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the tricks of a swindler; had he been and cry like a child, while I sang to a man of lower rank, some of these him, at his desire, a pathetic little were so flagrant, that they might song of my composition, “ They bore have been attended with very serious her to her grassy grave." consequences; but by Sheridan him. Our readers, we think, will be self, as well as his biographers, these gratified by our inserting here a are told as mere jeux d'esprit—as beautiful little song, (never before ingenious contrivances—as exertions, published,) composed by Mr Sherinot of trick or deception, but of dan, inspired by that melancholy genius and cleverness ; productive of and tender regret which he felt on jokes or bon-mots, which are set Mrs Sheridan's death :down to his credit as a wit, not as blots upon his character. Some of No more shall the Spring my lost pleathose instances of fraud (for they
sure restore, really deserve that appellation) are
Uncheer'd I still wander alone ; meant to be laughed at by the suf- And, sunk in dejection, for ever deplore
The sweets of the days that are gone. ferer ; but the gentlest (much too
While the Sun, as it rises, to others shines gentle) censure that can be passed on
bright, them is in the words of the well
I think how it formerly shone : known fable, "it might be joke to the While others cull blossoms, I find but a practiser of the fraud, but death to
blight, those unfortunate persons on whom And sigh for the days that are gone. the fraud was practised.” How many of Mr Sheridan's creditors were in i stray where the dew falls, through want of bread, from his evading pay- moon-lighted groves, ment of his just debts, while he was And list to the nightingale's song, revelling in gay parties, at dinners of Her plaints still remind me of long-bathree courses, washed down with nish'd joys, Champagne and Burgundy! but the
And the sweets of the days that are less serious and more thoughtless
gone. reader is amused with the ingenuity Each dew.drop that steals from the dark of the device, and has no feeling for
eye of night the distress of the sufferer.
Is a tear for the bliss that is flown;
While others cull blossoms, I find but a The example of such a character
blight, is extremely hurtful in a moral point And sigh for the days that are gone. of view; it is like the effects of his School for Scandal, to which we may It has been sometimes alleged as apply the saying of Richardson, per- an excuse (though it is a very lame haps with more justice than the one) for his conduct, that Sheridan works of Fielding, to which he ap- was indolent and inattentive (the plied his dictum, “ that the virtues great vice of his nature) where himof such a character are the vices of self was concerned, and where those an honest man;" if any consequence qualities were highly unfavourable is to be attached to dramatic write to his reputation or his interest. A ing, that surely must be hurtful very striking instance of this is told which ridicules virtue as hypocrisy, by Kelly. An anonymous article and makes vice fascinating under the was published against him in the semblance of sincerity and generosi- Public Advertiser. Sheridan told ty. One praise we must allow Mr Woodfall, the editor of that paper, Sheridan, for some parts of his con- that it was badly and clumsily done, duct to which the public has not and promised to write an article for done justice,ấhe was a good son, insertion in that journal, as coming a zealous friend, and to one wife at from an anonymous correspondent, least a tender and attentive hus- giving a character of himself as unband. “ I never beheld more poig- favourable, but more ably written, nant grief, (says Mr Kelly,) than to which afterwards he would send Mr Sheridan felt for his beloved an answer, which would fully vindiwife; and though the world, which cate himself from the conduct which knew him only as a public man, will the first antonymous correspondent perhaps scarcely credit the fact, I had narrated. Woodfall immedately have seen him, night after night, sit inserted the first-mentioned article containing the charge ; but Sheri- the stage as a performer in a piece dan, though often asked for the an- of Reynold's, Dignum, who had a swer, was too indolent or inattentive part in it, said to Mr Sheridan with ever to furnish it; so it remained a woeful countenance, uncontradicted. Another not less striking example ness, it is truly lamentable to stop the run
“Sir, there is no guarding against ill. of the same extraordinary inattention
of a successful piece like this ; but really" is told in the second volume. He
"Really what ?” cried Sheridan, was appointed to attend the Prince interrupting him. of Wales at eleven o'clock of the
“ I am so unwell,” continued Dignum, succeeding day; and to make sure of “ that I cannot go on longer than tokeeping that appointment, seeming tonight." him a very early one, he lay at Kelly's “ You !” exclaimed Sheridan; “my house, and was to be called in the good fellow, you terrified me; I thought morning at such an hour as to be in you were going to say that the dog was time for the appointment; but taken ill.” having found at Kelly's a batch of
Kelly, as if inspired by his subwine, of wbich he partook very ject, ventures now and then to insert largely, he did not rise till the even.
