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derived our information is the grandson of Mr Waddel. We were about to conclude, when our eye fell on the He is himself an old soldier, and saw Mrs Scott in following verses by a poet who hides his light too much London about twelve years ago. At this time she was under a bushel, but whose name, we confidently anticiold and infirm, but still retained traces of her former pate, will one day be far better known than his modesty beanty. In her elevation she did not forget her brother, will at present permit.-It may be as a poet, or it may who, having returned disabled from the wars, enjoyed, be in another capacity, but at all events as a man of through her interest, a small pension."
By E. B.
The morn hath long been over the billows,
That call me to launch on life's wide sea ; Nor for this tame and unchivalric age;
And I'll leave thee, my lyre,—but not on the willows, Thou'rt all misplaced upon this humble stage,
Till the breeze of my fortunes waken thee! Thou hast come to the world behind thy time.
Though my bark be frail, and rude the gale, Thou shouldst have lived, five hundred years agone,
A weaker than mine hath return’d with gain ; In some lone castle by the proud Garonne ;
And though lofty the song of a rival throng, With such concourse of lovers from all Spain,
Still, still, into heaven, may mount thy strain ! That towns at length should rise on thy domain : Sweet friend of life! -though oft thy measures Kings shou'd come there to break their hearts in scores ; Have lured me to laugh at Wisdom's frown, And thou shouldst hold a massacre of knights
Yet thine were never the palling pleasures, Once every week, until the river's shores
That madden the hearts they fail to drown! Should peopled be with their unhallowed sprites. Tho' love's young light bath left my sight, Thou shouldst lay waste all Europe with thy charms, And many a comrade hath cross'd my way; And give thyself to none but Death's victorious arms! Thy friendship, since tirst its dawning I nurst, Glasgow is a city which, from the numerous literary Oh ! light's the fault, if prudence outlive it,
Hath never forsaken, could never betray! effusions it has already sent us, we are convinced contains many a poet, passing quietly and unobtrusively And if pride refuse to smile and forgive it,
To spend our holiday years with thee; amid the unconscious throng,—perhaps himself engaged in all the bustle of active business,--and more esteemed
Thy worth may be proved more wise than he.
So sleep, my lyre! till manhood's fire for his knowledge of arithmetic than for his portion of
Awaken thy chords into nobler life: the divinus afflatus ; but nevertheless, proud, honestly and the heaven-born strain that floats from thee then, proud, in the secret consciousness that a light is burning May soar beyond the cold world's strife! within him which gives him a participation in the feel. ings, and a kindred claim upon the friendship, of those Slippers, during that period, will neither be heard of
For a week or two we again drop the curtain. Our who move afar off, and “ summer high upon the hills of
nor seen; while in a more abstract and sublime, though God.” We are always glad to hear from Glasgow ; at
less concentrated character, we shall travel over the land, present we have room for only one copy of verses from intellectually embodied in that glorious emanation of that quarter, but they are striking and original :
mind--the EDINBURGH LITERARY JOURNAL. THE DEAD MAN'S MOAN. I thocht the grave was a sweeter part,
SKETCHES OF THE LEADING MEMBERS OF THE
The style of Dr Chalmers' eloquence is so marked and I used to think, when I wont to lie
peculiar, and its defects and its beauties are so promi. By the dike-side on the mossy brae, Wi' my een turned on the bonny blue sky,
nent, that the only difference of opinion which can exist Where
the wee wreathy clouds sae peacefully lay with regard to it, must refer rather to its merit than to When I felt the summer's breath warm on my fáce, its character. If vigour of thought, and power of imaAnd o'er me was coming slumber deep
gination, and warmth of colouring, and singularly forThat the grave was sic another place,
cible expression, are the principal elemen is of oratory, Where ane wud lie in as sweet a sleep.
Dr Chalmers is well entitled to all his fame. Few men
can match him in communicating an air of freshness to But I see dae mair the heaven's gladsome licht, comnion-places;-his power of illustration is inexhausti.
