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to act. Amongst other things he told him, “ that he had thought of Richard III. Macbeth, King Lear, and other Parts, such as woulá suit his time of life, in new or revived Tragedies.” A variety of other Letters passed between the Parties, the purport of which being satisfactory to Mr. Macklin, he immediately came to London, to perform at Covent-Garden Theatre in pursuance of the agreement between him and Mr. Colman, the then Acting Manager.' Macklin's consummate vanity, and his envy

at the constant and unbounded applause which Mr. Garrick received in Traa gedy, increasing in proportion as his own favour increased in Shylock, lago, and a few other parts in which he was unrivalled, he not only imagined that he was able to point out Mr. Go's defects, in lectures, coffee-houses, pamphlets, anu paragraphs, but that he could convince the public of the superiority of his own execution, by performing Garrick's best tragic parts of the stage. Unluckily, the public were not persuaded of the universality of his genius. When he attempted Macbeth, he was constantly hissed; and ascribing this opposition to rival actors, whom he named in speeches and paragraphs, they and their friends denied the cbarge, and probably set every engine to work in order to drive him off the stage.

The opposition to his appearance in Tragedy at length became so violent, that it was construed into a Conspiracy; and, in consequence of a furious riot raised at Covent-Garden playhouse by his enemies, even on a night when he had postponed his performance in Macbeth, and meant to appear in two of his best comic parts, a suit was commenced in the King's Bench, against six persons who had been marked as the most violent in their hostility. This is the trial which occupies so large a portion of the volume before us; and almost all the great Lawyers of the time (1774) were employed in it. Lord Mansfield sat as Chief Justice: Messrs. Dunning and Murphy were of counsel for the Prosecutor; and Messrs. Wallace, Bearcroft, Serjeant Davy, Mansfield, Norton, and Buller, were for the Defendants. The proceedings are given at full length, from Gurney's short-hand, and they form a valuable part of these memoirs.

The determination to effect Macklin's dismission was doubtless an excess of resentment and punishment, for his presumption in pronouncing that the public had been mistaken in their ideas of tragic declamation, by admiring Garrick during so many years in Richard III. Macbeth, King Lear, and other serious parts; and for insisting that they should take a lesson from his (Macklin's) performance of those parts, which would enable them to judge of the merits of eragic acting by the examples which be alone was qualified to set.

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By the opposition to these attempts, the town got rid of his arrogant pretensions as a tragic actor, and drove him back to comedy, in many parts of which he was admirable; and the managers gained by the event of the trial, which gave a check to theatrical riot and outrage. It must be owned, therefore, that, whatever it cost the champions who fought the battle without a regular plan, or prudence for their guide, a service was done to the lovers of the drama, and, eventually, to Macklin himself; who, returning to his inherent talent for comedy, recovered the favour of the public, which he enjoyed to the last dregs of memory and intellect. · When Mr. Dunning had concluded his speech, which was of great length, and replete with wit, humour, and jurisprudential abilities of a higher kind, the whole of the witnesses were examined; and the evidence was summed up with great cindour and attention to the most minute circumstances of the case, by Mr. Justice Aston. This recapitulation of the trial, and observations on the spirit of the several depositions, occupy 36 pages. The verdict of the Jury was in favour of Macklin; and, on May 12, 1775, the Defendants came up to the King's Bench to receive judgment.

It appears from the trial that Macklin thought that Garrick was at the bottom of the ill treatment which he had experienced at Covent Garden Theatre; and he insinuates it in his speech, when he says, “ The advocate, my lord, talks of affidavits; I have assidavits of a tremendous nature :--Dot affidavits, but witnesses, to shew that this cause has not yet been bottomed." He had said just before, that " a gentleman l:as thrown cut that I want revenge. My lord, I have no such idea. I never had-I am not a man of revenge." - How does this agree with the answer which he returned to Leigh, one of the defendants, who sent his wife to him to say that “the consequences might be fatal to them all; and if he would suffer her husband to wait upon him, he would tell him the reason how certain insirruations came:" Macklin answered that “ he would not see Mrs. Leigh, nor her husband, nor none of the family, for they might all be dd."--He closes his speech in the following manner:

