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ADVICE TO A DRAMATIST.
And like the half, you pilfer'd, best;
Take courage, man, and steal the rest!
CIBBER, GARRICK, AND MRS. BRACEGIRDLE.
This actress retired from the stage about 30 years prior to the appearance of our English Roscius, and, at that time, was visited by many persons of distinction, from whom she heard the most extravagant accounts of the young performer's merit. Colley Cibber, however, spoke of him with great contempt, admitting, that “ hé was well enough, but not superior to his son Theophilus.” Mrs. Bracegirdle immediately reproved him, by saying, good-naturedly,“ Come, come, Colley, tell me if there is not something like envy
in your character of the new actor? The player who pleases every body must be a man of merit.”—The old critic felt the force of this judicious rebuke, and, taking a pinch of snuff, whispered, '“ Why, 'faith, Bracey, I believe you are right; the young fellow is clever.”
CADORET, THE FRENCH MIMIC. A PERSON named Cadoret, known by the
anagram Terodac, was so perfect a mimic that the audience really imagined, that they saw, and heard, the actors whom he imitated. In his part of Metromane, he so finely caricatured the actors of his time, that this was an additional reason, for forbidding the actors of the comic opera to speak, and confining them to song. It was imagined, that, by this means, the scene of Metromane, which so highly offended the actors who were imitated, would have been suppressed. But the author here found but little difficulty; as the comedians, then, (as they do at present) rather sang, than spoke, the author set their declamation to music; and the notes so nearly agreed with the inflexions, and routine of the tragic actors, that the difference was scarcely perceptible.
This gentleman, who was equally celebrated for his ready wit, as for his histrionic abilities, once asked the dramatic writer, Miles Pecer Andrews, when he intended bringing forth another Play. “Soon, very soon, (replied the author ;) for my Muse is big, and will soon be delivered.”— "Well, then, (rejoined the actor, very archly,) I'll come to the groaning."
Once, in returning from rehearsal, he was caught in a severe shower of rain in Holborn, and he took shelter in a comb-maker's, where an old man was at work.
“Good Heavens ! what pain you are in, sir!" (said the son of Thespis.) “Pain! I have no pain,” replied the man, pursuing his vocation. “ Yes, you must, (rejoined Bannister very gravely,) you are cutting your teeth."
PIRON. PIRON, discontented with the performance of Sarrasin, in his tragedy of “Gustavus Vasa," and knowing that actor had been an Abbé in his youth, called aloud from the amphitheatre, “That man, who was not worthy of being consecrated, at twenty-four, is equally unworthy of being excommunicated, at sixty.” All actors in France used to be excommunicated. Sarrasin, however, is said to have been an excellent comedian.
At the performance of the same play, the Abbé Desfontaines met Piron, much too richly dressed, as he supposed ; and coming up to him, said “ Poor Piron ! really, that dress is ill adapted to you!”—“ That may be," answered Piron ; " but really, in return, Mr. Abbé, you must allow you are as ill adapted to your own.” (The cardinal wore the clerical habit.)
MACKLIN'S LAST APPEARANCE. This event occurred May 7, 1789, on which occasion, at the advanced
he attempted his old character of Shylock, for his own benefit; but, in the middle of his part, finding his memory entirely gone, he was obliged to apologize, and request that Mr. Ryder might be allowed to supply his place: this was unhesitatingly granted, and the Veteran quitted the mimic art for ever.
NAT. LEE AND SIR ROGER L'ESTRANGE.
The author of “ Alexander the Great," whilst confined in a mad-house, was visited by Sir Roger L'Estrange, of whose poetical abilities Lee entertained no very high opinion. Upon the knight inquiring whether the poet knew him? Lee answered
“ Custom may alter men, and manners change ;
RICH, AND FOOTE.
The education of Rich, the Covent Garden Manager, had been much neglected, and his language was, in consequence, vulgar and ungramniatical. He had contracted a strange and rude
habit of calling every body Mister, which gave rise to the following bon mot by Foote. Rich having called him Mister several times, the mimic grew warm; and asked him the reason of his not calling him by his name.“ Don't be angry, (said Rich,) for I sometimes forget my own name." “That's extraordinary (replied Foote ;)for, though I knew you could not write it, I did not suppose you could forget it.”
This celebrated French actress, who possessed great attractions, was engaged at Petersburg, where she performed in tragedy. One day, when she became the subject of conversation at the table of the Empress Catharine, the young Lans Koy, the reigning favourite, spoke of her with so much warmth, and launched out into such high praise of her graces, that, from that moment, it was noticed, the Empress no longer saw her with pleasure, and forbore to command the pieces in which this actress might have been seen with advantage.
On her side, Mademoiselle Felix felt piqued, spoke with much freedom, and, what will hardly be credited, between the Sovereign and the stage