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MATHEWS—THE COMEDIAN.*

(From Julian Young's Diary.)

this October, 1833, one of the sons of the noble- invariable ill-luck, that, though Lord F. Pman (at whose gate, almost, we lived) dined had merely a dreadnought on, my wife her or with us; and having an acute sense of fun, dinary cloak, and I a common greatcoat, Maand thoroughly appreciating our guests wit thews, who was enveloped in waterproof wraps and humour, and learning from us that the in addition to a greatcoat and cloak, was the star of his genius always began to rise when only one of the party who was soaked through that of ordinary mortals set (viz. at bed-time), and through. Fearing that, on his arrival

, he he used every night after to drop in about eleven might be hurried, and in order to save himself o'clock, for the pleasure of enjoying our visitor's the trouble of unpacking his portmanteau in incomparable society. These Noctes Amporti- undue haste, he had taken the precaution of anæ, delightful as they were, and temperately as wrapping up the clothes he would require for they were conducted (for potations were not dinner in two towels. Boundless, therefore

, required by way of stimulus), were very trying was his disgust on unpinning his packet, which to me; for, about a week after our little party had lain at our feet, protected, as we thought. had broken up, the late hours to which I had alike from wind and rain by the thick leathern been exposed, and the excess of laughter in apron over our knees, to discover that his dress which I had indulged, told upon me, and I fell coat and kerseymere pantaloons were saturated ill. The night before Mathews left Amport, he with wet, and that the pattern of his sprigged told us that he was going to Oxford the next velvet vest had been transferred to his shirtday to give two or three entertainments; and front. When, therefore, he entered our sittinghe implored my wife and myself so urgently to room at the Star Hotel, and observed the table accompany him, that, in compassion to his an- laid for dinner, the clean cloth, the neatly-foldticipated dejection, we consented. As we were ed napkins, the glittering glass, and the blazing only some twenty-five miles from Oxford, I un- fire, he could not help contrasting our cosy condertook to drive him there in my phaeton. dition with his own draggled plight, and began When the noble lord already alluded to found to reflect gloomily on the length of time his that my wife and myself were going to Oxford clothes would take to dry, and on the several with Mathews, he begged permission to accom- disadvantages under which he would have to pany us.

As I had one vacant seat, I was only make his rapid toilet; till at last he vowed that too glad to have so agreeable an addition to our 'Mr. Rose might go to Jericho, and all the party; and on the following morning we set off. heads of houses be drowned in the Red Sea, From nine in the morning till six in the even before he would desert us.' It was in vain that ing it poured with rain incessantly. Mathews we expostulated with him on the indecency of sat in front with me; Mrs. Young and her no- such behaviour ; in vain we depicted the cruel ble companion behind. We started about disappointment he would inflict on a gentleman twelve o'clock, and baited two hours on the who had paid him the compliment of asking road. Mathews besought me to get him into the Vice-Chancellor and other men of UniverOxford by six p.m., as he was engaged to meet sity distinction to meet him. In vain we ap a large party at the Rev. Mr. Rose's, of Lincoln pealed to his self-interest, telling him that he College, at seven. It was a curious fact, and would, by his rudeness, estrange his friend, and with extracts from his Son's Journal. By Julian Charles urged him to consider what he owed to others,

.: From "A Memoir of Charles Mayne Young,” Tragedian, convert a patron into an enemy. The more we Young, A.M. Published by Macmillan & Co., London and

the more obstinately he vowed he would not

New York.