“ I prosecuted from the first law of nature, self-defence and a public exumple. My Lord, I have a feeling and resentment too, but I have compassion. My Lord, I defy them to make me an offer, liberal in an ordinary degree, that I would not accept of, without troubling the Master. I have only my expences in view.- Besides, my daughter has suffered to the amount of 250l. I have now proposals from Scotland; I have proposals from Ireland ; I could get money here; but, if I am sent before the Master, I must lose all

that 66 Lord

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that opportunity, and more money than will, perhaps, arise from the interview with the Master : therefore, with huinble submission to the Court—it is difficult to speak, circumstanced as I am, without impertinence--without digression. I am aware that no man, but he that has travelled in the paths of this Court, knows what to say in it correctly :-but, in contradiction to the Learned Gentleman now in my eye, who says that I want revenge, and to shew that he is ignorait of my disposition in this point, let any man of honor be appointed immediately: I will abide by every thing that he suggests of justice. I want no revenge. And, my Lord, I have something further to say : this man before your Lordship, this Taylor, within these few days, has dared to tell me, before many Witnesses --responsible Tradesmen, in Covent-Garden, with an insolence unbecoming his situation or character— Ah, ah, ah! you will send me to gaol thenit may be against the law to hiss, but it is not against the law to laugh; for, depend upon it, when you play Tragedy, you will have a very merry Audience- Ah, ah, ah!'

“ I assure your Lordship, that this man, though he is but a Taylor, has a very sharp tongue, and a very quick mind. “ My Lord, were I to utter his Bon Mors upon me, and my

circumstances, you would laugh heartily indeed :—but of him I shall say no more.

“ The advice that fell from the Court, when the Rule was made absolute, though directed to the Defendants, made a very deep impression on my mind. I felt the humanity, I felt the awfulness of ihat advice ; and, from that moment, I solicited, with all the anxiety in my power, to bring them to a composition.—Money was not my object then it is not my object now.

My Lord, I have Gentlemen in Court to prove that I laid a plan of general accommodation, and I will reveal it now. ! [Mr. Macklin here addressed himself to the Defendants.]

Pay me my expences-you have injured me as a man; make some compensation to the Managers of the Theatre ; make some compensation to my daughter, whose Benefit is depending.'

My Lord, thus I projected it, as a means of general recor.ciliation :--with these Gentlemen I would have contrived it, and I stated it to my Advocate. I suggested it to the Defendants, that the proposal might come from them, and that, consequently, they might obtain a general popularity.

“ But how is this compensation to be made ? What was the mode I suggested ?- it is this

· Let them take one hundred pound's worth cf Tickets for Miss Macklin's benefit - she has lost 250l.:-Let them take one hundred pounds worth of Tickets for áir. Mucklin ; and let them take one hundred pounds worth of Tickets, upon some night that he plays, as a kind of compensation to the Managers. This was of no advantage to me-I can fill my House without it; but I meant to give them the popularity of doing a justice to the man they had injured, and of convincing the Public that they would never do the like again, and that they were in amity, and not in eninity, with me. - ly Lord, I have nothing more to say."

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" Lord Mansfield. Then I think you have done yourself great credit, and great honor by what you have now said ; and I think your conduct is wise, too ; and I think it will support you, with the Public, against any man that shall attack you." I think it highly becoming upon your part ; for now what he proposes is, to give up all this litigation, only to be paid his costs, which, in a double soise, he ought to be paid. I say a double sense, because the prosecution was well founded : and particularly, because the Defendants would not stop it, when it was recommended to them, -and a small satisfaction, in this way, to his daughter for her Benefit. I think some single person has already offered more for his own share.

Mr. Macklin, you have done yourselí great credit by it ; and the Public, I am satisfied, especially in this country, love generosity. You will do inore good by this, in the eyes of the Public, than if you had received all the money


had a right to receive.
“ I think you have acted handsomely, honestly, honorably, and done
yourself great service by it. I think it is a must generous conduct.-
Mr. Blake, you will be able to settle it."

