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But it was not only from the ab- of your high-bred and beautiful austractions of philosophy or the refine- ditory. I leave out of this account ments of learning that you dilzusted all doubts of the justice of your charge, your audience; it was often from an because I give you credit for a belief intemperance which philosophy should of irs justice. Yet in doing so, I fear have restrained, from a grossness I must deduct as much from your pewhich learning should have corrected. netration as I allow to your integrity, In the course of the prosecution a. How else should it happen that the gainst Mr H , you trespassed only objects of your persecution have equally against justice, humanity, and been those who have successfully ferdecorum. Surely, Sir, the moral and ved their country, that your blind elegant systems in which you are so humanity should have champion'd it. conversant, should have suggested the self in the canle of the cheats of St impropriety of that conduct which Eustatia, and the blackguards of Beryou and some of your brother mana- gal, against men who had saved the gers adopted. Mr Hem stood British possessions in both Irdies from there a prisoner, under that protec- the ruin and disgrace which some of tion which an obligation to filent suf- your friends had suffered to overwhelm ferance should have afforded him them in other parts of the world ? with generous minds. His accusers Moderate men, who know and vawere invested with a high character, lue you, are aftonished at the vehethe representatives of the Commons mence of your ftile, and the violence of Great Britain: the tribunal they of your conduct in public, when they addressed confilted (abstractly speak- compare it with that candour and that ing) of every thing that was venerable gentleness which conciliate so many and august. Was that a place fo: friends to you in private. But it needs rancour or scurrility, for ribaldry or less metaphysical knowledge than you railing? You, Sir, in particular, had poffefs, less knowledge of life than my the calm dignity to support of one age has taught me, to account for this who fought to affert the rights of phenomenon. When the mind is im. mankind, to vindicate the honour of bued with a particular turn of thinkEnglithmen. You came not there in ing, which it has indulged into a hathe situation of some of your col. bit, with the audience that rouses, the leagues, to wipe away the impeach. exertion that warms, the party that ment of vice in themselves by the de- infames ; against all these circumstanclamation of virtue ; to obliterate the ces combined, it requires more foundmemory of dishonesty by eulogiums ness of judgment than men of your on honour, and to take from public genius are commonly blefied with, to mischief and diffenfion that general keep the just and even balance of conchance of adyantage which defperate duct and demeanour; yet humanity incendiaries hope for amidlt the con. should never leave us, because in a fiagration they have raised. It may good man it is that instinctive princi. perhaps wonnd your peculiar and al. ple which nothing should overpower lowable pride, to be accused of as for a moment. There was a time, inuch want of talte as of compaflion Sir, when you forgot its call; a reor propriety. You reversed the well. markable period, when distress and known compliment to Virgil, who infirmity were seen in such elevated was said " to toss about his dung with place, that the visitation of heaven majesty;" you borrowed her flowers was marked with natianal awe and from rhetoric, and, foiling them with depression. I forbear to recal the geordure, threw them in the faces of neral indignation, or to raise the bluz your poble and venerable judicature, on your owo chcek which a repeti: tion of the expressions you then used the worthless, the ignorant have over muft occasion. For this also you you. Resume the place which nawanted the apology fome others might ture, education, your own sentiments, have pleaded ; you knew the tenders and the sentiments of good men would ness of a parent, the comforts of a fa- assign you. Do not peevishly (as I mily, the connexion of a worthy and have sometimes heard you propose) honourable society. You had not a- retire from that poít in which you bandoned your heart to play, nor li- may still be useful to your country. ved a wretched dependent on the We have not, amidst our recollection prostitutics of character, on the wreck of some weak or censurable appearof priociple. But you had leared ances, forgotten the merit of your betout your humanity to faction ! Party- ter exertions. With the force of a rage had fti fcd your natural fenfibilis scholar's stile, with the richness of a ty, and you forgot the man in the poei's imagination, you have formerly, monarch. Yet they who are willing and may again correct the errors or to blame you will quote that parade expose the abuses of public mcalures. of feeling which you detailed for the Be but just to yoursell, to your talents, misfortunes of Asiatic princes, of to your fame. You have lived long whom the names and description enough to contention and cabal. I threw a ridicule over the pomp of speak, Sir, with the sympathy of a your pity. I will answer, since I have coeval. The struggle for place, the no better apology, that here also it bickerings of faction, are at no time was the rage of party still
very dignified occupations; but at our The rage of party, Sir, is unworthy time of life, and to a man like you, of your talents and unbecoming your they are particularly degrading; when character. It levels your genius and against the paltry emoluments, or triyour virtue with men whose petu fing distinctions of a few joyless lance undervalues the first, whose pro. years, they stake the happiness of pres fligacy ridicules the latter. In my seot peace of mind, and the reputarespect for virtue, in my pride of let- tion of future ages, ters, I cannot bear the advantage
BRUTUS which, on this ground, the dissipated,
Anecdotes of Mrs Jordan t.