And nae mair I feel the sweet breath o' the sky; ble_his humour admirable—and no man can command And black and heavy on my sicht
more powerfully the attention, or engage the sympathies, The calm dead airs of my dungeon lie ;
of a popular audience. He is by no means a "correct, I for ever look on the grave's lonely wa',
much less a classical speaker ; there is nothing elegant Where creeps each earthy and loathsome beast,
about him, either in his person, his manners, or his lan. And frae which the big draps o'the dead dew fa', And heavily sink through my wasting breast;
guage ; neither is there any thing that is in the slightThere's nae warm friendly voice to cheer
est degree offensive ; there is no affectation, no preten. The darkness and silence sae dismal and dree; sion ;--you are struck with the carnestness of his manner, There's nae saft word that comes to speer,
and the enthusiasm with which he urges his argument ; How it is in the lanely house wi' me.
and his vehement tones and uncouth gesticulations, are so
much in unison with the character of his eloquence, or Hark! how aboon my dreary grave,
rather, they are so much part and parcel of it, that although Weightily splashes the fast-fa'ing rain;
in another they would very justiy incur ridicule, in him Hark! how the sweeping nicht-winds rave, they serve only to strengthen the hold which the speak. When stay'd in their speed by the big grave-stane.
er has upon our attention. Dr Chalmers, though a con. I wish I were up, to straught my banes,
siderable proficient in the exact sciences, is not a close And drive frae my face the cauld dead air ;
reasoner; he seldom treats his argument as a logician I wish I were up, that the friendly rains
Micht wash the dark mould frae my tangled hair; would treat it; he is fond of reasoning from analogy, I wish I were up, ance mair to drink
and his great force lies in illustration. He presents the The fresh breath o' heaven frae the healthy plain, same idea under twenty different forms, he loads it with And see the wee stars as they blithesomely blink, comparisons, he adorns it with all the brilliancy of or
And hear the sweet voice o' a friend again! nament which an exuberant fancy can command, and
VII. DR CHALMERS.
IX. MR CARMENT
never dismisses it till he has lavished upon it more ful cloquence could command, were neither of thenı warmth of imagination, and a greater variety of illus. above that caution which party spirit will sometimes call tration, than would serve a less impassioned orator for a timidity; and Dr Nicol, succeeding such men, does well speech of two hours' length. He always speaks with ap- perhaps, even in this respect, to stand in the third de parent effort, but the difficulty evidently arises not from gree of comparison. any deficiency of ideas, but rather from the rapidity Dr Nicol has been elected a member of the existing with which they present themselves to his mind, and Assembly, and on this account we have spoken of him from his anxiety to express them in weighty language. in the present tense, though we grieve to say, that indis. His labour is like that of Jupiter parturiens, paintul, position now deprives, and is likely in future to deprive, just because the offspring to which he is giving birth church courts of his useful and respectable talents. must atrain maturity before it leaves the brain, that it may rush forth full armed and irresistible.
Would evidently be the wil-we fear he is, in real. Dr Chalmers is not very powerful as a mere debater. | ity, only the juster of the Assembly. The ready grin, He has not Dr Thomson's readiness, nor his acuteness ; and the loud laugh, waits ou almost every sentence be he cannot so easily extricate himself from a difficulty, utters; but then his person, and looks, and gestur-s, and nor can he avail limself with so much dexterity of any tones, all partake the triumph with his matter and blunder which his antagonist makes.' Heis, in short, too speech; and probably have, after all the principal share much of an orator, in the usual acceptation of ihe word, in the effect of his oratory. For whether he hit or miss to be distinguished as a special pleader. He is never -whether he speak sheer nonsense, or very passable flippant-he seldom indulges in personal sarcasm—and sense—whether his humour be bastard or lawfully be. even his enthusiasm is more the enthusiasm of genius. g tien — the result is pretty much the same. Indeed, we than of party spirit. His private character is highly have known a text of Scripture, delivered in his rich and amiable, and his intercour:e with churchmen of both very peculiar nasal tones, pass for an exceeding good parties extensive and liberal. It will not be wondered jest. But we doubt whether Mr Carment does not, with. at, that a man possessed of such virtues and of such high out any intention of his, inpose a little bosh on himself intellectual endowmepis, should unite in his favour the and the world. With the former party, he evidently suffrages of political friends and political enemies,-passes for a cleverer and a wiser man than he is ;-and and that his voice sbould have considerable weight in with the latter, he has little credit for any thing but a tre courts of that Church which boasts of him as her fund of second-rate buffoonery. But, in point of fact, be most eloquent and popular preacher.