Mr. MÍacklin.-- If Messrs. Clarke, Aldus and James will meet me: -I will not meet the Taylor, for it is impossible to confine Lis tongue.

Lord Mansfield.- Mr. Macklin, see whether I cannot make peace between you. Now, suppose he undertakes to be bound by a Rule of Court, to stand committed if he ever so much as, by look or word, puts you in a passion,

“ The proposal, then, is to pay him his Costs, and to take zool. worth of Tickets, in the way that he has mentioned.-Let it be so.

Mr. Macklin, the House will receive so much benefit from it, perhaps they will pay you the arrears.

" Mr. Macklin. - My Lord, I never did quarrel with a Manager for money yet: I never made a bargain with a man; whatever they offer me, I take.

Lord Mansfield.You have met with great applause to day :-? cu never acted better."

In 1775 Macklin was again engaged at Covent-Garden, and again would attempt Tragedy:--but his Biographer is obliged to allow that Mr. M. intended to have acted King Lear after Richard III. but not receiving the applause that he expected, in the personification of the latter character, he relinquished his intention.

Macklin's criticisms on Garrick's manner of acting King Lear, and Othello, are the cavils of an enemy, determined never to allow that he did any thing well.

This liberal-minded, generous, humane, disinterested man, so exempt (according. to his own professions, and the assertions of his biographer) from the love of vengeance, has left a character of Mr. Garrick occupying nine pages of Mr. Kirkman's work, which is as bitter, false, outrageous, and malignant a libel, as perhaps çver was committed to paper. He accuses Garrick, p. 267,


of having broke open the hallowed tombs of Betterton, Booth, and Wilks.'-He certainly somewhat diminished their fame, by acting better:- but what has now been done by publishing this virulent libel, twenty years after the decease of a man whose loss the nation has been lamenting ever since? If Macklin's criticisms on Garrick's performance of Lear and Richard be just, they amount to a total condemnation of the public, for not preferring his Macklin's] own manner of playing those parts to that of Garrick. Surely this is matchless let the indignant reader say what.

Barry's death, which happened in 1777, is not mentioned by Mr. K. till after Mr. Garrick's decease in 1779. That Barry in Othello was superior to all other actors of that part, many of Garrick's sincere admirers, and ourselves among the rest, Have allowed: but we believe that none but his instructor, Mackiin, ever thought that Barry was superior to him in Lear.

In Mr. Kirkman's account of the first representation of Cat), from Macklin's papers, he seems to have forgotten, when he talks of his Majesty's loyal subjects,' p. 286, that this Tragedy was brought on the stage in 1712, during the teign of Queen Anne.

Mr. Macklin continued in. litigation with the managers of C. G. theatre, and with the persons whom he had prosecuted for the disturbance there, till the year 1781, when he brought out his Man of the World; which met with some opposition the first season ; but the next it was very often played, to great houses.'- In the summer of this year, 'Mr. M. sustained a very heavy loss by the death of his daughter, who had retired from the stage a very few years before. She died at Brompton, on the 3d of July, in the 48th year of her age. Mr. K. has given a sketch of her life and talents, which seems very accurate.

From 1781 to 1785 is a chasm in the life of our theatrical Nestor. However, in April 1785, though in his 95th year, he went to Dublin, where he performed Skylock, Sir Arch, MacSarcasm, and Sir Pertinax Mac Sycophant, in his own pieces, at the Smock-Alley Theatre, with wonderful vigour and ability: but he had several alarming attacks, even on the stage ; in which the ravages of time on his memory, and other faculties, cbliged him to retire before the piece in which he appeared was finished,

* He returned to London in the month of September, and soon after made his appearance at Covent Garden Theatre, in the character of Slylock, and was greeted by the audience, by loud and repeated plaudits.'

He now appeared seldom on the stage, but always received well merited applause while he abstained from disgracing


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