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application was made to Mr. Quin to read the part; a task which he executed so much to the satisfaction of the audience, that he received a considerable share of applause. The next night he made himself perfect, and performed it with redoubled proofs of approbation. On this occasion he was complimented by several persons of distinction and dramatic taste, upon his early rising genius. It does not appear that he derived any other advantage at that time from his success.
Impatient therefore of his situation, and dissatisfied with his employers, he determined upon trying his fortune at Mr. Rich's theatre, at Lincoln's-inn Fields, then under the management of Messrs. Keene and Christopher Bullock, and accordingly in 1717, quitted Drury-lane, after remaining there two seasons. He continued at this theatre seventeen years, and during that period, supported with credit, the same characters which were then admirably performed at the rival theatre. Soon after he quitted Drurylane, an unfortunate transaction took place, which threatened to interrupt, if not entirely to stop his theatrical pursuits; and which evinces that jealousy and rancour which are too prevalent in the theatrical world. This was an unlucky encounter between him and Mr. Bowen, which ended fatally for the latter. From the evidence given at the trial, it appeared that on the 17th of April, 1718, about four or five o'clock in the afternoon, Mr. Bowen and Mr. Quin met accidentally at the Fleece tavern, in Cornhill. They drank together in a friendly manner, and jested with each other for some time, until their conversation turned on their performance on the stage. Bowen said, that Quin had acted Tamerlane in a loose sort of manner; and Quin in reply observed, that his opponent had no occasion to value himself on his performance, since Mr. Johnson, who had but seldom acted it, represented Jacomo, in the Libertine, as well as he who had acted it often. These observations, probably, irritated them both, and the conversation changed to another subject, not better calculated to produce good humour—the honesty of each party. In the course of the altercation, Bowen asserted that he was as honest a man as any in the world, which occasioned a story about his political tenets to be introduced by Quin; and both parties being warm, a wager was laid on the subject, which was determined in favour of Quin, on his relating that Bowen sometimes drank to the health of the Duke of Ormond, and sometimes refused it; at the same time asking the referee, how he could be
as honest a man as any in the world, who acted upon two different principles? The gentleman who acted as umpire, then told Mr. Bowen, that if he insisted upon his claim to be as honest a man as any in the world, he must give it against him.
Here the dispute seemed to have ended, nothing in the rest of the conversation indicating any remains of resentment in either party. Soon afterwards, however, Mr. Bowen arose, threw down some money for his reckoning, and left the company. In about à quarter of an hour Mr. Quin was called out by a porter sent by Bowen; and both Quin and Bowen went together, first to the Swan tavern, and then to the Popes-Head tavern, where a rencounter took place; in which Bowen received a wound, of which he died on the 20th of April following. In the course of the evidence it was sworn, that Bowen, after he had received the wound, declared that justice had been done to him; that there had been nothing but fair play, and, if he died, he freely forgave his antagonist. On this evidence Mr. Quin was, on the 10th of July, found guilty of manslaughter only, and soon after returned to his employment on the stage.
Another accident of a similar nature happened to him, and likewise his friend, Ryan. The theatre, in which Mr. Quin was at this time established, had not the patronage of the public in any degree equal to its rival at Drury-lane; nor had it the good fortune to acquire those advantages which fashion liberally confers on its favourites, until several years after. The performances, however, though not equal to those of Drury-lane, were far from deserving censure. In the season of 1718-19, Mr. Quin performed in Buckingham's Scipio Africanus; and in 1719-20 Sir Walter Raleigh; and in the same year had two benefits: The Provoked Wife, on January 31st, before any other performer; and The Squire of Alsatia, on April 17th. The succeeding season he performed in Buckingham's Henry IV. of France; in Richard II. and The Imperial Captives. The season of 1720-21 was very favourable to his reputation as an actor. October 29th The Merry Wives of Windsor was revived, in which he first played Falstaff, with great increase of fame. This play, which was well supported by Ryan, in Ford; Spiller, in Doctor Caius; Boheme, in Justice Shallow; and Griffin, in Sir Hugh Evans, was acted nineteen times during the season; a proof that it made a very favourable impression on the public.
On the revival of Every Man in his Humour, in 1734-5, he re
presented old Knowell; and it is not unworthy of observation, that Kitely, afterwards so admirably performed by Mr. Garrick, was assigned to Mr. Hippisley, the Shuter or Edwin of his day.
At this time Lincoln's-inn Fields theatre had, by the assistance of some pantomimes, been more frequented than at any time since it was opened. January 29, 1728, The Beggar's Opera was acted for the first time. It is said that when Gay showed this performance to his patron, the Duke of Queensberry, his Grace's observation was, “ This is a very odd thing, Gay;—it is either a very good thing, or a bad thing.” It proved the former beyond the warmest expectation of the author or his friends; though Quin, whose knowledge of the public taste cannot be questioned, was so doubtful of its success, that he cheerfully resigned the part of Macheath. It was performed with the most astonishing success. Two years afterwards, March 19th, 1729-30, Quin had the Beggar's Opera for his benefit, and performed the part of Macheath himself, when he received the sum of 2061. 98. 6d. which were several pounds more than the common prices had produced any one night at that theatre; for the highest receipt during the run of the Beggar's Opera was 1981. 178. 6d. His benefit the preceding year brought him only 1021. 188.; and the succeeding only 1291. 38.