W H EN genius raises an indivi- and gives currency to unauthentica
V dual from obfcurity to fame, ted facts, and the most improbable fica the public naturally become impa. tions. There is a natural pride in tient to know every particular inci- Human Nature, which stimulates a dent in the character that has been with to aggrandize what is little, and fortunate enough to force the paties conceal what is low- The old a. 10 distinctio ; and the niost trivial a- dage, that “ Truth lies at the bot, necdote affords a degree of pleasure, tom of a well,” is in the constant cxas tending to develope the history of perience of the Biographer ; and he Human Nature in the progress of fo- ever Ends it a task of difficulty to ciety. This avidity of curiosity, invite her from the depth of her rehowever, frequently defeats its ends, cesses. The General, the Statesman,
* From “ The Secret History of the Green Rooms.".
and the Poel, who happen to be fpler, al contract, than he entered into ano. didly descended, proudly challenge ther with the nympi who adored bin, exanıination and inquiry; while the and whole wealth enabled him to heroes of mimic life, from a frequent move in a more fiiendid Pile; while consciousness of obscure origin, and a the uofortunait dcludecirdy was sent certain ridicule attached to the pro- back to her place of naiisity, with fellion of a player, under the rank of her little ones, and a small fum Was the very first class, are ardently foli. allowid for their maintenance. citous to throw a veil over their car. Ne twithstanding the riches the Colier years, and invite attention only to loot! acquired by this c', alliance, meridian fplendour. The hillory of he never enjoyed his former screnity the first dawn of genius, and the aids of mind with his second wife ; and by which it is cheruhed to maturity, whether fiom a mental or bodily dif. is made a sacrifice to human pride, order, he ciut soon after. i and thus lost to the instruction of the The second Mis Bland had fecuworld.
red her furtune ; and, on the demise Mrs Jordan has the merit of be of ber husband, refused the smallest coming humility; her conduct, at assistance to his children. Col. Bland's least, is far removed from diluiting friends, however, with more humaoftentation, so common to her protes. nity, did something for them ; but fional cotemporaries ; and, as the has left their mother iotally unprovided often been the subject of much acri. for; and Miss Bland, the present Mrs monious fallacy, we shall endeavour Jordan, with commendable spirit, and to relate with fidelity the leading cir- the hope of supporting herself and pacumstances of her life.
rent, determined to attempt the Stage This lady's mother was the daugh- for a livelihood. ter of a Welch dignified clergyman; ller first appearance was in Dubher beauty and funplicity kindled a lin, but fearful of drawing any odium pation in the breast of a Capt. Bland, on her family by commencing actress, a gentleman of fortune, and great per- the affumed the name of Miss Francis : sonal accomplisments, who was at and though her efforts were little enthat time on duty in Wales. She e- couraged, she entered into the spirit loped with him to Ireland, where of the profession; liudied a great vae. they were married, though both un- riety of characters, and perficted her. der age.
self in all the accomplishments necesThey lived many years together in sary to constitute a filt-rate performgreat happiness, and nine children er. were the fruits of their affection, one In this situation she unfortunately of whom is the present Mrs Jordan. attracted the notice of one of the Whether Capt. Bland had expended proprietors of the Theatre, who, perhis fortune, or that he was tired of ceiving he met not with that encouhis wife, we cannot decide; but his ragement he conceived himself entit. father, Doctor Bland, a civilian in led to exact from an inferior performDublin, procured the marriage to be er in his Company, found means to annulled, as being made in minority, reduce her to the house of one of his that his son might receive the band dependants, where she was forcibly of a lady of great fortune, who had detained till every unfair advantage long been bis known admirer. was taken of her defenceless lituation.
