Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

THE

L 1 F F E

OF

DAVID GARRICK, Esq.

DAVID GARRICK was born at Hereford in the year 1717. His fatber followed the military profession and bad at the time of his death been advanced to a Majority in the Army. Our Author received tbe first Rudiments of bis Education at the Free School at Litchfield, which be afterwards compleated at Rochester, under the celebrated Mr Coison, since Matbematical Professor at Cambridge. On tbe gtb of March 1736, be was entered of the Honourable Society of Lincolns-Inn, being intended for the Bar; but wbetber be found the study of the Law too beavy, saturnine, and barren of amusement for bis more active and lively disposition, or that a genius like his could not continue circumscribed within the limits of any profession, but that to which it was more particularly adapted ; like the Magnetic needle pointed directly to its proper centre, or perhaps botb, it is certain that be did not long pursue the Municipal Law ; for in the year. 1740, be quitted it entirely for the Stage. Having performed a noviciate at Ipswich, be made bis appearance at Goodman's Fields; and October 19th 1741, acted Richard III. for the first time. His acting was attended with tbe loudest acclamations of applause ; and bis fame was so quickly propagated through tbe town, that the more established Tbeatres of Drury Lane, and Covent Garden, were deserted. Tbese Patentees, alarmed at the great deficiency in the receipts of their houses, and at the crouds which constantly filled tbc Tbeatre of Goodman's Fields, united tbeir efforts to destroy the new raised seat of Tbeatrical empire ; in aunsequence of mbich, Garrick entered into an agreement witb Fleetwood, Patentee of Drury Lane for £. 500 a-year. The fame of our English Roscius was now so extended, that an invitation from Ireland, upon very profitable conditions, was sent bim to act in Dublin, during the months of June, July, and August, 1742 ; which invitation be accepted. His success there exceeded all imagination ; be was caressed by all ranks. as a prodigy of Tbeatrical Accomplishment, and the play-bouse was so crowded during this hot season, that a very mortal Fever was produced, which was called Garrick's Fever. He returned to London before the winter, and now attended closely to his Theatrical professions, in which be was irrevocablyfired.-April 1747, be became joint Patentee of Drury Lane Theatre, with Mr Lacy; and in July, 1749, married Mademoiselle Vilette.--In 1763 he undertook a journey into Italy for the benefit of bis bealtb; and during his travels gave frequent proofs of bis Theatrical talents ; for he could, without the least preparation, transform bimself into any cbaracter, tragic or comic, and seize instantaneously upon any passion of the buman mind. After he bad been abroad about a year and an balf, be turned bis thoughts homewards, and arrived in London April 1765.In 1769; be projected and conducted the memorable Jubilee, at Stratford, in bonour of Sbakespeare, so much admired by some, and so much ridiculed by others.-On the death of Mr Lacy in 1773, tbe whole management of the Tbeatre devolved on bim; but being advanced in years, and much afflicted with chronical disorders, be finally left it in June 1776, and disposed of bis moiety of the Patent to Messrs. Sheridan, Linley and Ford, for £ 35,000. He died at bis bouse in the Adelphi, Jan. 15tb 1779. Notwitbstanding bis constant employ as botb actor and manager, be was perpetually producing various little things in the dramatic way; some which are originals; others translations or alterations from other authors, adopted to the state of the present times; besides which, be wrote innumerable prologues, epilogues,

of

songs, &c.

[ocr errors]

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. Esop, Mr Bransby.

Mr Blakes. Mercury, Mr Beard.

Old Man.
Charon, Mr W. Vaughan. Mr Tatoo, Mr Marr.

Po t2 Omited in the reLord Chalkstone, Mr Gar- Taylor, $ presentation.

rick. A Fine Gentleman, Mr Mrs Riot, Mrs Clive. Woodward.

Mrs Tatoo, Miss Minors. Drunken Man, Mr Yates.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

RITHEE, philosopher, what grand affair is transacting

upon earth? There is something of importance going forward, I am sure ; for Mercury flew over the Styx this morning, without paving me the usual compliments.

Esop. I'll tell thee, Charon ; this is the anniversary of the rape of Proserpine: on which day, for the future, luto has permitted her to demand from him something for the benefit of mankind.

Cbar. I understand you ;- His Maj_sty's passion, by a long possession of the lady, is abated; and so, like a mere mortal, he must now flatter her vanity, and sacrifice his power, to atone for deficiences--But what has our royal mistress proposed in behalf of her favourite mortals?

Esop. As mankind, von know, are ever complaining of their cares, and dissatisfied with their conditions, the generous Proses pine has begg'd of Pluto, that they may Hare free access to the waters of Lethe, as a sovereign VOL. I.

A

remedy

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

remedy for their complaints-Notice has been already given above, and proclamation made; Mercury is to conduct them to the Styx; you are to ferry 'em over to Elysium, and I am placed here to distribute the waters.

Cbar. A very pretty employment I shall have of it, truly! If her majesty has often these whims, I must petition the court either to build a bridge over the river, or let me resign my employment. Do their majesties know the difference of weight between souls and bodies ? However, I'll obey their commands to the best of my power; I'll row my crazy boat over, and meet 'em; but many of them will be relieved from their cares before they reach Lethe.

Esop. How so Charon?

Cbar. Why, I shall leave half of 'em in the Styx; and any water is a specific against care, provided it be taken in quantity

Enter MERCURY. Mer. Away to your boat Charon; there are some mortals arriv’d; and the females among 'em will be very clamorous, if you make 'em wait.

Char. I'll make what haste I can, rather than give those fair creatures a topic for conversation. [Noise witbin, boat, boat, boat!] Coming-coming zounds, you are in a plaguy hurry, sure! no wonder these mortal folks have so many complaints, when there's no patience among 'em; if they were dead now, and to be settled here for ever; they'd be damn'd before they'd make such a rout to come over,- -but Care, I suppose, is thirsty, and till they have drench'd themselves with Lethe, there will be no quiet among 'em; therefore I'll e’en to work; and so, friend Esop, and brother Mercury, good bye to 'ye.

[Exit Charon. Esop, Now to my office of judge and examiner, in which to the best of my knowledge I will act with impartiality ; for I will immediately relieve real objects, and only divert myself with pretenders.

Mer. Act as your wisdom directs, and conformable to your earthly character, and we shall have few murmur

ers.

Esop. I still etain my former sentiments, never to refuse advise or charity to thuse that want either; flatery

and

« PreviousContinue »