is a person of some shrewdness, and not without a cer. VIII. PRINCIPAL NICOL.
tain insight into the merits of a question. We have been This gentleman has long been distinguished in the sometimes struck with the exactness of his memory in Assembly by his useful talents for business, and his ac- matters of precedent, and all his jokes are not alike bad. quainia:nce with the constitution and rules of the Church. But so long as he cultivates the reputation of a joker on. Without much merit as a speaker, he, nevertheless, al- ly, he must be content to take his stand even below bis ways commands respect and attention, by the clearness real, as we fear he always must below his own, valusof his statements, and the good order in which he mar. tion. shals bis arguments. His plain churchman-like inan
X. DR MACGILL. ners and presence, and his unaffected style of delivery, This gentleman is professor of Divinity in the Uni. eminently become the head of a College, and the occa- versity of Glasgow. Remarkable for his extensive read. sional leader of a party. No man better knows the ing in all the branches of theological learning, and for temper of the venerable house, or watches the progress skill and assiduity in the management of his class, he is and turn of a debate with more intelligence; and when advantageously known in church courts by the judgment cver he ventur-s to recommend a particular decision of and candour which he displays on most questions. As a question, he seldom fails to carry a majority. It is, a speaker, he is pleasing and unaffected. There is a indeed, true, that the party with which he is connected great appearance of seriousness and self-conviction in usually forms, in itselt, a majority of the Assembly; but all his reasonings and statements, which cannot fail to when we consider—what is certainly the case that there recommend the man as well as his argument. He is is less subordination and unanimity among the members somewhat of a precisian perhaps in his opinions, as of this pariy, than is to be remarked among the opposi. well as in his mode of address ; but a Calvinist and a rion; when we look at a numerous and increasing squa- professor of Divinity will easily be forgiven on this drone volante, which draws its recruits almost wholly score. The respectability of his station and attainments from the moderate ranks; and when we consider, that pointed him out last year as a proper person for the in the Assembly there are many perfectly independent Moderator's chair, which he filled with exemplary dig. men, who seldom make up, or know how to make up, nity and propriety. their minds on a question, till it is fully discussed, and
XI. DR DAVID RITCHIE. who vote without reference to party, when we consi. Were a man's station as an orator to be determined der all this, we are not to refuse credit to the tact and by his general intellectual powers, we are not sure that judgment of the man, who succeeds most frequently in there is any individual connected with our church who directing the sense of the House. His policy is often, would be entitled to take precedence of Dr David Rit. however, too timid and wavering to command the entire chie. No man reasons more closely, no man can expose confidence of one, or the uniform respect of either party. a sophism more successfully, and few can follow out In some of his healing motions_framed to catch the an argument through all its parts, with so much precistray and the doubting—the very spirit of his principles sion as this doughty logician. Accordingly, he never fails seems to evaporate. He certainly wants the firmness and to distinguish himself when he has an opportunity of manly confidence of a great leader. Still, many who ob addressing the understanding upon some abstruse quss. ject to him all this and more, would be sorry, we have tion, or when the argument rests upon some nice disno doubt, to see a more sturdy politician hazard, by tinction which requires to be stated and explained. He frequent failures on individual questions, the general as. thinks with clearness, and expresses himself correctly ; cendency of his party ; and inany more would, if intrust- he is seldom pathetic, never flighty. He neither at. ed with the conduct of a party themselves, hesitate to tempts to storm the affections of his audience by bursts incur the responsibility of those ultra measures from of passion, nor is he ever so much warmed by his own which they accuse the Principal of shrinking. Robert eloquence as to lose sight of a single link in the chain son, with all the weight of his talents and his fame, and of his argument. His great fault as a speaker in church Hill, with all the influence which his wisdom and grace- courts is, that he has no ininute acquaintance with the