December 7th, 1732, Covent-garden theatre was opened, and the company belonging to Lincoln's-inn Fields removed thither. The play was The Way of the World: pit and boxes 58. each. So little attraction, however, had the new theatre, that the receipt of the house amounted but to 115l. In the course of this season Mr. Quin was called upon to exercise his talents in singing, and accordingly performed Lycomedes, in Gay's posthumous opera of Achilles, eighteen nights.
The next season concluded his service at Covent-garden; and in the beginning of the season 1734-5, he removed to the rival theatre, Drury-lane, on such terms as no hired actor had before received. During Mr. Quin's connexion with Mr. Rich, he was employed, or at least consulted, in the conduct of the theatre by his principal, as a kind of deputy-manager. While in this situation he had a whole heap of plays brought him, which he put in a drawer in his bureau. An author had given him a play behind the scenes, which probably he lost or mislaid, not troubling his head about it. Two or three days after, Mr. Bayes waited on him to know how he liked his play: Quin made some excuse for its not being received,
and the author desired to have it returned. « There,” says Quin, " there it lies, on that table.” The author took up a play that was lying on the table, but on opening, found it was a tragedy, and told Quin of his mistake. “ Faith, then, Sir,” said he, “ I have lost your play.” “ Lost my play!” cries the bard. “ Yes, by GM, I have," answered the tragedian; “but there is a drawer full of comedies and tragedies, take any two you will in the room of it.” The poet. left him in high dudgeon, and the hero stalked across the room to his Spa-water and Rhenish, with a negligent felicity.
From the time of Mr. Quin's establishment at Drury lane until the appearance of Mr. Garrick, in 1741, he was generally allowed the foremost rank in his profession. The elder Mills, who succeeded Booth, was declining; and Milward, an actor of some merit, had not risen to the height of his excellence, which however, was not, at best very great; and Boheme was dead. His only competitor seems to have been Delane, whose merits were lost in indolent indulgence. He was a young tragedian from Dublin, who made his first appearance in London, at Goodman's-fields. Novelty, youth, and a handsome figure, took off from any severe criticism on his elocution and action. In short, though so far from the fashionable end of the town, he drew to him several polite audiences, and became in such a degree of repute, that comparisons were made between him and Quin; nor was he without his admirers of both sexes, who gave him the preference. He was not insensible of this, and determined to leave Goodman's-fields, and indulge his ambition at one of the theatres royal. He engaged with Mr. Rich at Covent-garden, about the time that Quin left it; and in two or three years gained that station which most of the other actors could not attain in many years. He was esteemed a just player, yet was remarkable for his violence of voice, which especially in Alexander, pleased many; for the million, as Colley Cibber says, are apt to be transported when the drum of the ear is soundly rattled. But, on the contrary, Quin's solemn sameness of pronunciation, which conveyed an awful dignity, was charmingly affecting in Cato.
Delane was young enough to rise to great perfection; Quin was then at the height of his: if Delane had the more pleasing person Quin had the more affecting action; both might have appeared with greater advantage, if they had been on the same stage. They were the Cæsar and Pompey of the theatres; and one stage would have VOL. III.
been incompatible with their ambition: Quin could bear no one on the footing of an equal –Delane no one as a superior. In the year 1745, Aaron Hill, in a periodical paper, called The Prompter, attacked some of the principal actors of the stage, and particularly Colley Cibber and Mr. Quin. Cibber, according to custom, laughed, but Quin was angry; and waited on Mr. Hill; a quarrel ensued between them, which ended in the exchange of a few blows: Mr. Quin was scarcely settled at Drury-lane before he became embroiled in a dispute relative to Monsieur Poitier and Madame Roland, then two celebrated dancers, for whose neglect of duty it had fallen to his lot to apologize. It was intimated in the papers, that Quin had with malice accused these dancers; but the manager, Fleetwood, by an advertisement, declared that Quin had acted in this affair in his behalf, and with the strictest regard to truth and justice. No further notice was taken of the business, and soon afterwards the delinquent dancers made their apology to the public, and were received into favour.
(To be continued.)
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE WILLIAM WINDHAM. We think there are few of our readers who will not forgive we are sure that the far greater number of them will thank us, for the following short observations on a person who, when living, was the glory of his country and an honour to the whole human race; and whose character, now that he is dead, may be held up as one of the most admirable models which any age or country has pro.. duced, for the imitation of those who wish to be truly illustrious. As a piece of eloquence, animated yet unaffected
vigorous and affluent, yet concise and perspicuous, this sketch of the great statesman it alludes to, may be put in successful competition with the very best specimens furnished by “ The Edinburgh Review," from which it is extracted. The writer, indeed, seems to have been raised above his ordinary standard by the elevated nature of his subject, and his eloquence to have derived additional grandeur and truth from its contact with the very name of WINDHAM.