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to support the theatre. To you, Mr. pondence between himself and Mr. King Garrick, I must say the Atlas that with these words:" Poor old Drury, I propped the stage has left his station;" feel that it will very soon be in the and though, the Atlas replied, that he hands of the Philistines.” had been fortunate in finding “another The complaints urged against Sheridan Hercules to succeed him," yet it was were manifold. He neglected to open very soon apparent that the shoulders his letters, which on that account were of the successor were inadequate to the collected into an indiscriminate heap, burden he had assumed, and that the and oftentimes when their accumulation obsequious critic had given proof of rather alarmed the manager, they were some discernment Nothing could ex consigned to the fire, and frequently ceed the mismanagement into which communications of importance were thus everything fell. Numerous were the sacrificed. Authors complained of the letters addressed to Garrick, respecting loss or neglect of their manuscripts, and the heedlessness and perversity of the even boldly asserted that their plots, in. new manager. Mrs. Clive wrote, “Every- cidents, and conversations, were approbody is raving against Sheridan for his priated and brought out in such shapes supineness; there never was in nature that the parent only recognised his such a contrast as Garrick and Sheridan offspring by some feature which was
what have you given him that he unmistakeable. This latter accusation, keeps so ?" But a letter from Hopkins, however, Sheridan unhesitatingly met the prompter will best show the chaotic and ridiculed in the “Critic;" and as and unsatisfactory state of the theatre's far as we can perceive, it is wanting in affairs :--"We played last night Much sufficient evidence to support it. At the Ado about Nothing,' and had to make same time, his general heedlessness is an apology for three principal parts. indefensible, and he had occasionally to About twelve o'clock Mr. Henderson, pay for it, being now and then comfrom Covent Garden, sent word that he pelled to silence some urgent claimant was not able to play. We got Mr. with money, by way of indemnity for Lewis, from Covent Garden, who sup- the unwitting loss or destruction of a plied the place of Benedict. Soon after manuscript Mr. Parsons sent word he could not Notwithstanding the general disorder play ; Mr. Moody supplied the place of into which the affairs of Drury Lane Dogberry; and about four in the after- were falling, Sheridan involved himself, noon, Mr. Vernon sent word he could in 1788, by the purchase of additional innot play; Mr. Mattock supplied his part terests in the theatre. His management of Balthazar. I thought myself very still continued to give almost universal happy in getting these wide gaps so well dissatisfaction; play-goers were growstopped. In the middle of the first acting mutinously disposed, and seemed a message was brought me that Mr. likely to break out into visible rebellion. Lamash, who was to play the part of Sheridan had the fortune to appease Borachio, was not come to the house. I them just at the right time, by a new had nobody that could go on for it, so I production of his own—the memorable was obliged to cut his scenes in the farce of “The Critic, or a Tragedy first and second acts entirely out, and Rehearsed,” the last dramatic effort of get Mr. Wrighton to go on for the re- his genius. Being a clever travesty of mainder of the part. At length, we the dramatic compositions of the day, got the play over without the audience and, in part, a satire upon a living finding it out. We had a very bad house. author whose irritability was the occaMr. Parsons is not able to play in the sion of much ridicule: it met with unSchool for Scandal,' to-morrow night; bounded approbation. Cumberland, a I do not know how we shall be able to voluminous play-writer, whose works settle that. I hope the pantomime may are now almost forgotten, and never prove successful, and relieve us from were worthy of being remembered, was this dreadful situation.” These, and broadly, but most ingeniously, caricaendless similar communications, could tured, under the character of Sir Fretful not fail to be distressing to Garrick, who, Plagiary, who seems to have been introindependently of the large pecuniary duced solely for the purpose, as he has interest be had at stake, felt great no manner of connection with the piece. anxiety for the welfare of Sheridan and Puff and Dangle are also understood to his colleagues; he concludes a corres. I have been well-known dabblers in the
theatrical business of the day. Boundless the joke, set to in good earnest, and was the amusement and joy of the play. finished the work to the great delight of goers accordingly. What so delightful all parties. as to see one's neighbours and acquain- With the “Critic" ends the series of tances exhibited for the popular enter- Sheridan's dramatic writings; for “ Pi. tainment? The piece, however, has zarro," which was brought out shortly undeniable merits as a burlesque, and afterwards, is only an adaptation to the is as complete a satire upon the plays of English stage of Kotzebue's "Spaniards the present day, as it is of those of the in Peru," and is in great part a mere last generation. For a long time no translation. He appears to have medi. tragedy could be produced at any theatre tated many other works, slight sketches without the risk of creating laughter; of which were drawn, the outlines of and, accordingly, all managers were characters delineated, and heads of con" bound to decline articles of that de- versation prepared, but none of which scription."
