Puslapio vaizdai

management with an accession from Covent-garden, of Mr. Barry, Mrs. Cibber, and Mrs. Pritchard; his company also included Mr. Macklin, Mrs. Woffington, and Mrs. Clive. Notwithstanding his utmost attention to please his principal performers, he found it an impracticable task to satisfy every one. Barry began to complain that he was called upon to act at improper seasons, and on days when routs or assemblies prevented the fashionable world from attending the theatre. To this Garrick replied by desiring him to choose his own days. “ Very well,” said the other, " this is all that “ I can ask.” But even that compliance had not the desired effect: Garrick's Hamlet still drew greater audiences than Barry's; but this was a misfortune which, of course, Garrick was not very eager to remove. Mrs. Cibber, too, made objections to the manager's conduct respecting those plays in which she acted principal parts. These discontents of Barry and Mrs. Cibber broke out at first into murmurs, and at last terminated in their revolt from Drury-lane to Covent-garden. Macklin likewise went over, as did Mrs. Woffington, who is said to have entertained expectations of being unitec in marriage to Mr. Garrick; and it was well known, that he had long enjoyed an intimate acquaintance with her.

With these deserters, strengthened by the valuable addition of Mr. Quin, Mr. Rich opened Covent-garden theatre. Garrick, not intimidated by the threatenings of this grand confederacy, took the field on the 5th of September, 1750, with an occasional prologue written and spoken by himself; which was answered by another delivered by Mr. Barry; and this again replied to by a humorous epilogue, written by Garrick, and admirably repeated by Mrs. Clive. These three pieces will be found in the poetry of this number.

The play of Romeo and Juliet had lain dormant for many years. This piece was now revived at both houses: at Drury-lane, with alterations by Mr. Garrick, who performed Romeo; Mr. Woodward playing Mercutio; and Miss Bellamy (whom Garrick instructed) Juliet. Against them were opposed at Covent-garden, Mr. Barry, Mr. Macklin, and Mrs. Cibber. In this cast of the play the preponderance was certainly on the side of Covent-garden, the character of Mercutio excepted; for which the saturnine countenance and hollow voice of Macklin rendered him unfit: 'while Woodward was every thing in it that critical taste could imagine-perhaps more VOL. IV.


even than the author, were he living, could have hoped for. Barry's superiority to Garrick was so universally allowed, that it gave rise to many epigrams and bon-mots. One night, while Garrick and Miss Bellamy were playing Romeo and Juliet, in the garden scene when Juliet exclaimed “ Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?a person in the pit exclaimed in answer to her, Because Barry's gone to the other house."

Both houses began on the 1st of October, and continued to perform the same tragedy for twelve successive nights; when Mrs. Cibber's strength failing, Covent-garden gave up the contention; and its rival kept the field one night more; but no other advantage, we believe, was derived to either party from this contest, than the gratification of their own personal resentments: for, that the public were completely tired of it, was evident from the number of epi. grams and other literary squibs that were produced on the occasion; of which we subjoin two:

Romeo and Juliet! What comes next?
Romeo and Juliet! still's the text.
Romeo and Juliet! Who'd not swear,

Of either house he'll ne'er go there!
The following turns very happily on an incidental expression in
Mercutio's last speech:

“ Well, what's to night!” says angry Ned,

As up from bed be rouses;
Romeo again.—and shakes his head:
A plague on both your houses."

(To be continued.)


[Continued trom page 352.]

In the season of 1742-3, Mr. Quin returned to his former master, Kich, at Covent-garden theatre, where he opposed Mr. Garrick at Drury-lane; it must be added, with very little success. But though the applauses the latter obtained from the public were not agreeable to Mr. Quin, yet we find that a scheme was proposed and agreed to, though not carried into execution, in the summer of 1743, for them to perform together, for their mutual benefit, a few nights at Lincoln's-inn Fields theatre. On the failure of this


plan, Mr. Quin went to Dublin, where he had the mortification to find the fame of Mr. Sheridan, then new to the stage, more adverse to him than even Mr. Garrick's had been in London. Instead of making a profitable bargain in Dublin, he found the managers of the theatres there entirely averse to admit him.

After staying there for some time he returned to London, without effecting the purpose of his journey, and in no good humour with the new performers. The season of 1743-4 Mr. Quin passed without any engagement; but in 1744-5 he was at Covent-garden again. The next year was devoted to repose, whether from indolence, or inability to obtain the terms he required from the managers, is not very apparent. Both may have united.

He had the next season, 1746-7, occasion to exert himself, being engaged at Covent-garden along with Mr. Garrick.

After one or two previous friendly meetings, they selected such characters as they intended to acts without being obliged to join in the same play. Some parts were to be acted alternately. Mr. Quin soon found that his competition with Mr. Garrick, whose reputation was hourly increasing, whilst his own was on the decline, would soon become ineffectual. His Richard the Third could scarce draw together a decent appearance of company in the boxes; and he was with some difficulty tolerated in the part, having been one night much hissed, when Mrs. Cibber played the Queen for the first time; but Garrick played the same character to crowded houses, and with very great applause.