puns of his own, but they are geneing, and the Prince, after repeated rally very bad. messages, went to Windsor without
Sheridan delighted to introduce him.
stories, frequently of his own inven. The failings of Sheridan are mat- tion, illustrative of the blundering ters of such notoriety, that it may character of his countrymen, the Irish. seem unnecessary to have mentioned He told Kelly, that, coming out very them: but there is one weakness late one night from Brookes's, the which, if one did not know the strange last of the company, he found some inconsistencies of the human mind, Irish chairmèn shivering in the cold one could hardly believe, which at the door, waiting in expectation Kelly's book has first let the world of a fare. He advised them to go know, namely, the superstition of home, as nobody was left in the Sheridan. He could never be pre- house." We know that,” said one vailed on to commence any business of the chairmen; "but perhaps on a Friday, which he reckoned an there
may be some gentlemen coming unlucky day, and expressed no sur- out." The Duchess of Devonshire prise at a family distress which hap- asked him if his friend Kelly had pened on that day of the week, as a been much hurt from the accident of natural consequence of such a horo.
a fall by a piece of machinery on the scopical imprudence.
stage giving way. "I have just left Sheridan's negligence and irregu- him," answered Sheridan, " in good larity were very properly censured, health and spirits; but he puzzled though in an indirect manner, by me with a question which I could the present Chancellor, on occasion of Mr Sheridan pleading his own
not answer :- Supposing I had
been killed by the fall, who would cause in a motion about the theatre have maintained me for the rest of of Drury-lane. After passing a high my life?"" His talent for getting eulogiuin on the genius and abilities rid of the importunity of his crediof Sheridan, the Chancellor quoted tors is exemplified in the following the conclusion of Dr Johnson's life anecdote :of Savage: “Negligence and irregularity, long continued, make know
We were one day in earnest conversa. ledge useless, wit ridiculous, and
tion, close to the gate of the path which genius contemptible.”
was then open to the public, leading Sheridan, though his elaborate
across the church-yard of St. Paul's,
Covent Garden, from King Street to preparation for his speeches in Par
Henrietta-Street, when Mr Holloway, liament, and the wit of his comedies, who was a creditor of Sheridan's to a have been fully brought out in Mr considerable amount, came up to us on Moore's life of him, was readier than horseback, and accosted Sheridan in a most men in repartee, of which Kelly tone of something more like anger than gives several instances. When the sorrow, and complained that he never famous dog Carlo was brought on could get admittance when he called, vowing vengeance against the infernal Tom Welsh, (then a boy,) and his singSwiss, Monsieur François, if he did not ing “ Angels, ever bright and fair,” the let him in the next time he went to night before.
He should be encou. Hertford-Street.
raged," said he : go and tell him, that, Holloway was really in a passion. in addition to his salary, I shall send him Sheridan knew that he was vain of his a present of £.200, and you shall take it judgment in horse flesh, and without to him." “ Shall I ?" said I, (making taking any notice of the violence of his the quotation from Lionel and Clarissa), manner, burst into an exclamation upon “ I think the horough may be disposed the beauty of the horse which he rode i of to a worthier candidate;" but neither he struck the right chord.
Welsh nor I ever got a halfpenny of the “ Why," said Holloway, “ I think I money. may say there never was a prettier creature than this. You were speaking to
This is the generosity of Charles me, when I last saw you, about a horse Surface ! for Mrs Sheridan, now this would be a It was never supposed that Sheritreasure for a lady."
dan, himself a writer of satire and .“ Does he canter well ?" said Sheri. lampoons, would be much affected dan.
by any thing which the newspapers “ Beautifully," replied Holloway. muld say of him ; but it appears
“ If that's the case, Holloway," said from Kelly's account of him, that Sheridan, “ I really should not mind stretching a point for him. Will you No man was ever more sore and frighte have the kindness to let me see his ened at criticism than he was, from his paces ?.”
first outset in life. He dreaded the “ To be sure," said the lawyer ; and newspapers, and always courted their putting himself into a graceful attitude, friendship. I have many times heard he threw his nag into a canter along the him say, “ Let me but have the periodi. market.
cal press on my side, and there should be The moment his back was turned, nothing in this country which I would Sheridan wished me good-morning, and not accomplish.”. went off through the church-yard, where no horse could follow, into Bedford-Street, vourable trait of Sheridan's charac
One is glad to meet with any fa. laughing immoderately, as indeed did several standers-by: The only person pected, was his candour with regard
ter; one of which he was never susnot entertained by this practical joke was Mr Holloway himself.