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victimize himself for the sake of acquiring a re- his visage, emerged from the room, and, with putation for good manners. Dine with us he clenched fist, asked his visitor- If he was would.

weary of life ?-if he desired to be ruthlessly As we were enjoying, with keen relish, our murdered?' &c., &c. 'No, Sir. “Then how salmon and cucumber, the waiter entered, and dare you disturb me at this unearthly hour?' thus addressed the culprit :—Please, Sir, here's (N.B. 9.30 a.m.) He then slammed the door a messenger from Mr. Rose, of Lincoln, to say violently to, in a state of wrath implacable, and that his dinner is waiting for you.' 'My kind bolted himself in. Once more the poor ‘scout,' compliments to Mr. Rose, of Lincoln,' was his in undisguised trepidation, appealed to us for rejoinder ; 'I am sorry I cannot dine with him, advice as to what he should do next, adding, as I am obliged to share the fortunes of three that his master had enjoined him strictly, on friends who have been nearly drowned. I dine on consideration, to return without an answer. with them. Tell him I have not a dry rag to Greedy of more fun still, we insisted on his atover my nakedness with, and that we are all tending, above everything, to his own master's our now steaming before the fire preparatory instructions; and, disregarding Mathews' bluso going to bed to nurse.'

ter, again to try his fortune, and not to leave it Every instant I sat in fear and trembling

without receiving the answer required. hat we should either see the much-wronged

With evident misgiving he again crept up entleman in propria persond, or have to re

to the dreaded bedroom, and after a free and eive a deputation from him, or else an angry frequent application of his knuckles to the ste ; but fortunately our threatening evening panels of the door, finding he received no reply, assed off without a storm; and as, after our he took heart, and hallooed through the keyreal, we drew together round the fire, and hole-'I ’umbly ax your pardon, Sir, but Mr. lathews sipped his negus and lolled back in Rose, of Lincoln, says he must have an answer.' is armchair, his spirits rose, and ‘Richard was The hero of my tale, exasperated beyond all imself again.'

bounds by this persecution, once more appearHe had an inveterate propensity to keep late ed, in the same questionable attire as before, Curs; and was given to lie in bed till midday and, indifferent to the titters of the waiters and i consequence. If he were disturbed earlier, he chambermaids who were fitting up and down ould say he had been woke in the middle of the corridor, and unconscious that his friends e night. It was as good as a servant's place

were watching him, screamed out-'Confound as worth if she called him before twelve Mr. Rose, of Lincoln, and all Mr. Rose, of Lin

Knowing all this, it was greatly to the coln's, friends, and all Mr. Rose, of Lincoln's, version of Lord F. P/Mrs. Young, and messengers ! Mr. Rose, of Lincoln, must have self, that, the morning after our arrival, one

an answer, eh? Then let him get it by law. the waiters told us there was a messenger

Does Mr. Rose, of Lincoln, think that I go to em Mr. Rose, of Lincoln, waiting in the hall bed with a pen in my mouth, and ink in my ear, see Mathews. We desired him to be shown

that I may be ready to answer, instantly, any - and then, pointing to Mathews' bedroom, note, Mr. Rose, of Lincoln, may choose to

write to me?' ich was on the same floor with our sittingom, and well within our view, we advised him I forget whether we remained at Oxford more rap at his door and give him the note with than two nights ; but, having first ascertained ich he was entrusted. In the spirit of mis- that he made matters straight with Mr. Rose, es, and longing for a scene, we three en

we left with easy conscience. He did not reenced ourselves behind our own door, impa- turn to Amport with us, but followed afterwards, at to witness the result. The messenger at

in a day or two. After sleeping a night with I tapped humbly and hesitatingly. No an- us, he asked me if I would go with him to Saliser. A second rap, and then a third, waxing bury on the morrow, where he was due for one der each time. As the patience of the mes- night's entertainment. It was on our road jer was giving way, a strange figure, clad in across Salisbury Plain that the accident befell ong night-shirt, with an extinguisher cotton us which is told in Mrs. Mathews' memoirs of htcap on his head, and irrepressible fury in her husband. I never was more surprised than

