A dozen and a half of clouds, trimmed with black, and well conditioned.

A rainbow, a little faded.

A set of clouds after the French mode, streaked with lightning and furbelowed.

A new moon, something decayed.

A pint of the finest Spanish wash, being all that is left of two hogsheads sent over last winter.

A coach very finely gilt, and little used, with a pair of dragons, to be sold cheap.

A setting-sun, a pennyworth.

An imperial mantle, made for Cyrus the Great, and worn by Julius Cæsar, Bajazet, King Harry the Eighth, and Signor Valentini.

A basket-hilted sword, very convenient to carry milk in.

Roxana's night-gown.
Othello's handkerchief.
The imperial robes of Xerxes, never worn once.
A wild boar killed by Mrs. Tofts * and Dioclesian.
A serpent to sting Cleopatra.
A mustard-bowl to make thunder with.

Another of a bigger sort, by Mr. D—'s † directions, little used.

Six elbow-chairs, very expert in country dances, with six flower-pots for their partners.

The whiskers of a Turkish Pasha.

The complexion of a murderer in a band-box; consisting of a large piece of burnt cork, and a coal-black peruke.

A suit of clothes for a ghost, viz., a bloody shirt, a doublet curiously pinked, and a coat with three great eyelet-holes upon the breast.

A bale of red Spanish wool.
Modern plots, commonly known by the name of trap-

* A favourite singer of the day. † John Dennis, the critic.


doors, ladders of ropes, vizard-masques, and tables with broad carpets over them.

Three oak-cudgels, with one of crab-tree; all bought for the use of Mr. Pinkethman.*

Materials for dancing; as masques, castanets, and a ladder of ten rounds.

Aurengezebe's scymitar, made by Will Brown in Piccadilly.

A plume of feathers, never used but by Oedipus and the Earl of Essex.

There are also swords, halbards, sheep-hooks, cardinals' hats, turbans, drums, gallipots, a gibbet, a cradle, a rack, a cart-wheel, an altar, an helmet, a back-piece, a breast-plate, a bell, a tub, and a jointed baby.


(From Cibber's "Apology.") Among our many necessary reformations, what not a little preserved to us the regard of our auditors was the decency of our clear stage, from whence we had now for many years shut out those idle gentlemen who seemed more delighted to be pretty objects themselves than capable of any pleasure from the play; who took their daily stands where they might best elbow the actor, and come in for their share of the auditor's attention. In many a laboured scene of the warmest humour and of the most affecting passion I have seen the best actors disconcerted, while these buzzing muscatos have been fluttering round their eyes and ears. How was it possible an actor, so embarrassed, should keep his impatience from entering into that different temper which his personated character might require him to be master of ? Future actors may perhaps wish I would set this grievance

* The comedian.

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in a stronger light; and, to say the truth, where auditors are ill-bred, it cannot well be expected that actors should be polite. Let me therefore show how far an artist in any science is apt to be hurt by any sort of inattention to his performance:

While the famous Corelli," at Rome, was playing some musical composition of his own to a select company in the private apartment of his patron-Cardinal, he observed, in the heighth of his harmony, his Eminence was engaging in a detached conversation, upon which he suddenly stopt short and gently laid down his instrument. The Cardinal, surprised at the unexpected cessation, asked him if a string was broke? To which Corelli, in an honest conscience of what was due to his musick, reply'd, “No, Sir, I was only afraid I enterrupted business." His Eminence, who knew that a genius could never shew itself to advantage where it had not its regards, took this reproof in good part, and broke off his conversation to hear the whole concerto played over again.

Another story will let us see what effect a mistaken offence of this kind had upon the French theatre, which was told me by a gentleman of the long robe, then at Paris, and who was himself the innocent author of it. At the tragedy of “Zaire,” while the celebrated Mademoiselle Gossint was delivering a soliloquy, this gentleman was seized with a sudden fit of coughing, which gave the actress some surprise and interruption; and his fit increasing, she was forced to stand silent so long that it drew the eyes of the uneasy audience upon him, when a French gentleman, leaning forward to him, asked him, If this actress had given him any particular offence, that he took so publick an occasion to resent it? The English gentleman, in the utmost surprise, assured him, So far from it, that he was a particular admirer of her performance; that his malady was his real misfortune,

Arcangelo Corelli, the “father of modern instrumental music." † Jeanne Catherine Gossin, of the Comédie Française.

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and if he apprehended any return of it, he would rather quit his seat than disoblige either the actress or the audience.

This publick decency in their theatre I have myself seen carried so far that a gentleman in their second Loge, or middle-gallery, being observed to sit forward himself while a lady sate behind him, a loud number of voices called out to him from the pit, “ Place à la Dame! Place à la Dame !" When the person so offending, either not apprehending the meaning of the clamour, or possibly being some John Trott who feared no man alive, the noise was continued for several minutes; nor were the actors, though ready on the stage, suffered to begin the play till this unbred person was laughed out of his seat, and had placed the lady before him.

Whether this politeness observed at plays may be owing to their clime, their complexion, or their government, is of no great consequence; but if it is to be acquired, methinks it is a pity our accomplished countrymen, who every year import so much of this nation's gawdy garniture, should not, in this long course of our commerce with them, have brought over a little of their theatrical good-breeding too.


London & Edinburgh

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