The father of our young heroine, No sooner, however, was the released who had by this time attained to the fron so cruel and infamous a treachrank of Colonel, was no sooner exo. ery, than the fled from Dublin, and, Derated from his original matrimoni accompanied by her mother, went to
Leeds, where the York company three years, gradually improving till were then performing.
hei rank and income were the highelt Mr Wilkinson asked her, for what at that theatre, when M. Smith, late department of the Drama the con. of Drury-Line, happening to see her ceived her talents beit adapted? Whe- at York races, was so pleased with ther Tragedy, genteel or low Co- her abilities in Tragedy, that he obmedy, or Opera. She answered to cained for her an engagement at 41. all. Wilkinson, with a smile that in- per week, to play second to Mrs Siddicated a want of faith in her aller- dons. tions, promised her, however, an im- She soon perceived, on her arrival mediate trial, and hastened back to in the metropolis, ihat her reputation entertain the company with a descrip. in the line in which she was engaged, tion of his little female Proteus. Her was likely to place her second only; name was inferred in the bills for Ca- and as he knew her talents in Colifta, in the Fair Penitent, to fing after medy had given universal satisfaction, the play, to perform in the Virgin Un- and that every new performer in maked; and the better to conceal her London was permitted to make choice recreat, the changed her name to Mrs of a part for their first appearance, Me Jordan.
determined attempting “ The CouaThe public curiosity was greatly try Girl," a part that had long lain excited, and the house crowded on neglected, though abounding in wit, the night of her appearance. Mrs intrigue, and humour. The peculiJordan performed Calista with great arity of the character, and the nofpirit and grace, and the audience velty of such a line of acting, aided were highly pleased with the whole by Mrs Jordan's inimitable powers, of her performance. The manager surprised the public with new scenes considered her as a valuable acqui- of the drama, which had been regardfition, and actually gave her a falary ed with indifference, but which now of 155. per weck, his highest not ex- appeared the legitimate offspring of ceeding a guinca and half.
the Comic Muse. Hither, however, the resentment Novelty is the very foul of the of her perfecutor ftill followed her; stage. The best pieces and the best and as the bad quitted Dublin before performers pall by being too often the expiration of her articles, she was seen; and great as Mrs Jordan unthreatened with an arrest, unless she doubtedly is, much of her success immediately returned. In this crisis may be attributed to the new line of Mrs Jordan experienced the huinani- acting she has introduced; for tho' ty and benevolence of Mr Swann, an “ The Romp,” « The Country Girl,” elderly geatleman, well known and and “ The Virgin Unmasked,” had universally refpected, who, after a been represented before, they had neftri& inquiry into the circumstances ver been so much followed. The of her lituation, being convinced her managers doubled her salary; but even misfortune was not occafioned by her 81. a week was a small sum for the own conduct, but by the artifices of money the brought the House. She others, actually released her from the remontrated, but the Managers very apprehensions of a prison, by paying fairly replied, that the various pers the sum of 250 l. the forfeiture con- fons they engaged at large salaries, tained in her agreement, and ever and who on trial proved useless, justiafter manifested to her the most pa- fied their adherence to such bargains rental affection, and the sincerelt con- as were likely to reimburse them : cern for her welfare and interest. they, however, raised her salary to She continued in this Company 12l. per week, and granted her two benefits in the season, at one of which, abridging the importance of Mrs Jorthe received a purse from the club at dan. She withdrew herself from the Brooks's.
theatre, and is said to have been of· In 1788 this magnet seemed to a- fered a carte blanche by Mr Harris. bate something of its former effcct; Previous to accepting it, Mrs Jordan, but an excursion to Cheltenham in however, stated her grievance to Mr the succeeding summer restored its Sheridan, who settled her at a salary attractive powers. An elegant and of 30l. per week. valuable medal was presented to her. Her affection for her mother, who by the nobility and gentry at urat de- had ever been an indulgent parent, lightful watering-place, as an acknow. was extremely warm, and consequentledgment of the pleasure she had af- ly she felt the most poignant anguish forded them. She refumed her sta. at her loss. Her grief, perhaps, found tion the following winter in London some relief in the ebullitions of her with renovated allurements, and may Muse: for we find the following lines, be said to have fairly beat Melpomene written by herself, lately publishout of the field.
ed in the Edinburgh Herald ; and Her astonishing success is believed though we will not investigate Mrs to have created great uneasiness in the Jordan's poetical talents, yet as they house of Kemble, who dillike the were exerted to perpetuate the me. Comic muse from her evident anti- mory of a mother, we think they depathy to them. Every opportunity serve every indulgeoce:was fought of insulting Thaliu, by
Be ready, Reader, if thou hast a tear,
If feeble these, how feebler far must be
Hard, then, must be the task in mournful verse,
Thus silent Anguish mark'd her for her own,