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crown would not be sufficient to pay, at the rate they deserved, for the rest of the beauties of the piece.
Now, that such of our readers as are not sufficiently acquainted with the French language to understand these lines, may be enabled to form some conception of the taste and genius of the great cardi. nal Richelieu, a translation of the passage into English is offered them:
So have I seen, inclining to be fond,
It is very justly remarked by the historian, to whom we are indebted for these facts, that in all probability, it was this passage which suggested to the Duke of Buckingham that laughable image in the Rehearsal:
So boar and sow, when any storm is nigh,
up and smell it gathering in the sky;
And snort and gruntle to each other's moan. And to Farquhar also the simile of two intriguing ducks in a mill pond,” which he puts into the mouth of Scrub in the Stratagem.
Some time after the first reading of the piece, the cardinal look it into his head that these beautiful lines might, by a slight alteration, be made infinitely more beautiful, and sent for Colletet to talk with him upon the subject. “ I have been thinking, Colletet,” said his eminence, “ that, by the change of a word or two, the image presented in this passage will be very much heightened, as thus instead of
La canne s'humecter de la bourbe de l'eau,
I would make it
La 'canne barboter dans la bourbe de l'eau.
In plain English, the duck, instead of washing herself, should be said to muddle in the pond. Colletet, unable to determine upon what he should say, requested time to consider the matter, as a thing of too great importance to be lightly or hastily decided upon, and promised to write to his eminence respecting it. He did sa, humbly submitting to his patron whether the word barboter
(muddle) was not too low, and unfit to be applied to so grave and delicate a subject as the chaste passion of a duck and drake. On reading this, the cardinal fell into a transport of rage, to which he was just giving vent when some of the courtiers entered to give him information of a signal victory obtained by the arms of France in a certain battle, the whole preliminary plan of which had been concerted by the cardinal himself. “ Nothing," said they, in the usual style of court adulation, “ nothing can resist the wisdom and power of your eminence.”—“You are mistaken," exclaimed he, still in a rage," that scoundrel Colletet resists me. I did him the honour to alter a line in his play, and he has the assurance to write me a long letter-here it is to make me believe that I am wrong."
How such a man as Corneille could have been betrayed, even for a moment, into a confederacy with such a band of slaves as those pandars of Richelieu, it is difficult to imagine. However he was never active in their business, and very soon withdrew himself from it entirely. This incensed the cardinal, who, in return, did every thing he could to injure him. Perhaps there is not, among the many foolish things related concerning Richelieu, one more perfectly absurd than the method he adopted of carrying into effect the revenge he meditated. This was nothing less than to represent once more his play of Europe, which had been damned, and set it up in opposition to The Cid, one of the noblest dramas ever penned by man. It happened, however, that the people thought of Europe very differently from the cardinal, for when the actor came forward to give it out, he was hissed off the stage; nor would the audience suffer any thing to be done till The CiD was given out for the next night.
(To be continued.)
& SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF WILLIAM WARREN,
Actor and Manager of the Philadelphia Theatre.
(Continued from page 151.]
Biggs moving with his company from Bedminster to Taunton prevailed on Warren to join him there. Having now a tolerable set of players with him, particularly Bignell, Baynes, and the family of the Keys, who were all favourites with the people of Taunton, great hopes were entertained of their success in that town, and it was under the influence of those hopes that Warren agreed to accompany them. However he was sadly out in his reckoning; for they could do nothing. Dire necessity pinched them to the very bone, and, to use the words of Macbeth, famine clung to them.' Night after night they were compelled to dismiss the house, till at last tired of dismissing, and perhaps ashamed too of their want of attraction, they stopped altogether, and each actor found it neces. sary to bethink him of the course he should next steer to recruit his finances.
It happened that at that time Mr. Jefferson, the father of our celebrated comedian of that name, was at the head of a company in the beautiful town of Totness, in Devonshire: from him Warren received an invitation with which it may be concluded he cheerfully complied; and accordingly set off in company with another actor, a fine young fellow of the name of Woolley, to join his new associates. Here he opened with Orlando, in the comedy of “ As you like it," and young Philpot, in the farce of The Citizen, in both of which he received a very flattering reception. The next night he performed young Mirabel, in Farquhar's charming comedy of The Inconstant, with no less applause. In telling these encouraging circumstances however, Warren always takes care, in the modesty and sincerity of his heart, to qualify the relation with a voluntary acknowledgment that in those strolling companies there are so many very bad players, or, as he calls them, “ shocking fellows," that a very small portion of merit indeed suffices to impart pleasure
and obtain applause. At the time we are now speaking of, our
I believe it is a truth universally conceded that, with the exception of poets and authors, that genus irritabile. vatum, the most irritable and envious beings to each other in this world, are, generally speaking, players; a fact which, how extraordinary soever it appear, may be accounted for on rational principles, and indeed on the same grounds with respect to both. The salary given to Warren stuck like Macbeth's Amen, in the throats of his brother actors: the thoughts of it did, “like a poisonous mineral, gnaw them inwards," and created much ill blood in the company; and truly when the cause of their discontent, the salary, is considered as regarding the amount of the sum and the work done for it, it will explain more fully than pages of words could, the condition and the consequent feelings of the body of Itinerants. One would hardly imagine that ten shillings a week could be an object of such great importance, more particularly when saddled with the labour of playing perhaps eight or ten characters of various kinds;
more especially as Biggs, who was not accustomed to let any one with whom he dealt have the best side of a bargain, exacted from Warren, for this small salary, the further toil of writing out the scene plots. Miserable however as the salary may seem, it was the production of much advantage to our hero's feelings, because being fixed, it exempted him from the peculation of the manager, insured him wherewithal' to live, and prevented those heartburnings and bickerings between him and Biggs which the nightly settlement of a sharing plan seldom failed to produce. In this respect, therefore, they got on together tolerably well, having very seldom any cause for contention. The only subject of disagreement between them was the permanence of their connexion-Warren was desirous to go away; Biggs was desirous to keep him. As usual the distresses of the company were great; his weekly ten shillings was all Warren received; for by his benefit he neither gained nor lost any thing. Some few of the benefits succeeded; but they were those only of actors who, groaning under the burdens of wives and children, were fain to solicit personally the support and patronage of the surrounding gentry, or in plain English, to beg-genteelly; the fate too often of worthy and meritorious performers, and which, after all, succeeds at times so badly as to reduce them to the necessity of pawning their clothes to procure food for their families.
Having tired out the people of Taunton, and exhausted the patience of those creatures of sufferance, his actors, Biggs moved off to Honiton, accompanied by no one but Warren, Woolley, Reynolds, and his own family, all the rest having deserted him. At Honiton they were joined by one or two others, but three weeks elapsed before Biggs could get every thing in readiness to perform: meanwhile the young men were not idle. It happened that a company, or rather a fragment of a company, headed by a manager named Smith, lay at Glastonbury in the greatest distress imaginable. Hearing of the arrival of Biggs's company at Honiton, Smith implored their assistance, and begged of Warren to come to Glastonbury and perform a few nights to relieve him and his actors from famine and probably imprisonment. Warren, without hesitation, flew to the assistance of his unfortunate brethren, and, accompanied by his friend Woolley, arrived at Glastonbury.
Mr. Smith's company was no less poor in numbers and low in quality than deplorable in pecuniary condition. Of the talents of the actors it is enough to say that the hero was old Jack Montague,