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DUBLIN, at the time when young dukes and earls, holding court at the Garrick arrived, was a city of many Castle with ministers, privy councilfascinations. Looking back now to lors, chaplains, body guards, pages, its mimic king and queen, its court musicians, and nearly all the inciand courtiers, to its lords and ladies, dents of royalty, were glad to ask who lived then in mean houses, in over their titled friends and conwhat are now the meanest slums of nexions, whose presence added to the the city, to its music, its dancing attractions, and who often married and revels, it seems to resemble some into the greater Irish houses. No of those delightful little German wonder that under such encouragecourts where an Elector or a Grand ment, that wonderful Irish stage Duke reigned (and embarrassed him- should have flourished, and have furself), where travellers on the grand nished the British drama with a roll tour, like Wraxall, Nugent, or Doctor of names unsurpassed in any age or Moore, halted their chaise for weeks, country. and whence they could not tear them- The taste for music at that time selves away. On the banks of the was far in advance of the age-was as Liffey were none
of the serious respon- eager as it is to this hour in that sibilities of self-government; these city. Even now, when the Italian were all looked after within the charm- opera opens, there is festival time. ed circle of “The Castle.” There was The galleries fill to suffocation. Verdi nothing, therefore, to disquiet or in- and Gounod and Beethoven are listerfere with the lively round of plea- tened to with delight, and applauded sure, and a gay Lord Lieutenant, who by unwashed hands, and the prima was wealthy, eager for diversion, donna is drawn home to her hotel in and extravagant in his tastes, was a crowd of torches. In Garrick's bure to stimulate yet further the pas- day, a French tourist-quoted by Mr. sion of the town for amusement. Gilbert--found Corelli played and
In this pursuit money was spent sung in every house. There was a profusely. No wonder there was a philharmonic society, a royal acaconstant stream pouring in of all that demy of music, long before the Lonwas titled, witty, or gifted in any don institution was dreamed of-a way, and as there was plenty of New Music Hall in Fishamble-street, money to reward those who could another in Crow-street, a band of furnish amusement, everything that state musicians at the Castle, with a added to the charms of society, or to conductor of state music, a composer the attractions of the ball, concert- who wrote the “birth-day odes." A room, or stage, was irresistibly drawn pretty bit of homage was paid to St. to the Irish capital. Wealthy English Cecilia's Day, when their Graces went XV.-NO. CCCLXXXVII.
in state to the Cathedral, with all the 3rd of June, 1741, Mr. Handel gave court and nobility, and a great old his final performance of the "Mesoryan there, with a large orchestra, led sinh." On Saturday, the 12th, the by Dubourg, pupil to the famous approaching arrival was considered Geminiani, played anthems and can. of such importance that a paragraph tatas of Handel and Dr. Arne and was seen in the papers that Mr. Garthe popular Corelli, to the delight of rick was “ hourly expected from Eng. the charming Mrs. Delany. There land." The news of the English were brilliant ridottos under the furore had travelled on long before same patronage ; there were Mrs. Ha- him, and everyone was eager for milton's and Mrs. Walker's Assem- some notion of the Goodman's fields' blies; and, finally, just before Mr. triumphs. The party did not come Garrick arrived here, was Mr. Han- on Saturday; but on Sunday morning del, with his " Messiah” and his ora- Mr. Garrick, Miss Woffington, and torios, drawing the whole tide of Signora Barberini, a dancing lady, fashion to the New Music Hall, and arrived from Park-gate, Chester, by causing a frantic furore for orato- the packet. rio music as has never since been There had been "relâche" at the equalled.
