetic: he was never as wise as again and again the saturated mop was at work on Ximenes, and not always as moderate as Fleury; his finery. Somewhat appeased at last, Dowton and in respect of his little indulgences, like the quitted his victim; but in the mean time, the country wench, he looked very much as though he prompter's bell had announced the commencement had rather sin again than repent. And why not? of the piece in which IIolland was to have appeared. an extra glass of punch, or a visit prolonged to midWhat was to be done? The drama was proceeding night, constituted his excess; though once, indeed, -Holland already called to the stage! All was con- he had been known to have so far mystified himself, fusion thrice confounded. An apology for “the as to toast a certain female of no extraordinary virsudden indisposition of Mr. Holland” was made, tue, in a tumbler of toddy. He, however, confessed and the public informed that De Camp had “kindly he went for three days unshaved, from the above undertaken to go.on for the part !"
event, as he had not the assurance to look on himIn the vicinity of the Abbey Church, Bath, resid- self in the glass, after so peccant an action. ed a Mr. Sims, an opulent woollen-draper-a man Mr. Sims was fond of a play, and had some taste of strict probity in all transactions of life—whose for the drama. Ile had seen the best actors of active benevolence and unassailable good humor, Garrick's day, and could talk critically on the gehad acquired to him the esteem of a wide circle of nius of “rare Ben Jonson.” Mr. Sims, therefore, acquaintances.
became, with other Bath people, known to the EllisThis personage was a bachelor, and at this time ton family. about sixt
-five years of age. Ilis figure was tall, Mrs. Elliston being absent for a few days on a his step airy, his deportment the flower of polite- visit to Mrs. Collins, Elliston was consequently left ness, and in disputes he was the very Atticus of at Bath, en garçon. On one of his widowed afterparties. His dress was usually a suit of gray; and noons, his knocker announced some visitor, and his hair, of which there was a profusion, being per- Mr. Sims himself deferentially entered. fectly white, whereunto a queue appended, gave “My dear Mr. Elliston,” cried he, as he advanced, him somewhat of a Sir Joshua contour; though with a step lighter than a roebuck, "have I indeed perhaps he bore a nearer resemblance to the more caught you?—this is charming !—and how well you modern portrait of that precise merchant, as per- look! Listen: I promised your excellent wife to sonated by the late Mr. Terry, in Poole's admirable have an eye on you during her absence, and so I little comedy of “Simpson and Co.”
will, for you positively must-must, I say, dine with While he paid a marked deference to all men's me to-day.” opinions, he had a mistrust of his own, which was “Dine with you, Mr. Sims?” exclaimed Elliston, singularly curious. On a sudden torrent, for in- in a tone which must have been truly comic. “My stance, which some people would denominate “cats good Mr. Simsand dogs,” he would merely apprehend that it rained ;
Nay, nay-I shall be downright riotous if and if the house were as suddenly enveloped in flame, I hear any excuses. I absolutely must-must have he would suggest the crpediency of quitting the tene- you. In fact,” continued he, making a leg, as he ment. His respect for the other sex was so pro- advanced, and tapping the tip of his left fore-finger found, as to keep in awful subjection every gentler with the corresponding extremity of the right, impulse of the bosom-for he was far from a wo- “my dinner is already ordered-within one hour man-hater; on the contrary, he could not honor will be served—see, with what little ceremony I them too highly; but it was all honor.
treat you." His “menage” consisted of a duplicate female There was something irresistibly grotesque even attendant, that is, two separate beings, but with in the proposition ; for though Mr. Sims was by no brains under the same meridian, whose autumnal means a stranger in the house, yet the very suggestime of life, and counterpart in attire, rendered tion of a tête-à-tête repast with the precise woollenthem perfectly homogeneous.
draper, appeared one of those things which, alThe great characteristic of Mr. Sims was a pain- though clearly possible, had still never yet been ful precision in all things. Jis hat always occupied known to have transpired. As for instance, A man the left peg in respect of his coat. llis parlor fur- / shall not marry his grandmother.
“To-day! said you, worthy neighbor?” demand- “Excellent!” cried Elliston. Come, a glass of ed Ellison, as he passed his hand thoughtfully wine!" across his forehead—“to-day—that is—this day A second cover was now removed, and a shoulis
der of mutton, admirably dressed, was presented; “Thursday, I would suggest," interposed Sims, at the sight of which, Sims, clasping his hands in most apologetically.
token of renewed astonishment, exclaimed, “Just so; and here comes my friend Quick, who "A shoulder of mutton!—why, it is a shoulderreminds me of his promised visit. Dinner on table the very dish I had ordered myself.” punctually at five—"continued Elliston, addressing “Similar, similar," interposed Quick, laughingly; himself to Quick, just as he entered—“not a minute “a coincidence.” later;" which was of course the first notice the Sims acknowledged the correction by one of the other had had at all of the matter, while Elliston blandest smiles in nature. himself was quite aware he had not a solitary cutlet “Coincidences are indeed extraordinary,” obin the house.
served Elliston. “I remember in May, -99, the “But—but—"interrupted Sims, with bis fingers very day Seringapatam was taken, our sexton's wife as before—“my humble fare is preparing is rly was rought to bed of twins.". ready
“With great humility, my dear Mr. Elliston," obAnd will be excellent when eaten cold to served Sims, “that may be a coincidence; but is it, morrow," rejoined Elliston; “but to-day-to-day, think you, so very-very remarkable ?" Sims, you are my guest!"