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at reading, in the Morning Chronicle, two or in the ground, which was succeeded by ar three days afterwards, the particulars of our as sudden, the pole sprung up, bit me a v jina adventure. It seems that Mr. Hill, the original blow under the chin, and sent me rim. :? from whom John Poole took his Paul Pry, was the ground. On recovering my fuctions sitting with Mrs. Mathews in Great Russell my carriage jolting and bumping along at Street, when a letter from her husband was put rate of twenty miles an hour, rendering any i : into her hand. She begged permission to read of my overtaking it, for a long time to ci F.ee, it, and as, in doing so, she could not suppress apparent impossibility. In utter dismay, I a few ejaculations of surprise, he begged he, pealed to my friend for advice, but found him might hear it. She was quite willing to gratify but paralysed, and incapable of in him, and, at his request, gave him permission Good heavens, Julian!' he cried vut,'' to take it home and show it to his wife. On bag of mine are, not merely all my cleles, that understanding he was allowed to take it ; three hundred sovereigns in gold, the fi. but, instead of taking it home, he took it to the four “At Homes,” and all that I have w.. printer of the paper with which he was con- ' of my Autobiography. Run! Run!' nected, and inserted it in its columns. As It was easy for him to say · Run,' but 123 many may never have read it, I shall presume easy for me to do so ; for, owing to the es to give my own version of the accident, which : ordinary velocity with which the panic-sto. is much fuller in its details than the one given animals had darted off, and the undulan? in Mrs. Mathews' Life of her husband.

the land over which they had passed, the itt Before he left our house, I had promised lost to sight in no time. Mathews, who could not bear being alone, to The foremost difficulty which suggestenis drive him to Salisbury, and keep him company to me was how, even if I recovered my can' while there. The distance from Amport to An- ' and horses, I was to find my disconsolate. dover was five miles ; from Andover to Salis- panion again; for, in consequence of the o bury, by the road, eighteen ; but across the in- plete circumnavigation of the hill wich tervening Plain, fully three miles shorter. Now runaways had probably made, I knew I ska: although, under the pilotage of Lord W. and find myself, before long, in a terra imena Lord George P, I had ridden that way two As Mathews could not walk, I pointed to s or three times, I had never driven it. To the miserable furze bushes, and told him to rider nothing could be more delightful than the down under them, and not to stir till he is long unbroken surface of untrodden turf; again. He squatted down most submission though the tameness of the surrounding sce while, in attestation of my good faith, aru, nery, and the absence of landmarks to steer by, the same time, that I might run the ease: made the route rather a difficult one to find. , disencumbered myself of my great coaz, ta: Before starting, I had serious misgivings that to him, and left it in pawn till I should ret. the frequent intersection of deep waggon-ruts, and redeem it. Away I darted, and ran andof the existence of which I was quite aware, till I could run no more : and I was about tot might put my charioteering powers to a severe myself on the grass to regain my wird, and test ; but the prospect of a short cut' was a awhile, when I beheld in the distance, fic: temptation not to be withstood. For the first riage-wheels in the air, and a pair of grers, two or three miles we got on capitally ; but tached from the vehicle, standing side by s afterwards encountered such a succession of as if in one stall, trembling in every limb, swt. formidable inequalities in the ground, that ing from every pore, and yet making no attes Mathews got nervous, and my horses became to stir. I felt re-nerved at this sighs, pursi excited. Out of consideration for his hip-joint, my object, went up to my truant steeds : I advised him to alight and walk a few yards, captured them without any show of resistan till we had passed over the roughest part. This on their part. They were thoroughly buat he was only too glad to do; while I, throwing They had been seen by a band of gipsies. e* the reins over the splashboard, went to the camped hard by, to charge a precipitous horses' heads, and, by voice and hand, endea- bankment which separated the Plain frunt: voured to coax them gently over the uneven high road; but unable, from exhaustion, ground. However, in descending a sharp dip 'surmount it, they thought better of it, turna