At last these two great performers appeared together on the 14th of November 1746, in the tragedy of The Fair Penitent; and the shouts of applause when Horatio and Lothario met on the stage, in the second act, were so loud and so often repeated, before the audience permitted them to speak, that the combatants seemed to be disconcerted. It was observed, that Quin changed colour, and Garrick seemed to be embarrassed; and it must be owned, that these actors were never less masters of themselves than on the first night of the contest for preeminence. Quin was too proud to own his feelings on the occasion; but Garrick was heard to

say “ Faith, I believe Quin was as much frightened “ as myself.”—The play was repeatedly acted, and with constant applause, to very brilliant audiences; nor is it to be wondered at; for besides the novelty of seeing the two rival actors in the same tragedy, Calista was admirably played by Mrs. Cibber.

It was in this season that Garrick produced Miss in her Teens; the success of which is said to have occasioned no small mortifica. tion to Quin. He, however, did not think it prudent to refuse Mr. Garrick's offer of performing it at his benefit.

It was this season also in which The Suspicious Husband appeared. The part of Mr. Strickland was offered to Quin, but he refused it; and in consequence it fell to the lot of Mr. Bridgewater, who obtained great reputation by his performance of it.

In the season of 1748-9, having lost his friend Thomson, he inlisted under the banners of Rich. On the 13th of January, 1749, Thomson's tragedy of Coriolanus was produced at Covent-garden, in which he played the principal character, and spoke lord Lyttleton's celebrated prologue, which had a very happy effect. The sympathizing audience said, that then indeed Mr. Quin was no actor; but that the tears he shed were those of real friendship and grief.

Just before the performance of Coriolanus, an honour had been conferred upon Quin, which he some years afterwards recollected with no small degree of exultation. On the 4th of January, Cato was performed at Leicester-house, by the direction of Frederio prince of Wales, in which his present majesty, prince Edward, princess Augusta, and princess Elizabeth, acted the parts of Portius, Juba, Marcia, and Lucia. The instruction of all the young performers, and the management of the rehearsals, were given to Quin; and it is said he was afterwards rewarded with a pension for his services. It was intended that Lady Jane Grey shou!d have been represented by the same performers, and accordingly that play was revived at Covent-garden in December 1750; but for some reason the intended exhibition at Leicesterhouse did not take place. When Quin heard of the graceful manner in which the young king delivered his first speech in parliament, he cried out, “ Ay, I taught the boy to speak!”—Prince Frederic, perhaps through the means of Thomson and Lyttleton, was a warm patron of Mr. Quin. The prince used generally to attend his benefit; and the plays he commanded, unless on some very particular occasions, were confined to Covent-garden theatre, in compliment to this actor. This attention in his royal highness was so beneficial to Quin, that his salary in the last year of his performance, it is said, was equal to 1.001.

The season of 1750-1, opened with a very powerful company at Covent-garden, consisting of Mr. Barry, Mr. Cibber, Mr. Quin, Mrs. Woffington, Mr. Macklin, &c. The combined strength of this assemblage of theatrical talents alarmed Mr. Garrick so much, that he wished to detach Quin from the party; but having had the command at Covent-garden, he did not wish to be controlled by Garrick; he therefore continued with his old master, Rich, upon higher terms than had ever been paid to any actor. His benefit was on the 18th of March, three days before the death of the prince of Wales, by whose command, though he was not present at the performance, Othello was acted: Othello, Mr. Barry; lago, Mr. Quin; and Desdemona, Mrs. Cibber. It is recorded, that notwithstanding the novelty of this change in the performance, Othello being Quin's usual part, the house was by no means a crowded one; on the contrary, it was very thinly attended.

On the 20th of May, Mr. Quin performed Horatio, in the Fair Penitent, and with that character concluded his performance as an hired actor. He now put in execution his plan of retiring to Bath, but came to London the two succeeding years to perform Falstaff, for the benefit of his old friend Ryan. His last appearance on the stage was on the 19th of March, 1753, on which night the stage, pit, and boxes, were all at the advanced price of five shillings. The next year, finding himself disabled in some measure, by the loss of his teeth, from renewing his former assistance, he declined it altogether, saying in his usual blunt manner, " by G-d I will not “ whistle Falstaff for any body; but I hope the town will be kind to

my friend Ryan; they cannot serve an honester man.” He exerted himself, however, among his friends, and disposed of many tickets for him; and it is said, that to make up the loss of his annual performance, he presented his friend with no less a sum than 5001. By the retirement of Mr. Quin, the stage sustained a great loss; the characters in which he particularly excelled, falling into the hands of actors whose talents were very inadequate to their proper representation. In his principal tragic parts he was succeeded by Sparkes but in the character of Falstaff he left no representative.

While Quin continued on the stage there was no great intimacy between him and Garrick; but when all competition for preeminence had ceased, it was no difficult matter for them to unite on terms of friendship. Both of them often spent their summers at Chatsworth, the seat of the duke of Devonshire; and one evening, being acci

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