forms of business. He fights well on the field of battle, who had lived a good deal more than eighty years in but he makes a sorry figure at drill. His speaking wants Edinburgh, that, when she was a girl, there were some some of those qualities which are generally deemed houses in the close where she resided (Allan's, first east
essential to eloquence--he is deficient in imagination, from the Exchange,) said to be shut up on account of and totally devoid of humour-and, what is still more the plague, with all the furniture within, precisely in unfortunate for an orator, he does not appear to possess the same state as it had been left by the owners when the art of commanding the attention and carrying along they died. Though it was known that coin, plate, and with him the sympathy of a mixed assembly. His other things of value, were deposited in one or more of oratory is rather forensic than popular. He never speaks these houses, they had been permitted to remain undiswithout exciting a general impression of his strong in- turbed for a century, and might have continued shut tellectual power ; but he is not the person whom the for a much longer period, but for a particular circum. lounger delights to hear.
When the Highland army came to Edinburgh XII. THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL.
in 1745, many of the soldiers, at the risk of military pu. The reason which we stated in our slight sketch of Sir nishment, as is well known, committed such acts of ra. James Moncrieff, must be our apology for mentioning pacity as gave that gallant enterprise but too much of Mr Hope so briefly, and for mentioning him at all. His the appearance of a predatory invasion. Some, hearing official station ensures him at all times a respectful hear of the treasures supposed to be concealed in the pesting in the General Assembly, and the more readily that houses of Allan's close, and entertaining no fear of an he is the son of the Lord President of the Court of Ses- enemy so long dead as the plague, resolved to break sion, a gentleman who has ever distinguished himself them open, and possess themselves of whatever they by a steady adherence to our national Church, and by found an innocent species of plunder, as they thought, the faithful discharge of his duty as one of its elders. which neither “ta law nor ta Prince" could be expected The Solicitor-General is not a fluent speaker, but his to visit with the punishment promised to the robbery of advice is often valuable ; and were it not that he aspires the living. They did break open the houses, and, as to somewhat more of authority, than it is proper for a was expected, found many valuable articles, though, layman to possess in an ecclesiastical court, he would be a contrary to the anxious apprehensions of the neighbours, powerful acquisition for the party to which he attaches no fatal consequence ensued. The plate, which was all himself, and with which, we believe, he generally votes. marked with engraven coats-of-arins, and the other Mr Hope is gentlemanly in his address, understands things worth taking, were divided among the adventuwell what he is about, is an excellent lawyer, and pos. rers; and after the spell was thus broken, the houses sesses a large share of political sagacity, which, united were inhabited by poor people, who willingly encoun. as it is in his case, with steadiness of principle, will, tered all the danger that could be supposed to remain, no doubt, raise him to a high, if not the highest, rank for the sake of a free habitation. What was very rein his profession.
markable, one of the Highlanders, when the army af.
terwards visited Glasgow, lodged in the house of a relaTRADITIONS OF THE PLAGUE IN EDINBURGH: graved on a silver drinking-cup in the man's possession,
tion of my informant, who discovered, by the arms en. By Robert Chambers, Author of the “ Histories of the that the plundered house from which it was taken had Scottish Rebellion," Jc. &c.
