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cold atmosphere, he complained of a ed by a tipsy sailor. The audience - chill all over him," and an affection were fretted, and the performance was of the chest. From this attack he disturbed. Mathews was representnever completely recovered. In a sub: ing an astronomer, pointing with his sequent letter to a friend, he calls it telescope to the stars. “ There's Ju. “his first illness."
piter - there's Venus" — the sailor Like all humorists he was fond of gave another growl from the gallery having characters round him. One " and there," said the astronomer, of those was the man who attended him turning his glass to the spot where the as his dresser at the theatre ; an odd delinquent sat, “ there is the Great creature, who loved a misery, and was Bear." never so important, or perhaps so Mathews seems to have been perpetue happy, as when he had some petty dis. ally the victim of accidents, and to have aster to relate, which he regularly been “killed” as often as any ex-chan. magnified into a great one. His mas. cellor living. At Plymouth, performing
. terchristened him Bat-Owlet, a double in his “At Home," the curtain, which name of disaster. One night, when was as usual rolled up on a large pole, Mathews went to perform at the gave way through some awkwardness Adelphi, with spirits unusually de- of the carpenters, and dropped on his pressed, from anxiety for his son, who head, striking him to the ground with was then extremely ill in Italy, Bat met such force that he lay insensible—the him at the door of his dressing-room, papers said for “ an hour," but his let. with a lengthened face, and the omi- ter to his wife " ten minutes." He nous words—“I am sorry to say, sir, was bled on the spot, and by due care that I have some very unpleasing news set on his feet again. to communicate to you.'
A new project now entered the brain “ Heavens!” said Mathews, sinking of this man of many projects. It was into a chair, “ tell me at once, and to play English humour to a French
a don't keep me in suspense."
audience ; and, in this idea, he and “ Well then, sir," said Bat, “ I am Yates went to Boulogne, and from sorry to say I can't find your tinker's Boulogne to Paris. At Boulogne, hat any where."
which was crowded with English, the Next night he met his master with exhibition was received with boundless less formality. “Sir, I have something applause. The enterprise was more very extraordinary to tell you." delicate at Paris, where the notion that * Well?"
any one but a Frenchman understood “ Sir, you will be surprised to hear, nature, or that any language but that, by a very strange coincidence, I French could express wit, had never have found your tinker's hat,” (the hat occurred to ninety-nine out of every belonging to his character in the play.) hundred of that brilliant community.
Many of the happiest hits of Ma. However, they were well received; the thews's recitations were the result of Parisians satisfied themselves that they chance. He was once teased by the perfectly understood allusions which reiterated invitations of a schoolmaster had often tasked the brains of his counto attend his boys' speech-day. Al. trymen—that they felt all the force of ways exceedingly vexed by this species Cockneyisms which, among us, are of performance, on this occasion he never known to the west of Temple started from his chair, and gave his Bar, and that they were masters of all wife a specimen, in the style of the the oddities of a national language, presumed speakers, of the nonsense which no Frenchman has ever underwhich he must be condemned to hear. stood, or can understand_and of naHis solitary auditor found the scene tional character, which is as unknown so amusing, that she insisted on his to them as that of the inhabitants of giving it to the public. His son wrote the north star. But they were very à song on it, and Mathews fabricated civil, and they wrote criticisms in the a dialogue; his mimicry of big boys spirit of civility ; and so far they did all and little boys did the rest, and the that could be expected of them. To “School Orator" became a remarkably suppose that they could enjoy the favourite scene with the public. performance, was to suppose the most
Some of his impromptus, too, were impossible of impossibilities. dexterous enough. One night his per- But Mathews was still destined to formance at Liverpool was interrupt- be the real or reputed victim of cả
sualty. A report reached England, they can discover nothing else to that he had been killed by a theatrical praise, “those bearers of the pall" rival, in the shape of a she-elephant, will praise his indefatigable appetite, which also had gone to try her talents his inexhaustible indolence, and his among the Parisians. He had thus unrivalled skill in doing the public the opportunity which the ex-chancel- business without giving himself more lor is said to have since innocently en- trouble on the point than her Majesty's joyed, of hearing a little of what the monkey. world thinks of him, before he shall Mathews's sudden conception of chabe where newspapers come not. From racter was certainly most extraordithe actor's instance, it is evident that nary. The little incident which we to be talked of does not require to have are about to mention will at once show had a travelling biographer. The tale our meaning, and his powers. Old produced its echo far and wide in the Godwin, the once celebrated author newspapers, and Falstaff himself was of Caleb Williams, wrote him the folmore lamented.
