Abbildungen der Seite

He took them both up, and thro' thick and thro'


Drove away to St. James's, and brought them.

safe in ;

Learn hence, honest Britons, in spite of your


That Orford's old coachman still governs the


Derry down, &c.


Occasioned by a quarrel between MR. FIELDING and MRS. CLIVE, on his intending for her the part of the Bawd in his own Play called the "Wedding Day."

"A BAWD! a bawd!—where is the scoundrel


[know it." "Fine work, indeed, by G-d the town shall Fielding, who heard and saw her passion rise, Thus answer'd calmly, "Prithee Clive be wise, "The part will fit your humour, taste, and size.""Ye lie, ye lie! ungrateful as thou art,

[ocr errors]

My matchless talent claims the lady's part; "And all who judge, by Jesus G-d agree, "None ever played the gay coquet like me." Thus said, and swore, this celebrated Nell,* Now judge her genius-is she Bawd or Belle?

She acted the character of Nell in the "Wives Meta


morphosed" most inimitably well.. The Wedding Day was the last dramatic piece Fielding wrote. At the

rehearsal of it, an actor, who was principally concerned in the piece, and though young, was then in the advantage of happy requisites, told Mr. Fielding "he was apprehensive the audience would make free with him in a particular passage; and, therefore, begged it might be omitted.”. '—"No," replied the bard, "d-n them, let them find it out." The play was brought on unaltered, and just as had been foreseen the audience was provoked. It was only acted six nights.Murphy,

Churchill observes of Mrs. Clive

First giggling, prattling, chambermaids arrive,
Hoydens and romps, led on by General Clive;
In spite of outward blemishes, she shone,
For humour famed, and humour all her own.
Easy, as if at home, the Stage she trod,

Nor sought the critic's praise, nor fear'd his rod;
Original in spirit, and in ease,

She pleased by hiding all attempts to please,

No comic actress ever yet could raise

On humour's base, more merit, or more praise.

No two women of high rank hated one another more unreservedly than these two mighty Dames, Mrs. Clive and Mrs. Woffington: the passions of each were as high and lofty as those of a first Duchess; but they wanted the courtly art of concealing them. Mrs. Clive acted so naturally the woman of quality in Garrick's Lethe, that she entered into all the reigning irregularities and fopperies of the times, and gave great vivacity, humour, whim, and variety, to the inimitable action in Lady Riot. She was frank, open, and impetuous: what came uppermost in her mind she spoke without reserve. Mrs. Woffington was well bred, and mistress of herself: she often blunted the sharp speeches of Clive, by apparently civil, but deep sar

castic replies, and arch severity. In the Widow Blackacre she found a proper subject to display a rich vein of humour; her comic abilities have not been excelled: she was so formed by nature to represent a variety of lively, laughing, droll, humourous, affected, and absurd characters, that it may be observed, that she had such a stock of comic force about her, as soon as she had perfected herself in the words, nature performed the rest: many dramatic pieces are now lost to the Stage from want of her animating spirit. To a strong and melodious voice, with an ear to music, she added the sprightly action requisite to parts in ballad Farces. Mr. Horace Walpole wrote her farewell Epilogue.





To the Tune of "A Begging we will go."

ATTEND, my honest brethren,

Who late came into place;

I'll tell you a new project,

To win our master's grace.

As a drinking we do go, &c..

An army from Hanover

We'll take into our pay;
And Britons, to support them,

Shall drink their lives away.


As a drinking they do go, &c.


« ZurückWeiter »