| were perfected, and remain now only as There is an amusing anecdote, well literary curiosities. authenticated, touching the manner in When a man by incompetency or which the “Critic” was completed. Two negligence has given proof that he is days before it was announced to be inadequate to the management of his played, Sheridan had not finished the own concerns, he usually feels justified last scene. Everybody was anxious and in undertaking those of the nation. nervous; Mr. Linley and Dr. Ford, With a dissolution of Parliament in being joint and responsible managers, 1780, Sheridan was accordingly seized were in no enviable state; the per- with an ambition to become a legis: formers looked on each other with rue-lator; conceiving it to be “the peculiar ful faces. King, who had the part of excellence of the British constitution, Puff to sustain, was the stage manager; that a man could push forward into it was accordingly his especial duty to notice and distinction the talents or find out Sheridan, and to weary him abilities, whatever they might be, with with remonstrances on the backward which Providence had endowed him." state of things. But matters went on Through the interest apparently of aris. much as usual; Sheridan came to the tocratic friends he sallies forth to cantheatre, made the customary promise vass the constituency of Stafford. By that he was “just going home to finish his winning address, his infinite wit and it;" that in fact it was completed, and drollery, his elegant deportment, his only wanted an additional line or two. liberality of hand, he secures almost His father-in-law, Linley, knew the universal favour. Such a persuasive only sufficient spur to his industry; he tongue, such a felicitous ingenuity in therefore ordered a night rehearsal, and controverting or establishing convicinvited Sheridan to dine with him, gavetion, such boundless courtesy and un. him a capital dinner, proposed a lounge hesitating prodigality of promise, such to Drury Lane whilst the supper was breadth of urbanity and immeasurable preparing; Sheridan assented, and they sympathy with all conditions of electors, sauntered together up and down the stage could not fail with any human constiprevious to the rehearsal, when King, tuency to yield results. He was tristepping up to the remiss dramatist, umphantly returned to represent the requested a moment's audience, and burghers of Stafford in Parliament. went with him into the small green- Singular to say, many of his promises room, where there was a comfortable were scrupulously kept. Each voter fire, a good arm chair, a table furnished who wanted a place found to his delight with pens, ink, and paper, two bottles that one had been reserved for him; of claret, & tempting dish of anchovy not a man who asked it but was gratisandwiches, and the prompter's un-fied with an offer either at Drury Lane finished copy of the “Critic.” King, Theatre or the Opera House, and on immediately Sheridan entered the room, repairing thither was promptly installed withdrew and locked the door, when Ford in his situation. Ever with successive and Linley made their pleasure known elections he is enabled to accommodate to him, that he was to finish the wine new friends; for most of those who acand the farce, but not to be allowed to cepted posts under him quickly resigned stir out of the room until both were at them, as their salaries for the most part an end. Sheridan laughed heartily at I were only promises to pay, which were realized, if at all, at such a distance of command, and he has the skill to com. time as to wear out the patience of ordi- bine them in grand and irresistible effect. nary placemen. Sheridan, however, has To have heard him speak is now a disunquestionably become a portion of the tinction among men. Yet, doubt it not, collective wisdom of the empire. he delivered many comparatively dull
The first thing he has to do on taking speeches. No man is uniformly great. his seat in the House of Commons, is Still, always with a great occasion, Sheto answer a petition against his election, ridan rises to the level of its requireinvolving charges of bribery and cor- ments; by force of genius and incredible ruption. Some of "the lowest and most industry in the acquisition of informa unprincipled voters" had been seduced tion, le invariably equals, and ofteninto raising the accusation. The young times exceeds the expectations of those member successfully defended himself who most intimately knew him, and and his constituency against the ca- who entertained the highest opinion of lumny; and “wished that some ade his powers. Burke declared his speech quate penalties should be inflicted on in the House of Commons, on the con those who traduced and stigmatized so duct of Warren Hastings in India, to be respectable a body of men." The peti-" the most astonishing burst of elotion, as almost uniformly happens in quence, argument and wit united, of such cases, was instantly withdrawn; which there was any record or tradition." Sheridan was confirmed in his seat. He Fox said of it, that “ all he ever heard, was listened to with great interest and all he ever read, when compared with attention by the House, his literary re-it, dwindled into nothing, and vanished putation having prepared for him a like vapour before the sun." And even willing and favourable reception. It Pitt, Sheridan's most uniform and deappears, however, that even those who termined adversary, acknowledged that were disposed to judge favourably of|“ the speech surpassed all the eloquence his capabilities, confidently concluded of ancient or modern times, and posthat “Nature never intended him for sessed everything that genius or art an orator." A certain indistinctness of could furnish to agitate and control the speech, and considerable agitation and human mind." The testimony of such hesitancy of manner, impressed the judges is of the highest, most unquesmajority that "his mental powers ap- tionable character, and leaves nothing peared to be very superior to his physi. in the way of further eulogy to be adcal qualifications." "On concluding his duced. speech he went into the gallery where Sheridan's parliamentary career, imWoodfall was reporting, and with evi- perfectly delineated in his published dent anxiety tried to obtain from him speeches, extends over a space of upan opinion as to the probability of his wards of thirty years, an eventful and ultimate success. Woodfall candidly exciting period of British history. advised him to abide by his previous During the whole of this time, his inpursuits, for that now he was certainly fluence over the public affairs was out of his element, and had little chance manifest and considerable, though not, of ever becoming properly adapted to perhaps, so great as some of his ad. it. Sheridan, nevertheless, entertained mirers seem to fancy. In political a contrary belief; “I know that it is in insight he was probably inferior to none me," said he," and therefore out it shall of the prominent men of the time; he come !"
