« AnkstesnisTęsti »
to her solemn assertion. Impelled by curiosity, and determined on knowing who and what she was, this man had followed her to the present house.-Confounded at this detection, she attempted another escape; but the door was locked, and she was detained as an impostor. Sincerity was all that she had now left; and, with a flood of tears, she confessed her real situation. But even. now her truth was doubted, and the woman of the house desired a constable to be sent for; but her son, a boy of twelve years of age, more humane than his mother, joined his tears with those of the poor stranger; and by his intercession she was dismissed, and left to wander the streets of London again.
She now walked whither chance directed her, and exposed to all those insults which unprotected females must encounter. At two o'clock in the morning she found herself at Holborn Bridge; and, seeing the stage set off for York, which she understood was full, she entered the inn, pretended to be a disappointed passenger, and solicited a lodging. This scheme succeeded; though the landlady, much suspecting her character, took the precaution of locking the door where she slept. In vain she rose at her usual hour; for having no bell, she could not apprize the family that she was up. She was therefore obliged to wait till noon; when the landlady was pleased to liberate her, informing her that the York stage would set out again that evening. This intelligence having been delivered with an air of suspicion which was very cutting to Miss Simpson, she immediately took out all the money she bad, to the last half-crown, and
IN.C absolutely paid for a journey which she did not intend to take.
She now turned her thoughts on a theatrical life; and to Mr. Inchbald, of Drury Lane theatre, whose name she remembered in the playbills at Bury St. Edmund's, she resolved to apply for advice respecting an engagement. This gentleman, with whom she had been hitherto unacquainted, but had frequently seen him in her own neighbourhood, introduced her to another performer of Drury Lane, who had purchased a share in a country theatre, and who, struck with her beauty, gave her an immediate engagement, without any trial. He became also her instructor, and she imagined that in him she had found a friend; but one evening, while she was reciting a part, an altercation arose; when her master coolly intimated, that he meant to be repaid for the engagement he had given her with other services than those required for a theatre, and which if not rendered, the engagement should be void. Indignant at his proposal, she availed herself of the tea-equipage which lay on the table; discharged the contents of a basin of scalding water in his face; and, before he recovered from his surprise, had vanished down stairs. She repaired to Mr. Inchbald, and informed him of every circumstance. Affected by her sorrow, this gentleman endeavoured to soothe it; and recommended marriage as a security against insult, "But who would marry me?" cried she. "I would (he replied "with warmth), if you would
have me.". Yes, Sir, and "would for ever think myself "obliged to you." In a few days they were married; and thus, unexpectedly, she became both a
wife and an actress. Mr. Inchbald introduced her on the stage in Scotland, where they remained four seasons; and the two succeeding years they performed at York. Mrs. Inchbald's health being now much impaired, a tour to the south of France was recommended; and, after staying abroad about a year, she returned with her husband, with whom she lived in the most perfect harmony. Two years after their return, Mr. Inchbald died, at Leeds, where he was buried. The following inscription to his memory, written by Mr. Kemble, now of Covent Garden theatre, is placed on his tomb, and is here inserted as no unfavourable character of him:
Siste, Viator! Hic sepeliuntur ossa JOSEPHI INCHBALD, HISTRIONIS,
Qui æqualium suorum In fictis scenarum facile princeps evasit, Virtutisque in veris vitæ claruit exemplar. Procul este, invida superstitio, Et mala suadens religionis turbidus amor!
Vestris enim ingratiis, hic lapis omnibus prædicabit
Quòd in his humi sacræ carceribus Vir recti semper tenax, Sociis charus,in pauperes, pro re,benignus, Pater optimus, maritus fidelis, Societatis jurum in cunctis observantissi
sited Dublin in 1782, and per formed under Mr. Daly's management. On her return, she procured a reinstatement at Covent Garden. It was during her absence from this theatre, that, to divert a melancholy mind, she applied her attention to dramatic writing. Having produced a comedy, she read some of it to Mr. Harris, who disapproved of the piece; whereupon she sent it, anonymously, to Mr. Colman, then manager of the Haymarket, and it remained in that gentleman's possession near three years unnoticed. Notwithstanding this dis couragement, she persevered, and, availing herself of the then rage for balloons, sent him a farce, called A Mogul Tale; or, The Descent of the Balloon. The subject probably induced Mr. Colman to pay this more attention. He read, approved, and accepted it; and its success induced Mrs. Inchbald to remind him of her dormant comedy; whereupon he immediately replied, "I'll go home this mo"ment, and read it." He did; and having approved of that also, gave it himself the title of I'll tell you what, and brought it out in 1785. Mrs. Inchbald afterwards produced several other dramatic pieces while she continued an actress; and in consequence of some difference of a literary nature with the manager of Covent Garden, at the close of the season of 1789, she retired from, the stage. Her mother died in 1786; and her brother, having been left executor, took upon himself the conduct of the farm. He, however, was killed in a duel in 1795, aged fortytwo.