belonged to his ancestor, and accordingly made an effort In Edinburgh, various superstitious ideas were che to take by force, and finally was glad to purchase, the rished among the common people respecting the plague, said piece of plate, which he retained all his life after, which scourged the city for the last time in 1645, when wards as a family-piece. The old lady from whom I it was also threatened by the Marquis of Montrose, and derived this singular story, had also a tradition, that the only saved from the plunder of that cruel though gal. ancestress of a certain wealthy family in Edinburgh had lant commander by the dread which he entertained of accumulated a vast quantity of money and things of infection. Throughout the Old Town, various places | value, by attending those who were dying of the plague, used to be shown where it was said the plague was shut which she was enabled to do with perfect safety on acup, and one in particular was pointed out as its burial- count of her having had the distemper before, and being, place. The former were certain old houses in Beth's therefore, incapable of taking it again. The sick-nurses Wynd, Mary King's Close, &c. the doors and windows and cleansers, it seems, were usually the heirs of the of which were either almost altogether buried beneath dead, and many of them, like this person, laid the the adjacent ground, or covered up with such a thick foundations of vast fortunes, which were, however, it layer of dust and mud, as it appeared they could only was remarked, for the most part dissipated by their im. have contracted during the lapse of several centuries. mediate successors. Thus, when Stirling was last ra. When the old pest-houses of Beth's Wynd were remo- vaged by the plague, two particular men, who alone ved in 1808, to make way for the extension of the Ad. performed, or could perform, the duties of attending the vocates' Library,—for that storehouse of learning now sick, becaine, as is known from authentic records, prooccupies the site of the said dwelling-places of supersti- prietors of much more than the half of the town; yet, so tion, — serious apprehensions were entertained by the little does this seem to have affected the distribution of gossips of the wynd, lest the plague should burst forth property in the long run, that the only descendant of from its place of confinement, and do as much mischief any of these two men, known to exist some years ago, in the neighbourhood as before it had been bound over was an old woman who did not possess an inch of land, to keep the peace. No result of any importance fol- built or unbuilt, and there has been, ever since the oldlowed the destruction of the houses, however, except est inhabitants can remember, just as plentiful a variety that, beneath the floor of one of them, two workmen of “ lairds” at Stirling as in any other town of its ex. found a pot full of gold and silver coins, which had pro- The memory of the circumstance is preserved by bably been buried there by an infected person, under certain tenements and pieces of ground, which, though the dread of being spoiled during his illness (which is now in the hands of various proprietors, still retain the said to have often been the case, by the Cleansers, and names of those who inherited them in the singular way never recovered by the unfortunate owner. I have not mentioned. learned that any other valuables were found in these houses at their demolition ; but can, with not the less
• In Stirling, such were the ravages of the distemper, that all safety, avouch that it was customary, when a house was the magistrates and town-council died. The executioner also shut up for the plague, to leave the whole of the furni- died. A mound is shown in the churchyard of Stirling as the ture within. I was once informed, by an aged lady, stone-work, but is now covered over with soil.