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round, and, dashing down again into the valley, of a stray sheep, even the quack of a duck, ran with such headlong fury against the stump would have been as music in my ears. Το of a blighted old pollard oak as to upset the contribute to my perplexity, the skies began to phaeton, break the traces, snap the pole in assume a leaden and lowering hue, and sleet twain, and scatter Mathews' precious treasures and flakes of snow to fall. Our stipulated far and wide over the ground. My first anxiety trysting-place, the furze bushes, could nowhere was to rejoin their owner as quickly as possible; be seen for the projecting brow of table-land for it was then half-past three o'clock, and I on which I was. They were at the base of the knew that he had to reach Salisbury, dress, hill, and I was on the summit. As I sat beorder and eat his dinner, and be on the stage wildered on my horse, with my esquire behind by seven p.m. I went, therefore, up to the me, I fancied I saw something stirring below gipsies, described how the accident had occurred, me which resembled the futtering of a corntold them of the dilemma in which I had left a crake's wings, though they certainly seemed lame gentleman a mile off, assured them that unusually long and unsteady, and the wind apit was of the greatest importance that he should peared to have extraordinary power over them. arrive in Salisbury by five o'clock, and begged I made for the object, and, as I did so, I found, them to spare somebody to lead one of the to my ineffable relief, that it was no bird which horses, while I rode the other in search of my I had seen, but a white silk handkerchief tied friend.

to a stick, and doing duty as a signal of disSeeing that they had a tent pitched in sight, tress. As I drew nearer to it, I saw my lost I told them, with a frankness that most people companion drop on his knees, and raise his would have deemed imprudent, that the con- hands to heaven in token of thanksgiving. No tents of the carpet-bag confided to their care wonder. Had I not found him, he must have were very precious to the proprietor, and that, if passed the livelong night in utter helplessness they would be kind enough to set up the car and solitude, and perhaps have fallen a victim riage on its wheels, and protect my property, to hunger, cold, and mental perturbation. the instant I reached Salisbury I would return I

When we met, I found Mathews almost in a post-chaise with ropes to take the fractur- speechless from agitation. He threw his arms ed phaeton in tow, and reward them handsomely around me, and was so extravagantly and comifor their trouble.

cally demonstrative, that, in spite of all my They undertook to carry out my wishes, while sympathy for him, I could not refrain from I, jumping on one of the horses (with all its laughter. I feared he would be offended with traces and trappings, and breeching, and collar, me; but was delighted to ascertain from his and pad upon him), and followed by my esquire published letter that my ill-timed mirth was aton foot with the other, gallopped off to look for tributed to an ‘hysterical affection. As soon him who, I was certain, was for once anything as I could persuade him to hearken to me, I but' at home' wherever he might be.

told him there was not a moment to be lost, In my feverish impatience to overtake my

that we had three or four miles to go before we horses, I had forgotten to take notice of the could reach the high-road, and that manage we ground I passed over ; and as it was in a totally must, somehow or other, by hook or by crook, different direction from that I had been used to get there in time to catch 'The Light Salisto, it was no easy matter for me to retrace my

bury' coach, and reach his quarters at the route. However, whichever way I went, my gip

White Hart by five p.m. sy aide-de-camp had orders to keep me well in

On

my further telling him that he must get on sight. For some twenty minutes, which ap- the horse from which I had dismounted, and that peared an hour, I whooped and hallooed at the I would lead it for him, he said, “My dear fellow, top of my voice, directing it north, south, east, I never, in the prime of life, bestrode a bareand west ; but neither received answer nor be- backed horse ; how then can I do so now, old held sign of living creature.