“Why, Hindostan does not yield us cities every The draper having recovered from the shock spring,” replied Elliston, “nor are sexton's wives which these words occasioned, was evidently as brought to bed of twins, as a matter of course." pleased as Punch at the proposition, though he “And that both of these events should have haplooked on the affair as one of the maddest pranks pened on the same day, is at least extraordinary,” ever yet attempted-quite a Camelford exploit of added Quick. that day, or Waterford of the present; the chal- “Say no more-say no more; I am completely lenge, however, be accepted, but to no one's sur- answered,” rejoined Sims. prise more than his own.
Here Elliston suggested another glass of wine all “I will at least apprise my domestics,” said Sims, round. catching up his hat and cane, with the intention of By this time a third cover was removed, and a tripping off to his own abode; but Elliston, grasp- tart, very temptingly served, succeeded, which Eling his arm with considerable melodramatic effect, liston having commenced dividing, Sims rose from said, “Not so, friend Sims; this is a point easier his chair, and extending his bands over the dismansettled; and our time is short. Take your own tled tourte de pommes, screamed out, card, neighbor, and just inscribe in pencil, remains “An apple-pie, as I live! Forgive me for swearto-day with Mr. Elliston,' and I will despatch it in- ing, but I gave special orders for an apple-pie my. stantly."
self. Apple—apple, said I to Mrs. Green and Mrs. The expedient was no sooner suggested than Blow flower, and here it is!" adopted, and Elliston, taking Mr. Sims's card, van. “Yes, I'll give up Seringapatam after this!" said ished instantly from the room, for the purpose al- Elliston, mysteriously; “but when fruit is in season ready named, but secretly interpolated certain you know why, I'll be bound they have an appleother words to the protocol in question, so that tart next door." it ran thus—“Mr. Sims remains to-day with Mr. “ Apples are unusually plentiful this year," obElliston, and begs that the dinner he had ordered, served Quick. may be carefully delivered, just as prepared, to the “Come, another glass of wine! It shall at least bearer.”
be no apple of discord.” This being achieved, Elliston returned to the The repast was now drawing to a close, and Ellisapartment; and Quick being, by this time, well as- ton, who had promised his guests a bottle of supesured some belle plaisanterie was in blossom, took rior port wine, gave orders for its immediate intropart in the amicable contest of civil things, till din- duction; but in the mean time, a half Stilton cheese, ner was announced; and thus, within a quarter of in prime condition, was placed on the table. an hour of five, the happy trio sat down toge- We are told that a certain maréchal of France ther.
was always taken in convulsions at the sight of a But no sooner was the first cover removed, than sucking pig, that Tycho Brahe swooned at the very Sims, with some little look of surprise, and great glimpse of a hare, and that the philosophic Bayle show of satisfaction, exclaimed—“A trout! Mr. was seized with sickness at the sound of water runElliston. Well, and I protest a very fine one! but ning from a cock; but the concentrated force of all the fishmonger's a rogue, for he told me mine was these phenomena could scarcely have produced a the only one in the market!”
more electric shock, than the sudden appearance of “Fishmongers do lie most infernally,” observed the said Stilton cheese on the nerves of Mr. Sims. Elliston; "why, he told me the very same thing: Springing from his seat, as though stung by an Come, a glass of wine! Had you been a married adder, he gazed upon the dish before him in breathman now, this little annoyance had never reached less stupefaction, and was no sooner restored to you. Ah! you bachelors! But peradventure you strength of utterance, than he shrieked aloud, are one who, in searching for female perfection, can “A cheese! a cheese !-and, is it possible, a Stilonly find it in the wives of his friends."
ton cheese, too!". Here Sims bid his face.
“My good Sims- -” interrupted Elliston. “ And then as to a nursery,” interposed Quick, 'Tis magic! magic! Excuse me for swear“your bachelor, by adoption, may pick and choose ing; but I—I, myself, my dear Mr. Elliston, have a his heir; but if he marries, he must put up with Stilton too!” uny booby that providence assigns him.”
“And what more probable ?"