burial-place of those who perished. It is said to be a vault of
One of the most picturesque anecdotes of the plague burial-place of a last-infected person, or of the whole which I have collected in Edinburgh, bears that, du- who died of the malady on one particular occasion. ring the calamitous period, when the town was aban. By the people of the wynd, whose sentiments were doned to the rapacious and the dying, the awful silence perhaps general in the vicinages of all places where the which pervaded the streets, quite as much by day as Plague was buried,” the awful area, the goblin trees, through the night, used to be only broken in the dusk and the black bulge in the wall, used to be regarded in of the evening by a cart going through the city, attend the last age as objects of fearful interest, and even hor. ed by a man, who rung a bell, and cried with a loud ror. What was beneath that thin sward, or within that and solemn voice, “ Throw out your deid !” Scarcely dark wall, there was no saying. Did it contain the any thing could be conceived more awful than such a simple relics of mortality—the mouldering bones, the ceremony, performed under such circumstances. large over-fed worms, and the soft and sable mould,
The place in Edinburgh where “ the Plague was which had once thought and breathed ? Or did it cover, buried” is situated in Leith Wynd. This ancient, as some said, the Plague itself ? Was this the prison though much modernized street, as may be well known of that old awful malefactor, or his grave? Did he, the to some readers, is skirted on one side by a fragment of fiend the scourge of humanity--not still dwell here, the wall of the city, which, Heaven and the magistrates in chains, perhaps, and confined within the incumbent long preserve ! In the inside of this memorial of a soil, but still alive, possessed of all his faculties, and former age, the soil rises almost to the very top, and is, instinct with quite as violent a disposition as ever ? for the most part, employed in the capacity of a garden. Heaven and the magistrates long preserve that wall! If Towards the bottom of the wynd, which, by the way, is it were to be broken down, the inconceivable monster very interesting, a small part of the ground seems enclosed would burst forth from his den, demolish the whole as a sort of bleaching-green, being bounded on the west wynd with one stroke of his tail, and swallow half of by a peculiarly tall house, in which there was once a Ror the people of the town at a mouthful! man Catholic chapel, (burnt by the Protestant mobs of 1779.) From the wynd, the place is marked by a bulge,
THE DRAMA. and peculiar blackness in the external wall, as if occasions ed by the press and nature of the mould within and by BEFORE descending to the common Theatrical af. one or two spectre-like trees, which throw their dismal fairs of the week, we wish to lay before our readers one forms half over the rampart, apparently bleached by the or two original unpublished letters of great interest redews which would have nourished
them in their younger lating to the affairs of the Drama It was stated in our days, and not bearing any leaves even in summer. Be. " Theatrical Gossip" last Saturday, that the London neath these trees, which seem to have been brought to Managers proposed reducing the salaries of the leading their marrow-bones by the dreadful juxtaposition, “ lies performers, seeing that their exorbitant demands hare the Playue." It was buried here, says an old female bad the very worst effect on the prosperity of the stage. informant, by candle-light, at three o'clock in the Three original letters which now lie before us, place this morning, by Mr Gusthart, minister, long ago of the abuse in a very strong light, by bringing it into contrast
Trinity or College kirk, in presence of two witnesses, with what was customary fifty years ago, in the golden and not without ceremonies, such as praying and the age of the British Drama. The first letter is from Gar. like," the aversion of the Scottish Church to the bu- rick to Mr Siddons, who was then a member of the rial-service having been apparently done away with in Gloucester Theatre, and the husband of the afterwards the extraordinary case of “the Plague.”
What “the so celebrated Mrs Siddons. It was in consequence of Plague" was, this worthy lady did not well know; but this letter that she made her first appearance in Lon. she promised to enquire. At a second visit, she inform-don, and it must, therefore, be considered in every point ed our ignorance, that it was a thing which long ago of view a great literary curiosity. Boaden, when he used to come into people's houses, in the shape of long published his life of Mrs Siddons, was not aware of its silken threads, palpable to the eye, but not to the touch, existence. We present our readers with an accurate and which, Aying about hither and thither in the air, copy. cut the breaths of all with whom they came in contact.
MR GARRICK to MR SIDDOXS. That her account of the funeral of the plague was true,
Adelphi, Nov. 13, 1775. she was quite certain ; for she herself had been at the SIR, I wish you joy of Mrs Siddons's safe delivery, sewing-school, when a girl, with two Misses Gusthart, and I hope she continues well. who were the grand-daugbters of the minister, and who I am obliged to Mr Dinwoody for his politeness, and told her the story." Her great-grandfather, moreover, shall return him the money upon the first notice of his who died at a most advanced age while she was very return to town. And now about your coming to lose young," had seen the Plague!”. So, there was no don ;-the sooner I see you here, with convenience to occasion for incredulity.
