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privy to it, and the means of bringing them together : which is a very odd thing, and by this means she is even with the King's love to Mrs. Davis.”
The salary of this famous actor was only £3 a week; but after he became a shareholder in the theatre, his share of the profits brought his annual income up to £1,000. He quitted the stage in 1682, and retired to his country house at Great Stanmore, where he died in the following year, and was buried in the old churchyard.
To Hart's Cataline, in Ben Jonson's tragedy, Burt played Cicero. He was a good actor of .solid parts, but did not succeed in characters of much force and passion.
James Nokes, the son of a vendor of toys, played women's parts at the opening of his brilliant career, and even in his later life was famous as “the Nurse” in Otway's perversion of “Romeo and Juliet,” and Payne's “ Fatal Jealousy.” As a comedian few of his contemporaries equalled, none surpassed him: in the unctuousness of his subtle humour he seems to have resembled Munden. He studied character with a keenly observant eye, and reproduced every detail with wonderful truth to nature. Both Court and city delighted in him. Charles II., it is said, first recognized his ability when he was playing Norfolk in “Henry VIII.,” and distinguished him to the last with his royal favour. In May, 1670, when the King and his Court went to Dover to meet the Queen-mother, Henrietta Maria, he was accompanied by the Duke of York's comedians, who performed before the brilliant audience the play of “ Sir Solomon,” founded on Molière's “ L'Ecole des Femmes.” Nokes played Sir Arthur Addel, which he dressed in close imitation of the
costume of the French gentlemen in the Queen-mother's train. To render his equipment the more exact the Duke of Monmouth took off his own sword and belt, and buckled them to the actor's side. His caricature of the airs and graces of the Frenchmen was as perfect as his imitation of their dress, and convulsed the King and his courtiers with laughter-a curious compliment for a host to pay his guests. The Duke's sword and belt Nokes treasured as souvenirs until his death in 1692.*
Colley Cibber says of him :
“ He scarce ever made his first entrance in a play but he was received with an involuntary applause; not of hands only, for these may be, and have often been, par. tially prostituted and bespoken, but by a general laughter, which the very sight of him provoked, and nature could not resist; yet the londer the laugh the graver was his look upon it; and sure the ridiculous solemnity of his features were enough to have set a whole bench of bishops into a titter, could he have been honoured (may it be no offence to suppose it) with such grave and right reverend auditors. In the ludicrous distresses which, by the laws of comedy, folly is often involved in, he sunk into such a mixture of piteous pusillanimity, and a consternation so ruefully ridiculous and inconsolable, that when he had shook you to a fatigue of laughter, it became a moot point whether you ought not to have pitied him. When he debated any matter by himself, he would shut up his mouth with a dumb, studious front, and roll his full eye into such a vacant amazement, such a palpable ignorance of what to think of it, that this silent perplexity (which would sometimes hold him several minutes) gave your
* This story is told by Downes, in his “Roscius Anglicanus,"
imagination as full content as the most absurd thing he could say upon it.”
Another of the popular actors of the Restoration was the comedian, John Lacy. He was held in such esteem by Charles II. that he took from the best players the parts to which they had a prescriptive right by the laws of the stage and gave them to his favourite. A first-rate “all round” actor, Lacy was not less admirable as Shakespeare's Falstaff than as the Irishman Teague in Howard's farcical comedy of “The Committee." * All parts came alike to him, but for the beaux and lovers of comedy he was specially fitted by his handsome person and graceful address. He had been, in early life, a dancing-master and a soldier; and his experience in these capacities proved very useful to him on the boards. His position with the public and the King gave him so much confidence that he gave peculiar point in the dialogue he delivered to any satire which hit the vices and follies of the Court, and he seems to have interpolated sarcasms of his own. In Howard's “Silent Woman” he indulged his wit to such an extent that even the King was offended, and ordered the daring actor to be confined in the porter's lodge. On his release, a few days afterwards, Howard offered him his congratulations, which Lacy took very ill, declaring that the speeches put by the dramatist into the mouth of “ Captain Otter” had wrought all the trouble, and pronouncing him more a fool than a poet; an epigrammatic way of telling the truth which goaded Howard into striking the truth-teller with his glove in
* Langbaine speaks of him as “ a Comedian whose abilities in action were sufficiently known to all that frequented the King's Theatre, where he was for many years an Actor, and performed all parts that he undertook to a miracle ; insomuch that I am apt to believe, that as this age never had, so the next will never have his Equal, at least not his Superior.”
the face. Lacy, in return, gave the aristocratic dramatist a blow with his cane. Howard immediately carried his complaint to the King, who ordered the theatre to be closed, and thus made all the company suffer for the rashness of one of their number.
In 1671 Lacy played “Bayes” in the Duke of Buckingham's “Rehearsal,” and introduced a startling and not altogether happy innovation by mimicking to the life the poet Dryden. The portrait was exact in every detail, but its cruelty was proportionate to its cleverness. Buckingham, it is said, took considerable pains in teaching Lacy.
Lacy died in 1681. Three years later his posthumous comedy, “ Sir Hercules Buffoon; or, The Poetical Squire,” was brought out at Drury Lane, with a prologue by Tom D'Urfey: * It did not hold the stage, and has long been forgotten. There is a triple portrait of Lacy (executed by Wright, by command of Charles II.) at Hampton Court, representing him as Teague in “The Committee,” Mr. Semple in “The Cheats,” and M. Galliard in “ The Variety."
The visitor to Dulwich College will remember the portrait of William Cartwright, the second of the great benefactors of that noble institution. At his death he bequeathed to it his collection of pictures and his library. Before he entered the dramatic profession he had been a bookseller in Holborn, and in that capacity had acquired a knowledge of books, which explains the valuable character of his library. As an actor, he gained no small reputation, and was particularly esteemed for his Falstaff.
* Lacy also wrote “ The Dumb Lady; or, The Farrier made Physician," 1672 ; “Old Troop; or, Monsieur Ragon," 1672 ; and “Sawny the Scot; or, The Taming of a Shrew," 1677.
Of another of the Restoration actors the portrait will be found at that famous seat of the Sackvilles, Knowle. Major Mohun, who in his time played many parts—an. actor in the peaceful days of Charles I., then, during the Civil War, a gallant soldier on the King's side, and after the Restoration an actor again, and a very good one-was always a welcome guest at the table of the lord of Knowle, the genial Buckhurst. He excelled in such parts as Clitusand Cassius, but played the modern rakes, the Dapperwits and Pinchwifes of the new comedy, with an airy grace and vivacity which none of his imitators could approach. Off the stage he was as lovable as on it he was inimitable. When Nathaniel Lee read to him the part he was to create in one of his swelling dramas, Mohun said, with charming address, “Unless I could play the character as beautifully as you read it, 'twere vain to try it at all."
As a striking contrast to this gracious and gallant soldier-player, we put forward Cardell Goodman, whose unwholesome reputation is summed up in the expressive epithet generally attached to his name, “Scum " Goodman. His theatrical career extended over only twelve years, from 1677 to 1690. Having been expelled from Cambridge University for defacing the portrait of its Chancellor, the Duke of Monmouth, he took to the stage as a means of livelihood, and made his first appearance as Polyperchon in Nat Lee's “Rival Queens." He found a friend and associate in the actor Griffin, and the two poor players shared together their garret, their bed, and their shirt. It is related of Goodman that, forgetful (as he always was) of every rule of honesty and fairness, he wore the shirt one day when it was Griffin's turn to wear it, because he was fain to visit some frail nymph of his ac