“But the mould !-that fine blue mould !-and | far forgot himself as to remember a song, and by all this marble tracing—'tis most positively the ten o'clock there was not a happier gentleman of same!”
threescore in the four parishes. “Similar, similar,” interposed Quick, a second Mr. Sims being now sufliciently far gone-ripe as time.
his own Stilton, for the purpose-Elliston gave di“Tell me,” said Elliston, with an ineffable look rections for a sedan chair to be in waiting, and colof wisdom, “where did you purchase your half lecting the crockery of the woollen-draper, which Stilton?”
had lately graced the dinner-table, he placed the “ At Coxe's,” was the reply.
pyramidal pile on a wooden tray, flanking the Then, upon my honor, the cheese before you edifice by the four black bottles they had just was bought at the same place. Why, 'tis the other emptied. half! and your fine blue mould and marble veining All things being now in readiness, Mr. Sims, must inevitably correspond to the minutest speck. much against his inclination, was assisted into the The fact is, we have been lucky to-day in hitting chair, and being secured therein, the tray and por. each other's taste. Come, the port!”.
celain, borne on the head of a porter, like a board This lucid judgment was acquiesced in by ms, of black plui in advance of a solemn hearse, led with a smile of the most lavish admiration, and the the procession to the Abbey Churchyard. The cloth being removed, the host began to push the body of Mr. Sims, dancing between the poles, came bottle.
next in order, while Elliston and his friend, as chief In vain have we collected all the fine things that mourners, brought up the rear. In this way they transpired from this moment. The three friends reached the mausoleum of the illustrious departed, were in considerable force, and the decanter circu. and having “made wet their eyes with penitential lated as briskly as a hat in a mountebank's ring. tears," left the rites of sepulture to the care of Mrs. As the wine sank, their spirits rose; Mr. Sims so Green and Mrs. Blowflower.
TIE PRINCE OF DARKNESS.
is a gentleman."
BY GEORGE RAYMOND,
I am better to-day. How much so do I feel by a , individual, my young friend confessed, much to his visit from my friend Charles Bamfylde! His com- annoyance, that he had altogether forgotten it. He panionable qualities minister to my spirit a tran- felt, however, assured, on relating the circumstance sient reinvigoration, in which I ever find the bodily at his family conclave, one and all of them would frame participates. Charles is really a feature in immediately remind bim of it. On reaching home, the drama of life, contributing little, perhaps, to he described the pleasing apparition of his morning the great business of the scene, which, mechanically, ramble, and, true enough, every circumstance so would go on as well without him; but his charac- well recollected by the son had been equally treaster bears with it an agreeable variety, by wbich, ured up by the worthy family circle ; but on a dethough the world itself may not be materially bene- claration of his precise dilemma, his mother, with a fited, yet I undoubtedly am. Though frequently a ludicrous look of embarrassment, observed, “This butt, he is always a hero; and in various instances is, indeed, very untoward, for Sophia and myself his good-natured blundering begets him as much are in the same predicament—we also have forgotten applause as though he were a positive wit. The the gentleman's name.
e !" anecdote which he has just related, though not of The family began now to find their situation be. the first order, even after his own way, occupies coming not a little perplexed; and on the morrow, still a page in the social adventures of my friend; as the hour of six p. m. was approaching, with that and here it is :
rapidity which time usually chooses when he promIn the early part of the present week, he had ises to bring evil along with him, the general unaccidentally encountered a certain acquaintance, a easiness was by no means abated. Every project gentleman with whom his father and himself had was thought of which might be likely to unravel originally fallen in, during their short stay at some the distressing mystery. The alphabet was first one of our large mercantile cities, and in whose put into requisition ; “ Atkins, Batskins, Catskinspower it had been to confer on the Bamfylde family Armstrong, Bachelor, Coxheath,”—all, all in vain. much useful attention and considerable gratifica- | “Brown, Jones, and Robinson,” were equally of no tion. This gentleman, though neither marvellously avail, and each experiment was “a deed without a intelligent himself, nor deeply skilled in the myste. name.” ries of science or commercial strife, was still known Charles, however, stated a suggestion which to others who were so; and by his means, there might lead to their rescue, which was to lay a fore, Mr. Bamfylde, and my favorite friend Charles, special mandate on the foot-boy, to give duc em. passed a fortnight in the city of -, very much phasis on announcing the name of each guest, at to their satisfaction. Unexpectedly delighted was his introduction to the drawing-room; and this he each at their occurrence in this place, Hastings, further enforced by actually telling the lad the and after a hearty shake of recognition, Charles necessity for it. This arrangement tended in some invited his companion to a dinner for the following degree to compose their minds, and they now only day, at his father's house.
awaited the arrival of their dinner-company. In due When I say recognition, I mean thereby of face, time, the umber-clouded street-door shook again lineaments, and person; but as to the name of the by the operation of the first knocking. Breathless