“ Indeed," lowing note:says bis biographer, “this unaccount
“My dear Sir,,I am at this moment able report produced so much interest, engaged in writing a work of fiction, a such gratifying testimonies of regard part of the incidents of which will consist from every quarter, that my dear hus- of escapes in disguises. It has forcibly band knew, by anticipation, all that struck me that, if I could be indulged in attended his actual demise,"
the pleasure of half an hour's conversation ledge which, we will presume, must with you on the subject, it would furnish have much reconciled him to the latter me with some bints which, beaten on the contingency. The story of the ele- anvil of my brain, would be of eminent phant was founded on some circum- service to me on the occasion. Would stance of its having kicked some one you condescend to favour me by making related to Yates, who being Mathews's the experiment ?—the thing will not admit partner in the Adelphi, was evidently of delay.-— W. G.” regarded as bound to share his for- Mathews appointed an early day, and tunes in all shapes and all direc- Godwin dined with him at his cottage. tions.
Mathews, after dinner, entered into As to the matter of newspaper opin- conversation on the subject, and, showions on any public mal's decease, ing him a numbe of disguises, satiswith all our respect for those “thun, fied the author's conscience on the derers," we hold it cheap. We never point of escapes.
While they were knew an instance where there was engaged in this conversation, a knock
some panegyrist to be found ing was heard at the door of the cota for the departed exhibitor, whether tage, and the servant announced “ Mr saint or sinner, whether on the stage Jenkins.
." " A neighbour of ours," said of Drury Lane or of St Stephen's. Mathews, " and a very talking one, Some of those writers think it not who sometimes makes his way in worth their while to waste their pens in among us." He then went out to send cutting up the dead subject, and dismiss the talker away, if possible, by menhim with a civil paragraph; others tioning that Mr Godwin was there, “snatch a grace" by exhibiting their and on business. But this turned out forgiveness of the culprit when he can the most unlucky of all intimations, sin no more ; others think it fashion. for this eccentric gentleman instantly able to make his elegy with “poor expressed the strongest desire to see fellow-we could have better spared a man « of whom he had heard so a better man :" "he was not so black, much," and forced his way, rather after all.” In our experience we hurriedly, into the room. never remember any individual, how- Godwin was chagrined; but Mr ever deserving of being scorned, who Jenkins made his bow, introduced him. had not his modicum of this cheap self without any kind of embarrasspraise. We have seen newspapers ment, and immediately began to overpolished in praise of Waithman, pa- whelm the author with recollections triotie on Cobbett, and magnanimous of his works, with panegyrics, and a on Thurtell. We have no doubt, that thousand enquiries of what he had when Lord Melbourne shall have met written, what he was about to write, his fate, he, too, will have some equally what his ideas were upon all possible glowing tribute to his virtues; and, if topics ; until Godwin, exhausted by
this indefatigable talker, and hopeless bless him. I am sure you will have felt of renewing the subject which had the same glow of delight, at the elevabrought him there, turned round to tion of our art by the publication of such bid Mr and Mrs Mathews good-night. a work.” The lady was there, but her husband All this is well said, and justly said. had left the room. This, however, It is true that Garrick's fame is now made no difference with the eloquent not much to any one. A man who and enraptured MrJenkins; who, when has “ slept well” for three-fourths of he found that the fretted author could
a century, may fairly henceforth sleep be detained no longer, politely did the in peace. Yet there is some satisfachonours, and attended him to the tion in believing, that soon or late door. In the act of opening it, Mr justice will be done to every one. A Jenkins was suddenly metamorphosed race of feeble authors and needy acinto Mr Mathews! and Godwin thus tors, who continually begged from returned home, furnished with an un- Roscius during his life, attempted to answerable proof of the power of dis- make money of their own bitterness guise.
by scribbling memoirs of him when he This was highly ingenious ; but was in his grave. His reluctance to Mathews was more than a jester, pamper these paltry people with moand a letter of his, in which the char. ney was his crime ; and Foote, and acter of Garrick is discussed, shows other profligates of the same school, how rationally he could form his esti- who never kept a shilling nor demate of a character whom many con- served to have had one, employed tributed to malign, and how spiritedly themselves in railing at the parsimony he could express his judgment. He of a man, who, by his mere talents, had been reading the Correspond- had made a handsome fortune-lived ence of Garrick then just published. like a gentleman, while they were His letter is to Fawcett the actor. swindling every body-kept up a rank
for his profession which it had never “ I forward to you the second volume
known before-associated with the of the Correspondence. Did I say too much ?- was it not a treat ?
first men of the land for ability, learn.
