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THE HOUR BEFORE MARRIAGE.” This petit piece which was taken from Moliere's “ Forced Marriage” met with the following singular condemnation. When Mr. Shuter, in the character of Sir Andrew Melville, brought on two swords to demand satisfaction for Stanley's (Mr. Yates) refusing to marry his sister Miss Melville (Mrs. Mattocks); a candle was thrown upon the stage from the boxes as a signal of general censure, upon which the curtain dropped, leaving the piece unfinished.
It is a curious circumstance, and one which strongly exhibits the revolutions of fashion, that the identical coat in which Garrick first played Fribble, in “ Miss in her Teens," in the year 1747, and which was, at that period, the very height of foppery, should afterwards be worn by the representative of a grave, close, stock jobbing, money-loving citizen ; yet such was actually the
The coat of Fribble was the very dress in which Quick played Consol, in O'Brien's agreeable farce of “ Cross Purposes,” in the year 1772; and which, such are the revolutions of taste, did not appear more outré in the latter than in the former character.
The late Richard Russel, Esq. had a renter's share at Drury Lane Theatre, where he used to go almost every evening; and, notwithstanding his immense fortune, his penury was so great, that rather than give a trifle to any of the women who attended in the box lobby, to take care of the great coats, he used constantly to pledge his for a shilling at a pawnbroker's, near the Theatre, and redeem it when the performance was over, which cost him one halfpenny interest.
VARIOUS PERFORMERS OF MACBETH.
HAMLET excepted, it is doubtful whether any tragic character is more difficult for an actor truly to personate, than Macbeth. The following is an abstract of the account, which Tom Davies gives in his “ Miscellanies,” of different actors in that part-Betterton is celebrated in the Tatler,' as being excellent in Macbcth ; but Cibber makes no particular mention of him in that character, which he acted to the very verge of life. Mills afterwards obtained it of Wilkes; but he was
heavy and dull. Quin was monotonous, Mossop wanted variety and ease. Barry had too much amenity for the terrible agonies of Macbeth : Garrick, alone, could comprehend and execute the complicated passions of this character; from the meeting of the witches to the last scene, he was animated and consistent: the impressions made upon his mind by these unnatural hags were, at all times, visible.
Of Garrick and Mrs. Pritchard, in this play, Davies gives an animated picture :--The commission of the murder was conducted in terrifying whispers: what they spoke was heard, but more was learned from the agitation of mind, in their action and deportment. The dark colouring, given to the short abrupt speeches, made the scene awfully tremendous. The wonderful expression of heartfelt horror, when he shewed his bloody hands, only can be conceived by those who beheld him. Wilkes had improperly given the part to Mills, while Booth and Powel were doomed to the characters of Banquo and Lennox. One evening, a country 'squire, being heartily tired with Mills, seeing his bottle companion, Powel, appear in the fourth act, loudly called “ For God's sake, George, give me a speech, and let me go home.”
Weston's WILL. Weston, the comedian, a few weeks before his death, said to his friend, “If you will write for me, I will make my will." His friend complied, and Weston dictated, not piety, but strong sense and keen satire.
“ I, Thomas Weston, comedian, hating all form and ceremony, shall use none in my will, but proceed more immediately to the explanation of my intentions. Imprimis. As from Mr. Foote I derived all my consequence in life; and as it is the best thing I am in possession of, I would, in gratitude, at my decease, leave it to the said Mr. Foote; but I know he neither stands in need of it as an author, actor, nor as a man : the public have fully proved it in the two first, and his good nature and humanity have secured it to him in the last.
" Item. -I owe some obligations to Mr. Garrick; I therefore bequeath him all the money I die possessed of, as there is nothing on earth he is so very fond of.
Item.—Though I owe no obligations to Mr. Harris, yet his having shewn a sincere regard for the performers of his Theatre (by assisting them in their necessities, and yet taking no advantage thereof, by drawing a Jew bargain at their signing fresh articles), demands from me, as an actor ; some acknowledgment. I therefore leave him the entire possession of that satisfaction, which must naturally result on reflecting that, during his management, he has never done any thing base or mean, to sully his character as an honest man, or a gentleman.
“ Item. I have played under the manage. ment of Mr. Jefferson, at Richmond, and received from him every politeness. I therefore leave him all my stock of prudence, it being the only good quality I think he stands in need of.
“ Item.--I give to Mr. Reddish a grain of honesty; 'tis, indeed, a small legacy; but, being a rarity to him, I think he will not refuse to accept it.
" Item.—I leave Mr. Yeates all my spirit. “ Item.-I leave Mrs. Yeates all my humility.
“ Item.--Upon reflection, I think it wrong to give separate legacies to a man and his wife; therefore I revoke the above bequests, and leave, to be enjoyed by them jointly, peace, harmony, and good nature.
" Item.-Notwithstanding my illness, I think I shall outlive Ned Shuter; if I should not, I had thoughts of leaving him my example how to