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physical but only a moral impossibility of finding the philosopher's stone, so it seems to be in the art of healing; which inakes me think the only way of bringing it to perfection is to improve the solar microscope to such a degree, that the human body may be placed within it, and made pellucid, that the doctors may see quite through it, as at present they do through that faithful companion of its miseries, a louse. Till then, if doctors differ, they are very excusable, as they can only guess. So that the best guesser is the best physician : nay, an old Greek proverb says he is the best prophet. But if I defalk (take off from) from their human science, I repay them largely in divine. The best guesser I know, whom you have the good fortune to have for your physician, has piety enough, I am sure, to make him satisfied with this equivalent. Iapis, I dare say, took greater glory to himself for the cure of Æneas, after he understood the goddess of beauty was his coadjutrix, than he felt before.
* “I now begin to envy Browne—not for his ‘Barbarossa, nor yet for his “Estimate of Manners,'—but for his being before me the host of Mrs. Garrick and you. I congratulate you for your respite; but I congratulate my country more, for having the honour of being preferred before you, and in the article of danger too; for by the character he gives me of his work, it will be a kind of theological Lilliput, where the great will be told their own. But the pulpit I hope is privileged above the stage. The mischief is that this will be neither in the pulpit nor on the stage, but somewhere between both. There is indeed another privileged place, that would do him more service than either, and that is to be levelled. In short, he has too much honesty for a successful court chaplain, and too much sense and sobriety for a city preacher: take him then once more to yourself; consider him as addressing you in the words a celebrated French poet addressed the Goddess of Fame—
“O Renommée O puissante déesse! Quisgavez tout, et qui parlez sans cesse, Par charité, parlez un peu de nous.” But seriously do not misconstrue this levity, this téte-à-téte entre nous. I love and esteem Dr. Browne; he vexed me: but I find he must be treated like a mistress, as well as friend.
* Be to his faults a little blind,'
and I make no doubt of his always approving himself a man of honour and virtue, and a warm and grateful friend. * “As to Bower, I will assure you had Douglas's detection left any doubts with me concerning the force of his evidence, this apology would have removed them. I have a thousand things to say of the ill faith and tergiversation that run through every page of it, therefore I shall say nothing save this, which is in my own province, that where he speaks occasionally of the doctrine and discipline of the Church of Rome, in the articles of Supremacy, expulsions from monastical society, and what is deemed incest, and of the resort of the Inquisitorial tribunal by the Canon law, his ignorance or impudence is most astonishing and prodigious. “I think you very insolently treated by Hume, the essay writer—nor do I see how Millar can be excused from impertinence in shewing you the puppy's letter, whose boasted generosity and charity appears to be only the vanity of a mock patronage. I think you will honour him too much
in returning any answer to it; but if any circumstances attending the case require you should do so, I think your answer extremely proper, and the only one that should be made. * “But hark you, my friend I do not your frequent indispositions say, (whatever your doctors may think fit to to do) lusisti satis? “Is it tanti to kill yourself in order to leave a vast deal of money to your heirs? There is not one man in a hundred with health impaired by a fatiguing business, whom I should advise to retire, though all the common circumstances occurred to make it eligible, because not one in a hundred who have been long in business know how (I will not say to enjoy but even) to bear retirement. But I do not take this to be your case. When you have left the stage, if you leave it with health enough to make life worth having, the happiest portion of your days will be to come; because you can diversify life more, and will have reasonable occupations enough, with a taste like yours, to give a relish to every diversity. * “I and my family propose coming to town the beginning of next month. Mr. Allen and his, the beginning of March. I heartily wish you a perfect re-establishment of your health: but you do not act by it with a conscience. When you enter into those passions, which must tear and shatter the human frame, you forget you have a body : your soul comes out, and it is always dagger out of sheath with you. I think I use the proverb better than it is commonly applied. The women here desire their best respects and compliments to Mrs. Garrick, * “I am, dear Sir, with the truest esteem, your * “Most affectionate and faithful humble servant, * “ W. WARBURTON.” "
We give the following as a specimen of Garrick's easy mode of disposing of offensive persons, who thought that when the dull pieces which they sent to the theatre were rejected, they were bound to call the manager to account.