Mrs Siddons, will be of more consequence to her and to Seriously, it is by no means improbable, that some She may have something to do if I see her soon, persons who died in Edinburgh of the plague were bu. which may not be in my power to give her if she comes ried here; for this spot seems to have been part of the later ;-nay, indeed, if she cannot safely set out before burying-ground anciently attached to the collegiate the time you mentioned in a former letter, it would be church in the immediate neighbourhood__bones having better for her not to appear this season, but put off her been found in making excavations in a wood-yard ad- joining us till the next opening of our theatre ; but this jacent. A vast number of people, who died of the I leave to your own determination. And now let me de. distemper on Burntsfield Links, whither they were re- sire you to give me the earliest notice when you and Mrs moved from the town by order of the magistrates, lie Siddons can be here, and what part or parts she would interred in the precincts of St Roque's chapel, a reli- rather choose for her onset, that I may prepare accord. gious building, the ruins of which remained, till withingly. I should have no objection to Rosalind, as Mr in the last few years, in a field to the south-west of the Bute thought it your favourite part, but that a Mrs Grange. Yet the small secluded area, within the town. King has made her first appearance in that character, If wall at Leith Wynd, may still have been the peculiar you will set down three or four that you and she think
her most capital parts, I will make the choice. In the There really were both a Mr and Misses Gusthart, at dif- meantime, I am, Sir, your most obedient servant, ferent times, in Edinburgh. The minister, who seems to have
D. GARBICK. lived about the end of the seventeenth century, is mentioned in a letter by Thomson the poet; and the Misses Gusthart are in
Mr Siddons, belonging to the serted in Peter Williamson's Directory for 1784.
Theatre at Gloucester.
Mrs Siddons lost no time after the receipt of this let. Your answer will ratify this agreement, and an article ter in proceeding to London, and on Friday the 29th shall be prepared without loss of time. I am, Sir, (with December of the same year, she made her appearance compliments to Mrs Siddons,) your most obedient and on the metropolitan boards, having been announced as humble servant, " a young lady." Her salary was to depend on her
THOMAS LINLEY. success ; and as Garrick does not seem to have estimated Drury-Lane Theatre, 25th June, 1782. her talents very highly, we may suppose it was small enough, particularly as she was discharged at the end of
P.S. It must be understood, that (should we not agree the season, and was not re-engaged for several years. In with Mr Palmer) Mrs Siddons is not to perform in or 1776, Garrick and the other proprietor, Mr Lacy, sold near London, before the commencement of her engage. their interest in Drury-Lane Theatre. The new mana
ment with us. gers were, the celebrated Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The engagement was concluded on the above terms; Linley, an eminent composer, whose daughter Sheridan but as Mr Palmer, the Bath manager, would not release married, and Dr Ford, a physician. By the year 1781, Mrs Siddons from an engagement she had entered into Mrs Siddons' fame had so increased, as once more to at- with him, her appearance in London was delayed till the tract the attention of the London managers; and our se following year. On the 10th of October 1782, she came cond letter is from Mr Linley to Mr Siddons, offering out as Isabella in the “ Fatal Marriage,” and at once Mrs Siddons an engagement for three years, at £10 per established herself as one of the first tragedians of the week for the first year, £ll for the second, and £12 for age. Between the 10th and 30th of October, she repeafthe third. It is couched in the following terms : ed Isabella eight times to crowded houses, and for the Mr LINLEY to MR SIDDONS.
whole season continued to work equally hard,---for ten Drury-Lane Theatre, June 15, 1781.