to Cumberland, who was well known
to be his bitter enemy. It were endless to cite instances of this power in Sheridan of wheedling land produced, at Drury-Lane Theatre,
On the 3d of May, 1808, Mr Cumber. his creditors so as to make them
a piece entitled “ The Jew of Mogadore,” forego or delay their demands. One to which I composed the music. It was should have thought that frequent with great reluctance that the Board of disappointments would have barden. Management at Drury-Lane accepted it : ed them against it; but even trades- therefore, when I had finished the music men forgot their demands, and went of the first act, I rested upon my cars still farther than that, as the follow. until I knew their final determination. ing anecdote, in which Kelly was I met Mr Sheridan one day in Essex particularly concerned, will shew: Street in the Strand, and told him of it. The roast of oysters shews the Hedesired me to go on with it by all means, light estimation in which he held " Por,” said he, “if the opera should that obligation which a man of rec
fail, you will fall with a fine classical titude would feel to pay his just scholar, and elegant writer, as well as a debts, as does another anecdote told sound dramatist," (such was his expressby Kelly.
ed opinion of Cumberland's abilities.)
" Go instantly," continued he,“ to One day I called upon him, and re- those discerning critics, who call them. quested he would let me have a little selves the Board of Management,' and money; he put me off, as usual, with tell them from me, if you please, that they promising he would let me have some to- are all asses, to presume to sit in judge morrow. To-morrow was always his ment on the writings of such a man as favourite pay-day ; but, like the trust. Cumberland ; and say, further, that I day at a French inn, that morrow never order the opera to be accepted, and put did I see. In the midst of all this, he into rehearsal." told me how much he was pleased with “ And pray, Sir," said I, “ in what light am I to view this · Board of Ma- distance ; these horses were admirably nagement ? What are they ?"
made of pasteboard, and answered every - Pegs to hang hats upon," said She purpose for which they were wanted. ridan.
One morning, Mr Sheridan, John Kem.
ble, and myself, went to the propertyThe closing scene of Sheridan's room of Drury-Lane Theatre, and there life, like that of some dramas, is cal- found Johnston, the able and ingenious culated to do poetical justice to the machinist, at work upon the horses, and honest and the virtuous. The miser- on the point of beginning the elephant, able situation of his last days shews which was to carry Blue Beard. Mr strongly the punishment which, even Sheridan said to Johnston," Don't you in this world, awaits the man who think, Johnston, you had better go to has lived without regard to truth or
Pidcock's, at Exeter 'Change, and hire honesty,-to the sense of right, and
an elephant for a number of nights ?" the obligations of virtue. Had he “ Not I, Sir," replied the enthusiastic conducted himself otherwise, had he machinist ; " if I cannot make a better been less dissipated, less extravagant, deserve to be hanged."
elephant than that at Exeter 'Change, I less unjust in his extravagance, what happiness might he not have enjoy- The distresses of actors at the ed, endowed as he was with splendid commencement of a career after. talents, --befriended by the great, ad- wards extremely successful, is strong. mired by the fair, lifted early in life ly exemplified in the following anecinto a situation calculated to lead to dote of John Kemble and the manathe highest honours of the State, and ger of a strolling company, named flattered with such a reception of his Watson, a great friend and ally of writings and speeches as was suffi. his. cient to satisfy the most inordinate appetite for fame!
At one time they were in such distress, We have been more full on the that they were fain to go into a turnip subject of Sheridan than the purpose their hunger. While regaling on this
field, and eat the raw turnips to assuage of this article might seem to war. rant, because those anecdotes of that recruit their finances, and a lucky turn
raw vegetable, they hit upon a scheme to singular man, told by an intimate up it turned out. It was neither more friend, may serve to correct the omis- nor less, than that John Kemble should sions, we may perhaps say, the mis- turn methodist preacher, and Watson representations of Mr Moore's book. perform the part of clerk. Mr Moore, certainly, to say the least Their scheme was organized ; and of the defects of his book, has merito Tewkesbury was their first scene of ac. ed but half the commendation of the tion. They drew togetier, in a field, a Roman historian, “
Nequid falsi numerous congregation ; and Kemble audeat dicere, nequid veri non au
preached with such piety, and so much deat." He has left out much of the effect, that positively a large collection
This anecdote veri which Mr Kelly's Reminiscences rewarded his labours. have brought to light.
