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when driven from the stage by an accident—Harris, in a fencing-scene, wounded him in the eye, and the wound brought on paralysis of the tongue-returned to his original calling.
Cave Underhill was one of the earliest accessions to Davenant's company. Few actors have surpassed him in length of service; he was on the stage from 1661 to 1710; and none, perhaps, in the exquisite art with which, like our own Compton, he represented the dry and stolid wit, the malicious dunderhead, the uxorious old dotard, or the sourly humorous rustic. His “Don Quixote” was good; his “ Sir Sampson Legard” (in Congreve's “ Love for Love”) better; and his “Grave-digger," in Hamlet best. There is a kindly notice of him in Steele's Tatler, 1709, in which he is commended for the naturalness and modesty of his acting, and for the fidelity with which he adhered to the words of his author.
In both these respects Joseph Haines—or Joe Haines, as his friends called him—sinned largely. He“ gagged” as the whim seized him; and played always to the audience instead of to his fellow-players. A man of ready wit and easy address, he is the hero of more than one good story. Arrested on Holborn Hill by a couple of bailiffs for a debt of £20, he turned to them with a bow and a smile. “Here comes the carriage of my cousin, the Bishop of Ely; let me speak to him, and I am sure he will satisfy you in this matter.” Thrusting his head in at the carriage-door, he whispered to good Bishop Patrick that the two men in waiting were Romanists, who inclined to become Protestants, but had still some scruples of conscience.
“My friends," said the Bishop, " if you will presently,
come to my house, I will satisfy you in this matter.” The bailiffs duly waited upon him; an explanation soon ensued; and the Bishop, partly, I think, out of pure benevolence, and partly, perhaps, from a feeling of shame, paid the twenty pounds.
On another occasion, he deluded a simple country clergyman into accepting a situation as “Chaplain to the King's Theatre," and sent him behind the scenes, ringing a bell, and calling the actors and actresses to prayers.
In the course of an excited discussion on Jeremy Collier's “Short View of the Profaneness and Immorality of the English Stage," a critic remarked that the attack was unfair, inasmuch as the stage was a mender of morals. “True," said Haines; “but so is Collier a mender of morals, and two of a trade, you know, never
Haines was once cast by Charles Hart for the part of a Senator in Ben Jonson's “ Cataline,” Hart himself taking the title-role. Disgusted with the character, Haines deliberately marred Hart's best scene by taking a seat behind him, in a grotesque costume ; and, with pot and pipe in hand, grimacing at Cataline until the audience were convulsed with laughter. For this escapade he was rightly punished by dismissal.
Early in James II.'s reign, Haines, to secure the Court favour, announced to Lord Sunderland his conversion to Romanism, and explained that he had been led to it by a vision of the Virgin, who had said to him, “ Joe, arise ! ” For once he met his match. The Earl did not believe in his would be convert, and remarked that the Virgin, if she had appeared, “would have said “ Joseph,' if only out of respect for her husband !” Haines completed the farce by recanting his pretended conversion on the stage ! Holding a taper, and wearing the penitential white sheet, he recited some à propos couplets with an effectiveness of delivery which deceived his hearers into thinking they were witty.
The date and place of Haines's birth are uncertain ; but he was educated at a school in St. Martin's-in-theFields, whence, at the cost of some gentlemen who had admired his precocious talents, he was sent to Queen's College, Oxford. There he became acquainted with Williamson, afterwards famous as Sir Joseph, the veteran diplomatist and Minister of State, who continued his friendship when they had both left college, and appointed him his Latin Secretary on his accession to cabinet office. Haines, however, could not keep a secret, and the revelations he made to his boon companions rendered his dismissal unavoidable. Sir Joseph sent him back to make use of his scholarship at Cambridge; but falling in with a company of strolling players at Stourbridge Fair, he was fascinated by the stir and variety of the theatrical life, and after a brief experience “ in the provinces," flashed forth upon Drury Lane stage to become the delight of the town.
Among his best parts were Sparkish in “The Country Wife,” Roger in “Esop,” Tom Corand in “The Constant Couple,” Lord Plausible in “ The Plain Dealer," and Captain Bluff in “ The Old Bachelor.” But in no part which he played did he ever fall below himself; that is, never was he otherwise than airy, sparkling, self-preserved, and inimitable. He was the Charles Matthews of the stage of the Restoration.
His theatrical career began in 1672 and ended in 1701, in which year (on the 4th of April) he died at his own house in Hart Street, Covent Garden.
Before the French custom of giving female parts to women was adopted on the English stage, one of the most popular representatives of female character was Edward Kynaston, who so excelled in this difficult rôle that Downes thinks it “ disputable” whether any actress that succeeded him produced an equal impression on the audience. Kynaston was a mere lad when, as a member of Sir William Davenant's company, he made his first appearance “ before the footlights” in 1659. His success was immediate ; and he specially earned distinction, as Downes tells us, by his performance in Beaumont and Fletcher's “Loyal Subject.” Pepys saw him in this character on the 18th of August, 1660 :—“ Captain Ferrers," he says, “ took me and Creed to the Cockpit play, the first that I have had time to see since my coming from sea, “The Loyall Subject,' where one Kynaston, a boy, acted the Duke's Sister [Olympia], but made the loveliest lady that ever I saw in my life. After the play done, we went to drink, and by Captain Ferrers' means, Kinaston, and another that acted Archas the General, came and drank with us.” Pepys saw him again on the 7th of January, 1661, in Ben Jonson's “Epicene; or, The Silent Woman.” “ Among other things here,” says Pepys, “ Kynaston, the boy, had the good time to appear in three shapes : first, as a poor woman in ordinary clothes, to please Morose ; then in fine clothes, as a gallant; and in these was clearly the prettiest woman in the whole house; and lastly, as a man; and then likewise did appear the handsomest man in the house."
There can be no doubt of his good looks; and Colley Cibber tells us * that ladies of quality prided themselves on taking him, after the play, dressed as he was, for a drive in Hyde Park; “ which,” he adds, “ in those days, they might have sufficient time to do, because plays then were used to begin at four o'clock, the hour that people of the same rank are now (1740) going to dinner.” On one occasion, the King entering the theatre at an unusually early hour, the curtain did not rise as usual, because the actors were not ready to begin. When Charles sent to demand the cause of the delay, the manager presented himself in the royal box, and humbly pleaded that the Queen was not yet shaved. The oddity of the excuse so tickled the King that he forgot his ill-humour. .
As he grew older, Kynaston renounced his female parts, and took his place as a leading actor. It is said his voice had suffered by his early practice in the characters of women. “ What makes you feel sick ? ” said Kynaston to Powell, one day when the latter was suffering from the effects of an over-night revel. “How can I feel otherwise,” said Powell, “when I hear your voice ?”
In our sketch of Sir Charles Sedley, we have referred to the courtier's cruel treatment of the actor for mimicking him, in dress and action, on the stage. He caused him to be so beaten by his bravos (on the 30th of January, 1669), that he was compelled to keep his bed for a week. He reappeared on the 9th of February, as the King of Tidore, in “ The Island Princess,” which “ he do act very well.” says Pepys, “after his beating by Sir Charles Sedley's appointment." One of his best characters was “Don Sebastian,” in
* “ Apology for His Own Life,” by Colley Cibber.