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ANECDOTES OF THE STAGE, SELECTED FROM PEPYS' MEMOIRS. THEATRES.—The Red Bull.--- Mar. 23, 1661.–To the Red Bull, (where I had not been since plays came up again,) up to the tireing room, where strange the confusion and disorder that there is among them in fitting themselves, especially here, where the clothes are very pocr and the actors but common fellows--and the play, which is called "
All's lost by Lust,” poorly done, and with much disorder. Among other instances, the boy that was to sing a song not singing it right, his master fell about his ears, and beat him so, that it put the whole house in an uproar.
Ton Kiltigrew's way of getting to see Pluys when a Boy.—He would go to the Red Bull, and when the man cried to the boys, “ who will go and be a devil, and he shall see the play for nothing ?” then would he go in, and be a devil upon the stage, and so get to see plays.
The King's House.--Oct. 5, 1667.-Going in there met with Knipp, and she took us up into the tireing room, and to the women's shift, where Nell (Gwyn) was dressing herself, and was all unready, and is very pretty, prettier than I thought. And into the scene-room, and there sat down, and she gave us fruit: and here I read the ques. tions to Knipp, while she answered me through all her part of “ Flora's Figarys,” which was acted to-day. But, Lord! to see how they were both painted, would make a man mad, and did make me loath them; and what base company of men comes among them, and how lewdly they talk! and how poor the men are in clothes, and yet what a show they make on the stage by candle-light, is very observable. But to see how Vell cursed for having so few people in the pit was strange; the other house, (Duke's House, Lincoln's-Inn Fields, built at the Restoration, “the finest playhouse, I believe, ever was in England,”) carrying away all the people at the new play, and is said now-a-days to have generally most company, as being better players.
Stage Improvemenis. King's House. — Feb. 12, 1667.- This done, I and Killigrew to talk: and he tells me how the audience at his house is not half so much as it used to be before the late fire. That Kupp is like to make the best actress that ever came upon the stage, she understanding so well; that they are going to give her 301. a year more. That the stage is now, by his pains, a thousand tim-s more glorious than ever heretofore. Now were candles, and many of them; then not above three pounds of tallow; now all things civil, no rudeness any where, then as in a bear-garden; then two or three fiddles, now nine or ten of the best; then nothing but rushes upon the ground, and every thing mean, now all otherwise ; then the Queen seldom, and the king never would come, now not the king only for state, but all civil people do think they may come as well as any,
King's House.-lar. 19, 1666.- After dinner we walked to the King's play-house, all in dirt
, they being altering of the stage, to make it wider. But God knows when they will begin to act again ; but my business here was to see the inside of the stage, and all the tireing rooms and machines; and, indeed, it was a sight worth seeing. But to see their clothes, and their various sorts, and what mixture of things there was; here a wooden leg, there a ruff-here a bobby-horse, there a crown, would make a man split hinself, to see, with laughing, and particularly Lacey's wardrobe, and Shottell's. But then again, to think how fine they show on the stage by candle light, and how poor things they are to look at, too near hand, is not pleasant at all. The machines are fine, and the paintings very pretty.
Pit at the Theatre. Jan. 31, 1661.- To the theatre, and there sat in the pit, among the company of fine ladies, &c. and the house was exceeding full, to see Argales and Parthenie, (taken from Sir P. Sydney's Arcadia,) the first time it hath been acted; and, indeed, it is good, though wronged by my own great expectations, as all things
Feb. 6, 1668.—My wife being gone before, I to the Duke of York's playhouse, (in Lincoln's-Inn Fields,) where a new play of Etheridge's, called, “ She Would if She Could," and though I was there by tưo o'clock, there was one thousand people put hack that could not have room in the pit; and I at last, because my wife was there, made shift to get into the 18:1. box, and there saw; but Lord! how full was the house, and how silly the play, there being nothing in the world good in it, and few people pleased in it. The King was there; but I sat mightily behind, and could see but little, and hear not at all. The play being done, I into the pit to look for my wife, FEB. 1826.