Turn which way

and crippled as I am ?' I said no more; but, I might, there was nothing before me but a making my gipsy follower stand at the horse's wide expanse of dreary plain. The bray of a head, I went on all-fours by its side, and insistjackass, the bark of a watch-dog, the bleating ed on his stepping on my back, and holding by

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the horse's mane, while I gradually raised my- got everything belonging to you?" 'Yes yes, self up, so as to enable him to fling his leg over think you. The man siniied, afici, la We 08 the animal. It was a weary and an anxious answer, thrust into my hand my skii spune walk for both of us. However, as luck would bag, which had fallen out of my hai-bor, u. have it, we had no sooner sighted the chalky 'which I had overlooked. Now, my safe road, than I saw my old acquaintance Mat- lows,' said I, “what shall I give yos: cham, driving ‘The Light Salisbury' towards : serve something handsome, and you say us. I gave both my horses to the gipsy to lead it. Will a couple of sovereigns satisfying leisurely to Salisbury, while I mounted on the 'No, Sir, no!' they all cried out. 'We w outside the coach with my sorely harrassed have nothing. You've paid us enough. Yorie friend. He was in a most devout frame of trusted us, gipsies as we are! You've ev. mind, thanking God loudly and earnestly for property in our keeping, and never cast : 5: His merciful deliverance from a miserable picious glance at it, when you came back, death, when a Dissenting minister behind him, see if we had been tampering with it.' learning from the coachman who he was, I pressed them over and over again to recru; thought it a good opportunity for improving sider their determination, and consider miy tee the occasion,' and preached to him in such bad ings. “Well, Sir, we will ask one favour taste, and with such utter want of considera- you. Tell your friends that, whatever vi tion for his feelings, that Mathews, humbled as : glass and crockery and brush-selling trac. he was, could not brook it, and told him his may be, a real gipsy can be honest.' mind. “Until you opened upon me, I never / Mathews was so struck with the conduct felt more piously disposed in my life ; but your these people, and so touched by it, that at iharsh and ill-timed diatribe has made me feel next Theatrical Fund dinner he took occasi : quite wickedly. Hold your canting tongue, or to allude to it. It was a few days after ou a you'll find me dangerous, Mr. Mawworm.' venture that I received the following leza To finish my tale :-As soon as I had seen

from him, from Exeter, where he was playing Mathews comfortably seated at his dinner, I

‘Exeter, November 15, 1833 called for a post-chaise, drove to the scene of ‘MY VERY DEAR ). C. Y.-What hare action, and was rather mortified to find that the done? Did we not part friends? Did yop: gipsy family had not touched the carriage, promise to write to me? Do you not ir:23" though I had begged them to set it up again I am anxious to hear how our adventure upon its wheels.

On remonstrating with them, | ed? and how you were received at home. a'. they very civilly said, “Why, you see, Sir, if, in if I am forgiven for having allured you to moving it, anything had gone wrong with the your fireside ? Every morning at Weymou: carriage, owing to some injury you had not de- craned my neck after the postman, but : tected, or if anything were missing, you'd ha' ings. There must be some reason for it been sure to suspect the poor gipsies: so, on

most cruel and unnatural conduct; and k1, * second thoughts, we considered 'twould be it I will. I shall not repeat my proposai a better to leave it—as they leaves a dead body justice and honour as to damage. Verban before a hinquest—without moving or touching I am still stout upon the point. anything.'

* Pray write to me at Plymouth, if not to 3 They then turned to with a will, in my pre- knowledge this, yet to say you have receive sence,--put the carriage on its legs again, quarter of mutton and a brace of pbeasis. helped me to cord it on to the hinder part of the which will be sent from hence by the subse; post-chaise, and thrust inside Mathews' carpet- tion Exeter coach to Woodward's, Ardi" bag and portmanteau, and a few articles for the where the coach arrives on Monday mir. night which I had put up for myself. I sprang at five o'clock. It will be franked all the si into the chaise, wishing to get back and relieve 'I am happy to say Charles is arrived saz. Mathews' mind about his goods. I drew out at home, in high health and spirits, deigt: my purse, and was going to take out money to with his trip ; lighter in heart and pocket give the gipsies, when one of them came up to when he went. My pictures are all warehouse me and said, ' Are you sure, Sir, that you have ! safe under the same roof (Bazaar) where the

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