“Master Robert Dodsley,
* “When I first read your peevish answer to my well meant proposal to you, I was much disturbed at it—but when I considered that some minds cannot bear the slightest portion of success, I most sincerely pitied you; and when I found in the same letter that you were graciously pleased to dismiss me from your acquaintance, I could not but confess so
apparent an obligation, and am, with due acknowledgements,
* “Master Dodsley,
The number of letters which passed between Garrick and Arthur Murphy, is considerable. They are remarkable for a curiously regular alternation of the familiar and the distant—of expressions of kindness and downright hostility. The strangely variable humour of poor Murphy, who was not blessed with the most equal temper in the world, produced this variety in his communications with Garrick, who indeed treated him as he would a child, combining tenderness and severity with a degree of coolness and judgment, which proved that all the provocation of Murphy made no impression on his mind. From the querulous play-wright, we return with infinite pleasure to the gaiety of Warburton, and we snatch from one of his letters, addressed to Garrick, a few sentences written in one of his happiest veins. It must be premised, that Garrick had sent him the play of “Anthony and Cleopatra,” as altered by one Edward Capel, who made, in the manuscript, some marks that nobody but himself could understand. To these marks Garrick directed the attention of Warburton, who is pleased to treat them with much merriment.
“Without doubt,” he writes, “the mysterious marks you speak of must mean something: but I think it would be an impertinent curiosity in the public to ask what? When every religion and even every trade has its mysteries, it would be hard to deny it to the worshipful company of Editors. Besides, these dealers in other men's sense, should give a sign at least, that they have some of their own: like your haberdashers of small wares, who have always a back warehouse of their own manufactories. However, whatsoever wisdom there may be in this (which I was absurdly enough going to call) word to the wise: whatsoever spirit there may be in this dead letter (and that name, by the good leave of the critics, I will venture to give it, for they cannot deny but the Christ-cross in the hornbook has been ever esteemed by the ablest of them an inseparable part of the alphabet;) whatsoever advantage, I say, Shakspeare may receive from the whim of his dead editors, he will this night receive a lustre from a living one, which I make no doubt was in his own idea when he wrote the play, but despaired to give, applying the words of the poet to his case with more propriety than they were first spoken,
‘ Monstrare nequeo, et sentio tantum.'
* “We are all here rejoiced to understand you and good Mrs. Garrick are in health. Our best regards and esteem attend both. And know me, dear Sir, to be your most faithful and affectionate humble servant,
* “ W. WARBU RTON.
‘‘‘ P.S.—I beg my respects, and the compliments of the season to Mr. Berenger when you see him.
* “I chanced to turn to the end of the play, at the page called Conjectural Readings, and was not a little surprised to find a man who had sense enough to see that some are reasonable, should neither have English or grammar enough to see that others of them are absurd. When I wrote notes on Shakspeare, I could not imagine that men who could but just read, would pretend to judge of a part of learning, which, if Longinus may be believed, is the consummate fruits of long study. This I will assure you, that of all parts of learning, I have met with the fewest who are capable of judging of this. And if there are few who can judge in this part of learning, there are still fewer who excel. The only man who in this age did so was Bentley. You will easily believe I confine my encomium to his performances on Greek and Latin writers. In a word, I have always found that proposing an emendation to the generality of those they call scholars, was desiring a blind man to judge of colours. Yet there is not a fruitfuller source of the buffoonery of coxcombs and witlings than these studies. I remember not long since to have read a philosophic discourse of the best writer the French nation at present has, Condillac : it was on the senses; and a view of several imaginary people were given, who wanted this or the other sense ; amongst the rest a knot of blind philosophers were brought into the scene, who had overheard what they called the jargon of another people who had their eyesight, and their discourse turned, with much critical acumen and pleasantry, on the nonsense and unaccountable ideas of their neighbours.”'. vol. i. pp. 92–94.