Kemble himself told me was perfectly Cumberland was another writer of eminence, of whom our Reminis- The author's fondness for good cencer relates many anecdotes. The wine is often exhibited, and such, singular weaknesses of his character indeed, seems to be the passion are strongly brought out in the course of almost all musicians, of which of the author's communications with we have had too many instances him".
Kelly never fails
to mention the places and houses An anecdote, very like that of where the best wine was to be had. Diogenes, and the pig under his After mentioning the beautiful procloak, is told in a note on page 133 spect from Montefiascone, – of the second volume.
The prospect (says he) most interest. The second act of Blue Beard opened ing to me was the vineyard. The wines with a view of the Spahi's horses, at a of Montefiascone are considered exquisite,
• To this subject we formerly adverted at considerable length, and we do not now prop ose to return to it.
and, I must say, I proved my opinion of scure origin; but his father having made them by copious libations ! Fortunately, an immense fortune in the Levant trade, Signor Guarduci was a liberal and hospic purchased an estate and barony in Friuli table landlord, and I shall ever retain a for his son. The inordinate pride of this grateful sense of his kindness.
novus homo rendered him universally
ridiculous; but he was much flattered Nay, so far does this ruling passion with having the witty Sacchi in his carry him, that he cannot help, after train, who laughed at him even while praising one of his patrons, the Mar- loading him with adulation. quis of Bevi Aqua, saying, that his As they were walking along one day, early objection to him was his name,
some priests, carrying the host to a dying which, being translated, is drink person, passed them ; every one in the water. This nobleman took him to street, as it is the custoin in all Roman see the monument of Juliet at Ve Catholic countries, fell on their knees,
with their heads bare, bowing to the rona; so much is it an object of interest, that its sides are a good deal baron knelt with great devotion ; Sacchi,
ground; amongst the rest, the proud mutilated by strangers breaking off who was close to him, only took his hat pieces to keep as relics.
off, and slightly inclined his head as the On the subject of the stage he host went by, and did not go on his mentions with very high, and, we be- knees. The baron, quite shocked at this lieve, just praise, Schroeder at Vi- apparent want of religion and respect, enna, called the Garrick of Ger- exclaimed with affected humility, Sig. many. Schroeder had been in Eng- nor Sacchi, I am petrified ; to a poor land, and praised the English actors miserable mortal like myself you pay às true to Nature. We are sorry not every obsequious homage ; yet when the to be able to agree with him in this holy host passed you, instead of prostraeulogium. Had he seen Garrick it ting yourself before it, you only made a might have been just; but it seems slight inclination with your head.” to us of the old school, that at pre- chi; “I admit the fact, but the host
* Very true, my Lord,” replied Sacsent Nature is often forgot both by
must not be made game of, and that the writers of plays and the actors.
makes all the difference." To Garrick's memory he mentions a compliment, the institution of a club, called The School of Garrick, this book a trait of French honesty,
It may not be amiss to quote from which subsisted till very lately, composed of the cotemporaries or scholars met with at Plymouth, where the
as Kelly ironically calls it, which he of that most eminent actor. Few of French prisoners were allowed to them now remain, of whom, how- make and sell certain articles of eyer, Kelly is one.
handicraft. The great actors, as well as singers of operas, he naturally commemorates ; and his authority, at least as
Amongst other things which I saw to their musical powers, cannot be there, was a trait of French honesty,
which amused me extremely. questioned. One particular depart- A fellow who was locked up, had a ment of Italian acting is that of the large bench in front of the place where extempore Harlequin. Every body he was confined, on which were several has heard of the fame of Carlin in articles for sale; an old man, who could this department. Kelly mentions speak a little English, stood by the side one quite as wonderful as Carlin, of them, and kept bawling out to all the Sacchi, with whom Kelly met at the passers-by : House of the Conte Pisarri.
" Come here, Monsieur le Capitaine,
look here, my pretty things-Monsieur Nothing could be to me more delight. le Capitaine, come buy de pretty things ful (says he) than the innumerable for Madame." stories and anecdotes with which this old I went up to bim, and wished to pur. inan's conversation abounded; he was as chase a handsome writing-desk, for which sprightly as a boy, full of good humour the spokesman asked four guineas. I and good nature. I remember one day refused to give so much, but offered him he told us a story, that a short time pre- one ; the owner (who was locked up), in vious he was passing near the church of speaking to the salesman in French, told St. Giovanni, with a nobleman of very him to insist upon four guineas, adding, singular character, who was of very ob. " I am sure you will get it; Monsieur le