theatre for some time. Mrs. FurniIn Aungier-street, not very far be- val had been playing in the “Carehind the Castle, was the Theatre less Husband," but such attraction Royal, where the charming Mrs.Cibber was weak as against Mrs. Cibber. had drawn audiences and admirers, The company had now set off for and received such tokens as made Carlow, to act during the races. But her write afterwards to Garrick that there were other recruits. Gif“ her love to Ireland was as great as ford had come, and, two days after his could be, and she always thought Garrick, arrived Delane," the celewith respect and gratitude of the brated actor," who was to play at the favours she received there." There rival theatre. was Mr. Stretch's Theatre, in Capel- A Signora Avoglio, an Italian street, an inferior place of amuse- singer, had been announcing her last ment; and there was the New "concert of vocal and instrumental Theatre, in Smock-alley (a racy and music," at the Music-hall
, Fishamblesignificant name), built but half a street, on the Wednesday following, dozen years before-the manager of for a long time before, but the first which, Du Val, had engaged Garrick. result of the new arrival was to tell
Smock-alley was a miserable little upon her. The poor Italian lady lane, close to the river, and wide could not struggle against the attracenough for only one carriage to pass. tion of the new performers, who had A fragment of the old theatre is still fixed their opening performance for shown, fortuing part of the rere of the same night. It was not surpris. a chapel ; but there are plenty of ing, therefore, to read : “ N.B. --The ancient houses lining the alley, old above concert is put off on account of as the old theatre, as may be seen the players' arrival from England from the stone "jams” of the win- who perform that night, and have dows--whose tenants were, no doubt, given up the Wednesday following to kept awake by the block and entan- Signora Avoglio for her performance." glement of carriages trying to get Margaret Woffington had been away by the “Blind-quay, instead already the delight of the town. She of by Fishamble-street, and by the had enchanted it by her gay and shouts of the "fuotinen with flam- dashing acting in pumps and hose, as beaux." Thus the Castle of Dublin Sir Harry Wildaır. "From Smocklay exactly between two theatres, alley to Fownes'-court, or George's and within easy distance of each. lane, where she had acted in a Lilli
With Mr. Handel, at his Abbey- putian corps of children under Ma. street lodgings, heaped with money dame Violaute, was but a ten minutes' and honours, with Quin and the fas- ride in a chair. She was now " to cinating Cibber at the Theatre Royal, open" on the Wednesday in this drawing great houses, it did seem to famous and popular charncter, while be an inappropriate time for a new Garrick was kept over until Friday, attraction. But the manager had in the great part of Richard. "On Dot miscalculated. On Monday, the Wednesday next," it was to be read in the journals “at the theatre in His benefit was fixed for Thursday, Smock-alley will be acted a comedy the 24th, when he first astonished a called the Constant Couple, or a Dublin audience by his favourite Trip to the Jubilee.' The part of Sir combination of deeply tragic and Harry Wildair, by Miss Woffington.” broadly humorous characters on the This shows how great was her single same night. “King Lear” was attraction.
chosen at the particular desire of The tradition of Garrick's success several persons of quality, with the on the Friday reached the historians “Lying Valet,” also by desire, after of the Irish stage. But unhappily it. Margaret Woffington played no details were preserved. None Cordelia, and was announced in the of the papers were in the habit of bills as Mrs. Woffington, a change giving criticisms or notices of perfor- which she bad brought from London. mances at the theatres, but it is men- On the first night she had been tioned that many more were turned announced as Miss Woffington, and away than were admitted. The thea- it is curious that she should have tre was not unworthy of the young insisted on the same change being actor. It was built on the best made at Covent Garden only the year principles then known; was spacious, before. and remarkable for the excellent The city was at this time full of opportunities it afforded for seeing “persons of quality," with dramatic and hearing.
tastes, so that the particular desire may The new Dublin theatres, too, be assumed to have been expressed to boasted of a modern improvement the actor personally. He must have which the London did not at that been overwhelmed with civilities and time enjoy, a spacious box room or attentions, when we think such were saloon, “ richly ornamented,” where heaped upon Tate Wilkinson, and the company waited after the play others of a far lower stamp who came was over, chatting and seeing each later. He went through all his round other until their carriages came up. of London characters, playing in the They had boxes, “lattises” (which “Busy-Body,” the "Fair Penitent," were the same as the London " green in “Love makes a Man,” taking the boxes,"") pit, and two galleries ; and character of Don Dismallo Thickon this night boxes, "attises," and Scullode
Half-Witto,the "Rehearsal," galleries were crammed. So, too, and “Old Bachelor.” The Lords must have been the stage, which was Justices, who were the Primate, Lord often oddly enough crowded with Chancellor, and Speaker, went in state strangers, who were scarcely to be to see the “Busy-Body." His second distingnished from the performers. benefit was on the 8th of July, with The Lord Lieutenant, the Duke of “Richard,” but presently he had to Devonshire and his Duchess were submit to a companionship which he unfortunately in England at this time, would not bave tolerated a little later, 80 that he could have enjoyed no namely, playing the “Fair Penitent,' court attentions.
