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ANECDOTES OF MACKLIN.
One night, sitting at the back of the front boxes with a gentleman of his acquaintance, (before the late alterations at Covent Garden Theatre took place,) one of the under-bred box-lobby loungers of the present day stoud up immediately before him, whose person being rather large, covered the sight of the Stage from him. Macklin took tire at this; but managing himself with more temper than usual, patted him gently on the shoulder with his cane, and with much seeming civility, requested of him, “ that when he saw or heard any thing that was entertaining on the Stage, to let him and the gentleman with him, know of it: for you see my dear Sir,” added the veteran, " that at present we must totally depend on your kindness." This had the desired effect and the lounger walked off.
Another tiune sitting nearly in the same place, a Noble Lord, since dead, rather of a suspicious character in his amours, placed himself close by him, and entered into conversation with him. After his Lordship went away, a friend of Macklin's was rallying him on the awkwardness of his late situation. “Why yes, Sir,” says he, “ It was rather critical, 1 must confess: but what could I do? He offered me the first civilities, and you kuow there's no turning one's back upon such fellows."
Talking of the caution necessary to be used in conversation amongst a mixed company, Macklin observed, “ Sir, I have experienced, to my cost, that a man in any situation of life, should never be off his guard-A Scotchman never is; he never lives a moment extenipore, and that is one great reason of their success in life.”
Macklin was very intimate with Frank Hayman, (at that time one of our first historical painters, and happening to call upon him one morning, soon after the death of the painter's wife, with whom he lived but on indifferent terms,) he found him wrangling with the undertaker about the extravagance of the funeral expences. Macklin listened to the altercation for some time: at last going up to Hayman, with great gravity he observed,
Come, come, Frank ; though the bill is a little extravagant, pay it in respect to the memory of your wife: for, by G- I am sure she would do twice as much for you had she the same opportunity.”
A notorious egotist one day in a large company, indirectly praising himself for a nuinber of good qualities which it was well known he had not, asked Macklin the reason why he should have this propensity of interfering in the good of others, when he frequently met with una suitable returns ? “I could tell you Sir," says Macklin. “ Well do, Sir; you're a man of sense and observation, and I should be glad of your definition”-“ Why then, Sir-the cause is impudence—othing but stark-staring impudence.”
A gentleman at a public dinner asking him, inconside. ratcly, whether he remembered Mrs. Barry, the celebrated Actress, who died about the latter end of Queen Ann's reign, he planted his countenance directly against him with great severity, and bawled out, “No, Sir-nor Harry the Eighth either-They were both dead before my time.'
An Irish dignitary of the church (not remarkable for veracity) complaining that a tradesman of his parish had called him a liar, Macklin asked bim what reply he made him. “I told him," said he, “ that a lie was amongst the things I dared not commit.” “And why, Doctor," replied Macklin, “ did you give the rascal so mear an opinion of your courage ?”
One of the band of Covent Garden Theatre, who played the French horn, was telling some anecdotes of Garrick's generosity. Macklin, who heard him at the Tower end of the table, and who always fired at the praises of Garrick, called out, “ Sir, I believe you are a trumpeter." “ Well,” said the poor man, quite confounded, “ and if I am, what then?” “ Nothing more, Sir, than being a trumpeter, you are a dealer in puffs by profession."
CONGREVE. This sprightly writer has been in general supposed to have written his Comedies without any reference to life or nature. The following transcript from a manuscript letter of Mr. Dryden to Mr. Walsh (Mr. Pope's friend) will shew how ill this observation is founded : ,
: “ Congreve's Double Dealer (says he) is much censured by the greater part of the Town, and is defended only by the best judges, who, you know, are commonly the fewest ; yet it gains ground daily, and has already been acted eight times. The women think he has exposed their bitchery too much, and the gentlemen are offended with him for the discovery of their fol. Jies, and the way of their intrigues under the notion of friendship to their ladies' husbands."
Dr. Johnson objects to the plots of Congreve's come. dies, in some of which the play terminates with a marriage in a mask. This excellent and acute critic did not, perhaps, recollect, that till the beginning of Queen Anne's reign women used to come to the theatres in a mask. This practice was forbidden by a proclamation of that Queen, in the first year of her reign.
Mr. Congreve, after having been at the expenre of the education of the young representative of his ancient and illustrious family, left nearly the whole of his fortune to Henrietta ,Duchess of Marlborough,
An Essay on the Difference between Wit and Humour, in a Letter to Mr. Dennis the Critic, from Mr. Congreve, is printed in the Baskerville edition of this comic writer's works. It is very short, but very well done,
SHAKSPEARE'S COMMON PLACE BOOK. From Gilchrist's Examination of the Charges against Ben Jonson. Mr. CHALMERS finds that Jonson's fifty-sixth epigram, “ on Poetic Ape,” was intended as a lampoon on Shakspeare. Thus:
Poor Poet- Ape, that would be thought our chief,
Whose works are e'en the frippery of wit, -
As we, the robb’d, leave rage, and pity it.
By the reversion of old plays, now grown
He takes up all, makes each man's wit his own.
The sluggish gaping auditor devours;
May judge it to be his, as well as ours.
From locks of wool, or shreds from the whole piece. .