saw into the future quite as far, and Accordingly, after many efforts, and knew as intimately as any what the much diligent study and preparation, commotions and distractions of the age it did at length “come out," with rather might signify; many a keen glance did astonishing effect. He rises into bound-he dart beyond bim, many a wise warnless celebrity ; becomes the most bril-ing vehemently deliver; no one had liant and attractive orator in England. a more clear or comprehensive underHe has it in him," and ever as oppor- standing of the political doctrines which tunities occur he makes it visible that he espoused, or adhered more consist here is a man of consummate gifts and ently to their consequences. Yet with cultivation. Hearing him, men learn to all this, Sheridan had nothing of states. comprehend the magnificent powers of man-like ability. The man was not human speech. All the splendours of greater than his time; could in no caso a rich composite eloquence are at his have successfully directed the tendencies of the time. To speak of Sheridan as ward peacefulness, and all true effort ranking among great statesmen is absurd. and activity, go finally to wreck. He had no one quality, beyond his gift Meanwhile, wonderful to say, his exof speaking, out of the many by which traordinary talent for raising money is a statesman must be distinguished. He prosperously exercised whenever an is a splendid rhetorician, an accom-emergency arises. Drury Lane Theatre plished parliamentary debater; ser has to be rebuilt; all that was required viceable and illustrious in that capa- for the purpose was a sum of £160,000, city, but if lifted into statesmanship" which was raised with the utmost facimust have been utterly insignificant. lity." Sheridan is at this time at the The man that could not direct the zenith of his reputation. His popularity, finances and concerns of a theatre, had his talents, his exertions in behalf of the clearly but an indifferent capacity for public interests, are the theme of geneguiding the affairs and destiny of a ral eulogy. Drury Lane Theatre, with nation. Beyond the distinction here much effort, and after“ unforeseen diffiassigned him, Sheridan, in truth, has culties, fresh expenses, and vexatious neither qualification nor pretension. negotiations," is successfully rebuiltAn adroit, brilliant, party politician is though destined soon to be disastrously all he ever was or aimed to be
burnt down. All along Sheridan conIt should not be overlooked that, side trives to live like a man possessing a by side with Sheridan's public and poli- large income. It appears he usually tical life, there was all the time going kept up three establishments, and “ his on some sort of private and domestic style of living was such as became a one; which, if we could realize, would, man mingling in the richer class of sorather than the other, be highly satis-ciety, and enjoying all that luxury can factory. A family is gradually growing give." up around him, sprightly and clever And so the years roll on, downwards boys and girls, to whom their father's to 1792. This year Sheridan has to reputation cannot be altogether un follow to the grave his beautiful and known. “Mr. and Mrs. Sheridan at affectionate wife, whom the then Bishop home," were an agreeable and inte-of Norwich was wont to call a'connecting resting chapter, had we the materials link between woman and angel;" and for writing it. We are able to perceive, whom Wilkes declared to be “the fairest however, that Sheridan spends a great flower that ever grew in nature's garden." deal of his time utterly away from home. She died at the age of thirty-eight, of He is invited largely into all kinds of pulmonary disease. A beautiful “COdistinguished and select society; his quette of the first magnitude,” but long fascinating manners and polished wit since sobered down into a loving, helpmake his presence everywhere courted ful, and judicious wife. Deep was the and acceptable. He is a diner-out of grief of Sheridan, when they bore her the first lustre. By his brilliant con- away to the "still-dwelling;" sad and versation, his boundless vivacity, and irreparable the loss which he sustained. frank sincerity of disposition, he dazzles From that moment a blight fell upon and delights all manner of high and him--secret immeasurable sorrow illustrious men and women, and is, in sapped his remaining strength, and gave his turn, dazzled and delighted. His a pallor to his noble countenance which princely liberality of taste leads him to no occasional after gaiety could dispel. furnish expensive entertainments in his I have seen him," says Kelly, “ night own house ; for which, unhappily, the after night sit and cry like a child, embarrassed treasury of Drury Lane while I sang to him, at his desire, a must yield supplies. As this grows pathetic little song of minemore and more inadequate, obliging
They bore her to a grassy grave. tradesmen cheerfully contribute; for a time, at least, are nowise urgent about I never beheld more poignant grief their bills. Thus in a mingled element than Sheridan felt for the loss of his of splendour and of shiftiness, a gay and beloved wife." The lightsome careless pleasant life alternates with mean vexa- nature, with its gay beedlessness and tions and restraints; continually de- humour, falls suddenly asunder, and is manding some new sacrifice of temper or dissolved in mournful tears; like a bright of principle. An utterly incongruous-April day, descending into night amid existenco ; wherein manly dignity, in showers of transient gloom.