supported in an after-piece by M. On the Monday following he made Delamain, of the French opera, in his second appearance in the "Or- such foolery as the following "Act phan," with Mrs. Furnival as Moni- I. the Grecian_Sailor; Act II. the mia; while on the Tuesday, with Wooden Shoe Dance ; Act III. the something like desperation, Delane Old Woman with Pierrot in the came on with his reading of “Rich- Basket,” &c. He also played Masard.” Every day the new actor's ter Johnny the School-boy in the reputation increased, and there was farce of the same name. a growing craze to see him in new But his engagement was drawing characters. The poorer classes were to a close. On the 2nd of August the at this time suffering great distress, “ Constant Couple” and “Lying Vaand the heats during the month of let” were announced for the last June were more than usually oppres- time. He himself was to have another sive. A sort of epidemic which arose and final benefit, for which it was from both these causes was fancifully said he had selected the "Fair Peniset down to the overcrowded houses, tent,” but there was a natural and was long recollected as the Gar- curiosity to see him in a far more rick fever.
popular play. He had, indeed, appeared as Hamlet in the little instead of “ martron,” “ appayle" in. provincial towns, but that was un- stead of “appal," " Horatio instead der the name of “Mr. Lyddard.” of “Horartío," and, above all, “ wind" No important audience had yet wit- instead of "wyod," sensitive Irish nessed his personation of the Danish ears were offended. It was consiprince, and he now resolved to try dered however, a wonderful perforHamlet for the first time before the mance, full of beauties, especially the Dublin public. He issued on the scenes between Hamlet and Ophelia, Saturday morning a curious personal and Hamlet and the Queen. In short, announcement:
as an able critic who wrote to him "MR. GARRICK thinks it proper to anonymously two days after the peracquaint the town that he did not formance, in a short time he would take the “Fair Penitent", as was be “the best and most extraordinary given out for his benefit, that play player thatever these kingdoms saw." being disapproved of by several ladies It was noted, too, that he came on and gentlemen, but by particular without being "attended by music," desire deferred it till Hamlet" which was always an accompaniment could be ready, which will be played of the traditional “Hamlet ;" and on Thursday next, the part of Ham- further, what was remarkable and let by Mr. Garrick, Ophelia by Mrs. almost courageous behaviour in the Woffington.
year 1745, that he left out every word Mr. Garrick's last benefit with 80 that could shock a modest ear. familiar a play was sure to have It was hoped that he would play drawn an overdowing house. He Hamlet again, but he performed it was carried through the part by an only once. Walker, the original Macimmense deal of enthusiastic applause. heuth, had now arrived from Covent
Some points, however, were cri- Garden, and his aid enabled them to ticised, and, perhaps, objected to, as bring forwaru “ The Recruiting Offiusual. It was observed, with some cer," with a strong enst.”. Kutely astonishment," that on the entrance was taken by Walker, Silvia by Wofof the Ghost, Hamlet rernained silent fington, and Plume by Garrick. This for some moments as if stupefied with was for the Thursday after the “Hamhorror, so much so tbat it occurred let" Thursday, and to the notices was to a few that the assistance of the appended a significant “ N.B.-- This prompter was required, whereas, “an- is the last time of Mr. Garrick, Mrs. gels and ministers of grace," it was Woflington, and Signora Barberini's thought, should have been a sudden performing, during their stay in this exclamation on the very first appear- kingdom." Finally, on the Monday ance of the spirit. But Mr. Garrick's following (Aug. 23), a sort of drapause kept the audience in a strange matic travelling party-Garrick, Desuspense and puzzle. The actor, too, lane, Dr. Arne (Mrs. Cibber's brother, had followed a bit of conventional who had come over to give concerts), by-play in drawing his sword, when and Mrs. Cibber-set off together Horatio wished to detain hiin, and from Dunleary Harbour and embarkfollowing the Ghost round the stage, od for England. Peg Woffington, it until it says, “I am thy father's would appear, remained behind, and spirit," when, with a very respectful most likely sailed with the Smockbow, he put up his sword, as though alley company, who set off the his turning out to be a spirit who next day for Liverpool, to play " could be depended on" quite altered during the Preston Jubilee. Thus the case. Oldly enough, he left out ended the first Garrick vint, which the directions to the players, which hnd now lasted a few days over two exeited some remark. "But the momt months, and it was long remembered. characteristie criticism