Glorious Garrick! Putting an
ing, and station was the friend of that a large property, which had been
Burke, Johnson, the great Chatham, fifty years in Chancery, could be award
Earl Camden, Reynolds, and a crowd ed to the claimants only by the decision of others, forming the best society of from evidence, whether Garrick was a Europe-and after all this, at his death, generous or a parsimonious man? would left an opulent establishment to his not this correspondence completely set- widow. The man who did these tle the question in favour of the former things might be prudent, but he was quality ?
the reverse of mean or parsimonious; “ So much for contemporary. biogra. in fact, he was evidently liberal where phy. Davies, Murphy, and others, have liberality could be well placed. Johnall endeavoured, but, with affected can- son and Goldsmith knew this by long dour in their statements, to leave an experience, though coxcombs and impression of his meanness, vanity, and swindlers, drudges and drones, might various other despicable qualities. Here have felt that his purse-strings were we have evidence clear as the noonday
too tight for them to dip their hands sun to the contrary. And observe the
in. comments on the character of his future
Mathews was still to be the subject biographers (or libellers) from the great of adventure. The Speaker, Manners and good. I allude to the various obser
Sutton, (since Lord Canterbury,) bad, vations on Murphy and Davies, two
with the courtesy habitual to that very wretched actors, whose vanity induced them to believe that Garrick alone prea privilege of a seat under the gallery of
accomplished person, given him the vented their success.
those men, while he was alive, repeatedly add the House of Commons; he passing their testimony to the universal admira
to it .privately through the Speaker's tion which he excited. Look at the
house. There he frequently remainrepentance of those who quarrelled with
ed till a late hour, returning, not to him ; observe the deathbed recantation of Kentish Town, but to the house of a proud Messop, an open foe to David, friend at Milbank to sleep. One night, whose enmity he repaid by relieving his after sitting out an unusually long dedistresses--he dies, calling on God to bate, he returned to his friend's house,
with his lame limb cramped by long to distract the attention of the police sitting, and forced to hold by the iron- from himself, and the noise of his railing, as he went along, through fetter. His walking arm-in-arm with feebleness. All at once he heard a Mathews, (who had at all times the low tinkling sound behind him; he look of a gentleman,) probably saved stopped, and the sound stopped too; the felon from the scrutiny of the he went on, and it followed. In this policeman. No more was heard of way he proceeded for some time, un. him ; but the lesson was of some able to see any body, yet hearing the value to Mathews, who made no mysterious sound. At length, growing more midnight excursions to Milbank, nervous at the lateness of the hour and but returned regularly to his own the loneliness of the place, he hurried house. forward, and the sound immediately One of his peculiarities was an came clanking after him. “Determi. extraordinary fondness for birds and ned to ascertain the cause, he stopped beasts. He used to stay for hours in suddenly, and saw a man approach, the Zoological Gardens, familiarizing who addressed him civilly; observing himself with the animals so remarkin a mild tone, “ I am afraid, sir, you ably, that the Duke of Wellington are suffering-you seem in pain.”- once good.humouredly taxed him with Mathews replied, “ No, I am rather “ going there for studies of character." cramped by long sitting in the House One night he had supped out with a of Commons, that's all."'-—" But you party of gentlemen while living in seem lame, sir," .“ Yes, I am rather," London, and returned home between was the answer. “ Allow me then, sir, two and three in the morning ; when, to offer you my arm.
I, too, have as he came up the street, a large goat come from the House of Commons, met him, and made a sort of appeal. and it seems am going your way.
It Mathews, in return, made him a bow, will give me pleasure to see you safe and talked to him, as was his habit to home, and to assist you my arm."
animals. The goat seemed to be in Mathews could not discern whether distress. Mathews enquired of him the person's dress was that of a gen
66 whether he was locked out of his tleman or not. He could only per- lodgings?" The animal muttered ceive that he wore a greatcoat. The sounds, expressive to his ear of a hazard of this strange companionship distressed affirmative ; and as he was obvious; but his infirmity pre- moved on, walked side by side with vailed, and he took the offered arm. him to the door, where the goat They moved on a pace or two, and the paused, as if determined not to leave sound came again. Mathews was start him. Mathews addressed him again, led, and stopped. Next moment, a po- said that " he regretted his forlorn liceman turned the corner, and looked situation, but feared that he had not a · full at the wayfarers. Mathews thought bed to offer him suited to his convethat he felt his companion agitated; but nience.” As he was letting himself in the policeman bid them“Good-night," with a key, his long-bearded friend and passed on. They now moved again. seemed to say—“ Pray, at least, don't Suddenly, by the gleam of a lamp, shut your door against me.” On this, , Mathews saw a fetter on the ankle of Mathews told him that “ he should his companion, from which a bit of have shelter for the night;" and on broken chain hung, which occasioned his entering, the goat rushed past him, the noise. It was evident that he was ran down into the kitchen, and laid arm-in-arm with an escaped felon! himself down in an attitude of content However, he had presence of mind on the hearth. There he was left: enough to keep his discovery to him. Mathews giving him a lecture on self, and continued to lean upon him propriety of conduct during the night; till he bad reached his friend's house. and the goat (as he translated it) enThe man assisted him to the door, tering into a compact not to break and then darted away, and was
any of the moveables.