For transient are the pains of every the world, where he speedily mingles as human sorrow, however profound its before in the exciting strifes, in the turecollections. Nature reneweth day by mult and animosities of the life that is day the broken spirits of whomso-going on. Rest, thou buried one ! and ever she ordains to live. Sheridan is thy name shall soon be as though it recalled by his public duties back into were forgotten.*
RICHARD WINTER HAMILTON, L.L.D., D.D. GREAT intellectual and moral powers | incumbent of the united parishes of must ever command homage in this St. Olave's, Jewry, and St. Martin's, for world. Intellectual power alone, when thirty-three years. This uncle was kind not associated and directed by a moral and generous towards his nephew purpose, cannot fail to charm and influ- Winter; and when he died, left him ence its admirers. But when a man an equal share of his property. gifted with rich intellectual endow- Mrs. Frederick Hamilton, the mother ments, consecrates them to the per- of Winter Hamilton, appears to have formance of duty, and the scrupulous been a woman of great beauty, of culfulfilment of the high behests of heaven, I tivated intellect, of gentle disposition, we then see human nature in its and eminently pious. Many of her most attractive aspect; our admiration letters are preserved to this day, and warms into love, and our love borders they evince a most loving disposition, on the reverential. Such a man was and a devoted faith to the orthodox Dr. Hamilton, whom we are now about creed. There can be little doubt, in to sketch. Unlike the great philosopher fact it is quite evident, that she did of the New World, whose history we shall much to mould the character and direct hereafter trace, Dr. Hamilton was a secta- the footsteps of her son. And that son rian. He confined himself to the bound when he became a man, and had attained aries of what may be termed evangelical an eminent position in the church of orthodoxy, and dared not launch out which he was a member and advocate. into those bold speculations outlined by frequently alluded in tender and touch Emerson. But as a sectarian, and with ing accents to the memory of her to a faith shaped, squared, and measured, whom he owed so much. Though pos. we shall find that he possessed im- sessing a strong religious faith, ber mense attractions, an original mind, affection for her children bound her and, what is better, a large heart. soul closely to the world, when on the
RICHARD WINTER HAMILTON was born borders of eternity. A little before her at Pentonville, London, on the 6th of death she wrote to a dear friend in July, 1794. Of his ancestry it is known these words: “When I felt a daily deonly that his grandfather came to crease of strength--my cough growLondon, from Scotland, early in life. ing worse, and my breath shorter I This Mr. Hamilton was a member of could not but think of what all this the Baptist persuasion. He married a must lead to, even to the chamber of the Miss Hesketh, one of the company who grave. I was enabled to hope and to first joined the Rev. Mr. Wesley, and believe that I was entirely in HIS of whom mention is made by Mr. (hands who is the resurrection and the Wesley in his journal of that time. life;' but yet, whenever I for a minute They had six children, and the Rev. soared upward, I was again drawn down Frederick Hamilton, the father of by, as it were, a picture presented to Richard Hamilton, was one of them. One my eye, of my person shrouded in my of Winter Hamilton's uncles, the Rev. coffin, and all my dear and very affecRobert Hamilton, D.D., LL.D., F.R.S., tionate children weeping around me. died October 8th, 1832, in the eighty- | Indeed, I think I have never before first year of his age, after he had been proved my affection so strong, or my
* The conclusion of this life will appear in our next number,