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Hambden drew a burlesque picture of Pitt and Lyttleton, under the titles of Oratory and Solemnity; and painted in the most comic colours what mischiefs Rhetoric had brought upon the nation, and what emoluments to Pitt. Pitt flamed into a rage, and nodded menaces of the highest import to Hambden, who retorted them undaunted with a droll voice that was naturally hoarse and inarticulate.-W.
HISTORY OF THE NEW MINISTRY,
PROPOSED BY THE
EARL OF BATH.
WHILE the Politicians are thinking of Prince Charles passing the Rhine, and of our armies passing nothing but its time; the Critics, a no less profound race of men, are busied on the Heroic opposition, as it is called, of Garrick; and for the brave stand supposed to be made for Theatric liberty by that second Queen of Hungary, Mrs. Clive, against the claims and pretensions of the patentee.
As, therefore, I think the English Constitution, at least, as much concerned about DruryLane wars, as about any in Germany, I shall confine the speculations of to-day to affairs at home, persuaded that no precipitation on the banks of the Rhine will make any considerations
of that scene come too late, though I should defer them even till another Saturday.
Blest be the heroes who give politicians time to stir their coffee, and weigh their exploits at leisure, without heaping battle on battle and siege on siege; they are forced to fight and make a shift to escape-a comfortable subsistance for a politician's whole summer. They do not lump half-a-dozen victories, as that hasty fellow the Duke of Marlborough did; before a grave citizen had traced out Schellenberg in the map, he was confounded with the victory of Blenheim.
I shall not enter into the present dispute between the managers of the play-houses, and their actors; but shall oblige my readers, who may have been searching the records of the theatres, with some anecdotes of a famous Schism which I have never read in any history of the Stage; but which are not at all the less true, for not being till now to be found in print.
When Sir Richard Steele was master of the
playhouse here, I have been told, there happened a division among the actors of the Theatre at Dublin, which occasioned a separation of that company. One of the principal performers with a few under-strappers, as guards, messengers, attendants, and candle-snuffers, came over to list under Sir Richard, but as their demands were so high, and their qualifications so low, it is worth while to give an account of both. Their demands were comprehended in a few terms; namely, a dismission of the then principal actors of Sir Richard's troop, and an admission of these gentry into their parts. This demand was made in form to Sir Richard, by Mr. W. Poney, the captain of their band. Sir Richard was a man of infinite humour, but little temper; and when Will Poney* proposed his turning off his old Comedians, he fell into a violent rage, and kick'd his hat about with all
* Wm. Pultney.
the huffing Majesty of a theatrical Monarch: when he grew a little calmer, he desired a review of those notable gentlemen who were to be employed in his service. Mr. Poney immediately produced them, in order to shew their qualifications; the first he called was one John Limekiln,* who, having no very promising aspect, "Pray Mr. Poney," said Sir Richard, "what parts may this gentleman have been used to act. I cannot say that he is what you call a good figure for the stage-I dare swear you never let him appear in Comedy." No, Sir; no," "said Mr. Poney, "we always used him for the murderer, he shone particularly in the whisper, where the fellow tells Macbeth he hath dispatched Banquo. We once tried him for a Chairman in the Committee, or the Faithful Irishman, but I must own he made a sorry figure there, and could not go through with the part; but what I would recommend him to
* James Hamilton, Lord Limerick, was created Earl of Clanbrasil.