Besides her dramatic pieces, which we shall presently enume rate, Mrs. I. has produced two
Mrs. Inchbald has lately superintended the publication of two different Collections of English Plays, and one of Farces. To the former she prefixed Critical Remarks, which do credit to her taste and judgment.
INGELAND, THOMAS. This gentleman is one of our oldest dramatic writers; having been a student
at Christ's College, in the university of Cambridge, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He wrote one dramatic piece, which he himself styles a "prettie and merrie Inter"lude." It is entitled
The Disobedient Child. Interl. 4to. B. L. N. D.
IRELAND, WILLIAM HENRY. This writer is the son of the late Mr. Samuel Ireland, of Norfolk 'Street, well known by his publications of A Picturesque Tour through Holland, &c. Picturesque Views on the Rivers Thames and Medway, Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth, &c. In 1796 he made his father the public dupe of an unparalleled literary imposition; under the impression of which that gentleman published, in imperial folio, price 41. 4s. Miscellaneous Papers and legal Instruments under the Hand and Seal of William Shakspeare: Including the Tragedy of King Lear, and a small Fragment of Hamlet, from the original MSS. Never, certainly, was literary industry more laboriously, and at the same time more unjustifiably, employed. Whether the strange and abominable idea of immortalizing himself, which influenced Eratostratus to fire the temple of Diana at Ephesus, had operated on the mind of young Ireland, or not, we cannot be sup-. posed to know; but the undertaking of which we are about to speak will probably connect itself with the history of Shakspeare as long as British literature shall last. The idea of forging the Shakspeare manuscripts seems to have been created in the mind of this literary culprit (then not nineteen years of age) by Mr. Steevens's edition of Shakspeare. He had heard, perhaps, the names of Chatterton and Rowley, without being
"tleman to a considerable pro~ "perty; deeds of which the gen"tleman was as ignorant as of "his having in his possession any
capable of duly conceiving the
of the MSS. of Shakspeare. "That in return for this service, "in addition to the remarkable "circumstance of the young man "bearing the same name and arms "with the person who saved Shak"speare's life, the gentleman had "promised him every thing rela"tive to the subject, which had "been, or should be, found, ei"ther in town or at his house in "the country. And, that at this "house the principal part of the "papers, together with a great "variety of books, containing his "MS. notes, and three MS. plays, "with part of a fourth, had been "discovered."--Upon this, he produced the MSS. which he had forged, corresponding with this account; and the father became first the dupe of his son's artifice, and afterward the instrument of putting his vile impositions upon the public at large. The several MSS. among which was the tragedy of Vortigern, were exhibited by Mr. Ireland, sen. at his house in Norfolk Street. The public mind became a good deal interested; and many of the principal literati, among whom were Dr. Parr and Dr. Warton, as well as a numerous set of gentlemen of liberal education, coming with charitable minds, not excited by suspicion, saw plausible marks of authenticity, and believed. Yet it was natural to inquire, who the gentleman was from whom these papers had been obtained. To this Mr. Ireland answered, that, when application was made to the original possessor for permission to print the papers, it had not been obtained but under the strongest
"tinguished a British audience."
injunction that his name should not appear. In the mean time the play of Vortigern was preparing for representation at Drury Lane theatre; and the folio volume above mentioned made its appearance. Messrs. Malone, Steevens, and Boaden, however, with some few others, from the first pronounced the whole to be a forgery; and several pamphlets issued from the press relative to the subject. Mr. Malone, in particular, wrote a very pointed epistle to Lord Charlemont, in which he showed all the MSS. to be forgeries; and the impression that his epistle made on the public mind was a leading step to the detection of the imposture. On the 2d of April 1796, Vortigern was represented at Drury Lane to a most crowded and respectable audience. All the avenues leading to the theatre were filled at an early hour; and thousands were forced to return, who could not gain admittance into any part of the house. The following handbill (in the publication or circulation of which the managers, we understand, had no concern) was dispersed among the multitude at the several doors: "A malevo"lent and impotent attack on the "Shakspeare MSS. having ap"peared on the eve of the repre"sentation of the play of Vortigern, " evidently intended to injure the "interest of the proprietor of the "MSS. Mr. Ireland feels it im"possible, within the short space of time that intervenes between "the publishing and the repre"sentation, to produce an answer "to the most illiberal and un"founded assertions in Mr. Ma«lane's Inquiry; he is, therefore, induced to request, that the play "of Vortigern may be heard with that candour that has ever dis