There is no human being that holds his authority upon a tenure more irksome than a metropolitan manager. The intrigues of the green-room, bad and insufferable as they are, constitute only a small part of the troubles in which he is compelled to reign. But besides intestine wars, which very frequently it takes all his energies to quell, he is menaced every four-and-twenty hours by some fo– reign invader—haply a pirate—who, in the character of a playwright, takes the liberty of disturbing the borders of the manager's realm. With the pert young geniuses from college, who poured in their classical melodrames in the confident expectation that the company would be but too proud to enact them, Garrick was always able, after his own fashion, to dispose: but there were occasionally some suitors too sturdily addicted to negotiation, to allow the poor man the least repose under at least a couple of dozen of choice communications. We shall give one of Garrick's replies to a rebellious subject, who, availing herself of the privileges of her sex, dispatched a haughty remonstrance to the ruler of the stage, seeking to exact from him an explanation of some supposed slight which he had put upon her. The good humour of the manager will strike every body who reads his answer.
* “Mr. Garrick to Mrs. Palmer. * “E'en Sunday shines no sabbath day to me.” * “Madam, ** “Saturday, March 13th, 1762. * “I flattered myself that I should yesterday have been freed
from any business of the theatre on account of the solemnity of the day, and I little expected that Mrs. Palmer would have broken in upon it, with a letter of altercation.
* “I must desire every lady, for the future, who shall be pleased to give her sentiments upon stage affairs, to address them to Mr. Lacy as well as myself, otherwise I cannot, in justice to him, take any notice of them.
* “However, I shall go out of the common road of business to pay my respects to you, as you seem to have done the same in favour of me. I have done myself the pleasure of reading over your letter several times, and have considered every marked word with that attention which such stamp of weight ought to excite in the curious reader. Though your letter is so long, the matter of it, stripped of ornaments, may be contracted to two simple questions. Why did I not bring out the new play sooner and why is your benefit two days later now than before ? Heavy charges! But I trust in my innocence
* “I would not wound your delicacy to ask another in answer to the first demand, or else I might gently surmise that the most capital lady has not the least shadow of right to ask the managers such a question; but I will indulge you, and drop my right of office, to satisfy your curiosty. Mr.Whitehead particularly desired it; but if he had not, I should not have thought of acting it sooner. But do not imagine that I mean this as an excuse for your not playing the part of Celia; I never intended that you should, and for one reason among many, that it would have shown too strongly the similitude between ‘The Guardian' and ‘The School for Lovers.' * “This is the first time that I have been called upon by a performer to account for my management, and I hope it will be the last. But I will go farther. “Had I intended the part for you, it would have been as improper in us to have given it to you, in your condition, as in you to accept it; and I think ladies should rather be thankful to the managers for their attention and humanity to them, than be calling them to an account for not giving parts to those who are not in a condition to play them. If Mr. Palmer thinks it worth while to ask me why your benefit is settled as it is, I will give him a very full answer to that and every other proper question. I must be excused sending to you, as I shall be obliged to open my mind, and to endeavour to convince him that, if any partiality is shown, it is in your favour. Now I come to a more serious part of your letter, which concerns me only. You tax me with levelling my anger against you : yet in your next sentence you say that last year I professed an esteem for you and showed it. Yes, Madam, I think I did, and upon an occasion when your filial tenderness got the better of my resentments for a behaviour in your father, which few managers could have forgiven. I had drawn a veil over that transaction, and am sorry that you have obliged me to draw it aside. Immediately after I continued that regard, let me say partiality, and gave you and yours (contrary to the custom of theatres) a most successful new play for your benefit. I do not include Mrs. Pritchard in this, for she deserves every thing we can do for her. But surely Mrs. Palmer had no right to complain in the Green Room of the settling of benefits, and upon her first coming abroad: when I had given her husband a play I had refused to one before him, and which I look upon as a favour in my present state of health. But this is nothing : I must and will follow the dictates of my own judgment and justice, and I flatter myself that I shall be much less likely to err than those individuals, to use your own words, whose partiality to themselves makes them. think they have a right to expect—what it is not in the power of an honest manager to grant. * “I am, Madam, * “Your most humble servant.
* Sic in the volume.
But impudent pretension, even in its most offensive form, is scarcely less endurable than self adulation and garrulity. Garrick had been plagued with plenty qf both. Of the latter, here is a choice specimen. Love, the writer, appears to have been a stage manager at Edinburgh, and as he had some reputation as a provincial actor, Garrick encouraged him to come to London. Love, all gratitude for the notice of such a luminary as the Roscius of the day, pours forth his soul in gratitude and admiration. We shall give a few passages from his letter.