it being dark and raining, but could not find her, and so staid, going between the two doors, and through the pit, an hour and a half, I think, after the play was done ; and the people staying there till the rain was over, and to talk to one another. And among the rest, here was the Duke of Buckingham to-day openly (it was the day after his pardon passed the Great Seal for killing the Earl of Shrewsbury—“the late duel and murder,") sat in the pit; and there I found him with my lord of Buchhurst, and Sedley, and Etheridge, the poet; the last of whom I did hear mightily find fault with the actors, that they were out of humour, and had not their parts perfect; and that Harris did do nothing, nor could so much as sing a catch in it; and so was mightily coucerned: while all the rest did through the whole pit blame the play as a silly, duil thing, though there was something very roguish and witty; but the design of the play, sad and mighty insipid. At last I did find my wife.
Ěighteen-penny Gallery.—De. 16, 1661. After dinner to the Opera, where there was a new play, (author of Colman-street) made in the year 1658, with reflections much upon the late times ; and it being the first time, the play was doubled, so to save money, my wife and I went into the gallery, and there sat and saw very well: and a good play it is. It seems of Cowley's making.
Sept. 20, 1667.-By coach to the King's playhouse, and there saw “ The Mad Couple," my wife having been at the same play with Jane, in the 15d seat.
Botes, Oct. 19, 1667.-Full of my desire of seeing my Lord Orrery's new play this afternoon at the King's house, “ The Black Prince," the first time it is acted, when, though we came by two o'clock, yet there was no room in the pit, but was forced to go into one of the upper boxes, at 1s. a-piece, which is the first time I ever sat in a box in my life, and in the same box came, by-and-by, behind me, my Lord Berkeley and his Lady; but I did not turn my face to them to be known, so that I was excused from giving them my seat. And this pleasure I had, that from this place the scenes do appear very fine indeed, and much better than in the it. The house infinite full, the King and the Duke of York there. The whole house was mightily pleased all along till the reading of a letter, which was so long and so unnecessary, that they frequently began to laugh and to hiss twenty times, that had it not been for the King's being there, they had certainly hissed it off the stage.
Prices of admission.--Jan. 1, 1668.—Hence I after dinner to the Duke of York's playhouse, and there saw “Sir Martin Mar-all,” which I have seen so often, and yet am mightily pleased with it, and think it mighty witty, and the fullest of proper matter for mirth that ever was writ; and I do clearly see that they do improve in their acting of it. Here a mighty company of citizens, prentices, and others; and it makes me observe, that when I began first to be able to bestow a place on myself
, I do not remember that I saw so many, by half, of ordinary prentices and mean people in the pit at 2s. 6d. a piece as now ; I going for several years no higher than the 12d. and than the 18d. places, though I strained hard to go iu them, when I did: so much the vanity and prodigality of the age is to be observed in this particular. Thence I to White Hall,--attended the King and the Duke of York, in the Duke of York's lodgings, &c. on many businesses.
Theatre hours.--Generally, as appears from the above, two or three hours after noon -but they varied.
Sept. 7, 1661.-Having appointed the young ladies at the wardrobe (the Ladies Montague, daughter of Lord Sandwich, Master of the Wardrobe,) to go wit them to the play to day, my wife and I took them to the theatre, where we scated ourselves close by the King and Duke of York, and Madame Palmer, afterwards Lady Castlemaine, (in that part of the pit, we may suppose, nearest the king's box,) which was great content; and, indeed, I can never enough admire her beauty. And here was " Bartholomew Fayre,” (Ben Jonson's) with the puppet-show, acted to-day, which had not been there forty years, (it being so satyrical against puritanism; they durst not till now, which is strange they should already dare to do it, an: the king do countenance it,) but I do never a whit like it better for the puppets, but rather the worse. Thence home with the ladies, it being, by reason of our staying a great while for the king's coming, and the length of the play, near nine o'clock before it was done.
Dec. 20, 1666.-- From home to the Duke's house, and there saw “ Macbeth" most excellently acted, and a most excellent play for variety. I had sent for my wife to meet me there, who did come : so I did not go to Whitehall, and got my Lord Bellasis to get me into the play-house; and then, after all staying above an hour for the players, (the King and all waiting, which was absurd,) saw "Ilenry the Firth,” (not Shakspeare's but Lord Orrery's,) well done by the Duke's people, and in most excellent habit, all new vests being put on but this night; but I sat so high and far off that I missed most of the words, and sat with a wind coming into my back and
neck, which did much touch me. The play continued till twelve at night; and then up, and a most horrid cold night it was, and frosty and moonshine.