pounds per week. Though all the best actresses at SIR, -As you desire an immediate answer to your fall far short of Mrs Siddons; yet the stars, both male
present on the stage were made into one, they would letter, I write (with Doctor Ford's concurrence) without and female, now demand from L.20' to L.36 a-night in loss of time-Mr Sheridan not being in London ;-for, London ; and when they "visit the provinces,” accordas the difference of demand in point of salary is the only point (I think) we could disagree in, and as we wish ing to the fashionable phrase of the day, they insist upon to convince you of the sincerity of our inclination to en
L.50 a-night, or half the entire receipts. The bad congage Mrs siddons, we agree to your proposal of an artis sequences which must result from yielding to such exor. cle
for three years, commencing in September 1782, at bitance are too obvious to require to be pointed out. L.10, L.11, and L.12 per week ; and such part of the Managers must not only starve their ordinary company, ensuing season as she may be with us, at Lolo per week, short allowance, thin their orchestra, and even tax their
cut off their supernumeraries, put their scene-painters on &c. &c., as per former letter. Mrs Siddons' benefit, in coarse of salary, must come hard and niggard bargains with authors, and instead of
orange-women-but, what is still worse, they must drive early. It is true that, in some very few instances, we
encouraging, they wil be more inclined to repress and have agreed to pay a certain sum in lieu of a benefit, at blighe dramatic genius. And all this because a few in. the option of the performer ; but we have long since Aated fellows, presuming on the public favour, grossly come to a resolution not to do so in any future engage over-estimate their own value, and do not care a farthing ment. Mrs Siddons benefit, if she succeeds (as I doubt though the British drama go to the deuce, provided they not she will) to answer ours and your expectation, must, themselves are pampered into fatness. Their offence in the general course of things, be worth more than L.100 ought to be made a matter of popular cognizance. They to her. She may rely upon every kind of justice from should be hissed, hooted, and pelted off the stage, until us; and as we have the warmest expectation that her they are brought to a just sense of their own impudence, merit will entitle her to the encouragement of the public, and become worthier followers in the footsteps of the consequently our obligation and interest will impel us illustrious Mrs Siddons, her hardly less illustrious broto give her every assistance in our power. We trust this letter will close the business betwixt us ; and reverenced the stage.” Until a reform takes place
ther, and a host of others, who “knew their own worth, and your answer, as soon as convenient, will much ob- in this particular, a millstone will hang forever round lige us. I am, Sir, (with our best wishes to Mrs Sid- the neck of the drama ; and though we are at some disdons,) your most obedient and humble servant,
tance from the root of the evil, we are determined to THOMAS LINLEY.
return again and again to the charge, until we win over Mr Siddons,
all the most influential part of the press to our sentiments, Theatre Royal, Bath.
and do a great good to the literature of our country. The third letter is from the same to the same, written We have had Madame Caradori here for two evenings, only ten days after the former, and contains some curi. this week. She is a very finished and beautiful singer, ous remarks on the subject of benefits:
and has been very rapturously received in Edinburgh. MR LINLEY to MR SIDDONS.
With the exception of Pasta and Catalani, it is long
since we heard a finer singer than Caradori. Her style SIR; -We have experienced that performers, being is at once soft and brilliant, delicate and expressive. made certain of a stipulated sum at their benefits, it has We regret much that she has not been able to join actmade them neglect their interest among their friends ; | ing with singing, for there is so much passion and energy and, under these circumstances, the profits of their nights in Italian music, that it never can produce its full effect, may fall short of what they ought to be. It is not the unless when connected with some dramatic personation. difference of money, when this happens, that is the ob. We hope Caradori will visit us again with De Begnis, ject to us; but where there is not an acquaintance and or others. interest cultivated by performers of rank, it lessens their The benefits have been going on prosperously. An value to the general welfare of the theatre, in proportion actor should ever be ready to say, with the Roman as they have less personal influence. There is the great patriot est likelihood that Mrs Siddons will make much
“ 'Tis not in mortals to command success; than L.100 by her night ; and in the good faith we have
But we'll do more, sweet public,-we'll deserve it." of her promoting her own and our interest by doing so, we agree to your proposal of making good the deficiency Pritchard takes his benefit on Monday, and certainly on the average of the time of her engagement, should it deserves that patronage which, from the state of the prove otherwise.
box-plan, it is evident he will receive. No one is more