In the mornMathews's version of ing, the servants, finding the animal this incident was, that the man had in possession, endeavoured to turn him broken out of prison, and had hit upon out, but it resisted until Mathews the idea of closely following, or walk appeared. With some difficulty his ing with the first person whom he wife prevented him from receiving might happen to meet in the streets; the stranger as a regular inmate ; but
; NO, CCXC. VOL. XLVI,
seen no more.
66 A man,
it was at length traced to a livery penses of the exhibition exceeded the stable, where its loss had been much receipts by a hundred regretted, and where Mathews after- pounds. But worse was to come. In wards paid it a formal visit-we are 1834, he was induced, by hope of renot told whether of condolence or deeming his fortunes, to cross the congratulation.
Atlantic a second time; but the imWe can trace some of the most pressions which the Americans were effective pleasantries of his perfor- supposed to have received by his mances on the stage to his own obser- Yankee caricatures in England, had vation. He was famous for a patrio. made him hesitate for a while. “I tic harangue, which he professed to regretted this,” says the biographer, make out of three words "Liberty- and pressed him to make up his Country – Corruption," the rest mind to this certain mode of retriev. being filled up by mouthings and ing all losses." She offered to ac. gesticulations. Perhaps the following company him; and as Mathews hated artiste was his teacher.
all formal leave-takings of his friends says he in one of his letters, “ bought and the public, he went down to Portsfour hundred copies of the Morning mouth to wait for the packet, the Herald, came down to Brighton on • Canada." After six weeks' passage the top of the coach this morning, they reached New York, and the day blew horn, called out lustily, had arrived which she terms “ the Dreadful
bloody news important day, big with the fate of frightful news, Belgium-Antwerp- Cato and of Rome," on which he was Dutch-France,'-hesold all his stock, to re-appear, and either to triumph, and pocketed four hundred shillings or be swept from the American stage by the disposal of papers without an by the breath of the most patriotic atom of news, and which had been in and dram-drinking public on the face Brighton six hours before !”
of the earth. The threats of the If it should be asked why Mathews, American press had certainly been though perpetually in the receipt of violent—that press being the King, large sums of money, seems never to Lords, and Commons of America, a have realized any, the answer is per- legislative and executive in one, and haps to be found in his very eager- exercising the powers of a dictatorness to realize. He appears to have ship, to which that of old Rome was been seldom untempted by some a thing " of leather and pruneila." scheme for making a hundred per Of course, the theatrical proprietors cent: such a man naturally fell a prey were also in great alarm; for the will to the bubble year, and the creditors of the sovereign people might have not of one of the companies in which he merely extinguished the actor, but dehad purchased shares, at one time molished the theatre. With all thera! brought actions against him for no perturbations startling them togethe less than thirty thousand pounds ! Mathews and his friends went to tl: From these he could escape only by a theatre, where the state of things ist compromise. A succession of the thus described. painful results of imprudence soon came upon him. He was first com
" We found the doors clogged up with pelled to part with his cottage, which
crowds of people endeavouring to gain
admission in vain. It was within five appears to have been, from the begin. ning, a remarkably injudicious pos
minutes of the curtain's rising the day session for a man of precarious income; ing-and there stood more than I can
had been rainy, but it poured in the evenit requiring a handsome establishment of servants, gardeners, &c., with
guess the number of, in this wetting weawhich it could not dispense, though
ther, striving to enter a place evidently
filled. It was impossible for us to think its owner certainly ought, until he of entering this dense mob of pressing had a secure revenue.
people ; and, had there not been an en. The next blow was parting with his
trance by the stage-door, we must have pictures. They were offered to the returned home. When I got behind the Garrick Club ; but the club offered no
scenes, Mr Simpson (the proprietor) more in return than a fifth of their
met me with a countenance of dismay, cost. An attempt was then made to wished I had not come,' &c. We enterraise money on them by exhibition. ed the private box, and there-what a This too was a failure ; for the ex
house! Not a nook that was not crowd