Actresses.- Jan. 1661.—To the theatre, where was acted the "Beggar's Bush," it being very well done ; and here for the first time that ever I saw women come upon the stage. "Ce qui donne lieu à l'allusion que fit le chevalier Guillaume Davenant, un jour que le roi étoit à la comédie. Dans ce temps-là il n'y avoit point d'actrices, c'étoient les hommes qui jouoient les roles de femmes. Le roi s'impatient tant de ce que le pièce ne commençoit pas, le chevalier Davenant lui dit: Sire, c'est qu'on rase la reine." There was a circumstance which gave particular point to this piece of pleasantry among the officers of the Queen's household, (Catharine of Braganza,) as “sin aumniers quatre boulangers, un parfeumeur juif.” We find, in the Memoires de Grammont, mention of “un certain officier, apparemment sans fonction ; qui s'appeloit le barbier de l'infante.”
Security OF PROPERTY IN PersIA.Curious examples might be related of the expedients fallen on by the people to defeat the keen scent and unfeeling rapacity of their tyrants. Meerza Abdool' Rezak told me, that during the time he lodged in a certain town, he was alarmed by the periodical cries of some person who appeared to be undergoing daily a violent beating, and who, during the blows, called out "Amaun! Amaun !” (mercy! 'mercy!) “ I have none ! I have nothing! Heaven is my witness, I have nothing !" and such like exclamations. He found that the sufferer was an eminent merchant, reputed to be very rich, and who some time afterwards confessed that be understood the prince or governor had heard of his wealth, and was determined to have a share ; but that he, as he well knew that torture would be applied to extort it from him, had determined to habituate himself to endure pain, that he might be able to resist the threatened unjust demands, even if enforced by blows. He had now, he said, brought himself to hear a thousand blows with a stick : and as he was able to counterfeit great exhaustion, he hoped to be able to bear as many blows as they would venture to give him, short of occasioning his death, without conceding any of his money to them.-Fraser's Khorassan. UTILITY OF OLD PARCHMENTS.
5.In this affair (of Warbourg), in which ten thousand Frenchmen fought with obstinacy against the whole army of the Duke of Brunswick, some of our battalions were retiring, after having taken, lost, and retaken, for the third time, an important position, young Monfalcon, sword in hand, his eye full of fire, bis hair in disorder, and the comeliness of his person still heightened by his courage, advanced, called, encouraged the soldiers, rallied them, rushed at their head into the thickest of the engagement, triumphed, and regained possession of the disputed emi
The two generals who had witnessed his bravery, solicited a reward for him ; but as his name was not known, and he was without fortune or connexions, he only obtained the cross of Saint Louis, and the rank of major in a stall town. This was rather putting him upon a retired pension than rewarding his services.
All prospect of advancement seemed closed for bim, when, by a singular chance, he found in his retirement that fortune which he had vainly pursued on the field of battle. He frequently went to pass some time at the small country-house of an old aunt, and as the monotonous life she led could not afford him any enjoyment, he amused himself by reading over the many dusty old parchments deposited in the archives of the chateau, and to his great surprise he discovered amongst them some title-deeds, which evidently established his descent from the ancient house of Adhemar, which was generally thought to be extinct.
Provided with these documents, he hastened to Paris, and communicated to my father and to M. de Castries, who were his protectors, the discovery he had made. They at first laughed at it, and considered his hopes quite chimerical. He, however, carried the deeds, by their advice, to Cherin the genealogist, a profound judge in these matters, and perfectly incorruptible ; had he, indeed, not been so, a poor town major would not bave found the means of bribing him.
Cherin, after a long examination, pronounced the titles to be authentic; and the new Count of Adhemar having been acknowledged, and having, through the intervention of my father and of M. de Castries, obtained the rank of colonel, commanding the regiment of infantry of Chartres, was presented at court.