was that upon After his departure came a perfect his pronunciation. There is a popu- theatrical languor and prustration. lar Irish pronunciation of the letter later on in Dublin the famous Lord a, which is indeed, founded on larChesterfield was reigning. He bnd laid mony and good sense, supported by himself out in conciliate the poople by the cut om of most foreign countries, something like all partial governmeni, hv vid tiim nanue Cato de petir to atrito diame the capiat iny a series sound like Carto. Warp Gurrick, of brindant abow. Tae Irish Court therefore, began to declaim "matrou" seemed to glitter alesh. There were new amusements devised, and every vinced that Dublin was as well able amusement was under the patronage to pay one actor for a winter as Lonof the Earl and Countess of Chester- don was. They were to be like the field. There were new rooms made two buckets in a well, said Mr. Sheriat the Castle, designed by the elegant dan. But this was based on the taste of the Lord Lieutenant himself, vanity of supposing that both buckets and in these rooms were gorgeous were of equal strength and weight; festivals on birth-nights, when Lady and the difference Sheridan was to Chesterfield appeared in rich Dublin discover later, by the sure test of thin poplin, and every lady strictly fol- houses and empty boxes. It is not lowed her example. Here was given surprising that a quarrel, or coolness, the superb fête, where the “long gal- should have come later. lery” was laid out with a series of As a manager, his interest helped what seemed little shops, where him to forget this estrangement. Garsweetmeats and rare wines were rick had gone to Bath with his friend, served, which was lit up by transpa- Colonel Wyndham, and there received rencies, as by moonlight; and where Sheridan's letter. It was a most the guests walked to the sound of singular and characteristic proposal. soft and exquisite music, coming from Having heard, he said, that Garrick unseen flutes and other instruments, wished to pay a second visit to Ireand where at each end fountains of land, he wrote to inform him that he lavender water played abundantly. was now “sole manager of the Irish The witty Earl's witty sayings to stage" (!), and that he would give ladies of his Court went round. him “every advantage and encouragePope's famous verses on the two ment that he could in reason expect.” dull lines,“ by Stanhope's pencil The basis of this agreement was to be writ,” were copied into Dublin news- a division of profits ; and he frankly papers. Those journals, indeed, and warned him to expect nothing from notably George Faulkener's, put for- friendship, or, indeed, anything more ward, now and again, some versified than an actor could in strict right readulation, in the shape of addresses quire. No wonder that Garrick, on to Hibernia on TAY STANHOPE,” this almost hostile invitation, should in which he was magnified extrava- turn to his friend with, “ This is the gantly.
oddest letter I ever received in the In the interval the state of theatres whole course of my life.” Colonel had become rather deplorable, and Wyndham said it might be odd, but sad disorders grown up. A sort that it was fair, open, and honest, of licence among the audience had and he advised him to accept. Rather been encouraged by the management, uncertain as to his plans for the and by allowing the public to behave London theatres were in sad conas they pleased in the theatre, the fusion--and himself inclining in that check of respect and decency had direction, he took his friend's advice, gradually been lost. The boxes and and accepted. pit were deserted, while the stage He went down first to Lichfield, was crowded, and the “Twopenny it may be supposed to see his faGallery' became the scene of brawls mily, and he determined to go on and riots between “the footmen” from thence to Ireland, without reand the mob. In this demoralization turning to London. This resolution Sheridan was invited to become ma- seemed to hurt his friend, Mrs. Cibnager, and attempt a reform; and ber, who thought it against his intehaving remodelled scenery and scenic rests, and a little against the interests effects, and brought about something of friendship. With a break-up in like order, determined to play boldly, theatrical matters so imminent, it and as the first card he was to play, was well to be on the spot. She thought of engaging Garrick. would have been glad, wrote this en
Two years before, when he himself gaging woman, to have had but two was free, some such idea had been in or three hours' conversation with him his head, and he had hinted a rather before he left. Garrick, we may susconceited proposal to Garrick of their pect, was growing a little fatigued playing alternately in London and with this * friendship;" but wrote Dublin" dividing the kingdoms" some handsome but routine complibetween them, for he was con- ments, saying that she was of the