Madame de Valbeide, a widow possessing a fortune of forty thousand livres a-year, and a lady of the Queen's palace, was charmed with the new colonel, and, hoping to compensate for the disparity of ages by the gift of her property, married him.--Segur's Recollections, p. 49.
A GOOD Shor.-The Persian king is a good shot, and delights to shoot at a mark, but he also loves to make his amusement profitable; the mark commonly made use of is a live sheep, near which stands a furosh, ready to tell the success of the shot, and to dispatch the animal, if only wounded. When his majesty is ready to shoot, he chal. lenges the courtiers about him to bet with him about the shot, and it would be the height of rudeness and impolicy to refuse ; but the king's game is sure, for whether he strikes the animal or not, the furosh, who has his lesson, and whose property the carcass be. comes, rushes upon it the moment the shot parts, with a “mash allah!” (bravo), knocks it down, and cuts its throat, and none of course can question the author of its fate. These sheep, which are always the property of some village or proprietor near the place, are never paid for by his majesty.- Fraser's Khorassun.
Turkish HUMANITY TO ANIMALS.—Much is said of the humanity which Mussulmen display towards animals. A singular proof of it occurred during this siege (of Athens). Finding them suffering from thirst, the besieged lowered a number of asses, &c., into the hands of the enemy; choosing rather that they should live in the possession of the infidel, than perish miserably with themselves. It is even more singular, that two of these animals were actually preserved alive to the end of the siege; their owners had probably some private supply of water, which they preferred to share with beasts, rather than with their dying brethren. When the Greeks first obtained possession of the town, they commenced a terrible persecution of the storks, driving them from the chimney-tops, and old ruined columns, where they had enjoyed, under Mahometan protection, so many centuries of hereditary security. The sight of this barbarity is believed to have enraged the Turks even more than the destruction of the houses, and the violation of their mosques.--Waddington's Visit to Greece,
Royal Bravery. The reign of the present King of Persia has been far from remarkable for its military splendour, and the nation at large has but a poor opinion of its monarch's courage or warlike abilities ; indeed, the few remaining veterans of his uncle's armies talk of their king with bitter contempt. He has rarely been exposed to danger in action; but early in his reign, when his uncle Saduckkhan attempted to dispute with him the throne, it became necessary for him to encourage his troops by his presence, and he appeared in the field, along with his valuable old minister, Hadjee İbrahim ; but although they kept at a very sufficient distance, the king, as it is affirmed, betrayed considerable uneasiness, till at last, one or two shots dropping among them, he fell from his horse in a swoon of terror, and was immediately picked up in no comfortable condition by the meerza, who immediately dismounted, exclaiming, “What a terrible passion the father of the world has fallen into!” — Fraser's Kho
Unconscious DAMNATION.-Now under this deplorable necessity of ruin and destruction does God's preventing grace find every sinner, when it snatches him like a brand out of the fire, and steps in between the purpose and the commission of his sin. It finds him going on resolutely in the high and broad way to perdition; which yet his perverted reason tells him is right, and his will pleasant. And therefore he has no power of himself to leave or turn out of it, but he is ruined jocundly and pleasantly, and damned according to his heart's desire. And can there be a more wretched and woeful spectacle of misery than a man in such a condition ? a man pleasing and destroying himself together? a man, as it were, doing violence to damnation, and taking hell by force ?-South's Sermons. THE LATE PERSIAN AMBASSADOR'S ENGLISH ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
9.—This person received us in a sort of boudoir, highly ornamented with English prints and mirrors, French clocks, and other gimcracks, amongst which was placed, in a conspicuous situation, a picture of himself, by a Russian artist; a comfortable carpet, with numuds as usual, covered the floor, but there was also an excellent fire blazing in an European grate ; and the whole had much more of comfort than is usually to be met with in Persian apartments. He talked incessantly, and it was amusing to hear him interlarding his Persian with snatches of English, among which, the ejaculation of “ God bless me !" “ 'Pon my honour !” and others of a similar description, were very frequent. He showed us his whole mepage, and by its arrangement it was sufficiently apparent that he had picked up some idea of convenience, as well as other good things in England; he did not, however, approve completely of the plan of our English louses; he thought them deficient in ground space, and that the rooms were much too small.- Fraser's Khorassan.
PERSIAN ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS.-It is not long ago since a native of Fars succeeded in making certain improvements in pottery, so far as to manufacture a species of porcelain resembling tolerable china ware. His fame quickly spread, and soon reached the court ; when the king heard it, he dispatched an order for the man to repair directly to Tehran, to make china for the Shah. The poor fellow was seized with consternation at this order, for he knew, that not only should he have to work for the Shah, but for all his officers and courtiers ; while so far from being paid, he would probably not receive enough to keep body and soul together. He accordingly went to court, not to make china, but mustering every thing he could raise for a bribe to the minister, he besought him to report to the king that he was not the man that made the china ; that the real potter had run away, nobody knew where, and that he himself was thus erroneously put in restraint, and prayed that he might obtain his release. The minister soon sent him his discharge, and the man left the capital for his own country, fervently vowing never to make a bit of china, or attempt improvement of any sort as long as he lived.--Fraser's Khorassan.
The Soul NOT TO BE DROWNED IN DRINK.-The sensual epicure will also find, that there is a certain living spark within him, which all the drink he can pour in will never be able to quench or put out; nor will his rotten abused body have it in its power to convey any putrefying, consuming, rotting quality to the soul; no, there is no drinking, or swearing, or ranting, or fluxing a soul out of its immortality. But that must and will survive and abide, in spite of death and the grave; and live for ever, to convince such wretches to their eternal woe, that the so-much-repeated ornament and flourish of their former speeches, (God domn 'em,) was commonly the truest word they spoke, though least believed by them while they spoke it.-South’s Sermons.
MELANCHOLY TEMPERAMENT OF Louis XV.-Madame de Pompadour once told me that he experienced a painful sensation whenever he was forced to laugh, and that he had often begged her to break off a droll story. He smiled, and that was all. In general, he had the most gloomy ideas concerning almost all events. When there was a new Minister, he used to say: " He displays his wares like all the rest, and promises the finest things in the world, not one of which will be fulfilled. He does not know this country, he will see.” When new projects for reinforcing the navy were laid before him, he said : • This is the twentieth time I have heard this talked of; France never will have a navy, I think.” This I heard from M. de Marigny.—Memoirs of Madame du Hausset.
ROYAL CONDESCENSION.-When the Marshal de Belle-Isle's son was killed in battle, Madame Pompadour persuaded the King to pay his father a visit. He was rather reluctant, and Madame said to him, with an air half angry, half playful,
“ Barbare! dont l'orgueil
Croit le sang d'un sujet trop payé d'un coup d'æil.” The King laughed, and said : “Whose fine verses are those ?” « Voltaire's," said Madame. “As barbarous as I am, I gave him the place of gentleman in ordinary, and a pension,” said the King.-Memoirs of Madame du Hausset.
DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND-THE PERSIAN AMBASSADOR AND THE Persian King. On his last return from England, Meerza Abool Hussain Khan came laden not only with presents he had received, but with an immense quantity of merchandise purchased in Europe, which he availed himself of his Ambassador's privilege to pass free of duty ; but when he reached Persia, desiring to obtain the carriage of it to Tehrān also free, he managed to secure beasts of burden for his own goods, among those provided for the conveyance of presents for the King. His Majesty, however, who is quite alive to what affects his own interest, suspected, or was informed of the truth ; and when the Ambassador approached Tehran, he took care to be absent on a hunting party, to which the former was ordered to repair, while the baggage went on to the capital ; and, according to orders previously given, was, without exception, lodged in one of the royal warehouses, as presents for his Majesty, the denomination under which the whole travelled. The unhappy diplomatist never received back, or dared to claim, a single package ;- aware, no doubt of the inutility of such a step, had he even been guiltless of intended fraud. The only part he saved of his accumulated European property were a few trunks of cloths, which had entered the city as belonging to the British Charge d'Affaires.- Fraser's Khorassan.--[We are glad of this for the sake of our fair countryfolks.]
Fashion.-Few follow things themselves, more follow the names of things, and most follow the names of their masters.--Lord Bacon.